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iMike
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: LVM2 or AFS on SGI O2? Reply with quote

While waiting for Gentoo's arcboot to be fixed, I thought I'd ask for advice on getting around the relatively skimpy space one sometimes finds themselves with on older machines. In my case, I was originally trying to install Gentoo on an SGI O2 with a single 2GB harddrive and it's not much space.

Has anyone got LVM2 running on their SGI O2 (or other MIPS box)? I recently found another harddrive I can stick in the box and an external drive that might work. If LVM support were there--especially convenient in a LiveCD or boot image, I think I could make good use of it.

Alternatively, has anyone got AFS running on their MIPS?

Thanks for the advice.
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Lupin_the_3rd
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: LVM2 or AFS on SGI O2? Reply with quote

iMike wrote:
While waiting for Gentoo's arcboot to be fixed, I thought I'd ask for advice on getting around the relatively skimpy space one sometimes finds themselves with on older machines. In my case, I was originally trying to install Gentoo on an SGI O2 with a single 2GB harddrive and it's not much space.

Has anyone got LVM2 running on their SGI O2 (or other MIPS box)? I recently found another harddrive I can stick in the box and an external drive that might work. If LVM support were there--especially convenient in a LiveCD or boot image, I think I could make good use of it.

Alternatively, has anyone got AFS running on their MIPS?

Thanks for the advice.


Here's a unique solution that I've found to work very well for me:

I have a Pentium 4 workstation which is my server. It has a workstation mobo with 64/66 pci slots. I have a 3ware 8506 serial ATA raid card (64bit/66Mhz) and a Myricom PCI64-C myrinet card (also 64bit/66Mhz). The 3ware card has 4x 160GB SATA drives in a raid5 to give 480GB usable. The Myrinet card is cross-cabled to an identical Myrinet card in my 264DP alpha. The alpha has a KZPAC ultra-scsi raid controller with a pair of 18GB drives in a RAID1 mirror. The Pentium is serving 200GB of additional space to the alpha.

I'm using myricom sockets-GM for low latency and low protocol overhead, and NFS mounting a volume from the pentium onto the alpha. The myrinet interconnect gives me MUCH lower latency than Gig-E and twice the bandwidth as Gig-E, and also much lower CPU utilization than TCP/IP over Gig-E, resulting in performance that rivals local-attach scsi disk. The 3ware card and the Myrinet card in the Pentium are both 64/66 PCI so they have plenty of bus bandwidth, and the Pentium board uses dual-channel DDR400 so it has plenty of memory bandwidth.

If I wanted to expand this solution so that the Pentium "server" could serve other hosts, I could add a myrinet-2000 switch, and add as many other hosts as I like.

I don't believe that MIPS hosts are supported with myrinet, but IA32, IA64, AMD64, PPC, Alpha, UltraSparc platforms running Windows, Freebsd, Linux, Solaris, MacOSX are, so it is somewhat crossplatform.

BTW the 64/66 Myrinet-2000 cards were $50/ea on ebay.
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Compaq XP1000 Alpha EV67 667Mhz w/ 2GB ECC
32bit PCI: ATI Radeon 9100 (DRI works!)
32bit PCI: Generic Firewire 400 card
64bit PCI: BCM5703 Gig-E (Compaq NC7771)
64bit PCI: Sil3124 SATA w/ mdadm RAID1 (pair of WD VelociRaptors)
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Software RAID does work... Kumba's been experimenting with RAID 5 on Octane, and apparently has seen considerable speed increases.

Apparently LVM works too, there was a keyword request for it, but none of us have had the time to fully check it out. I will point out though, there's no support in the netboot images for LVM/RAID... but that may change soon.

Might I suggest just giving it a try and reporting back how it goes? You'll possibly need to keep / on a non-RAID drive, but that doesn't stop you RAID-ing the other two drives, and using that for /usr and/or /home. (Heck, even use some symlinking magic).

So yeah, in theory, it should work... and support for it may be in the pipeline. (I'll certainly look into it for Cobalt netboot images) Your best avenue would be to have a fiddle.

On the arcboot issue, you might want to look in portage, there's a newer version released recently. I think it's keyworded ~mips, but may still be worth a try.
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iMike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin,

That is a very interesting solution indeed! Thanks for sharing it. We have myrinet at work, but I had not thought about using it for my own machines. Mixing work (solutions) with pleasure, hey, why not?

Thanks! :D
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iMike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redhatter,

It sounds like some fun to try out RAID, and I might be able to give it a go if I can find a 68-pin/68-pin Ultra SCSI cable to hook up the (possibly) working external drives I came upon. If I can make it go, I will report back.

Unfortunately, I've been hung up on the arcboot/arcload problem. Arcboot still does not work: on your advice, I downloaded the latest version again yesterday, and it still fails to compile. From what I can tell via bugzilla, arcboot 0.3.8.6 fails to compile on sgi o2 r5000, this has been an issue since the end of May. As far as I can see, arcload is the up-and-coming successor, but you have to make new--or resize current--volume headers (more details at this thread).

In short, my experiment to try and run Gentoo on my O2 began at sort of a crossroads when a lot of changes (for the better) appear to be happening. I could try the arcload route now and see how far I get, but I've been expecting either a fixed arcboot or a more convenient arcload might be just around the corner. Do you have any idea how things are progressing?

/Mike
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still haven't fixed arcboot, mainly because it keeps slipping my mind. Been playing with new experimental Octane patches lately. The IP30 Author just got the PCI card Cage working yesterday, which means USB2, Sound, and other neat things can be used on Octane now.

As for arcboot, I won't make any promises, but I'll see if I can get to it sometime this week. I'll probably be taking off Wednesday from work to watch the launch of the Space Shuttle, so maybe I'll find some time then to knock that bug out. It'll likely be the last arcboot released, though. While arcboot has the advantage of filesystem support, arcload is our more preferred choice due to the wide range of systems it can support (including IP28 and IP27). Downside is, of course, the volume header thing. Arcload may get some kind of file system support in the future, but I'm not real sure about that.


--Kumba
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