Hardware recommendations for LINUX database server

Hardware recommendations for LINUX database server

Post by Bret Weinra » Thu, 11 Jul 2002 08:17:54



I've decided to port a database application I've written onto
Linux/Postgres.  It then occurred to my that I would need a computer
to do this on.  Details details.

Anyway I am here to solicit recommendations about what is the
bomb-proof state of the art Linux platform.  I'm willing to spend a
little more $$$$ to get my hands on a box that's been around the block
and didn't fall over.  Is their a Vanilla solution?  (Stupid
question?)

As far as performance goes, I'd like to hear some recommendatins about
I/O buses such as PCI vs EIDE vs SCSI vs whatever, mostly 'cause I

Thanks,
BDW

 
 
 

Hardware recommendations for LINUX database server

Post by Steve Wolf » Fri, 12 Jul 2002 02:29:47


Quote:> I've decided to port a database application I've written onto
> Linux/Postgres.  It then occurred to my that I would need a computer
> to do this on.  Details details.

  Congratulations!  PostgreSQL on Linux is a very stable, robust platform.

Quote:> Anyway I am here to solicit recommendations about what is the
> bomb-proof state of the art Linux platform.  I'm willing to spend a
> little more $$$$ to get my hands on a box that's been around the block
> and didn't fall over.  Is their a Vanilla solution?  (Stupid
> question?)

   Yes, you can build your own and get perfectly acceptable stability.
What sort of performance are you looking for?

   From my experience, the most important factors in making sure that your
machine stays up and running for a long time are:

1.  Redundant power supplies.  Even if the supplies themselves don't go
out, the fans have a * habit of going bad.
2.  Redundant fans on your CPU's.  Stack two of them on top of each other,
and use some longer screws.
3.  Redundant disks.  Don't let a disk failure take you out of the game.

   If you've done that, you should be fine.  We've had uptimes in excess
of a year (without service interruptions) on our PostgreSQL server, with
the streak only broken because we had to move it to a different facility.

   We originally started out with a SuperMicro 8050 - quad 700 MHz Xeons -
and it's a very well-built machine.  However, after some time, it just
wouldn't keep up with demand any more, so we replaced it with a dual
AthlonMP 2000, and the system loads dropped in half.

> As far as performance goes, I'd like to hear some recommendatins about
> I/O buses such as PCI vs EIDE vs SCSI vs whatever, mostly 'cause I


   For that, it's simple.  Use a decent RAID controller with relatively
fast disks, and you're set.  With that setup, you no longer have to try
and micro-manage by putting different tables (or tables and indexes) on
different disks.  You can get the full bandwidth of the array reading
*any* bit of information.

  However, you may not need a terribly fast array.  Your various buffers
and caches can tremendously alleviate disk bottlenecks.  We've turned off
the fsync() option in PG to avoid syncing on every write, and added
copious quantities of RAM.  The result is that even while the machine is
handling a couple of thousand queries per minute (both selects and
updates), the disk lights only flitter *occasionally*.

steve