can INN be used as a news router just as Cyclone? (fwd)

bill davidsen davidsen at tmr.com
Tue Aug 21 15:44:28 UTC 2001


==== apologies if this went out before ====

In article <ylsnf1khzo.fsf at windlord.stanford.edu>,
Russ Allbery  <rra at stanford.edu> wrote:
| 
| Liu, Guang Yu <LiuGY at sydney.btap.bt.com> writes:
| 
| > I looked through the archive but couldn't find what I needed. We know
| > that INN is a great news reader server. I read one article in the
| > mailing list saying if you need to setup your news feed server you need
| > Cyclone or something similar. My question is can we use INN as a news
| > router?
| 
| Sure, it'll work fine; I run several servers as pure routers.  A reader
| server can also route just fine, or you can build a separate dedicated
| router if you want (if you do the latter, you can turn off overview
| generation on that server; overview is only necessary if the server
| supports readers).

That said, I think it depends on what you use for a server. On Linux and
AIX I have constant problems trying to get INN to keep up with large
article feeds. The poll method is dog slow, as lm_bench will show with a
poll of 100 sockets or so. Increasing the initial buffer size helps, but
it is still a struggle. I have a Solaris and Cyclone system which works
about as well as a Linux/INN system with similar feeds.

I have been using Linux and Earthquake for a router. It will melt a
100 Mbit NIC using a slow CPU and reasonable disk system. It uses next
to no CPU doing a full feed. Until INN uses pthreads or some other
technique to get away from a polling loop, I just can't see using INN
when there is another open source solution which works without fighting
the tuning. As an aside, I replaced INN or Linux feeding INN on AIX with
Earthquake feeding INN and the throughput went way up. Using innfeed or
Cyclone runs about dead even, no gain I see there as a tiebreaker.

I'm also feeding Twister servers in five states, Earthquake clearly
feeds better then Cyclone, feeding the same data and letting the fastest
software win. The feed systems are dead identical.

There may be some magic tuning parameter I'm missing, but the Earthquake
outran everything right out of the box. I really wish that weren't so,
I want to use INN for other reasons in some places.

In a week or so I'll have some numbers on Diablo as well, being done
eventually as a reader server candidate.
-- 
bill davidsen <davidsen at tmr.com>
  CTO, TMR Associates, Inc
Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.


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