classiccmp server hardware

From: Jules Richardson <>
Date: Tue Oct 12 05:09:54 2004

> In fact I think that RAID is a waste of time and money and
> complexity;

Depends what you can lay your hands on. Companies are throwing out
machines of only a couple of years old with some pretty high spec
hardware in, so the money side isn't always an issue. Complexity-wise,
the controller BIOS setup utilities usually take care of the complex
stuff and present it in an easy-to-understand way.

> you can get a lot of inexpensive, simple and reliable
> performance by using one EIDE per drive

Where's IDE these days relative to SCSI? For a machine that's processing
a lot of mail traffic (and hence a lot of disk I/O) SCSI controllers
(RAID or otherwise) were always better than IDE - plus you get the
higher reliability, more flexible bus options etc.

(I'd expect for flat-out transfers of large files, there's not a lot in

> If you've got a 100Mbit ether, it's unlikely it will exceed
> the disk or OS speed.

Not so convinced about that - remember that's bits, not bytes; ethernet
isn't *that* fast (relative to other things). Then presumably if you're
shunting a lot of small files around (as with a machine hosting a
mailing list) then it'll be 1 or more packets per message with the
resultant packet overhead. It all adds up pretty quick.

As for mirroring to a seperate machine (if that's what you were
intending) then disk performance should easily outstrip network
bandwidth (and could probably upset the underlying mail software whilst
mirroring was taking place) - I'd go for a seperate ethernet link
between machines just for mirroring purposes in that case. (Our broken
1U machine at Bletchley actually has three 100MBit interfaces on the
motherboard, presumably for this sort of reason)

Only Jay knows how much on-line storage he needs, the nature of the data
hosted on the server, and how much network traffic the server needs to
move though.


Received on Tue Oct 12 2004 - 05:09:54 BST

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