[K12OSN] SCSI hard drive speed

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Thu Oct 28 11:55:05 UTC 2004

Liam Marshall wrote:

> I have upgraded as far as I can go for this year.  Performance is 
> acceptable, except that more than 2 instances of thin clients running 
> tux type or tux math bogs entire system down.  Everything else 
> functions well.  Staroffice and FireFox running simultaneously on 25+ 
> machines doing research essays perform well enough for our school's 
> needs.
> For next year, or next term if I am lucky, I am thinking of upgrading 
> the hard drives.  Currently using an old IBM SCSI drive (9gb) for 
> /root and a Seagate SCSI (18 gb and 5400 rpm) for /home /opt and /swap.
> Would 11000, or 15000 rpm SCSI drives show any kind of performance 
> increase?  Even if they don't I would probably still upgrade them 
> eventually to gain more storage anyway, but it would be nice to 
> justify the bigger drive(s) by saying that the increased rpm would 
> make a noticable improvement in performance
> Ideas/suggestions?
> ______________________________

Are you running Gigabit Ethernet on your server?  If you're running 
TuxType or TuxMath, then this matters.  In previous threads, I've 
mentioned how, during a bandwidth measurement of TuxType, I saw 73Mb/sec 
being sucked up by just one client playing the game.  If you've only got 
a 100Mbps card in your server, you're going to peg its capacity very, 
very quickly with TuxType or TuxMath.  The same goes for anything else 
that does a lot of screen updates like that.  StarOffice and Firefox, 
used for doing research essays, don't do a bunch of screen updates like 
that, so they're much more "compatible" with lower-bandwidth situations.

Think of it like this:  You've got four or five kids who want to leave a 
room through the one standard-sized (32-in wide) door in the room.  That 
works.  However, when you try 40 kids all trying to cram their way out 
of that same door, you gonna have ze problem.  This is why high schools 
tend to have that string of, maybe 15 doors in the front entrance (ours 
do, anyway).

I've played TuxType and TuxMath, multiple sessions, on servers with 
40-pin, 7200-RPM IDE drives--but which had Gig-E--and it was just 
dandy.  If you can go with fiber, so much the better (immune to EM 
interference), but a short run of Cat5-based Gig-E should be just fine, too.

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