[SAC] Server quote/discussions

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Mon Feb 1 23:26:56 EST 2010

Alex Mandel wrote:
> The current plan is for 2 machines, and the implementation ideas being
> discussed involve virtualization. Please see the following for detailed
> ideas and estimations:
> https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AifEHeRRT620dHF0ZDExSXFzSVlSQWxVcXRqUnBOQ1E&hl=en

I'm sorry, I was not clear in my previous email. I knew about the plan 
to go with two servers and virtualization (and I am +10 on the need for 
virtualization on the next set of servers BTW), but I didn't want to get 
into specific details, I just wanted to share some general thoughts.

What I meant was that instead of two 7.5k$ machines (15k$) we could 
possibly get more power, storage and redundancy out of a cluster of four 
3k$ machines (12k$), by going with (cheaper) SATA disks and sticking to 
16-32GB RAM per box (using 2-4GB DIMMs) instead of going with the more 
expensive 8GB or 16GB DIMMs.

About a year ago we could get a SUN Fire X2200 server (2x Quad-Core AMD 
Opteron Model 2376, 2.3 GHz) with 8GB RAM and 2x 750GB HD for 2800$. I 
checked on SUN's site and the x2200 is discontinued now, but we could 
probably get even more power for the same price today.

My understanding is that many of our problems are caused by software 
related (e.g. bots or (mis)configured services taking down the servers), 
and my fear is that no matter how big the machine we get, there will 
always be something to take it down anyway. I don't claim to have all 
the answers, but my thinking is that it is not only hardware, but mostly 
virtualization that will help here by allowing us to set some limits on 
each VM and prevent a single service from taking down a complete box, 
while we work on trying to figure out the solution to each specific 
configuration issue that arises.

Daniel Morissette

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