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HOWTO: Multi Disk System Tuning: Introduction Next Previous Contents

1. Introduction

For unclear reasons this brand new release is codenamed the Taylor3 release.

New code names will appear as per industry standard guidelines to emphasize the state-of-the-art-ness of this document.

This document was written for two reasons, mainly because I got hold of 3 old SCSI disks to set up my Linux system on and I was pondering how best to utilise the inherent possibilities of parallelizing in a SCSI system. Secondly I hear there is a prize for people who write documents...

This is intended to be read in conjunction with the Linux Filesystem Structure Standard (FSSTND). It does not in any way replace it but tries to suggest where physically to place directories detailed in the FSSTND, in terms of drives, partitions, types, RAID, file system (fs), physical sizes and other parameters that should be considered and tuned in a Linux system, ranging from single home systems to large servers on the Internet.

The followup to FSSTND is called the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) and covers more than Linux alone. FHS versions 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 have been released but there are still a few issues to be dealt with. Many recent distributions are now aiming for FHS compliance.

It is also a good idea to read the Linux Installation guides thoroughly and if you are using a PC system, which I guess the majority still does, you can find much relevant and useful information in the FAQs for the newsgroup comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware especially for storage media.

This is also a learning experience for myself and I hope I can start the ball rolling with this HOWTO and that it perhaps can evolve into a larger more detailed and hopefully even more correct HOWTO.

First of all we need a bit of legalese. Recent development shows it is quite important.

1.1 Copyright

This HOWTO is copyrighted 1996 Stein Gjoen.

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have questions, please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator, at linux-howto@metalab.unc.edu via email.

1.2 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

1.3 News

This is a maintenance release featuring minor but numerous updates and additions to file systems and also tools for mount tables.

On the development front people are concentrating their energy towards completing Linux 2.4 and until that is released there is not going to be much news on disk technology for Linux.

Also now the document is available in postscript both for US letter as well as European A4 formats.

The latest version number of this document can be gleaned from my plan entry if you finger my Nyx account.

Also, the latest version will be available on my web space on Nyx in a number of formats:

A European mirror of the Multi Disk HOWTO just went on line.

1.4 Credits

In this version I have the pleasure of acknowledging even more people who have contributed in one way or another:

ronnej (at ) ucs.orst.edu
cm (at) kukuruz.ping.at
armbru (at) pond.sub.org
R.P.Blake (at) open.ac.uk
neuffer (at) goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de
sjmudd (at) redestb.es
nat (at) nataa.fr.eu.org
sundbyk (at) oslo.geco-prakla.slb.com
ggjoeen (at) online.no
mike (at) i-Connect.Net
roth (at) uiuc.edu
phall (at) ilap.com
szaka (at) mirror.cc.u-szeged.hu
CMckeon (at) swcp.com
kris (at) koentopp.de
edick (at) idcomm.com
pot (at) fly.cnuce.cnr.it
earl (at) sbox.tu-graz.ac.at
ebacon (at) oanet.com
vax (at) linkdead.paranoia.com
tschenk (at) theoffice.net
pjfarley (at) dorsai.org
jean (at) stat.ubc.ca
johnf (at) whitsunday.net.au
clasen (at) unidui.uni-duisburg.de
eeslgw (at) ee.surrey.asc.uk
adam (at) onshore.com
anikolae (at) wega-fddi2.rz.uni-ulm.de
cjaeger (at) dwave.net
eperezte (at) c2i.net
yesteven (at) ms2.hinet.net
cj (at) samurajdata.se
tbotond (at) netx.hu
russel (at) coker.com.au
lars (at) iar.se
GALLAGS3 (at) labs.wyeth.com
morimoto (at) xantia.citroen.org
shulegaa (at) gatekeeper.txl.com
roman.legat (at) stud.uni-hannover.de
ahamish (at) hicks.alien.usr.com
hduff2 (at) worldnet.att.net
mbaehr (at) email.archlab.tuwien.ac.at
adc (at) postoffice.utas.edu.au
pjm (at) bofh.asn.au
jochen.berg (at) ac.com
jpotts (at) us.ibm.com
jarry (at) gmx.net
LeBlanc (at) mcc.ac.uk

1.5 Translations

Special thanks go to nakano (at) apm.seikei.ac.jp for doing the Japanese translation, general contributions as well as contributing an example of a computer in an academic setting, which is included at the end of this document.

There are now many new translations available and special thanks go to the translators for the job and the input they have given:

ICP Vortex is gratefully acknowledges for sending in-depth information on their range of RAID controllers.

Also DPT is acknowledged for sending me documentation on their controllers as well as permission to quote from the material. These quotes have been approved before appearing here and will be clearly labelled. No quotes as of yet but that is coming.

Not many still, so please read through this document, make a contribution and join the elite. If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know.

New in this version is an appendix with a few tables you can fill in for your system in order to simplify the design process.

Any comments or suggestions can be mailed to my mail address on Nyx: sgjoen@nyx.net.

So let's cut to the chase where swap and /tmp are racing along hard drive...

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