Awhile back I wrote about ‘Doing battle with a Dell R620 and Ubuntu‘ where I touched on the fact that booting from USB thumb-drive was a painful problem. In short, the same USB thumb-drive that would work in the R610 would not work in the R620.
It comes down BIOS support for USB and how it is handled. On the R610 there are 3 options: ‘auto-detect’, ‘floppy emulation’ and ‘hard drive’. Auto was hit-or-miss, floppy would not work but ‘hard drive’ worked every time. On the R620 there are no options so I can only suppose that it supports ‘floppy emulation’ upon detection of a USB thumb-drive.
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.