Open Source tools for managing Dell Servers

Colin Bradford colin at
Mon Jun 18 10:37:00 CDT 2001


I run a server farm for Forrester, currently consisting of 24 servers. I'm 
looking to expand this farm in the future. One of the key things I'm 
looking for in the new servers is remote management of the units - for 
example, being able to remotely reboot, check fan and disk status, etc. I'm 
evaluating units at the moment.

Dell servers can technically do everything I need, and we have a corporate 
policy of buying Dell equipment. However, I can't use binary drivers. I 
don't trust RedHat 7.0 or 7.1 sufficiently to put it into production - and 
I run Oracle 8i on some of these servers, which is only certified on RedHat 

I run the latest 2.2 kernel - to ensure that I've got the latest security 
fixes, and the latest performance enhancements. Kernel 2.4 has not yet 
proved itself to me. This means that I need to be able to compile my own 
kernel from source.

For these reasons, I need source to kernel modules, so that I can 
recompile. I wish to integrate the management software with other tools 
that I already run, so source to them is useful as well.

Dell is not currently on my list of potential suppliers, because the 
drivers are not available in a format that I can use them. Currently, VA 
Linux, and Penguin Computing both provide products that fit my 
requirements, and so I will be suggesting their use. Should Dell provide 
Open Source management tools, then I will change my recommendation to Dell.



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