Friday, August 5

Server shopping

So yesterday was Dell bashing day. Today is Dell praising day.
I need to get a few new server for an upcoming project with a quite strict budget. After shopping around for a few hours the options where quite clear, we only had one option. Dell.
The price for one PE2850 with two 3.2GHz procs, 2Gb RAM, 6x 36Gb 15krpm disks and two PESC1425 single 3.2GHz proc, 2Gb RAM, 2x 80Gb disks is just over £4000. I could hardly believe it, really good price. I hope the SC1425 budget boxes perform as well as their big brother the 1850 tho. The only real down buy is the lack of a RAC controller and that they are single PSU (not counting the fact I went for the SATA model instead of SCSI). We will load balance the pair anyway so redundancy for the machines themselves isn't that important.
There not v40z's but hey, good bang for buck ratio. :)

Now the question is regarding partitioning on the Postgres server.
6 drives with two viable options.
  • All six drives in a RAID5 volume.
  • Three RAID1 volumes.

    In my past experience the best option for off-the-shelf RAID controllers with less than 10 drives is just to make one single RAID5 volume. Probably what I'll end up doing this time as well. IBM has got a quite nice RAID level called 5E, sort of like RAID5 but you loose a bit more space but gain a lot in write performance, to bad Dell/LSI can't adopt something similar.

    Another question, is EM64T Linux mature enough for a production environment?
    I doubt it, but will probably test it before we go live on 32-bits.

    Ok, back to writing anaconda kickstart scripts for Centos.
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