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

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11
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4answers
753 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
votes
13answers
10k views

Why would wireless routers become less reliable over time?

I've been curious about this for awhile now. I don't know if I'm seeing a real pattern or not, but having worked with many home office/small office wireless routers for a few years now, I've noticed ...
11
votes
9answers
2k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
422 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
votes
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
10k 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
15k 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
votes
1answer
933 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
383 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
4answers
4k 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
2answers
416 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
votes
1answer
3k 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
901 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
votes
4answers
5k 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
votes
4answers
2k 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
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
5answers
10k 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: ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k 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
5answers
709 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
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
484 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
10k 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
6k 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
13k 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
votes
2answers
452 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
votes
5answers
6k 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

What causes hard disk failures?

What causes hard disk failures in general. I would like to know the common causes and how to prevent such incidence.
7
votes
10answers
16k 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)
7
votes
3answers
903 views

How to calculate cost/benefit of hardware expenditures? (move to virtualization, upgrades, etc.)

Preamble: As part of the acquisition of a smaller development company we have acquired a new office. Many people were transferred to head office, but 'new' office will retain a small team of 4-6 ...
7
votes
13answers
26k views

HP Proliant DL380 G4 - Can this server still perform in 2011?

Can the HP Proliant DL380 G4 series server still perform at high a quality in the 2011 IT world? This may sound like a weird question but we are a very small company whose primary business is NOT IT ...
7
votes
6answers
774 views

Rack layout for future growth

We're getting ready to move to a new colo facility and I'm designing the rack layout. While we have a full rack, we only have 12U worth of hardware right now: 1x 1U switch 7x 1U servers 1x 2U server ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

Devices / Drivers not working in Windows 7?

For anyone who is running the Win7 RC, are you running into any unexpected problems with regards to hardware incompatibility? If so, have you been able to work through them in what you would call a ...
7
votes
3answers
589 views

determine hardware configuration using command line

I have a linux machine with ubuntu OS installed on it. Now I want to upgrade the hardware. Namely, I'd like to install more RAM. My question is, how do I determine which kind of RAM installed now, ...
7
votes
3answers
34k views

How to find RAID configuration/level and RPM speed having only remote access to the server?

Having only remote access (no physical access), to a server (that is SSH), how do I (or may be is it possible): find out whether it is RAID configured or not? If it is RAID configured, whether it ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are “sectors per track” still relevant on a modern OS with modern drives?

I am building out a new machine and the raid controller is asking me for sectors per track. I haven't had to deal with disk math in a long time (1998?), and I can't find anything that pertains to ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

What to do with an out-of-warranty Barracuda Spam/Web filter?

I'm working with an organization that would like to start using a old Barracuda Spam Filter 300 unit. I've sold and configured plenty of these, but was surprised to see that this unit's warranty ...
7
votes
6answers
379 views

Computer controlled winch

It was a long time coming but I've just had AC installed in my server room. I've also purchased a MiniGoose II from ITWatchDogs which I can't say enough about. So I'm covered by cooling, and I'll be ...
7
votes
3answers
955 views

What is the name of this screw? (from HP ProLiant quick-deploy rail kits) [closed]

I need the name of the screw for the HP quick deploy rail kit. The screw clicks into the square holes of the rack. It is a Gen4 Rail kit but the screw is like the Gen8 Rail kit ones. I called HP ...
7
votes
1answer
804 views

Enabling VMware EVC on Westmere E5645 CPU only accepts “Nehalem” mode

Take the following system, a Supermicro VMware ESXi host with Intel Westmere E5645 CPUs. Part of our deployment process is to set the appropriate Enhanced vMotion Capability (EVC) level for the ...
7
votes
2answers
472 views

10GBASE-T shielded cable switch-to-server connection

I'm venturing for the first time into the 10 gigabit (over copper) realm. Likewise, I have never worked with shielded CAT-5/6 cables previously. From my own research, I understand the types and ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

hardware recommendations for HAProxy for a small or medium traffic site

I am interested in setting up HAProxy for use as a load balancer for a set of small traffic web applications. The use is growing and might become medium sized in the near term (6 months or so). Mainly ...
7
votes
1answer
93 views

Automated hardware testing of HP servers?

As part of provisioning servers we run HP's Insight Diagnostics to test the hardware. This is a manual process. Is there a way automate the running of Insight Diagnostics? There is the hpdiags ...