New server online!
We have just completed the move to a shiny new server! It is much bigger and more powerful than our last one, which was getting to be over two years old.
Thanks to the many much-appreciated donations, we were able to afford the move in record time. We should also be able to cover the next 6 months of hosting costs with the cash left over!
The new server has been named "Avarice" (a Fullmetal Alchemist reference). We gave naming honors to for being the first user to reach our new gem-level sponsorship ranks!
A list of all the users who donate by the end this month will be recorded permanently on our wiki as the people who brought us the new server. :D You can remain anonymous if you wish.
The new specs for Avarice are:
HP DL380eG8 Server
12 x Intel Xeon E5-2420 64-bit 1.9GHz CPU Cores (2 chips with 6 cores each)
32GB DDR3 RAM
2TB SATA2 (4 x 1TB in RAID10) for the web server and asset storage
64GB SSD (2 x 64GB in RAID1) for the database
The disk arrays push data much faster than the old server. The SATA2 web storage pack reaches around 450MB/s. SATA2 may seem outdated, but it's super-cheap and very fast in the RAID10 configuration we're using, which is why it's still a standard offering in servers. We also get twice the storage for the same price as the old SAS/RAID5 drives we were using (and they were a third of the speed, too!).
The SSD RAID1 disk pack for the database hits 1GB/s transfer rate. Yep, that's a Gigabyte per second. :O Compared with the old server's SSD at 250MB/s, it's a huge increase. The disk controllers in the HP DL380eG8 have special new optimisations especially for SSD which help it achieve that high transfer rate, along with the speed benefits of RAID1.
The Xeon CPU cores use hyperthreading, so our Debian OS sees 24 CPU cores (2 x 12 real cores). Current site traffic barely touches even two of these virtual cores at any given time, on average. So there's a lot of room for the site to grow in terms of CPU needs! It also helps deal with unexpected traffic spikes.
We have moved to a 100Mbps unlimited network connection; essentially the same as before, but we are no longer billed on a 95th percentile scale when we go over our 30MBps average speed. As the site gets more traffic, our data costs will stay exactly the same. We only use about 30Mbps on an average day, so we have the capacity for three times more users accessing the site daily before it becomes an issue.
In brief: the new server is much faster and gives us plenty of growth potential for the next couple of years!
Thanks (especially to our donors!)
10 years, 6 months ago
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