[oskar@is.co.za: Cisco Cache Engine]

From: Oskar Pearson <oskar@dont-contact.us>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 16:08:41 +0200

Hi All

We have a Cisco cache on demo for a week. I am going to be sending a couple
of mail messages out with information of my impressions and so forth.

I am not sending them to Squid-dev, since I don't want the world to have
access to the machine. I am going to have the cache up for world access
for you guys to test the interface and so forth, and if I get the right
cable and permission some of you might get to poke around in the OS. :)

Ok - first impressions:

Took a minute to open. It's a PC rack-mount case.

Large fans. Stiffy disk in the front (1.4mb), Pentium II processor (probably
a 233, given the age) of some or other description, 64Mb of DIMM ram. It's an
ATX motherboard, and looks pretty standard otherwise. Intel PCI chipset etc.

Linux (with serial console support) doesn't load, and I am not brave enough
to put a vga card in it :)

Serial console in the front, and a single Intel 100mb/s ethernet card in it.
I don't like the console in front - we would end up with wires hanging around
the front...

4 quantum (yuck) IDE (yuck) drives in it on two IDE controllers - two drives
per controller. The second card is a 'promise' IDE controller (two IDE
connectors). Quantum Fireball ST's. The hard drives are mounted really close
together, so the two large fans on the side are probably required.

The core OS is 'vxworks' (same system that the mars lander worked on). It's
a microkernel. It appears to start an individual thread per connection (there
is an upper-bound of 700 threads). It's ok for small setups.. we are already on
1200 concurrent during peak. This makes it a very expensive option (at least
in SA). The limited disk space means that we are paying a LOT for caching..

It runs it's own filesystem. There is a button to 'clear complete cache'.
By the time I switch X virtual consoles it's finished 'formatting' the
20something gigs on the machine.

Everything is done via a pretty fancy web interface... it looks as if the
options are pretty limited. Java etc etc etc. The button called 'nerd knobs'
is quite funny :)

Access control is done by a file with a list of IP's ftp'd to the machine.
Same goes for 'ban' lists. This isn't as bad as it sounds... at least it's
DAMN easy to configure...

Next installment:

Find average latency, and see what latency under load is. I'll probably
throw some of our caches through it and see what 'real world' (at least
in SA) load is.

You can't do transparency without the proper router. I plan on getting some
detailed network dumps to get an idea of how the protocol works. (aah - now you
know why I have it at all :)


"Haven't slept at all. I don't see why people insist on sleeping. You feel
so much better if you don't. And how can anyone want to lose a minute -
a single minute of being alive?"				-- Think Twice
Received on Tue Jul 29 2003 - 13:15:53 MDT

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