Subject: Help me replace a Sun-4/380 mega-News server with a NetBSD/i386 box
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Dirk Steinberg <Dirk.Steinberg@gmd.de>
Date: 12/20/1994 15:00:03
>>>>> "Greg" == Greg Earle <email@example.com> writes:
Greg> So, this got me thinking cost conservation, and that made me
Greg> think "What about a NetBSD/i386 box?".
I know that ftp.cdrom.com is a FreeBSD PC Box in a production
environment under heavy load. From an ftp session:
220 wcarchive.cdrom.com FTP server (Version wu-2.4(1) Mon Aug 15 13:35:59 PDT 1994) ready.
Name (ftp.cdrom.com:dws): ftp
331 Guest login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
230-Welcome to wcarchive - home ftp site for Walnut Creek CDROM.
230-You are user 262 out of 500 possible.
230-This machine is a 90Mhz Pentium with 192MB of memory & 32GB of disk online.
230-The operating system is FreeBSD 220.127.116.11. Should you wish to get your
230-own copy of FreeBSD, send mail to info@FreeBSD.org for more information.
I don't know about any similar NetBSD machine, though.
Greg> Thus, what I'm looking for: a recommendation for a PC
Greg> configuration that can handle a pretty unique mixture, with
Greg> heavy, heavy emphasis on I/O. That is the most important
Greg> thing. Support for multiple Ethernets is somewhat of a
Greg> vital necessity as well.
There are PCI Ethernet boards with 4 interfaces on one card.
I don't think there are drivers for these, though. Although they
use the same chips as other PCI Ethernet cards, they also use
a PCI-to-PCI bridge.
Greg> I don't know much about PCs. I know SPARC systems. Only
Greg> data points I have:
Greg> - Might want to consider an EISA server because PCI is "too
Greg> flakey" still(?)
A Intel Plato board with a Pentium 90 or 100 should be stable.
Greg> - Only PCI SCSI support is for an "NCR 53C810 PCI SCSI host
Greg> adapter"; how stable/reliable are these cards/software
Greg> support in NetBSD for them?
I second this question. I'd really like to know how these drivers
behave under really heavy load. How about disconnect/reconnect,
Fast/Wide/Sync negotiation, tagged command queuing?
Greg> - How much memory can NetBSD/i386 support? Is there any
Greg> problem with >16 Mb configurations?
I don't think so, but I remember there is a compile-time constant for
the max. amount of memory supported. The above-mentioned machine has
192 MB, so there shouldn't be any major problems.
Your SCSI adapter should be a 32 bit busmaster (EISA, PCI, VLB)
though to address memory beyond 16 MB.
Greg> - What are the best/most screaming Ethernet cards for a
Greg> high-end PC that NetBSD supports? I don't know anything
Greg> about the WD/Novell/3Com/AT&T cards.
There are PCI busmaster Ethernet cards using the AMD 79c970 chip
(called PCnet-PCI). There is a driver for Linux. Don't know
about NetBSD/FreeBSD, though. Anyone?
Dirk W. Steinberg - German National Research Center for Computer Science (GMD)
Institute for Application-Oriented Software- and Systems Technology (ISA-NW)
Network Engineering Department - Rathausallee 10 - D-53754 Sankt Augustin
Phone: +49 2241 14-3182 - Fax: +49 2241 14-3038 - Email: Dirk.Steinberg@gmd.de