large filesystem & fileserver architecture issues.

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at
Thu Aug 7 09:54:29 EDT 2003

Mark Hahn wrote:
>>SuperMicro X5DAE Motherboard
>>dual Xeon 2.8GHz processors
>>2 GB Kingston Registered ECC RAM
>>2 HighPoint RocketRAID 404 4-channel IDE RAID adapters
>>10 Maxtor 250 GB 7200 RPM disks
>>1 Maxtor 60 GB drive for system work
>>1 long multi-drop disk power cable...
>>SuperMicro case (nomenclature escapes me, however, it has 1 disk bays 
>>and fits the X5DAE MoBo
>>Cheapest PCI video card I could find (no integrated video on MoBo)
>>Add-on Intel GBE SC fiber adapter
>>1.  I should have checked for integrated video for simplicity
> I did something similar a little while back: a tyan thunder e7500 board,
> just one Xeon, just 1G ram, integrated video/gigabit (copper), 3ware 8500-8 
> in jbod mode, 8x200G WD JB disks and a ~500W PS.
> I don't see any reason for adding extra ram or putting in multiple,
> higher-powered CPUs for a fileserver.

This one will A) be on the Unidata weather distribution network for 
general weather data AND the newer real-time radar feeds; B) be 
extracting some of that data for graphics; C) be doing NNTP for Unidata 
(one, exactly, newsgroup) for a research project; D) reside on the I2 
Logistical Backbone...  It's a busy box.

>>2.  Current HighPoint drivers for RH9 are not RAID yet; use RH7.3 with 
>>ALL the patches
> I'll be doing more boxes, probably with something like 8x250 SATA disks,
> with a pair of promise tx4 cards.  open-source drivers for these cards 
> recently became available, btw.
> there was a very interesting talk at OLS about doing raid intelligently
> over a network...

Check out (I think: It's certainly a project called 
'loki' and run by Micah Beck at about the logistical backbone.

I didn't go with Promise cards because of one of my grad students, who's 
obviously better funded than me... He's looked at Promise, HighPoint and 
at least one other card, and had comparisons, and strongly recommended 
HighPoint as a Price/Performance leader.  The HighPoints were less 
expensive and currently boast the same performance as the tx4's.

Everyone's getting into the SATA game; I didn't go that way because I 
wanted to get to the 2 TB point and couldn't reasonably do it today with 
SATA; maybe later.

I didn't want to take the time to hack the drivers HighPoint had 
available, since i'm overloaded these days.
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at
Network Engineering -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578
Page: 979.228.0173
Office: 903A Eller Bldg, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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