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WHITEBOX™ has provided a firm leg to stand on. Now, we've updated the design so finding knowledge, documentation, and resources is easier. It's all still here, and better.


   

Articles
Useful links

CPU Technology,  HyperThreading™
(Intel®'s version of Simultaneous Multi Threading)

  1. Why you need HyperThreading . Jim Kirk at 2CPU does a comparison between HT and non-HT.
  2. Technical article on Hyperthreading, SMP, SMT at ArsTechnica
  3. Technical article on Intel Xeon & Linux Hyperthreading support at IBM. Conclusion: "Intel Xeon Hyper-Threading is definitely having a positive impact on Linux kernel and multithreaded applications. The speed-up from Hyper-Threading could be as high as 30% in stock kernel 2.4.19, to 51% in kernel 2.5.32 due to drastic changes in the scheduler run queue's support and Hyper-Threading awareness.

Hard Drive technology, Serial ATA

Serial ATA entered the market in mid-2002. It's projected as the replacement for the ubiquitous parallel ATA (PATA) technology. What makes it great:

  • Thinner data cables that go up to a meter,
  • 32-level deep Command Queuing (a once SCSI-only technology), making drive access more efficient
  • 150MBps burst transfer.

What does this mean to the end-user? We project that in 2 years' time, the majority of the drives in the market place will be Serial ATA based. Thus, given the choice now, it would be a great idea to go SATA to maintain your investment. For those on a shoestring budget, note that SATA drives come in capacities of 80GB and higher, meaning if you're looking for a 40GB, your choices are PATA only.

For the workstation / enterprise user, SATA poses a challenge to SCSI at the low to mid-level. Enterprise SATA (E-SATA) drives is now at a price point slightly below SCSI drives, the main player being Western Digital and their Raptor Series (10,000rpm, 36GB and higher) of drives. The warranty period for E-SATA and SCSI drives are 5 years. Wynet recommends SATA RAID-0 for workstations, and SATA RAID-1 for entry servers. For midrange servers, E-SATA may be suitable along with SCSI, however if high performance RAID-5 is needed, SCSI has the advantage here by virtue of track record and better performance (Ultra320 SCSI, deeper queue) both at drive level as well as host adapter.

Note that we do not believe in utilizing consumer IDE drives in direct-attached RAID-5 arrays in servers, due to the increasing cost pressures drive manufacturer face, leading to low-cost/quality components being used in these drives. These may cause drive failures in a multi-drive array (>=4) due to rotational vibration. Consumer drives are designed with a specific usage model in mind for the mass market, and this model does not include the scenario of running server applications continuously. If you run HD intensive applications 24/7 (e.g. SQL server), use enterprise class drives (E-SATA/SCSI) in your Whitebox server.

 

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