Author Topic: New Server Coming Soon  (Read 79771 times)

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Xepher

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New Server Coming Soon
« on: February 23, 2007, 01:57:29 am »
So I think I've got the parts for the new server picked out. I haven't ordered yet, as I'm just being a little extra cautious to make sure everything on the motherboard I picked out will work with linux properly.

What I'm looking at:

Athena Power RM-2U2015SV40 case $130 (Yay a real server case!)
Intel MB BOXDG965WHMKR Motherboard $72
2GB DDR2 800mhz Ram $175
E6400 Core 2 Duo CPU $222
And 4 of these: 320GB Hard Drives $90x4

Total: $959 + Shipping

I'll also probably get a 2GB compact flash card and an IDE to flash adapter, giving me a solid state recovery "disk" for emergency use. It's about $30 for both. The 4 drives will be in a raid5 array, so total usable storage will be 960GB. The lost space goes to redundancy, so if any one drive fails, no data is lost.

The real question this brings up is how to go about the transfer. It'll take me several weeks to configure at test the new server once I get the parts, but when it comes time to actually replace the old one, I have to figure out the plan. See, it'll take about 3 days to ship the new one up there, and I won't have access to it during that time. That means that any data I have on it from users will be 3 days old by the time it gets there, and everyone will lose any updates they've done in those 3 days once the old server is powered down.

So I have a few options:

#1 I can lock the old server into read-only access when I sync the new one. This would happen right before I ship it to the datacenter. That would leave things sorta running while the new one is in transit, but no updates would be possible, no forum posts, no email, etc. But on the plus side, there would be nothing tricky to do once it got there. They'd just swap it for the old one, and everything would start running normally as soon as that was done.

#2 I can just warn everyone that as of a certain time/date, updates after that will be lost. People can still use forums and such for the intervening days, but everything will just "revert" back about 3 days once the new server comes online. Double trick with this is email. I don't think many people would be willing to lose 3 days of incoming email.

#3 Basically the opposite of #1. Leave the old server running normally, but new server would be read-only until I get the old machine back in my own hands and can get the data off it and send it to the new machine.

#4 Host the new machine somewhere else, and have some overlap time before I cancel the hosting on the old one. This would let me do a live sync, and would be nearly seamless. The downside is that I can't find the sort of bandwidth we need at anywhere near as good of a price. We basically need 3-5mbps connection, or around 1.5 terabyte a month, and space for a 2U box. Right now we've got 10mbps for $109/month I can't seem to beat that with a stick.


Anyway, I'm posting this here both as a heads up on what'll be happening in the next couple months, and also to ask for opinions and/or ideas. I think the server components are pretty much the right choice, but if someone's got a better idea, feel free to suggest things. As for how to do the transfer... I really do need some opinions on that. Also, if anyone can find me a good deal on server colocation that's even close to the price I pay now, I'd definitely like to know.

fesworks

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New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 01:23:16 am »
thanks for the heads up. Just let us know. I'll be looking forward to a viable excuse as to why I can't update for a few days :P

reinder

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New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 08:11:07 am »
I like (well, not like but appreciate) what DeviantARt does, which is put up a big notice at the top of each page saying "this server is in read-only mode for maintenance".
Anyway, I can cope with any approach as long as I get a heads-up so I can communicate to my readers and point them to a mirror for the duration.
Reinder Dijkhuis
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Xepher

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New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 10:41:34 am »
I plan to do something similar, with clear notice being made. Also, I will give plenty of notice before doing anything. Probably 4 weeks general notice, but a minimum of 2 weeks with an exact date. I would like to find another option, but I'm not sure there is one. I can hope that shipping will take less than 3 full days too, as that's merely an estimate.

Hmm... new thought. Maybe I can keep a local mirror on my personal computer as well, and sync that every few hours while the new server is in shipment, then I can sync the new server from my desktop once it's in place. Wouldn't be perfect, but would bring downtime down to maybe 6-12 hours or so.

griever

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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2007, 11:07:29 am »
I don't know anything about server colocation, but option #1 sounds great.
"You can get all A's and still flunk life." (Walker Percy)

Witchiebunny

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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2007, 11:45:31 am »
While I like the idea of option 4, we're not trying to break the bank, and option 1 sounds the best.

Databits

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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2007, 05:43:02 pm »
If you wait a little longer you may be able to get a dual core for a bit cheaper than they are even now. About beginning summer quad cores are being released from AMD, so I'd suspect that most dual core cpu's will probably fall a bit in price.
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Xepher

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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 04:53:54 am »
Yeah, but I've seen intel's roadmap, as well as reviews of the AMD 4x4 chips (which aren't as hot as I'd hoped), while I'm sure prices will drop, it won't be anything dramatic until probably the end of summer. Saving 70 bucks isn't worth that much delay, IMHO. I'll keep my eyes open until I actually buy stuff though, if I hear something new is coming out like next week, I'll give it a tad longer.

Xepher

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New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 02:10:34 am »
Just ordered the server. Upgraded a few things from the list above. Got a larger/better case that cost $180, and added on the compact flash thing I mentioned. Also, the motherboard went back up to full price ($130) so total came in around $1150 for the whole thing. Should be whoppingly overpowered for what we need, but give things room to grow. Once I get the parts next week, I'll put it all together and start building the software side of things. That'll probably take a few weeks. After that, I'll give it probably two weeks of all out stress tests before I'm ready to send it off. I'll keep you guys up to date as I go.

fesworks

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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 03:32:21 am »
Sounds good! I wish I got more traffic so I could bring some more donations in, but I help with what I can.

Xepher

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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2007, 03:53:27 am »
No worries. Part of the reason for the overkill is "future plans." I still want to move forward with the Artica Project, though I'm working on a better name. I think I'll also use some spare capacity to run a Counterstrike: Source server for a while too.

Witchiebunny

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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2007, 07:40:19 am »
....can it be a "HL 2 Deathmatch" server?

Counterstrike: Source and I don't get along. (this is, of course, a joke. :D)

Xepher

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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2007, 05:41:10 am »
So I got the new server parts last monday, put them together, and nearly went crazy trying to figure out why it crashed randomly all the time. Ram was bad, but worked okay when underclocked. Spent several hours each night in the last week configuring things. New ram came today, works great, so I returned the old stuff. Everything was going pretty well until this happened...

As an educational experience in 10 lines, I present the following:


How NOT to copy a system to a new partition:
mkdir /mnt/newroot
mkdir /mnt/oldroot
mount /dev/raid/slash /mnt/newroot/
mount -o bind / /mnt/newroot/ <- this line should have been /mnt/oldroot/
cp -av /* /mnt/newroot/
***Notice that it's infinitely copying proc and device files
CTRL+C
rm -R /mnt/newroot/*
***Notice it couldn't delete some files because they were "in use"
umount /mnt/newroot/
***Notice it says "command not found"
ls
touch /tmp/test
cat /dev/random
***Fail
***Notice that none of your commands work because your entire system is now devoid of files
***Trace steps to figure out where you went wrong
***Bang head against desk
***Try to figure out way to salvage situtation
***Epic Fail
***Cry over week's worth of lost configuration work
***Drink heavily
***Fail at life

Xepher

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New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2007, 06:37:20 am »
And I just now recall that earlier today I fried my CD burner (which was temporarily being used as the CD drive on the server) because I was stupidly connecting the power while the system was powered on. Not a big loss, as it was failing anyway, but it occurs to me that I can't exactly boot off a cd to reinstall everything without having a working cd drive. I've hot-swapped plugs like that hundreds of times, both at work and at home, and never had a problem. I've also never removed all files on my system by accident either. Both in the same day, and bad ram + my car's fuel pump dieing last week. What gods have I angred? Heh... at this rate, if I disappear in the next couple days, it'd probably be safe to assume I got hit by lightning or something. :-)

griever

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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2007, 07:56:06 am »
I'm blaming everything on Puxatawny Phil, who, with his one vicious lie, perpetuated a chain of events that have left so many people in a lurch.  Mostly that it's still winter and bad things happen in winter.  I've had two RL friends suffer technological problems too and a bit of me is getting paranoid.  I hope your luck changes soon.  You're doing stuff that to most people, myself included, is massively complicated.  I don't think you fail at life.  *digital cookies*
"You can get all A's and still flunk life." (Walker Percy)