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Hotswapping Servers

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  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I'm this excited about this but...

    We recently replaced our OWA server with a brand new Dell PowerEdge 1750 (DP, 2GB RAM). Well, today it went down. Died. Completely. Dell said the HDD's should be good thing, so we pulled the server out of the rack, grabbed one of the spare ones we had (haven't had a chance to mount the 5 new 1750's we got this week), cleared the RAID configuration, put the HDD's into the new box and...

    Blam. Done!

    10 minutes to hotswap a server. It took us longer to do a RAM upgrade on another 1750 today.

    We're getting a pair of IBM BladeCenter's in next week, which'll make us even more hot-swappable (can just power down one blade, swap the drives and power the other one up... 5 minute downtime would be awesome).

    Anyways. Sad or great that this had my adrenaline pumping?

    I really should have taken a picture of me sneaking the dead server out of the office to our building so we could do some diagnostics while Dell was coming in.

  • User profile image
    Neal

    I've had really bad experiences with DELL 1700's.Usually the problems I found with them were The BIOS couldn't recognize the correct amount of memory
    Its amazingly loud, even noiser than the 2 8450s i have
    They never clustered well even though its HPCC certified

    I turned them all into really big paper weights and replaced them with the DELL 1655MC blade servers. These are also hot swappable and can do hardware level NLB. I have 12 blades, running everything from intranets,sharepoint servers, SUS, Cisco Works to visitor management for the buildings. They just work.



    Neal

    http://adminnotes.typepad.com

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I really wish there was a grimace image I could put here... You went with Dell blades? I've never heard as bad reviews as I did for the blades, we went with IBM for our rollout (5 bladecentres, populated with 35 blades).

    That said, the NEXT rollout of Blades from Dell is fantastic. We're seriously considering putting in 2 of them instead of the 15 1750's we were looking at.

    We have about 30 1750's in here (the architecture's markedly different than the 1700 though). We also have about 60 2650's and maybe 15 servers that are of bigger sizes than that (as well as some DLT's and storage for appliance servers).

    This is only the 3rd issue we've had in the last 3 years, and we've been incredibly happy with the tech support. Sure, it's an extra 2K/server, but 4-hour response time is great.

    As a byline, Dell's going to replace the entire server that fried with a brand new one, which'll be here in 5 days. We could have had them out in 4 hours with a replacement if we'd asked but we aren't in a hurry. We probably won't even put them in the racks for 2 weeks anyways.

    On a related note, one of our VMS mainframes fried today as well. Sadly, no support on that puppy. No idea what the VMS guys are going to do...

  • User profile image
    Neal

    The Dell Blades have been good to us, then again, they may be running alot of apps on them, its not hit too heavily.
    These days my woes are all about SAN implementation.I should i say lack of.
    Currently I'm trying to convince the powers that be to migrate our exchange 2003 clusters to itanium servers in an EMC San environment. Unfortunately for almost 2 years i've been shot down on getting a SAN solution in house. My work around right now is using GEOCLUSTER to disperse the clusters to different sites.









    Neal

    http://adminnotes.typepad.com

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I wasn't saying it was a bad call, just that I was surprised it was working well for you Smiley

    All of our BladeCentre stuff is for Citrix rollouts, and so far no problems at all. I think we'd rather go with Dell for future Blade stuff (once they get their act together), as they are our preferred server and workstation vendor.

    As far as SAN... We have 2. It's not all it's chalked up to be. The cost of SAN-attaching a server can be very, very restrictive. Granted, our SAN's old, but it's still roughly the cost of a server (our servers average 15K, and it costs us 10K to SAN-attach).

  • User profile image
    Neal

    We've been an all DELL shop for about 10 years now, and their support is always up to par. DELL / EMC quote us in the $200k area for a "starter" SAN implementation. Since Dell's fiscal year ends in June, we've been eyeballing them for lower prices, but apparently its still not low enough for the "powers that be" to sign on.

    Oh well i'll still keep on wishing...I think thats what alot of IT Pros do...dream..wait..maybe its just me









    Neal

    http://adminnote.typepad.com

  • User profile image
    Jizg

    Bump

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