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Old 04-22-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
monz
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Sun NFS/SMB storage solution


I'm considering/planning a new storage system.
We're currently ~40 people in a development business, expecting continued growth. All users' homes are NFS and/or SMB mounted.

ATM moving ~10GB/day on a 500GB system based on FreeBSD for NFS/SMB, this will increase a good deal within the next half to one year.

Our experiences with Linux and FreeBSD (some before my time as sysadm, so I cannot fully evaluate those problems), have been NFS timeouts, usually some 2-3 minutes a time, with mounts magically coming back, no log entries et al...
From above, and from talks with others, I kind of see this picture:

Linux:
. Less good at NFS, in terms of performance and stability
. Good support for journalized filesystems
. Good mySQL performance

FreeBSD:
. Good NFS stability, decent performance
. No journalized filesystem, though has background check and snapshot
. Less good mySQL performance

Sun HW +Solaris:
. Excelent NFS stability and performance
. Journalized filesystem, plus Veritas filesystem
. mySQL performance? (I know Oracle performs well)

I'm looking at a combination of two Sun Fire X2100 server's, hooked up to a Sun StorEdge 3511 SATA Array with 5x250GB SATA drives in raid5 for homes and 2x250GB mirrored for database.

This will hold our NFS/SMB mounted homes and run internal databases.

A Dell blade will run other parts of our infrastructure, including ldap, dhcp, dns, http, svn, bugzilla, plus a not yet determined groupware.
I may later decide to run some of those services on the Sun setup.

NFS clients are mostly Linux (RHEL, SLES, Debian, Gentoo), with a few OSX, Irix, Sun, True64 thingies. Most can be setup/upgraded to use NFS4, if need be.

At this stage, I'm unsure of:
Choise of technology:
. Go with the Sun-setup
. Continue with either Linux or FreeBSD
. Expect to be able to solve Linux/FreeBSD NFS timeouts/stability
. Continue with NFS, or look at AFS, CODA et al...

Sun solution:
. How good performance I can expect from the StorEdge SATA-based part
. Which disk controller combination I should go with
. Which filesystem I should choose, Sun's (zfs?) or Veritas
. Hardware vs. software raid WRT scaling, performance, admin

Non-Sun solution:
. Whether or not Linux or FreeBSD works well with NFS
. If Linux or FreeBSD NFS stability is a tuneable thingy
. If Linux or FreeBSD NFS stability depends on which kernel versions


I'm interested in any [install/adm/stability/performance] experiences with mentioned products, and various other ways of semilar setups, including experiences with other methods than NFS: AFS, CODA et al...
 
Old 04-22-2006, 08:59 AM   #2
apt-get-dude
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Monz, here goes my opinion...

#1. You mention this is a production environment so ZFS (still in Beta) is out.
If you want better performance than the typical ufs file system, then spend more
money and go with the vxfs file system (veritas file system). If you don't want to
dish out more money, stick to ufs and implement ufs logging (default in 10). Do your
research regarding another sun solution (qfs).

#2. Hardware raid is better than software raid if you are concerned with performance. Obviously is more expensive but it all depends if your IO is mainly
rw vs ro and sequential vs serial. So it all depends (to a point).

#3. If you go with software raid, ask yourself if you need to spend the money on
the veritas volume manager. You may be able to use solaris volume manager (formerly
solstice disk suite). Ever since 9 (yes, you can patch up the kernel in 8 as well),
you have the ability to implement soft partitions (metainit -p). Pretty cool.

#4. Download the tunables pdf from Sun and go at it, tune nfs. Also, you never specified which version of solaris so you have to consider which version of nfs (3 for 9 and below), choice of 4, 3 or 2 in solaris 10.

That is a start. (I hope)
 
Old 04-22-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
monz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apt-get-dude
Monz, here goes my opinion...

#1. You mention this is a production environment so ZFS (still in Beta) is out.
Read on c.o.s. some had been using ZFS for 1˝yrs+. A few crashes, but no loss of data. Since last ˝ year or so no real problems. ZFS goes production around june (well, release schedules..), so I was considering using it.

Quote:
#2. Hardware raid is better than software raid if you are concerned with performance. Obviously is more expensive but it all depends if your IO is mainly
rw vs ro and sequential vs serial. So it all depends (to a point).
Sure. AFAIK StoreEdge 3511 can do both HW/SW raid.

Quote:
#3. If you go with software raid, ask yourself if you need to spend the money on
the veritas volume manager. You may be able to use solaris volume manager (formerly
solstice disk suite). Ever since 9 (yes, you can patch up the kernel in 8 as well),
you have the ability to implement soft partitions (metainit -p). Pretty cool.
Heard/read some interesting comments like yours.

Quote:
#4. Download the tunables pdf from Sun and go at it, tune nfs. Also, you never specified which version of solaris so you have to consider which version of nfs (3 for 9 and below), choice of 4, 3 or 2 in solaris 10.

That is a start. (I hope)
Sure, thanks. Be reading up un docs - that is, during the periods sundocs are up
Oh, and it'll be Solaris 10. We're using NFS3 now, guess most/all systems can be upgraded to NFS4. Dunno about our Irix and Trus64 boxens though. True64 probably won't be used, so...
 
Old 04-22-2006, 01:08 PM   #4
apt-get-dude
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I think it's time to retire the True 64
 
  


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