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Re: SCSI Disk Farm

On Fri, 3 Jul 1998, Michael Laing wrote:

> This success has lead us to experiment with 'electronic portfolios' in
> which kids create a multimedia record of things they create over the
> school year. We are just starting to burn CD's for each of them so they
> can take their portfolios home (and we can archive their work).
> However, it looks like we need to allocate .5-1 GB per kid for working
> storage...2500 kids in 7 schools...200-1000GB per school...

 Yeesh. I'd like your budget. :->

> At any rate, we want to pilot a debian-based disk farm at the high
> school, particularly to support the video program in the fall.

 For this sort of thing, you're going to want to go with external
SCSI-RAID setups. So far as Linux is concerned, it's just a large disk.
Both DPT and Mylex make these, and maybe others. Some are configured with
special software on the Linux box, some use a separate dumb terminal
hooked to the external enclosure.

> I am thinking of building a system based on a dual PII BX motherboard,

 I don't have experience with systems this large, but serving and storing
data is not usually processor-bound, but instead disk- and RAM-bound. You
could probably get away with spending less on processor and more on RAM
and *good* SCSI controllers. This is a good rule of thumb with most things
involving Linux anyway.

 You could ask on linux-net about any issues involved in 100MB Ethernet.
ISTR hearing about needing a fast enough processor to serve all those
interrupts, but for a pure disk farm, I think dual-PII may be overkill.
(Of course, if money's not tight, what the heck, go for it.) I don't have
any 100MB experience. :-< Just a lowly 10MB coax net at home...


 Ray Ingles          (248) 377-7735           ray.ingles@fanucrobotics.com

      "Rearranging his entire personal universe in the light of
             startling new data is what he does for fun."
            Spider Robinson, on the Science Fiction reader

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