Third-party drives not permitted on Gen 11 servers

Eric Rostetter rostetter at
Sat Feb 6 02:50:21 CST 2010

Quoting Mark Walkom <markwalkom at>:

>> From the thread;
> *"Yes, while on the surface I don't like the sound of it, the truth is that
> "Dell-certified" drives have a special firmware on them that allows them
> to respond correctly to advanced requests made by the controllers so that
> operation of the machine can be guaranteed.  Having been a technical analyst
> for Dell servers, I can tell you that many issues arise from the use of
> non-certified drives.  So, while I don't like it, I can understand it.

I can understand making this a default which can be 'undone' by the admin.
But not making it the only option. And here is why...

We run a bunch of older machine still.  I have a stable of Dell PE 2300,
2400, 2500, 2650, etc. machines that I still use.  BUT, Dell no longer
supports these things for parts or software (e.g. OMSA).

So, if they block the non-Dell drives, and then Dell stops selling the
needed drives, and you need to replace or add drives, you are then out
of luck.  And that isn't right.

I know Dell probably hates that I'm still running 10 year old 2300 servers,
but hey, they work!

> Besides, Dell doesn't make the drives - they are made the top drive
> manufacturers, but in order to guarantee compatibility/reliability, they put
> a Dell-specific FW on them.  Just a thought :)"*

Yeah, but if Dell stops selling them, then what?  You can't get them
elsewhere...  Your only choices are:

1) stock up now, in case you need them.
2) try to buy them used on ebay or somewhere

Not how I like to do business.  I'd rather be able to continue to buy
and use drives even if Dell stops selling/supporting them.

> Perhaps it's more the cost of the 'official' drives that is the issue here,
> maybe Dell can make the prices a bit more reasonable.

To me it isn't the cost, it is the fact that I simply don't trust Dell
to support (sell) them as long as I think I'll be using their machines...
And that leaves me stuck between a rock and a Dell...

> I know I'd be happy paying for the drives if they had technical benefits
> that weren't offset by stupidly high prices.

And if you believe Dell will support them as long as you own the machines...

Can't buy a DRAC II from Dell any more for my PE 2300/2400/2500 machines; I
had to buy them used from a 3rd party instead.  Don't want that to happen to
my disk drives too...

Eric Rostetter
The Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin

Go Longhorns!

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