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Welch
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Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:20 pm

So, Dell has pissed me off for the last time. I've got to come up with some server builds for 2 different offices and I find myself not wanting anything but a hot-swappable enclosure that isn't tacky or poorly implemented.

Anyone have some quality go to enclosures they recommend for a full blown server with RAID 10 (4 drives) with possibly a secondary RAID as well, so 4-8 hot swap spaces. In this case, SATA is fine, we aren't running serious SQL DB or anything.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:11 pm

Do like Supermicro cases for just about any size of server.

Maybe the SuperChassis 743TQ-865B-SQ?

https://www.supermicro.com/products/cha ... TQ-865B-SQ
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Welch
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:43 pm

You used one or more of those?

I was looking at this SuperMicro case as well, very similar not sure the difference yet.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product

My concern with them was whether the hot swap bays are cheap and crappy. Also on how well the back-plane SATA connectors are made. If a SATA backboard goes out, am I likely to be able to get a replacement. I'm assuming these are just a pass-through directly to the SATA ports on the mobo.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:07 pm

Supermicro's stuff is generally decent, though they have occasional clunkers... nobody's perfect. Built a server in one a couple of jobs ago and it was great; OTOH at the current job we've had some issues (inadequate ventilation) with some high-density storage server enclosures, but since you're not trying to stuff 36 3.5" drives into a 4U server that probably doesn't apply to you. :wink:
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:24 pm

As a rule I won't buy Supermicro any more. We've had a lot of problems at work with power supplies failing like crazy across their entire product line. I can echo jbi's experience with crappy dense enclosures as well (we have a ton of the 45-bay 4U boxes).

What's wrong with Dell PowerEdge servers?
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Welch
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:38 pm

Not so much that anything is wrong with PowerEdge servers as I've got a bunch of them in varying offices. It's just their pricing is off the freaking wall these days. I wish I could say they were nickel and dimeing people but they are Grant and Benjamin'ing for small things. I had this issue before for more price conscious customers and what would have cost almost 6k with Dell ended up costing then $2800 with me building, and that was with my markup. We also got better parts, just didn't have hot swap bays which was ok for them.

The guy at sales from Dell couldn't really help me, so he took my info and is passing it onto someone else who can and will supposedly call me tomorrow morning. Sad, I kept asking if anyone else there could help me but he made it sound like she was the only one!? So Dell, who has over 35,000 employees, this one lady is the ONLY person who can help me price out a server properly? OK, totally makes sense.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:47 pm

Dell is still private after the LBO, no?
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Welch
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:55 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Dell is still private after the LBO, no?


Yes, they went private and still are.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:57 pm

Waco wrote:
As a rule I won't buy Supermicro any more. We've had a lot of problems at work with power supplies failing like crazy across their entire product line.

IIRC the one we used a couple of jobs back was a bare enclosure (didn't include the PSU), so we managed to dodge that bullet.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:57 pm

Welch wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Dell is still private after the LBO, no?
Yes, they went private and still are.

Makes it harder to get satisfaction without stockholders to answer to.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:04 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Welch wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Dell is still private after the LBO, no?

Yes, they went private and still are.

Makes it harder to get satisfaction without stockholders to answer to.

OTOH, unless the new owners' business plan is to bleed the carcass dry and leave it at the side of the road, they're thinking more for the long term instead of just trying to make their quarterlies look good for Wall Street. It can cut either way.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:35 pm

Welch wrote:
Not so much that anything is wrong with PowerEdge servers as I've got a bunch of them in varying offices. It's just their pricing is off the freaking wall these days. I wish I could say they were nickel and dimeing people but they are Grant and Benjamin'ing for small things. I had this issue before for more price conscious customers and what would have cost almost 6k with Dell ended up costing then $2800 with me building, and that was with my markup. We also got better parts, just didn't have hot swap bays which was ok for them.

The guy at sales from Dell couldn't really help me, so he took my info and is passing it onto someone else who can and will supposedly call me tomorrow morning. Sad, I kept asking if anyone else there could help me but he made it sound like she was the only one!? So Dell, who has over 35,000 employees, this one lady is the ONLY person who can help me price out a server properly? OK, totally makes sense.


I never, ever take their first quote. I generally configure what I need on Dell Premier, and then tell them they have to do better on the price. However, I do work in education and they cater to us like you wouldn't believe. That $6,000 for you would probably be $4,000 or less for me...before I go to them for further discounts.

That said, their cost is higher than rolling your own because they are guaranteeing and testing their solution from front to back, top to bottom. That also probably included several years of support, which also includes replacement parts (and a technician to come onsite to replace said parts, if you so request it). There's something to be said for having that piece of mind. Check your quote, too...some of the sales guys will sneak in the highest level of support and that will jack the price by a lot. If you're redundant enough then you can likely get away with next-business day. What I get all depends on what the piece of equipment is doing, or if it's a cluster of servers where if one of them completely fails we're still operational.

With regards to SuperMicro, I've used various things from them over the years. A lot of appliances "created" by system vendors are actually rebranded Supermicro boxes. Case in point, the Polycom MCU and Capture appliances we recently acquired. I do use their hot-swap bays in my personal server at home. I've had two of them going strong for about 8 years or so now. They've gone through multiple drive upgrades, to include from SATA to SAS. You are correct in that it's not a port multiplier style backplane, it's an individual port per drive. I have my drives connected to an LSI/Avago/Broadcom (it's changed hands several times the last few years) RAID controller using SFF-8087 breakout cables.
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:47 pm

Welch wrote:
Not so much that anything is wrong with PowerEdge servers as I've got a bunch of them in varying offices. It's just their pricing is off the freaking wall these days.

I wish I could relate - I find their pricing better than HP every time for comparable servers. I don't, as a rule, buy drives from them though.
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Welch
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:16 am

Waco wrote:
Welch wrote:
Not so much that anything is wrong with PowerEdge servers as I've got a bunch of them in varying offices. It's just their pricing is off the freaking wall these days.

I wish I could relate - I find their pricing better than HP every time for comparable servers. I don't, as a rule, buy drives from them though.


Or RAM upgrades hopefully.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:41 am

Welch wrote:
Waco wrote:
Welch wrote:
Not so much that anything is wrong with PowerEdge servers as I've got a bunch of them in varying offices. It's just their pricing is off the freaking wall these days.

I wish I could relate - I find their pricing better than HP every time for comparable servers. I don't, as a rule, buy drives from them though.


Or RAM upgrades hopefully.

Sometimes it's worth the cost for a 5 year warranty and guaranteed compatibility. It matters less on small boxes, but on multiple socket boxes having qual'd RAM can be worth the cost to not have a massive headache. The current Dell sweet spot seems to be 16/32 GB DIMMs. You can usually get away with it on the 1P/2P boxes if you're not trying to push the edge of capacity/speed.

You don't want to be playing the game of buying 96 DIMMs for a box and just hoping they work though. :P
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Re: Server Case w/Hot Swappable - Need Recommendations

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:44 am

IF we buy 3rd party modules we buy them from Crucial. They guarantee them to work and they have a lifetime warranty. The "problem" is, it's not a 4-hour or next-business day warranty (they usually want you to return the failed module before they'll ship the replacement).

You'd also be surprised what Dell will do with pricing at the end of a sales quarter. Even better if you catch them at the end of their fiscal year. :)

And I do agree with you that they'll beat HPE's prices on servers every time. It was the same with IBM servers too, but I don't know what that landscape looks like now that those have also been moved to Lenovo.

I occasionally get emails from TDS Computers where they offer like a five-pack of previous generation Dell servers on the cheap. The last one I got one for five R620's with dual E5-2640's , 16GB RAM, dual PSU, and 4 x 500GB 7.2K NL-SAS drives for $7995. That includes a 3-year warranty through them. The same email also had a five-pack of R420's with dual E5-2430's, 4GB RAM, dual PSU's, and 2 x 300GB 15K SAS drives for $4500. You can see the full offers from that email at this link.

Another good place to check is the Dell Outlet.
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