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Fark hardware, for the morbidly curious
Posted by Mike at 2008-01-16 1:43:23 PM, edited 2008-01-16 2:36:06 PM (8 comments) | Permalink
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2 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2008 at 1:43 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

I thought I'd throw a little bit of info out about what we do hardware-wise. Software's for later.

The history of the hardware we've used over the years is mostly boring and a little scary, so let's just skip all that and focus on what our setup looks like in January 2008:

[image from too old to be available]

OK, there was a burned out lighting fixture in the room, but wow that's a shiatty-ass photo -- now you know why I don't enter Farktography contests :)

Near the middle we have five identical web servers:

* 1U rackmount Supermicro 5015M-MT+ with PDSMI+ motherboard
* Core 2 Quad Q6600 (Kentsfield)
* 6 GB of ECC memory
* mirrored pair of hot-swappable SATA disks

One of these also does email, two of them also do primary DNS. Secondary DNS is offsite. Two Foundry Serverirons sit in front of these to do load balancing.

One development server:

* 1U rackmount Intel SR1530AHLX with S3000AHLX motherboard
* Core 2 Duo E6600 (Conroe)
* 6 GB of ECC memory
* mirrored pair of hot-swappable SATA disks

(this machine was donated to us -- very cool)

One database server:

* homebuilt in an Antec 4U rackmount case
* Supermicro PDSMA+ motherboard
* one Xeon X3220 (Kentsfield) (ok, this is really another Core 2 Quad Q6600, but, hey, same thing) :)
* 6 GB of ECC memory
* Adaptec SCSI RAID card
* five hot-swappable SCSI disks -- four in RAID 10, one hot spare

You might notice some trends there... chipset, clock speed, etc, disks/memory are all the same brands too... makes replacing dead parts easier :)

They all run 64-bit FreeBSD/amd64.

There are plans to switch the database box over to SAS disks soon.

The other gear in the rack is mostly Cisco and APC stuff, so I can whack sick servers into behaving from my house 70 miles away -- serial consoles, remote control power strips, etc.

All this crap takes up about half a rack, fed by two 120V 20A circuits and one fast ethernet into our firewall.

Backups and monitoring are offsite.

Some of this might not match everyone's particular hardware fanboy religion, but, really, who cares, choice is a good thing, and this works pretty well for us, and this is turning into a hell of a run-on sentence... so yeah, there's probably better ways to do it, but there's no point in throwing it all out and buying all new stuff either. Besides, some the gear we used to run with even as recently as a year ago was much scarier... :)

The one really big hardware issue is the database is a single point of failure, but a) our cost of downtime is very low and b) fixing that is much more of a software problem than a hardware problem (async replication = easy, sync replication = hard) and that's for a future blog entry...
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8 Comments     (+0 »)
2008-01-16 9:58:39 PM  
one circuit?


one circuit?
2008-01-16 11:51:59 PM  
The co-lo has multiple circuits out (with BGP of course), if that's what you mean.
2008-01-17 8:20:00 AM  
no, i meant in the rack. that cable can go bad, the ports involved can go bad - i've just never seen a rack with just one network entry.
2008-01-17 12:23:08 PM  
There are multiple spare cables already run... but not multiple ports at our end -- I don't have a failover firewall (yet). So yeah we have a few more single points of failure yet to deal with :)
2008-01-17 7:58:22 PM  
Cool, Mike.

Quite a far cry from 1994.
2008-01-18 12:42:56 AM  
1994... when my life was VAXes and NeXTstations and 486's with OS/2 and 386BSD. Good times. :)
2008-01-18 10:39:13 PM  
FreeBSD - from source, or?

/freebsd lover
2008-01-19 1:11:31 AM  
7.0 since mid October, so yeah, from source :)
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