May 21, 2007

Closer Look at the New Server Hardware

Just thought I would take a look at the two machines side by side tonight before putting the new one in the rack (it will be a while before I get it to the datacenter). what you see here is the new machine on the left and a 500sc that I have from a previous project that looks the same as the old 440sc at the datacenter.

There are several things that makes this a better server first note the front usb. Much easier when working in a cage to plug in various storage devices for crash recovery without removing the machine from the rack. The other thing is the all metal body. This IMNSHO is about time, metal just seems to radiate the heat away from the box better. The older plastic units seemed to keep the heat in. In the back now there is a simple slider latch that basically ejects the side panel giving you access to the inside of the unit. the older units where only slightly more difficult to open but I like the newer latch more. In the second image you can just barley make out small rectangles on the side of the box. these are rubber feet, if you look at the power supply you can see this unit was intended to sit on its side, but it works equally as well standing up. Another thing to note is the lack of any PS2 ports on the newer 440sc. This means if you are considering the purchase and don’t have a usb keyboard you should really consider getting one, this is the first time I’ve seen a machine you could get without a keyboard that didn’t have ps2 ports.

Looking inside the cases the older unit is really basic standard screw holding everything in nice support bar across the middle to help make it harder to get to memory. The newer 440sc has blue hard drive drawers and cable management. Look at the front case and you will see a series of silver objects. Those are the mounting screws for the drives. You attach them to the drive then slide the drive in to the appropriate slot. Each cover has the number of screws you will need to attach to the device that will occupy that bay. The front bezel and all the drives are released with the blue slider on the side. You just pull it down slightly and it releases the front keep it down and pull out the cd drive. Really easy stuff. I used a DVD drive to install fedora core 6 and I was able to put the drive in without any tools. Just used my thumb to put the screws on and pushed it into the bay connected the cables and it was done. I’m pretty confident if it was a permanent install it would have been sufficient.

Another nice feature was inside the cases cover are instructions that point you to most of the internal components. This was just one of those nice features that cant’ cost that much money you wish more companies would do.

This stuff is nice and special but has been available on other machines for a while in various forms and from various manufacturers. The real story here is this machine comes for a base price of under 500 bucks. It’s amazing how far technology has come is such a short period of time. It’s the little things like this that remind me of how far we have come, and spurs me to think of where technology will take us.

2007 440sc Left, 2001 500sc Right


2007 440sc Left, 2001 500sc Right


Two Case Open Showing Modularity of 440sc


Picture of Case Cover


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