Ultra Server Hardware
Building the Ultimate Ultra Server
Deciding on the type of hardware to put in an Ultra Server
machine, like any hardware decision, is greatly influenced by how
actively the server will be accessed. While you must evalute the
environment that the Ultra Server will run in, it is possible to
make several general statements about the overall hardware that
will become the Ultra Server.
- Use a Pentium class machine. Pentium class machines allow
enough processing speed for Ultra Server to function at
optimum performance. Additionally, the selection of the
proper Pentium motherboard will allow better throughput of I/O (see below).
- There are many Pentium class motherboards on the market
today. There are many factors that allow some Pentium
motherboards to outperform others. We strongly suggest
you select a motherboard based on the Intel HX Triton
chipset. This is the second generation chipset from Intel
that supports the Pentium processor. Many tests have seen
output increase up to 25% with use of motherboards based
on this chipset. Get at least 256k of Burst cache
installed on the motherboard.
- Avoid multi-processor motherboards. This can greatly
increase the cost of your server, and neither
InvisibleLAN's Ultra Server nor DOS supports multiple
- Select the proper hard drive. Obviously, select a drive
that allows for growth of files in your Ultra Server.
Also remember that as a drive fills to capacity, access
will be slowed down because of data fragmentation. Above
drive size, it is important to select the proper TYPE of
drive. Both IDE and SCSI drives manufactured today offer
very good performance. For many Ultra Servers, a new IDE
drive that supports P-I/O mode 4 will allow fast disk
transfers. Ultra SCSI is a fast drive type that allows
VERY fast data transfer, with low overhead from the CPU.
Ultra SCSI has the performance edge, but requires an
Ultra SCSI controller card, and is generally more
expensive the IDE.
- Budget a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for the Ultra
Server. Ultra Server achieves its speed by using the RAM
installed inside of the Ultra Server as a large cache. If
the Ultra Server looses power unexpectedly, it is
possible that several megabytes of data might
not have been written to the disk, and data loss can
- Give Ultra Server ample RAM. Many installations use 16MB
of RAM, but 32MB and up to 64MB can be accessed and used
by Ultra Server.
- Use a PCI based network card. One of the largest
bottlenecks of the Ultra Server can be the network card.
100MB PCI has the best throughput, but even 10MB PCI
cards have improved throughput over their ISA cousins.
Also, make sure to use a card supported by one of our
native mode drivers.
- Don't forget that proper cooling is important to the
overall stability and reliability of any server. Make
sure to use an adequate fan, and ensure the cooling fan
on the CPU is well designed (i.e.- a ball bearing CPU
Notices: Copyright 1996 by Invisible
Software, Inc. Invisible Software and InvisibleLAN are trademarks
of Invisible Software, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of
their respective holders.
This document was prepared on 10/02/96, and was believed to be
accurate as of that date. Procedures, specifications, and
compatibility may change without notice, and therefore this
document may be out-of-date and/or inapplicable to current
product versions. Invisible Software provides this document
"AS IS" and without warranty of any kind. Under no
circumstances shall this document be construed as creating or
expanding any warranty of product performance.
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