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Date:      Tue, 10 Oct 1995 18:53:55 -0600 (MDT)
From:      Dave Andersen <>
To: (Jim Dixon)
Subject:   Re: NEWS server
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.BSD/> from "Jim Dixon" at Oct 10, 95 04:45:35 pm

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Lo and behold, Jim Dixon once said:

> problems are of considerable interest to us.  Our experience has been
> that 486-100s on news machines hover around the 85% idle level and that
> their performance is limited by the bandwidth to the disks.  What sort
> of drives are you running and how are they set up?
> > Should I upgrade to a P133 with 128 Megs ram or a Sparc 5 110 MHZ with 
> > 128 megs ram. If I go with the Sparc can I run FreeBSD on it?
> These may be the wrong questions.

Our news server is a P100 with 32mb ram, an adaptec 2940 PCI controller, 
etc, with news distributed across 3 drives (one for the history files, 
one for just news, and one for alt.binaries).  A look at top reveals:

Cpu states:  0.4% user,  2.3% nice,  3.5% system,  3.1% interrupt, 90.7% idle

There were 10 users reading news as of that snapshot.  By *far* our 
biggest limitation is in the disk area.  The best thing about going 
pentium is the PCI disk controllers (I've never had too much luck with 
the 486 pci stuff, but perhaps we just didn't get lucky with them).  The 
excess processing power of the pentium is almost always sitting around 
wasted.  More ram and better disk controllers are probably a better bet.  
Buying a P133 would be an extreme waste, especially over a p90 or 100.

    -Dave Andersen

--                Complete virtual hosting and business-oriented
system administration         Internet services.  (WWW, FTP, email)
        "She totally confused all the passing piranhas"

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