Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise - Networking

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  1. Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

    I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise. My experience is
    almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost nothing about Linux.
    Here is my situation at work: we have a web server running Apache with
    a MySQL database, but the site we have is running Windows 2000 Server
    on an old HP box. My boss is going to get a new machine, but she
    wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The site gets
    about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2 gig of
    downloadable files on it. Here are my questions:

    1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise Linux or
    Red Hat Advanced Platform. Which software do you think would be best
    for the type of website we have? There is no backup server or any
    clustering or anything like that.

    2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay for
    some. When I went to the Red Hat site, it showed difference
    subscription prices, which are support for the software, so does that
    price include the software itself (which I assume they'll send to you
    with documentation) and the support or what?

    3. What kind of machine should we get to run the versions of Linux
    above (processor speed, RAM, etc.)?

    Thanks. Sorry if these are basic questions, but I'm new to Linux. If
    you need anything clarified, just ask. Thanks.


  2. Re: Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

    invict0us1@gmail.com wrote:
    > I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise. My experience is
    > almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost nothing about Linux.
    > Here is my situation at work: we have a web server running Apache with
    > a MySQL database, but the site we have is running Windows 2000 Server
    > on an old HP box. My boss is going to get a new machine, but she
    > wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The site gets
    > about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2 gig of
    > downloadable files on it. Here are my questions:
    >
    > 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise Linux or
    > Red Hat Advanced Platform. Which software do you think would be best
    > for the type of website we have? There is no backup server or any
    > clustering or anything like that.
    >
    > 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay for
    > some. When I went to the Red Hat site, it showed difference
    > subscription prices, which are support for the software, so does that
    > price include the software itself (which I assume they'll send to you
    > with documentation) and the support or what?


    The software is free (and if you buy RHEL you get it on CDROM); you are
    paying for the support. You can download the same software free without
    support from .

    >
    > 3. What kind of machine should we get to run the versions of Linux
    > above (processor speed, RAM, etc.)?


    What services are you planning to run from it? (e.g. file server, mail
    server, web server) Are you planning to keep your old web server?

    And you do need some backup strategy.

    Robert
    >
    > Thanks. Sorry if these are basic questions, but I'm new to Linux. If
    > you need anything clarified, just ask. Thanks.
    >


  3. Re: Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

    invict0us1@gmail.com wrote:

    > I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise. My
    > experience is almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost
    > nothing about Linux. Here is my situation at work: we have a
    > web server running Apache with a MySQL database, but the site
    > we have is running Windows 2000 Server


    Luckily running Apache + MySQL on a Linux system is not a lot
    different from running it on a Windows Box, both programs where
    developed mainly for *nix systems and (merely) ported to Windows
    later. The paths in the configuration files will be different,
    as are the paths of the configuration files themself, more you
    don't have to expect (and the way how services, called "daemons"
    in the *nix world are started).

    The one point to take care of is to get a proper dump out of the
    MySQL database and injecting it back into the MySQL installation
    on the server. That's the one part most likely to fail. The
    MySQL documentation should cover it well.

    > on an old HP box. My boss is going to get a new machine, but
    > she wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The
    > site gets about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2
    > gig of downloadable files on it. Here are my questions:


    2.6e6 hits a month is quite a coarse figure. If one assumes that
    these are evenly spread across time that are about 3 hits a
    second, which is - frankly - not a lot of load for a server. An
    old Pentium 1 box could easyly deal with it.

    However such a friendly access pattern is very unlikely, so the
    real interesting figure would be the the peak number of hits in
    a short period of time (an hour or even down to a minute or
    second).

    The amount of data stored is not the problem, as the avaliable
    bandwidth is the limiting factor there.

    With a 100MBits/sec connection you're network bound, with a
    1GBits/sec connection your harddisks will be the limiting
    factor - for a good performance a RAID storage system is highly
    advisable. As long you don't want to combine more than 10 disks
    into a RAID you won't need a special RAID controller (with more
    than 10 disks an actual RAID controller really reliefes the CPU,
    don't get fooled by those "onboard RAID controlers" which merely
    are software RAID layerd by the BIOS). Linux' software RAID
    implementation is quite efficient and will take in my experience
    only 2-5% of CPU time even under high I/O loads if only a few
    disks are concerned. But you should make sure of high quality of
    the used hardware, by which I mean SCSI, SAS or server certified
    SATA disks.

    The really important thing to get quick response times are vast
    amounts of RAM. Linux prefetches data probably to be accessed
    next into the I/O cache, and the I/O cache will always consume
    up the unused RAM. If you use the 'free' command on a Linux
    system you will notice, that there is almost no free memory
    left, even if you got loads of RAM installed and almost no
    programs running, but a few colums further you'll see that
    almost everything is consumed by the cache. Don't worry, the
    cache will shrink as more memory is consumed by running
    applications. So in conclusion: The more RAM you get, the higher
    the probability that requested data has already been read into
    RAM from the disks, thus dramatically reducing latency.

    And last but not least you need a god network interface
    controller. In my experience those that Intel makes are quite
    good.

    > 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise
    > Linux or Red Hat Advanced Platform. Which software do you
    > think would be best for the type of website we have? There is
    > no backup server or any clustering or anything like that.


    Choice of distribution has no influence on the system's
    performance, but on the amout and quality of the support you'll
    get. With quality I don't mean how good the people are, but the
    topics their services cover. Well, there's one difference
    between distributions: The time a system needs to boot, as they
    use slightly different init patterns. But once everything's
    there you probably won't notice a difference.

    > 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay
    > for some.


    You pay for the support. The software contained in RHEL does not
    differ from, say Debian. Admittingly Debian has quite a
    different package manager and configuration scheme than RHEL,
    but the real guts, the kernel, the server programs and most else
    will be identical.

    So let's say you want to go without a distributor's support at
    all. Then you may just download images of their installation
    media and go on - you don't have to pay royalities.

    Since you're new to Linux (and probably the *nix world), I highly
    suggest you learn how to use a shell (the program, Windows
    people might refer to as "DOS prompt", or "console", but under
    Linux a console is a whole different concept). Unlike
    the "Windows command prompt", *nix shells are very powerfull
    tools, which when configured properly allow you to do any sort
    of administration task with literally only a few keypresses -
    believe me, this is by far efficienter than a GUI and point and
    click administration. With the right tweaks here and there you
    can make the more featured shells (notably bash, zsh and tcsh)
    do about anything. For example I got my shell configured in a
    way, that I can use it as a pocket calculator, it shows me if
    there's new mail, and similair little helper tools.

    What distribution I can suggest? I'd say to start easy: Ubuntu.
    Since a server doesn't need a GUI I suggest the "alternate
    install CD" which provides a GUI-less installation. Ubuntu for
    two reasons: For one updates are well maintained and usually the
    most recent one can get with a "stable" distribution. And Ubuntu
    is dead easy to install. In it's core it's a Debian system, but
    I like the software repository a lot more and the used init
    system "upstart" really rocks (IMHO it's by far better than the
    dusty rc-scripts system still in use by RH and SuSE, and to my
    pity Debian). The cool thing about repository based
    distributions is, that every software on the system installed
    through the repository will get updated automatically - it just
    like Windows Update, but it covers really every installed
    program on the system.

    If you pay for a distributors support you'll have to compare what
    you need and for how long. Given the fact that some systems run
    for years without interruption and severe need of administration
    it may pay off to let a distributor do the whole installation
    and configuration thig for you, if you don't intend to change
    the system configuration within the next years. OTOH
    administering a well configured *nix system can be really fun.

    Wolfgang Draxinger
    --
    E-Mail address works, Jabber: hexarith@jabber.org, ICQ: 134682867


  4. Re: Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

    Wolfgang Draxinger wrote:
    > invict0us1@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    >> I have a question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise. My
    >> experience is almost exclusively in Windows and I know almost
    >> nothing about Linux. Here is my situation at work: we have a
    >> web server running Apache with a MySQL database, but the site
    >> we have is running Windows 2000 Server

    >
    > Luckily running Apache + MySQL on a Linux system is not a lot
    > different from running it on a Windows Box, both programs where
    > developed mainly for *nix systems and (merely) ported to Windows
    > later. The paths in the configuration files will be different,
    > as are the paths of the configuration files themself, more you
    > don't have to expect (and the way how services, called "daemons"
    > in the *nix world are started).
    >
    > The one point to take care of is to get a proper dump out of the
    > MySQL database and injecting it back into the MySQL installation
    > on the server. That's the one part most likely to fail. The
    > MySQL documentation should cover it well.
    >
    >> on an old HP box. My boss is going to get a new machine, but
    >> she wants Linux put on it as the OS instead of Windows. The
    >> site gets about 2.6 million hits a month and the server has 2
    >> gig of downloadable files on it. Here are my questions:

    >
    > 2.6e6 hits a month is quite a coarse figure. If one assumes that
    > these are evenly spread across time that are about 3 hits a
    > second, which is - frankly - not a lot of load for a server. An
    > old Pentium 1 box could easyly deal with it.
    >
    > However such a friendly access pattern is very unlikely, so the
    > real interesting figure would be the the peak number of hits in
    > a short period of time (an hour or even down to a minute or
    > second).
    >
    > The amount of data stored is not the problem, as the avaliable
    > bandwidth is the limiting factor there.
    >
    > With a 100MBits/sec connection you're network bound, with a
    > 1GBits/sec connection your harddisks will be the limiting
    > factor - for a good performance a RAID storage system is highly
    > advisable. As long you don't want to combine more than 10 disks
    > into a RAID you won't need a special RAID controller (with more
    > than 10 disks an actual RAID controller really reliefes the CPU,
    > don't get fooled by those "onboard RAID controlers" which merely
    > are software RAID layerd by the BIOS). Linux' software RAID
    > implementation is quite efficient and will take in my experience
    > only 2-5% of CPU time even under high I/O loads if only a few
    > disks are concerned. But you should make sure of high quality of
    > the used hardware, by which I mean SCSI, SAS or server certified
    > SATA disks.
    >
    > The really important thing to get quick response times are vast
    > amounts of RAM. Linux prefetches data probably to be accessed
    > next into the I/O cache, and the I/O cache will always consume
    > up the unused RAM. If you use the 'free' command on a Linux
    > system you will notice, that there is almost no free memory
    > left, even if you got loads of RAM installed and almost no
    > programs running, but a few colums further you'll see that
    > almost everything is consumed by the cache. Don't worry, the
    > cache will shrink as more memory is consumed by running
    > applications. So in conclusion: The more RAM you get, the higher
    > the probability that requested data has already been read into
    > RAM from the disks, thus dramatically reducing latency.
    >
    > And last but not least you need a god network interface
    > controller. In my experience those that Intel makes are quite
    > good.
    >
    >> 1. I'm trying to decide between putting Red Hat Enterprise
    >> Linux or Red Hat Advanced Platform. Which software do you
    >> think would be best for the type of website we have? There is
    >> no backup server or any clustering or anything like that.

    >
    > Choice of distribution has no influence on the system's
    > performance, but on the amout and quality of the support you'll
    > get. With quality I don't mean how good the people are, but the
    > topics their services cover. Well, there's one difference
    > between distributions: The time a system needs to boot, as they
    > use slightly different init patterns. But once everything's
    > there you probably won't notice a difference.
    >
    >> 2. I know most versions of Linux are free, but you have to pay
    >> for some.

    >
    > You pay for the support. The software contained in RHEL does not
    > differ from, say Debian. Admittingly Debian has quite a
    > different package manager and configuration scheme than RHEL,
    > but the real guts, the kernel, the server programs and most else
    > will be identical.
    >
    > So let's say you want to go without a distributor's support at
    > all. Then you may just download images of their installation
    > media and go on - you don't have to pay royalities.
    >
    > Since you're new to Linux (and probably the *nix world), I highly
    > suggest you learn how to use a shell (the program, Windows
    > people might refer to as "DOS prompt", or "console", but under
    > Linux a console is a whole different concept). Unlike
    > the "Windows command prompt", *nix shells are very powerfull
    > tools, which when configured properly allow you to do any sort
    > of administration task with literally only a few keypresses -
    > believe me, this is by far efficienter than a GUI and point and
    > click administration. With the right tweaks here and there you
    > can make the more featured shells (notably bash, zsh and tcsh)
    > do about anything. For example I got my shell configured in a
    > way, that I can use it as a pocket calculator, it shows me if
    > there's new mail, and similair little helper tools.
    >
    > What distribution I can suggest? I'd say to start easy: Ubuntu.
    > Since a server doesn't need a GUI I suggest the "alternate
    > install CD" which provides a GUI-less installation. Ubuntu for
    > two reasons: For one updates are well maintained and usually the
    > most recent one can get with a "stable" distribution. And Ubuntu
    > is dead easy to install. In it's core it's a Debian system, but
    > I like the software repository a lot more and the used init
    > system "upstart" really rocks (IMHO it's by far better than the
    > dusty rc-scripts system still in use by RH and SuSE, and to my
    > pity Debian). The cool thing about repository based
    > distributions is, that every software on the system installed
    > through the repository will get updated automatically - it just
    > like Windows Update, but it covers really every installed
    > program on the system.
    >
    > If you pay for a distributors support you'll have to compare what
    > you need and for how long. Given the fact that some systems run
    > for years without interruption and severe need of administration
    > it may pay off to let a distributor do the whole installation
    > and configuration thig for you, if you don't intend to change
    > the system configuration within the next years. OTOH
    > administering a well configured *nix system can be really fun.
    >
    > Wolfgang Draxinger

    Installed a quad server in a school, along with 48 clients off of 8
    switches in 4 classrooms. The Quad Server and all 48 Compaq Evo P4
    computers ran Fedora Core 6 until I switched them on to FC7 last week

    Yeah, the entire network ran a year, with only two hardware failures,
    that were swapped out in mere minutes. Not bad for donated equipment!
    Machines were all about three years old, used in an industrial network
    environment.

  5. Re: Question about Red Hat Linux Enterprise

    In article ,
    Robert Harris wrote:

    > The software is free (and if you buy RHEL you get it on CDROM); you are
    > paying for the support. You can download the same software free without
    > support from .
    >


    The OP said that he knows almost nothing about Linux, and that this box
    will be used to run a production web site. I'd strongly recommend
    getting a support contract.

    Also, consider buying a server with Linux pre-installed. Not because
    Linux is hard to install (it isn't), but because it'll absolutely
    guarantee that all the hardware you buy works with Linux.

    -MB

    --
    http://www.pocketgorilla.com - search engine for freelance programmers

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