Sunday, February 17, 2008

X4150 experiences.

It's clear from the comments I've had that I'm not the only one who's had issues with X4150s.

Those of us who have been playing this game for many years manage to surmount these minor obstacles, so we can take advantage of the good things that these servers have to offer. But it does worry me that customers without the experience (or confidence and contacts) to get past the irritating issues lose out on what could be a good solution, and that a supplier loses out on a potential sale.


Ben said...

I didn't find it too bad, although I did opt out on the standard RAID card and went for the LSI controller in JBOD mode. It was only really mastering the SP which was entertaining, everything else just went smoothly.

I am used to generic x86 hardware, and Sun kit is so much better. So perhaps I'm just glossing over the flaws?

Actually buying the thing was a nightmare. Days and days wasted dealing with resellers, Sun's distribution, and coping with the ever extending estimated delivery date. :-(

Anonymous said...

We're currently setting up four X4150s.

On two of the boxes, I cannot fit the DVD drive (Toshiba Samsung TS-T632) in the drive bay.

The guy who physically assembled the first server said it took him 2 hours to get the DVD drive in. I guess I got lucky on the second one, but no joy with the next two.

But if I take the DVD drive out of the plastic tray that it comes in, I can get the drive to connect properly. It looks like crap, but it works -- which is enough to get me through the initial setup.

But it shouldn't have to be that way.

Peter Tribble said...

I never buy CD or DVD drives for servers unless I have to. They're just a waste of money, time, and power. I've never used a CD drive on anything capable of PXE booting.

Mark said...

I'm interested in purchasing a couple x4150s, and I had some questions I hope someone could answer. If I don't get the internal DVD drive, can I boot from an external USB DVD drive? Also, I'd like to install my own drives rather than buy them from Sun. Does the server come with empty drive brackets, or just covers? Thanks.

Peter Tribble said...

Mark: I don't see why an USB drive wouldn't work, although I've never tried it.

One other option that some of the various LOM gadgets support is to remote mount a CD through the SP. But I've never tried that either.

As for the drives, it comes with plastic blanks. And it seems that the various drives are actually specific to each system (we had to buy different drives for the X4150 than the X4200), as the brackets are slightly different.

Anonymous said...

A couple of months back 8 4150's arrived and when I went to set them up I made the same discovery. SAS Drives needed an HBA card in order for them to be seen. A call to our vendor and some days later we were told that cards were on backorder. For a month. Had one unit with the DVD that would not fit (just got another one in a set of 3 we just received this week).

I'm not found of these boxes chassis when compared to the x4100's. 4100's are built properly, 4150's IMHO are not quite there (chassis only, guts are fine).

Those 8 are up and running with Zones and ZFS -- very cool Solaris products.

I'm now off to install S10 on 3 4150's with a StorageTek SAS RAID HBA. No doubt it will be interseting :)


Roger said...

I have to tell you, I've racked a dozen x4150s in the last month, none of them were a problem. Half had the SAS HBA option for local storage, the other half were using fiber HBAs for SAN connectivity. No problems installing, including the DVD drives (though one was a little tight, a quick push got it past the area where the "pressure pad" was hitting the chassis. And I love the performance of dual quad-cores in 1U, as opposed to the x4100.