Rebuilding my server - Setup

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Thread: Rebuilding my server

  1. Rebuilding my server

    I'm running Debian Lenny on my main server at home. As well as hosting all
    my files (which are backed up and easy to move to a new server), it does a
    ton of other things:

    web server (apache2)
    wiki (python-moinmoin)
    blog (wordpress and mysql)
    photos (gallery2)
    news server (leafnode via inetd)
    LDAP server (slapd)
    IMAPS server (courier-imap-ssl and exim4)
    certification authority (ssl)
    DHCP server (dhcpd)
    iTunes server (mt-daapd and lastfmsubmitd)
    NTP server (ntpd)
    Partial Debian mirror (apt-cacher)
    DNS server (bind)
    print server (cupsys)
    SMB server (samba)
    p2p server (mldonkey)
    firewall (shorewall)
    SSH server (sshd)
    FTP server (vsftpd)

    One of the hard disks is dying - it's a RAID1 setup so it's still going, but
    I have two new drives on order and have decided to reconfigure the disks
    rather than just replace the dying one.

    So, my question is, how can I minimise the effort required to configure all
    the above apps on the rebuilt system. I have backed up /home and /usr/local
    for all my personal stuff, and I can back up /etc for much of the config
    stuff, but I'm guessing I need most of /var too (/var/cache/apt-cacher and
    /var/www come to mind, along with the mt-daapd database).

    Before I get into laboriously configuring each application individually,
    trying to copy over my previous config files and content, does anybody know
    of a quicker way to do this? What I effectively want is a complete copy of /
    on the new drives, but I can't plug them all in at once because the board
    has only two SATA ports (yes it's four years old).

    Thanks in advance,

    CC



  2. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Magnate wrote:
    > I'm running Debian Lenny on my main server at home. As well as hosting all
    > my files (which are backed up and easy to move to a new server), it does a
    > ton of other things:
    >
    > web server (apache2)
    > wiki (python-moinmoin)
    > blog (wordpress and mysql)
    > photos (gallery2)
    > news server (leafnode via inetd)
    > LDAP server (slapd)
    > IMAPS server (courier-imap-ssl and exim4)
    > certification authority (ssl)
    > DHCP server (dhcpd)
    > iTunes server (mt-daapd and lastfmsubmitd)
    > NTP server (ntpd)
    > Partial Debian mirror (apt-cacher)
    > DNS server (bind)
    > print server (cupsys)
    > SMB server (samba)
    > p2p server (mldonkey)
    > firewall (shorewall)
    > SSH server (sshd)
    > FTP server (vsftpd)
    >
    > One of the hard disks is dying - it's a RAID1 setup so it's still going, but
    > I have two new drives on order and have decided to reconfigure the disks
    > rather than just replace the dying one.
    >
    > So, my question is, how can I minimise the effort required to configure all
    > the above apps on the rebuilt system. I have backed up /home and /usr/local
    > for all my personal stuff, and I can back up /etc for much of the config
    > stuff, but I'm guessing I need most of /var too (/var/cache/apt-cacher and
    > /var/www come to mind, along with the mt-daapd database).
    >
    > Before I get into laboriously configuring each application individually,
    > trying to copy over my previous config files and content, does anybody know
    > of a quicker way to do this? What I effectively want is a complete copy of /
    > on the new drives, but I can't plug them all in at once because the board
    > has only two SATA ports (yes it's four years old).
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > CC
    >
    >

    Does it have USB 2.0 ports you can hang an external drive on? I have
    seen 500 GB external backup drives for the mid-$200 range.
    Beats a tape anytime.
    Norton ghost worked for me back in 2000, slow, but I did get a 40GB
    drive mirrored with it. Tapes have burned me before and the external
    drive seems to be a good way to go, and much faster.
    Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty
    well bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you
    only lose a day.
    If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.
    Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and
    plan an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.
    Best wishes,
    Bill Baka

  3. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Bill Baka wrote:

    > Does it have USB 2.0 ports you can hang an external drive on? I have
    > seen 500 GB external backup drives for the mid-$200 range.
    > Beats a tape anytime.


    How many 599 GB external backup drives can you put in a safe-deposit box? I
    can easily get a dozen backup tapes (one a month) into mine. I can get 160
    GBytes onto a tape. The newer model of my tape drives can get double that
    onto a single tape.

    > Norton ghost worked for me back in 2000, slow, but I did get a 40GB
    > drive mirrored with it. Tapes have burned me before and the external
    > drive seems to be a good way to go, and much faster.


    I did, too, with DDS-2 tape drives. With VXA drives, I have never lost anything.

    > Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty
    > well bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you
    > only lose a day.


    That depends on what you think the failure mode is. If you are only worried
    about head crashes, and you can detect them in less than 24 hours, you may
    be OK. But if you accidentally delete a file and do not realize it for a
    week, or a month, what do you do then? That is why I have 6 daily backups
    for Monday, ..., Saturday; 5 weekly backups for 1st week, ... 5th week; and
    12 monthly backups for January, ..., December. That is a lot of drives. I
    would have difficulty getting 12 drives in my safe-deposit box.

    Now let us consider the failures I have actually experienced. Where I used
    to work, a novice sys-admin did a mkfs on top of the file system I had been
    doing all my work on while I was actually using it. All our systems were
    supposed to have been backed up nightly, but he forgot to backup the one I
    was on, so he could not restore my file system from the non-existent backup.
    I could have punched him, but instead I went home for the day to simmer
    down. Several months work lost.

    On my home computers I used a floppy tape drive on the first one, and it
    worked, but was slow and very small; just big enough to back up my 1.2 GByte
    hard drive (my present machine has more RAM than that). The next one had a
    4mm HP DDS-2 tape drive that would take 8 GBytes, IIRC. I could use that if
    it worked (which it seldom did) even though I had 18 GBytes of hard drives
    at the time -- that machine now has 90 GBytes of hard drives. Easily backed
    up on a single tape. My third machine has a bit over 200 GBytes of hard
    drives, and I do not back up quite all of it at once. The everyday stuff all
    goes onto one tape, and a database for software exploration that changes
    slowly, goes to a second tape when necessary. I do not recall losing any
    data from the floppy-tapes. I lost data with the HP DDS-2 tapes. I do not
    recall losing any data with the VXA tape drives. We are talking about a
    10-year time period here for my home machines.

    > If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.


    I keep my machines longer. I tend to get either the fastest or
    second-fastest machine I can and run it until it does not make sense to
    continue. So my "old" machine dates from early 2000 and it still works fine.
    It drives my printer, cd-burner, runs Windows XP when necessary, and BOINC
    the rest of the time. It has two 550 MHz Pentium processors in it, three
    hard drives, and 512 MBytes RAM.

    My "new" machine I built in early 2004. It too still works fine and I do not
    foresee replacing it anytime soon. It has two 3.06 GHz Xeon processors, 8
    GBytes RAM, and 6 hard drives in it (4 for a database, 2 for everything else).

    > Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and
    > plan an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.
    > Best wishes,
    > Bill Baka



    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 10:00:01 up 15 days, 16:11, 0 users, load average: 4.08, 4.34, 4.32

  4. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >> Does it have USB 2.0 ports you can hang an external drive on? I have
    >> seen 500 GB external backup drives for the mid-$200 range.
    >> Beats a tape anytime.

    >
    > How many 599 GB external backup drives can you put in a safe-deposit box? I
    > can easily get a dozen backup tapes (one a month) into mine. I can get 160
    > GBytes onto a tape. The newer model of my tape drives can get double that
    > onto a single tape.


    True,
    Tapes are way better now than in 2000.
    >
    >> Norton ghost worked for me back in 2000, slow, but I did get a 40GB
    >> drive mirrored with it. Tapes have burned me before and the external
    >> drive seems to be a good way to go, and much faster.

    >
    > I did, too, with DDS-2 tape drives. With VXA drives, I have never lost anything.


    I used the old DC-250 tapes at home until about 1995. 250 MB, DOS
    interface, and about a half an hour per VHS sized tape. Reliable but
    slow as mud. At work we had a newer tape that would store about 10GB,
    2000 time frame, cheap company. There I did my backups with a drive and
    3 tapes that the IT guy gave me and all 3 were bad when I tried to do a
    restore. The genius gave me a drive that had never been tested, so the
    tapes couldn't be read by another drive.
    >
    >> Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty
    >> well bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you
    >> only lose a day.

    >
    > That depends on what you think the failure mode is. If you are only worried
    > about head crashes, and you can detect them in less than 24 hours, you may
    > be OK. But if you accidentally delete a file and do not realize it for a
    > week, or a month, what do you do then? That is why I have 6 daily backups
    > for Monday, ..., Saturday; 5 weekly backups for 1st week, ... 5th week; and
    > 12 monthly backups for January, ..., December. That is a lot of drives. I
    > would have difficulty getting 12 drives in my safe-deposit box.


    I'll agree there, but if your work data is really critical you would
    want backups both at work and at home.
    >
    > Now let us consider the failures I have actually experienced. Where I used
    > to work, a novice sys-admin did a mkfs on top of the file system I had been
    > doing all my work on while I was actually using it. All our systems were
    > supposed to have been backed up nightly, but he forgot to backup the one I
    > was on, so he could not restore my file system from the non-existent backup.
    > I could have punched him, but instead I went home for the day to simmer
    > down. Several months work lost.


    I had one of those once and backed up my own machine before he could
    'administrate' it. I'm a hardware (analog) engineer so he thought I knew
    nothing about that stuff, along with all the other engineers he pissed
    off before he quit due to 'overwork'.
    >
    > On my home computers I used a floppy tape drive on the first one, and it
    > worked, but was slow and very small; just big enough to back up my 1.2 GByte
    > hard drive (my present machine has more RAM than that). The next one had a
    > 4mm HP DDS-2 tape drive that would take 8 GBytes, IIRC. I could use that if
    > it worked (which it seldom did) even though I had 18 GBytes of hard drives
    > at the time -- that machine now has 90 GBytes of hard drives. Easily backed
    > up on a single tape. My third machine has a bit over 200 GBytes of hard
    > drives, and I do not back up quite all of it at once. The everyday stuff all
    > goes onto one tape, and a database for software exploration that changes
    > slowly, goes to a second tape when necessary. I do not recall losing any
    > data from the floppy-tapes. I lost data with the HP DDS-2 tapes. I do not
    > recall losing any data with the VXA tape drives. We are talking about a
    > 10-year time period here for my home machines.


    I had a 10 year old MB that I bought for $1,200 in 1988. In 1997 I
    couldn't even get $25 for it. I remember back then an upgrade to the
    hard drive was from 10MB to 40MB with 1GB drives for $1,000.
    >
    >> If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.

    >
    > I keep my machines longer. I tend to get either the fastest or
    > second-fastest machine I can and run it until it does not make sense to
    > continue. So my "old" machine dates from early 2000 and it still works fine.
    > It drives my printer, cd-burner, runs Windows XP when necessary, and BOINC
    > the rest of the time. It has two 550 MHz Pentium processors in it, three
    > hard drives, and 512 MBytes RAM.


    I kind of wish that I had room for another computer. Windows 3.1 screams
    on a 3GHz machine. Makes me wonder that happened???
    >
    > My "new" machine I built in early 2004. It too still works fine and I do not
    > foresee replacing it anytime soon. It has two 3.06 GHz Xeon processors, 8
    > GBytes RAM, and 6 hard drives in it (4 for a database, 2 for everything else).


    Sounds about like my machine. 4 IDE, 2 SATA, almost 2 TB hard drives,
    total home build. I took the cover off my daughter's Compaq once and
    swore never to buy a factory build, ever.
    Keep on having fun ;')
    Bill Baka
    >
    >> Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and
    >> plan an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.
    >> Best wishes,
    >> Bill Baka

    >
    >


  5. Re: Rebuilding my server

    On 2008-02-28, Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    >
    > How many 599 GB external backup drives can you put in a safe-deposit box? I
    > can easily get a dozen backup tapes (one a month) into mine. I can get 160
    > GBytes onto a tape.


    Depends on the tape. VXA tapes are fairly small. LTO tapes are quite a
    bit larger, though you'd need fewer of those, since they go up to 800GB
    uncompressed for LTO3.

    The real problem with your safe deposit box scenario, especially
    offsite, is transportation. The drive needs to be handled much more
    carefully than the tapes.

    Still, both backup methods have their place. Drive backups can be used
    for near-time backup, and tape for longer-term. The drive backup can
    even be the basis for the tape backup: do your near-time backup to your
    backup hard disk, then take the tape backup from the backup drive.
    Probably taking the drive backup will be faster, so there's less time
    hammering your primary disks to take a tape backup.

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  6. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Bill Baka wrote:

    > I had a 10 year old MB that I bought for $1,200 in 1988. In 1997 I
    > couldn't even get $25 for it. I remember back then an upgrade to the hard
    > drive was from 10MB to 40MB with 1GB drives for $1,000.
    >>

    The first machine I was sysadmin for had two hard drives. They ran at 2250
    rpm or some such speed (three phase motors). They were the size of a
    top-loading washing machine and cost $40,000 each (in about 1970). The good
    thing about them was that you could take the disk packs off and replace
    them. We did that routinely for backups, although we also did backups on a
    mag tape drive that took about one refrigerator sized box.

    A quick search reveals that my $600 motherboard I got at the end of 2003 is
    now available for $555.99 or $515. I would have thought it would be cheaper
    by now. Or not available. Supermicro X5DP8-G2.


    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 17:00:01 up 15 days, 23:11, 0 users, load average: 4.10, 4.18, 4.15

  7. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >> I had a 10 year old MB that I bought for $1,200 in 1988. In 1997 I
    >> couldn't even get $25 for it. I remember back then an upgrade to the hard
    >> drive was from 10MB to 40MB with 1GB drives for $1,000.

    > The first machine I was sysadmin for had two hard drives. They ran at 2250
    > rpm or some such speed (three phase motors). They were the size of a
    > top-loading washing machine and cost $40,000 each (in about 1970). The good
    > thing about them was that you could take the disk packs off and replace
    > them.


    Heh,
    I worked at Fairchild electronics back in 1983 and we had a machine with
    a giant disk and tapes to restore the operating system. The procedure
    for a head crash (first time) would be to replace the cartridge. The
    second time it took (really) two men to tale out a drive safely.Back
    then if was "IBM PC??" I did buy a Commodore and a number of
    Timex-Sinclairs." so you could compute but only at a very basic level.


    We did that routinely for backups, although we also did backups on a
    > mag tape drive that took about one refrigerator sized box.


    I never got to see those 50's relics that were the backbone of sci-fi
    movies for so long. I think even some of the Star Trek shows had them.
    >
    > A quick search reveals that my $600 motherboard I got at the end of 2003 is
    > now available for $555.99 or $515. I would have thought it would be cheaper
    > by now. Or not available. Supermicro X5DP8-G2.
    >
    >

    That is really unusual for this game (real computer stuff) but it sounds
    like you are in the special board department that gamers leave alone.
    'Nuff poking,
    Bill Baka

  8. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Bill Baka wrote:
    > Jean-David Beyer wrote:


    >> A quick search reveals that my $600 motherboard I got at the end of
    >> 2003 is now available for $555.99 or $515. I would have thought it
    >> would be cheaper by now. Or not available. Supermicro X5DP8-G2.
    >>
    >>

    > That is really unusual for this game (real computer stuff) but it sounds
    > like you are in the special board department that gamers leave alone.
    > 'Nuff poking, Bill Baka


    I doubt a gamer would want that motherboard, but it is perfectly good for a
    server or serious workstation. I bought it off-the-shelf; i.e., it was not a
    special order.

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...1/X5DP8-G2.cfm

    Here are some highlights:

    1. Dual Intel® Xeon® Support up to 3.2 GHz
    2. Intel® E7501 Chipset
    3. Up to 16GB DDR 266/200 SDRAM
    4. Intel® 82546EB Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    5. Adaptec AIC-7902 Dual-Channel Ultra320 SCSI
    6. 6x 64-bit PCI-X expansion slots
    7. ATI RageXL 8MB PCI Graphic Controller
    8. Zero-Channel RAID Support

    PCI • Max 2x 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slots
    Default:
    • 3x 64-bit 100/66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slot
    • 3x 64-bit 66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slots
    • 1x SXB (Supermicrol Extended Bus) slot
    IDE • Dual EIDE channels support up to four UDMA IDE devices
    • Supports UDMA Mode 5, PIO Mode 4, and ATA/100
    USB Up to 5 USB ports
    Serial Ports 2 Fast UART 16550 serial ports
    Parallel Port 1 ECP/EEP parallel port
    Floppy 1 Floppy controller; 1.44 MB, 2.88 MB, 3-mode support
    Keyboard / Mouse PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports

    There are multiple PCI busses -- actually PCI-X so they are 64-bit, not just
    32-bit.
    One has three 66 MHz slots.
    One has one 100 MHz slot and the dual SCSI controller
    One has one 100 MHz slot and the dual gigabit LAN controller
    One has one 100 MHz slot and nothing else.

    The speeds of these slots can be adjusted in the BIOS among 33MHz, 66 MHz,
    100 MHz, and 133 MHz

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 08:00:01 up 17 days, 14:11, 1 user, load average: 4.16, 4.20, 4.16

  9. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >> Jean-David Beyer wrote:

    >
    >>> A quick search reveals that my $600 motherboard I got at the end of
    >>> 2003 is now available for $555.99 or $515. I would have thought it
    >>> would be cheaper by now. Or not available. Supermicro X5DP8-G2.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> That is really unusual for this game (real computer stuff) but it sounds
    >> like you are in the special board department that gamers leave alone.
    >> 'Nuff poking, Bill Baka

    >
    > I doubt a gamer would want that motherboard, but it is perfectly good for a
    > server or serious workstation. I bought it off-the-shelf; i.e., it was not a
    > special order.
    >
    > http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...1/X5DP8-G2.cfm
    >
    > Here are some highlights:
    >
    > 1. Dual Intel® Xeon® Support up to 3.2 GHz
    > 2. Intel® E7501 Chipset
    > 3. Up to 16GB DDR 266/200 SDRAM
    > 4. Intel® 82546EB Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    > 5. Adaptec AIC-7902 Dual-Channel Ultra320 SCSI
    > 6. 6x 64-bit PCI-X expansion slots
    > 7. ATI RageXL 8MB PCI Graphic Controller
    > 8. Zero-Channel RAID Support
    >
    > PCI • Max 2x 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slots
    > Default:
    > • 3x 64-bit 100/66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slot
    > • 3x 64-bit 66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slots
    > • 1x SXB (Supermicrol Extended Bus) slot
    > IDE • Dual EIDE channels support up to four UDMA IDE devices
    > • Supports UDMA Mode 5, PIO Mode 4, and ATA/100
    > USB Up to 5 USB ports
    > Serial Ports 2 Fast UART 16550 serial ports
    > Parallel Port 1 ECP/EEP parallel port
    > Floppy 1 Floppy controller; 1.44 MB, 2.88 MB, 3-mode support
    > Keyboard / Mouse PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
    >
    > There are multiple PCI busses -- actually PCI-X so they are 64-bit, not just
    > 32-bit.
    > One has three 66 MHz slots.
    > One has one 100 MHz slot and the dual SCSI controller
    > One has one 100 MHz slot and the dual gigabit LAN controller
    > One has one 100 MHz slot and nothing else.
    >
    > The speeds of these slots can be adjusted in the BIOS among 33MHz, 66 MHz,
    > 100 MHz, and 133 MHz
    >

    OK,
    The paltry video makes it a non-gamer board but it does seem to have
    everything you would want in a server. Gamers seem to want dual 512MB
    video boards for absurd resolutions and refresh speeds. I honestly can't
    see any difference between 72 Hz and 120 Hz frame rates. Once it stops
    flickering I am happy, and I know my reflexes won't react to a 120 Hz
    refresh rate. Anyone who claims to see any difference is just blowing smoke.
    Seriously, it looks like you did your homework and bought a good board
    so all I would think of is incremental upgrades that won't break the
    bank and can be used on the next MB.
    I just max out the DDR-RAM and format the whole drive as reiserfs and
    let Linux have the RAM for swap space.
    What keeps me from upgrading as soon as things come out is the life
    cycle of computer stuff. I bought 3 x 500GB drives and 2 weeks later
    Western Digital came out with 1TB SATA drives. Now I've seen 1.5TB
    drives, so maybe later I will go for a new MB with all the goodies.
    Here's to no smoke,
    Bill Baka

  10. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Bill Baka wrote:

    > OK,
    > The paltry video makes it a non-gamer board but it does seem to have
    > everything you would want in a server. Gamers seem to want dual 512MB
    > video boards for absurd resolutions and refresh speeds. I honestly can't
    > see any difference between 72 Hz and 120 Hz frame rates. Once it stops
    > flickering I am happy, and I know my reflexes won't react to a 120 Hz
    > refresh rate. Anyone who claims to see any difference is just blowing
    > smoke.


    My other machine has a Matrox G200 AGP video board with 8 MBytes SGRAM.
    It is good enough to put pin-ups on the screen as wallpaper (17" NEC analog
    monitor).

    > Seriously, it looks like you did your homework and bought a good board
    > so all I would think of is incremental upgrades that won't break the
    > bank and can be used on the next MB.


    I cannot think of any incremental upgrades I could need. I could put more
    PCI-X cards in the machine, but to do what I do not know.

    > I just max out the DDR-RAM


    For that, I would have to remove the 1 GByte modules and find 2 GByte
    modules the mb. would accept (PC2100?). Since the system runs with about 70%
    of the RAM as cache, I do not think I need any more.

    > and format the whole drive as reiserfs and
    > let Linux have the RAM for swap space.


    At the moment, the system is using only 988KBytes of swap, so it does not
    matter much what it uses for that. I have six 10,000rpm Ultra/320 LVD hard
    drives on two SCSI controllers. I suppose I could go up to 15,000 rpm
    drives, but I do not see the point, since they are seek-limited as it is.
    (dbms application) That is why I have 4 small drives (18 GBytes, approx,
    each) instead of one big one for that. The other two drives are for the OS
    and users, and for the write-ahead-log for the dbms (the busiest when it is
    running). I would need a battery backed up separate RAID controller to make
    it go any faster (not zero-channel).

    > What keeps me from upgrading as soon as things come out is the life
    > cycle of computer stuff. I bought 3 x 500GB drives and 2 weeks later
    > Western Digital came out with 1TB SATA drives. Now I've seen 1.5TB
    > drives, so maybe later I will go for a new MB with all the goodies.
    > Here's to no smoke,
    > Bill Baka


    I do not actually need any more disk space.

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 07:25:01 up 18 days, 13:36, 1 user, load average: 4.18, 4.20, 4.12

  11. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >> OK,
    >> The paltry video makes it a non-gamer board but it does seem to have
    >> everything you would want in a server. Gamers seem to want dual 512MB
    >> video boards for absurd resolutions and refresh speeds. I honestly can't
    >> see any difference between 72 Hz and 120 Hz frame rates. Once it stops
    >> flickering I am happy, and I know my reflexes won't react to a 120 Hz
    >> refresh rate. Anyone who claims to see any difference is just blowing
    >> smoke.

    >
    > My other machine has a Matrox G200 AGP video board with 8 MBytes SGRAM.
    > It is good enough to put pin-ups on the screen as wallpaper (17" NEC analog
    > monitor).


    Total agreement since I am using a 64 MByte TNT board that was in my
    leftovers box and worked with my Linux.
    >
    >> Seriously, it looks like you did your homework and bought a good board
    >> so all I would think of is incremental upgrades that won't break the
    >> bank and can be used on the next MB.

    >
    > I cannot think of any incremental upgrades I could need. I could put more
    > PCI-X cards in the machine, but to do what I do not know.


    Same here. I have some leftover slots but nothing much to put in them.
    >
    >> I just max out the DDR-RAM

    >
    > For that, I would have to remove the 1 GByte modules and find 2 GByte
    > modules the mb. would accept (PC2100?). Since the system runs with about 70%
    > of the RAM as cache, I do not think I need any more.


    I have run into that problem. It is NewEgg and some of the other on-line
    retailers selling 2GB packages that turn out to be 2 x 1GB, and you
    don't find out until you get the package at your door. Now I just eat
    the gas and drive to Fry's and examine the parts, by hand, before I buy
    them. If they won't let me look before buying I just open the package at
    the cash register and will demand a refund or the parts I was led to
    believe I was buying. Sometimes I get unpopular but I do force the issue
    to get what I want.
    >
    >> and format the whole drive as reiserfs and
    >> let Linux have the RAM for swap space.

    >
    > At the moment, the system is using only 988KBytes of swap, so it does not
    > matter much what it uses for that. I have six 10,000rpm Ultra/320 LVD hard
    > drives on two SCSI controllers. I suppose I could go up to 15,000 rpm
    > drives, but I do not see the point, since they are seek-limited as it is.


    I found that anything much over 5,400 RPM with a 16MB cache is just
    wasting power spinning the platters. If you are transferring a big video
    file, like in the GB range, you might see some difference, but nothing I
    would panic over. I used to design hard drive circuitry (contract job)
    and I found out that the seek voice coil really is a limiting factor in
    how fast you can jump from file to file. Faster = hotter and more power,
    so yes, it can be made to seek faster, but then the seek mechanism gets
    bigger. Law of diminishing returns.

    > (dbms application) That is why I have 4 small drives (18 GBytes, approx,
    > each) instead of one big one for that. The other two drives are for the OS
    > and users, and for the write-ahead-log for the dbms (the busiest when it is
    > running). I would need a battery backed up separate RAID controller to make
    > it go any faster (not zero-channel).


    Diminishing returns all right.
    >
    >> What keeps me from upgrading as soon as things come out is the life
    >> cycle of computer stuff. I bought 3 x 500GB drives and 2 weeks later
    >> Western Digital came out with 1TB SATA drives. Now I've seen 1.5TB
    >> drives, so maybe later I will go for a new MB with all the goodies.
    >> Here's to no smoke,
    >> Bill Baka

    >
    > I do not actually need any more disk space.
    >

    I do since I use this machine as a pseudo-server for my daughter's
    wireless connection to her laptop and she has more MP3's on my machine
    than her laptop can hold on one 2.5" drive.
    To each their own needs.
    Bill Baka

  12. Re: Rebuilding my server

    "Bill Baka" wrote
    > Magnate wrote:
    >> I'm running Debian Lenny on my main server at home. As well as hosting
    >> all my files (which are backed up and easy to move to a new server), it
    >> does a ton of other things:

    [snip]
    >> One of the hard disks is dying - it's a RAID1 setup so it's still going,
    >> but I have two new drives on order and have decided to reconfigure the
    >> disks rather than just replace the dying one.
    >>
    >> So, my question is, how can I minimise the effort required to configure
    >> all the above apps on the rebuilt system. I have backed up /home and
    >> /usr/local for all my personal stuff, and I can back up /etc for much of
    >> the config stuff, but I'm guessing I need most of /var too
    >> (/var/cache/apt-cacher and /var/www come to mind, along with the mt-daapd
    >> database).
    >>
    >> Before I get into laboriously configuring each application individually,
    >> trying to copy over my previous config files and content, does anybody
    >> know of a quicker way to do this? What I effectively want is a complete
    >> copy of / on the new drives, but I can't plug them all in at once because
    >> the board has only two SATA ports (yes it's four years old).

    [snip]
    > Does it have USB 2.0 ports you can hang an external drive on? I have seen
    > 500 GB external backup drives for the mid-$200 range.
    > Beats a tape anytime.
    > Norton ghost worked for me back in 2000, slow, but I did get a 40GB drive
    > mirrored with it. Tapes have burned me before and the external drive seems
    > to be a good way to go, and much faster.
    > Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty well
    > bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you only lose
    > a day.


    Um ... yeah. Thanks for that - but I wasn't actually asking about backups. I
    actually need to rebuild the server's partitions on two new drives (which
    will be RAID1 as before). This means reinstalling Linux, and I wanted to
    know if there was an easier way of porting across all the configs than doing
    it package by package. The lack of other replies suggests that there isn't.
    Oh well.

    > If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.
    > Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and plan
    > an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.


    Yes, that's also true. It's not my primary machine though, so it won't get
    upgraded until the primary machine does, which is a few more paychecks away.

    My thinking is that once I've rebuilt the system on the new drives, I can
    move them into a new machine pretty easily - I'll just need to install a new
    kernel. Maybe not even that if I have a suitably generic kernel installed
    prior to moving them.

    Cheers,

    CC



  13. Re: Rebuilding my server

    Magnate wrote:
    > "Bill Baka" wrote
    >> Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty well
    >> bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you only lose
    >> a day.

    >
    > Um ... yeah. Thanks for that - but I wasn't actually asking about backups. I
    > actually need to rebuild the server's partitions on two new drives (which
    > will be RAID1 as before). This means reinstalling Linux, and I wanted to
    > know if there was an easier way of porting across all the configs than doing
    > it package by package. The lack of other replies suggests that there isn't.
    > Oh well.


    If it's a work or income thing then ignore anything I said.
    >
    >> If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.
    >> Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and plan
    >> an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.

    >
    > Yes, that's also true. It's not my primary machine though, so it won't get
    > upgraded until the primary machine does, which is a few more paychecks away.
    >
    > My thinking is that once I've rebuilt the system on the new drives, I can
    > move them into a new machine pretty easily - I'll just need to install a new
    > kernel. Maybe not even that if I have a suitably generic kernel installed
    > prior to moving them.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > CC
    >
    >


    Well,
    Regarding old stuff,
    I once had a 1968 Renault R-10 that got 40 MPG and I resolved to drive
    it until the doors fell off. One day my wife came laughing back to the
    house carrying a driver's side door and said "Now you have to buy a new
    car.".
    Still,
    I could stand to put together a super-charged DOS system for fun.
    Bill Baka

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