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    I miss working with Sun hardware. They were things of beauty and care and really good design.

    I had a bunch of the V245’s predecessors, the V240s (as well as V210, V490 and probably some others I’m forgetting), which were purple-fronted. That purple front pulled down to reveal the drive bays and the key slot for locking the machine on or off. The lid was hinged in such a way that you could lift just the front few inches to access the intake fan array and hot-swap them. Lifting the entire lid off revealed a very well layed out machine. Everything was in its right place, easy to access, with a diagram of how to remove covering parts or screws to access things.

    In contrast I often found HP ProLiant machines a cramped and tangled mess.

    Working on Sun machines was much like working on Apple machines. The software and hardware were in pretty good harmony. Lights-out access was great (especially compared to HP ILO, which requires a license).

    A couple of servers we had were similar to this V245 - the T2000 - which we also installed graphics cards in (because my boss was weird and insisted that the management servers could be used as local desktops in the DC if necessary), so we had the full CDE experience locally on a server :-)

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      One of my first career jobs started as working on the Sun hardware you described doing hardware maintenance. Drive and PSU swaps, memory/CPU replacements, etc. I always liked working on them, the colors and design gave them personality and always looked cool lined up in racks in data centers.

      There are some days I miss that type of work; getting the morning email with failures, checking in-house stock and putting in warranty claims to get parts we didn’t have on hand, then driving around the rest of the day to the different DCs doing the repairs. Wasn’t exciting or really challenging, but made me appreciate how much work goes into keeping the hardware layer online.

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        Sun servers were always nice to work with. The clear lime green tabs on everything made it easy to work out what your were supposed to lift/press.

        While I’ve mostly got experience with the cheaper X2100 and X2200s (x86), I also got to play with the nicer T5120 and T5240 SPARC servers. They were beauties and a joy compared to SuperMicro servers and to a lesser extend Fujitsu.

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          and to a lesser extend Fujitsu.

          Which is actually kinda funny because some of Sun’s servers were rebranded Fujitsu machines. The M-series were all Fujitsu (you could buy the same server as Sun-branded or Fujitsu-branded) and were just as nice to work with and had hot-swappable everything.

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        We have a V245 running OpenBSD that runs irc clients for a few people, acts as an ssh jump host and other assorted jobs. Not the fastest thing in the world, but good enough. It honestly never occurred to me to put a video card in it, but I’m kind of interested to see how this works out.

        We described one of the unfortunate aspects of this generation of Sun machines here: http://cvsweb.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/src/sys/arch/sparc64/dev/pci_machdep.c?rev=1.48&content-type=text/x-cvsweb-markup