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  Downtime, server upgrade and more 
  Jan 28, 2002, 12:00pm EST 
By: Sander Sassen

Welcome back! If you tried to access Hardware Analysis tonight or very early this morning you will have noticed that we were offline, which was due to the server upgrade we announced last week. As mentioned we’ve upgraded our 440BX based server to a Pentium III 1.13GHz with 512Mb of PC-133 SDRAM. We’ve also moved up to a faster connection and are now connected to the first router off of a 1Gigabits fibre connection directly on the AMS-IX. This system should easily be able to handle loads of up to 8-million hits a month, or +250K per day.

Hardware Analysis server

Fig 1. The former Hardware Analysis web and mail server, a Pentium III 800MHz running on a 440BX motherboard with 256Mb of PC-133 SDRAM, a Atlas 10K II U160 10.000-rpm SCSI harddisk and a 5400-rpm IDE disk for automated local backup.

I was actually surprised to see that there was so little dust to be found in the interior of the server even though it has been running for about a year now. There’s a big 12cm fan in front sucking air in from the outside and even those blades didn’t even have any dust on them. But that’s a good thing as it means that the dust filter in the front did a proper job. Even the CPU fan looked like it was just installed the day before, Speaking of which, the new CPU has an all copper heatsink with a nice quality fan, a requirement to keep things cool.

Front fan control

Fig 2. The front 12cm fan is pictured here, behind the grille, it is a high CFM version and thus is pretty loud. On the right you can see the monitoring circuitry that keeps an eye on the fan and other critical system parts and gives an audible alert when something goes wrong.

As mentioned we’ve been hooked up to the first router behind the fibre optic switch, the switch is a 3Com corporate switch and whole of the cabinet is running off of a 3000-watts APC UPS located at the bottom of the cabinet. The nameservers of our ISP are actually mounted just above the 3Com switch and on top of that sits our server. You should see a nice upgrade in speed from both the hardware upgrade as well as the switch to a faster connection.

Server rack cabinet

Fig 3. The switch and fibre optic cables coming into the cabinet, just above the switch the name servers as used by our ISP. Our server is placed right on top of them and plugged into the very first router.

Now that we’ve successfully completed this server upgrade we’ll be back to working on some of the articles we’ve mentioned in previous columns. Enjoy the extra speed and bandwidth for now, as within a few days you probably won’t even notice the speed increase anymore. We’d appreciate it if you could tell us whether these upgrades have also worked out for you, and made Hardware Analysis load faster or be better accessible. So if there’s anything you’d like to tell us, or want to comment on, you know where to reach us.

Sander Sassen


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Re: Downtime, server upgrade and more NickName 2 replies Jan 30, 2002, 06:20am EST


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