We recently got sent a Dell R620 to evaluate and while its technical specification is amazing there are a few things that need to be handled first.
As far as Ubuntu and the Dell R620 go, Precise (12.04) is the only way to go here. Every release before Precise has issues with this hardware in one way or another. This is new hardware of after all.
For our “use case” we downgraded the PERC H710P controller to a H310 controller so we can have direct access to the drives via pass-through. The H310 allows TRIM support for SSDs and SMART data via smartctl to be used without any problems. If you are interested in SMART information and PERC H700 series RAID controller, I posted about possible workarounds at Dell’s customer support site.
Doing subnet calculations by hand can be tedious and thankfully there are tools available online to help with that. One in particular Subnet Calculator with a PHP backend was handy and compact.
It is not unusual for me to find 10,000 Euro worth of networking equipment on my desk one day. It usually means that I have a long week of reading and testing ahead of me as I am the only person in the company, let alone building, that has ever seen or worked with these devices before. That means I am on my own aside from an Internet connection.
While your mileage may very, I’ve had the joy (and horror) of testing these devices as ‘drop in replacements’ to the test environment that we are using. In some instances, things just worked out of the box, however there are a few devices that needed to be poked a few times to get things moving.
Precise Pangola has been released and a day later comes a new fglrx driver. While there isn’t a changelog, this build apparently gives us:
early-look support for Ubuntu 12.04, Linux PowerXpress support for the Intel Ivy Bridge platform, packaging script updates, and various bug-fixes.
Among the bug-fixes for Catalyst 12.4 on Linux are: fixing some multi-head issues, a system hang in certain PowerXpress configurations, fixing a system hang when using OpenGL overlays, correcting an OpenGL performance drop, a soft-hang when killing the X Server, and severe corruption for OpenGL games using the AMD “Redwood” graphics processors.
If you want to build these for yourself then you can follow these instructions: