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A Look At One of Blizzard's Retired World of Warcraft Servers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the dissecting-a-nerd-playground dept.

Games 116

MojoKid writes "At last count, Activision Blizzard pegged the number of World of Warcraft subscribers at 10.2 million. It takes a massive amount of gear to host all the different game worlds, or realms, as they're referred to. Each realm is hosted on its own server, and in late 2011, Activision Blizzard began auctioning off retired server blades from the days of yore to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. They sold around 2,000 retired Hewlett-Packard p-Class server blades on eBay and donated 100 percent of the proceeds (minus auction expenses) to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of catastrophic diseases in children. This article has a look at one of those retired server blades."

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For the...! (5, Funny)

chuckfirment (197857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406489)

For the Horde, I mean, FOR THE CHILDREN!

Re:For the...! (4, Funny)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406505)

If you've taken care of children for any reasonable amount of time, you don't recognize a difference in those two words.

Well, at least I can't.

Re:For the...! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406563)

Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure.

Re:For the...! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408261)

Dumbass.

Re:For the...! (5, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408141)

Just goes to show: It Takes a Child to Raze a Village.

Re:For the...! (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39409383)

OMG is that good.

Re:For the...! (4, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406861)

For the Horde, I mean, FOR THE CHILDREN!

So, for the Alliance, then.

Re:For the...! (1)

jpbelang (79439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407277)

For the Horde, I mean, FOR THE CHILDREN!

So, for the Alliance, then.

For the ward!

Re:For the...! (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408217)

FOR PONY!

Re:For the...! (2)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406971)

Children's Week isn't until next month, you insensitive clod!

Re:For the...! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407229)

For the Horde, I mean, FOR THE CHILDREN!

I'm sorry, but as a Blood Elf Mage, I must say this server is pretty lame. Everyone who's anyone plays PvP, not PvE.

Re:For the...! (2)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407479)

And some for Leeroy Jenkins...

Re:For the...! (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39410737)

I worked at an after-school program with 60 kids from grades K-5.

I think if we ever entered a serious war I would rush to the front lines. I no longer fear death, for I have seen all there is to be seen.

shipping cost? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406551)

With shipping, which was almost as much as the server itself, I paid $243.50 for this showpiece.

Hmmm $100 or so to ship? Someone's padding that expense line. I would not flinch at $25 to $50 but this smells of those ebay auctions where its $0.01 for the product and $50 to ship.

Re:shipping cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406631)

Shipping a server with insurance? $100 is not unreasonable.

Re:shipping cost? (1)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406655)

Insurance for what? This is irreplaceable, correct?

Re:shipping cost? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406943)

"Irreplaceable" but yet still only worth $143 in the open market. Most shippers insure the first $100 for free, so the insurance on this couldn't be more than a couple bucks...

Re:shipping cost? (1)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407211)

Okay so at least you get your 143 bucks back. I guess that would ease the pain to some extent of losing a one of a kind collectors item. I was asking a serious question, btw, so thanks for answering. :D

Re:shipping cost? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407153)

Insurance for the purchase price. Otherwise, it breakies money go bye bye.

Re:shipping cost? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406707)

we ship servers constantly (data center), average cost of actual shipping is around $125 within Canada/US, for a 1U system. They are heavy, require special packaging (2" solid foam surrounding the system to meet insurance requirements) and usually double boxed.

Re:shipping cost? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406991)

It's not a 1U, it's a much smaller blade that only weighs about 18lbs. And there isn't much insurance cost since it's non-functional, encased in lucite, and apparently only worth about $143 based on the auction prices. More like shipping an $143 piece of artwork to hang on the wall...

Re:shipping cost? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407087)

It is not encased in anything, they simply put a clear cover on it.

Re:shipping cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407439)

It is not encased in anything, they simply put a clear cover on it.

You'd still use shipping materials, foam, cardboard stints, etc in place when you place it into the box to ship.

Re:shipping cost? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407677)

And if that all cost $100 then Amazon, etc. would be losing a shitload of money from all of their free shipping offers. I've shipped much more valuable and fragile items for a lot less.

Re:shipping cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407005)

Hmmm $100 or so to ship? Someone's padding that expense line.

Someone isn't letting St Jude get much.

they were all shipped from france. (2)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407569)

I looked at the auctions when they originally occured

they were shipped INDIVIDUALLY from France, so the price ain't that bad

Now, WHY TF they weren't shipped to one point in the US (say Blizzard headquarters) and then individually shipped to buyers-- escapes me.

Re:they were all shipped from france. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407935)

EU servers were probably shipped from France. US servers were shipped from LA.

Re:shipping cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39409217)

He stated that he bought an EU server while I'm assuming that he lives in the US. When I was looking at buying one the EU servers cost $100+ to ship to a US address while the US servers were around $30 to ship.

Blades (0, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406561)

Are we still using blades? They save physical space but they add complexity, cost, points of failure, and the heat they generate is the same (or worse) per performance, all concentrated in a tiny box with higher cooling demands. New Xeons and Opterons have buttloads of CPU cores and then you just visualize shit. Why mess with blades?

Re:Blades (2)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406599)

vmware still has issues with all the I/O going through the hypervisor. the blades have local storage for the OS

there are still applications like Cognos and others that say that if you run them in vmware then use a separate physical server due to the I/O demands and the fact that you have to specially code around the oversubscribing feature of vmware

Re:Blades (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407167)

vmware still has issues with all the I/O going through the hypervisor. the blades have local storage for the OS

HP absolutely promised us and our customer that there is no I/O issues using their vmWare server-solution, compared to bare-metal.....not that I believed them.

Re:Blades (2)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413127)

VMware could handle hundreds of thousands of IOPS into a single host years ago. Pretty sure it's over a million now.

Outside of exceptionally unusual corner cases, if your storage system can handle it, VMware is not going to be a bottleneck.

Re:Blades (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406605)

Um, where do you think those Xeons and Opterons are installed? In individual towers? 1U servers are basically the same as blades except you have a lot more smaller redundant parts (power supplies, fans, etc...).

Plus, you are griping about hardware that has been retired.

Re:Blades (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406805)

The main saving grace of the humble 1U is that it doesn't have a vendor who has you by the balls for the next 14-ish systems you buy, along with a variety of option cards and things. Your basic rack doesn't provide much in the way of amenities, leading to lots of messy duplication of 40mm jet-fans and PSUs and a cable mess; but it just doesn't have the lock-in of a physically and logically proprietary cardcage...

So far, the blade guys have had a difficult time not pocketing as much of the extra efficiency value as they can, while the commodity 1U knife-fight is wasteful; but it is rather harder for your vendor to achieve market power over you.

Re:Blades (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406817)

Um, where do you think those Xeons and Opterons are installed? In individual towers? 1U servers are basically the same as blades except you have a lot more smaller redundant parts (power supplies, fans, etc...).

Plus, you are griping about hardware that has been retired.

1U servers are basically not the same as blades, lol.

Re:Blades (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406617)

Because they aren't faggots like you. Punk bitch.

Re:Blades (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406667)

Pfff, yea right. What do you know about the topic? What makes you an expert? Get off your high horse. Besdies, why should I take anything seriously from someone using the moniker "sexconker"?

Re:Blades (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406677)

My sense is that 'blade' as in "Wow, look how many basically-just-a-1U-with-the-economics-of-a-laptop we can cram into a proprietary cage that costs $15k empty!" isn't as trendy as it used to be; but that some of the cuter setups that offer integrated switching, dynamic allocation of a pool of disks to individual blades, and other functions that help save on switches, cabling, SAN architecture, and so on were still in a slightly tense state: On the one hand, they had the potential to be more cost effective that the discrete stuff, for certain applications(because they genuinely saved on interconnect silicon, cables, and various overprovisioned-because-every-1U-needs-to-have-one components); but vendors were having a terribly difficult time resisting the temptation to use the fact that you had to purchase all the bits from them to start gouging and slacking off on standardized management interfaces.

Re:Blades (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406769)

Are we still using blades?

Hipster IT admins, ASSEMBLE!

"Blades are so mainstream. People in the know use a CPU with buttloads of cores. I'd tell you what brand, but it wouldn't matter, you've never heard of it."

"Sure, 10-speeds save physical space, but they add complexity, cost, points of failure, and the heat they generate is the same. That's why I prefer fixies."

"Why mess with blades? You can't even put a bird on them. [youtube.com] "

Re:Blades (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408431)

"Blades are so mainstream. People in the know use a CPU with buttloads of cores. I'd tell you what brand, but it wouldn't matter, you've never heard of it."

You sir are my hero.

Re:Blades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39410953)

The uploader has not made this video available in your country. Guessing it's a US only thing.

Re:Blades (5, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406957)

Blades are all about density. If I can squeeze 10 dual-host blades in a 7U enclosure, that's 13U saved vs 20 1U servers. Add the fact that many modern blade enclosures integrate modular switches, and you can squeeze 120 hosts per rack, instead of just 38-40. The hardware cost difference is negligible, since you're buying one set of redundant power supplies to power all 10 blades. The enclosure itself is costly, but the blades aren't much pricier than a comparable server board.

If you're deploying lots of them like Blizzard, choosing blades means you only need 1/3rd of the floor space, 1/3rd the shipping cost, 1/3rd the installation labour, which represents a huge chunk of change when you're colocating at top-tier datacenters all around the world.

Blades may not make sense for everyone, but don't write them off just because your needs are satisfied by simpler solutions. Virtualization is a great tool that offers tremendous flexibility and reduced costs, but it is not a magic bullet to solve every problem. It excels at handling small jobs, and fails hard with large ones. For example, virtualization struggles with I/O heavy workloads, which are becoming increasingly important with the meteoric rise of data warehousing and distributed computing. Processors are the easiest part of the equation.

Re:Blades (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408193)

For example, virtualization struggles with I/O heavy workloads, which are becoming increasingly important with the meteoric rise of data warehousing and distributed computing.

And funnily enough, MMO games. When you've got tens of thousands of players buying/selling, looting, switching about items, leveling up, killing stuff, and updating statistics on just about everything they do, its no home fileserver anymore. IO was the prime issue that made the EVE Online in-game Marketplace rather unresponsive at times.

Re:Blades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39409683)

Virtualization is a great tool that offers tremendous flexibility and reduced costs, but it is not a magic bullet to solve every problem.

Exactly: blades not an anti-thesis to a 4U overbuilt VM host with a mess of cables pouring out the back. Depending on how much RAM you can stuff into a given box will tell you just how much consolidation you can get. If a few more blades each holding more RAM/U than the hefty ultra-deep-dish-pizza boxes, then blades may be an alternative.

For example, virtualization struggles with I/O heavy workloads, which are becoming increasingly important with the meteoric rise of data warehousing and distributed computing.

CISCO UCSes are blade server enclosures that designed specifically with virtualization in mind. They are reported [cisco.com] (*cough* marketing *cough*) to have pretty good I/O. The price is not nice [bythebell.com] , of course.

However, if you want virtualization and I/O, then try IBM LPARs on Power hardware. Pretty much a blade-like system. You just shove $$$ money at IBM and they flip extra capacity "on" for you.

Just watch out that you don't end up like the IBM Power architecture with expansion cabinets that look like the nest of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Re:Blades (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413199)

Blades are all about density.

Mostly only in the advertising blurb.

In real life, it's nearly impossible to find anywhere that you can achieve a higher density with blades than you could with 1U rackmounts (even when you're only talking about using fractions of a rack).

There are plenty of other good reasons to buy blades, but density is rarely one of them. With that said, Blizzard are probably one of the few companies who could put in enough custom infrastructure to handle the power and cooling requirements of racks actually full of blades.

Re:Blades (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406967)

Because you can treat a single blade chassis as a single computer, despite the fact that it has 10+ computers in it. So, rather than separate boxes tied into a SAN, you have a single "computer" with directly attached drives (SCSI drive farm) for better performance. Then you cluster piles of those with a shared SAN for what must be shared across them. Better performance than separate machines.

Oh, and blade servers have better reliability, even if you think they have more points of failure. And, depending on your setup, space is a cost that is a consideration, and compactness will save money.

Re:Blades (2)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407139)

No they are not still using blade servers, hence the reason they are selling them off as historical pieces of art basically..

Re:Blades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408479)

"Are we still using blades?"

No, that's why we're selling them off.

Re:Blades (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413113)

Why mess with blades?

Because they're easier to manage, reduce complexity, require less infrastructure, are cheaper (once you've scaled past the break-even point, which depending on vendor can be up to an entire chassis full), have fewer points of failure, require less power and generate less heat per $METRIC and are exceptionally good for virtualisation.

Or to put it another way, pretty much everything you wrote up there is wrong. Outside of very specialist scenarios where you have the facilities in place to handle the density, you don't buy blades to save space, you buy them for all the other advantages they have over regular rackmount servers.

About the only reason to buy rackmount servers is one or more of: a) you only need a small number of them (thus making blades uneconomical), b) you have a need for lots of local disk, c) you have unusual physical IO requirements.

So? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406593)

It looks like any other blade, once you ignore the marketing decals put on it.

Re:So? (2)

Slick_W1lly (778565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406653)

The point, though, is less about the (obsolete) hardware and more about the opportunity to own a 'piece of gaming history'.

You can look back at it, in your golden years and tell your grandchildren "I played on that server" and they can look back at you blankly and ask 'Wow.. did they use *actual* servers in those days? Weren't there any clouds?"

It's nostalgic and ephemeral, and not at all about the fact that it's basically some BL20p (or similar) which you could pull out of a dumpster behind most data centers these days..

Re:So? (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406753)

Your grandchildren will probably think clouds are quaint archaic tech too.

Re:So? (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406885)

They'll eGiggle at each other over their psychic neural network.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406935)

Until they get brainjacked and used by a Syndicate or two for nefarious purposes.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39410653)

GEAT THE MATE

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407135)

The "cloud" is synonymous with "server". So, uh, what were you saying again?

Cloud is just a stupid marketing term made up to make "servers" sound cool and new. Its actually the oldest computer tech there is.

In the 90's they called the "cloud" the "internet" with your web "appliance" accessing it. Its all just PC's, servers, and networks. Thats it. Move along now.

Re:So? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408471)

You can look back at it, in your golden years and tell your grandchildren "I played on that server" and they can look back at you blankly and ask each other if it's time to check grandpa's meds again.

FTFY.

Re:So? (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411661)

... ask 'Wow.. did they use *actual* servers in those days? Weren't there any clouds?".

Doesn't the cloud run on servers too? Just more them and more distributed.

Re:So? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408615)

Yeah? And a game winning baseball is just a baseball, and a famous player's jersey is just a piece of cheap clothing. It's just memorabilia.

Re:So? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411541)

Maybe the point is Blizzard realized that unlike most data-center junk, this was something people might be willing to pay more than used hardware costs for and they could do something good with the money they raised from selling it.

Did you complain about Penny Arcade's charity drives, too?

Hard drives? (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406637)

From the slide show/article it says the drives were removed before hand to prevent customer info from being leaked.

I'm wondering why these had hard drives with data on them at all. Wouldn't the data be on a SAN on the backend? Kind of defeats the purpose of a blade in the first place, seeing you want to be able to replace it quick if something goes wrong.

In fact, if there are using the local drives, they better be sure to remove the RAID controller, as these might have info left in the cache as they are battery backed up.

Re:Hard drives? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406669)

the raid card is missing the ram

Re:Hard drives? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406731)

Can't speak for all RAID cards, but the ones I've worked have a certain amount of RAM soldered onto the card and a slot for additional RAM that's semi-optional (the last card I worked with required additional RAM to add another drive to the RAID 5, but was working fine with just the onboard RAM before that). So it may not be missing it so much as never having had it in the first place.

Re:Hard drives? (1)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406671)

The article writer probably made assumptions.

More likely, the hard drives had basic 'get connected, and this is what you do' kind of code - all of the actual data would have been on DB servers.

Though, this could have been a DB node...

Re:Hard drives? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406699)

the security guy probably had a case of CYA and said to take out the drives and other parts, just in case

Re:Hard drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406825)

I'm wondering why these had hard drives with data on them at all. Wouldn't the data be on a SAN on the backend? Kind of defeats the purpose of a blade in the first place, seeing you want to be able to replace it quick if something goes wrong.

No, it doesn't defeat the purpose of a blade. I do this and can replace a failed blade including OS install in under 20 minutes. The HD only includes the OS to boot the blade, all the 'important' stuff is then mounted from the SAN.

Ya well having played WoW (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406899)

I get the feeling their backend design wasn't the best. For years they took their servers down every single week for a massive 6-8 hour maintenance period. This wasn't for updates, this was just regular. Patches took forEVER to happen. It clearly wasn't something like "Take things down, roll out new code, run checks, bring it online." Given that some things would only affect particular realms it was pretty clear they were doing things like running series of scripts and commands to upgrade things, and the process shad trouble in certain configurations and so on.

So it wouldn't surprise me if they did things like store data on the blades themselves and so on. I can't say for sure, since Blizzard has been secretive to the point of paranoia about how things work on the back end, but my experience with the game leads me to believe they did not have a particularly good backend setup.

Re:Ya well having played WoW (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408135)

Speaking AC here for obvious reasons.

The reasons Blizzard did this was simply to delete objects. That is pretty much it as the I/O was the bottleneck when you had 20k - 40k population on each server and every SQL check becomes precious. You cached commonly used things and by the time a week is used the ram is filled up.

Wow and SWTOR still do this for a scraping of objects every week.

Occasionally new code is released too. That is quick to update over the network when the realm is down when it is done cleaning its objects.

Re:Hard drives? (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406959)

local storage allow you to cache many things locally. You surely, do not want to go through network for every single freaking I/O.

Re:Hard drives? (3, Informative)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407693)

Character data would be stored in a database (in Blizzard's case, Oracle). The local drives on the blades would have game data and server executables, which would be even more valuable than character data to the right people (gray-sharders, botters, and other nefarious types).

Blizzard are scoundrels (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406771)

Selling these servers for cheap and donating everything will be taxdeductable and give them good PR...
Blizzard recently announced to their staff (mostly CS) that they were going to lay off 500 people even though they made about half a billion in profit.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (3, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406855)

It only makes sense to employ people if you have a job for them to do. If Blizzard had nothing useful for them to do, keeping them around to twiddle their thumbs doesn't make much sense.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (-1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407441)

But I've been told that if we give businesses more money they'll use it to hire people!

It's all about supply, right? Demand doesn't drive businesses to hire, spare cash-on-hand does.

Why would Blizzard fire people if they have so much money?

Surely politicians haven't lied to me. That can't have happened. Next you'll tell me that if we give billionaires tax breaks they'll use it to speculate on currency or open factories in Rwanda or do something else useless-to-us/destructive rather than starting domestic businesses (since they didn't already have enough semi-liquid money to start another business if they wanted to, and were only holding back because taxes are just so damned oppressive).

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39409355)

I agree with your logic. If supply side economics worked, all of the economic growth from 2002 to 2007 would have been from something other than a real estate bubble. Not to mention the insane logic behind keeping taxes low when the nation is at war. But what do I know, I'm just some idiot on a discussion board.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (3, Informative)

Terwin (412356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407663)

It only makes sense to employ people if you have a job for them to do. If Blizzard had nothing useful for them to do, keeping them around to twiddle their thumbs doesn't make much sense.

This.
I play paper and pencil games with someone who had his department basically cut in half.
Over the past few months a lot of their tasks were made more automated and they were being sent home early due to a lack of work.
Apparently there was a cost/productivity metric that was calculated for each of them and the more expensive ones were let go.
And according to him, the severance packages were nice enough that it was clear that this was not a 'we can't afford you any more' type situation.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39409337)

I am extremely pleased that Blizzard provided a nice severance package, and extremely pleased that employees of a company that services an MMORPG are themselves fans of pen and paper roleplaying games. Cool.

I'm pro union and borderline socialist myself, but I can't see asking or forcing companies to employ people they can't use. I hope your friend and everyone else laid off finds gainful employment elsewhere.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39409819)

Yes, but why not take those human resources and keep making product? I guess when you have all the money you will ever need for mountains of blow and acres of hookers, one doesn't care about further progress.

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407041)

Blizzard is a for-profit company, not a charity. Why payroll 500 of your worst developers when you can pay 50 to do the same job for a fifth the price(assuming you pay them more and benefits are a flat per-head rate)?

Re:Blizzard are scoundrels (1)

somarilnos (2532726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407247)

Do you understand how the concept of tax rates work? Let's say, for argument's sake, that Blizzard's corporate tax rate, is 30%. They sell a server for $250, and spend $100 of that money to ship it. They then donate the remaining $150 to charity. Assuming, then, that they could write off the $250, that means they save $75 on their taxes. So, let's look at it. They take in $250, they pay $100 for shipping, pay $150 to charities, and get to keep $75 of that. Sounds great, right? Amazing moneygrab from the company that's making about $153 million a month in subscription costs. Now, let's suppose that they were the capitalist scoundrels that you're alleging they are (given, they do a lot of things to grab money, but framing this as one of them is silly). They sell the server at auction for the same $250. They pay $100 of that to ship it. Let's assume, again, that they can write off shipping in the costs. So boom, they save $30 on taxes. $250 in income, $30 in saved taxes, minus $100 for the shipping cost. They've then gained $180. So effectively, even after the tax implications are figured, they still could have earned more money by keeping the money for themselves than giving it to charity. How dare those scumbags give the money to a hospital for kids.

What a terrible review! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406795)

The article writer doesn't mention the specs of the blade, isn't interested in knowing if it works and thinks its ugly?! He has no interest in server tech or playing wow. Why waste our time linking to this article?

Re:What a terrible review! (3, Interesting)

JackDW (904211) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406995)

Yeah, disappointing.

But then, without the disks, there is very little to say about how these machines were once configured and used within the data centres.

I hope that one day somebody from Blizzard will write a book about the development and deployment of the game, similar to Masters of Doom, in which this sort of information will be revealed. I, for one, would find it very interesting. Sure, as outsiders, we can take educated guesses about how you might build Warcraft, or a clone of it, but how much more interesting to know how it was (is) actually done! One day, perhaps it will not be so important to keep this secret.

Re:What a terrible review! (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39409063)

That's what I wanted to know. I was hoping he'd pop off a heat sink and tell us what it was running. It's curious that it has DDR memory and 6GB of it. On the Intel side of things, I don't believe there was ever a 64-bit processor that worked with a chipset that accepted DDR memory, as the first 64-bit processors were the late P4's (and the associated Xeons) and those worked with DDR2 and later DDR3. So does it sport an AMD processor? Or were they just using PAE to access that much memory?

Auction Over? (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39406801)

Oh man, where was the news story when these were still for sale?! $200 for a blade server doesn't sound bad, but then you look at the work they did with the paneling and the plaque and this thing looks like a pretty sweet piece. Practically belongs in a museum! $200 seems like a steal.

I want one :(

Re:Auction Over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39409329)

i agree, there should have been an article when these were on sale!

Re:Auction Over? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411013)

Yeah, I'm a little upset I missed it. I figure of all places Slashdot would have an article on it, but looks like it didn't. That figures we can get 101 bitcoin stories, but miss this.

Just say no to ancient hardware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39406963)

1U units with fans mounted like that the thing must be loud as hell and most likely from the old xenon era with zero power management.

You can get entire rackmount server PCs that work by themselves without a blade chassis for the same cost/capabilities from geeks. Don't waste your money for nostalgia...

Some cleanup required first (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407021)

Before reselling them they had to clean the hard drives of all the lost hopes and dreams of previous players.

Re:Some cleanup required first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408975)

Although the majority of which remain in the customer mom's basement

first mega-sucessfull? (1)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407345)

from TFA:"There may never be another game as popular as WoW, and even if there is, at the very least WoW will always be considered the first mega-successful MMORPG." I'm surprised that no one has challenged this yet. I think WoW became more popular at it's high point, but I think Everquest paved the way for it, and was as popular at it is now. EQ certainly eclipsed the stuff like Ultima Online and Baldur's Gate that preceded it.

Re:first mega-sucessfull? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407495)

from TFA:"There may never be another game as popular as WoW, and even if there is, at the very least WoW will always be considered the first mega-successful MMORPG."

I'm surprised that no one has challenged this yet. I think WoW became more popular at it's high point, but I think Everquest paved the way for it, and was as popular at it is now. EQ certainly eclipsed the stuff like Ultima Online and Baldur's Gate that preceded it.

Everquest peaked at around 500k subscribers and hit the 100k milestone of people being logged in at once. I was logged in the night it happened. :) That was the best they achieved. Wow obliterated that number the 1st day of release with 2.9 million subscribers.

That was damned nice (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407431)

Kudos Blizzard for doing such a decent thing, couldn't have picked a better charity.

Re:That was damned nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407645)

I doubt it. $10 says they claim the full purchase price of the server blades as charitable giving deductions. I used to work in a research lab where we were donated 10 year old servers by companies as assets worth 12 grand. Complete BS.

Re:That was damned nice (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411055)

Who gives a shit? The charity still receives money they didn't have before and it will help lots of people that really need it.

Re:That was damned nice (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411577)

Yes, exactly. Everybody wins. I guess for some people, Blizzard is damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Rubbish article (0)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407519)

It just doesn't feel like it says that much and there are tons of pictures of basically the same thing. Talk about padding it out for ad revenue.

I won my server's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39410055)

Alot of people were bidding ours up at the last second. They all ended up going for around $500 each.

I also saw alot of negative feedback on the auctions saying "--------------- fuck I didn't want this I just wanted to bid people up. thank god they cancelled my winning bid."

Fun Fact (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411571)

"Fun fact: As of 2010, the average number of hours spent playing WoW each week in America is 22.7"

Over 3 hours per day is average? No wonder I get my arse kicked in PvP. ;)

Having a look. (1)

LittleImp (1020687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411955)

Am I the only one who doesn't think of pictures when someone says they are having a look at the server? I mean he literally just took pictures of the hardware?!

Which Realm was it for? (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411965)

I'm interested in knowing which realm it was for?

Was it a US or Oceanic server?

I'm just curious.

Re:Which Realm was it for? (1)

slacker001 (951666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412105)

If you had even looked at the first picture, you'd see "Minahonda" etched below the World of Warcraft logo.

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