[Beowulf] Re: Third-party drives not permitted on new Dell servers?

MDG himikehawaii1 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 12 10:51:28 PST 2010

Well here is a small taste of problems with Dell and PERC controllers, I have tried to use Dell Perc Controllers all the way back to Perc 2 Quad-Channels, I needed new batteries for the back up memory I ordered using Dell's own part number they sent the wrong part, I returned, I sent them the ACTUAL BATTERY, THEY SENT ME ANOTHER BATTERY AGAIN WRONG, this after dozens of phone calls.  Will I ever buy another Dell product? Not on your life, when they cannot even get a battery right when they have the actual battery in hand that is very bad service!

They may make a good product till you need service then forget it, and you can also forget stripping out working parts from a dead server for use as they match all products to the original computer case's serial number, so if you want to keep legacy systems running but need to make a change such as a new CPU box then Dell not only has hard-code/password protected the use of non-Dell Hard drive but also refuses to service Dell equipment, such as sale you the back-up battery, unless you happen to have the old serial case number and you better be the original buyer otherwise their database says you are not the customer and another rejection.  

Assuming they can ever find it even when they have the old one in hand so it is impossible not to have the correct part number the tag is on it, as well as they have the part in their hand, as well as when they pull the alleged correct part from stock, after weeks of calls, the replacement they send the wrong one along with the old one and they are obviously incorrect as not even a size, or connector that will plug into their own RAID disk controller, made by Adaptec, who I called after trying to get the battery, Adpatec, who generally I find excellent, says it was made solely for Dell so they cannot help, turns out also made for HP but with some firmware changes I lster found out.  Note, Dell will say it is a Perc but it may be an AMI or and AAdaptec, and parts are totally differant yet they are both called a Perc X model, so you may not even be buying what you think as well as their performance test will be on the higher preformasnce unit but you end
 up with the lower end part.  You can forget their "White Papers" performance statements as the part tested may not be what you bought.

So my comment, forget buying Dell computers if you expect them to be cooperative.  Also many of the so called non-certified disks, or other parts are really from 3rd parts with Dell's label on the case if you take it out of the hard disk cage for example, are the exact same disk such as the top of the line Seagate large storage drives if you remove them from the Dell case.  So why would a Seagate XYZ (fake serial or model number) from Seagate of same size and model number not work with the exact same one Dell sales at a huge mark up.  Both are high performance drives, 10-15,000 high speed iSCSI or Sata, the same model number and there is no way Dell tests ever disk beyond basic test.  

Dells original philosophy was buy "off the shelf part and assembly them for a low cost and good performance and serice, Michael Dell started this in his dorm room at college and grew it into a major computer company, then left but tried to come back to "fix" Dell's problems, I guess locking you to them for over-priced fixes, assuming the customer service can even locate the fix, is their idea of how to fix, I think I will just order my own parts from MOBO's to controllers at least then I know what is in them and where to get my parts at often a lower price and better performance"  It seems their philosophy since has been lets over-charge, under-service and now make it where our customers have no choice but to continue with us.  Basically starts to sound like Computer addiction, get a customer and make sure they have no choice but to buy there computer fix from Dell (assuming they can find the part) at an inflated price and service so poor  they cannot
 read their own part numbers.  So I will assume that if you ever have a drive problem you will end up as I did in an endless loop of calls, wrong parts, etc.  Good luck.


--- On Fri, 2/12/10, Rahul Nabar <rpnabar at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Rahul Nabar <rpnabar at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Re: Third-party drives not permitted on new Dell  servers?
To: "Gerry Creager" <gerry.creager at tamu.edu>
Cc: "Beowulf ML" <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Date: Friday, February 12, 2010, 7:36 AM

On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM, Gerry Creager <gerry.creager at tamu.edu> wrote:
> We discussed this in our HPC group meeting yesterday. I've long been
> dissatisfied with PERC controllers, but this is now a show-stopper for me. I
> might order Dell, but not the PERC, ever again.  Who do they think they are?
> NetApp?

Don't you *have* to use the PERC? Will the HDDs talk with other controllers?

Can I hear some more about your PERC dissatisfaction, Gerry? I just
bought a few and might be better knowing what I'm up against!


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