Monday, March 19, 2007

Backup Solutions

As far as backups go, the golden dangling carrot for me has always been Unified enterprise backups. The Windows group can never agree with the Unix group. The corporation will bring in vendors and demo products. The windows guys will settle on one product, the unix guys will settle on another. No decision will ever be made.
On the Unix / Linux side we are pretty happy with our backup solution. We use Netbackup. We haven't bought all the bells and whistles, but we have modified it to fit into our old backup management and reporting solution.
The windows group currently uses BrightStore. My biggest complaint is its slow and it doesn't work well with Unix. when backing up straight to disk, Brightstore has a concurrent thread limit, so no matter how fast the disk is, I could only get 12Mbs to disk. We moved a Critical unix machine over to this solution because, at the time it was the enterprise solution for the DMZ. The backup was going over the allotted window and was running into production. After moving the backup it went over the time window everyday and impacted production.
Finally we have decided to go with Comstore. As a unified backup solution. The software didn't do everything we needed, but it did most. Oh and the primary Selling point it was really cheap. When will people understand. 'If Admin time wasted the solution is ultimately more EXPENSIVE'

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

xeon vs opteron

During many benchmarks of both opteron and xeon products I have found many issues. On the opterons they suffer on single threaded tests. xeons suffer badly on multithreaded tests. While a xeon may rock in a single threaded encryption algorithm, whenever the tests required big memory sets ( 8 gig or more) xeons became sluggish. Opterons thrive on big memory, as long as there are 4 procs or less. Opterons totally kill on heavy multithreaded compression or encryption with big data sets. Xeons also have an issue with device access when doing benchmarks. On similar systems with the same disk tray's xeons slow down when doing calculations and disk access. opterons totally rock at this.

So in recap Big memory go with opteron, lots of disk access go with opteron. single process with a small file or memory size such as pgp or zip go with xeon.
Whats the Best way to learn Linux.

I have heard this question several times recently. I think the best way is to do a minimal install of Gentoo. I have heard many people say install ubuntu and mess around, but If you actually want to learn you need to get dirty. Gentoo provides the best opportunity to do this right from the start. The Gentoo minimal cd and wiki, teach you how to create file systems from the command line; to use common tools like tar, fdisk and such; how to set passwords; how to chroot an environment. The biggest downfall to learning gentoo is the biggest downfall to learning Linux. Every distro does stuff a little bit differently. Gentoo has emerge, fedora has Yum, Suse had you, There may not be a perfect way to learn Linux, but Gentoo is among the best.