Concorde installations – the project!

01Mar07

This article is mainly a protocol of installation procedures which btw might help others, that’s why I published them here.

In case you are wondering, why I named the server “concorde”. Well the IBM x345 is a rack server which we bought used for an association. Because it’s well supported, got the space for 6 hotpluggable 320 SCSI disks and can run with 2 processors.  And we upgraded: an additional processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 6 really fast u320 disks cuopled with a good SCSI RAID controller. That’s why I call it “concorde”: it’s damn flat, very loud and mighty fast.

The purpose of the project: build a fast, reliable and flexible server for Domino. To be able to move the Domino server quickly onto another machine, we decided to use VMware Server.

So the choices are:

1. Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (long term support) (and because of ease of use, we chose the desktop)

2. FreeNX (a very quick thinclient system for convenient remote admin)

3. VMware Server

4. VMware appliance 6.06 desktop (VMware virtual machine)

5. Domino 7.02 (on virtual machine)

Why Ubuntu as a server?

Well, I am quite familiar with Ubuntu, I like it very much and there are great how-tos (SMP, FreeNX, VMware, Domino) on the web and specifically on ubuntu.com.

That is also why I am not going into detail whenever I followed the instructions on one of those pages.

Why VMware?

Yes, of course it won’t have the performance of a real system, but it is so much easier to move the system to another server without the reinstallation of the whole Domino infrastructure. And also, our server is quite capable, so what the heck. VMware is already established, so the risk of running such a spec is not that great.

Why not XEN?

XEN as such won’t allow to freely move virtual machines to other different spec servers.

Why Domino?

Because the assocation is using it for the their directory for more than 12 years. Although they are currently moving to another system, it will be used in parallel for quite some time.

What config?

Dual Xeon Processor, 4GB of RAM

SCSI Disks: RAID 1 2x36GB U320 32k / 4 RAID 10 36GB 32 320

Why this RAID config?

A mixture between fast (RAID0) and secure (RAID 1) . RAID 10 is a minimum of 4 disks,made of a RAID 1 of 2 pairs of RAID0 SCSI disks. Some might say stupid, others might say great thinking.

Another decision was how to configure the array size , we choose a higher then normally, 32k instead of 8k. Again some might say wow, great, because VMware likes that, others might say that this is completely useless.

Why FreeNX?

FreeNX is faster and more usable than VNC (basically a VNC on steroids). Try it before trashing it.

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