[CentOS] Install Centos 6 x86_64 on Dell PowerEdge 2970 and aSSD (hardware probing issues)

Tue Sep 9 14:52:05 UTC 2014
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Tue, September 9, 2014 9:37 am, Mark Tinberg wrote:
> On Sep 8, 2014, at 11:57 AM, Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>
> wrote:
>> On Mon, September 8, 2014 9:19 am, Mark Tinberg wrote:
>>> On Sep 6, 2014, at 3:42 PM, Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Sat, September 6, 2014 2:27 pm, Jonathan Billings wrote:
>>>>> I choose vendors that make it relatively painless to apply the
>>>>> firmware
>>>>> updates under Linux.
>>>> This is only so for either very rich, who can afford to have stand by
>>>> hardware to replace bricked by flashing box, or very happy to the
>>>> level
>>>> they don't care that the box will not come back up in next 5 min. I am
>>>> definitely neither of two

>>> I’ve used mostly Dell and have done a thousand firmware updates in my
>>> time
>>> and I’ve never seen a piece of hardware bricked, their update system
>>> takes
>>> all due precaution, so the problem just isn’t as dire as you make it
>>> out
>>> to be, even anecdotally it is statistically improbable, either I am a
>>> massive outlier or you are way overestimating.
>> Certainly the last: it is me who is scared to take 1:10000 chance.
>> Speaking of Dell: we use only lowest end of their boxes (think 32 GB
>> quad
>> core CPU _Desktop_ today) which are en par with others price wise, yet
>> very reliable. Never had to flash BIOS on these, and never had one
>> failed
>> because of me not having BIOS updates flashed routinely... As far as
>> servers are concerned, these are tyan mostly. I do not re-flash their
>> routinely. (And I doubt they release tons of BIOS upgrades, at the very
>> most one per board during its lifetime which never sounded "do it or
>> your
>> box is dead tomorrow".) So, I maybe flashed BIOS 3-4 times per maybe 200
>> machines... Never had box bricked due to flashing. (Still...) And never
>> had failure due to not doing "preventive" re-flashing. But after all:
>> maybe I'm just extremely lucky ;-) and at the same time awfully scared
>> (to
>> fix something that shouldn't be broken IMHO).
> My sense that the bugs which are being fixed by the server firmware
> vendors updates are very very rare but they have big enough customers who
> demand fixes to spend the engineering effort in finding and fixing these
> subtle issues whereas the whitebox vendors don’t sell enough of a single
> model and don’t have the high-touch relationship with customers to really
> care, there are probably just as many subtle bugs in their designs but
> they are focused on getting the next motherboard manufactured, not fixing
> problems with last years model that they don’t sell anymore.

Maybe. Still I wouldn't place Tyan into "small volume" manufacturers. My
_feeling_ is that they work more on BIOS debugging, and they do not make
tremendous changes in BIOS from one model to its successor, only the
necessary ones. Not experimenting. Thus less chance to introduce new bugs.
After all, they are in a [small] server boards business forever. But that
is just my _feeling_ from my experience dealing with variety (their and
others) hardware. FWIW.

I'm really happy to see we are on the same page about (virtual absence of)
vital flaws necessary to be fixes yesterday in decent server boards...


Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247