Dell PE1550 and Solaris

Chris Kirby ckirby at
Sat Mar 15 01:54:00 CST 2003

The webservers are actually Sparc machines (four Netra T1's) but you are
right in saying that I already have the two Dell PE1550's so I will have to
use x86 for the NFS servers. :)

My preference has been to use Linux on the Dells because I know there is
going to be good support from Dell when it comes to drivers, etc. I also
like the idea of using OMSA to monitor health of the hardware too. 

Do you know if I will be able to use the onboard NIC's of the Dells in a
failover/load balanced configuration under FBSD? If this is done at the
hardware level in BIOS, it should work fine but if it needs drivers from
Dell, then I'm not sure if it will work work.

Since the NFS will be primarily in a shared webserver environment with 4 Sun
webservers, NFS stability is absolute key for me. No lock up, etc. I am
investing a bit of money into the HA instrastructure and would really hate
to have NFS as a weak link, heh. Performance is secondary, but it'd be great
if I could push 15Mb/s without expecting any problems. If Linux can provide
rock solid NFS performance at only 15MBps, that's great! But if using Linux
NFS defeats the purpose of the HA environment then I will consider other
OS's of course.

Since the webservers are Sparc machines running Solaris 9, would Solaris 9
on the Dell NFS servers be the best thing to go with or will FBSD also
provide solid NFS server for Solaris clients as well? 

Looking forward to anyone's input on this... and then I'll go ahead with
configuring everything accordingly.

Cheers and thanks,


-----Original Message-----
From: jason andrade
To: Chris Kirby
Cc: 'linux-poweredge at'
Sent: 3/14/03 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: Dell PE1550 and Solaris

On Fri, 14 Mar 2003, Chris Kirby wrote:

> I will be using a pair of 1550's as NFS servers and reliability and
> performance is *very* important. I've been reading a lot of negative
> articles on Linux technical sites about NFS woes under Linux and the
> consensus so far is that Solaris is the way to go for architectures
> requiring stable and fast NFS performance even under high load.

you will have to take the NFS woes on linux with a grain of salt.  a lot
of the issues are relevant at either very high loads/throughput or from
a technical elegance perspective in comparing the linux NFS core with
other implementations.  i know i  about it a fair amount but that
said NFS under linux does work for me (pushing ~1.4Tbyte/day over it
now) even if i am unhappy about some of the efficiencies.

if you are looking at solaris i'd recommend you run it on sparc hardware
instead.  if you are happy with the existing hardware you have then
will do the job but a better alternative might be FreeBSD if you are
still worried about linux NFS.



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