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Re: [K12OSN] Which option do you recommend for increased server capability?



Hello,

Robert you are correct -- I made a mistake I believe.  The motherboard
has 4 slots for memory.  Each of the slots has a 512 MB stick, giving
you the 2 GB.

To clarify about the Gigabit NICS - there are 3 of them, one on-board, 2 PIC.

Thank you.

Joseph

On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Robert Arkiletian <robark gmail com> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 10:05 AM, Joseph Bishay <joseph bishay gmail com> wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> I hope everyone is doing well.
>>
>> For those following at home, over the past few years I've been running
>> a k12LTSP server hosting 12 thin clients.  It's had its fair share of
>> ups and downs and been a tremendous learning curve.
>>
>> There is now an opportunity to expand the role of the server from just
>> the computer lab it is in to other computers in the building.  We're
>> looking to get the classrooms wired up and take some of the existing
>> really old Windows machines and turn them into thin clients running
>> off the server.
>>
>> Now the audience I'm dealing with is not remotely tech-savvy, and
>> first impressions count.  I estimate that we'll be going from 12
>> clients on one 100 MB unmanaged switch to maybe 20 clients through 2
>> switches or so.
>>
>> The clients range from Pentium I all the way up to Pentium II as they
>> are all machines donated to the Church (I drew the line at the two 486
>> machines!).  Average RAM on the machines is 64 MB.
>>
>> The server is an ASUS p4p800 running a 3 GHz Pentium 4 CPU and has 2
>> GB of RAM.  The server has two 37 GB SCSI Cheetah drives in RAID 1 off
>> a hardware RAID controller.  It has 2 Gigabit network cards plus the
>> onboard gigabit NIC (I turned it off because initially when I first
>> installed Linux the onboard one wasn't recognized but modern versions
>> do recognize it).
>>
>> Whenever the system runs slow, the criticism is that it is Linux that
>> is slow, and if we had Windows it would be faster.  I, of course, know
>> this is not the case, but this is the perception so I want to make
>> sure it works perfectly when we do the switch.
>>
>> As I am going to be increasing the load on the server, I thought of a
>> number of options that I wanted your recommendations on.
>>
>> 1) Increase server ram to 4 GB
>>
>> This one is probably the most expensive options since we've got 2x1GB
>> sticks in the motherboard so I can't just purchase 2 more GB, I'd have
>> to pull them out and buy 4 new ones.
>
> I'm confused. Your MB has 4 slots. 2 are currently occupied. Why can't
> you buy 2 more and populate the other 2 slots. Providing you buy
> compatible ram to the existing ram.
> Not sure but that MB/cpu probably doesn't support PAE (Physical
> Address Extension). So even if you put in 4GB the board may only see
> 3.6GB or a bit less. Not sure if your cpu will support 64 bit OS.
>
> that mb only has pci and an agp. I'm assuming your gigabit nics are in
> pci slots. There is no point bonding them as the pci bus bandwidth
> will barely support 1 gigabit nic.
>
> You will definitely benefit from gbit uplink port on a switch
>
> However, once you get to about 20 clients 4 gb ram is probably okay
> but your single cpu may suffer. I would recommend upgrading the
> motherboard and cpu. Dual core cpus are so cheap now (under $100) Get
> a quad core if you can. But I don't think your mb can handle dual/quad
> core cpu so you will have upgrade the mb too (another $100) and then
> your old ram is probably ddr not ddr2. So new ddr2 ram (another ~
> $150)
> Your scsi drives+controller are good though, keep those.
>
> One m
>>
>> 2) Overclock the ASUS P4P800 motherboard
>>
>> The comments about this motherboard are such that overclocking it is a
>> 'feature' so to speak.  All overclocking I've ever seen talked about
>> is in Windows so I don't know how Linux would be affected, if at all,
>> nor would overclocking made a difference to help the load.
>>
>> 3) Replace the 100 MB switch with a gigabit switch
>>
>> The server already has gigabit cards.  Many of the thin clients have
>> gigabit cards that I bought and installed.  The bottleneck currently
>> is the switch.  I saw this 24 port gigabit switch ( DGS 1024D
>> http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=338) from D-Link for $200.  I
>> imagine that this would significantly improve the performance of
>> everything.
>>
>> 4) Bond the server's two gigabit NICs into the switch from #3
>>
>> I suppose that would increase the output of the server even more.  Or,
>> as another option, split the Church into two halves, each half coming
>> through one of the two gigabit NICs  (the third onboard NIC would then
>> be for the Internet).
>>
>> 5) ?? Other options I did not consider?
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>> Thank you
>> Joseph
>>
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>>
>
>
>
> --
> Robert Arkiletian
> Eric Hamber Secondary, Vancouver, Canada
> Fl_TeacherTool http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/Fl_TeacherTool/
> C++ GUI tutorial http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/
>
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