Re: Sun Fire X2100 -- nForce4 Ultra desktop chipset

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On Sun, 2005-11-27 at 19:55 +0100, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> Help as: offer a complete kit (sliding rails, IPMI, preassembled
> chassis only lacking memory and drives), warranty, and NBD support?

Yes.  And ASL will as well.

> No, it's overhead of NFS, DRBD and limitations of Fast Ethernet.
> (Admittedly, 2-3 MByte/s according to bonnie++ is awful performance,
> even for DRBD+NFS).

Yes, it's absolute _crap_.  Even with older P3s, or newer Pentium M
(also a Mini-ITX option), you could get a lot better.  I get 8-9MBps
over fast Ethernet, over 40MBps sustained over GbE, 60+MBps with GbE
using Jumbo frames.

> I've become somewhat disillusioned with rolling my own mini-ITX blades
> with Travla cases and rails. Mostly, it's lack of a decent airflow, especially
> for the faster/hotter drives, so packaging density suffers.

I know, I've had the Travla C156 in the marshes of Louisiana and Texas
since October ...  

They seem to be okay with the heat, but we're moving to a 400MHz,
passively cooled ViA C3 in the near future.  We only need to push
through a sustained 5MBps _maximum_, so it's not an issue.

When I need more power, like for real-time video streaming or portable
NAS, I have been going i915 chipset with Pentium M.  You can fit them
with a pair of hard drives in 1U enclosure.

I've been playing with the idea of (4) 2.5" SATA drives with an Areca
RAID-10 (or even just software RAID-0+1) in one of these enclosures:  

I sure wish there were smaller, standards-based options for Opteron 1xx
than a Socket-939 MicroATX mainboard (which is over 2x the size of Mini-
ITX).  Of course, I'd love to have some sort of embedded PCI-X while I'm
at it.  ;->  But hopefully there will be more PCIe options soon enough.

> Also, the only advantage is power efficiency, bought for by being somewhat
> expensive (cases and rails, my time)

If you read my Blog, I found a reseller of MicroATX in California that
can turnaround assemblies almost overnight or within 2 days.

> and having low absolute performance (still, enough for web, mail, HA
> NFS and a couple of other odd jobs).

Web, maybe.  But for NFS, not what I'm used to.  I'm used to pushing
over 50MBps over NFS.

> Here's a bonnie++ on the local filesystem (load zero, but on the network):

Load on the I/O is difficult to measure in Linux.  At most, all you can
measure is how often the CPU is bothered by I/O, not the actual
efficiency/saturation of the I/O interconnect.

Still, these numbers are horrendous.

> As I said, I intended to use a cluster FS, and a few machines in the
> rack. AoE is also quite economical if you roll your own (RAID 5 with
> one hot spare in a 4-drive SATA Linux box in 1U).

AoE is marketing.  ;->

> Right now I'm more interested in Lustre or PVFS. It's still pretty
> academical at this point as I don't have enough hardware to prototype it.

For web and other Internet services.  But for network file services?

> Looks good. If I was in the U.S., I'd probably buy from them.

As I said, there are probably some integrators on this list that are
more local to you.

> I am very aware of this. I choose Hitachi (which are not explicitly
> rated enterprise class) because the folks are using them,
> and reporting low failure rate (of course, my batch could be different).

Hitachi has some 24x7 rated units.  They are preferred in many systems,
including having an investment in Copan Systems:  

I highlighted them in an article on how storage has morphed into VTL:  

> Hitachi officially doesn't have enterprise class products. Deathstars
> they're no longer.

I don't know about that, their 500GB Deskstar uses *5* commodity
platters in a 1" form-factor.  The first to do so in a _long_ time.
I.e., not since the infamous 75GXP.

But you're right, the 250GB you're using is a 80GB/platter drive with
2-3 platters.

Bryan J. Smith   mailto:b.j.smith@xxxxxxxx
Some things (or athletes) money can't buy.
For everything else there's "ManningCard."



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