[UCI-Linux] SuSE vs. Redhat / 2-CPU Recommendations

Garr Updegraff garru@uci.edu
Tue, 20 Apr 2004 15:46:07 -0700

Hi all,

Here's the background: I'm interested in setting up Oracle on a 2-processor 
Linux box with hardware RAID 0+1 so the Registrar Office can compare it to 
Webster, our production Sun 450 running Solaris.  Webster is using Sun's 
Solstice software to implement RAID 0+1 in software, and updates to the 
database are far, far slower than they are on my old single disk Pentium 3 
development computer running RH 6.2 (we wanted to get a hardware RAID card 
for Webster, but now we're leery because Sun stopped making them for their 
450 line).  If the new, higher-powered Linux box is a lot faster (while 
obviously cheaper), we might consider migrating our Oracle applications 
away from the Sun 450 .

So here's my question: How does SuSE compare with Redhat?  I'd love to go 
with Debian, but Oracle is only certified for recent Redhat and SuSE 
versions, so I could end up with an iffy Oracle installation.

I'm unhappy with Redhat because it seems like they drop security patch 
support for old versions fairly quickly now.  That's a problem for me 
because once Oracle is installed, I try not to upgrade major O/S versions; 
installing Oracle is a lot of work, and I can't take a chance that a new 
O/S version will mess it up.  Redhat makes this situation even worse 
because of their non-GNU installation directories: once Redhat drops 
support for an old version, I have to re-install newer versions of the 
software myself, and then it gets weird trying to decide whether to re-use 
Redhat's locations or to uninstall the Redhat version and then re-install 
the software in the GNU default locations.  Is SuSE any better in this regard?

Also, any vendor recommendations for 2-CPU systems?  I'm not sure whether 
Oracle supports dual Opterons, but for this application the CPU's probably 
don't have to be top of the line.  I was able to price out a full system 
online at Monarch Computer Systems with dual Athlon MP 2400+, a 3Ware RAID 
card, and four 120GB SATA drives, installed with SuSE 9.0 Pro (or RH), for 
less than $2900.  That price would work for us, but I don't know anyone who 
has actually ordered from Monarch.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

-- Garr

Garr Updegraff
UC Irvine Office of the Registrar / SAIS
215-D Administrative Bldg, Irvine, CA 92697-4975