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Old 06-07-2005, 04:23 PM   #1
babyphil
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slack server checklist


I am planning to install linux on a SATA RAID 1 array,
questions:

does slackware's default 2.4.x kernel support SATA out of the box? (I want to stick with 2.4.x)

and will I be able to boot directly to it? I have had problems with 2.4 distros before not seeing sata drives (I've previously used RHEL4, SuSE, and Gentoo 2004.3 -- their 2.6 kernels saw the SATA drives w/o problems)

will the OS support software SATA RAID 1?

I want to use slackware because on this machine because stability is a paramount concern, RHEL is stable but too expensive in this case and I've had bad experinces with SuSE, as for gentoo, this is a simple file server, no need for 12 hour system compile times and -Ox optimizations.

Thank you
 
Old 06-07-2005, 04:54 PM   #2
win32sux
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AFAIK, you might need to compile a kernel with full sata support, depending on your chipset... there's some ready-made slackware ISOs linked all over this site (it's a popular question) but you might wanna compile your own kernel anyways and make your own install disk... do a search for sata here at the slackware forum and you'll get several interesting threads...


Last edited by win32sux; 06-07-2005 at 05:44 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:07 PM   #3
gbonvehi
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You could try the sata.i kernel that comes with Slackware, it doesn't include support for all the devices, but maybe you've luck.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
babyphil
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thanks, I've just signed up for the slackware subscription and should have the 10.1 cds at my door in 2 days (damned $25 airmail price is almost as much as the distro itself) because I've no broadband connection at my disposal at the moment.
Have taken win32's advice and am looking forward (albiet anxiously) to starting.
 
Old 06-11-2005, 04:21 PM   #5
babyphil
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Have done research and now have a working RAID 1 array with Slackware 10.1 on it and it works perfectly with the one exception of SATA performance.
hdparm gives me ~750 mbs for buffered cache and only ~50 mbs for disk reads.

SATA promises much higher data transfer than 50mbs am I correct?
Then what should I do to speed up the data transfer? (I am wary of hdparm, but if that will do the trick please advise)
 
Old 06-13-2005, 02:45 PM   #6
GlowGlow
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I get comparable rates on SATA disks. E.g. on a Seagate ST380817AS:

Code:
Timing buffered disk reads:  148 MB in  3.02 seconds =  49.08 MB/sec
Out of curiosity, what kind of SATA RAID controller did you use?
 
Old 06-14-2005, 01:22 AM   #7
babyphil
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ok, those numbers make me feel a bit better.
I did some research and ~50 mb/s seems to be the typical speed, however the guy who is paying for the system wants 150 mb/s : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA
I am using the via 8237 controller.
 
Old 06-14-2005, 04:06 AM   #8
GlowGlow
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150MB/s is the maximum data transfer rate of the first generation of SATA interfaces. This doesn't say anything about disk performance. As far as I know 50MB/s is on-par, the full bandwidth is only used when the data is transferred from the disk cache. So, to get a faster disk read speed you need a faster disk (I don't know whether much faster SATA disks exist yet), or a disk with a large cache (depending on the situation, if there aren't many cache misses it can greatly help, but that really depends on what kind of server it is, and how it is used). But maybe your disks already have a large cache, boosting performance in real life-situations. (Remember that the 50MB/s are uncached sequential reads.)

If you really need to get much higher performance, have a look at (RAID) striping, which is a trade-off with reliability.

Last edited by GlowGlow; 06-14-2005 at 04:13 AM.
 
Old 06-14-2005, 01:39 PM   #9
babyphil
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Alright, thank you..
That has helped clear up a lot of issues, I was sure that I wasn't doing anything wrong once I got the Array up. Other than that the server is working like clockwork.
Thanks again for the info
 
  


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