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building a dual Opteron Server


for building a new server, I´ve made a list of hardware to consider more closely. The server should, mainly, act as a SAMBA PDC fileserver and run an ERP software which is web-based (client written in Java) on top of a postgres database. It has to serve about 50 users and will probably in service for a quite long time. The vendor of the ERP software recommends using a dual CPU system.

The list of hardware I´ve made is as follows:

two AMD Opteron 246
Tyan Thunder K8S (S2882)
2 or 4 GB RAM
3ware Escalade 8506-8 or 9500S-8 or 9500S-4 (preferably 9500S-8)
6 HDs @ ~200GB each (S-ATA), 5 disks in RAID-5, one spare disk

I´m not sure of the required size of the RAID array, we might start with a smaller one and eventually extend it later. LVM should be helpful then.

Having ACLs on the SAMBA shares is a must. The server should run Debian.

Here are some questions I´m concerned of:

+ How´s your experience with the above hardware? Are there known
	incompatibilities or the like? Should I better use another
	board? Faster/slower CPUs?

+ Should I stay with Woody or begin with Sarge?

+ Which kernel should I use, 2.6.x or the latest 2.4?

+ Does ext3fs in 2.6.x kernels have ACLs, or do I have to use XFS?

+ Which SAMBA version should I use?

+ What about 64 vs. 32 bit? Do I have to compile (important) packages
	or are they readily available compiled for Opterons? Would I
	actually gain performance by making use of 64bit software?

Any advice on the topic would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I´m mistaken in general and should build the server totally different :)

THX in advance!


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