hardware recommendations for MURDER?

Phil Brutsche phil at optimumdata.com
Thu Jul 20 17:49:40 EDT 2006

Vincent Fox wrote:
> My personal leaning is towards Sun hardware with RHEL4 but I wanted 
> to get some fresh opinions. Thought this topic worth a rehash since 
> 2004 data is useful but not current enough IMO.

RHEL5 is "just" around the corner (it's due for release in 6 mo).  It's
something I would wait for if I could...

>> (sun just announce a 3u dual proc 16G ram box with 24TB of disk 
>> space for ~$70k for example)

Hrm, yes, the Sun Fire X4500.  A 4U system BTW.

Problem is, it's SATA only - no SCSI/SAS. It would make a fine file
server, but for an email system for 50k users?

If *I* was looking at Sun I would go for some X4100s or X4200s for the
back-ends and some X4100s for the front-ends.  I wouldn't get the X2100s
- they're cheap, but they don't have redundant power. That's a dealbreaker.

Unfortunately Sun makes you pay a substantial premium for dual core CPUs...

I would use either the StorageTek 3320 or the StorageTek 3510 for my
storage requirements - the former is SCSI-attached, the other is
fiber-channel.  Both are 2U chassis that will accept up to 12 U320 SCSI
hard drives.

> I admit a fear of multi-terabyte filesystems and their long check 
> times when things go south.  Perhaps there is some configuration of 
> this that is safe?

Modern systems with journaling file systems don't need a fsck on an
unclean shutdown - you have more problems with the integrity of your
data than the integrity of the metadata.

ext3 is perfectly safe, but you better make darn sure you use the 'sync'
mount option with XFS or JFS, otherwise they'll eat your data on an
unclean shutdown.

Since you mention you're going with RHEL4 it's a moot point - the only
supported journaling FS is ext3 ;)


Phil Brutsche
phil at optimumdata.com

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