RE: [squid-users] Xeon / P3 / Dual decision

From: <>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 10:43:52 -0800

I think the problem with NAS is that a dead NFS link, either hard or soft
mounted, would likely kill Squid, based upon what I've heard on this list
(if I'm wrong, someone tell me). I would think that SCSI or fibre DAS would
be best if you needed more than 4 internal disks using a hardware raid card.
If I needed that much storage, I would get a low-end single-adapter external
direct-attached SCSI RAID unit exporting a volume for my cache directories.

The disadvantage, of course to a 1U server is that you have only one
available PCI slot, so you cannot have both a fibre host adapter, and a RAID
adapter for internal drives; I know that with Sun Netra 1U servers, you have
the option of purchasing a 1U PCI expander chassis (Sun Netra E1) that gets
you 4 PCI slots in an external chassis. I'm not sure if there is anything
like this available for Intel hardware, though it would be nice if such a
thing existed (though I bet the Sun Netra E1 expander would work with any
PCI-based system).

If you built your own server using similar components, you could likely get
a bit more flexibility and use a bigger case, but you would have to make
sure you could meet the power (I think around 450W!) and cooling
requirements of the mainboard (Tyan Thunder K7). If you did things this
way, you could use cheaper components, like system drives, and then use an
external RAID array instead for your cache dirs...


-----Original Message-----
From: Ahsan Ali []
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 6:54 AM
Subject: Re: [squid-users] Xeon / P3 / Dual decision

I checked out the reviews and it does seem like the perfect server - the
only thing I dont like is the maximum of 4 drives - as per marc's
suggestion, I was considerring 4 x 18GB (15K RPM) U160s but thats not a lot
of capacity... especially if there is a boot partition etc in there. I
suppose Fibre Channel storage is an option there.

Has anyone ever used NASs with Squid? How exactly does a NAS work? [Network
Area Storage] - Does it attach to a single machine and remain dedicated to
it, or can multiple hosts share it? If so, it must be slower as the storage
is probably done at a higher level than hardware... if someone has pointers
to reading material on this I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks all for all the input you guys have given - the Athlon MP does seem a
wonderful option.

-Ahsan Ali
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 1:51 AM
Subject: RE: [squid-users] Xeon / P3 / Dual decision

> My company is also looking into an Athlon MP solution; the Appro 1124
> configured with internal RAID, Ultra160 drives, and lots of DDR memory
> to be one possibility my company is looking into for a pair of 2
> high-traffic Squid accelerator boxes for next year. We rely heavily on a
> redirector, which is taxing, so high-system speed is going to be important
> to us. Right now we use Sun Enterprise servers (running Linux), which
> aren't exactly great in the CPU department, but are nice in the overall
> hardware design department, this isn't beneficial to us in our heavy use
> redirectors. My best educated guess is that Athlon MP systems will do
> fastest, based upon benchmarks I have seen. We use a python-based
> redirector, and the new Athlons really excel at running Python fast (not
> mention improve communication between Squid and the redirectors); also,
> advantage of using 266MHz DDR RAM is quite nice, I imagine, for
> frequently-used in-memory cached objects.
> There is, AFAICT, only one server-grade dual Athlon MB right now (Tyan
> thunder K7), which may be a drawback, but it has received a lot of
> review, though it does have fairly serious power and cooling requirements
> (the Appro box that my company is strongly considering, according to the
> AnandTech review I read, is designed to deal with this from the start
> The other
> disadvantage to the Tyan board is that it doesn't have 64-bit PCI support,
> at least in its current revision. Hopefully once I eventually get my
> on these boxes, I'll be able to do a few informal benchmarks and
> stress-tests...
> I imagine, though, for raw latency, and not using helpers such as auth,
> redirectors, or dnsserver processes, your biggest issue is not CPU speed
> quantity, but system bus (FSB and peripheral) bandwidth, memory speed, and
> storage throughput. Still, the Athlon MP platform may excel at this better
> than any Xeon offering (AnandTech's database benchmarks might reflect its
> potential advantages in a small-read-io-intensive situation where the CPU
> speed is not that big of a deal -
> Also, dual CPU with respect to either the MP Xeon and Athlon MP systems
> should buy you at least some better overall system performance including
> IO on a heavily saturated system. Gbit ethernet may be overkill though for
> 8Mb of IP traffic, though supposedly it often has a marginal latency
> improvement over 100Mb ethernet.
> Again, these stats are purely hearsay, and I haven't personally had a
> to play around with this hardware, but I think its a smart guess that this
> is the way to go - at least the way I plan to go when I buy replacement
> servers for my outdated Sun equipment. If nothing else, from a
> performance/value standpoint, it makes good sense. I agree with Andrew:
> the price (I think about $3500-4000 each, loaded), you could likely get 2
> boxes like this for the price of a dual-Xeon box, though that might be
> overkill.
> Sean
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew []
> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 11:23 PM
> To: Ahsan Ali;
> Subject: Re: [squid-users] Xeon / P3 / Dual decision
> Seriously if you want performance you should be looking
> at a dual Athlon MP system. In most benchmarks these
> wipe the floor against dual Xeon systems.
> Or you could save yourself some $$ and just get a single
> Athlon XP 1800+ with 1.5gig DDR ram and then with the
> $$ you save you could prolly have a hot backup machine
> just using IDE drives.
> Linux and Reiser FS would be the OS and filesystem
> of choice.
> Cheers
> Andrew
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ahsan Ali" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 4:46 PM
> Subject: [squid-users] Xeon / P3 / Dual decision
> > Hello guys,
> >
> > I'm building a Squid proxy to handle approximately 8Mbit/sec of
> > I've decided to use the following:
> >
> > 3 x 36GB SCSI hard drives
> > 1 x 18GB (OS + logging etc - logging only when needed)
> > 2 GB RAM [may use 3]
> > GBIT Ethernet (may end up using Fast Ethernet only)
> >
> > I need to maximize bandwidth on this box without completely sacrificing
> > latency. I will not be running any content/url/regex checking for
> > sites on this proxy - so I think a dual processor system would be a
> >
> > But I have the following choices with respect to the processor(s):
> >
> > 1 x P3 - 1.26GHz w/ 256K cache
> > 2 x P3 - 1.26GHz w/ 256K cache
> > 1 x P3-Xeon-700MHz w/ 2MB cache
> > 2 x P3-Xeon-700MHz w/ 2MB cache
> >
> > Which one should I go for?
> >
> > Also, when its time to upgrade this box, shall I add more ram and disk
> > just add another identical proxy and peer it with this one?
> >
> > Thanks in advance!
> >
> > -Ahsan Ali
Received on Thu Nov 08 2001 - 11:44:37 MST

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