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Netware on dual-processor server - Dedicating second processor to specific tasks

Posted on 2005-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I'm interested in trying to get Netware 6 to make better use of the second CPU in a dual-processor server.

Left to itself, Netware seems to use mostly CPU 0, but I recently saw an old article that mentioned the possibility of configuring Netware 5 to run the TCP/IP stack on a separate processor. It was just a brief mention, no details were provided.

My multipart question:
Is this possible or relevant with Netware 6.0? If so, how would I go about it?
Is it a good idea? Are there other things I can do to increase the utilization of the second CPU?
I'm not encountering any performance problems or anything like that, I just want to try it. :)
 
 
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Question by:billmercer
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17 Comments
 
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by:ShineOn
ShineOn earned 528 total points
ID: 13613997
NetWare 6.0 has much better multiprocessor support than 5.1.  One way is that the IP stack is MP-enabled.  So are a lot of other services.

IPX is not MP-enabled, and IPX is run through the IP stack, so if you're still using IPX, that could affect how well the stack is using its MP capability.
Most other services are also MP-enabled, and so is GroupWise.  I believe eDirectory 8.7.3 is MP-enabled, but I'm not sure.  NSS 3.0 should be MP-enabled, IIRC.  I don't think the traditional FAT filesystem is, though, so if you're using traditional, that could affect the balance, too.  iPrint 2.x should be MP-enabled, IIRC.  NDPS 1 was not.  

Did you start out with 2 processors, or did you add the 2nd after already installing NW6?  Have you re-applied the latest SP and post-SP patches after making sure the MPK PSM's for your hardware platform were installed and in use, if you added the 2nd processor later?  Did you make sure your server's BIOS was up-to-date?
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by:billmercer
ID: 13614474
I bought the server with two processors and installed NW6, but it was a migration from an older machine that was single-processor. I don't know if that matters.

I've got some ancient legacy stuff that's using IPX still, and a couple of FAT volumes, but I've been seriously considering rebuilding the whole server when I upgrade to 6.5.

GroupWise seems to spend all its time on CPU 0. Backup Exec is definitely NOT MP-aware (sometimes I wonder if it's even single-processor aware :) One of my concerns is the impact of running backups on GroupWise. GroupWise gets sluggish during backups, and it seems like GroupWise-related abends always happen while a backup's running (even if it's just backing up user files, not GroupWise data.)

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by:ShineOn
ID: 13614752
Do you have the GroupWise MP switch on?  If I remember right, that's not enabled by default.  It might be agent-by-agent configuration, too - I don't remember.

I seem to recall that if you do run GW in MP mode, you should run it in its own address space, too, but I might be thinking of something else.  Running it in its own address space might help avoide the abends during the BE backup, though.

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PsiCop earned 928 total points
ID: 13615791
Yes, definitely run GroupWise in its own address space. For example:

LOAD ADDRESS SPACE=GW GWPOA @MYPO.POA

The SMP support in v6.0 is only an incremental improvement over v5.1. You get more of a leap in v6.5. However, you still cannot assign specific processes to specific CPUs. But you really shouldn't have to, the scheduler in the OS should handle assignation of threads to the least-busy processor.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13615835
Erm  -  

"assignation" is a lover's tryst.  You meant "assignment."

;)
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13617931
"assignation" can have many meanings, including the same as "assignment". It could be that its more-common usage has the connotation you refer to, but that doesn't invalidate other meanings.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13618067
True.  Din'cha notice the winky-smiley?
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by:billmercer
ID: 13618318
Hmm, sounds like another thing to not worry about until I upgrade to 6.5.

I've been running my GWIA in a separate address space for a long time, since it seems to be the most vulnerable to crashing, followed by Webaccess. I figure this is probably due to the "uncontrolled" nature of the incoming junk, weird viruses, stupid spam, colossal PowerPoints, and other email detritus.
 

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by:billmercer
ID: 13618423
Well, looks like there's no SMP switch for the POA anymore, at least not in the docs. I assume this means it's on by default. Guess my dream of running FootNote on its own dedicated CPU will have to remain unfulfilled...
:)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13618469
y'know, I mentioned running GW in its own address space first.  I guess I'm just invisible... ;)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13618481
And I also mentioned the MP setting...
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by:billmercer
ID: 13624182
OK, split points, PsiCop's answer most directly related to the question of assigning a specific process to a CPU, ShineOn gets supporting points for mentioning IPX and FAT as possibilities. And of course the semantics lesson was useful as well. :)

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by:PsiCop
ID: 13624636
FYI,

The GroupWise folx here at BrainShare have promised...really!...that the next release of GroupWise (due in the next 4 months) will have native support for global signatures. Among a great many other enhancements.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 14694909
Whoops! I missed it by about 6 weeks. GroupWise v7 was released 2005-Aug-16 (my prediction was for it to be released before August)..
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by:billmercer
ID: 14695183
OK, so what's the anticipated release date for GroupWise 7.5?

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by:ShineOn
ID: 14696280
The day after your upgrade protection expires ;)
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