Building a server & SMB network - RFC

David Collier-Brown davecb at
Wed May 12 12:44:53 GMT 1999

Tim Lank wrote:
> Linux/Samba Gurus:
> I need to network a mission school of about 200 PC's running Windows 3.11
> and 95 on a very, very limited budget.  The school does not currently have
> a network.  I would like to use my PC and Red Hat Linux v5.2 and SAMBA to
> set this up as file&print server.
> I am planning to install the following in my Pentium 133mhz PC for this
> purpose:
> 256MB RAM
> (1) Adaptec 2940B-UW PCI SCSI controller for disks
> (1) donated AHA-1540B ISA SCSI controller for SE tape drives
> (1) 3Com 3C980-TX PCI 10/100 server NIC
> approx. 20GB of donated SCSI disks
> (2) donated DDS2 (2-4GB) external tape drives
> Please comment on this scenario from both a hardware standpoint, Linux
> kernel optimal configuration standpoint, and network standpoint.

	I'll comment in detail in email in a sec, but in general it
	quite sane: if the 20 GB is 10 disks, you'll get 4,800 KB/S
	of data at full load.  The maximum performance will be 
	limited by the number of disk heads, not the capacity of the 
	disks: if you had 20 1 GB disks the maximum would jump up to 
	5600, the maximum the cpu will deliver.  The attachment is a
	snapshot of part of my sizing spreadsheet: the "result" column
	is the minimum throughput of cpu, disk and network interface.

	4,800 KB/S is tons: at 1 MB/S each you can support 5 seriously 
	heavyweight clients. At 15 KB/S each you can support 320 fairly
	ordinary ones.

David Collier-Brown,  | Always do right. This will gratify some people
185 Ellerslie Ave.,   | and astonish the rest.        -- Mark Twain
Willowdale, Ontario   |
Work: (905) 477-0437 Home: (416) 223-8968 Email: davecb at
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