Several of our customers recently purchased HP DL180 G6 servers. They are perfect (and economical) servers for iSCSI storage as they support up to 14 drives in a 2u form factor. We however ran into a logistical problem in the purchase as the servers ordered were a HP Smart Buy, meaning that it’s a preconfigured server for a bit of a discount.
This particular Smart Buy came with a PCI cage in the rear of the server for 2 PCI-E slots and a slimline DVD drive. Well it being a storage server we had no need for the DVD drive and really wanted additional expansion slots. The standard PCI cage will allow for 3 PCI-E slots or 4 with an optional riser card. So I called HP and they directed me to a part number and so I ordered it. When it arrived I could tell by the box that it was too small and sure enough it was just a PCI-e riser card, not the cage. So I called them back and explained the situation and after I talked to 3 different departments I was still not convinced that the part they were telling me to order next was the right one. Being in a crunch I ordered all rear PCI-e accessories. When they arrived I opened box after box and they were all wrong!
So I got back on the phone and for the next 3 hours I spoke to department after department looking for the correct part number. One guy argued with me over one of the part numbers and he swore up and down it was the right one. I told him I had the part on my desk and it was the wrong part, but that still wasn’t enough to convince him! Finally I suggested to someone to go find a DL180 G6, open it up and get the part number from the actual part. The tech came back 20 minutes later and said there was no part number on the PCI-e standard cage. I didn’t give them an out and insisted that I needed to get that part so they have escalated the case and someone *should* be getting back to me.
Wow, all this over a piece of bent aluminum!
*** UPDATE ***
HP said that although the part does in fact exist someone messed up somewhere along the way and that the part is unorderable! So I called a large HP parts reseller and as hard as they tried they also couldn’t get me the part. So I have up with a homebrew solution using a PCI-express 90 degree riser I ordered here: http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/pexp8-rx1a-p-10514.html?ref=base. It’s weak, but it gained me an extra slot that fit my internal RAID card and let me use 2 external slots for NICs.