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Projects: Linux NFS Client Performance Project: Test-bed

This page describes the hardware currently included in our NFS client test bed. This test bed is designed around a gigabit Ethernet switch and a Network Appliance F85 file server. It is designed to removed disk and network bottlenecks as much as possible to explore client behavior in a high-performance environment.

Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Summit Switch Our gigabit Ethernet switch is an Extreme Networks Summit 7i. Ours has 28 100/1000Base-T Cat5/6 ports, and four GBIC module slots for short- and long-run fiber connections. Its wire-speed switching capability can switch up to 64 gigabits per second or 48 million packets per second. It includes software support for gig-E trunking and QOS, load-balancing, and jumbo Ethernet frames.

All systems in our test bed except the firewalled connection to the outside Internet world connect to this switch via a 64-bit/66Mhz PCI gig-E NIC and Cat6 cabling.

Main NFS File Server

NetApp Filer Our main NFS file service is provided by a Network Appliance F85 filer. This filer can contain up to 684G of unformatted storage in either a direct-access or RAID configuration, accessible via NFSv2 or v3, HTTP, or CIFS network file acess protocols. We also hope to be one of the first sites that use NetApp's upcoming NFSv4 implementation.

This entry-level product can deliver very fast write performance via non-volatile RAM. Write performance is an important area of research for NFS client performance and scalability.

Alternate File Service

Alt filer 1 Alternate file service comes from a 4-CPU Linux system made by Intel. This system is comprised of 512M of RAM, four 550Mhz Xeon CPUs, and more than 40G of disk storage on high-speed LVD SCSI drives.

Linux Clients

Linux Client Linux client hardware was integrated in-house. These systems are based on the ServerWorks LE III chipset and 933Mhz Pentium III CPUs. They contain high-speed memory and a single high-performance IBM Deskstar IDE drive. They all use a 64-bit/66Mhz PCI gig-E NIC.

More information is available about their construction.

Solaris Clients

Solaris Client Our reference is Sun's NFS implementation in the Solaris(tm) operating system. Today our test harness includes two single-CPU Sun Ultra 1 systems with 100Mb ethernet and 7200RPM SCSI drives running Solaris 2.6. We hope to upgrade these systems to SMP Ultra 60s soon.

Our plan is to include other systems in our test harness. We'd like to support testing *BSD and Hummingbird implementations, as well as new NFS versions from Sun and Network Appliance.

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