PE4600 and Red Hat Questions

Hubbard, David dhubbard at
Thu Jun 20 10:48:00 CDT 2002

From: Abe Hayhurst [mailto:abe at]
> Hi everyone,
> I just ordered a dual processor PE4600 w/ 1.5 GB of RAM (1 GB 
> usable, 512 MB used as a spare bank), w/ Red Hat 7.2 that
> should arrive next week. The box will be used as a file server
> for graphics workstations, serving large (50 - 500 MB) files.
> I was browsing through the archives of the Linux-PowerEdge
> List and came across several threads that brough up questions
> for me.
> 1. To get the best performance from this box, should I be 
> looking at RH 7.2, 7.3, or RH Advanced Server?


> 2. If I do the installation from the RH7.2 CD's that come 
> with the box, will I need to do any special configuration
> during the install or afterwards to use hyper-threading on
> the processors?

Not if you use 7.3, yes if you use 7.2, you'll have to supply
a acpismp=force argument to the kernel at boot.

> 2. Will I need to do anything special to get it to use the 1 
> GB of RAM?

Not for either.

> 3. What is the most reliable and best performing copper gigabit card
> available? Is the driver included on the RH7.2, RH7.3, or RHAS CD's?

Not sure about the 4600, but the 2650 has dual Broadcom cards
built in which I'm not a big fan of.  I disabled them and use
Intel Pro/1000S cards in my 2650's.  The intel drivers that
come in RH 7.3 are current and the cards work flawlessly.  In
some cases I'm even using their advanced features like 802.1q
vlan tagging, they never miss a beat.

> 3. If I go with Broadcom card on the motherboard, will the RH 
> installer use the Tigon3 driver or the Broadcom driver? Which
> driver is better?

tigon3, I don't trust either though.

> 4. I have a RAID system that will be attached to the server 
> that is capable of more MB/s than a gigabit card can do, and
> my workstations all have gigabit cards, so I am looking at
> more than one gigabit adapter, but would prefere not to have
> two separate subnets. Is adapter teaming or load balancing
> currently reliable and does it improve performance?

Intel's drivers will let you do "Fast EtherChannel" which is
bonding, it works with more than just Cisco switches though,
we use that setup with Foundry switches for maximum performance.
The Intel cards are lower overhead on interrupts too, so less
cpu time will be consumed by network activities.  Hopefully you
got dual 2400's in that box, if you really expect to push more
than 100 MB/sec out of the box, you'll need them.

> 5. I have two PERC3/DC cards in the box. I am assuming I 
> configure the RAID volumes in the bios or by booting off
> a Dell CD before I install Red Hat. Is that correct?

Yep, configure in bios, boot of 7.3 CD with no special
arguments and you're ready to go.


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