The hardware to any server is very important as it tells you its capabilities. In most instances, you can simply look at the hardware component and pick up the model number or you can just click on properties under Windows as you have a graphical user interface.
If the server is in a datacenter where by you don’t have access physical access, it wouldn’t be possible for you to simply read the model number printed on the component. If your also running a environment which is based on the command line you wouldn’t have the luxury of right clicking on icons. Typically this would be an Linux based operating system where by it is primarily managed from the command line interface.
dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer's DMI (some say SMBIOS) table contents in a human-readable format. This table contains a description of the system's hardware components, as well as other useful pieces of information such as serial numbers and BIOS revision. Thanks to this table, you can retrieve this information without having to probe for the actual hardware. While this is a good point in terms of report speed and safeness, this also makes the presented information possibly unreliable. The DMI table doesn't only describe what the system is currently made of, it also can report the possible evolutions (such as the fastest supported CPU or the maximal amount of memory supported).
The syntax for dmidecode would be followed by the –type flag as it will define the type of hardware your probing.
Valid type keywords are: bios system baseboard chassis processor memory cache connector slot
The base board is also referred to as the logic board or motherboard. We can probe the information with the following command:
dmidecode --type baseboard Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 15 bytes Base Board Information Manufacturer: Intel Corporation Product Name: DH61AG Version: AAG23736-505 Serial Number: BTAG23600UU2 Asset Tag: To be filled by O.E.M. Features: Board is a hosting board Board is replaceable Location In Chassis: To be filled by O.E.M. Chassis Handle: 0x0003 Type: Motherboard Contained Object Handles: 0
The memory is referred to as the Random Access Memory (RAM). There is the output:
dmidecode --type memory Handle 0x0026, DMI type 16, 15 bytes Physical Memory Array Location: System Board Or Motherboard Use: System Memory Error Correction Type: None Maximum Capacity: 16 GB Error Information Handle: No Error Number Of Devices: 2 Handle 0x0029, DMI type 17, 28 bytes Memory Device Array Handle: 0x0026 Error Information Handle: No Error Total Width: 64 bits Data Width: 64 bits Size: 8192 MB Form Factor: DIMM Set: None Locator: SODIMM1 Bank Locator: Channel A DIMM 0 Type: DDR3 Type Detail: Synchronous Speed: 1333 MHz Manufacturer: Kingston Serial Number: 3402543D Asset Tag: A1_AssetTagNum0 Part Number: 99U5428-068.A00LF Rank: 2 Handle 0x002C, DMI type 17, 28 bytes Memory Device Array Handle: 0x0026 Error Information Handle: No Error Total Width: 64 bits Data Width: 64 bits Size: No Module Installed Form Factor: DIMM Set: None Locator: SODIMM2 Bank Locator: Channel B DIMM 0 Type: Unknown Type Detail: Synchronous Speed: Unknown Manufacturer: A1_Manufacturer1 Serial Number: A1_SerNum1 Asset Tag: A1_AssetTagNum1 Part Number: Array1_PartNumber1 Rank: Unknown
From this information we can see that our server can manage up to 16GB of RAM over 2 slots. Our server has 8GB of RAM in the first slot and the second slot is empty.
You can run the other commands on your server to see what kind of server hardware you have and the options which you can upgrade at an later date.