Pointers please

Place to discuss Fedora and/or Red Hat
Post Reply
caveman
programmer
programmer
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 1:08 pm
Location: Midrand Gauteng, South Africa

Pointers please

Post by caveman » Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:45 pm

hi.

Client gave me a 300mhz machine -no drives, only cd-
and said "go build us a file server".
I asked - "any prevs?" - "nah he said - make it work,
and while you're at it - put a mail server on there".

So my plan in brief.

(Know I'm asking a lot - but hey - gimme a break! :wink: )

Install 3 x 80GB drives.
Use #1 for the system and general user crap.
Mirror # 2 & 3.

And that is my hardware budget nearly shot!
(Cheap cheeep :P)

Install Linux.
Install networking - two cards.
Ditto firewall and mailserver.

a) Which version of RH - 7.3 which I know or
bite the bullet and go straight for 9??
b) How, when, what, where the firewall
and mailserver?
c) NFS or Samba?
d) Use volumes or not?
e) How or with what do I mirror the discs?
Played a bit with the caldera vx system some time ago.
(gave both up as a bad job) :D
f) etc. etc. etc. - whatever may help?

Tx in advance.

/\../\ Day-to-day bat
/\**/\ Drunk Bat
/\@@/\ Caffine Bat
/\--/\ Space Bat
/\==/\ Sunglasses Bat
/\xx/\ Batted Bat
/\!!/\ Surprised Bat
\/..\/ Upsidedown Bat
/\$$/\ Gotmapay Bat
/\../\
`` Vampire Bat
/\00/\ Short sighted Bat

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:06 pm

Hmmm, need more info. Indications are that being a mail server is a secondary server task. What are the primary server tasks needed? For what type of clients?

If you go Red Hat I would certainly suggest using RH9. Linux software RAID can be configured at RH9 install time, or after install. I don't nderstand why you would not want to put the system and user stuff in RAID though, what else is there? I would put everything in RAID (there are restrictions on "/boot" in a RAID configuration), and the type of RAID you use would depend on your needs. I would suggest reading a few of the chapters in the Red Hat manual on RAID. Here are several intro pages:

http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linu ... intro.html

And here is how to configure it:

http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linu ... -raid.html

And you might also be interested in LVM:

http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linu ... intro.html

Which would allow you to paste several physical partitions into one large volume (partition). This is for completely different purposes than RAID but may be useful to you.

caveman
programmer
programmer
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 1:08 pm
Location: Midrand Gauteng, South Africa

Post by caveman » Tue Jul 08, 2003 2:39 pm

ahem.

Right - lets get the terminology right.

Am 'course talking about raid 1.
Reason: it is a straight forward, simple solution
and disk space is cheap.
Raid 5 - I'm not sure whether a 300Mhz mac-hine will
do the job.

Also the following was in mind when deciding on Raid 1.

"Note
If you are making a RAID partition of /boot, you must choose RAID level 1, and it must use one of the first two drives (IDE first, SCSI second). If you are not creating a RAID partition of /boot, and you are making a RAID partition of /, it must be RAID level 1 and it must use one of the first two drives (IDE first, SCSI second). "

Second: The primary task is as a file server in place of the
current and outdated billgate specials which replaced
Novell some time ago.
The clients are mostly winbloze 98 and 2000 (20 - 30).
(fortunatly the client refuses to allow xp on the site and
would you believe there are dos apps running since '88?)
and now two new RH 9 clients... and counting! :P

Letters, spreadsheets, photos, general office stuff etc.
( a lot of it!! and mostly 1-15MB files )
a few access databases and an Oracle installation.
The last of which is my main headache! :lol:
not because I don't know Oracle - but have not yet been
able to get a working install on my Linux boxes :oops:
(and will convince them to eventually put this on its
own Linux box)

The mailserver (not to busy) for now enjoys living on the fileserver
with the rest of the stuff - which for some unknown reason
refuses to stay up for more than about 5 days without
a reboot :o .

Not sure what other info might be relevant.

Getting this right!!!
I may get them to agree to do the next project
ALL on Linux. Development, web hosting, databases
.... the works.
The challenge then will be the development environment
and what to use eg. Kylix/php using Postgresql.... etc.
A nice project that'll keep me occupied for quit a few months.
Will be around looking for ideas and pointers when the
time arrives!

Regards

--/\../\-/\../\-/\../\-- A bat kebab

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Tue Jul 08, 2003 6:31 pm

We have a few Red Hat Oracle servers. Keep in mind that you want to go with the "supported OS" when using Oracle. I believe the current supported Linux version is like Red Hat 7.2 but I would have to check on it.

As far as RAID goes, "/boot" is the only concern. I always give "/boot" it's own partition anyway. You could mirror "/boot" and do RAID 5 on the rest of the system (if you wanted). Or don't RAID "/boot" at all but do give it it's own partition and then just keep a good emergency boot disk around as a
backup.

Mirroring (RAID 1) is the biggest waste of space (you give up half of your disk space) but it's probably the easiest to work with. RAID 5 does use a little more processor but will use as little as 1/5 of your drive space for parity. Striping is the fastest method of RAID but is the least reliable (actually less reliable than not using RAID at all). I like using hardware RAID so I can replace failed drives without bringing the system down or the system/apps even knowing there is a problem, but that's expensive. It's all up to you.

If you want to go with RAID 1 I would probably just go with two drives and create a separate mirrored "/boot" directory, create a swap partition on both drives (don't mirror these) and then the rest of the drive space in a mirrored "/" partition. I would probably go RAID 5 if I had 3 drives or more, provided I don't have to squeak every last CPU cycle out of the box for other things and I can can give up a little disk performance for reliability.

For Oracle I would probably go the 3 drives and stripe them as you would get the best performance, but you'll need some way to back up the system in case of a failure. Again this is the least reliable. If you have boatloads of money what people usually do is go with mirrored stripe sets. Gives you speed and reliability both but takes lotsa drives.

Considering your client use Linux/Samba should work just fine.

Post Reply