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myff admin

Next server on order

Well almost, the order process does tend to drag on a bit.

When it arrives the UK server base will have 112 cpu cores and 280gb of RAM. I still have a job getting my head around some of the numbers, if I was to look back to a key point in the path that created myff I might drift back to 1994 when I was working on a workstation we called "gig" as it had a whole gigabyte of hard drive and was hence the flagship machine.....
myff admin

Just doing a a bit of adding up, and I realise that currently with the 4 main servers we have approx 48gb of memory free already, we also technically have enough CPU spare and with a fight might even have spare disk space to do what needs to be done with the new server without actually buying it!

But of course the reality is that if you do stuff the systems to the brim like that, you are going to crash and burn sooner or later!

The actual aim is to be at the point where we can cleanly take one of the large server totally offline for full maintenance by offloading its work between the other servers.

Currently that would be on average trying to split 36gb of work into 48gb which works, but is a lot easier in theory than practice.

With the next server it should become 36gb into 60gb which should be pretty decent.

The agreed aim though is to aim for 6 main servers in our current UK setup whilst expanding with our new partners (and with their money!) into additional multiserver setups in the UK and US.

With 6 core large servers per independent rack of servers, we would have 36gb of load per server with 72gb spare across the rack, this is probably such a generous figure we could start to take load beyond 36gb, but it is quite notable how quickly you can go from good to bad. e.g. if you had 40gb load per server it would become 40gb into only 48gb spare  
myff admin

Just an observation,  the main server monitoring code is now on the very first server we bought, it moved there xmas eve and is running on 8cpu cores compared to the 4 it had been assigned on one of the new servers.

The cores on the old server are really very under used now, but access to a page that shows 30 graphs does take about 30 seconds, its tolerable just about, but I'd guess about 3 times slower than the new machines, despite as I say having twice the cores assigned.

I think that means a Bus pass really needs considering when the next new server comes online.

Each of the old servers takes twice the rack space and uses more power than the new servers as well
myff admin

Good grief  

We do have some measure of automatic load balancing and things can be manually balanced tomorrow, but following a sudden rise in demand the Babylon5 server has been maxed out since mid afternoon.

Even with the new server due it is hard to see how we will easily manage demand in January unless we go for yet another server.
myff admin

Current plan is getting pretty definite on ordering another big server to bring the total to 6.

The two new ones will slot into the space taken by the old "Enterprise" server. That server current runs some forums, the ones on "slarti" and hence there will be a little downtime as slarti gets moved.

Enterprise will get a little bit of a rest break, before returning as as a utility server in charge of backups, when we build the next independent rack of servers.
myff admin

It appears there is 1 spare slot in the rack so Enterprise can keep on for a bit longer.

Server delivery is now scheduled for Monday, so hopefully will be at the datacenter Tuesday.
myff admin

And the next one ordered as well.

Totals will be:

(2 * 24) + (4 x 16) +( 2 * 4) + (1 x* =  128 cores.

(2 x 12) + (1 x 16) + (6 x 4 = 338gb ram
myff admin

Only got the server today, so now scheduled for going live at the Datacenter Thursday.

Next one may even be live a week Monday.
Caden Brewer

very nice last time i was here i remember having the 4 servers haha congrats though! also excited since speed should be getting faster!
myff admin

Barring unusual circumstances none of the forums on the system should currently be running at anything less than lightening speed.

If a forum is not it is probably because of :

1) Advertising which is on servers we don't control.
2) External stuff in peoples templates.
3) Very large graphics, though by and large once loaded once these will be cached.
4) Large numbers of graphic files in the template which will cause a lot of connections that the browser will process sequentially regardless of caching.

If anyone sees speed issues outside of these issues then I'd like to know about it.
myff admin

Well new server is in and running and the next one is meant to be delivered on Monday.

Forums on Ford will experience downtime at some point soon as the Ford server forums will move to the new system.
myff admin

Grumble of the day!

I am about to buy a copy of Microsoft Windows7 professional.

Previously the servers have been 100% Linux. But there are still a few things that want to run on Windows in order to talk to various components, and our servers are not surprisingly not all available over the public internet, they live on our internal network.

Hence it gets more and more handy to have access to windows on the internal net, and it makes little sense to struggle to avoid that inevitable fact
myff admin

I'm going to save the full rant on this until we actually have our next server which has been sitting in Milton Keenes for more than a week following some really crap goings on with Dell  
It is just as well this server is partially about getting ahead of the game and nothing is going to fall in a heap because of the delay.
myff admin

I'm still saving the rant, but we have the server.

What I do find scary is installing an MS windows system to part of it.

I have not played with windows from the server point of view for a while and what I see scares me.

We do for technical reasons want some access to windows on the server range. But my plans have altered somewhat having played a but today. I got scared so basically windows will end far far behind non windows firewalls
Bravo

myff admin wrote:
some really crap goings on with Dell


I used to consider Dell as a known company and therefore respectable and trustworthy, seems they are actually a bit of a disgrace.

My daughter bought an expensive high quality laptop from them for her university work, and to be sure of it she paid a lot of money for the extended warranty (I think the warranty was 600 not sure, but it was a lot).  She's had two things go wrong with it, first being the hinges, she couldn't even open the thing, not covered by warranty, and the other was the charger, again not covered by the warranty.  They class these things as 'wear and tear'.  I could not think of one single repair on anything that couldn't be classed as wear and tear.

This is why I never buy these extended warranties, they are massively expensive and not worth the paper they are written on, you'd be better off putting the same money to one side and if the item outlasts the term, get yourself a treat with the money, if not, pay for repairs out of it.  In my experience you'd have more than enough money for the repair every time.
myff admin

We obviously do pay an awful lot for service contracts with Dell.

I should also come as no surprise that our experience up to this incident had been pretty positive with Dell, including funnily enough getting a charger on the same notebook replaced twice.

Isn't it odd how random these things can be? I expect a lot of it comes down the people and who you get through to on phones or emails.

Certainly when I reflect on the problems we have just had, they don't help Dell, so it is not likely to be corporate policy, it is largely down to the greed and laziness/attitude of individuals.
Bravo

That is a possibility, though of course the problems are always solved from the head down.  If the people on the phones aren't doing their job properly then it is a lack of training or supervision, which means department heads are not up to scratch, which again comes down to training and supervision above that, and so on.
myff admin

Just noticed that the business will in January have done 1tb of bandwidth a day, well over double where things were last July  

Things have leapt by 20% in the last month alone.
myff admin

It is quite scary really, there are some rationalisation plans that will free some resources, but already the server being installed today is needed just to get capacity to what I consider to be a reasonable level of free resources.

So another server is probably going to need sorting pretty soon after this one.
myff admin

Today we started the process of commissioning a full rack in another data center, this one will not be ours as such but our partners, and it will start off with our Andromeda server holding fort.

Andromeda is close to be cleared down, and no longer had an effective role in the set up in Maidenhead.

We are beginning to have a dialog with a new account manager at Dell, though already we have had a poaching email from someone else at Dell claiming to be our account manager, they really need to get their act together  

They have an opportunity to impress Monday as we have a fault on a NAS unit, which is leaving it operational but with a duff network port It's a Netgear ReadyNas, we have a couple and they are vital to our infrastructure but have not really impressed me

Looking at:

http://www.dabs.com/products/buff...rackmount-raid-0-1-5-10-6LY2.html

These for the new Rack, they are a hell or a lot cheaper, so we could get more of them.
It is an interesting question with infra-structure, google for example use really cheap and nasty kit, seriously! they use cheap and nasty, but lots of it in a redundant structure, the redundancy means they care a lot less about reliability.

With most of our gear we pay through the nose to some degree for the opposite. e.g. the best reliability we can get But the NAS side is always used in redundant non critical ways, so long as it does not all fail at once we are better off buying on price and having more of it.
myff admin

Got a quote today for another server for the existing rack.

I'm basically worried things may get tight before can get a new rack into commission.

I'm also worried about 20,000 going out in 3 months, that is a lot more than what comes in...
editor

Have taken what you might call almost heroic measures since this last post to avoid ordering another server.
But i think we have finally run out of rope.

I see little choice but to get another server order in.
myff admin

Now have two more large servers and 4 tiddlers in and being configured

These will be going into the new rack in Leicester and are basically not on myffs financial tab   We will get some kind of deal on the fact that I'm installing and maintaining them, and they will also be a small part of the forums infrastructure as well.
myff admin

nothing stays the same from day to day    

The two big servers destined and being configured  and tested for Leicester, look like we will shunt them quickly to the existing Maidenhead rack, and we will order another two servers next week for Leicester.
At this point people with deeper pockets than myff are going to be paying, as we hit bottom with the last two we bought, and there are now 4 more.
myff admin

Well we are now live in Maidenhead with Homer and Marge servers. Which is a break in the naming convention as these were meant for Leicester.
We also have some reasonably decent quotes for servers with more memory.

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