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Re: looking for a server
Here's the problem.
1. I know CD burning is broken.
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
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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