[Techtalk] Building boxen, testing setup, SCSI RAID

Michelle Murrain tech at murrain.net
Mon Nov 12 20:13:03 EST 2001

Hi folks,

I had already decided, a bit ago, to build a box. I get this urge about 
once a year, and although I usually learn a lot in the process, I also 
swear off doing it each time after I'm done :-) I'm actually thinking about 
building two this time.

But, this will be about the 4th time I've done this, so maybe by now I've 
learned a bunch of stuff, and this will go somewhat more smoothly.

I'm thinking about a few things:

1) putting together a testing setup - where I can easily drop components in 
and out, and not have to muss with a tower case, etc. Has anyone done this, 
and what kind of case did you use? I think that a desktop case would be the 
best candidate for this, but other ideas are welcome. I did just set up a 
KVM switch in my office, so that I now have 4 computers I can control at 
the same time.

2) AMD vs Intel.  I'm pretty sold on using AMD right now for these. Any 
reasons anyone has for me to think I should go with Intel? I've heard 
horrible things about the new chipsets that allow Intel processors to use 
non RAMBUS ram. I am truthfully, a bit fuzzy on the present RAM situation.

3) SCSI RAID - I think it's worth knowing how to do SCSI RAID, and although 
it's pretty expensive to get a SCSI and RAID controllers, I think it might 
in the end be worth the investment. But, what's better - Hardware RAID or 
Software RAID? If I do software RAID, I don't have to get a separate 
hardware controller, which is cheaper. But software RAID takes CPU cycles 
and memory. Suggestions? I've been reading some RAID how tos and docs - is 
it still true that you need to configure the kernel to be able to see the 
RAID drives, or at this point do most distros have these kernel modules out 
of the box?

(Note: this is *not* for a production machine)

Thanks all!


Michelle Murrain, Ph.D.
tech at murrain.net
http://www.murrain.net/public_key.html for pgp public key

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