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[Linux-cluster] starting point




Hi,

I am interested in setting up a linux cluster.  I have the following hardware: 

Dell 2950 server x2, each has PERC4 RAID controller and the Dell remote access client (DRAC)
    8 GB RAM
    (2) x 74 GB for the OS
    (10) x 300 GB for storage
    Core 2 duo processors (I think)
    LPE 11000 HBA's x 2 per machine
   
Switch: unknown

Fiber connections

OS:  Red Hat Enterprise Server (AS) 4 EMT64 - latest update (3 I think)

SAN:  unknown (volumes/LUN's provided for test)

enterprise app:  Perforce

The goal is to cluster the application so that there is no possibility of downtime.  This is to be a dev environment that will have quite a lot of users.  The organization has already used Perforce and likes that, just wants to migrate to a Linux/SAN/GFS environment. 

I have worked with clustering and also a lot with linux, but not together, so that is my challenge.  I am wondering how things like LVM and NFS come into play with the GFS once it is all up and running.  It is a given that SAMBA will probably have to be running on there at some point, not sure how that plays into the mix. 

Also I am worried about block size.  Perforce is a CVS type database that will store code as flat (tiny) text files, even only storing updates.  Great for text storage.  However, this is a multimedia type company, and much of the data may be full multimedia files (jpeg, video, game stuff, music, you name it).  Therefore if a developer writes 10 edits to a C++ application in text form, it only stores the changes and not even the whole text file each time.  However (how's this for contrast?)  ----if a developer edits a video clip and stores it ten times, perforce saves it ten separate times, each at least as big as the first.  So although I hear that I should avoid the 64k block size, I don't know what to go to, realistically.  If anyone has specifically grappled with this I would love to know more about how/why you decided whatever you did for your situation. 

Does anyone know of a good starting point, best practices, HOWTO's, etc.?  I am reviewing Karl Knopper's book 'Enterprise Linux Cluster'.  I have to get this cranked out NOW.  I really need some sort of guidelines or outline since I need to set this up as a project.  Any information is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks
Marc

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