Subject: Re: rack-optimised i386 machines
To: Petar Bogdanovic <>
From: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/14/2005 12:57:30
On Fri, Feb 11, 2005 at 08:40:19PM +0100, Petar Bogdanovic wrote:
> Hi,
> 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?

I am quite happy with the Acme Micro FA1426 front-access, half-U
machines on which I run NetBSD.  I buy them from

I strongly recommend disk drives actually built for server (that is,
continuous) use in any rackmount application.  That means that generic
IDE drives are definitely not what you want.  Good choices include the
Maxtor Maxline II/III, Western Digital Caviar RAID Edition, and in
particular the Western Digital Raptor drives.  We are standardizing
on the Raptor drives in NetBSD's own servers, actually.  They are
very fast, don't use too much power, and are much more reliable than
generic "desktop" IDE drives we've used.

The Raptor drives are SATA.  I haven't actually used the onboard
SATA in the FA1426 (it's the Intel "hance rapids" SATA interface and
I don't know if our code supports that or not) but I've used SIIG
PCI SATA cards in these machines and they work well.  In general
SATA is better for compact applications because the smaller cables
don't interfere with airflow through the chassis.  Or you could
use the other drives I mentioned, which are parallel-ATA (IDE)