Hardware Profile

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:



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.
		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.