[ale] Need an off the shelf linux recommendation

Dow Hurst dhurst at kennesaw.edu
Wed Feb 4 16:08:50 EST 2004

Get a decent box from a local computer store with a small 
root drive and two identical hard drives of large enough 
size to fit their data plus room to grow.  Current size 
times two?

Example if current data size is ~72Gb:

Decent motherboard such as ASUS?
P4 2.0GHz 256Mb RAM
1x30Gb root drive
2x160Gb data drives
LAN of course

Don't even bother with a monitor but just borrow 
monitor/keyboard/mouse until your setup from another machine 
in the shop.  Set the CMOS to boot without stopping and 
start ssh on boot.

Set up the Linux install for SMB, PDC, and DHCP for the 
network services.  Setup 0+1 raid on the data drives.  If 
you make it SuSE you can setup auto patching and all you'll 
do is merge config files periodically.  Setup the 
SuSEfirewall to allow connections to the Samba ports from 
the local LAN.

That is basically what I'd do.  Adding a tape backup and 
training someone to switch tapes each week and take a copy 
home would be good too.

A really nice option is to get dual small root drives.  Then 
set it up for one root and two raid 0+1 data drives.  After 
your done getting everything configured and running 
properly, dd the root to the spare root.  Unhook the spare 
drive from power and data cables but leave in the machine as 
a backup drive.  (Idea courtesy Bob Toxen, Fly-By-Day) Oh, 
and get a decent power supply for the box such as the Antec 
TruePower series.  Use a APC SmartUPS or BackUPS Pro if you 
can get it for power protection from the get go and setup 
the autoshutdown with either Powerchute or the open source 
packages to do this.  I hope this helps you,

PS.  This is the file server.  I wouldn't make it the office 
firewall.  I suggest using the SuSEfirewall cause it could 
help protect the file server in the hostile Winbased 

Louis Zamora wrote:
> I am in LA and have come across a Mortgage Office, 30+ wireless laptops, peer to peer to 1 Win98 acting as a fileserver without backups or firewall. 
> When I asked what happens if the Win98 fails, they said they'd be out of business. I knew Disaster Recovery was not in their vocabulary. 
> So I want to offer them an off the shelf fileserver, with SMB, PDC and some redundancy (even if its just another like server mirroring).
> My question to the group is what should I recommend? Is Cobalt still my best bet or is there something else I should look at? Who works well with small fry like me?
> If anyone has some offline ideas and would like to call, please do.
> Thanks, 
> Louie
> 678-779-7103
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Dow Hurst                  Office: 770-499-3428            *
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