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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] Setting up a real environment
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Re: [vox-tech] Setting up a real environment



On Thu, Jul 12, 2001 at 03:51:46PM -0500, Jay Strauss wrote:
> I'm working at a customer, currently all the hardware from the app is hosted
> by Accenture (formally Andersen Consulting).  They are starting the planning
> of bring it all back in house.  Rough estimate is $1.5 million.  Which would
> be 2 HP N-class servers (4 way (PA-RISC), 1.5 gig memory, don't know clock
> speed), some sort of disk cabinet (maybe a small EMC or one of HP's AutoRaid
> cabinets (crappy raid device if you ask me)), & various win2000 machines and
> software.
> 
> Anyway, I thought I'd put together an estimate for replacing the HP/EMC
> stuff with linux stuff, give it to the CIO as an alternative (hopefully cost
> saving and higher performance).

Hopefully.  However, the majority of costs you cite above are hardware
costs, and I don't see how using Linux will resolve that.  Choosing
Linux over some proprietary OS to run /on/ those machines will still
represent a savings, however; especially if you can do away with those
win2000 servers.

> 1) Is linux ready for prime time, in the regard they would be running their
> financial systems on it

Linux has been ready for and employed in "prime time" for some time;
provided of course we are talking a stable kernel without experimental
features compiled in.  Avoiding the use of X where possible is also a
good idea in most cases.

Regardless of how reliable the OS is, though, you /always/ want to
plan for failure; redundancy is a must in production environments.

> 2) Which distro?  Not to start a religious argument!!! They'd need some
> telephone support from a company that isn't going out of business

In that case, I recommend RedHat.  As a company, the appear to be
quite stable.  I'd recommend /not/ getting 7.0 or 7.1, though - find
out how well they give phone support to 6.2.  If they give good
support, use that, and upgrade any packages which are old.  If you
decide to get a 7.0 or 7.1 and ever plan on compiling things by
source, upgrade their gcc and glibc to stable versions.  They use
unstable development versions of both of those, and they are very
buggy.  GCC 3.0 is out now, and there's no reason not to use it.
glibc also has newer stable versions than the ones they're using.

As you can see from the above, the only real reason I'm recommending
RedHat is because of the company support; and not because of any real
merits of the distro itself.  If you can find another distro with good
backing, you might choose that instead.  Come to think of it, SuSE
would be a likely candidate - I haven't used it myself.  I think the
need for company support would rule out Debian or Slackware, though
(IMO).  Any SuSE users out there wanna comment?

> 3) What type of equipment could/should I get, both the CPU and the disk.

Don't feel qualified to answer that; especially since I don't know
much about your specific needs.

Micah


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