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Home » Kerio User Forums » Kerio Connect » Internal Xserve G5 RAID vs. attched RAID via fiber performance (Opinions on swapping single processor for dual processor Xserve and adding external Xserve RAID)
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bigmountain

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Hey guys,

I currently run the latest version of KMS on a Xserve G5 single processor with 4GB RAM and RAID5 via MegaRAID card using the three internal drive bays. Right now my load is only about 20% steady CPU usage, occasionally spiking to 40%. I am reorganizing my network to get the most from each of my servers. What I am considering is this:

Move my mailsever to a Dual G5 Xserve Cluster node with 4GB RAM with attached Xserve RAID via fiber (silkworm 3200 switch). I would set up the array as RAID5, probably starting with just 3 drives and adding a 4th if storage is needed.

My question is this: Will my performance stay the same, improve or degrade? I'm hoping that the performance will improve a bit by adding the second processor. From what I read on the forum posts, I don't think I will see much difference in speed from the attached RAID vs. the internal RAID, so I'm thinking that maybe the processors will be the biggest key factor.

I currently suppport approximately 300+ users with 80 domains, about 30% are using KOC, 50% using Entourage or Apple Mail with iSync and 20% using webmail. Mailboxes range in size from 500MB up to 5000MB. I have external spam/virus filtering so that cuts out a lot of traffic from the server.

Also, with the new KMS 6.5 with offline caching for KOC, will this help the overall performance since there will be less demand on the server from my current KOC clients?

I host Kerio accounts and am growing steadily, so my goal is to get the Kerio on the attached RAID so that I can grow storage as needed as well as be able to handle more concurrent users with the dual processors. Rather than having to deploy a second mailsever, I'm hoping to go further with just one mailserver.

Does anyone have any words of advice or opinions on the above configurations? Is there anything you would differently? Would you just keep the Kerio on the existing server as is and deploy a second mailsever to handle my future growth? Thank you!

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My IT Indy

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The extra CPU and increased bandwidth of the fibre connection should make things a LOT faster for you longterm. The nice thing about the XServe RAID is that you can just add disks as you need them to increase storage. You can't do that with an internal RAID.

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shaggie16

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Hi

Off line mode should indeed really help - however, I have found the biggest hinderence to KMS speed is the disks, not the CPU. I have about 50 KMS installations for various customers, and I always use RAID 10 now, rather than RAID 5. As well as having more redundancy, it is a lot faster.
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bigmountain

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If I am not mistaken, I thought I read someplace within one of the latest releases (either the 6.4.2 or the 6.5 beta 10) that one of the two processors in a dual processor system are not used with KMS because it had some compatibility problems. Does anyone know if this applies to all dual processor systems or just the newer Intel Mac systems?

Also, in regards to RAID 10 vs RAID 5 configuration in response to the last post.... is there really any additional advantage in terms of redundancy if we are already backing up the data externally every evening? I need to weigh out getting the best bang for my buck on my RAID system and if I can use some of the additional bays for another array vs. a mirror of the KMS array, I think I stretch my dollars out a bit better and make better use of my existing gear. However, if there is a huge speed increase by jumping to a RAID 10 setup over the RAID 5, then it might make better sense. But if there is not much of a noticeable difference, then I would probably just stick to a RAID 5. Your thoughts?

My last question is this... does anyone have a ballpark idea of how long it would take to archive 110Gb of data (the mailstore) and copy it to the RAID system over gigabit ethernet? I'm wondering if the easiest way to do this would be to place this archive into a shared folder and using the new Xserve, copy it from the shared folder over onto the RAID set and then decompress the archive. Although I have a fiber switch, since I am not using SAN software, I cannot grant write access to both Xserves. I can make one read only and the other read/write, but if I can simply do it by using a shared folder and AFP/Bonjour over gigabit ethernet, then that may be the safest way to go about this. Since I am a hosting provider, it would be helpful to estimate about how long this will take so I can notify my customers. Thanks!

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Pavel Dobry (Kerio)

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bigmountain wrote on Thu, 27 December 2007 20:57

If I am not mistaken, I thought I read someplace within one of the latest releases (either the 6.4.2 or the 6.5 beta 10) that one of the two processors in a dual processor system are not used with KMS because it had some compatibility problems. Does anyone know if this applies to all dual processor systems or just the newer Intel Mac systems?



It is not quite correct. The problem was with QT library in used the Administration Console. KMS engine or any other part is not affected and can use all benefits of multi-CPU systems.
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brsamuel

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A quick (unscientific) test - I copied 3 1GB files between an xserve with an xserve RAID to an xserve with internal storage using AFP and a Gbit network. The two servers were in different buildings and separated by a total of 4 switches, but low traffic and Gbit uplinks all through. The three files came across in just over 1 minute.

Moving a mail store - with a tremendous number of small files would surely take much longer. You would have to do some testing of course, but your best approach may be to make an uncompressed tar ball and move that file across - compression would add a lot of time that you could not make up in the transfer.

You would probably save some time by creating the tar ball directly onto an external firewire drive, walk the drive over to the new server, and expand the tar ball directly from the external drive.

Samuel
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bigmountain

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Thanks for the info, Samuel. I do have a couple of firewire drives there with the servers. Based on what you said, I would expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 minutes for the transfer, plus any prep time, expanding the tar ball, etc. I would expect that I could have this completed within an hour, two at the most.

Is there anyone out there who would be able to answer the question regarding how long it would take to create an archive of a 110Gb mailstore? I would like to use this for comparison. Since this is a production server serving about 50 businesses, I need to have all my bases covered with minimal downtime. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Samuel, thanks again for your suggestion!

- Jon

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bigmountain

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Ok, folks.... so here is where I am at. I have installed the new server and RAID at our data center. To ease my pain on D-day when I take the plunge and move over the mailstore, I am copying my archive and old logs onto a back up drive and will remove them from the existing server. From my estimate, it looks like that will remove about 54GB of data that I won't have to copy over when I change servers. So, that leaves me with about 65GB to transfer. Here is my problem... So far I have spent about 4 hours to create an archive disk image of the archive directory over to an external firewire drive (Firewire 800). I still have just over 10GB to go, so at 10GB per hour, this seems a bit ridiculous. If these stats are correct, it will take me about 7 hours to move my mailstore over. I used Disk Utility to create a disk image from directory and then chose my target/destination disk to the firewire drive. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows of a faster way to do this. My servers are connected via a Gig switch, so would it be faster and easier to just establish a share point, mount the drive on the source server and copy the data over? Of course I would have to correct the permissions on the destination server, but as far as I can tell, it looks like all the files have the owner set as system with read/write, admin as no access and Others with no access. Would it be faster doing it this way, rather than creating a disk image, compression and then restoring from the disk image? I plan on doing this in a few days and any feedback is much appreciated. Does Kerio tech support have any thoughts on this matter? Thank you!

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My IT Indy

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I just migrated a server this past weekend. I ran a full backup on the old server, logged in as root and compressed the mailserver folder. I then moved it to the new server via AFP (the mailserver folder was only 6GB I think) and placed it in the proper directory.

I then moved the contents of the backup over just to make sure everything was cool and then started the new mailserver installation up. I had to re-enter the license key and then everything was perfect. Total time: About 2 hours since I had to dig up the license key and that alone took about 1:40.

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bigmountain

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Hi everyone.... I wanted to follow up to let you know about my move to the new server and RAID. We ended up using rsyncx via ssh over a local gigabit network. We copied over 76 GB of data and it took approximately 3 hours. While the process was taking place, I replaced the config files as Kerio suggests in the new server with the old config files from the old server. That shaved off about 5-10 minutes of time. Once the transfer was complete (no problems at all), I started up the server, made sure everything appeared to be fine and once I knew it was good, I enabled my IP on the server. I had already setup the IP on the new server, so when I was ready all I had to was check the box to enable that network connection. Since I was connected under a different IP originally, I used changeip to update my server domain and IP address, restarted the server and everything worked great! I have reports from users that the service is much faster and I notice myself that my administration console is much more responsive. My external spam firewalls stored all inbound messages while this transition was taking place, so there was no lost mail. All in all a huge success. This is a fairly easy process as long as you do not try to rush it, make sure you stop the existing KMS before you transfer your data and do some backend preparation of your IPs and network connections. I want to thank everyone who responded earlier to provide their feedback and suggestions. It is/was much appreciated.

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