[Orca-users] Help with scaling ORCA

John Mastin john.mastin at bms.com
Thu Feb 15 12:49:51 PST 2001

We have a fairly large installation of ORCA (you would be proud,
Blair).  Currently, we are monitoring 102 boxes and have over 3.5 GB of
raw data.  We don't plan on stopping our growth either. :-)
Unfortunately, all of this is behind our firewall otherwise I'd point
you all to it.  Our layout looks like this:

On the boxes to be monitored (ORCA client):
We have SE 3.1 preFCS installed with all patches.  We run orcallator.se
and spool all of our raw data (percol files) into /var/orca/data.  We
are also running an rsync daemon to service raw data file transfer

ORCA server:
This is an Ultra 10, 128MB ram and ~80GB disk.  Its sole purpose is to
do ORCA.  It uses rsync to synchronize the raw data files from the
clients every hour.  From there, it groks the data, puts it into rrd
databases, builds webpages and plots.  There is a boa webserver on it
and it serves up the ORCA pages directly.

We've run into the case where it takes longer than an hour to go through
all of the data.  Originally, I had the rsync happen every ten minutes
and ran orca -o out of cron, once an hour.  When it overran that, I
scaled it back to once an hour for rsync and ran orca constantly (no -o
option).  After a while, it couldn't keep up (again).  Last week, I
maxed out the filesystem that held the raw data files.  Things were
messed up so I decided it was time to reload from scratch and see if I
could come up with a new way of getting orca run keep up.  I am
entertaining the idea of splitting up my servers by hostname (regex in
find_files) and running multiple orca processes.  orca process #1 will
handle servers that begin with a-g.  Process #2 will run with h-p
servers.  Process #3 will run with q-t servers and process #4 will run
u-z servers.  I figure this way, I could distribute the load of keeping
up.  I realize that it is all still being run on one processor.  I just
wanted to see if I could exhaust my organizational options before I cry
for additional hardware.

Anybody think this new plan is sane/insane?  Any other ideas on how to
improve scaling?

Comments/questions welcomed!

John Mastin, Jr.              email: john.mastin at bms.com
Bristol-Myers Squibb            phone: (609) 818-3788
PRI Infomatics              fax: (609) 818-7693
Princeton  NJ

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