Has anyone purchased and managed servers from SiliconMechanics.
I absolutely love the huge number of system configuration they offer and they unbelievable low cost.
Are the servers designed well?
Anyone have any experience using SiliconMechanics?
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I manage a small cluster of 6 R266-SAS and 4 R257 machines, all purchased in December 2007. During that time, I've had only one hardware failure - an while upgrading IPMI firmware on one unit, it became unresponsive and after rebooting the physical machine it wouldn't start up without removing the IPMI daughtercard. So far in 18 months, I haven't had a single power supply or disk fail. (I'm probably cursing myself by writing that!) They've still got a fair amount of service life left in them, but I've been very pleased with the burn-in testing making sure everything I received hasn't had a single early death.
From a support perspective, I've been happy with Silicon Mechanics. I'm based in Seattle and they're about a 40 minute drive north, so I actually visited their offices before purchasing. The R266 units were very new and at the time of our order, they didn't have battery backup units for the RAID card that fit in the case, so they offered to complete the order, and meet us in our datacenter a few weeks later to install the batteries and reconfigure the RAID cards to allow write-back caching. I don't think you'll get that kind of support if you're not local with a decent-sized order, but I can say their email and phone support is also great.
I know a few folks who swear by them, and for my next round of server purchases, it's who I'm planning to use.
I had a bad experience with them. The rabbit ears broke off of both my servers since they were made of plastic.
Also, the "hardware raid" was actually software raid. I had an unhappy exchange with their tech support about that.
This was a few years back, and I have heard that they are better now. I don't know, because I stopped buying their stuff.