ServersAndParts.com

ABOUT OUR COMPANY
ServersAndParts LLC is located in Lawrenceville Georgia USA (a few miles north of Atlanta), where our company has been designing and implementing corporate data communication networks since 1995. And, since 2003, ServersAndParts has also been integrating, installing and supporting custom computer server systems for corporate clients worldwide. Over the past several years, ServersAndParts has shipped/installed and supported more than a thousand server systems. The company uses only the highest-quality components in its hardware integration, and the failure rate on these powerful high-reliability servers is less than 1%.

Q: WHAT IS A BAREBONE SERVER?

A barebone server is a basic system including all necessary components except CPU, memory, and disk drive(s). Since these components are relatively expensive, and you can save money by purchasing only the components you need for your application, barebone servers are economical custom solutions. Supermicro barebone servers and workstations are available in literally hundreds of rack-mount and tower models, so you can select the exact fit for your application.

Q: WHICH CPU, MEMORY, AND DISK-DRIVES DO I NEED FOR MY BAREBONE SERVER?

The server specifications pages list compatible components for each system. For example, The Supermicro 7049P-TR tower server supports dual Intel LGA 3647 Xeon Scalable processors, up to 2 Terabytes of LRDIMM DDR4-2666 memory, and all standard 3.5" and 2.5" SSD and SAS/SATA disk drives. You can easily choose compatible components with our System Configurators at www.serversandparts.com or email us at sales@serversandparts.com and we'll be glad to help.

Q:  WILL YOU HELP ME CHOOSE THE BEST COMPONENTS AND RAID FOR MY SERVER?

Yes, ServersAndParts will be happy to help. If you'll email sales@serversandparts.com and describe your server application (web server, file server, etc), how many simultaneous users the server needs to support, and whether or not you want RAID speed/redundancy, we'll recommend compatible components with OS software for your system.

Q:  WILL YOU ASSEMBLE AND TEST A BAREBONE SERVER FOR ME?

Yes, as shown on the System Configurators at www.serversandparts.com, our Microsoft and Cisco-certified techs will professionally assemble and test your server prior to shipment. We install RAID and network cards; and if you purchase the WINDOWS operating system software from ServersAndParts, or if you want an open-source LINUX, we can also install the OS with drivers so the server is 'plug-n-play' and ready-to-go when you receive the shipment.

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TECH-TIP: CHANGE BIOS TO SATA AHCI OR RAID WITHOUT REINSTALLING WINDOWS
Following is a link to all the info and a Microsoft FixIt Tool that will enable an AHCI driver so you can change your SATA BIOS settings without getting the "Inaccessible Boot Device" error: KB922976

TECH-TIP: WESTERN DIGITAL WD10EARS, WD15EARS, WD20EARS
Western Digital's new WDxxEARS drives use default 4K sectors to provide 10% more usable storage, but LINUX and WINDOWS XP users will need to reformat for compatibility, or install a jumper to disable the new feature; here's a link to more info:
http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=8113

TECH-TIP: WINDOWS 7 ICH10R RAID DRIVERS
If you get the error "
Windows cannot be installed to this disk" while installing Windows 7 with ICH10R RAID drivers, insert the Windows Installer CD and click REFRESH. This problem occurs when the Windows Installer CD is removed and a 3rd-party CD is inserted to load additional drivers (like ICH10R RAID). In this case, Windows installation can't continue until the Windows CD is re-mounted and REFRESHED. Supermicro's support website has lots of useful info too; here's a link to OS Compatibility Charts: http://www.supermicro.com/support/faqs/os.cfm

 

TECH-TIP: AOC-SAS2-RAID5-KEY FOR SUPERMICRO 7046/6016/5016
ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/2008/iMR/Firmware
Download the file USB.zip from the FTP folder, then unzip the USB.zip contents to the root path of a bootable USB flash drive. Follow the instructions in the iMRflash doc to flash the iMR firmware.

1. Run BootFlashDOS from (XP) PC to setup DOS Boot files on a 1G or 2G USB flash drive.

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Boot-Manager-
    Disk/BootFlashDOS.shtml

2. Unzip USB.ZIP file into the USB flash drive root.
3. Run BIOS SETUP (DEL) on server and select boot from USB drive (instead  of HD or CD).
4. Boot server from USB flash drive into DOS screen.
5. Run chkir.bat and chksas.bat executables from server DOS screen.

Note, after CTRL-H to enter the RAID BIOS configuration, all the hard disks will revert to JBOD disks. To set the drives for RAID, goto to Drives, select a hard drive, check the
Property radio button, and click Go. Click the radio button to make the disk Unconfigured Good, and available for the configuration wizard. Configure each disk you want to use for RAID.

TECH-TIP: NEW SUPERMICRO QUICK-RELEASE RAILS
Standard 2U MCP-290-00053-0N Rail-Kits are designed for a 26.5" ~ 36.4" depth square-hole rack. For round-hole racks, the standard rail will need to add 2x adapters at the front and rear, which are 0.8" each. If the combined length of the adapters and the standard rails is longer than your rack, use the optional Short Rail-Kit MCP-290-00058-0N, 19" ~ 26.6".

TECH-TIP: SAS BACKPLANES
Although only SATA disk drives are often listed as
Key Features, several Supermicro SuperServer backplanes support SAS hard drives too. For example, we can add a SAS RAID controller card/cable to a standard 7048R-TR chassis and support up to 8 hi-speed SAS hard drives. Check with our tech-department for more details.

TECH-TIP: REDUNDANT POWER-SUPPLIES
If you want to run a Supermicro redundant-power server with a only a single-supply (temporarily) during configuration or testing, remove the unused hot-swap power-supply. If you leave both power-supplies connected to the server, but only plug one of the supplies into AC wall-power, the server will emit a continuous beeping noise to let you know one of the power-supplies is not working. Yes, we've received several calls about this :-)

TECH-TIP: CHECK SUPERMICRO VMWARE COMPATIBILITY
Checkout VMWare's compatibility lists for Supermicro hardware. You can select ESX/ESXi and several CPU configurations; here's a link:
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility

TECH-TIP: CORRECTLY MATCHING X8SIL CPU/MEMORY
Supermicro's X8SIL motherboards support Intel Core i3 and Xeon processors, but require different memory for each CPU; following are links to more info:
http://www.supermicro.com/support/faqs/faq.cfm?faq=11507

http://www.supermicro.com/support/faqs/faq.cfm?faq=10712

TECH-TIP: REMOTE CTRL/ALT/DEL
If you're running Microsoft Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Client for remote management, you can use the key-combination CTRL/ALT/END to implement a remote CTRL/ALT/DEL command.

TECH-TIP: UIO INFINIBAND
Supermicro's AOC-UIBQ-M1 and AOC-UIBQ-M2
Infiniband Adapters are low-profile half-length cards, each with a UIO connector and a PCIe interface. Both cards are compatible with Supermicro's UIO expansion slots (not PCIe slots).

TECH-TIP: MULTI-NODE OPTICAL DRIVES
Supermicro multi-node platforms like the 2029BT-HTR SuperServers are great for combining multiple systems in a single chassis, but sometimes there's not enough room for an internal DVD drive. Be sure to check the server specs for a DVD drive, or you can use a USB Flash drive, an external USB optical drive, or IPMI remote-access to load software.

For More Information, contact:

ServersAndParts, LLC
2695 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 700
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
www.serversandparts.com

ServersAndParts.com