Re: [greenstone-users] Spec for Greenstone Server/s

From Michael Dewsnip
DateTue, 10 May 2005 14:03:52 +1200
Subject Re: [greenstone-users] Spec for Greenstone Server/s
In-Reply-To (s27a5712-087-westyorksfire-gov-uk)
Hi Jonathan,

These are always tough questions. A lot depends on your collections and
your users. Will you build full-text indexes or just metadata indexes?
Will you have many large images or documents to serve? How many users
will be using the library at one time?

The truth is, we haven't built many very large collections with
Greenstone. I don't claim to be an expert on any of this, but if you
want it to last for 3 years you'll have to go for the fastest i386
machine available, and put a fast hard drive and as much memory as
possible in it. Going for a 64-bit machine is an option, but I'm not
sure how much faster they are than 32-bit, and we've heard reports that
Greenstone doesn't compile on them (yet).

While it is tempting to think that you'll upgrade your machine after 3
years, I don't know how realistic this is. In 3 years time I expect
things will have changed so much that it'll be easier to just buy a new
machine. In fact, I think it would be more cost effective to buy a fast
but moderately priced machine every 18 months than to buy a slightly
faster but much more expensive machine every 3 years. (This might not
fit your organization, however.)

The machines we're using for the http://www.nzdl.org site and the mirror
in Canada that serves most of the world are a couple of years old now.
They'd be similar to an average new home machine now, but perhaps with a
bit more memory. At the time, they were just what was fast, but not
excessively priced.

Greenstone 3 requires slightly more power and memory perhaps, but the
same machine should still be suitable.

Hopefully other Greenstone users who have actually built large
collections can add to/correct this!

Regards,

Michael

Jonathan Pattison wrote:

>Greenstone 2.60 has recently been used to build a library collection of 4.5 gig for our local government organisation * the actual imports folder houses documents of around 1 gig. It is running on Windows 2000.
>
>In order to specify a new server requirement within a budgetary process, we would like to know what specification and type of server setup is being used by other users for large collections * there is one of 7 Gb of text mentioned within the Greenstone FAQ, for instance.
>
>As we would like whatever hardware we acquire to be more than adequate for at least the next 3 years (during which time library collections from other departments may be added, some of them image rather than text) we would like to know how institutions with big collections manage the process, what sort of setup they have eg do they have one server to build and another to provide access or one high spec server to do both?
>
>Also what components make the most difference in performance ie what are the key factors regarding hardware that influence how long it takes to search and how long to build collections?
>
>We are also aware that the next version of Greenstone, Greenstone 3, is intended for a distributed architecture - presumably to take account of an increasing range and variety of collection - and may want to implement Greenstone 3 once it is complete. So we would like to take this into account too.
>
>If our wish is to build incrementally (rather than have to scrap whatever hardware we get next and start again), what should we think of specifying now in terms of server or servers that would give us more than adequate capacity in the future or allow us to build up to it?
>
>We would be glad of any responses.
>
>Many thanks,
>Jonathan Pattison
>
>
>
>http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk
>
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