Re: Proliant as webserver?

From: Michael Heiming (
Date: 10/13/04

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 17:47:11 -0000

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In comp.os.linux.hardware Juha Laiho <>:
> Michael Heiming <> said:
>>In comp.os.linux.hardware Wiseguy <>:
>>> "Wes Faul" <> tried to express:
>>>> Soon, I'll be in the market for an inexpensive webserver. A guy here has a
>>>> dual PII 450 proliant (I think it's a1600R) that he'd sell me. I've seen a
>>>> lot of issues with Proliants and linux. Are they really that bad? Does

>>HP ProLiant servers
>>Based on industry standard x86 processors and optimized for
>>Windows?, Linux?, and Netware? environments

> My experience with some HP Proliant models and Linux is that the
> programs accessing the hardware diagnostic modules provided by HP (and
> to some extent drivers for other HP hardware, such as RAID and/or SAN
> adapters) are tied to a HP-customised kernel versions. So, if you're
> for some reason not satisfied with the kernel shipped by HP (f.ex.
> want to have latest security fixes faster), you lose support for some
> of the hardware you paid for. For some hardware (pieces not specific

HP doesn't ship any kernel, sure you need to run a recent
enterprise distro + kernel + all patches applied, if you
want/need support. Nothing different from solaris/hp-ux/whatever,
they'll ask for kernel/patchkit/firmware/etc first, before doing
anything if there's a software problem. Exactly the same as we
would perhaps do.

Of course how serious they'll be about, depends on how large your
installed base is.

> to Proliants, such as Qlogic SAN adapters) you can get a generic driver
> to run, but this configuration is then not supported/certified by HP,
> so if it fails, you're on your own.

The qlogic provided hba driver work like a charm, enabling you to
scan for new LUN and doing redundant multi-pathing though the
driver, no support problem due to the driver.

Can remember only one support problem, some distro update kernel
broke a hw raid controller config tool, which had worked like a
charm until this update package. The support told me it wouldn't
be supported, as it wasn't made by them. Replied, that wouldn't
be a problem, they should just send me their tool and I'd use
that. Well, they had no... After all Alan Cox helped me out and
it was fixed with the next kernel update.;)

> IBM seems to be mostly happy with whatever is in either the vanilla
> Linux kernel, or at least with what is packaged into a distribution
> kernel package, hence I tend to prefer IBM hardware for Linux - at
> least over HP.

>From my experience, you mostly get better help/support from the
community if you can't work it out using documentation, which
should of course the thing to check first. You wonder how many
question are asked, which could have been answered in a second
typing 'man blah'/'info blah'. The source code comes in handy, to
dig deeper into the problem.

Michael Heiming (GPG-Key ID: 0xEDD27B94)
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