Summary: Broaden range of tested memory. It's a real pain in the rear to have to hunt for specific make/model of memory that tends to be rare and expensive.
Pros: We purchased two of these for an Exchange 2010 cluster at the end of 2011. We stuck two Xeon E5620s in and 24GB RAM. So far both machines have performed well. As of September 2012 both machines are workhorses.
Cons: Supermicro is VERY memory specific. Their machines will work with other RAM however if you have system board related problems the first thing they'll blame is RAM that is not on their supported RAM list. I had to return the RAM that I originally purchased for these machines as Windows 2008 was tossing out the occasional memory related error.
Summary: Simply easy, but I wish I would have spent a little more for a 2U or 4U rack mount, with redundant power, and more drive bays. I now have a need for a Raid Enclosure/Storage Bridge to expand the storage.
Pros: Easy installation, runs great, awesome RCON interface on separate IP. Easy to understand BIOS.
Cons: RCON is somewhat limited as far as remote control abd preview with CentOS, but I don't down rank because there is no actual need for it in an unattended environment.
Pros: Please don't forget this - CableHero Multi-Lane SFF-8087 Mini SAS to Discrete 4x SATA II/3G RIGHT-ANGLE L-Type, Internal Data Hard Drive Forward Breakout Cable - 14 to 24 Inch: CABLEHERO-SAS190 (RoHS, Lifetime Warranty) (Ver 2, Red)
Summary: Installed with xen 4.0 on debian 6.0 using Seagate constellation SAS drives via 3ware 9750-4i's and LVM. (define rootdelay=5 in grub to let the card initialize) But if you're going to do virtualization whether it be Xen, VMWare or whatever you need to understand that write caching for RAID configurations is extremely important.
Pros: Has good chipsets on the board with room to grow. A great blade option for 1U virtualization if you understand what you're doing.
Cons: You'll want to get a real raid controller since this server is barebones. But the fan housing is too close for normal SATA connectors on the backplane. I had to dremmel out notches in the plastic grill over the fans to get standard connectors to fit without smashing the wires. They expect you to have low profile which I never seem to have for SAS setups.
Pros: This barebone is wonderfully built from a brand you can always rely on. Our company paired a few of these with 2x Intel 5645 Hex Core processors (total of 12 physical cores and 12 hyperthreading cores), 24GB DDR3 UDIMM memory, and 4x1TB Western Digital RE4 drives in RAID-10.
Cons: Can't say much about cons, because there aren't many. Here's a few minor ones.
Summary: I wish someone had told me that if you only populate one of the 2 cpu sockets you will only be able to address 3 of the 6 memory slots. I purchased 6x4gb sticks and a single e6506 cpu and can only see 12gb of ram until I install a second cpu.
Pros: nice features for the price, stable. love the built in impi managment. It's greate to be able to install a OS by bringingup the managment console on my laptop and using the virtual cdrom feature.
Cons: Onboard raid is softraid so it will not work in vmware esxi. Luckly the drives will show up as independant disk's in vmware and can be used that way.
Summary: I will end up going with ESXi (it came right up and installed without a problem) even though RAID is not supported. Most of my woes here are lack of technical understanding around ESXi vs. BIOS RAID vs. using a floppy on server-style servers. Hopefully my thoughts here will help you prepare.
Pros: Pretty small form with a lot of potential (dual CPU, 6 mem slots). You can end up with a pretty gutsy server for the price. I'll end up with a dual quad-core 24GB server - nice!
Cons: Wanted to run ESxi (and will do so) but lack of RAID support from ESXi was a surprise. Just because the BIOS allows you to "enable" Intel or Adaptec RAID, this is NOT the same as an above board hw solution (which ESXi requires).