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Re: [Linux-cluster] Set up Satellite on notebook/laptop or server?

Mark Watts wrote:
On Thursday 29 January 2009 14:51:39 sunhux G wrote:

We're exploring to get Satellite for ease of patching the Linux servers.

The recommendation from Redhat is to have at least 200Gb disk space,
2Gb RAM.

As the largest server (SCSI) disk available is only 146Gb, I thought of
setting up Satellite on a notebook instead (as there's larger disks
for notebook).

My colleagues/manager prefer a server but of course this means setting up
RAID 0 (or RAID 0+1) to obtain larger disks.

Does anyone has any comments as to the pros & cons of setting up
Satellite on a notebook vs on a server?  I was told notebook/laptop is less
reliable but we're taking an Acronis backup as and when there's changes
or new patches/updates being loaded into the Satellite, so risks of a
crashed satellite is mitigated.

What's the largest disk available on a notebook/laptop?

My idea of setting up Satellite on a notebook is that I could bring the
around to connect it up to various subnets (or even to a another datacentre
a remote location) to patch the Linux servers without the hassle of opening
firewall rules and sharing of satellite between different locations.

Any issue (legal of technical) with just changing the IP address of the
server as & when I need to connect it up to a different subnet?

What are the various hardware people knew have been used to host Satellite?


We're currently using Satellite 5.0.2 on a fairly meaty Dell server (8GB ram, 800GB raid-5 disk, 4 cpu). To my mind this server is massivly over-spec'd for the job its doing, and spends most of its time idle.

/var/satellite is taking up 80GB (we have RHEL4 AS and ES 32bit, RHEL5 32bit and RHEL5 64bit) /rhnsat (the database) is only 6.5GB, although we don't have that many servers (~20)

A quick check on the Dell website reveals the Precision M6400 Mobile Workstation, which take upto 16GB ram, a Quad-core cpu and upto two 500GB disks. This type of laptop would be perfect for a mobile satellite IMHO, although it'll probably be more expensive than a server for long-term use.



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It's OT, but I'll bite. Before I start though - these opinions are my own and not my employers; I personally make no guarantees on the information contained herein; your milage may vary; and any other caution I can put in here to say "buyer beware" :-)

You can get a small (about the size of a car battery) external RAID disk enclosures that work off eSATA. You could then attach it via a Cardbus eSATA card that is supported by Linux (a search shows that this one might be a likely candidate http://www.nitroav.com/product/484/) and have the laptop mount a RAID 1 off the eSATA the external drives.

Having the Satellite server dump it's data on to the RAID 1 mounted filesystem allows you to move the data to another server/laptop if needed. Another benefit is that 3.5 inch hard disks are usually a lot cheaper with more capacity than the 2.5 inch disks. Max spindle speeds tend to be better in 3.5 inch disks as well.

As for RH Satelitte questions, while I'm sure many people here on the Cluster list have Satellite experience too, there is a dedicated Satellite mailing list that you can direct your Satellite queries to (sign up for it at https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/rhn-satellite-users).

One final disclaimer, redundancy is never a replacement for frequent and relaible backups. Whatever you do, make sure the Satellite data can be restored from recent backups in the event that things go wrong.

Kind Regards,


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