hardware recommendations for MURDER?

Phil Brutsche phil at optimumdata.com
Thu Jul 20 15:41:26 EDT 2006

Vincent Fox wrote:
> So lt looks like we are migrating our University to a murder setup. 
> We are about 50,000+ users, with currently a number of mailstores 
> (UWash) and users directly addressing them.
> We are looking towards adding new hardware for an MUPDATE box and 
> some frontends. Anyone have recommendations on these? Sparc/Solaris 
> versus X86/Linux? single-CPU versus duals? storage?
> I poked around in the mailing lists, didn't find anything really 
> current. And we all know how our users email usage has gone up in the
>  last couple of years.

For the servers themselves I would go Linux on x86 using the hardware
vendor of your choice.  The back-ends would probably be better off with
dual CPUs, but keep in mind that those will be *dual-core* dual-CPU
systems.  Go with an AMD Opteron or Intel 5100-series Xeon if you can,
they'll give you better performance than the older stuff.

It goes without saying that the disks should be SCSI/SAS, but the
direct-attached SCSI vs SAN debate depends on how much ucdavis is
willing to spend.

IMO if you go with an iSCSI SAN you should definitely get a second
physical CPU in each backend - without an iSCSI accelerator card like
the Adaptec 7211C it's a CPU hog if you have heavy I/O, and accelerator
cards that work outside of Windows are pretty rare.

I don't imagine the front-ends would do a whole lot of heavy lifting, so
a single CPU will be fine, but a dual-core CPU would be great if you're
going to enable SSL.

OS-wise I would go with RedHat Enterprise or Novell's SuSE Enterprise,
but if you are more of a *BSD guy that will work as well.


Phil Brutsche
phil at optimumdata.com

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