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

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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 ...
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2answers
29k 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), ...
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2answers
8k views

How to find out PCI version information in linux

How can I find out which PCI version (2.0 , 2.3) are supported by the motherboard - even for slots which do not have any cards connected to them. lspci -vvv does not seem to show information for PCI ...
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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 ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it possible to hardware accelerate LUKS encryption?

My Linux server spends a lot of time computing LUKS encryption. Is there any way to hardware accelerate it (with a PCI express card for example)?
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6answers
3k 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
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2answers
9k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
11k views

Can I mix Low Voltage (LV) ram wiith Regular Voltage RAM?

I heard from our vendor that it is okay to put Low Voltage ram with regular voltage RAM. They said all that would happen is that the LV RAM would ramp up to match the 1.5v ram (in other words, the ram ...
8
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2answers
788 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 ...
8
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1answer
7k 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 ...
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
541 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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6answers
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 ...
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8answers
5k 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 ...
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9answers
2k views

Off-brand laptop batteries?

I tend to err on the side of paying too much for quality stuff, but $180 for a standard replacement battery for a Dell laptop makes the $80 knockoffs look pretty tempting. I wouldn't consider it ...
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5answers
28k views

How do I get my HP servers to email me when a drive fails?

Ideally, with as simple of install as possible and without requiring rebooting the servers. Mostly for DL380 G5's if it helps. Thanks.
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6answers
4k 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.
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10answers
264 views

Should you replace a whole department's PCs or half?

Our department are replacing the PCs that are over 3 years old. However, despite the age of the PCs, they're all similarly spec'd, so a 3 year old PC is still the same similar spec as a 1 year old ...
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3answers
4k views

What is more important for a database server? Mem? Mem speed? Cores?

I am going to be moving my database server to somewhat better new hardware. The current database server does not have any problems except that it is running Centos 4. The current hardware is 2 quad ...
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
340 views

What is this(server hardware)?

What is this adapter called?
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13answers
32k 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 ...
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3answers
397 views

Why Do Hard Drives Fail?

I'm just quite interested in the reasons why hard drive failures occur. Some people say that it's because it was handled poorly during the shipping and transportation processes while others say that ...
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7answers
1k views

Questions about single point of failure for small operations

If you can't afford or don't need a cluster or spare server waiting to come online in the event of a failure, it seems like you might split the services provided by one beefy server onto two less ...
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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 ...
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2answers
257 views

New server causing weird noise in headphones and speakers; Is this electromagnetic interference? What's causing it?

I work for a small radio station that recently acquired a refurbished Dell PowerEdge 1950 server. After placing it in the server room along with several other servers and sound processing hardware ...
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3answers
675 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, ...
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3answers
47k 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 ...
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2answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
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6answers
423 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
5k views

2012R2 Storage Spaces Memory and CPU requirements

I am looking at possibly using Storage Spaces in Server 2012R2 to build a NAS off of. I am looking to build a fairly large unit, 12-14 HDDs, in a "RAID10" like setup (I know storage spaces does not do ...
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4answers
19k views

Restarting an IBM BMC without restarting the server itself

I have a few servers with IBM BMC (Baseboard Management Controller). I'd like to power cycle the BMC without restarting the server. Is this possible? How? Note: On one of them, the web interface is ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

VMware - persistent “Host memory status” alarm in vSphere

I have a particular VMWare ESX 4.1 host that has a very persistent "Host memory status" alarm. This is running on an HP ProLiant DL360 G7 server. The HP ILO and System Management agents don't know ...
7
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

How does a blade server differ from a normal rackmount server?

This may be a question but I thought I would ask even so.
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10answers
3k views

Do I need some kind of power conditioner or UPS?

In one of my boxen, both my power supply and network card died while in overnight hibernation - why? And: What must I do to appease the electricity Gods so that I don't lose more hardware? In ...
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7answers
1k views

Laptops - RAM vs Disk for performance

In the perfect world I could get everything I want, however budgets for new laptops are low so I normally can get a user a laptop + additional RAM (to at least 4Gb). This has been mostly motivated by ...
6
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3answers
19k views

What is the difference between a HBA card and a RAID card?

I thought I knew the difference between HBA and RAID. In my mind, HBA is offloading from the main motherboard/CPU and is simply JBOD... usually has an external SAS ports, whilst a RAID card does the ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Noob question: What is inside a server? [closed]

This is a real noob question. I have never taken a proper look at a server. Can someone kindly explain what is inside a server (the hardware)? And how the user interacts with it? All the images ...
6
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3answers
20k views

Moving a RAID array from one machine to another

I'm not too familiar with RAID arrays, but I plan on making a RAID 5 array for a fileserver. However, once I get the RAID running for a while, I have plans to move it to another machine (with ...
6
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2answers
327 views

Should server spare parts be stored in climate controlled storage?

What is a best practice for storing server spares (hard drives, RAM, power supplies, etc) with respect to how/where they are stored? Some options are storing them in climate controlled storage or just ...
6
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5answers
4k views

SW SSD Raid 1 over HW RAID 10

A provider(data center) recommended I go with 1TB SSDs in a software RAID 1 over HW RAID 10 with mechanical drives. Their quote: Typically SSDs are most reliable than RAID cards and since you ...
6
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2answers
451 views

Could SpinRite possibly be messing up my laptop hard drives?

Context: We have a midsize business with a few dozen laptops. Whenever we get one in because someone leaves or gets an upgrade, standard procedure is to zero and then run SpinRite (level 4) on the ...
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3answers
3k views

Upgrading RAID controller to 4kn - do I have to reinitialize the array to use 4kn?

I have an enterprise-grade workstation with an Adaptec 6405E RAID controller in it. According to Adaptec, this RAID controller does not, and will never be able to, natively support 4K disk sectors. If ...
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6answers
500 views

Will wear induced by turning computers off in the evening be offset by energy savings?

I'm asking this here because this is primarily a huge office scenario and administrators will more likely have the answer I'm looking for. Employees' desktop computers can be either left turned on ...
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2answers
9k views

Dell Perc 6/i and 3TB drives?

Does the dell Perc 6/i controller support 3TB drives?
6
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3answers
820 views

Would unplugging a drive simulate a drive failure?

I just set up a RAID 1 array, 2 2tb drives mirrored. I am wondering what will happen if one were to fail. Would unplugging one of them be a valid test? I am using the Onboard controller of an asus ...