Server Release Upgrade Philosophy

Server Release Upgrade Philosophy

Post by Gene Wilbu » Mon, 04 Oct 1999 04:00:00



I'd like to hear some words of advice from FreeBSD veterans who use FBSD
mainly for servers (websites, SAMBA servers, firewalls, etc.).

How often do you upgrade FBSD to a new release? How far behind the leading
release do you tend to position yourself? How far behind is too far
behind?

For instance, I ran into one FBSD vet who still only installs 2.2.8 and
is concerned that the 3.X tree isn't stable enough yet for his
satisfaction (this was almost year ago, he might have moved on).

I got good stability out of 3.2 but with 3.3-STABLE, I've experienced some
glitches. For my workstation I don't mind but I'm going to be putting in
some FBSD servers and I'm a bit reluctant to commit to 3.3 at this point.

Hence my query: what's your personal, practical 'rule of thumb' on this?

TIA,

Gene

--
I've got a bad feeling about this!  -- Han Solo

 
 
 

Server Release Upgrade Philosophy

Post by Olaf Wagne » Tue, 05 Oct 1999 04:00:00



> I'd like to hear some words of advice from FreeBSD veterans who use FBSD
> mainly for servers (websites, SAMBA servers, firewalls, etc.).
> How often do you upgrade FBSD to a new release? How far behind the leading
> release do you tend to position yourself? How far behind is too far
> behind?
> For instance, I ran into one FBSD vet who still only installs 2.2.8 and
> is concerned that the 3.X tree isn't stable enough yet for his
> satisfaction (this was almost year ago, he might have moved on).
> I got good stability out of 3.2 but with 3.3-STABLE, I've experienced some
> glitches. For my workstation I don't mind but I'm going to be putting in
> some FBSD servers and I'm a bit reluctant to commit to 3.3 at this point.

Have had no problem with eiter 3.2 or 3.3 till now.

Quote:> Hence my query: what's your personal, practical 'rule of thumb' on this?

If you are really concerned about stability, the only safe way is to
try it out on a test machine that exactly matches the targeted production
machine in every aspect. Duplicate all the services and have the server
running for at least some days.

More than 90% of problems with PCs are hardware-related in my experience
(which doesn't mean that there are no bugs in the software ;-)

The latest stable branch of the FreeBSD development tree is usually
pretty stable starting with the second release on that branch at
the latest (YMMV of course). I usually track stable and install
a new version every few weeks on those machines that need to cope
with the newest software and development tools, because it fast
gets costly if you lack too far behind.

On the other hand, you should have a good reason to update
any running system; why bother if it's performing perfectly well?
If you have for example some dedicated server (e.g. ISDN gateways,
mail servers, file servers etc.), you usually don't need to upgrade
them for long periods. I've still got some 2.2.8-stable
systems running on old 486/586 hardware...

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Server Release Upgrade Philosophy

Post by Kenneth Furg » Wed, 06 Oct 1999 04:00:00



> How often do you upgrade FBSD to a new release? How far behind the leading
> release do you tend to position yourself? How far behind is too far
> behind?

It depends.  My internal file/print/web servers are still running
2.2.8-STABLE.  2.2.8 has all of the features I need in the OS and I simply keep
the applications up-to-date.  Samba/Apache/Sendmail/Postfix/Squid all compile
just fine on 2.2.8 whether you use the ports or not.

If our load would necessitate a SMP box (it won't any time soon) or the
software I rely on doesn't compile any more then I would consider upgrading to
3.X.

On my desktop/laptop I run 3.X.  That's because there are features I want on my
desktop (better pcmcia support, IDE udma support, etc) that 2.2.8 doesn't
adequately provide.

Quote:> For instance, I ran into one FBSD vet who still only installs 2.2.8 and
> is concerned that the 3.X tree isn't stable enough yet for his
> satisfaction (this was almost year ago, he might have moved on).

IMHO, the 3.X branch has gotten pretty stable.  I wouldn't have any
reservations about using it on our servers here.  However, I wouldn't have said
that 1 yr ago.

- K.C.