1. New System Hardware
During the HCoop IRC meeting on June 24, 2006, the group decided that it would based it's new system architecture on the following pieces of hardware:
- Two robust servers, one that doesn't allow normal user logins, and one that does.
- One switch to form a LAN between these servers.
- One serial port device, to facilitate remote access to our servers.
Also, it was mentioned that we should research hardware support contracts from any vendor that will be selling us equipment.
Additionally, group decided that the server that HCoop currently owns, Abulafia, will be brought to he.net for shell service. This will follow a necessary re-load of the OS software at a time to be determined later.
This page will serve as a forum for collaborative research on the pieces of hardware that we need.
We will be purchasing two servers, which will be configured and sent to he.net for colocation.
1.1.1. Desired Features
These servers should be as redundant as possible. At this point, we cannot afford to have less than one point of failure in many areas, so we should look for the following features in our new servers:
- Redundant power supplies.
- Hardware RAID.
- Dual CPU's, AMD seems to be a stronger option than Intel
22.214.171.124. Differences Between the Servers
The admin-only server will hopefully be serving an AFS file system, which means that fancier kinds of RAID are justified there. The all-members server can get away with cheaper (and maybe even faster) solutions for local disk access.
JustinLeitgeb thinks that perhaps RAID 1 would work on the all-members server, and either RAID 5 or RAID 10 on the admin server. It should be RAID 10 if we can afford it, or RAID 5 if we're shorter on cash.
There may be other factors influencing different configuration choices between the servers.
1.1.2. Proposed Models and Vendors
[http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=M&Category_Code=allracks Monarch Computer Systems]
Possible web server configuration from [http://www.penguincomputing.com Penguin] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/penguin_web_server.ps (postscript)] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/penguin_web_server.pdf (PDF)]
Possible admin server configuration from [http://www.penguincomputing.com Penguin] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/penguin_admin_server.ps (postscript)] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/penguin_admin_server.pdf (PDF)]
Possible web server from [http://www.dell.com/ Dell] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/dell_web_server.ps (postscript)] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/dell_web_server.pdf (PDF)], based on the Dell PowerEdge 1850.
Possible admin server from [http://www.dell.com/ Dell] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/dell_admin_server.ps (postscript)] [http://www.hcoop.net/~leitgebj/hcoop_servers/dell_admin_server.pdf (PDF)], based on the Dell PowerEdge 2850 (offers more space for hard disks in our primary file server).
Note that when I checked Dell dropped something like $1200 off of the price of each server over $4000, so we should expect some significant discounts. Whichever company we plan on going with, we may be able to negotiate lower prices by emphasizing that we may buy more in the future, etc. The Penguin option doesn't seem to have redundant power supplies, which is disappointing. Does anyone know of a non-Dell vendor that can provide redundant power supplies?
1.2. Ethernet Switch
1.2.1. Desired Features
- 5 ports minimum
1.2.2. Proposed Models and Vendors
[http://newegg.com/ Newegg] has been recommended to several of us.
($56.99) Highly-rated Netgear switch that is not rack-mountable http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833122111 link
($249.99) Level One 16-port rack-mountable switch http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833118021 link
MichaelOlson thinks that we should go with the Netgear switch. It has been rated as a very reliable product, and is very affordable.
1.3. Serial Port
Docelic, or other users -- please update this section since I am entirely ignorant about these devices!
1.3.1. Desired Features
1.3.2. Proposed Models and Vendors
[http://www.cyclades.com/ Cyclades] was mentioned as one vendor of serial port devices which are linux-friendly.