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Re: Advice on cluster hardware

Ross Boylan wrote:

On Wed, 2003-12-03 at 19:36, Michael Hanulec wrote:
Manageability of the system must be considered.  If possible try to budget
in a serial console terminal server and some intelligent PDUs as they will
save you time and headache when things break.  A nice server deployment
What are PDUs?

Also, if folks have any advice on backup, we need to consider that too.

That's a fun topic right now! How much, how often and for how long?

The reasons it's so interesting is that you can get disk storage for
CHEAP. I know of a company where I can get a 5U box with
dual Xeon 2.8, 2 Gigs of memory, yada, yada, with 6 TB of
SATA drives configured for hotswap - all for $22k! Disk is
becoming so cheap that you can do disk to disk backups near
term storgage. You can also use disk storage for snapshots and
then use tape backup of the snapshot so you don't interrupt
production. Mike is correct about LTO - it's pretty well priced
and can store quite a bit. LTO-2 is also very good (haven't tried
it myself yet). I've dealt with Western Scientific
(www.wsm.com) for a while and they have good prices.

Before selecting backup I HIGHLY recommend that you sit
down and estimate how much data you will generate, how much
has to be backed up, how quickly do you want a restore, and how
long to you want to keep the tapes? For instance, where I work,
we used to say that we wanted to keep all data for 10 years
(off-site storage). Then we changed that to about 5 years. We're
now looking at only 3 years. The reason we're moving this direction
is that in 3 years technology has changed so much that we can
regenerate the data faster than we can restore it from tape. This is
another reason to consider some sort of intermediate disk backup -

<crystal ball>
I think in the near future we going to have to start seriously
considering disk to disk backup only. I'm still not sure about
long-term, off-site storage yet (perhaps tape or DVD). I think
the time is coming when tapes won'y be our primary source of
</crystal ball>

Good Luck!


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