Archive for 'niagara'

Nevada Testing

Posted on April 11, 2006, under apache, general, niagara.

Before we give Ubuntu a try on the T2000, we’ve upgraded it to the latest build of Solaris Express (nevada) with the latest version of the e1000 driver, and it certainly does make some improvement. The single-threaded I/O results are not much different, so I’m beginning to suspect that these results are more related to the 7200 RPM disks that anything else. If we get a chance to hook the T2000 up to a serious RAID array with 15K RPM disks, we’ll give it another shot. I’m going to post soon with the I/O graphs for a range of processors and operating systems, so I’ll save that graph for a small while.

Before upgrading, we applied some more tunings that found on the T2000 SpecWeb page, but they didn’t make much difference it has to be said. As I previously blogged, regular Solaris 10 managed to push 15298.68 requests per second. Well straight out of the box, Nevada was pushing over 18,000 – which is a 20% improvement, not bad! The kernel bug which caused the event MPM to crash is now fixed, and using the event MPM gets us to … drum-roll … 20,417.33 requests per second. Better yet, the really nifty kssl functionality on Solaris means that you can use the event MPM without having to worry about its lack of support for mod_ssl right now.

Although the single-threaded I/O numbers have not really improved, Nevada is better for single-threaded downloads, and here we see a neat doubling of performance and the T2000 has no problem maintaining 80MB/sec (that’s 640 Mbit/sec) downloads, which is more than good enough.

One funny thing I have noticed is a bug in the T2000 firmware;

Sun Fire T200, No Keyboard
Copyright 2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.

A google search for it seems to indicate it’s universal. But I can’t find a bug ID :-) Maybe the product line got renamed, or maybe it took legal a while to negotiate with the Terminator people, or maybe it’s just a typo, but either way I like it, it’s fun to have a few anachronisms, it adds character.

Not a Rio!

Posted on March 29, 2006, under apache, general, niagara.

Ok, so yet more generosity from Sun today. I’ve been told we can keep the T2000! Incredibly, the T1000 is still on its way, and that will be with us some time next week – but I can now recycle the cardboard from the T2000. Brilliant!

We would actually be more than comfortable deploying a T2000 as a host for ftp.heanet.ie, but things are not that simple. We’d have to migrate the 12TB of data from XFS to UFS, for a start. We’d also prefer to buy a server, with a support contract and so on (update: the donations actually come with SunService contracts), anyway. But the T2000 would give us better performance, and a much better NFS stack, which greatly expands our options for the future. When we next purchase an ftp.heanet.ie, Niagara is at the top of our list.

So, the T2000 will go to RedBrick, and we’re working on something else for the T1000. In the immediate future, it will serve as an excellent development and testing machine for Apache, and we’ll use it for the dtrace work (now well underway, by the way). It will also be incredibly useful for us to have a machine for ongoing comparison purposes, and maybe even some OpenSolaris hacking.

Stay tuned for more benchmarking work though, results will be coming soon.

Update: SUN have also very kindly offered to cover Nóirín’s travel costs to ApacheCon Europe in Dublin (read how this will help her, here). Nóirín has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes editing my blog-posts into readable English (and also improving the spelling to that above the level of a 10 year old!) and with Sun’s help, the universe has been particularly efficient at getting the kharmic reward in order.