wnd's weblog

New hardware for katei.fi

26 Jun 2012 09:55:02 hardware

Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!

Late last night I finished replacing chikan.katei.fi with ayame.katei.fi. Unlike chikan (and its two emergency replacements), ayame actually has some server pedigree. Ayame is HP Proliant N40L MicroServer with 8 GiB of DDR3 ECC RAM.

Truth be told, real chikan wasn’t exactly long-lived. Roughly two years after starting service, chikan suffered a heat stroke during heavy PostgreSQL tasks, which apparently fried the passively cooled CPU. Chikan was quickly replaced with backup hardware, which also developed hardware issues starting with memory corruption. Backup of chikan’s backup ended up running things for more than a year. However, because both backups were supposed to be replaced with new hardware soon, I didn’t bother changing the hostname at all. Instead, I simply swapped the disks to another computer.

The first true replacement candidate for chikan and its backups didn’t do well. The motherboard (Asus E35M1-I DELUXE) would only recognise 4 GiB out of vendor qualified 8 GiB RAM. It also failed to even detect discrete NIC (Intel EXPI9301CT) in a PCIe slot. Eventually I decided to give up with cheap hardware and try hardware that was (partly) designed for the job. We’ll see how it goes in my demanding (read: dusty and cat hair infested) operating environment.

As for the MicroServer, it really surprised me. Not by its performance, but with small details like having a Torx key and screws neatly inside the door panel. Also, the thing is fairly quiet even with three disks spinning inside. The only true issue I’m having with the setup is missing DDR3 ECC support in Debian stable’s stock kernel. I suppose I’ll have to think of something.