Third-party drives not permitted on Gen 11 servers

John Oliver joliver at
Tue Feb 9 18:36:11 CST 2010

On Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 04:17:54PM -0600, Howard_Shoobe at wrote:
> Thank you very much for your comments and feedback regarding exclusive use of Dell drives. It is common practice in enterprise storage solutions to limit drive support to only those drives which have been qualified by the vendor.  In the case of Dell's PERC RAID controllers, we began informing  customers when a non-Dell drive was detected with the introduction of PERC5 RAID controllers in early 2006. With the introduction of the PERC H700/H800 controllers, we began enabling only the use of Dell qualified drives.
> There are a number of benefits for using Dell qualified drives in particular ensuring a positive experience and protecting our data.
> While SAS and SATA are industry standards there are differences which occur in implementation.  An analogy is that English is spoken in the UK, US and Australia. While the language is generally the same, there are subtle differences in word usage which can lead to confusion. This exists in storage subsystems as well. As these subsystems become more capable, faster and more complex, these differences in implementation can have greater impact.
> Benefits of Dell's Hard Disk and SSD drives are outlined in a white paper on Dell's web site at

So don't support installations that use non-Dell disks.

But don't pee all over me and tell me it's a warm, gentle rain.  Dell is
at the bottom tier of server hardware, and is popular with people who
don't have the budget for IBM, Sun, HP, etc.  That means people and
companies who are more likely to consider the hardware a one-off
purchase and walk away.  Dell makes money selling the server, but is
NEVER going to see a continuing revenue stream in endless enterprise
support contracts and such.

If you tell those people that they can never hit the secondary market to
upgrade, they're probably going to drop down to the white box level
rather than ante up more money so they can keep the Dell name.  And
anyone who is going to go ahead and pony up is going to take a long,
hard look at IBM and HP, and you're going to lose some sales for no good

Personally, in my current job, this doesn't directly bother me.  I don't
worry about hardware acquisition costs.  I want more disks, I say I want
more disks, more disks show up.  But, indirectly, this bothers me, and
leaves a shadow on Dell's name.  My next job might very well be like my
last couple of jobs, where I do have to care about hardware costs.  Will
it be worth it to me to just pay the grossly inflated prices for Dell
disks, or will I go Supermicro, or will I go HP?  I don't know.  For
years, though, I have known... I've been happy to buy at Dell's price
point, accept some shortcomings in management and remote access in
return for what's been a pretty darn good hardware deal.  But if I go
into a shop that uses a lot more spindles... bye bye Dell.

* John Oliver                    *
*                                                                     *

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