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Old 2002-10-12, 23:15   #11
Aug 2002

3616 Posts

How do you plain to do IDE RAID 5? They make controllers but are they integrated into any Dual Athlon MB that fit in a 1/2 U case? Or will the IDE Raid PCI card fit into a xU rack case?
RAID 5 is essential. We can not afford to loose data from a HD crash. ... A 36GB 10,000 rpm SCSI drive is only $160.
For IDE RAID 5, you would probably need to build your own, because I haven't seen any (that I can remember of the top of my head) vendors offer IDE RAID 5. ... Also, I question our need for RAID 5. What is wrong with RAID 1? We would probably be able to get IDE RAID 1 and RAID 1 still provides redundancy.
Software based RAID 1 is not acceptable. (slow, no real time failover)
Hardware based IDE RAID 1 with hot-swap drive carriers is not too bad if that is the price point we need to hit. 2xWD800JB (3y warranty, 8MB 7200 rpm, 80GB) is only ~$220.

RAID 1 gives us the hot backup drive, but will it give us enough speed? We currently have a RAID 5 configuration.

George, are you concerned about HD speed given your DB background? Any concerns about the new server having roughly the same speed storage subsystem speed or lower?

Since we need service, what are good but cheap Athlon MP rack mount vendors?
If each part comes with a warranty, then why do we need service? You didn't reply to the idea about proxy servers, because if we had them, then service wouldn't be as critical.
What would our response time be to purchase the needed part and get to the server's location to install it?? This could easily be days not sub 4 hrs. Unless you want to purchase the space parts ahead of time and have a automatic notification of 2-3 competent technicians in the local area that donate their services. If it were a university, we need them to guarantee the server's hardware or pay someone to provide at minimum next day parts and labor.

I am not sure that a next business day service agreement would be enough. A failure that occurs late Friday, is not fixed until Monday?? That really hurts GIMPS's rep and could cause people to quit or not join. Can we afford to be down from Friday to Monday?

The idea of proxy servers is a good idea. However, it is a bad idea to design the reliability of your primary server while counting on a backup proxy that does not exist and may or may not happen. I would like to see a redundant server (or a proxy would be all most as good) in a different location. The security of the proxy's could easily be a problem. Let’s get the primary server configuration decided first without depending on proxies.

Is RH Linux the OS of choice?

Is anyone willing to donate money to this project? Could we setup internet donation system or at least a bank account? How much work is it to make GIMPS a non-profit organization?
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