Friday 30 May 2008

Intel Server Board Memory Caveat

Each and every Intel Server Board, such as the S5000PSLSATAR, will have a list of tested memory for that board.

Tested memory list [PDF]

That list is far from static. It is constantly being updated as more and more manufacturers get their memory products validated with a particular server board.

Intel goes to great lengths for us in the Channel to make sure there is a list of components that will work as they should when configured in a server. These lengths give us the confidence to quote on a server setup knowing that we will have a stable server at the end of that particular build.

When we put a call into Intel to get some assistance with troubleshooting a server problem, one of the first questions out of the technician's mouth will be what type of memory was installed on the server board.

If that memory is not on the approved list, then the reseller/integrator will be responsible for purchasing and installing memory that is on the list before Intel will go any further with the troubleshooting.

This is especially important to keep in mind when faced with:

Kingston Product list for S5000PSL

Note that the part numbers with the "I" suffix are Intel validated. The others are not.

Given the plethora of memory chip manufacturers, PCB board manufacturers, and all of the other components on a memory stick, there are so many combinations that come together to defeat a server configuration out of the box or even a week, month, or year down the road.

The "I" suffix gives us the assurance that the components that make up the memory stick will work as expected when plugged into an Intel server board. The "I" memory sticks will cost more too. It is, however, a small price to pay when a server is due to be delivered tomorrow but decided to start spontaneously rebooting this afternoon near the end of its 72 hour burn in!

We were in that situation once ... and we learned a valuable lesson that day.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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