[linux-elitists] GNU/Linux box as a RAID device?

Rick Bradley roundeye@roundeye.net
Wed Oct 26 15:12:54 PDT 2005

* Rob McGee (list+Elite@nodns4.us) [051026 15:30]:
> Is 100mbit enough for regular use? I mean, we're not doing video 
> streaming or editing, just normal office and light graphics work. 
> Where's the bottleneck here, the physical disk access or the network?

I run a couple of clients at home in a pure network mode:  they PXE
boot, grab an IP via DHCP, then TFTP a kernel image & RAMdisk, then
mount NFS shares for the base directories, then pivot, then mount
everything else via NFS.  The clients have 100Mb interfaces, the server
has a 1Gb interface.  Everything's running Debian Linux.

This is sort of the opposite of the thin-client model where everything
runs on the server and you just get a view on the client.  Here
everything runs on the client, but the clients have no disks.

The server:

~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 5
model name      : Pentium II (Deschutes)
stepping        : 1
cpu MHz         : 400.945
cache size      : 512 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca
cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr
bogomips        : 790.52

Mem:    253504k total,   243480k used,    10024k free,    26344k buffers
Swap:  2000084k total,   194468k used,  1805616k free,    99348k cached

And the load average stays far under 1.0.

I did a poor pass at documenting the setup here:


We'll have other network traffic going on, and the file server even runs
some other processes (including Apache, some Rails stuff under FCGI, a
postgres instance, and spam filtering, plus more).  The performance on
the clients is indistinguishable to me from having hard disks in them --
except they don't require a much cooling.  Oh, and if you just hit
"reset" there's no data lost.

Anyway, we watch mpegs, are continually playing music, frequently
GIMPing, and doing all the other bloated crap that happens on modern
desktops these days without any issues.

 http://www.rickbradley.com    MUPRN: 979
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