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Both impressed and dismayed

Discussion in 'Computers' started by lunatic59, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I have an aging Dell R200 PowerEdge server happily running CentOS 6.8 and serving both email and some wordpress/web site testing. It's been chugging along so faithfully, I hate to replace it, but it's getting pretty old (I bought it refurbished 3 or 4 years ago!)

    So I came across a deal to get a Lenovo ThinkServer RS140 for chicken scratch (Under $400 with a Xeon processor) so i took the bait. It arrived today, but am too busy to start setting it up. I did pop the lid just for a quick look-see.

    The "I'm impressed" part:

    I bought this server "basic" ... no disks or OS but it did come with a Xeon E3-1225 v3 3.2GHz processor and 4 GB ram (soon to be 16 GB). I wasn't expecting much in terms of accessories, but lo and behold, the thing came with rails ... RAILS for rack installation!!! Those things are ~$85 and never included in the base price. Wow!

    It's very nicely built. Everything is cleanly laid out and logical. Drive bays, memory slots, wiring clips, etc. are all easily accessible. I've seen some servers that look like a tornado tore through a Radio Shack. ;) Everything fits, too. Not too tight, but the clips hold firm and no rattling or jiggling. I'm hopeful.

    The "dismayed" part.

    After the initial euphoria, I started to get a lay of the land as it were, planning mentally for when I have the time to set it up. Um ... where do you mount the HD's? And where are the power connectors for said disks? I checked the documentation and it said it was able to accommodate either 2 x 3.5" disks or 4 x 2.5" (mechanical or SSD). Hmmm. So it seems that basic kits come with one HD SATA wiring harness and NO disk brackets ... because it can go either 3.5" 0r 2.5" and they're not mind readers after all.

    I find it astonishing that Lenovo doesn't sell the brackets or wiring directly. If you don't order your server preconfigured with drives (at their cost) then you have to order them from IBM's parts department. And no, you can't buy them on Amazon or other parts discounters. Lenovo is helpful enough in pointing you in the right direction, but c'mon. That's like buying a car without tires and the dealer sending you to Firestone.

    Oh well, have to put this off a little while longer.
     

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  2. palmtree5

    palmtree5 Sunny Vacation Supporter!
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    It doesn't even appear as if their data sheet mentions the disk stuff but if it can support 4x2.5" drives, surely it has slots on the board for those
     
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  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Yup, 5 SATA slots (the 5th is for the optical drive - figure A) ... or you can put in a RAID card which uses a different harness (sold separately). I'm running a software RAID now and don't have any performance issues (this isn't an enterprise box) so I'll stick with that for now.

    RS140.jpg
    The picture is a little deceiving because B is where the wiring harness connects for power for the drives, which isn't there fir the picture.
     
  4. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I am again impressed ... IBM parts overnighted the brackets and the cable on their nickel. Just waiting for the additional ram and I can build my server. :D
     
  5. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Hat tip to IBM, I was going to suggest Sugru and duct tape. Let us know how things go and when this server is up and running. Hope it exceeds your expectations!
     
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  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I ran across this and realized I never wrapped up the saga of the drive brackets.

    I had already ordered a pair of 3.5" WD Reds for a RAID1 array when I discovered that I needed the brackets. So with some very responsive emails from Lenovo support I had the right IBM part number and they were on their way.

    Problem. When I got the brackets and went to install them, they wouldn't fit.

    IMG_20160813_103535.jpg

    It turns out that the chassis for the ThinkServer RS140 will accept either 3.5" drive brackets or 2.5" drive bracket, but NOT both. Moreover, there's nothing in the literature, spec sheets website or on the server itself that tells you this. All it shows is the following.

    2016-08-13.png

    Now I suppose if you study the images you will see that the mounting pins are in different locations, but one could also assume that there are multiple sets of pins to accommodate both. In any case, my brackets (and therefore drives) didn't fit.

    I did get an RMA from IBM parts, but I had to pay return shipping on the 3.5" brackets. And I did return the the 3.5" drives and replaced them with a pair of 2.5" WD Black drives that have been working just fine since August.

    For the record, I do have a private email server in my basement. :p ;)
     
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  7. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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  8. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    THANK GOD!
     
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  9. Bg260

    Bg260  
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    Maybe one day someone can explain to me the need for 3.5" Drives. Call me daft but, less heat, less materials, less space......Am I missing something.
     
  10. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    With conventional spinning disk drives, 2.5" are 5400 RPM, most 3.5" drives are 7200 RPM and 10000 RPM becoming more common. There's a noticeable read/write difference for everything involving drive access.
     
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  11. Bg260

    Bg260  
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    Now that makes sense.
     
  12. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Maybe there won't be one day. Just as the once ubiquitous 5.25" drives disappeared, and the 8" drives before that.
     
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  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    You do have to be specific, but the WD black drives are 7200 rpm. The do make 10k and 15k 2.5" drives, too but they are prohibitively expensive for my purposes. the WD Blacks are just peachy in a RAID 1 array.
     

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