Bitmap of Dave's PDF

Server Area Questions

Created from George's slides from the October development meeting. I thought it would be easier to comment on them here.

Network questions

  • Current plan is for n switches per bank of racks, for some n
  • All 1000baseT? Some 100baseTX? If so,mixed in banks, or "types" of banks?
  • Cable management? 24-port or 48-port switches? In a block or spread out?
  • How many ports needed in each bank of racks?
  • Documentation?
  • Fibre channel...


If it isn't too much more costly, would it not be easier to have all the ports at 1000baseT (assuming they can fall back to 100TX).

If that would be too much, then I think we could cope with having mixed in banks.

If we are saying that 24 1U commodity servers in a rack, then I only think it's important to have enough ports (remembering that we may want to use both NICs of a machine), I don't particularly care about 24 or 48 port switches.

I think I'd like to see the patch cables routed out the top of the racks and back in the top of the the rack to the switch. NOT under the floor.

Fibre channel in one bank seems fine to me.

-- NeilBrown - 03 Oct 2007

Don't you have anything better to do?

-- CraigStrachan - 03 Oct 2007

It certainly would be easer to have them all the same, but...

A 2900-48G is about £2.9K (+VAT), including its share of a 4-port core switch card. A 2650 is about £470 (+VAT). We may also want to redeploy some existing switches.

-- GeorgeRoss - 03 Oct 2007


Consoles questions

  • Lantronix boxes? (Presumably...)
  • Do all machines need consoles?
  • Console servers in all banks of racks?
  • How many ports?
  • Cable management? Beside switches or separate?


Yes, all machines need consoles, unless you can provide a consistent wrapper around those that use lantronix, and those that use IPMI.

Lantronix in banks. No preference to beside switches or not.

-- NeilBrown - 03 Oct 2007

Irrespective of the hardware we use we need a consistent interface and a way to list what host consoles are available. If the same interface could tell you which rack the host you were looking for was on then that'd be ideal. Also whatever hardware solution we go for the cabling should be console server agnostic and it ought to be possible to swap out the console server with the minimum of fuss

-- IainRae - 03 Oct 2007

I wasn't at the original presentation, but:

1. Does 'Console servers in all banks of racks?' refer to the existing-style servers running conserver? If so, what machines are these intended to serve?

2. If (and when) we use IPMI Serial-over-LAN, we will also need to use conserver servers to buffer the console outputs. (The number of such servers needed - and where they should live - is another question: maybe one in total would be enough.) So we will always end up with a mix of console server solutions.

Are we clear yet what proportion of the machines we want to serve will run IPMI v2.0?

3. Lantronix (or similar) boxes would most neatly be installed as one per rack, rather than one per bank of racks - if we can afford it. That would also be a good fit if we envisage each rack housing up to 24 or so machines.

4. I think/hope the 'consistent interface' questions can be addressed by the appropriate use of LCFG resources and scripting. The 'agnostic cabling' question should come down to (a possible variety of) RJ45<->DB9 adaptors: there seems no way of avoiding the lack of RJ45 serial wiring standards but, if this is confined to the end-points, our cabling should be fine. Shouldn't it?

-- IanDurkacz - 11 Oct 2007


Power questions

  • Do we need switched outlets?
  • Do we need metered outlets?
  • 0U vertical or 2U horizontal?
  • How many outlets per rack?


Certainly some switched outlets would be good. Only needed for those "high priority" services. Don't particularly mind about verticlal or horizontal, but best to have spread out in the rack. ie not all a the bottom of the rack.

-- NeilBrown - 03 Oct 2007

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pngpng daveserverroom.png manage 74.8 K 03 Oct 2007 - 13:04 NeilBrown Bitmap of Dave's PDF
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Topic revision: r5 - 11 Oct 2007 - 15:37:53 - IanDurkacz
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