Re: general guidance: how much load from reflector?

Reflector Account (reflet@MAMA.INDSTATE.EDU)
Fri, 31 Mar 1995 16:48:05 -0500

>We're working on a project that might involve a small number of CU-SeeMe
>machines (say 15-20) at 6 different universities around our region (we
>serve the Big 10 schools in the upper midwest.)
>These sites would be used for 2-3 person conferences, so we're not
>talking about large numbers of people. It's possible there may be
>several going on a time, but the load is likely to be quite variable.
>We'd like to run a reflector for this project, and we're trying to
>understand what kind of machine resources we'd need to use it.
>I'd appreciate any feedback on:
>* what kind of machine resources it takes to run the reflector
>* what kind of loads can the reflector put on a machine at peak times
>* do you run other services on the same machine, and if so, what kind
>I realize these are pretty broad questions, and the performance will vary
>enormously. At this point, I'm looking for general advice, something
>like "Never run (News|DNS) on a refector machine" or "this runs fine on a
>SS2, but is too much for an Sun IPC".

We run the reflector on PCs running Linux as an operating system. At the
time of what was suppose to be Prince Charles' Cu-SeeMe event, we were one
of the linked reflectors. At that time we had as high as 42 people
connected at one time without a problem (486DLC-40 with 16 megs of RAM ...
this is a little slower than a Sparc using one processor). The machine
continued to serve DNS, gopher and web material as well as a maintain a
couple of listserve mailing lists at the same time. The reflector daemon
does not use a lot of CPU or other resources ... actually the reflector load
on the machine is almost undetectable even under high traffic. The big load
is on the internet connection. If everyone is sending high quality video
(frame rates above 30) and audio, a couple of dozen users can drag a network
to a halt (even with a T1); it isn't too bad if only a couple of people are
transmitting and the rest are lurkers.

What I am saying is that the machine which is running the reflector is not a
problem. The big consideration is the bandwidth over the local lines and
through your internet connection.

If I can be of further assistance, let me know.

Tim Mulkey
Indiana State University