Storage and Power


As we mentioned earlier, the V40z’s six hot swappable Ultra320 storage bays utilize LSI’s 53C1020 SCSI controller to connect up to six LVD SCSI devices. The sixth expansion slot in the front of the server can be used for a floppy drive/DVD/CD drive combo, as illustrated in our configuration below.

During the original release of the V40z, the LSI 53C1020 did not support 292GB hard drives. In the most recent BIOS upgrades, the V40z fully supports these sizes, which gives the machine a storage capability of just over 1.7TB. All six of the SCSI devices have activity and fault LEDs routed to the front of the machine and via the SMBus to the Service Processor. Even in the event of a stale kernel, we can tell if a hard drive has gone faulty via one of the various remote connections to the SP. The hard drive states are also viewable via the front panel LCD console.


Power on our Sun V40z comes from two, redundant 760W power supplies – both hot swappable. A metal arm swings out from the back of each power supply, unlocking the unit for removal.

Click to enlarge.

The entire power supply housing comes apart from the main chassis of the case via a small locking device that connects the PSU bay to the hard drive. Another proprietary Sun interface carries power from the housing to the motherboard without any wires. With the enormous concerns for air flow inside the chassis, the removal of as much wiring as possible is an absolute must.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Under the power supply, we have room for a seventh horizontal 66MHz PCI expansion slot that connects via a vertical riser. Given the condition that we mentioned on the chipset page, this PCI slot should probably go unused.

As we also mentioned earlier, both of these power supplies are directly managed by the Service Processor. As a result, when plugging in the system, the Service Processor boots up automatically its own operating system to oversee the functionality of the rest of the computer. This intelligent design allows for us to view the exact details of power draw and operating temperature.

System Management: Another Linux Success Thermals, Acoustic


View All Comments

  • RyanVM - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Did anybody else find it confusing that the reviewed system had CG-stepping Opteron 850s and Kris brought up E4-stepping Opteron 852s on multiple occasions? What CPUs were actually in the system? Reply
  • SUOrangeman - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Last page, ..

    "Sun has a speed **daemon** on their hands, ..."

    Freudian slip, hehe? Nice read nonetheless.

  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    MrEMan: Mediaplex is just an advertising server. Some advertisers (like NewEgg) host their banners on Mediaplex so they don't destroy their bandwidth. Sometimes when an ad campaign is hitting too many impressions the Mediaplex tag will revert to a 2x2 or a 1x1 pixel so that they don't harm their click through rates. It has nothing to do with spyware or malware or adware.

  • MrEMan - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link


    What is with the 1/16" x 1/16" graphic (1280x1024 resolution on a 19" CRT monitor) for ?

    Is it there with your permission or did someone hack your site?

    If it is there with your permission, I must say I am surprised that you would put such stealth adware garbage links on your site.
  • jcourtney - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I'd love to see some benchmarks with Solaris instead of or vs. Linux for reference too. Nice read though as usual. Reply
  • ElFenix - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    "particularly considering the fact that the V40z does not utilize any active cooling directly on their CPU heat sinks"

    whoa, proper spelling of heat sink!

    now i'm going to harp on the fact that blowing air across a radiator with a fan is not active cooling. air conditioning is active cooling, turning on the ceiling fan is not.


    nice read
  • Hikari - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I wish I could see a comparison of this and that Quad Opteron HP server. I have the HP one budgeted for this year already... (we're also a Sun shop).

    I didn't see an option for 15k RPM drives though. I could put in like 5-146GB@15k RPM in the HP which was one reason I was leaning towards it.
  • lihoyin - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Looking forward for a comparsion with HP DL585 / DL 385, both are also Monsters! Reply
  • Sunner - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Googer, that's true, Sun basically just rebadges Newisys servers, the same is true of the V20Z, in fact IIRC you can actually find some Newisys marks left on the servers :)

    Anyway, Kris, any chance of a couple of benchmarks with a 2.6 based distro?
    2.6 has, among other things, good NUMA support, something that would be nice to have when running a 4-way Opteron ;)

  • dougSF30 - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Another 250/850 typo on page 3: "Below, you can see one of the Opteron 250s is exposed from under the copper heat sink on the daughterboard."


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