Friday, 25 May 2012

Thoughts on the Intel Server System R2208GZ4GC Are Excellent So Far

As we go through setting up the Intel Server System R2208GZ4GC we are discovering that there are a lot of features in this server system that we appreciate.

Some are cluster specific:


  • Power Restore Delay

We now have a boot delay option in the BIOS. This option is absolutely critical for servers that are configured in a cluster with shared storage.

In a full power out situation the networking and centralized storage systems need to be online prior to the Hyper-V Failover Cluster nodes coming online. Otherwise there can be all sorts of issues.


  • Static Boot Order

We can now save the default boot order out of the box. So, when this box gets connected to a Promise VTrak E610sD RAID Subsystem with LUNs configured the 120GB Intel 320 Series SSDs in RAID 1 should still boot after a reboot with no interference.

This has yet to be tested, but we are confident that the feature will work as advertised.


  • Reset Static Boot Order

Important Software RAID Consideration

When using the Intel Chipset RAID feature for software driver based RAID on _any_ Intel Server Board _always_ use the Intel ESRT2 (LSI*) Mode.


The other option is the consumer chipset version of Intel’s Software RAID stack.

The major catch is that the LSI version can have an Intel or LSI RoC Hardware RAID controller plugged into the server board or PCI-E slot at a later time and have the ESRT2 (LSI*) based RAID set imported with no fuss.

This is not possible with the Intel chipset version.

So far so good. This Intel Server System is the configuration we have been asking for in the Channel for _years_ now to compete with HP, IBM, Dell, and others.

Pound for pound we will now be able to compete apples to apples with the Tier 1 vendors. And, with Intel’s available next business day on-site warranty support we can reach most major markets in Canada and Lower 48.

The Intel Server System R2208GZ4GC 2U will be our primary starting point for any 2 processor Hyper-V Failover Cluster Nodes going forward. It is an awesome product!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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