As I mentioned in the previous post on the compatibility issue, I had to RMA my Supermicro X8SIL-F (mATX LGA 1156 server board with IPMI 2.0 and dual Intel gigabit NICs) last week because it was version 1.01 PCB instead of v1.02. The difference being support for Clarkdale CPU’s.
Just to give an idea of why Supermicro’s support is so good here is the timeline:
- Sunday (day 0) – Sent a note to Supermicro tech support explaining my problem.
- Monday morning (day 1) – Received a confirmation that I needed v1.02 PCB of the X8SIL-F to use with my Intel Core i3-530.
- Monday afternoon – submitted my RMA request online
- Tuesday mid-day (day 2) – was contacted by Supermicro RMA support, I gave the requried information for advanced RMA. Later that day I got a follow-up e-mail saying that the advance RMA request had to be approved and that it may take until the next day.
- Wednesday (day 3) – confirmed that I accepted the Supermicro advance RMA policy, and that ground shipping would be fine (I live only a few miles from a Supermicro facility).
- Thursday (day 4) – New X8SIL-F shipped.
- Friday (day 5) – X8SIL-F was at my doorstep. I was not home to sign for the delivery, so made arrangements to pick up at the UPS facility. Bottom line is that Supermicro had the replacement board at my doorstep within 96 hours of submitting my RMA request.
Overall great service from Supermicro! I have also decided that I will house this in the Norco RPC-4220 that serves as the DAS box for the Big WHS. That way I can use it to add drives for the test environments. Odds are I will either run ESXi with a few Linux/ FreeBSD/ OpenSolaris virtual machines or just run OSes directly on the PC. I am also planning to power this system independently of the rest of the enclosure and drives so that I can power cycle the server without taking the drives off of the Areca array.
I was thinking about building my next server on an Asus board, but I might go Supermicro now. Does Supermicro do the same basic troubleshooting as consumer motherboard manufacturers?
Awesome blog you have going on here, I’ve been following for a while. Do you know if the Intel 3420 chipset that is use in that motherboard considered software raid or hardware raid?
Looking into doing a ESXi and want to run a raid 10 or 5. Thanks!
Thanks Micahel. The Intel 3420 raid is basically equivelant to ICH10R raid. So it is not as good as hardware RAID, but it is not OS dependent like software RAID. Clear as mud huh 🙂 RAID 10 wise, the onboard raid will be sufficient for spindle disks. For Raid 5, you’ll likely want to get an add-in RAID controller. With multiple VM’s hitting drives, hardware raid controllers provide battery backed write cache which helps alleviate I/O bottlenecks.
Thanks for your clarification! Yeah I would splurge on RAID controllers but as of right now I am on a tight budget and to be honest; its not a true production server. So I am happy that I should be temporarily good until I am ready to expand further.
thanks for the post man its very informative for me