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Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to set up a Raid Array on a Dell Poweredge 2950 Server

The instructions below can also be used with the Dell Poweredge 1900, Dell poweredge 2900, and the Dell poweredge 1950, providing the PERC5i controller is used.
• When server is booting hit “Control R” when you see “Poweredge expandable Raid Controller Bios” to enter the RAID configuration utility.
• Under “VD Management tab” Hit “F2” to create a new “virtual drive”
• Hit “Enter” to choose the “RAID level” option
• Arrow down to choose the “RAID level” and hit “Enter” to accept
• Arrow down to “drives section” and hit “spacebar” to select the drives to be used. Hit “tab” after selecting the hard drives.
• The menu will then show the total size of the virtual drive. If this is correct then hit “tab” until you get to “VD Name” and name the virtual drive.
• Tab to advanced settings and set those if you choose or leave at defaults
• Tab to “OK” hit “enter to complete your new virtual drive.

**Best practices is to make sure all the hard drives are the same size and have the same Dell Part number

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dell Poweredge 1800 Power supplies- The Holy Grail of Power Supplies

Have a Dell Poweredge 1800 Server with a dying or dead power supply? First of all, let me send my condolences, and know that there is a solution or two.
The Poweredge 1800 server came with 2 versions of power supplies; redundant and non redundant. These “mini towers” were a great small business solution for financial and space purposes. As with most things, there is a time to be born, a time to die, a time to work and a time to panic.
It seems like the last 6 months of 2010 have seen a large number of Dell Poweredge 1800 power supplies fail. The first part of the year, it seems the Non Redundant Power supplies were hard to find and the redundant pretty common. Now they are both very hard to find, but it seems like the non redundant power supplies are a little easier to locate then the redundant.
So, is a new server not in your budget and your Dell Poweredge 1800 is down? There are options. You can convert each system. Example, if you have a PE1800 Server that has redundant power supplies, but you can’t find any replacement redundant power supplies, but can find non redundant power supplies you can remove the power distribution board and ribbon cables and install a non redundant power supply. Best practices always preaches that: redundancy is best, redundancy is best, redundancy is best, but in cases of late with this model of server, non redundancy may be your only option to limp you along until budgets loosen up or you’re so frustrated you take a sledge hammer and beat the PE1800.
It is also possible to convert the Non redundant power supply unit to a redundant unit. You just add a power distribution board and ribbon cables hook it up and you’re good to do.
Both types of power supplies are hard to come by, but if you find yourself down and needing one, I hope this helps.