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

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Mon Feb 15 17:44:06 PST 2010

> And what is known about other vendors (Sun, HP, IBM) x86 standard 1u/2u 
> servers ?

as I mentioned, vendors don't seem to bother rewriting third-party
disk controller bioses to enforce brand lock-in.

for instance, most 1U's with 1-4 SATA will drive those bays from the 
AMD/Intel chipset controller, and so not be crippled.  supporting SAS 
or hardware raid5/6 in those slots would also be a tip-off that a 
"higher end" controller is in use (which means "less functional"
and "non-conforming" in this context.)

> SGI hardware even in their "big" UNIX SMPs like Power Challenge allowed using 
> of 3rd party drives - although they were not supported officially.

well, those would be SCSI and FC drives, where vendors seem to be
more timid in doing nonconformity-for-lock-in.  I guess they figure 
that if you're going to pay for gold-plated drives, you'll probably 
buy them from the original vendor.  the lock-in is focused on more 
commoditized drives, where the vendor typically charges a >100% 
premium to relabel a generic drive from wd/seagate/etc.

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