Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that comprise a computer system.

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5answers
7k views

ZFS best practices with hardware RAID

If one happens to have some server-grade hardware at ones disposal, is it ever advisable to run ZFS on top of a hardware-based RAID1 or some such? Should one turn off the hardware-based RAID, and run ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Copy Linux host to new hardware

I need to do host to host migrations from old hardware to new hardware. Specifically, from HP BL460G7 to HP BL460G8. Both the old and new servers have 2 x 600GB 2.5" drives and are configured for ...
13
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6answers
14k views

How to recover from a drive failure in a RAID 5 configuration?

This morning a drive failed on our database server. The drive array (3 disks) is setup in a RAID 5 configuration. While we wait for a drive replacement we are preparing for a recovery strategy. Users ...
12
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13answers
891 views

Hard drive fail - How to regain confidence on the drive or make some use of it

After a hard drive fail (lots of corrupted sectors) I reformat it, but the drive give me no confidence to use it in production. Is there a tool to stress test so I know I can use it? In which ways ...
12
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6answers
676 views

Bad disks in ancient server

I have a 1998-era Netware 3.12 server that runs everything on our campus: general ledger, purchasing, payroll, student information, grades, you name it. The server has an Adaptec RAID controller with ...
12
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7answers
2k views

How do I inventory the type and speed of a remote computer?

I'm on a Windows 2003/2008 corporate network with 100 users. I've been tasked with increasing the RAM on all end-user workstations. The problem is we have a mixture of different computers in our ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Force renegotiation of PCI Express link speed? x2 card reverts to x1 width

In an effort to circumvent compatibility and cost barriers to using SSD drives with newer HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, I'm working to validate PCIe-based SSDs on the platform. I've been experimenting ...
12
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4answers
495 views

Understanding NVMe storage and hardware requirements

I'm a bit confused about the recent developments in PCIe-based storage, particularly as it relates to the NVMe specification and its hardware compatibility. While I've worked extensively with SSDs in ...
11
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4answers
764 views

Why is a 19“ rackable box only 17” wide?

I'm about to buy (for the first time obviously) a bare rackable box to build a server. As I understands things, standard rack size is 19" wide. But some boxes specs (Antec's one to be specific) says ...
11
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9answers
3k views

Should old servers be retired

I have servers which are still running well but are over 5 years old. They are still doing the job perfectly and there will be no advantage to upgrade the servers, should I just let them run forever ...
11
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6answers
9k views

Hyper-V and Drobo Pro

I'm considering getting a fully loaded Drobo Pro and using it to store VHDs that would run our on a pair of Hyper-V host machines. The host machines would connect to the Drobo Pro via iScsi. Anyone ...
11
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2answers
476 views

What are 19mm high 3.5" hard disks called?

According to Wikipedia a normal 3.5" harddisk is 25.4mm high, but then there exist also a 19mm version, which I need for a HP ProLiant MicroServer. Looking at our resellers webshop I see the ...
11
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3answers
8k views

Quick method to determine SSD drive health?

I have an Intel X-25M drive that was marked "failed" twice in a ZFS storage array, as noted here. However, after removing the drive, it seems to to mount, read and write in other computers (Mac, PC, ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Using 48v for servers

I'm currently in the middle of a process to specify and design a new server environment for graphics and video rendering. We know we want to use blades, and we're pretty sure of our vendor decisions. ...
10
votes
16answers
12k views

Computer in cold and damp environment (a shed) [closed]

Background I am hoping to convert a shed in my garden into a home office. The shed has a concrete base and brese block walls. It already has Power and Ethernet and will soon be watertight. However I ...
10
votes
4answers
18k views

Incredibly low disk performance on HP ProLiant DL385 G7

As a test of the Opteron processor family, I bought a HP DL385 G7 6128 with HP Smart Array P410i Controller - no memory. The machine has 20GB ram 2x146GB 15k rpm SAS + 2x250GB SATA2, both in Raid 1 ...
10
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1answer
959 views

What is the term for this piece of hardware?

This is a silly question but what is the "official" term for what is carrying this hard drive? I need to know if I can purchase it separately from the hard drive.
10
votes
4answers
417 views

How Serviceable are Tape Drives?

I'm contemplating an auto-loading tape drive as part of a backup strategy. This would be my first experience with tape backup. The cost-effectiveness of tape drives seems to depend on the assumption ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

Should I be concerned about a high SMART Hardware_ECC_Recovered value?

I got such a message in /var/log/messages: Jun 25 06:29:27 server.ru smartd[4477]: Device: /dev/sda, SMART Usage Attribute: 195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered changed from 46 to 47 #smartctl -a /dev/sda: ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Hard drive read errors that… stop?

My story starts out quite simply. I have a light-duty server, running Arch Linux, which stores most of its data on a RAID-1 composed of two SATA drives. It was working without any problems for about ...
10
votes
1answer
293 views

Standard Bolt Pattern for Racks in Datacenters

Is there a "standard" way of bolting racks down that is interchangeable between vendors? At our datacenter we've standardized on a Damac rack for our builds. Because we're building in volume, the ...
10
votes
2answers
534 views

Linux kernel detecting wrong processor frequency

After a cold boot of a 6.0.8 Debian server (HP ProLiant), ntpd played havoc with system time: offset and jitter with respect to the usual and reliable reference time servers growing without limit. ...
10
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1answer
4k views

Alternatives to Dell's mirrored SD card module for booting a small OS from flash?

Dell offers an add-on hardware card for some of their servers that provides a poor man's RAID1 between two SD cards (one card gets all the reads until it dies, writes are mirrored) for booting a ...
9
votes
10answers
999 views

Is there a reason to change a server's hard drive before it faults?

Just a quick question: is there a reason to change a server's hard drive after x years before it faults (it eventually will at some point) or should I just leave it until it faults? I have little ...
9
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4answers
7k views

What effects do magnets have on HDDs and SSDs? [closed]

What do magnets do to hard disk drives and solid state drives upon contact?
9
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4answers
3k views

DIY Hadoop Cluster - Heat & Dust issues?

Following are links of my DIY 6-Node Hadoop Cluster using i3 Machines, What is the best possible way to protect my design from dust & provide better heat transfer? What should I use to cover ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Rack layout recommendations

We have a 24U rack in our lab and I'm going to completely redesign it during the next weeks due to the scheduled big hardware upgrade. I have a couple of the questions about the layout of the server ...
9
votes
3answers
995 views

Why are Large Form Factor (LFF) disks still fairly prevelant?

Small Form Factor (SFF) / 2.5" disks seem to have become more popular than LFF disks now due to them being preferable over LFF disks in many scenarios (lower power consumption, higher density, etc). ...
9
votes
1answer
12k views

How exactly does a SAS SFF-8087 breakout cable work? + RAID/connection questions

Please let me know if my question does not makes any sense as I am not sure if I am interpreting it correctly from my thoughts due to my lack of technical knowledge on this. If I am using a ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Laptop waking from sleep

I have a laptop which has "recently" turned into the proverbial baby, and refuses to sleep through the night, or for that matter, through some days. I'm a little lost when it comes to trying to debug ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Proper method for connecting multiple non-stackable network switches?

I deal with many clients in warehousing and industrial applications who have IT staff or local consultants. Many of these sites are still using a 10/100 Megabit switching backbone... I've managed to ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is post-sudden-power-loss filesystem corruption on an SSD drive's ext3 partition “expected behavior”?

My company makes an embedded Debian Linux device that boots from an ext3 partition on an internal SSD drive. Because the device is an embedded "black box", it is usually shut down the rude way, by ...
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2answers
7k views

Is my Cisco switch port bad?

I've been chasing a packet-loss and network stability issue for a handful of end-users on an internal network for the past few days... These issues surfaced last week, however the location was struck ...
9
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1answer
5k views

Recommendations for Elastic Search hardware [closed]

Are there any good guides for hardware level to support ElasticSearch? Are recommendations for Lucene or Solr a good place to start? We're looking at rolling out a deployment starting with 27 ...
8
votes
13answers
19k views

Whats the average lifespan of a server?

i'd really like to know what the lifespan of a server is, or could be. Is there something like lifespan in the world of PCs at all? Lets assume it runs 24/7, how many hours/days/years/etc could it be ...
8
votes
5answers
929 views

Hot spare host vs cold spare host?

We have several hosts where we have an identical hot spare host, which is patched and updated so it is very close to have to same software and config. In case of failure the network cable is switched ...
8
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11answers
3k views

GUI tools to administer Linux Box

What GUI tools do you advise to improve the usability of Linux for those accustomed to doing system administration the windows-way? Users new to Linux often get confused when they need to configure ...
8
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10answers
18k views

Where to purchase a server capable of 512GB of RAM? [closed]

Where can I purchase a single server capable of 512 GB, yes GB, of RAM? The most I've seen is 256 GB (32 DIMM x 8 GB per stick)
8
votes
4answers
1k views

The importance of ECC memory

Are ECC memory modules important to have on a non-critical server? I was thinking about getting myself a toy dedicated server for lots of random, non-critical stuff. Sporadic reboots are no big ...
8
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2answers
27k views

ECC chipkill errors: which DIMM?

We often get DIMMs in our servers going bad with the following errors in syslog: May 7 09:15:31 nolcgi303 kernel: EDAC k8 MC0: general bus error: participating processor(local node response), ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

How to correctly apply thermal compound to the CPU?

Every now and then I have to work with hardware, be it assembling a new box, or just cleaning it a little bit, and I always have this question: how should I apply the thermal compound to the CPU? When ...
8
votes
3answers
539 views

General Advice about an archive solution. ~15tb and growing.

I need a better storage and archive system for my small business's files. Specifically the files are completed video projects. Beyond time and cost limitations what is holding me back is I don't ...
8
votes
4answers
11k views

High load on a nagios server — How many service checks for a nagios server is too many?

I have a nagios server running Ubuntu with a 2.0 GHz Intel Processor, a RAID10 array, and 400 MB of RAM. It monitors a total of 42 services across 8 hosts, most of which are checked using the ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I unlock Dell T610 case?

I've just got a Dell PowerEdge T610 server. The case is locked and looks like it needs a flattish key to open. Two circular ended keys came with the server, but they fit the front of the case, not the ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Effecient organization of spare cables and hardware

As many of you also likely do, I have a growing collection of cables, hardware, and spare parts (screws, connectors, etc.). I'm looking to find a good system of organization so that everything isn't a ...
8
votes
2answers
15k views

Controlling HP ProLiant DL380 G6/G7 fan speed

I'm having fan speeds and noise level issues from my most recent batch of HP ProLiant DL380 G7 servers. Most of the systems are nearly silent with low fan speeds (as reported by hplog -f). The ...
8
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2answers
3k views

HP ProLiant system preparation/deployment techniques (Array, BIOS, firmware, etc.)

I spend a lot of my time with HP ProLiant systems and Linux installations. Due to the nature of the business I work in, I don't have the luxury of being able to deploy large numbers of identical ...
8
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2answers
480 views

Are branded backplanes useable without specific controllers?

I can't find a disk enclosure which I like, so I'm going to build a custom one (if nothing else, that'll teach me to be picky...). I've got a few HP SAS backplanes lying about, but I'm wondering if ...
8
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5answers
7k views

Where do you find your MTBF data?

Mean time between failures may be difficult to interpret, but there is a wealth of statistical method that you can use if you have some hard data. Trouble is, nobody reports their MTBF numbers ...
7
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8answers
4k views

Any reason to use a rack-mountable server if I lack a rack to mount it on?

I'm somewhat new to server hardware, and was wondering if there was any reason to purchase a 19-inch-rack-mountable server as opposed to a standalone (tower) system, or any difference between the two ...