Good afternoon,

I picked up three Dell Poweredge 1950s and 4 SunFire X2200s from my local surplus store with the intention to finally build that cluster I've been thinking about for a few months. However, I understand that drives larger than 2.2 TB shouldn't be recognized by the BIOS due to MBR limitations. The Poweredges do have a BIOS update from 2016 but the SunFires were last updated in 2010. My questions are as follows:

  1. Would that BIOS update allow me to use larger drives via GPT, and

  2. Do I have any recourse for making the SunFire servers work with larger drives?

  • I hope you didn't spend too much money. Those things are so old they probably aren't worth much more than scrap value. Apr 29 '18 at 22:42
  • I spent $30/ea on all of 'em so it's not a huge loss. Is there any way of making those larger drives work? Could I use a newer RAID controller or will the motherboard still have issues with it? Apr 29 '18 at 23:03
  • @MichaelHampton I don't know about the Dells, but I worked for a customer that once spent a whole lot of money for new HPs to replace a lot of five or six year-old Sun x86 servers. After a lot of tuning, we finally were able to get the new HPs to run as fast as the five-year-old Sun servers. Having the latest CPU and memory doesn't mean much when they're slapped onto the cheapest MB and chipset with poor memory and IO bandwidth/latency. (And the new HPs wound up being a lot more expensive than faster replacements from Oracle would have been, to boot...) May 1 '18 at 9:37

Drive size limitations depend on the storage controller's firmware/drivers.

Replacing the storage controller with a more modern one will allow you to use larger drives.

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