[sf-lug] the latest on the servepath colo story

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Tue Oct 17 16:04:50 PDT 2006

On Tue, 17 Oct 2006, jim stockford wrote:

>    i got a job recently on a box where the hard drive
> went down--/boot, /, swap.
>    It was a production box, and the owner was dying
> to get his scripts and data back. it would have been
> a lot easier if he'd had more partitions--then whichever
> went bad, the others would be okay (except in the
> case of total failure, which is pretty rare, yes?).

I'll bite:

Multiple partitions is no substitute for redundancy.  Did it fail due to 
disk failure that RAID would have ameliorated?  Or user error that backups 
would have saved?

Also, in my (limited personal) experience, sometimes disks go bad sectors 
at a time, and sometimes they just stop working; I wouldn't call total 
failure "pretty rare".

> PS: i've heard the claim of making multiple swap parts
> for performance. I'm betting that no one defends that.

This is a great idea if you have two separate disks on which to tell the 
kernel to swap.

Sorry I can't be around for any more SF-LUG meetings, having moved back to 
Baltimore to finish school.  But I did recently pick and order parts for a 
rack-mounted server for $1800, and I might as well tell you guys about it 
in case you want to cost-share among yourselves on a more exiting (albeit 
not cheap!) machine:

$220 - Core 2 Duo retail CPU with stock cooler
$249 - Supermicro PDSMI+ motherboard
$680 - 4 GiB of RAM (Crucial 533 Mhz DDR2 ECC unbuffered)
$400 - 4x 400 GB Seagate SATA 7200.9 drives (on sale at outpost.com)
$264 - Supermicro SE-813MT-300C 1U case
$48  - AOC-IPMI20-E management card so we can telnet into the BIOS remotely!

The plan is to RAID-5 the disks for /var and /home and put / into a RAID 1 
setup.  The Core 2 duo is really exciting because it's very energy 
efficient but also very powerful.  The specs are kind of high, but the 
idea is since none of us live near the colo center, we don't want to have 
ot go back later and say, If only we had more {disk|RAM|CPU}.

I'm putting this thing together as a personal project and sharing the cost 
with a few other people so it's worthwhile, and it reminded me of what you 
guys were talking about here.

Of course, we're running Debian on it. (-:

-- Asheesh.

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