classiccmp server hardware

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Tue Oct 12 16:08:57 2004

On Tue, 12 Oct 2004, Jules Richardson wrote:

re: IDE

> yes the drives are cheaper; but I was asking about the performance more
> than anything - I pretty much lost touch with IDE 5 years ago apart from
> a handful of machines, so I don't know where it's at in terms of
> performance under load (in a real scenario, forget marketing hype! :-)

Good. I don't look much at performance specs, but performance
in place. On the whole a good EIDE layout (eg. one drive per
controller) is as good as anything.

> Reliability's a tricky one. Historically I've had both IDE and SCSI
> disks go bad in desktop environments (i.e. lots of power cycling and
> less of a controlled dust-free environment), but I've only ever seen IDE
> disks completely blow up in the servers I've known that happened to have
> IDE disks rather than SCSI. Maybe that was just luck of the draw,
> though.

I'm guessing, but it might be a version of 'derate for
reliability'; most SCSI drives don't approach the bytes/spindle
that IDE drives do. Maybe it's simply NEW 20gb drives are more
reliable than NEW 160gb drives for various mfgr reasons.

> > you'll never get > 25 - 50 Mbits/sec through it; that's 5
> > megabytes/sec peak.
> My point was only that if you rsync to a disk on a different machine
> over ethernet (as I thought you were suggesting, but I could well be
> wrong!) then you do risk saturating the link at the time of the rsync,
> which I'd assume *could* lead to mail message transfer problems.

Oh, got it now, I agree 100% -- a big 'data copy' (rsync,
whatever) will certainly bog the line. But it won't cause
mail transfer problems, but mail transfer delays, lower overall
throughput. TCP/IP is quite robust, and SMTP is reeeeeeeaallly
well tested!

Where is it required that a computer have 100% free unfettered
access for each and every process for each and every second? If
backups take 30 minutes of the day, I say BFD (YMMV). If it's
taking 4 hours there may be a problem, but really, CPUs are not
sentient, they don't care if they work hard 100% of the time
(barring heat removal :-)

> Some problems, sure - but surely things like disk failure are an
> anticipated problem that's guaranteed to occur at some point, and if you
> *want* a server with near-perfect uptime then that needs planning for?

Oh I want it all too, I'm just not willing to pay for it :-)
Seriously, between an average well-run PC box and a high-end
RAID server, we're not talking orders of magnitude improvement.
Received on Tue Oct 12 2004 - 16:08:57 BST

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