Posted by: Anil | February 17, 2008

Sun’s new x4150 (hypertown) … problems

We just got the new x4150s with the E5410 Intel CPU. We’re still having lots of problems with just setting them up. I guess its too new?

1. The DVD drive had problems seating properly in the drive bay. We ended up finally putting it in, after some magic work, but maybe with some damage?

2. We got an LSI PCIe SAS HBA. We took out the SATA cables the system comes with, and put in the SAS cables as instructed in the Service Manual. Be sure to put the HBA into the middle slot, as recommended. LSI BIOS recognized the drives and we built a hardware mirror, things looking good! I was wrong. The disks are all functional, but the disk lights do not come on! We ignored this, and went ahead and installed an OS on it (solaris 10 u4).

3. Install went smoothly. However, after the install, Solaris would not boot up in 64 bit. We had to boot 32 bit, install latest Solaris 10 recommended patches. After which, Solaris boot up in 64 bit mode. I don’t think there was any documentation about this. I think the minimum required version is u3 as per documentation. Once we got a working Solaris install, we upgraded the drivers from the driver CD for the AST video card etc. But this too didn’t work quite like it should, see below.

Summary

Here is a list of problems we need to resolve before we can use it in production!

– Disk lights don’t work

– DVD casing/hardware had issues

– Even after installing the new video drivers the system came with, the X server would not start after boot. It complained that it can’t find the AST video device.

(But why on earth would we need the windowing system on a server? … It’ll be a new service we’ll offer in the future. More on that later.)

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Responses

  1. DVD is faulty. It turns out this is a problem in the x4150s. It should be fixed in the future x4150s that are shipped. No biggie, we ended up using a DVD with USB cables to it.

    Disk lights, well this will also be fixed in the future x4150’s (or rather the LSI SAS HBA cards). For now we won’t get any pretty lights.

    The video problem turns out to be an issue with the supplied xorg.conf file (from the drivers). There was a typo in the driver configuration.

    So… we’re all set. We should have the server ready very very very soon! Other then the minor annoyances mentioned above, this server will kick butt… 🙂


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