Nice hardware supplier (by )

Everyone has their own favourite supplier of rack mount kit, but these folks have stood me well over the past few years, so I thought I'd reward them with a plug:

Fairchild Industrial Computers and Internet Servers

You see, as both a computer nerd and a machinery nerd, one place that sells ruggedised industrial PCs (both embedded and touch-panel) as well as rack mounting machines is a bit of a boon.

And it so happens that, coming from an industrial computing background, their rack mount kit is rather solidly built. The cases have enough fans in that they make a noise not unlike a jet fighter taking off, but in a data centre, having a louder rack than everyone else is a positive status symbol. And it means they keep those CPUs and HDDs cool, with cooling capacity to spare if a fan or two fail, which is quite important when you're putting 1U machines in on top of each other - there's a lot of heat generation per unit volume.

I first heard of the company when working at Frontwire, where there were two 1U black servers in a pile of "broken gear". Curious, I took a look and found they were fine apart from having broken disks, so I replaced the disks and set them running. They're still in place several years on, running two key services for Frontwire's platform.

Since they seemed to be nice machines, we hunted down the manufacturer when we needed some more servers. They turned out to be nice and cheap; Fairchild have an entry-level 1U server for about 500 quid plus VAT; although what "entry level" means has changed a lot over the years, the price has been pretty stable. Anyway, we had the new machines in for a few weeks when we got a call from them saying that they'd had some problems with the batch of fans they'd used in building our machines - so they sent an engineer up (from their offices in Southampton) to replace the fans for us, without even waiting for them to break!

That kind of sold me on them.

The downside is that their web site sucks. It uses some messed up CSS that means all the text and images overlap in Mozilla - it seems to work in IE only.

But that's sort of OK, since the web site is just a taster, really; they don't update it all that often so you really want to email them to discuss your requirements. They do blade servers (a rack mounted enclosure with lots of small x86 servers in, for very high density racks), (rack or wall mounting) panel PCs, tablet PCs, standard rack mount servers from the low end to the high end, NAS, SAN, half depth rack mount servers that can be mounted back to back in the same rack, mini ITX systems, standard tower servers, desktop PCs with inbuild flat panel displays, you name it.

So far I've bought 9 machines off of them, soon to be 10, plus the two we first found at Frontwire, and been happy with them all. Unlike most of my other servers, they've never broken or exhibited unexplained kernel panics!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

WordPress Themes

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales