OT: SuperMicro hardware recommendations

Hi all,

In the following days, we will setup a Bro-IDS distributed architecture using 10 sensors and one manager. Network bandwidth will be between 2GiB-4GiB. Until now we used HP servers, but we are looking at SuperMicro servers as well. Can anyone recommend series or model?

I’d recommended everything but super micro.

A box of matches to shine the light on the dark corners of your network will behave better than anything built on super micro.

HP and other vendors may seem more expensive to buy, but the low quality of super micro servers, apparent lack of support, arbitrary cut support “we do not support this anymore” and ridiculous replacement policy makes it a non-starter for me.

Example: they wanted me to send all dead hard drives back before they can send me a replacement.
And that would take days or a week or two weeks.

Raid battery problems?

SM requires you to send entire server back and in a short 6 weeks - 3 months you will see it back. Maybe.

Mechanically, chassis are a joke, too.

OOB? No OOB hardware monitoring. And Java 1.6 required. If you have to use any kind of proxies, socks, tunneling - forget.

I think they released their HTML5 interface for OOB. That said, I’m also not a huge fan.


I've only worked with a few dozen SuperMicro boxes; probably less than
100. I don't consider myself an expert.

I found the OOB management sufficient for what we needed. Maybe other
vendors are significantly better?

I found hard drive support to be exceptional. I could keep a stack of
spare drives; if something failed, I'd replace it. If I didn't happen
to have the exact model, I could swing by a Micro Center (or use
Amazon's fast delivery options) and drop in something similar. Doing
things like this was MUCH cheaper (and gave me faster time-to-repair)
than the other vendors.

Dropping in "weird" SSD's, eBay RAID controllers, HBA's from Amazon,
or network cards from NewEgg were all solid. Everything just worked.
My experience is that buying small hardware like that through a
company's "expense" program is much easier and faster (and cheaper!)
than getting a PO through a vendor to get it from an "enterprise" IT

I *love* their 45 bay 4U boxes that I can slam off the shelf SATA
drive into. Great way to get LOTS of storage for cheap.

I never had mechanical issues with their chassis or rails. I had some
boxes in 4 post data center racks. I had some "short depth" boxes
mounted in 2post telecom racks out in my branch offices.

I know that Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Nortel, and others used
SuperMicro to make a fair bit of their gear. Not sure if they still

I've worked with hundreds of HP servers in the $250k-1m range where we
had on site personnel for hardware and software support. The annual
maintenance for a tape drive was more expensive than just buying a
spare to keep on the shelf. We had hundreds of tape drives. It was
great support, but we paid out the nose for it.

I'm just another opinion out on the Internet. :slight_smile:


Thanks Michal. I didn't know that bad support from SuperMicro.
Then I will continue with HP. Do you think the HP DL360 Gen10 are suitable for IDS deployment?

Can also checkout the offerings from the OpenCompute project; https://www.opencompute.org/products
Can even stick with HP if you like, their ‘Cloudline’ gear supports (some aspects) of OCP.

One other non-HP brand I’ve always been recommending is Fujitsu.
People are always surprised that “Fujitsu makes servers?” but my experience has always been great with both the hardware side and the support.

They were cheaper than HP, last time I was buying them.

With today’s scandal Super Micro might not be around/available for much longer.


I wouldn’t be surprised if other supply chains have been compromised as well. This is likely just the first.

I wouldn’t be surprised if other supply chains have been compromised as well. This is likely just the first.