The book Cryptography Engineering by Fergusun, Schneier, Kohno section 2.7.1 explains Birthday Attacks: "In general, if an element can take on N different values, then you can expect the first collision after choosing about sqrt(N) random elements." This is an approximation.
We are planning to upgrade the way we store password hashes and salts in our database. We need to allow for something on the order of 100 million salts, which is between 26 and 27 bits (two to the 26 or 27 power; I don't know how to format superscripts here). Taking the square that gets me to about 54 bits.
Seven bytes is 56 bits. Assuming that /dev/urandom is sufficiently random (evenly distributed and not predictable), do seven bytes of random salt meet the Birthday Attack criteria?
I realize this is not the only consideration in picking the salt. I'm trying to find out if I'm correctly applying the Birthday Attack theory.
EDIT: The final exercise at the end of the named book chapter asks the same question, which I can now answer confidently!