Success / New hardware / gem or hme?

Chris BeHanna chris at
Mon Dec 29 13:47:21 PST 2003

On Sunday 28 December 2003 20:55, Walter Hop wrote:
> [...snip...]
> I am looking for a 1U server for a database server where disk I/O is
> important. Does somebody have any comments on whether the
> performance of the new Sun Fire machines are worth the price?

    If disk I/O is important, then nothing in a 1U form factor is
going to be adequate for you.  If you have the physical space for it,
a secondhand E450 provides a lot of bang for the buck.  It may not
come with the speediest CPUs, but the E450 is built for I/O (they can
be expanded to have five SCSI channels feeding up to 20 hot-swap
disks).  You can build a couple of nice striped arrays with that.

    Even Sun's 4U boxes are kind of limited for a heavy I/O box:  an
E420R, for example, only has space for two internal 36GB disks.

> Last question: the 2nd hand machine I bought has two on-board ethernet
> ports (gem0, gem1) and a PCI card with 4 hme ports on it. Is there a
> difference in quality in these adapters, or can I just pick a port at
> random?

    IIRC, the gem devices are gigE.  "man gem" should tell you for

    The quad hme (usually qfe0 through qfe3 if you run Solaris) board
provides 4 10/100 ports.

Chris BeHanna
Software Engineer                   (Remove "bogus" before responding.)
behanna at
                 Turning coffee into software since 1990.

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