[CentOS] Seeking advice about auth/home serving

Toby Bluhm tkb at alltechmedusa.com
Wed Oct 15 14:57:37 UTC 2008

Laurent Wandrebeck wrote:
> A centralized storage solution is impossible due to our (awfully) low IT budget.

I'm used to that. "We need this, this, this and that. Here's a dollar."

> Only important data is backuped (/home and a couple other things), as
> we can't afford to save several TB.
> 3 servers are rack ones, others are towers.
> A bit of history: when I get employed there, we had 400GB, 1 box per
> user, 100mbps network, local user accounts...we are now at 30+TB,
> twice more boxes than users... Everytime we had to work on a new
> satellite, generally a new box came in and was dedicated to store and
> process data of this new sat.
> Everytime, it was a noname box, with classical hardware and a 3ware
> card (sometimes, I even had to use software raid *sigh*). We're always

I rather enjoy using SW raid.

> close to full capacity, and work in emergency is my daily companion
> (as I'm the only IT guy, having to do lots of things others than
> admin)
> Disks are, depending on the box, from 200GB to 1TB, 4 up to 24 ones.
> raid is mostly 5, 10 on a couple others (home server, db server)
> I know the way it was deployed isn't the best, unfortunately,
> struggling with low time and budget, it was difficult to do it a
> different way.

Kinda what I figured - a conglomeration of stuff. Sounds like a 
situation I'd find myself in. Actually, I kinda like it.

Anyway, how about collapsing your storage down to a few roll-your-own 
NFS servers? Perhaps the smaller boxes could easily be moved to one 
server, the heavy hitters left as is & the medium boxes folded into 2-3 

That said, NFS server performance on generic hardware & Linux always 
seems to be somewhat of an issue. While I'm not a huge fan of Sun, a few 
OpenSolaris boxes with ZFS could be quite nifty.

With the only resources being myself & (relatively) inexpensive generic 
HW, that would be my approach.


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