Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Post by invict0.. » Sat, 08 Sep 2007 09:21:19



I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise.  My experience is
almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost nothing about Linux.
Here is my situation at work: we have a web server running Apache with
a MySQL database, but the site we have is running Windows 2000 Server
on an old HP box.  My boss is going to get a new machine, but she
wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows.  The site gets
about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2 gig of
downloadable files on it.  Here are my questions:

1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise Linux or
Red Hat Advanced Platform.  Which software do you think would be best
for the type of website we have?  There is no backup server or any
clustering or anything like that.

2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay for
some.  When I went to the Red Hat site, it showed difference
subscription prices, which are support for the software, so does that
price include the software itself (which I assume they'll send to you
with documentation) and the support or what?

3. What kind of machine should we get to run the versions of Linux
above (processor speed, RAM, etc.)?

Thanks.  Sorry if these are basic questions, but I'm new to Linux.  If
you need anything clarified, just ask.  Thanks.

 
 
 

Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Post by Robert Harri » Sat, 08 Sep 2007 17:06:01



> I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise.  My experience is
> almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost nothing about Linux.
> Here is my situation at work: we have a web server running Apache with
> a MySQL database, but the site we have is running Windows 2000 Server
> on an old HP box.  My boss is going to get a new machine, but she
> wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows.  The site gets
> about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2 gig of
> downloadable files on it.  Here are my questions:

> 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise Linux or
> Red Hat Advanced Platform.  Which software do you think would be best
> for the type of website we have?  There is no backup server or any
> clustering or anything like that.

> 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay for
> some.  When I went to the Red Hat site, it showed difference
> subscription prices, which are support for the software, so does that
> price include the software itself (which I assume they'll send to you
> with documentation) and the support or what?

The software is free (and if you buy RHEL you get it on CDROM); you are
paying for the support. You can download the same software free without
support from <www.centos.org>.

Quote:

> 3. What kind of machine should we get to run the versions of Linux
> above (processor speed, RAM, etc.)?

What services are you planning to run from it? (e.g. file server, mail
server, web server) Are you planning to keep your old web server?

And you do need some backup strategy.

Robert

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> Thanks.  Sorry if these are basic questions, but I'm new to Linux.  If
> you need anything clarified, just ask.  Thanks.


 
 
 

Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Post by Wolfgang Draxinge » Sun, 09 Sep 2007 07:21:47



> I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise.  My
> experience is almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost
> nothing about Linux. Here is my situation at work: we have a
> web server running Apache with a MySQL database, but the site
> we have is running Windows 2000 Server

Luckily running Apache + MySQL on a Linux system is not a lot
different from running it on a Windows Box, both programs where
developed mainly for *nix systems and (merely) ported to Windows
later. The paths in the configuration files will be different,
as are the paths of the configuration files themself, more you
don't have to expect (and the way how services, called "daemons"
in the *nix world are started).

The one point to take care of is to get a proper dump out of the
MySQL database and injecting it back into the MySQL installation
on the server. That's the one part most likely to fail. The
MySQL documentation should cover it well.

Quote:> on an old HP box.  My boss is going to get a new machine, but
> she wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The
> site gets about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2
> gig of downloadable files on it.  Here are my questions:

2.6e6 hits a month is quite a coarse figure. If one assumes that
these are evenly spread across time that are about 3 hits a
second, which is - frankly - not a lot of load for a server. An
old Pentium 1 box could easyly deal with it.

However such a friendly access pattern is very unlikely, so the
real interesting figure would be the the peak number of hits in
a short period of time (an hour or even down to a minute or
second).

The amount of data stored is not the problem, as the avaliable
bandwidth is the limiting factor there.

With a 100MBits/sec connection you're network bound, with a
1GBits/sec connection your harddisks will be the limiting
factor - for a good performance a RAID storage system is highly
advisable. As long you don't want to combine more than 10 disks
into a RAID you won't need a special RAID controller (with more
than 10 disks an actual RAID controller really reliefes the CPU,
don't get fooled by those "onboard RAID controlers" which merely
are software RAID layerd by the BIOS). Linux' software RAID
implementation is quite efficient and will take in my experience
only 2-5% of CPU time even under high I/O loads if only a few
disks are concerned. But you should make sure of high quality of
the used hardware, by which I mean SCSI, SAS or server certified
SATA disks.

The really important thing to get quick response times are vast
amounts of RAM. Linux prefetches data probably to be accessed
next into the I/O cache, and the I/O cache will always consume
up the unused RAM. If you use the 'free' command on a Linux
system you will notice, that there is almost no free memory
left, even if you got loads of RAM installed and almost no
programs running, but a few colums further you'll see that
almost everything is consumed by the cache. Don't worry, the
cache will shrink as more memory is consumed by running
applications. So in conclusion: The more RAM you get, the higher
the probability that requested data has already been read into
RAM from the disks, thus dramatically reducing latency.

And last but not least you need a god network interface
controller. In my experience those that Intel makes are quite
good.

Quote:> 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise
> Linux or Red Hat Advanced Platform.  Which software do you
> think would be best for the type of website we have?  There is
> no backup server or any clustering or anything like that.

Choice of distribution has no influence on the system's
performance, but on the amout and quality of the support you'll
get. With quality I don't mean how good the people are, but the
topics their services cover. Well, there's one difference
between distributions: The time a system needs to boot, as they
use slightly different init patterns. But once everything's
there you probably won't notice a difference.

Quote:> 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay
> for some.

You pay for the support. The software contained in RHEL does not
differ from, say Debian. Admittingly Debian has quite a
different package manager and configuration scheme than RHEL,
but the real guts, the kernel, the server programs and most else
will be identical.

So let's say you want to go without a distributor's support at
all. Then you may just download images of their installation
media and go on - you don't have to pay royalities.

Since you're new to Linux (and probably the *nix world), I highly
suggest you learn how to use a shell (the program, Windows
people might refer to as "DOS prompt", or "console", but under
Linux a console is a whole different concept). Unlike
the "Windows command prompt", *nix shells are very powerfull
tools, which when configured properly allow you to do any sort
of administration task with literally only a few keypresses -
believe me, this is by far efficienter than a GUI and point and
click administration. With the right tweaks here and there you
can make the more featured shells (notably bash, zsh and tcsh)
do about anything. For example I got my shell configured in a
way, that I can use it as a pocket calculator, it shows me if
there's new mail, and similair little helper tools.

What distribution I can suggest? I'd say to start easy: Ubuntu.
Since a server doesn't need a GUI I suggest the "alternate
install CD" which provides a GUI-less installation. Ubuntu for
two reasons: For one updates are well maintained and usually the
most recent one can get with a "stable" distribution. And Ubuntu
is dead easy to install. In it's core it's a Debian system, but
I like the software repository a lot more and the used init
system "upstart" really rocks (IMHO it's by far better than the
dusty rc-scripts system still in use by RH and SuSE, and to my
pity Debian). The cool thing about repository based
distributions is, that every software on the system installed
through the repository will get updated automatically - it just
like Windows Update, but it covers really every installed
program on the system.

If you pay for a distributors support you'll have to compare what
you need and for how long. Given the fact that some systems run
for years without interruption and severe need of administration
it may pay off to let a distributor do the whole installation
and configuration thig for you, if you don't intend to change
the system configuration within the next years. OTOH
administering a well configured *nix system can be really fun.

Wolfgang Draxinger
--

 
 
 

Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Post by LinuxUse » Sun, 09 Sep 2007 10:02:39




>> I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise.  My
>> experience is almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost
>> nothing about Linux. Here is my situation at work: we have a
>> web server running Apache with a MySQL database, but the site
>> we have is running Windows 2000 Server

> Luckily running Apache + MySQL on a Linux system is not a lot
> different from running it on a Windows Box, both programs where
> developed mainly for *nix systems and (merely) ported to Windows
> later. The paths in the configuration files will be different,
> as are the paths of the configuration files themself, more you
> don't have to expect (and the way how services, called "daemons"
> in the *nix world are started).

> The one point to take care of is to get a proper dump out of the
> MySQL database and injecting it back into the MySQL installation
> on the server. That's the one part most likely to fail. The
> MySQL documentation should cover it well.

>> on an old HP box.  My boss is going to get a new machine, but
>> she wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The
>> site gets about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2
>> gig of downloadable files on it.  Here are my questions:

> 2.6e6 hits a month is quite a coarse figure. If one assumes that
> these are evenly spread across time that are about 3 hits a
> second, which is - frankly - not a lot of load for a server. An
> old Pentium 1 box could easyly deal with it.

> However such a friendly access pattern is very unlikely, so the
> real interesting figure would be the the peak number of hits in
> a short period of time (an hour or even down to a minute or
> second).

> The amount of data stored is not the problem, as the avaliable
> bandwidth is the limiting factor there.

> With a 100MBits/sec connection you're network bound, with a
> 1GBits/sec connection your harddisks will be the limiting
> factor - for a good performance a RAID storage system is highly
> advisable. As long you don't want to combine more than 10 disks
> into a RAID you won't need a special RAID controller (with more
> than 10 disks an actual RAID controller really reliefes the CPU,
> don't get fooled by those "onboard RAID controlers" which merely
> are software RAID layerd by the BIOS). Linux' software RAID
> implementation is quite efficient and will take in my experience
> only 2-5% of CPU time even under high I/O loads if only a few
> disks are concerned. But you should make sure of high quality of
> the used hardware, by which I mean SCSI, SAS or server certified
> SATA disks.

> The really important thing to get quick response times are vast
> amounts of RAM. Linux prefetches data probably to be accessed
> next into the I/O cache, and the I/O cache will always consume
> up the unused RAM. If you use the 'free' command on a Linux
> system you will notice, that there is almost no free memory
> left, even if you got loads of RAM installed and almost no
> programs running, but a few colums further you'll see that
> almost everything is consumed by the cache. Don't worry, the
> cache will shrink as more memory is consumed by running
> applications. So in conclusion: The more RAM you get, the higher
> the probability that requested data has already been read into
> RAM from the disks, thus dramatically reducing latency.

> And last but not least you need a god network interface
> controller. In my experience those that Intel makes are quite
> good.

>> 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise
>> Linux or Red Hat Advanced Platform.  Which software do you
>> think would be best for the type of website we have?  There is
>> no backup server or any clustering or anything like that.

> Choice of distribution has no influence on the system's
> performance, but on the amout and quality of the support you'll
> get. With quality I don't mean how good the people are, but the
> topics their services cover. Well, there's one difference
> between distributions: The time a system needs to boot, as they
> use slightly different init patterns. But once everything's
> there you probably won't notice a difference.

>> 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay
>> for some.

> You pay for the support. The software contained in RHEL does not
> differ from, say Debian. Admittingly Debian has quite a
> different package manager and configuration scheme than RHEL,
> but the real guts, the kernel, the server programs and most else
> will be identical.

> So let's say you want to go without a distributor's support at
> all. Then you may just download images of their installation
> media and go on - you don't have to pay royalities.

> Since you're new to Linux (and probably the *nix world), I highly
> suggest you learn how to use a shell (the program, Windows
> people might refer to as "DOS prompt", or "console", but under
> Linux a console is a whole different concept). Unlike
> the "Windows command prompt", *nix shells are very powerfull
> tools, which when configured properly allow you to do any sort
> of administration task with literally only a few keypresses -
> believe me, this is by far efficienter than a GUI and point and
> click administration. With the right tweaks here and there you
> can make the more featured shells (notably bash, zsh and tcsh)
> do about anything. For example I got my shell configured in a
> way, that I can use it as a pocket calculator, it shows me if
> there's new mail, and similair little helper tools.

> What distribution I can suggest? I'd say to start easy: Ubuntu.
> Since a server doesn't need a GUI I suggest the "alternate
> install CD" which provides a GUI-less installation. Ubuntu for
> two reasons: For one updates are well maintained and usually the
> most recent one can get with a "stable" distribution. And Ubuntu
> is dead easy to install. In it's core it's a Debian system, but
> I like the software repository a lot more and the used init
> system "upstart" really rocks (IMHO it's by far better than the
> dusty rc-scripts system still in use by RH and SuSE, and to my
> pity Debian). The cool thing about repository based
> distributions is, that every software on the system installed
> through the repository will get updated automatically - it just
> like Windows Update, but it covers really every installed
> program on the system.

> If you pay for a distributors support you'll have to compare what
> you need and for how long. Given the fact that some systems run
> for years without interruption and severe need of administration
> it may pay off to let a distributor do the whole installation
> and configuration thig for you, if you don't intend to change
> the system configuration within the next years. OTOH
> administering a well configured *nix system can be really fun.

> Wolfgang Draxinger

Installed a quad server in a school, along with 48 clients off of 8
switches in 4 classrooms.  The Quad Server and all 48 Compaq Evo P4
computers ran Fedora Core 6 until I switched them on to FC7 last week

Yeah, the entire network ran a year, with only two hardware failures,
that were swapped out in mere minutes.  Not bad for donated equipment!
Machines were all about three years old, used in an industrial network
environment.

 
 
 

Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

Post by Mike Barancza » Tue, 11 Sep 2007 23:46:53




Quote:> The software is free (and if you buy RHEL you get it on CDROM); you are
> paying for the support. You can download the same software free without
> support from <www.centos.org>.

The OP said that he knows almost nothing about Linux, and that this box
will be used to run a production web site. I'd strongly recommend
getting a support contract.

Also, consider buying a server with Linux pre-installed. Not because
Linux is hard to install (it isn't), but because it'll absolutely
guarantee that all the hardware you buy works with Linux.

-MB

--
http://www.veryComputer.com/ - search engine for * programmers

 
 
 

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