FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by ericg » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 02:39:59



Hi all,

We are looking into a possibility of changing our DEC Alphaservers 1000A
500Mhz running OSF1 by Dell PowerEdge machines running FreeBSD 4.4. The
main function of these servers is mail relaying. I came with the
following questions:

1. How is the hardware compatibility between FreeBSD 4.4 and Dell
Poweredge series overall? I compared the hardware details with the
FreeBSD compatibility list and most seems to be compatible. Any success
running FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge?

2. Would it be possible to use an SMP kernel on these machines? Is there
a significant  difference in term of CPU performance using multiple
processors under FreeBSD?

3. Anybody successfuly used the hardware raid built-in to PowerEdge with
FreeBSD 4.4? (Can't find details on manufacturer...).

4. What is approximatly the equivalent of DEC Alpha 1000A 500Mhz on Dell
hardware?

5. Is it worth to increase NBCLUSTERS kernel config for a traffic of
approx 15 000 messages/day?

Thanks in advance for bringing light!

Eric

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by Nick Hilliar » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 03:35:11



> 1. How is the hardware compatibility between FreeBSD 4.4 and Dell
> Poweredge series overall? I compared the hardware details with the
> FreeBSD compatibility list and most seems to be compatible. Any success
> running FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge?

Yep - lots of people do it.  I believe that there are some problems between some
of the newer RAID cards and FreeBSD, but that's about it.

Quote:> 2. Would it be possible to use an SMP kernel on these machines? Is there
> a significant  difference in term of CPU performance using multiple
> processors under FreeBSD?

If you're relaying mail, disk I/O is going to be your limiting factor, not CPU.
I'd get more, faster disks rather than another CPU.

Quote:> 3. Anybody successfuly used the hardware raid built-in to PowerEdge with
> FreeBSD 4.4? (Can't find details on manufacturer...).

Which model poweredge?

Quote:> 4. What is approximatly the equivalent of DEC Alpha 1000A 500Mhz on Dell
> hardware?

42.

Quote:> 5. Is it worth to increase NBCLUSTERS kernel config for a traffic of
> approx 15 000 messages/day?

15K messages/day is not large - about 1 message every 3 seconds.  Increase it if
you need to, but you probably won't.

Nick

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by Nick Hilliar » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 03:37:06



> We are looking into a possibility of changing our DEC Alphaservers 1000A
> 500Mhz running OSF1 by Dell PowerEdge machines running FreeBSD 4.4. The
> main function of these servers is mail relaying. I came with the
> following questions:

I also meant to mention that if you implement this solution, use and 4-STABLE
just after 4.4-RELEASE.  There were some performance additions to the directory
handling code just after 4.4 was released, which can make very substantial
performance differences to your system.  You should also turn on softupdates,
obviously.

Nick

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by ericg » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 03:58:43


First thanks alot for your awnsers and your tips. The main issue with our mail
relays is the time it take for processing the content filtering. This part is CPU
intensive and i doubt that a single Intel CPU will be enough. That's why i'm asking
about SMP...

I'm planning to buy either a 4400 or 6400. I looked at the 2550 but PIII with 256K
LII cache scare me a bit. In other hand i don't need the expension of 4400 or
6400...

Eric



> > 1. How is the hardware compatibility between FreeBSD 4.4 and Dell
> > Poweredge series overall? I compared the hardware details with the
> > FreeBSD compatibility list and most seems to be compatible. Any success
> > running FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge?

> Yep - lots of people do it.  I believe that there are some problems between some
> of the newer RAID cards and FreeBSD, but that's about it.

> > 2. Would it be possible to use an SMP kernel on these machines? Is there
> > a significant  difference in term of CPU performance using multiple
> > processors under FreeBSD?

> If you're relaying mail, disk I/O is going to be your limiting factor, not CPU.
> I'd get more, faster disks rather than another CPU.

> > 3. Anybody successfuly used the hardware raid built-in to PowerEdge with
> > FreeBSD 4.4? (Can't find details on manufacturer...).

> Which model poweredge?

> > 4. What is approximatly the equivalent of DEC Alpha 1000A 500Mhz on Dell
> > hardware?

> 42.

> > 5. Is it worth to increase NBCLUSTERS kernel config for a traffic of
> > approx 15 000 messages/day?

> 15K messages/day is not large - about 1 message every 3 seconds.  Increase it if
> you need to, but you probably won't.

> Nick

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by jp » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 05:52:49



> Hi all,

> We are looking into a possibility of changing our DEC Alphaservers 1000A
> 500Mhz running OSF1 by Dell PowerEdge machines running FreeBSD 4.4. The

Then I want the alphaservers :-)

Ever tried FreeBSD on those, btw? ISTR FreeBSD does Alpha too, nowadays.

Quote:> 2. Would it be possible to use an SMP kernel on these machines? Is there
> a significant  difference in term of CPU performance using multiple
> processors under FreeBSD?

Well, don't know about dell Stuff. I run freebsd on a vectra/XU dual ppro
200, and it seems to work nicely. Must say haven't really pounded on it
apart from making kernel+world. Maybe should in the near future. :-)

SMP always gives a nice performance boost, even if the implementation isn't
optimal (freebsd kernel locking is still coarse, IIRC, will be changed in
5.x, but I'd still go for smp and freebsd 4.x right now. 5.x is still alpha).

Quote:> 4. What is approximatly the equivalent of DEC Alpha 1000A 500Mhz on Dell
> hardware?

I'd guess (WARNING: BLATANT ROUGH GUESS AHEAD:) xeon PIII 800, thereabouts.
But that depends on what you are serving, ofcourse.

--
  j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by Nick Hilliar » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 19:11:42



> First thanks alot for your awnsers and your tips. The main issue with our mail
> relays is the time it take for processing the content filtering. This part is CPU
> intensive and i doubt that a single Intel CPU will be enough. That's why i'm asking
> about SMP...

If it's pure userland CPU activity, then SMP will do the job nicely.

Quote:> I'm planning to buy either a 4400 or 6400. I looked at the 2550 but PIII with 256K
> LII cache scare me a bit. In other hand i don't need the expension of 4400 or
> 6400...

Ultimately, it's probably going to come down to bang per buck.  The 6400 series
is significantly more expensive that the 4400 or the 2550.  And similarly,
you're going to find that if you get into buying Xeons (in the 4400), your
bang/buck ratio will fall further.  You might find yourself paying 30% more for
10% more speed, and if it's worth it to you, then go ahead.  But having run much
larger mailing systems in the past, my methodology was to use multiple lower
spec machines, which offer better value and more resiliency.

Nick

 
 
 

FreeBSD 4.4 on Dell PowerEdge

Post by Martin hepwort » Fri, 23 Nov 2001 21:18:36


eric

We've just installed on a poweredge 2500 with 1x raid 1 and 2 x raid5 +
plus hot swap.

works fine..

--
Martin Hepworth
Senior Systems Administrator
Solid State Logic Ltd
+44 (0)1865 842300


> Hi all,

> We are looking into a possibility of changing our DEC Alphaservers 1000A
> 500Mhz running OSF1 by Dell PowerEdge machines running FreeBSD 4.4. The
> main function of these servers is mail relaying. I came with the
> following questions:

> 1. How is the hardware compatibility between FreeBSD 4.4 and Dell
> Poweredge series overall? I compared the hardware details with the
> FreeBSD compatibility list and most seems to be compatible. Any success
> running FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge?

> 2. Would it be possible to use an SMP kernel on these machines? Is there
> a significant  difference in term of CPU performance using multiple
> processors under FreeBSD?

> 3. Anybody successfuly used the hardware raid built-in to PowerEdge with
> FreeBSD 4.4? (Can't find details on manufacturer...).

> 4. What is approximatly the equivalent of DEC Alpha 1000A 500Mhz on Dell
> hardware?

> 5. Is it worth to increase NBCLUSTERS kernel config for a traffic of
> approx 15 000 messages/day?

> Thanks in advance for bringing light!

> Eric

 
 
 

1. FreeBSD support DELL PowerEdge 6300 RAID harddisk?

Hi,

We have a DELL system in our laboratory with 160GB harddisk connect to the
RAID controller card (I think from Adaptec as the boot prompt displayed).
Could FreeBSD support on this configuration? Any pointer to more
information of HW RAID would be helpful?

Thanks

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9. FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge 1750

10. FreeBSD on DELL Poweredge 4300?

11. FreeBSD on Dell PowerEdge 1400

12. FreeBSD and Dell PowerEdge Expandable RAID Controller (PERC) 3/Si

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