Dell PE1550 with NAS back-end

Chris Kirby ckirby at
Fri Jun 21 14:49:00 CDT 2002

Was wondering what kind of experiences people have had with running a
web/mail server on a Dell PE1550 with NAS back-end storage? Is there a
significant performance hit? The connection would be full duplex switched
100mb/s using NFS. 

I don't imagine any noticeable hit on performance for SMTP/POP3 traffic but
my main concern would be HTTP traffic. What sort of performance problems can
I expect? Any other downfalls? I don't imagine my webservers would ever be
pushing more than 5mb/s of Internet bandwidth during peak usage so I imagine
having a 100mb/s NFS mount on the backend would suffice but I know there is
some NFS overhead in opening and closing files each time there is an I/O
request. Since a single HTTP pageview  can require many I/O requests for all
of the different images needed, I am wondering if this would be any sort of

The purpose is to make my web/mail servers redundant/failover capable. Easy
enough to do except for the filesystem itself. Mostly concerned with the
/home filesystem since this is where the webroot and maildir's are. Thought
using a high quality back-end NFS SCSI RAID server with a /home mount would
be cost effective but performance is my concern as well.

Would it be better to use a distributed filesystem such as Coda to replicate
the /home filesystem across many webservers instead of using NFS storage?
Does not seem as cost effective though since a 500MB website would take up
1500MB of disk space if I had 3 webservers to always replicate. A common
filesystem seems to be the way to go. I know the NFS server would be a point
of failure unless I had two of them but I am willing to accept this until I
can afford two. 

Just looking to get some input.



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