Welcome back, I’m sure you’ve noticed something different about Hardware Analysis today and the layout is just the part that is visible. We’ve hinted at some changes we’d be making a few weeks ago already and we’ve been diligently working on a new layout and a new server behind the scenes. The layout was something we’ve wanted to do for a while, simply because we grew tired of the old one and wanted something new and refreshing, and thus we hope you like the result.
As for the server, that’s a whole different story, we’ve been running Hardware Analysis on a home-built co-located server with ‘just’ a Pentium III at 800MHz, 256Mb of PC-133 SDRAM and a 10.000-rpm Quantum 10K2 Ultra-160 SCSI harddisk. Naturally we used the Linux OS, Red Hat Linux, and Apache webserver with PhP and MySQL for the database and we’ve easily been able to handle the traffic up until now. Every now and then the server got a bit overloaded when we were submitted to Slashdot or when more than a few hundred people accessed our streaming video content at the same time, but overall it has been running without problems.
Fig 1. The two 1.3GHz Tualatins featuring two high-performance Alpha heatsinks suitable for a 2U rack chassis.
But Hardware Analysis has been steadily growing in traffic and popularity and we’ve seen a significant increase in visitors the past few months. Enough traffic to justify an upgrade to a new server to be able to serve those pages to you without delay and keep up with the growing popularity of our forums. The new server is again home-built and features an SMP configuration with dual 1.3GHz Tualatins, 1GB of PC-133 RAM and a RAID0+1 array of four 120GB Western Digital 1200JBs with a total of 240GB storage capacity. Naturally all of this is connected to the backbone of Nxs Internet, our excellent hosting provider.
Fig 2. The RAID0+1 array featuring four Western Digital WD1200JBs with 8MB cache and 7200-rpm spindle speed.
Just to give you some uptime figures, as we’re proud of those, our old webserver has been running for over 230-days, Uptime Charts and Statistics for Hardware Analysis
, without the need for a single reboot or servicing. We’ve only had to shut it down once as the ISP was doing maintenance to the power grid, otherwise we’d been up since the launch of the site on May 11th 2001. The new webserver has been up for 145-days already as it had to be tested extensively to make sure all the bugs were ironed out prior to the launch. And to be honest we haven’t had a single problem with it from the moment we turned it on. Expect a full featured article on the construction of our new webserver shortly, that’ll go into greater detail about the choices made during the design and the components we finally picked to build the server.