|Mr G.D. Tyson||Jun 19, 1998 3:15 am|
|Brian Baird||Jun 19, 1998 4:40 am|
|see...@plethora.net||Jun 19, 1998 5:04 am|
|Paul Goyette||Jun 19, 1998 5:13 am|
|see...@plethora.net||Jun 19, 1998 5:20 am|
|Marc van Kempen||Jun 19, 1998 8:04 am|
|Manuel Bouyer||Jun 19, 1998 10:10 am|
|Jan B. Koum||Jun 20, 1998 6:58 pm|
|Matthew Jacob||Jun 20, 1998 7:56 pm||.Other, .Other, .Other|
|Matthew Jacob||Jun 20, 1998 8:42 pm|
|Mike Smith||Jun 21, 1998 1:06 pm|
|Mike Smith||Jun 21, 1998 1:36 pm|
|Mike Smith||Jun 21, 1998 2:24 pm|
|see...@plethora.net||Jun 21, 1998 3:03 pm|
|Justin T. Gibbs||Jun 21, 1998 3:06 pm|
|Open Systems Networking||Jun 21, 1998 3:43 pm|
|Mike Smith||Jun 21, 1998 9:32 pm|
|Castor Fu||Jun 21, 1998 10:50 pm|
|Kenneth D. Merry||Jun 21, 1998 11:26 pm|
|Gary Palmer||Jun 22, 1998 12:47 am|
|Justin T. Gibbs||Jun 22, 1998 6:15 am|
|Sean Witham||Jun 22, 1998 6:19 am|
|Subject:||Re: O/S Support for large [512Mb] PC systems|
|From:||Mike Smith (mi...@smith.net.au)|
|Date:||Jun 21, 1998 9:32:42 pm|
We need to assemble and put into service a couple of large machines to act as a web cache (using the squid software).
Before going any further, you may wish to consider the solutions offered by NetApp (http://www.netapp.com), as well as the Vixie Enterprises Web Gateway Interceptor, available from Mirror Image (http://www.mirror-image.com).
Bear in mind that I'm wearing a FreeBSD hat.
The choice is either SUN systems running slowaris or large PC's running either NetBSD or FreeBSD. The management are inclined to the former, but may be willing to entertain the latter if I can convince them it will work, hence need I need a bit of feedback from people who run PC's with large amounts of memory and SCSI disk.
My first stab at a system would use a Pentium II board with 512Mb Memory and a 333Mhz processor. The system would boot from the on-board EIDE controller via a 2Gb system disk. The cache area would be two strings of 4 fast wide 9Gb SCSI II disks plugged into an Adaptek 3940 ultra controller. We would probably use an Intel Express 10/100 Ethernet adaptor (or two) as the network connection.
There are a number of poor design decision here.
- The PII is not suitable for large server systems, as it will only cache the first 512MB of memory. - The 3940 is a poor choice as a cache controller; you would be better off with either a DPT RAID controller card, or an external SCSI:SCSI RAID (eg. a CMD unit). The latter is generally a better idea. - Booting (and thus putting your root filesystem and probably swap) on an IDE disk creates an unnecessary bottleneck. Use another SCSI disk, preferably on its own controller.
2) Will 512Mb of memory break anything ? (I know I will have to tell the kernel the true memory size)
It is the usable limit for the PII processor. For your application, a P6/200 may be better. It's dubious as to whether you will be able to saturate such a processor unless you try *really* hard. FreeBSD is pretty good about automating memory detection (and is getting better).
3) Has anyone any experience of a machine with this sort of configuration ?
Yes. More verbosely, FreeBSD systems are frequently used in similar, and larger, configurations. For example, ftp.cdrom.com is a P6/200 with 1GB of memory and 224GB of disk. It's currently averaging an output of about 44Mb/s on a 24-hour basis. Various other examples have already been given; suffice to say that you're not going to be taxing it much. 8)
4) Has anyone used any of the Supermicro boards e.g. P6DBS with the builtin Adaptec Dual Channel UWSCSI ? or got suggestions for other suitable motherboards (preferably ones with will take up to 1Gb RAM) I should point out that 'the management' would REALLY like to use a commercially available box rather than me build one out of bits !
It is pointless putting more than 512MB of memory in a PII board, as previously mentioned. If you're really serious about a monster system, you would be able to get FreeBSD up on the Axil Northbridge NX-801 (http://www.axil.com/) with a little help from one of the folks at Axil. Other large server systems worth considering (and less expensive) are the Compaq Proliant and IBM NetFinity systems. Some basic rules:
- If you want more than 512MB of memory, you need to use Pentium Pro processors. (This may change with new PII models; I'm a few months out of date. Be very certain to check this carefully.)
- If you want more than one processor, you will want to go with one of the FreeBSD-current snapshots. For 2- and 4- processor systems, there are plenty of testimonials indicating success. Beyond this you may require some assistance, depending on your hardware.
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