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Re: [off-topic] not only a server, what hardware?

On Wed, 4 Mar 1998, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> I have managed to promote Debian in a small but expanding firm
> (currently a dozen systems). They have old Novell Net and Samba at the
> moment, but they like Linux and want to change somehow. They allow me
> to give them a wishlist for a Debian System, and they'll buy it, and
> now I really need some help here.
> TASKS: File Server, Print Server, Internet Connection per ISDN (so
> this would work as a Gateway & Firewall) (light load), File Backup,

If you can do it, i would suggest that you put the gateway/firewall on a
separate box. scrounge up an old 386 or 486 (running debian, of course)
if you have to.

It's not a performance issue - a well configured debian box can easily
handle all of those tasks - it's a security issue. the fewer services
running on your firewall, the less likely it is that a newly discovered
security hole can be exploited.

something like this ought to do it:

      ^ (ISDN line to the internet)
    +-------+      +--------+
    |  386  |      | Server |
    +-------+      +--------+            (other machines)
        |               |                 |    |   |   |
            eth0 - (internal, firewalled LAN)

one box *can* do the lot, but it greatly complicates the firewall and
other security configuration.

> and probably to be used at Workstation, too (login, probably with X
> for Windows)

see comments below about mixing WS & Server functionality.

> If you could take a quick look at the following lists and comment on it, I
> would be very grateful.
> Pentium >= 166, probably not so important
> RAM     >= 64, probably more (96?, 128?)

more memory is good.  much more important for fileserver performance than a
few extra Mhz processor speed.

> SCSI discs, 2 or more each 2-4 GB. Is buslogic available in Germany? Other
>                                    good brands?
> Mainboard ASUS
> Normal architecture or PS/2 (is PS/2 well supported?)


> What is a good Graphic card (they'll need a good one) is Matrox Millenium
> well supported? Other brands?

anything that works. an S3 Trio-64 is good value for money...cheap and
adequate for most needs. 

remember that this machine is primarily a server, not a workstation.
mixing those two functions is OK if the user is the system admin
and knows what they're doing (and how to avoid harming system
performance/stability)....however you can't trust a normal user to know
that they really shouldn't be playing quake or real-video on the company

> What is a good backup device?

DDS-2 or DDS-3 tape.  don't bother with flimsy toys like ftape units.

> What is a good network card (they will switch to a faster network soon, at the
> moment they use NE2000 compatible cards, but I recall something with 100Mbps
> or so).

PCI NE-2000 clones work well in my experience. they're not the fastest
card around, but they're dirt cheap and easy to set up.

> Other things (as CD-ROM, Monitor, etc) I do not expect problems
> with. Should I?

i've had problems with 24x CD-ROM drives. didn't bother figuring out
why, i just swapped it with a W95 user for an old 8x cd-rom.


craig sanders

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