[CentOS] Poor RAID performance new Xeon server?

Rob Kampen rkampen at kampensonline.com
Sun Jan 11 22:41:49 UTC 2009

Hi Stuart

Stewart Williams wrote:
> Hi Rob,
> Rob Kampen wrote:
>> Hi, I too run quickbooks (2007) and offer the following scenario - 5 
>> user licences (actually 2 times three user package were purchased).
>> Previously I used version 2004 and this allows much better sharing of 
>> the data file, unfortunately I got sucked into an upgrade that in 
>> reality was a significant downgrade!!
> Yeah I know exactly what you mean. We are currently on 2005 Pro and got 
> "sucked into" upgrading from 2003 Pro, which was working fine for us; 
> but 2005 did have a couple of features we liked the sound of. Little did 
> we know that 2005 was a zillion times slower than 2003 (in our 
> experience) and once you convert your data file and work with it for a 
> week or so, adding information, there is no way back and the data you've 
> added since is too precious to loose, that you can't afford to revert to 
> a week old backup. If only the files were version independent.
You too, sounds exactly like what happened to me.
>> Anyway - my set-up:-/
>> For multiple simultaneous users, one machine has to be the defacto 
>> "server", i.e. it opens the file and shares access to the underlying 
>> data store on behalf of other users. (why they can't develop a decent 
>> client server product defies understanding).
> I've always been annoyed by this too, as it has never really been made 
> into a proper networkable application. They also say that the company 
> file should never reach to a size greater than 125MB. Ha! no chance.
>> So what I have done is establish a W2K client running in virtualbox 
>> (thanks to Sun for keeping this product FOSS). This client accesses the 
>> data file from my main server (running a HW based raid 5  disk array). I 
>> have lots of ram on my virtual box client, and allocate sufficient to 
>> ensure all is in ram. Thus far the system has been very robust and no 
>> data loss. I keep this client running in share mode 24x7 and only go 
>> single user to create backups. Unfortunately Quickbooks does not provide 
>> an automated method of backing up (another gross over-sight).
> I can't really see the benefit in this, samba shares the company file 
> just as well as Windows as long as you configure the permissions 
> correctly and set oplock settings in smb.conf
> That said, I have read, when spending endless hours googling for tips on 
> running QB from a server, that it can be best to serve it from a Windows 
> box and intuit only supports that method.
>> All the other users (on Windoze XP at this time) access the virtualbox 
>> W2K for the data file.
>> Performance while not stellar is adequate, my file is only 10% the size 
>> of yours, but it runs basically from ram, and only save writes....
>> Apparently Quickbooks do offer more expensive products that may work 
>> better from a client server perspective but only on Windoze and MAC, but 
>> for my small business the cost is WAY TOO HIGH and I love FOSS and Linux.
> I think the performance difference would be far worse in this 
> configuration with the size of our file.
>> I must say, it took me many dozens of hours to get this working properly 
>> (mostly due to my ignorance, and Quickbooks poor design), so I hope this 
>> may assist you.
> Thanks for your reply Rob.
> It's a shame that there are these issues, as it's an excellent program 
> and suit's our needs perfectly in every other way than that mentioned.
> And like you, I'd rather use FOSS and GNU/Linux. And that's not through 
> cost, but through choice!
> Stewart
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I too used the samba share method with QB2004 as this allowed any of the 
machines to access the file in multi-user mode, what's more I could do 
automatic back-ups of the samba file system each night and have a 
working backup.
However QB2007 does not allow this at all, only a single user could open 
the file and the other users had to access via that machine, hence the 
elaborate scheme I now use.
My memory fails me as to all the convoluted things I tried, to get it 
working like it did under QB2004, I was not fit to live with for about a 
week when this hit around Christmas 2006.
QB does my payroll as well and while not the cheapest, it just works. I 
only need and use the basic functions of QB.
Just be very careful if you upgrade again, I got sucked in as I use 
turbo-tax and they only allow data transfer from QB <= three years old.
 From now on I'll just manually do the turbo-tax data input.... learned 
the hard way.
I was MD of a UK based software development company, also spent many 
years in a large corporation heading IT strategy and have seen the 
issues of proprietary software vs FOSS, there's no going back for me.
Hope you get something that works ok for your situation.
I note that at 20Mb per week growth, you will probably have other issues 
heading your way real soon.
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