FreeBSD bind performance in FreeBSD 7

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Sat Mar 15 05:17:31 UTC 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Schuller [mailto:peter.schuller at]
> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 2:02 AM
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Cc: Ted Mittelstaedt; Chris; Adrian Chadd
> Subject: Re: FreeBSD bind performance in FreeBSD 7
> > The people complaining about hardware compatibility need
> > to pull their heads out.  If they are buying brand new systems
> > they are utter fools if they don't check out in advance
> > what works and what doesen't.  It's not like there's a
> > shortage of experienced people on this list who could
> > tell them what to buy.  And if after the fact they find out
> > their shiny new PC won't run FreeBSD - then they take it
> > back to the retailer and exchange it for a different model.
> > Why is this so difficult?
> The difficulty is not in checking out hardware before hand, the
> problem is
> FINDING hardware that satisfies your requirements. Just because I
> know that
> NIC so-and-so is recommended, it does not mean that I can find a complete
> server that:
> * Is within the budget.
> * Whose NIC is recommended for use in FreeBSD.
> * Whose disk/raid controller is recommended for use in FreeBSD
>   - Including proper handling of write caching, cache flushing, etc
> * Is being sold in a fashion that is acceptable with respect to hardware
> support / replacement parts.
> * Otherwise is known to work with well FreeBSD.
> If you are a large company buying 200 servers I'm sure it's not a
> problem to
> get sample servers to try things on, or go for more expensive
> options just
> because of perceived FreeBSD compatibility.
> If you're a poor sod trying to get *one* machine for personal or
> small-company
> use and you want something that works and is stable, especially
> if you want
> it rack mountable, it is NOT necessarily trivial. Part of it is
> the problem
> of finding a solution that meets the requirements, and parts of
> it is about
> figuring out whether a particular solution DOES meet the requirements.
> For example, once your cheaper Dell server has arrived and you
> suddenly notice
> that it's delivered without a BBU, and clearly has write caching
> turned on
> based on performance, try asking (remember, this is a lonely
> customer with a
> single service) Dell hardware support whether that particular
> controller will
> honor cache flush requests right down to the constituent
> drives... I did, and
> eventually got a response after 1-2 weeks. But the response was
> such that I
> could not feel confident that the question was accurately
> forwarded to the
> right individual.

That is exactly why computer consulting firms (like the one that
partly owns the ISP I work for) exist.  There's a list of them
on the FreeBSD website that sell hardware.

For the poor sod trying to get 1 machine, he has a choice:

pay a trivial couple hundred bucks to a consulting firm that
sells PCs to small businesses to supply the system he needs for
his business

do it himself and deal with all of the research beforehand,
and all the post-support hassles with Dell or HP or whatever.

You see, the problem is that the small business/home office
types see these consumer-adverts in the backs of the newspaper
for a $299.99 Dell, and they immediately assume a computer is
a computer is a computer, and that they shouldn't have to pay
a consultant more than $50 to provide everything with all the
trimmings to them - because after all a consultant is going to
do is just pick up the phone and place the order, eh?

(frankly, the FBSD folk have it easy - this attitude is 10 times
worse in the Mickeysoft consulting business)

For the home user, his choice is either spending the $300 and
crossing his fingers and hope the thing works at all, or actually
approaching it from a professional point of view and doing what
the businesses are supposed to be doing - that is, hiring a
consultant that knows what they are doing, or spending the
same amount of time and money that a knowledgeable consultant

You think I got my knowledge for free?  I have a basement
full of old computer hardware I bought over the years while
I learned that says otherwise. Care for an $80 CGA card?
Now do you see why consultants go crazy with that "your
knowledge ain't worth anything" attitude?

As long as the FreeBSD community cops the attitude that FBSD is
only for do-it-yourselfers, it's going to be largely ignored by
most of the business community.

In any case, I can count the number of people who have posted
"I'm planning on getting a system that is going to run FreeBSD
what should I get" questions on the mailing list in the last
year on the fingers of 1 hand, I think, so I really tend to
discount this argument.

I'll repeat, the vast majority of people complaining about
hardware problems with FreeBSD are the folks who bought first,
THEN when something didn't work, came running to the mailing
list.  And the vast majority of them claim they cannot take
it back because it's past the UCC-mandated 30-day return
timeperiod, so returning the stuff isn't an option.  (of course,
when you really get into the troubleshooting process with
them you find the stuff was purchased a year ago with Windows
on it, and FBSD was just an afterthought once they got tired
of playing with the latest mess from Redmond.)


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