Subject: Re: rack-optimised i386 machines
To: Petar Bogdanovic <email@example.com>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 02/11/2005 15:09:08
In message <420D0A23.email@example.com>, Petar Bogdanovic writes:
>I can imagine, that this question was asked a few times already. Even
>so, my google investigation was not very lucky.
>Could somebody recommend rack-optimised i386-machines (for serving
>purposes), with hardware, which is largely supported by NetBSD 2.0? If
>you know a specific model, great. If you know a brand, even better. The
>problem is always, that you see a lot of nice (and cheap) hardware, but
>at the same time, you never know, how dmesg is going to look like. When
>you want to buy a notebook, the whole thing gets easier - go into the
>shop and ask the guy to let you start the machine with a live-cd.. but I
>don't really know, how this should work, when you want to test any other
>(more expensive) hardware.
With a couple of caveats, I think that most server machines will work
well. You don't have the graphics adapter to worry about; that solves
one big problem. If the disks are IDE, they're probably safe, too, but
watch out for S-ATA disks. RAID is probably a separate can of worms
The big problem is likely to be the Ethernet adapter, especially since
I'm seeing a lot of motherboards with vr interfaces. They work, but
not especially well, I think, under NetBSD.
Some vendors of such boxes actually support BSDs, including NetBSD.
Iron Systems (I seem to recall hearing good things about them) is one
--Prof. Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb