Setup for INN usenet server

Kevin McKinnon kevin at
Tue Jun 13 23:51:46 UTC 2000

Hi Kev,

> I am about to embark on setting up a INN based
> usenet server with a full news feed.

Have you set up a news server before?  It can be an interesting ride, 
so hang on! ;-)

> I was thinking of having 4 seperate 30gb hard disks,
> software raiding 2 30gb hard drives for a 60gb used for
> the article tree and seperate drives for history/log and
> overview files.

My advice is to use INN-2.3 (current version, and do read the INSTALL 
file) and the CNFS storage format.  Don't worry about striping, CNFS 
does a great job of doing that already.  Just spread your cycbuffs 
across the various drives -- software raid is not required.

It might be useful to stripe a small partition of each drive for your 
history/overview files to get multiple spindles involved, though I 
don't do that.

I've got 150GB across 8 spindles of various sizes (across two Adaptec 
2940UW controllers), plus a separate IDE drive for the OS.  I 
intended to run history/overview off their own SCSI drive, though 
we've been running them off of a separate dedicated IDE drive (6GB) 
since December and it's working fine.

> Is this enough storage for a full feed?

4x30 = 120GB.  With a true full-feed, you could be receiving nearly 
that in a day.  You can fine-tune the retention of your groups by 
adjusting the configuration of your cycbuffs.

We have a sizeable portion of our space allocated to binaries (our 
cable Internet customers demand pictures and multimedia, we carry no 
warez groups) and we retain for between five and ten days in the 
binaries.  We're pretty conservative with which groups we carry (we 
don't take most regional hierarchies unless customers ask for them) 
and we get about 2 weeks on our text stuff.

CNFS is great in that you can reallocate your storage to better suit 
your customers requirements should you find that your needs change.
> (If articles were ditched every 3-4 days or compression
> was used to keep them a week.) 
> Does INN support on-the-fly compression or is their
> other OS compression tools I should use.

No compression.  INN doesn't support it (internally anyway) and the 
overhead would likely negate any benefit.

Make sure your CPU and file IO capabilities are up to the job.  I'm 
currently running Linux on a P3-700 (single cpu) with 512MB RAM, dual 
2940UW controllers handling 150 GB of spool, 6GB IDE for system 
partitions and 6GB IDE for history/overview/logs (weak spot), and a 
100baseT NIC, getting very good performance. We *don't* have a ton of 
simultaneous readers... peak is usually less than 30 and never much 
more, and customers are still receiving as fast as their cable modems 
can bring it in.

What will your reader requirements be, and how fast do you anticipate 
your incoming news feed to be?  My setup may not scale well to 
hundreds/thousands of simultanous readers, but it's been a flawless 
performer for us.  Current uptime is 106 days, and that's when we 
took the server down to add a new UPS.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask questions (off-list is fine, too).

Best regards,

Kevin McKinnon, Sr. News Administrator              news at
Sunshine Communications Cable Internet
[  INN2.3  Incoming Curr:13.4Mbps,Peak:14.4Mbps]

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