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Thread: Server upgrade 04/08 in the AM

  1. #11
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Yes, this upgrade will help with that. It may not completely *solve* it, but we're working on it, one step at a time. The site's growth is outpacing what we can do to keep up (which isn't a bad thing, just frustrating).

    No, the upgrade hasn't been done yet. I predict downtime of an hour or so, you'll know

  2. #12
    Rude and Abrasive Texicana's Avatar
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    Can we use the FoRT chat while it's down? I have the link saved somewhere on my machine if anyone needs it.
    " I look like Nigella Lawson with a $#*!ing hangover."

  3. #13
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    The FORT chat will be operational, if you want to use it.

    http://client.sigmachat.com/sc.pl?id=43545

  4. #14
    FORT Fan Live from NYC's Avatar
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    Just curious - a couple of geek questions.

    Which operating system and what motherboard do the FORT servers use? Which database? What processor speed and memory type? Single processor, dual, or quad? Hypertheading (Intel P4 or Xeons)? Many motherboards seems to max out at 4 Gbyte. I know from past experience that the Tyan dual-processor boards will allow 4 Gbytes, but reserve the upper 350 Mbytes or so for system use if the system memory is greater than 3 gbytes. That extra 2 gigs should really help with database performance. Are you using RAID arrays for any of the hard drives? Sounds like the OS and pagefile are going on one drive and the database on the other (non-RAID)? What are typcial average and peak outbound bandwidth usage stats for the FORT server?
    Last edited by Live from NYC; 04-08-2004 at 09:50 AM.

  5. #15
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    We are on a Dell Dual Xeon 2.4gHz system, running Redhat 9.0, currently with 2 gigs of RAM, but upgrading today to 4 gigs.

    Our database is mySQL version 4.0.18, and we're taking advantage of the query caching ability of the 4.0 series.

    We do not use RAID arrays, and in fact have only one 40-gig IDE drive, which is a source of bottleneck for our server. By adding another, and moving the database to that new drive, we will solve some of that problem, although ideally we'd move to 10k rpm SCSI drives, it's not currently available from our server farm.

    Typical bandwidth usages are 2.5mb/sec outbound, for a grand total of around 20-25 gigs of bandwidth per day, and growing fast. Peak, we push nearly 8mb/sec. We're directly connected through a 100mb connection to multiple redundant OC-3 pipelines.

    After adding a second hard drive, and maxxing out our memory at 4gigs, our next move would be to lease a second server, directly connected with a network switch, to handle the database portion of the site, and keep a separate server for the apache processes. This will cause a little bit of latency, but will overcome most other problems. This is a last resort, though, because maintaining 2 systems is more than twice the work.

  6. #16
    FORT Fanatic echo1960's Avatar
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    Thank you SO much John for all your hard and time consuming work!
    I think this should convince us all to go green! I know I will now for sure. Thank you again. Echo

  7. #17
    FORT Fanatic echo1960's Avatar
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    John, please send me a PM or E-mail with a name and address I can send my check to. I do not use Pay-Pal.

  8. #18
    FORT Fan Live from NYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    We are on a Dell Dual Xeon 2.4gHz system, running Redhat 9.0, currently with 2 gigs of RAM, but upgrading today to 4 gigs.

    Our database is mySQL version 4.0.18, and we're taking advantage of the query caching ability of the 4.0 series.
    Good server box!

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    We do not use RAID arrays, and in fact have only one 40-gig IDE drive, which is a source of bottleneck for our server. By adding another, and moving the database to that new drive, we will solve some of that problem, although ideally we'd move to 10k rpm SCSI drives, it's not currently available from our server farm.
    There is a problem. You would definitely get a lot more disk I/O throughput with a 1-4 disk RAID 0 array. I have a couple of SCSI RAID 0 arrays using the 15K RPM Seagate Ultra 320's along with an Adaptec 39320 hardware array controllers on dual processor (AMD procesor) motherboards. Terrific performance. I have the operating system, pagefile, and severlal applications on the C: drive. I use Norton Ghost 2003 to back the whole thing up on a SCSI removable disk. Ghost says that it doesn't work with RAID arrays, but it actually does.:-) Works just fine saving and restoring images between the RAID array and the removable drive.

    These days serial ATA (SATA) controllers with hardware RAID support are supposed to work very well with 2 disk IDE RAID arrays on the chain. Very different from the old experience of 2 IDE's on one parallel channel that doesn't work well at all. Haven't tried SATA myself but I've read many sucess stories. A lot of the reports I've read say that the performance of a dual disk RAID 0 SATA IDE array using hardware SATA RAID support is hard to tell from the performance of a two disk 10K RPM hardware SCSI RAID 0 array. The SATA IDE array is just a lot less expensive.

    Your new disk is probably going on the second channel of a standard 2-channel parallel IDE controller. If you have a free PCI slot in the box and two more drive bays, at some point in the future you might want to consider popping in a 2-channel SATA controller with RAID support and 4 SATA IDE drives, two on each SATA channel as two RAID 0 arrays. Then load up the OS on one RAID 0 pair and the database on the other RAID 0 pair. Then sell of those old parallel 40's on eBay.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Typical bandwidth usages are 2.5mb/sec outbound, for a grand total of around 20-25 gigs of bandwidth per day, and growing fast. Peak, we push nearly 8mb/sec. We're directly connected through a 100mb connection to multiple redundant OC-3 pipelines.

    After adding a second hard drive, and maxxing out our memory at 4gigs, our next move would be to lease a second server, directly connected with a network switch, to handle the database portion of the site, and keep a separate server for the apache processes. This will cause a little bit of latency, but will overcome most other problems. This is a last resort, though, because maintaining 2 systems is more than twice the work.
    I've been invovled with a large consumer site in the past that pushed about 8-12 Mbps average and 15-20 Mbps peak outbond. We had several servers load-balanced using Alteon boxes. The whole thing was in a cage at Exodus fed by a similar 100 Mbps feed, with Exodus multi-homing multiple OC-3's.

    Good luck with the updgrades! Will be interesting to try the site out with the results.

  9. #19
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    Hope you (John) and the mods don't have a horrendous time with this new server regarding the people HAVING to sign up to view threads. May prove to be alot of work with the moderating of threads, etc.. I wish you all the best of luck, and I PROMISE I'll keep an eye on my own posts to ensure they're within the site guidelines.
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    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  10. #20
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Just an update on the uprgade - I'm told now that the RAM we need is not "in stock", and I'll be told when it is. I have no further information or estimate on when it might be, which is why we had to make this fairly drastic temporary change.

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