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[aprssig] More on the findU server issue...

Steve Dimse sdimse at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 02:37:07 UTC 2005

On 9/21/05, Gerry Creager N5JXS <gerry.creager at tamu.edu> wrote:
> Based on the reliability of the servers we've gotten from Supermicro,
> I'd not necessarily recommend a Dell machine.

I've been very happy with the Dell servers findU has run on, and I
want them to be as similar in the major details as possible for
administrative reasons.
> Also, I *strongly* recommend Centos 4.1 over RHEL.  Same code, same
> performance, no maintenance fees.  We're competent to help with
> management during the learning curve.

Both servers need to be using the same OS, the headaches I've
experienced because the backup server is running a different OS have
been painful. If I have to administer both machines, I need them to be
set up the same way. I can't install a new OS on the primary server
without either having the machine shipped to me and then back to the
co-lo site, so an OS change is not practical.

Also, the backup machine seems to be performing at a level below what
I would expect. The linux machine I have here at home, the primary
prior to the present primary server, which is very similar to the
backup machine, is running the parser under RH with a much lower I/O
loading than the backup machine was before there was any web server
load, and I suspect it might do better under the web load as well. I'm
not a Linux guru, I'm not saying that that the OS version is the
cause, but something seems wrong. The parser ran with IO waits of
around 2 percent on a 1GHz Celeron with an IDE drive a couple years
ago. Now the stream is perhaps double, but the secondary server is a
dual Xeon with hardware raid, it ough to kick the Celeron's butt with
a stream ten times the size, instead it has an IOwait of 10-15%. My
box here is under 1%...

Now maybe there is some sort of optimization with the OS you installed
that would fix that, but I do not have the time and inclination to
learn to do that.

In other words, I know that a Dell with RHEL is going to work well.
Anything else, and I'm experimenting. I don't want to experiment, the
point of this is to provide a working, redundant system...
> I apologize for the lack of admin time.  I've had job duties change over
> the last 18 months and I've been up to my eyeballs in my day job.
> Again, sorry.  That's all I can offer.  That, and a big pipe in a decent
> data center environment that's not likely to go away...

I understand that, and am not complaining about it. I also realize
that anyone with the chops to run a findU server is going to be in a
similar situation, which is why I'm not making any attempt to find
someone else to run the backup, I'll do it myself so I can guarantee
the availability. I do hope there will be no problem with swapping the
present server for the new one when it is configured, probably should
have checked with you before starting the fund-raising, but if not I
can search for another co-lo site...

Steve K4HG

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