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[K12OSN] Relion 140 Review Follow-up

The most interesting thing was waiting for me this morning in my email. Philip Pokorny, the Director of Engineering at Penguin Computing read my review and responded with the following message, addressing many of the low-points and few inaccuracies in my review. I think this speaks volumes about Penguin. They have managed to turn me from a likely repeat customer, to a practically guaranteed one. I have attached his message less the text of lmsensors.conf that he mentions.


-Quentin Hartman-
Academic Computing and Networking Services Coordinator
Fern Ridge School District 28J
Elmira, OR
Office: 541-935-2253 x429
Cell: 541-914-2989
qhartman lane k12 or us


I am the Director of Engineering and Penguin Computing and was happy to read
your review of our Relion 140 server.

I wanted to follow up on some of the points in your review and see if we can't
address them.

1. Our automated OS installation procedures should have installed the bigmem
kernel automatically when they detected the 6GB of RAM in your system.  Our
system is based in part on Red Hat's Kickstart mechanism and Kickstart does
this automatically.  Another feature unique to our automated installation is
that we apply the most recent errata packages from Red Hat to the system as
well.  That way, you get a completely patched system with the most up-to-date
packages available.  It's possible that this errata update process didn't
configure bigmem correctly.  In any case, bigmem should have been the default
for your config and we'll make sure that happens in the future.

2. As you point out, these systems are most often mounted in a 4 post rack. In fact, it looks like you purchased ball bearing rails for a four post rack. For customers with 2-post racks, we offer additional brackets that attach to
the sides of the case and mount the server near it's center of mass (about
where the fans are inside the case). These brackets are also used as rear
mounting brackets. When used as center mounting brackets, they are placed on
the side opposite the labeling (L or R) of the bracket.

If you tell your salesman when you order the system that you'll be installing
it in a 2-post rack, he can make sure you get the right parts.

It wasn't clear from your review if you got the rear mount brackets with your
system and used them as I describe above.  If not, I'd like to provide you
with a set of brackets so you can mount the server safely.  Please contact
Patrick or me if you need the center mount brackets.

3. The on-board AIC7902 SCSI controller does support "zero channel" RAID.
Unfortunately, that RAID card can only be installed in a specific, special
slot on the motherboard.  That slot is not useable in a 1U config.

4. I'm guessing that you're using lm_sensors on this motherboard. You report that the fans are 20,000 RPM. In fact they are 10,000 RPM but they are 4 pulse per revolution rather than the more common 2 pulse-per-rev. I've attached a customized sensors.conf we've optimized for this motherboard and system. You may find that it gives you better results from sensors. Customers can request these from Tech Support. They will also be available at:


I hope this addresses some of your issues.  If you have further questions,
please feel free to contact me.


Philip Pokorny
Director of Engineering
Toll Free: 888-PENGUIN     http://www.penguincomputing.com

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