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Old 12-16-2003, 10:43 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Nevada
Distribution: fedora, RHEL, ubuntu, suse
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To LVM or not to LVM?

A Suse resellers told me that by using LVM I can do hot backups on my openexchange email server. I was told that by using LVM I can take snapshots of my LVM and use that for my backup with Arkeia backup software. I am not at all familiar with LVM though I understand the general concept behind LVM. Here is what I don't know after googling for a while.
How the heck can LVM be used with a RAID 5 setup?
Does anyone use LVM on a production server?
Does anyone have any opinions about using LVM on mission critical servers?

Right now I'm trying to weigh out if its worth the trouble to do hot backups for this particular server. The backups I'm predicting will take somewhere along the time frame of 1-2 hours. Arkeia is claiming they will be releasing a new version of there backup software for linux that will solve this problem sometime in the future.

I am planning ahead for my install of Suse on a poweredge 2650
raid 5 with 4 36gig HD's. I see allot of users doing this type of thing
/home=30 gigs
/var=30 gigs
/=5 gigs
swap=1 gig
I have in the past only did
Is there any Performance advantage to creating a partition for everything? What is the major benefit in doing this?

Old 12-16-2003, 11:20 AM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian
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The first and foremost reason to use several partitions instead of one huge root partition is security. Splitting the storage space into smaller parts increase security by minimizing the amount of data lost if one partition would become corrupt, ease of restoring a hosed system, and it also prevents local DOS attacks.

If a malicious person gains user privileges on your system, this person could easily fill up the whole filesystem with trash, rendering many services useless (since they need to write to disk and if the disk is full they can't) except ones that run as root (since root has a few extra megabytes).

I do it mainly because it makes it a lot easier to maintain and backup. Need to backup all your users' data? No problem, just make an image of the partition.

And about LVM...well I don't see why not. Perhaps not on a hardware RAID system, but on a computer that lacks hardware RAID, LVM is invaluable. I have used it on production servers with great success.


Last edited by hw-tph; 12-16-2003 at 11:21 AM.
Old 12-16-2003, 12:49 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Nevada
Distribution: fedora, RHEL, ubuntu, suse
Posts: 343

Original Poster
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Thanks for the input hw-tph

I have been reading into this both ways (no actual hard evidence anywhere), that LVM can be used with raid and that it can't. I see people saying that using "reiser" file system with LVM is the way to go. Then there are also those who say ext2 eventhough old and outdated is still the best. I guess there is no right answer here.

Some people say you only need 3 main partitions boot root and swap,
and yet others say to separate as much as possible.
I happen to agree with you hw-tph I think you are right. This is what I have come up with so far
/usr/local (maybe, I have read it depends on the distro)
/var/log (suse recommends for openexchange)
/var/spool/ (suse recommends for openexchange)

Now I just need some understanding about what is best for my situation ext3 or reiser file system. And also if LVM works or not with RAID? Some discussions I have come across mention LVM and RAID being used on the same server. Could someone clarify this for me thanks.

Old 12-29-2003, 04:17 PM   #4
Registered: May 2003
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
Posts: 44

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To LVM of course!


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