by anders pearson Mon 16 Dec 2002 21:52:08

our new rackmount server finally came in today.

having pretty much only worked on regular desktop machines for the last few years (including regular desktop machines being setup as servers), it's pretty neat to have a real server to play with.

the redundancy impresses me. it has redundant hot swappable power supplies. hardware RAID hot swappable SCSI drives. 2 gigabit ethernet cards setup for failover and a third ethernet card so you can hook up an administrative intranet on an entirely seperate interface. about the only things in that aren't hot swappable are the processor and memory.

Dell bundled it with redhat 7.3 pre-installed. unfortunately, they installed every package that redhat comes with. so there were all kinds of vulnerabilities waiting to happen like sendmail and wu-ftpd on it (at least the default setup includes some ipchains rules that block off most of those ports). since i have some very particular ways that i like things set up, i decided it would be easier to wipe it and re-install just the stuff i want. it was probably the smoothest linux install i've ever experienced. dell and redhat must really be working together closely. all the hardware was properly detected and the drivers work together without any additional tweaking.

it runs cool too. after compiling apache, mod_perl, perl 5.8.0, and openssh, i could barely feel any heat coming out of the top of the case. it's only a 1GHz PIII, but 1U rackmounts are pretty thin and the processor only had a heatsink mounted on it. the case fans are loud though. but not as loud as the fans in the Xserve we got recently (which also runs really hot).

at the rate things have been going i figure i'll have it all configured and be able to move our applications from our current server to the new one by the end of the week. i probably won't do that though because i plan to take a couple weeks off for the holidays and go back up to maine. so making a big move of (somewhat) mission critical services right before i'm going to be out of town seems like a bad idea. not to mention that part of the transition process would be getting the network people to re-assign some IP addresses and hostnames and they're not exactly famous for expediency.

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