I'm in the future. Like hundreds of years in the future. I've been dead for centuries.
Oh, lovely, you're a cheery one aren't you?

Tuesday, April 28


Busy Week Ahead

The plan is to set up 14 15 19 more servers this week.

Nabiki, Kasumi, and Ukyo will handle mu.nu (non-Minx) and the other hosted sites.  They'll be equipped with CPanel.

Shampoo will be the Minx database server.  Kodachi, Azusa, and Hinako will be the three Minx application servers.  Lin-Lin and Ran-Ran will be the mee.nu and mu.nu Minx load-balancers respectively.

Mariko will handle database replication.  Nodoka, monitoring via Cacti and Nagios.  Akari will be the stats engine, running Urchin 6.  And Natsume will run the new search engine, based on Xapian.

Then there's the two new messaging servers, the file server, and the cache server.  Need to find some names for those.*

And finally, Honoka and Sumire will be the test environments, running Minx 1.2 beta and 1.3 dev respectively.

All up, that works out to $56 a month - exactly less than $4 $3 per server.

* And when I run out of Ranma characters, I'll just move on to Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku.

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Monday, April 27



rysnc 2.8 blows up with an out of memory error when asked to transfer 6.7 million files.

Well, crap.

The good thing about running something like RedHat Enterprise Linux (we actually run CentOS, which is a free distribution recompiled from the RHEL sources) is that it's stable.

Really stable.

Nothing ever gets frigging updated.  Bugs get fixed, particularly security and stability bugs, but it's still on Python 2.4.3, which came out about the same time as Julius Caesar's memoirs.

I do have OpenVZ installed.  So I can set up, say, a Fedora 8 VE, update rsync there, and use that just for rsyncing.

Not at 2AM though.

Update: Whoa.  Just hit the Minx restart/cleanup timer while posting this - right at 2AM - and got the "Service is not available" message.  I knew that in theory it could do that, but I'd never seen it before.  There you go.

One second later and everything is fine again.

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Sunday, April 26


It Is Done

Okay, it took a couple of weeks (because I was busy doing other stuff) but OpenVZ is now installed and working on Akane.  That means I can now start firing up virtual environments and moving things across.  And shutting down servers so that I don't get charged (unmentionable) dollars next month.

Might just install it on wossname as well.  Momoko?  Kurumi?  Mikan, that's the one.

Update: Just reinstalling the OS now to do a clean run of installing OpenVZ and the Intel drivers.  I have a /27 block of VLAN-routable public and private IP addresses (i.e. 29 usable addresses on each network) so I can create up to 29 OpenVZ VE's.  That's a bit of a squeeze with 24GB of RAM, but the server can go to 72GB, so I thought I'd grab enough to last us a while.  And a Minx VE can probably run just fine in 256MB, so I might be setting up a few of those. smile

So, mee.nu and other Minx users - migration is tentatively scheduled for Saturday May 3rd.  I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, April 25



After carefully conserving bandwidth for two weeks, I just accidentally downloaded about 700 podcasts.

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Pystones 2

We've just installed a new server at my day job with dual Xeon 5570's (2.93GHz Nehalems), effectively Akane's big sister.  (It also has 72GB of RAM and 6 Intel SSDs.)

Naturally, I ran Pystone on it.

Db3: 111,482

And for reference:

Akane: 82,169
Yurie+Psyco: 346,020

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Next Stop, Akane Town!

While I was distracted by the fires and explosions at my day job, someone else got Virtuozzo working on a SoftLayer Nehalem server and made the necessary network driver available as an RPM.

Very cool.  I should be able to get Akane up and running tomorrow.

A little late, since I've already been hit with an enormous bill because we're running four servers at SoftLayer right now instead of just two, but I should easily be able to get us moved across over the next couple of weeks.

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Friday, April 10



Python 2.6.1

Akane: 82,169 (Xeon 5520 (Nehalem) 2.26Ghz, 64-bit)
Mikan: 84,033 (Xeon 3230 2.66GHz, 64-bit)
Yurie: 55,463 (Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz, 32-bit)
Haruhi: 66,533 (Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz, 64-bit)

Psyco 1.6

Yurie: 346,020

Unladen Swallow 2009Q1

Yurie: 71,787
Haruhi 78,369
Akane: 102,880
Mikan: 99,800

So a 2.26GHz Nehalem is about the same speed as a 2.66GHz Core 2.  And both are a good bit faster than a 2.6GHz Athlon.  Also, 64-bit Python is 20% faster than 32-bit.  (Though this drops to 10% with Unladen Swallow.)

But Psyco, the JIT compiler, still wallops everything else, more than three times as fast as the nearest competitor.  Google is working on a project named Unladen Swallow, an attempt to improve Python's speed, which may one day free us from the genteel tyranny of 32-bit environments and Python 2.x.  Psyco doesn't work in 64-bit mode or Python 3.x, but its performance benefits outweigh all other concerns thus far.  Python 2.x is still under active development - new features, not just maintenance - and OpenVZ allows me to set up 32-bit environments under a 64-bit kernel.

The Unladen Swallow developers actually warn against taking Pystone as a representative benchmark, and don't use it to guide their performance tuning; nonetheless it provides a 20% to 30% improvement even in its first release.

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Ooookay, That Will Probably Suffice

SoftLayer now support IPv6, and you can get a free block of IPv6 addresses with new servers.

You get one master IPv4 address, four free secondary IPv4 addresses, and 64 free IPv6 addresses.

At least, that's how I read it.  I was wondering why they were being so stingy with IPv6; they're not exactly in short supply.



It's not 64 IPv6 addresses, it's a /64 block.  In other words, 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses.  Over 18 quintillion.

They also offer additional IPv6 blocks at extra cost.  I don't think I'll need that service in a hurry.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:56 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, April 09


And Mikan Makes Two

The second server for the new hypercluster is being provisioned right now.  Mikan* is just a baby compared to Akane - a quad-core Xeon 3230, but with just 2GB of memory and one 250GB drive.

Fortunately, Mikan's main job is to sit there and look pretty...  And to contribute 4TB of bandwidth to our monthly quota.  I used a different promo code this time - double bandwidth instead of double memory and disk - because Akane has all the memory and disk we need but only comes with 2TB of bandwidth against the 3TB+ we are using.

Thanks to the special offer, Mikan gives us a spare server and 4TB of bandwidth for the price of 2TB of excess bandwidth charges.  That means that right now it's effectively a very cheap spare server, and going forward it will actually be saving me up to $200 a month.

I can also run a instance of Minx on there to use the spare CPU power, which was why I went for the Xeon 3230.  The cheapest option was a Xeon 3050, a dual-core 2.13GHz CPU.  The 3230 cost 25% more, but it's a quad-core 2.66GHz chip, so it's 2.5x as fast.  Which seems like a good deal to me. smile

This will be really nice once Akane is configured (trying another OpenVZ kernel now).  We won't need to move to a new server for a good long time: We have 4TB of RAID-5 disk and an SSD for the databases, and room for another 5-disk RAID array and another SSD.  And we can upgrade from 24GB of memory to 72GB now, and to 144GB once 8GB modules come down in price.  And we can upgrade our 2.26GHz CPUs to quad-core 2.93GHz CPUs now, and to six-core CPUs in the future.

I can just add little FEP (front-end processor) / bandwidth pool machines like Mikan as we continue to grow; the next one is destined to be named Kurumi.**

Update: Splatooie!  Oh well.  I have an Intel kernel module driver thingy here to try next.

* A mandarin, also a shade of orange.
** Walnut, both the nut itself and the colour.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:32 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, April 07


It's Going Too Fast! I Want To Get Off!

Vroom!  5 x 1TB disks in RAID-5:

[root@akane ~]# hdparm -t /dev/sdb

 Timing buffered disk reads:  1230 MB in  3.00 seconds = 409.96 MB/sec

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:23 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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