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Init7 and Transtec please me

Init Seven has once again established themselves high on my ranking of awesome service providers. After battling and not resolving the problems with crap nVidia hardware, I was ready to return the server to Transtec, despite having invested a full day of work into it. Having a machine in a rack across town, with the looming danger of simple network traffic taking out the network card along with the bridged IPMI remote console (thus requiring me to head out to the colocation centre each time there was a problem) was just not going to justify the expense for the server.

Init Seven connected a second switch port to my VLAN, which now allows me to hook the IPMI card directly to the LAN. This does not solve the problem with the sub-zero-quality crap manufactured by nVidia, but at least it makes it possible to resurrect the machine remotely, until the problem with the hardware has been addressed and dealt with by the forcedeth driver. And if that is not possible (due to nVidia pile of shit), then the last option is a separate network card attached to the riser card slot.

In related news: Transtec was quick to proxy to the Supermicro's support (the motherboard manufacturer), and within a few hours, I had a "newer" forcedeth.c file. I compiled the driver, which seemed to handle larger packets just fine at first. Unfortunately, just as my hopes were up, the problems came back — even with the driver from Supermicro. Back to start, do not collect any money.

Regardless, I've been impressed by Transtec's support level so far. Yes, I did purchase a five year express warranty extension, but it wasn't very expensive, definitely nowhere near the price for a real SLA. And yet, my requests to date have each been answered within a day at most, including such extravagant things as them providing doanloadable floppy images of the BIOS update, which Supermicro only distributes as Windows .exe file.

Now if only they (and everyone else) would stop shipping nVidia hardware…

NP: AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap