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CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains - Linux / Unix Administration

Hi Everyone, If this is not the appropriate newsgroup, please let me know. I recently starting working for a company that has implemented a 3 tier eCommerce system. This is comprised of web servers in tier 1, app servers in teir 2, and then the databases on the backend. Prior to this position, I worked using Solaris in a ISP environment, and we had used cachefs and read-only nfs mounts to serve up html/php sites. The setup at my new position has the files on local filesystems, spread across multiple systems (read, copy new files to multple web/app servers). I ...

  1. #1

    Default CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    Hi Everyone,
    If this is not the appropriate newsgroup, please let me know.

    I recently starting working for a company that has implemented a 3 tier
    eCommerce system. This is comprised of web servers in tier 1, app
    servers in teir 2, and then the databases on the backend. Prior to
    this position, I worked using Solaris in a ISP environment, and we had
    used cachefs and read-only nfs mounts to serve up html/php sites. The
    setup at my new position has the files on local filesystems, spread
    across multiple systems (read, copy new files to multple web/app
    servers). I am curious about the impact of moving the systems to a
    more NFS based approach using CacheFS. Would the performance be better
    in a NFS/CacheFS environment, or pulling from local disks'? It seems
    that the sites I managed while working for the ISP always worked very
    well, and were very easily updated. The sites I now manage all seem to
    work well, but with more overhead in terms of daily management, etc.

    Has anyone made changes and actually seen improvements going from a
    local file system to a NFS+CacheFS setup?

    Something else I am curious about; say a NFS environment does work
    better, does anyone have a utility to scour the website and pull all
    files and basically get them loaded into the cache, or would wget
    provide enough of a pull using a recursive get?

    Other things to know about the new environments:

    Redhat AS EL3 w/ Apache 2.0
    Resin Application Server Professional 2.1
    Oracle 9i (running on a Veritas Cluster).

    Thanks,
    Jess

    Jesse Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    In article <googlegroups.com>,
    "Jesse Charbneau" <com> wrote:
     

    Think very hard about implementing an Linux NFS solution if you need it
    to talk to anything other than another Linux system. Some versions of
    the Linux kernel are just plain broken when it comes to NFS. They don't
    work well with commercial implementations of NFS clients (e.g. HP/UX,
    Solaris, or AIX). Switch to a commercial UNIX NFS server and Linux
    client NFS and the problem goes away.

    Before you start messing with what already works, test what you propose
    on a test cluster and private network, then make that test cluster
    public and have it banged on, then plan to move it into production. If
    you proceed this way, you'll probably stay in this job a lot longer.

    --
    DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...



    Michael Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    Michael Vilain wrote: 
    >
    > Think very hard about implementing an Linux NFS solution if you need it
    > to talk to anything other than another Linux system. Some versions of
    > the Linux kernel are just plain broken when it comes to NFS. They don't
    > work well with commercial implementations of NFS clients (e.g. HP/UX,
    > Solaris, or AIX). Switch to a commercial UNIX NFS server and Linux
    > client NFS and the problem goes away.
    >
    > Before you start messing with what already works, test what you propose
    > on a test cluster and private network, then make that test cluster
    > public and have it banged on, then plan to move it into production. If
    > you proceed this way, you'll probably stay in this job a lot longer.
    >[/ref]

    FUD. The assumption that commercial
    Unix NFS works is just stupid. Commercial Unix has the same
    ammount if not more bugs than Linux... except it has only
    been of late that those vendors have found the need to
    fix their problems more quickly.

    We run large 10+ terabytes of Linux exported NFS in a mixed
    commercial Unix enviroment with just about every version
    of NFS imaginable. No problems.

    If anything, the Linux boxes deal better with strange
    situations, whereas (for example) the Solaris boxes
    give up (and sometimes lock up) if the NFS share isn't
    available for a bit (due to a network problem).

    Our original NFS infrastructure ran on Solaris 7.
    We switched it to SUSE Linux and our performance
    increased and our costs dramatically decreased.

    I find the Linux NFS plays with more Unix systems
    than NFS from (for example) Solaris.


    Chris Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    Hi,
    Thanks for the reply Chris. Would you say that the performance is
    better with NFS than with local disks'? Not trashing NFS or anything,
    as I actually prefer it, but would like some ammo when I start
    suggesting (Probably down the road since I'm the new guy) a switch to
    NFS for ease of management. Like I was saying, we have a dozen
    eCommerce sites, each having at least two web servers, and several app
    servers for all the sites, and we currently are copying the files to
    each individual box, which from an ease of mgmt point of view is a
    major pain.

    As far as NFS on Linux being broken, I'm definitely not an expert here
    as my experience is mainly with the BSDs and Solaris. Years ago I used
    NFS with Linux, but was not very schooled in NFS/NIS at the time. I
    have seen the infamous system locks when NFS server is unavailable
    though (mainly with Slowaris), and it is no small matter to reboot a
    server that needs 99.9% uptime.

    Does anyone have any info regarding using CacheFS on Linux as you can
    in Solaris? I am very interested in this, although our JSP apps have
    some type of Caching available, but I would prefer to do this at the
    system level instead of trusting the app servers to do it for me.

    Thanks again everyone,

    Jess

    BTW Our kernel version is in the 2.4.x series (RH AS EL3).

    Chris Cox wrote: 
    > >
    > > Think very hard about implementing an Linux NFS solution if you need it
    > > to talk to anything other than another Linux system. Some versions of
    > > the Linux kernel are just plain broken when it comes to NFS. They don't
    > > work well with commercial implementations of NFS clients (e.g. HP/UX,
    > > Solaris, or AIX). Switch to a commercial UNIX NFS server and Linux
    > > client NFS and the problem goes away.
    > >
    > > Before you start messing with what already works, test what you propose
    > > on a test cluster and private network, then make that test cluster
    > > public and have it banged on, then plan to move it into production. If
    > > you proceed this way, you'll probably stay in this job a lot longer.
    > >[/ref]
    >
    > FUD. The assumption that commercial
    > Unix NFS works is just stupid. Commercial Unix has the same
    > ammount if not more bugs than Linux... except it has only
    > been of late that those vendors have found the need to
    > fix their problems more quickly.
    >
    > We run large 10+ terabytes of Linux exported NFS in a mixed
    > commercial Unix enviroment with just about every version
    > of NFS imaginable. No problems.
    >
    > If anything, the Linux boxes deal better with strange
    > situations, whereas (for example) the Solaris boxes
    > give up (and sometimes lock up) if the NFS share isn't
    > available for a bit (due to a network problem).
    >
    > Our original NFS infrastructure ran on Solaris 7.
    > We switched it to SUSE Linux and our performance
    > increased and our costs dramatically decreased.
    >
    > I find the Linux NFS plays with more Unix systems
    > than NFS from (for example) Solaris[/ref]

    Jesse Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    Jesse Charbneau wrote: 

    NFS performance is certainly not better than local disk. Even with a
    gigabit infrastructure. Just not enough bandwidth.

    CacheFS might be an ok choice. Not sure.
     

    I'd go through the cachefs mail list for redhat and see if they
    can answer the questions.

    Google for cachefs linux...
     
    >>FUD. The assumption that commercial
    >>Unix NFS works is just stupid. Commercial Unix has the same
    >>ammount if not more bugs than Linux... except it has only
    >>been of late that those vendors have found the need to
    >>fix their problems more quickly.
    >>
    >>We run large 10+ terabytes of Linux exported NFS in a mixed
    >>commercial Unix enviroment with just about every version
    >>of NFS imaginable. No problems.
    >>
    >>If anything, the Linux boxes deal better with strange
    >>situations, whereas (for example) the Solaris boxes
    >>give up (and sometimes lock up) if the NFS share isn't
    >>available for a bit (due to a network problem).
    >>
    >>Our original NFS infrastructure ran on Solaris 7.
    >>We switched it to SUSE Linux and our performance
    >>increased and our costs dramatically decreased.
    >>
    >>I find the Linux NFS plays with more Unix systems
    >>than NFS from (for example) Solaris[/ref]
    >[/ref]
    Chris Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: CacheFS Linux||UNIX Web server performance gains

    Chris Cox wrote: 

    Chris, don't you think it is a bit unfair to compare the eight years old
    Solaris 7 with a recent Linux distribution? Have you ever done a
    comparison of Solaris 10 and a current Linux distribution? Solaris 7 is
    really slow and unstable compared to 10.
     

    My experience is different. We had _many_ problems with Linux NFS and
    never a real problem with a NFS shared served by a solaris host.

    YMMV.

    Tom
    Thomas Guest

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