Re: Help choosing hardware
On Fri, Apr 08, 2005 at 03:02:57PM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> I have been talking with the SPARC developers about just what kind of
> machine I should by for a project I have been assigned. Remarkably
> they suggested processors other than SPARC.
> I have been working for the State of Florida, Department of State,
> Division of Cultural Affairs for several years now. We make grants to
> arts agencies and musuems, and in support of that effort I have been
> tasked with producing a new database system for online access by our
> clients. Of course I'm building it in Linux (specifically Debian) and
> am integrating PHP4, PostgreSQL, Apache, and Smarty code to produce
> this product.
> While I am currently working on a crumby Gateway machine, which is ok
> for development but hasn't got the horsepower to actually perform as a
> server, I obvioulsy need a heftier machine when the product goes into
> The SPARC developers suggested two processors: Opteron, and Xeon.
> On the face of it the Opteron looks like the better choice, being a 64
> bit machine, but on the other hand I can run a Xeon machine with two
You can get dual and quad opteron machines and they probably have much
better bandwidth than the xeon's since they don't share a bus to get to
memory (well at least no in all cases they don't. opteron's connect to
each other with hypertransport and each control some mmeory directly,
while other cpus can relay access to the memory at a delay of a clock
cycle). In a few months you should even be able to get dual core
opteron's so you can get up to 8 cores in a simple server.
Of course anything with more than one cpu isn't cheap (although compared
to a sun sparc system they probably are cheap). An athlon 64 system is
cheap, but an opteron system is quite a bit more, although nowhere near
what a xeon system costs.
> Although I know that Debian hasn't released an official AMD64 port, I
> have seen several distros that use it (like Ubuntu) so my first guess
> is that it is mature enough for me to use on this project.
Well certainly the amd64 debian-pure64 sarge runs great for me, and
certainly many other people. I imagine there are some programs that
don't work yet, but the 32bit chroot works perfectly too for running the
occational i386 binary so it is rather flexible that way.
> I am looking for feedback from this group, letting me know if I'm on
> the right track, or if there are reasons that I should go with the
> Xeon instead.
I certainly would not buy anything based on the Pentium4 design
personally given what the Opteron is capable off.
> All suggestions appreciated. I am not subscribed to this list, so
> please CC me in your reply.
If nothing else an opteron runs the i386 version of debian faster
thananything else, and if you need 64bit support, it can do that too (I
believe sarge does have amd64-libs and an amd64 kernel that can be used
on i386 sarge to run 64bit programs when there is a need for 64bit).