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Re: looking for a server

Here's the problem.

1. I know CD burning is broken.

...for IDE(?).

I dunno about for CD-RW support of burning in particular, but I do know that IDE is not generally broken on all NetBSD/alpha. It might be a bit wonky on some of the models that used wonky IDE chips, and it is for example on the ES40, but on my PC264DP it works well enough to fully support an ordinary CD-ROM drive. The problem on the ES40 may, or may not, be directly related to NetBSD drivers -- that's something which still needs to be resolved.

Furthermore I can confirm that the statement "CD burning is broken on NetBSD/alpha" is a flat-out lie. The potentially broken support of CD- RW drives, and/or IDE controllers, on some models of Alpha-based systems is unrelated to "CD burning" itself, and it's not even necessarily directly related to NetBSD either (though it is likely that NetBSD could do with some improvement in that area).

I will further concur that in general an AlphaServer is still a very decent platform for NetBSD, and they are widely available. In fact I'd venture to guess that the more people who want them, the more which will be made available. However they are increasingly more expensive to buy and support, and they're decreasingly less cost effective in terms of what they can do and how fast they can do it. The good thing is that similar to Sun servers they do more often than not have full and 100% usable and working support for total "lights- out 24/7" management necessary for any decent server. Even systems as old as the AS4000 series have the full Remote Management Console with power supply and reset controls. The SRM firmware is the very best in the industry, especially in terms of remote management and debugging, by many orders of magnitude. DEC, unlike Sun even, really understood remote management in its full implications. Of course they had a few decades on Sun in terms of field experience. :-)

In terms of market support for the hardware itself, and the future of such support and the growth into newer and better and faster systems, Sun servers are probably the way to go. Similar computing capacity in Sun hardware will probably draw less power too, particularly with the newer systems from Sun since nothing newer will ever come from Alpha. :-)

In terms of choice of decent hardware platforms it would be interesting if somehow newer IBM servers could gain better support of NetBSD. Perhaps if IBM's open-source folks could see the benefits of NetBSD they'd invest some support in it.

                                        Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc.

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