FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Boris Zay » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00



G'day,

I'm planning to build a spanking new FreeBSD machine which will become
the main gateway for my network. The machine will be connected to 256k
ISDN through a co-location provider in San Jose.

Although I'm unsure of what hardware to use, I hope to build a
reliable machine which will handle heavy traffic ... I was hoping not
to spend anymore then $2,000 Canadian.

A few questions:

1) What are the key advantages of using SCSI over modern IDE drives?

Does FreeBSD 2.2.6 supports UDMA by default, or must it be compiled
into the kernel to work correctly?

I've heard bad stories about ISP's using IDE drives for their main
news spool, with the life span of the drive <1 year. This isn't the
case with modern IDE drives, is it?

2) What would be considered a minimum amount of RAM if the server was
maxing out a 256k ISDN line? (I'm not running any news services, only
multiple httpd's, with over 200 Virtual Hosts & handling alot of user
email) Would 256MB of RAM be considered overkill? Keeping in mind the
server is only connected via 256k ISDN.

3) What is considered a reliable processor for running FreeBSD. Should
I choose Pentium, or opt for a K6/Cyrix?

I've read that a Pentium-90 running Apache can max out a T-1, so would
building a machine with a Pentium II would be a waste of money?

If anyone can email or post their current FreeBSD hardware
configuration I'd really appreciate it!

Cheers,

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Rahul Dhe » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Quote:>If anyone can email or post their current FreeBSD hardware
>configuration I'd really appreciate it!

I have had very good luck with:

    FIC PA-2007 motherboard
    ECC memory
    AMD K6 233 MHz CPU
    Adaptec 2940U or 2940UW scsi card
--


 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Fewt » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00


P200MMX
64 megs RAM
Two 2-gig EIDE HD's (a Maxtor and a Samsung - Fbsd is on the Samsung)
Asus P55T2P4 MB (HX chipset)
Jaton 58-P video card (Tseng ET-6000)
ESS Maestro PCI-based soundcard (heh- no support and never will be)
3 1/2 and 5 1/4" floppy drives
Two parallel ports and two serial ports
Zoltrix 33.6k modem
Nec Superscript 100C (works as HP Deskjet 500C)
Plustek OpticPro 600P flatbed scanner (no support and never will be)
Syquest SparQ 1.0 gig parallel port drive (possible future support
thru 3rd party Linux support)




>>If anyone can email or post their current FreeBSD hardware
>>configuration I'd really appreciate it!

>I have had very good luck with:

>    FIC PA-2007 motherboard
>    ECC memory
>    AMD K6 233 MHz CPU
>    Adaptec 2940U or 2940UW scsi card

--
Spam Avoidance: Remove "dont_spam_me_" in my Email address to reply.
My website is at http://www.serv.net/~fewtch/index.html - something for everyone
there, take a look if you have the time!
 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Chris Youn » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Boris,

I am running FreeBSD on a P-100 with 64meg RAM and a 5.1 gig IDE drive.

The machine is hooked up to a t-1, has 2 networks cards so that it acts
as a firewall/proxy server, handles 200+ email accounts and a small ftp
server.

The machine never gets below 70% idle on the top command, and I am
getting full saturation on the t-1 at times.

Hope this helps


> G'day,

> I'm planning to build a spanking new FreeBSD machine which will become
> the main gateway for my network. The machine will be connected to 256k
> ISDN through a co-location provider in San Jose.

> Although I'm unsure of what hardware to use, I hope to build a
> reliable machine which will handle heavy traffic ... I was hoping not
> to spend anymore then $2,000 Canadian.

> A few questions:

> 1) What are the key advantages of using SCSI over modern IDE drives?

> Does FreeBSD 2.2.6 supports UDMA by default, or must it be compiled
> into the kernel to work correctly?

> I've heard bad stories about ISP's using IDE drives for their main
> news spool, with the life span of the drive <1 year. This isn't the
> case with modern IDE drives, is it?

> 2) What would be considered a minimum amount of RAM if the server was
> maxing out a 256k ISDN line? (I'm not running any news services, only
> multiple httpd's, with over 200 Virtual Hosts & handling alot of user
> email) Would 256MB of RAM be considered overkill? Keeping in mind the
> server is only connected via 256k ISDN.

> 3) What is considered a reliable processor for running FreeBSD. Should
> I choose Pentium, or opt for a K6/Cyrix?

> I've read that a Pentium-90 running Apache can max out a T-1, so would
> building a machine with a Pentium II would be a waste of money?

> If anyone can email or post their current FreeBSD hardware
> configuration I'd really appreciate it!

> Cheers,

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Jordan K. Hubba » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00



> I'm planning to build a spanking new FreeBSD machine which will become
> the main gateway for my network. The machine will be connected to 256k
> ISDN through a co-location provider in San Jose.

An ISDN line with 4 B-channels?  Wow!  Amazing! ;-)

Do you mean 128K ISDN or are you multiplexing between two ISDN
lines?  Or is this maybe not even ISDN but rather frame relay? :)

--
- Jordan Hubbard
  Co-founder/Release Manager, The FreeBSD Project
  Walnut Creek CDROM

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Jordan K. Hubba » Thu, 16 Jul 1998 04:00:00



> We are multiplexing between the two ISDN lines.

OK, just making sure.

Quote:> What type of server hardware would do the job for maxing out the 256k
> of bandwidth? (running multiple httpd's with 100+ Virtual Hosts)

Well, take a look at ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/config and scale down
accordingly. :)

Quote:> I don't see anything wrong with multiplexing between two ISDN lines,
> what's the problem?

Nothing at all, you just made it sound like you had a single ISDN line
doing 256K and I was going "Hmmm!"

--
- Jordan Hubbard
  Co-founder/Release Manager, The FreeBSD Project
  Walnut Creek CDROM

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Boris Zay » Fri, 17 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Hiya Jordan,

Quote:>> I'm planning to build a spanking new FreeBSD machine which will become
>> the main gateway for my network. The machine will be connected to 256k
>> ISDN through a co-location provider in San Jose.

>An ISDN line with 4 B-channels?  Wow!  Amazing! ;-)

>Do you mean 128K ISDN or are you multiplexing between two ISDN
>lines?  Or is this maybe not even ISDN but rather frame relay? :)

We are multiplexing between the two ISDN lines.

What type of server hardware would do the job for maxing out the 256k
of bandwidth? (running multiple httpd's with 100+ Virtual Hosts)

I don't see anything wrong with multiplexing between two ISDN lines,
what's the problem?

Cya,

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Kevin Hube » Fri, 17 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Jordan> Well, take a look at ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/config and
Jordan> scale down accordingly. :)

I found the file in ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/config (symlink to
archive-info/wcarchive.txt).  Wow!

-Kevin

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Dean Lombard » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00



> 1) What are the key advantages of using SCSI over modern IDE drives?

Modern IDE's are okay when there are not too many of them - try 4 IDE
drives on the same controller and you'll regret.  On the other hand,
SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
drives with very little performance slowdown.

Dean

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Boris Zay » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00





>>What type of server hardware would do the job for maxing out the 256k
>>of bandwidth? (running multiple httpd's with 100+ Virtual Hosts)

>Well, the one place where I do get to use FreeBSD (the boss has
>some sort of thing about Linux), we aren't exactly maxing out
>the 256k going into it, but...

>We're using a 16Mb 486DX4/100.  :-)

>With IDE disks.

Wow :)

Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me tho! I heard a 486 can max out a T-1 no
problem running Apache.

I think I'm going to build a FreeBSD machine with 128MB ram running on
a Pentium 200 CPU. By the sounds of it, it'll do the job *just* fine!

Cheers,

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by M. Maxwel » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00




> > 1) What are the key advantages of using SCSI over modern IDE drives?
> SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
> drives with very little performance slowdown.

Not to mention, considerably less CPU overhead.

--

       Unix SysAdmin / BOFH | The way things ought to be.
http://www.xnet.com/~drwho/ | "User error: replace user and reboot"

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Steinar Ha » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00


[M. Maxwell]

|   > SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
|   > drives with very little performance slowdown.
|  
|   Not to mention, considerably less CPU overhead.

Some of us are using bus mastering EIDE very successfully with FreeBSD
3.0 (-SNAP).


 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Matt Dill » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00



:>[M. Maxwell]
:>
:>|   > SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
:>|   > drives with very little performance slowdown.
:>|  
:>|   Not to mention, considerably less CPU overhead.
:>
:>Some of us are using bus mastering EIDE very successfully with FreeBSD
:>3.0 (-SNAP).
:>

    I think IDE is just fine for a workstation, but SCSI is definitely a
    whole lot faster if you beat up the disks (i.e. run server apps and
    the like), even if you only have one disk.   IDE just can't match SCSI's
    transaction rate.

                                                -Matt

--
    Matthew Dillon  Engineering, HiWay Technologies, Inc. & BEST Internet
                    Communications

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Matt Dill » Sat, 18 Jul 1998 04:00:00




:>>> SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
:>>> drives with very little performance slowdown.
:>
:>>Not to mention, considerably less CPU overhead.
:>
:>Is that still significant?  I have a SCSI disk and an IDE disk on
:>my (2.2.2) system.  The IDE disk is newer and faster, but the CPU
:>usage (as reported by bonnie) is roughly proportional to the throughput.
:>
:>Anyone have figures for a more similar pair of disks?
:>
:>svaxk2: AMD K6-II/300 64MB, QUANTUM FIREBALL ST6.4A
:>svaxk2s: AMD K6-II/300 64MB, QUANTUM EMPIRE_2100S, NCR 810 controller
:>
:>              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
:>              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
:>           MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
:>svaxk2    100  6721 48.8  8632 19.6  2676  9.2  7669 43.4  8801 15.7 126.6  2.2
:>svaxk2s   100  2628 19.0  2532  6.5  1412  5.5  3436 20.5  2645  6.0  67.7  1.3
:>
:>-- Richard

    An old fast-narrow SCSI drive?  I get a little better on my home machine's
    old barracuda, but look at the seeks/sec:

              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
Machine    MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
          100  3674 36.2  3202 10.9  1509  5.5  4895 51.3  4873 11.9 225.7  4.7

    But if I dd from the raw disk, I get 6.9 MBytes/sec.  Bonnie's results
    are more indicative of stdio then it is of the disk!

apollo:/src/tmp# dd if=/dev/rsd0c of=/dev/null bs=64k count=1024
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
67108864 bytes transferred in 9.645716 secs (6957375 bytes/sec)

    --

    But then on best.com's source machine I get:  (oops!  lookee at those
    read & seek numbers, looks like the buffer cache messed up the benchmark!)

              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
Machine    MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
          100  7701 74.6  7445 22.1  5588 20.5 10369 99.6 62851 99.9 2548.5 36.5
                                                          ^^^^       ^^^
                                                          bewm       bewm

    --

    And on our test freebsd-current box with a three-disk stripe, ultra wide
    everything ('yur gonna love these numbers):

              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
Machine    MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
          100 12003 96.4 24101 89.7  3113 14.0 11605 94.3 15577 45.0 370.4 11.3

    Say what?  A read+seek+write speed of only 3MBytes/sec?  Sounds like it
    hit a special case in the cache.  The cpu utilization is also wrong.

    Now, the test-current box has 256MB of ram, but notice that the cache
    didn't blow up the benchmark... I guess FreeBSD-current twonks the
    benchmark one way and FreeBSD-stable twonks it another!  Also lookee at
    the seek, something that I might actually believe.  And look at the drive
    transfer rates... 24 MBytes/sec writing which is exactly what I would
    expect from a three-disk stripe with modern 18G seagates.  But the
    sequential input of 15MBytes/sec is low...  I know for a fact that it can
    do better then that.  Probably what happened was that the write rate was
    lower and some of the disk writes got flushed while bonnie was trying to
    read back the file.  The cpu numbers are all wrong.

    --

    And, on our backup box (which is currently idle):  four striped 9G
    seagates, 2940UW, FreeBSD-stable w/ single-cpu PPro 200, but the ccd
    stripe uses a very large stripe size (8192 sectors):

              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
Machine    MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
          100 10557 95.5 22349 83.6  7579 30.8 10586 98.9 10988 19.5 3299.6 50.7

    Now, I know for a fact that I can get over 36 MBytes/sec+ reading on these
    drives from multiple processes running in parallel doing different things.
    Due to the large stripe, though, bonnie only reports 10MBytes/sec. Bzzt.
    Correct answer for one process doing sequential I/O, incorrect answer for
    anything else.  And it looks like the buffer cache blew up the random
    seek numbers again :-)

    Actual parallel sequential raw performance is easy to measure with dd.
    This, of course, demonstrates nothing, but it shows how drastically
    different I/O numbers can be:

---
#!/bin/tcsh -f
#

dd if=/dev/rsd1d of=/dev/null bs=64k count=1024 &
dd if=/dev/rsd2d of=/dev/null bs=64k count=1024 &
dd if=/dev/rsd3d of=/dev/null bs=64k count=1024 &
dd if=/dev/rsd4d of=/dev/null bs=64k count=1024 &
wait
---

backup1:/ccd/tmp# time /tmp/x
67108864 bytes transferred in 7.199868 secs (9320846 bytes/sec)
67108864 bytes transferred in 7.226446 secs (9286566 bytes/sec)
67108864 bytes transferred in 7.240968 secs (9267941 bytes/sec)
67108864 bytes transferred in 7.222249 secs (9291962 bytes/sec)
0.031u 0.305s 0:07.26 4.5%      112+400k 0+0io 0pf+0w

    (7.26 seconds for 256 MBytes read off raw disk = *** 35.26 *** MBytes/sec
    off a single ultra-wide SCSI bus with five drives on it (four run in test)).

    My conclusion:  Bonnie sux.  I mean, you *can* glean some things from it,
    like how well your box will do when you are pushing 128+ MBytes files
    around sequentially.   That's about it.  It doesn't tell you, for example,
    how well the machine will do running a heavily loaded web server.

    One thing it *does* show is that SCSI disk performance does not necessarily
    degrade as you add drives.  I'm afraid IDE performance goes poof when you
    add a second drive.

    But, as I said... for a workstation, IDE is an excellent choice.  For
    a moderately exercised server it's a terrible choice, but for a workstation
    or a very lightly used server it's an excellent choice.

    If bonnie shows us anything, it shows us that SCSI has better transaction
    handling (mainly oweing to tagged command queueing), and it shows us that
    modern IDE DMA can keep up with the disk platter for sequential I/O.  This
    information isn't incredibly useful but it is somewhat useful.

                                                -Matt

--
    Matthew Dillon  Engineering, HiWay Technologies, Inc. & BEST Internet
                    Communications

 
 
 

FreeBSD Server hardware recommendations

Post by Richard Tob » Sun, 19 Jul 1998 04:00:00



>> SCSI has been specifically designed to successfully handle multiple
>> drives with very little performance slowdown.
>Not to mention, considerably less CPU overhead.

Is that still significant?  I have a SCSI disk and an IDE disk on
my (2.2.2) system.  The IDE disk is newer and faster, but the CPU
usage (as reported by bonnie) is roughly proportional to the throughput.

Anyone have figures for a more similar pair of disks?

svaxk2: AMD K6-II/300 64MB, QUANTUM FIREBALL ST6.4A
svaxk2s: AMD K6-II/300 64MB, QUANTUM EMPIRE_2100S, NCR 810 controller

              -------Sequential Output-------- ---Sequential Input-- --Random--
              -Per Char- --Block--- -Rewrite-- -Per Char- --Block--- --Seeks---
           MB K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU K/sec %CPU  /sec %CPU
svaxk2    100  6721 48.8  8632 19.6  2676  9.2  7669 43.4  8801 15.7 126.6  2.2
svaxk2s   100  2628 19.0  2532  6.5  1412  5.5  3436 20.5  2645  6.0  67.7  1.3

-- Richard
--
Because of all the junk e-mail I receive, all e-mail from .com sites is
automatically sent to a file which I only rarely check.  If you want to mail
me from a .com site, please ensure my surname appears in the headers.

 
 
 

1. FreeBSD hardware recommendations

I'm about to embark on putting together a "made for FreeBSD 3.4" system
and would like recommendations from the peanut gallery. It handles a few
dialin lines, a bunch of storage for about 10 clients, web services,
routing, firewall, mail, news, etc... It is headless and a nice video
car isn't necessary (would be a waste) Here's what I'm thinking of so
far:

Supermicro P6DGS (Dual PIII - up to 600MHZ - onboard Adaptec 7895)
20G Ultra-wide drive of some sort (fast - recommendations anyone?)
128MB PC100 DIMM (maybe more)
2 Intel 82559 ethernet boards (already working with FreeBSD 3.2)

I'm sold on the P6DGS as my motherboard of choice at this time (unless
there's an overwhelming reason to consider others, like the P6DGS
doesn't work with FreeBSD).

What I want is a solid, fast responding, high disk throughput machine.
If anyone can recommend a specific 7200RPM/10000RPM Ultra Wide SCSI
drive that works well, please let me know. Thank you!

-->Neil

2. Newbie and Notebook.

3. FreeBSD Hardware Recommendations

4. What linux is best to run os Sun IPX (Sun4c)

5. FreeBSD hardware recommendation

6. Open Server 5 - Mounting WfW 3.11 drives for backup?

7. recommendation on hardware recommendation

8. Will Apache ever halt a cgi script?

9. (Newbie Question) Hardware recommendations for Unix server?

10. Hardware recommendations for LINUX database server

11. Need: ISP News Server(INN) Hardware Recommendations

12. High performance server - Hardware recommendation needed

13. Server hardware recommendations