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This review is from: ASUS Z9PE-D16/2L SSI EEB Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600
Pros: - Integrated KVM-over-IP (iKVM) is great and does not require any extra purchases like iDRAC. Requires Java in your browser for the console. Recording feature of iKVM to record a video of the startup and all those POST screens is nice for catching everything that flies by.
- Lots of memory slots (= lots of VMs!)
- Solid build quality
- Easy to assemble to build your own server
- Lots of SATA ports and PIKE option for RAID 0/1/10
Cons: - USB keyboard from our Trendnet TK-803R KVM does not work, which is a pain when trying to access in the rack. Need to connect a separate USB keyboard.
- Instability with VMWare ESXi 5.5 that has yet to be identified. Server will run for a few weeks and then it locks up and becomes unresponsive to VMware client. The console freezes when trying to view the logs and lots of SCSI command errors in the kernel logs possibly related to VMWare and X2APIC support and IRQ remapping. Still investigating and very hard to reproduce the issue.
- No COM port bracket in the box or COM port on the back panel I/O. Supported on the motherboard, but you need to supply your own bracket. And yes, serial ports still rule the server room, for example for serial console logging, switch configuration and UPS monitoring. Would be great if they put a COM port above the VGA port on the back panel.
Other Thoughts: - Be aware this is a dual CPU and requires two EPS 12 volt 8-pin connectors from the PSU. These are generally only on server grade or high-end PSUs.
- Purchased a PIKE 2008 add-on card and used the onboard connectors for RAID 1 array. Works well and all the RAID features you would expect from RAID 1/0/10 (not a RAID 5 solution).
- Used the onboard USB female connector for a memory stick with VMware ESXi. It works great, just set the scratch directory location in VMware to somewhere on your hard drive. It will not store logs on the USB stick.
- Once had to reset the iKVM using ipmitool from a Linux system. ipmitool mc reset warm.
This review is from: NORCO RPC-250 Black 2U Rackmount Server Chassis
Pros: * Cost effective 2U server case. Used for a server build in a server room environment for a small business.
* Excellent internal fan bracket with 4 detachable fans.
* Fans are reasonably quiet for their size.
* Overall a good 2U case that serves well. If you are building a server, double-check the maximum motherboard size as this will not do larger EEB (for which you need RPC-270) or LGA 771 (see Cons).
Cons: * Transferred an older an LGA771 dual socket to this case but this case lacks the holes for the CPU heatsink/fans which I did not realize. I improvised by cutting the threads off metal standoffs with a dremel.
* Small screws holding the lid were finicky and misaligned. Would be better with a thumbscrew on the back edge.
* Sharp metal edge on some parts, particularly the middle cable pass-through. Would be better to have larger pass-throughs and rounded edges.
* No manual or instructions in the box. Some of the brackets like the pencil-width metal bar are a mystery. Others parts are dependent on the type of power supply selected. I received different brackets than what is shown in the Newegg listing.
* Front 5.25" drive bay covers are flimsy plastic, unlike the rest of the case which is solid steel.
Other Thoughts: * Installed with a SeaSonic SS-400L2U 400W 2U power supply and it was tight against the fans, but it works fine. Did not attempt an ATX power supply as with the other reviewers, so no issues there.
* In retrospect I could have bought the RPC-270 to have a little more room for cables and EEB form factor for the future.