Choosing UNIX / Linux Operating System Vendor / Software

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Hardware, Howto, HP-UX, Linux, Linux distribution, package management, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Sys admin, Tips, UNIX, Windows server last updated July 4, 2008

UNIX or Linux distros offers many flavors. Managing many UNIX like operating systems can be difficult. Here are few tips about selecting one perfect operating system for your business and sticking it with to save both money and time.

Sun To Offer Ubuntu Linux Based Servers

Posted on in Categories Hardware, Linux, Linux distribution, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Solaris, Suse Linux last updated March 19, 2008

Good news for all Debian / Ubuntu Linux fans. Sun has started to offer Ubuntu Linux based servers. Sun has systems competitively priced for small and medium businesses. Ubuntu is based upon rock solid Debian core. Look like Red hat and Novell going to have some nice competition. Sun offers x64-based systems certified for Ubuntu Linux:
* x64 Rack Servers

* Blade Servers

* x64 Workstations

* Workgroup Disk Storage

* Tape Automation

=> Sun SMB Product Page (Via Arun’s blog)

Can I boot My Linux Server from iSCSI or SAN or NAS network attached storage?

Posted on in Categories High performance computing, Howto, Linux, Linux Scalability, Storage last updated November 12, 2007

My previous article related to iSCSI storage and NAS storage brought a couple of questions. An interesting question from my mail bag:

I’ve 5 Debian Linux servers with HP SAN box. Should I boot from SAN?

No, use centralized network storage for shared data or high availability configuration only. Technically you can boot and configure system. However I don’t recommend booting from SAN or any other central server until and unless you need diskless nodes:

[a] Use local storage – Always use local storage for /boot and / (root) filesystem

[b] Keep it simply – Booting from SAN volumes is complicated procedure. Most operating systems are not designed for this kind of configuration. You need to modify scripts and booting procedure.

[c] SAN booting support – Your SAN vendor must support platform booting a Linux server. You need to configure HBA and SAN according to vendor specification. You must totally depend upon SAN vendor for drivers and firmware (HBA Bios) to get thing work properly. General principle – don’t put all your eggs in one basket err one vendor 😉

[d] Other factors – Proper fiber channel topology must be used. Make sure Multipathing and redundant SAN links are used. The boot disk LUN is dedicated to a single host. etc

As you can see, complications started to increases, hence I don’t recommend booting from SAN.

Linux tip: Save Power With Gigabit Ethernet By Using Lower Speed

Posted on in Categories Howto, Linux, Sys admin, Tips, UNIX last updated September 21, 2007

This is a reader contributed article.

These days almost all server / laptop / desktop system has a gigabit Ethernet card (NIC) pre installed. Most servers are directly connected to internet using 100Mbps connections. You can save real power on your Linux server or desktop by operating at 100Mbps Ethernet speed. For example 1 gigabit link is going to consume more power than the power used at 100Mbps speed. Also note that not all systems actually use gigabit speed. For example my desktop system only used for browsing or chatting purpose or Linux web server used to display just static web pages. Now just calculate power consumption for 100 servers or 1000 desktop systems. Bottom line use Gigabit Ethernet speeds only when needed. Did you know – you can save 2 watts or more per Linux/UNIX/Windows server/desktop by just setting a correct speed 🙂

See current Ethernet card speed

Use ethtool comment to display current speed:
ethtool eth0 | grep -i speed

Set new speed and save power

Following command will set card speed to 100Mbps:
ethtool -s eth0 autoneg off speed 100

=> For more information see ethtool command and network interface speed, duplex . auto negotiate settings on Linux

About the author: Rocky Jr., is an engineer with VSNL – a leading ISP / global telecom company in India and a good friend of nixCraft.