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Slashdot's Setup, Part 1- Hardware

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the lookit-all-them-wires-in-there dept.

273

As part of our 10-Year anniversary coverage, we intend to update our insanely dated FAQ entry that describes our system setup. Today is Part 1 where we talk mostly about the hardware that powers Slashdot. Next week we'll run Part 2 where we'll talk mostly about Software. Read on to learn about our routers, our databases, our webservers and more. And as a reminder, don't forget to bid on our charity auction for the EFF and if you are in Ann Arbor, our anniversary party is tomorrow night.

CT:Most of the following was written by Uriah Welcome, famed sysadmin extraordinaire, responsible for our corporate intertubes. He Writes...

Many of you have asked about the infrastructure that supports your favorite time sink... err news site. The question even reached the top ten questions to ask CmdrTaco. So I've been asked to share our secrets on how we keep the site up and running, as well as a look towards the future of Slashdot's infrastructure. Please keep in mind that this infrastructure not only runs Slashdot, but also all the other sites owned by SourceForge, Inc.: SourceForge.net, Thinkgeek.com, Freshmeat.net, Linux.com, Newsforge.com, et al.

Well, let's begin with the most boring and basic details. We're hosted at a Savvis data center in the Bay Area. Our data center is pretty much like every other one. Raised floors, UPSs, giant diesel generators, 24x7 security, man traps, the works. Really, once you've seen one class A data center, you've seen them all. (CT: I've still never seen one. And they won't let us take pictures. Boo savvis.)

Next, our bandwidth and network. We currently have two Active-Active Gigabit uplinks; again nothing unique here, no crazy routing, just symmetric, equal cost uplinks. The uplinks terminate in our cage at a pair of Cisco 7301s that we use as our gateway/border routers. We do some basic filtering here, but nothing too outrageous; we tier our filtering to try to spread the load. From the border routers, the bits hit our core switches/routers, a pair of Foundry BigIron 8000s. They have been our workhorses throughout the years. The BigIron 8000s have been in production since we built this data center in 2002 and actually, having just looked at it... haven't been rebooted since. These guys used to be our border routers, but alas... their CPUs just weren't up to the task after all these years and growth. Many machines plug directly into these core switches, however for certain self contained racks we branch off to Foundry FastIron 9604s. They are basically switches and do nothing but save us ports on the cores.

Now onto the meat: the actual systems. We've gone through many vendors over the years. Some good, some...not so much. We've had our share of problems with everyone. Currently in production we have the following: HP, Dell, IBM, Rackable, and I kid you not, VA Linux Systems. Since this article is about Slashdot, I'll stick to their hardware. The first hop on the way to Slashdot is the load balancing firewalls, which are a pair of Rackable Systems 1Us; P4 Xeon 2.66Gz, 2G RAM, 2x80GB IDE, running CentOS and LVS. These guys distribute the traffic to the next hop, which are the web servers.

Slashdot currently has 16 web servers all of which are running Red Hat 9. Two serve static content: javascript, images, and the front page for non logged-in users. Four serve the front page to logged in users. And the remaining ten handle comment pages. All web servers are Rackable 1U servers with 2 Xeon 2.66Ghz processors, 2GB of RAM, and 2x80GB IDE hard drives. The web servers all NFS mount the NFS server, which is a Rackable 2U with 2 Xeon 2.4Ghz processors, 2GB of RAM, and 4x36GB 15K RPM SCSI drives. (CT: Just as a note, we frequently shuffle these 16 servers from one task to another to handle changes in load or performance. Next week's software story will explain in much more detail exactly what we do with those machines. Also as a note- the NFS is read-only, which was really the only safe way to use NFS around 1999 when we started doing it this way.)

Besides the 16 web servers, we have 7 databases. They currently are all running CentOS 4. They breakdown as follows: 2 Dual Opteron 270's with 16GB RAM, 4x36GB 15K RPM SCSI Drives These are doing multiple-master replication, with one acting as Slashdot's single write-only DB, and the other acting as a reader. We have the ability to swap their functions dynamically at any time, providing an acceptable level of failover.

2 Dual Opteron 270's with 8GB RAM, 4x36GB 15K RPM SCSI Drives These are Slashdot's reader DBs. Each derives data from a specific master database (listed above). The idea is that we can add more reader databases as we need to scale. These boxes are barely a year old now — and still are plenty fast for our needs.

Lastly, we have 3 Quad P3 Xeon 700Mhz with 4GB RAM, 8x36GB 10K RPM SCSI Drives which are sort of our miscellaneous 'other' boxes. They are used to host our accesslog writer, an accesslog reader, and Slashdot's search database. We need this much for accesslogs because moderation and stats require a lot of CPU time for computation.

And that is basically it, in a nutshell. There isn't anything too terribly crazy about the infrastructure. We like to keep things as simple as possible. This design is also very similar to what all the other SourceForge, Inc. sites use, and has proved to scale quite well.

CT: Thanks to Uriah and Chris Brown for the report. Now if only we remember to update the FAQ entry...

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273 comments

Windows? (4, Funny)

mseidl (828824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043111)

I'm like sooooooooo surprised you guys aren't running nt4 boxes. IIS was this sh!t back in the day

Re:Windows? (5, Funny)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043393)

Do you know how many people would be heartbroken if they found out Slashdot was run off windows?

Re:Windows? (4, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043865)

Probably the same number of people that were elated to find out that Microsoft's site is cached using Linux. I found it deliciously amusing.

In which part do you mess up the comment system? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043119)

Oh yeah. Software.

Please don't ever force that abomination on us.

Savvis (5, Funny)

garethwi (118563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043175)

Nice to see you're hosted by a Microsoft Gold Partner. That's a benchmark of quality.

Re:Savvis (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043295)

They've changed hands several times and names even more times since we moved in.

Re:Savvis (1)

pdm (9380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043817)

Who's your quality hosting provider? How many racks do you rent for your high traffic needs?

Hey CmdrTaco! Quit Flattering Yourself, Douche! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044871)

I am tired of this "10 year anniversary" garbage with stories/summaries written as though they were some journal entry by a fourth-grader. Rob, your cerebrum never advanced past this point.

Redhat 9 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043199)

Tell me that's a hilarious joke...

Re:Redhat 9 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043279)

i always thought they were running some archaic variant of bsd. im kinda sad now.

Re:Redhat 9 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044883)

Second only to slashcode.

Re:Redhat 9 (4, Insightful)

MisterFuRR (311169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045455)

If it works, and theres no need to change -- why introduce unknown incompatibility...its a production network -- not your home box.

Re:Redhat 9 (1, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045641)

I wouldn't use it for a production system because it was end-of-lifed like 3 years ago and is therefore completely unsupported. I don't think I'd want to run a website that (presumably) generates quite a bit of revenue on ancient unsupported software.

Can I...? (1, Funny)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043205)

can I play on that awesome hardware? Or perhaps run SETI on it and make it a huge waste of processing power? oh oh, please please!!!

Re:Can I...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043365)

I would hardly call there hardware "awesome" Maybe It was awesome couple years ago.

Re:Can I...? (1)

Gonarat (177568) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045423)

If it does the job well (and I have no problems with /.), then why keep running on the upgrade treadmill? Get the most life you can out of your equipment and software, only upgrade when needed. This is what most businesses do -- it saves money and (usually) allows a more stable environment.

the powers that be (3, Interesting)

ebolaZaireRules (987875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043219)

The hardware that powers slashdot?

I wanna know about the power that powers slashdot... are you really as green as the default colour scheme?

Re:the powers that be (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043405)

As green as the power in San Jose is. That is to say, not very.

However, the webservers all have little green LCDs. Does that count?

Re:the powers that be (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043851)

Are they greener than red LCDs?

Re:the powers that be (5, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044057)

Only the bad guys have red LCDs. That's how you tell them apart from the good guys, who always have blue or green. ... or purple, I guess, if you're a bad ass motherfucker.

Re:the powers that be (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045329)

You two and your green/red LCD's. I've seen Green CRT's, and Amber CRT's... And Green, Red, and Even BLUE LED's. But've never seen a green or red LCD.

Actually, that's wrong. The original HP calc had a red LCD, and that damn bright alarm clock of mine that I put a shirt over every night has a green LCD.

Shit, I'm even wronger, I'm looking at my Dell 2850 server over there and it has a BLUE LCD scrolling the name of the machien back and forth. Nevermind.

Load Balancing (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043353)

We have a hard enough time using CARP never mind specifying servers that just read or just write. I need to take a class. ;-)

Interesting (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043361)

Interesting read about Slashdot server farm. I'm somewhat surprised to see that Slashdot subscribers have two dedicated servers to read the main page, that's as many servers dedicated to a minority of users as to the rest of the users. But well, that's good for them, they help our best thrustworthy news site so they diserve to be rewarded :-p

Re:Interesting (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043523)

where are you seeing that? all i see is 2 for static content and 4 for logged-in users for the home page.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

CatPieMan (460995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043617)

Non-logged in user see the same page, so its basically a static page that gets updated every couple of minutes.

Logged in users can have a bunch of customization options on the front-end, which would take more resources.

I find it just as interesting that the logged-in readers use up that much more CPU.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043649)

Who said subscribers have two dedicated servers to read the main page? The article/summary says that two servers serve for ACs reading the main page, and 4 for logged-in users. I saw no subscriber/non-subscriber distinction.

Re:Interesting (5, Informative)

jamie (78724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044359)

Yeah, I wasn't sure what he meant either. We have 2 webheads serving static pages (like the non-logged-in homepage), and 4 serving specifically the dynamically-generated homepage for all logged-in users. Plus 1 that serves all SSL traffic, which subscribers can use.

People often say "subscriber" when they mean "logged-in Slashdot user," not specifically a paying subscriber [slashdot.org].

Re:Interesting (5, Funny)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044561)

best thrustworthy news site
I do not think that word means what you think it means...

Redhat 9? (3, Interesting)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043363)

It'll be interesting to read the software section. It was surprising to see that they use an EOL'd version of Redhat (RH 9) that is no longer supported by Redhat. Granted, they're just webservers, but you'd think that would still require a lot of manually updating to keep things patched.

Re:Redhat 9? (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044825)

Not really, because as they're just web servers, you have a fairly minimal OS install footprint. There aren't that many things to keep up with. The odd kernel or basic library update, httpd update, and probably ssh-related stuff.

I should know; my web server is on 7.3. 8^)

Write-only database? (4, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043401)

That sounds useful! I use /dev/null as a write-only database. Very efficient.

Jolyon

Re:Write-only database? (2, Informative)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043697)

I'm trying to assume that's humour... but that said...

If you have a farm of replicated mysql servers (which are read only - as replication is one way here) you need a db to write to.... not reading from it reduces the load on that server.

So, assuming that your read-mostly - it's actually a nice way to balance the load across multiple systems.

Re:Write-only database? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043911)

But if it's truely ready-only, how to you propagate the data written out to the read-only nodes?

Re:Write-only database? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044693)

Think of a large organization - like a government.

How often do you have the opportunity to make inquiries directly of the leader? I'm guessing that the further from the center of control that you get, the closer to zero that number approaches.

Instead, all of the data that goes up, gets fed back down to the "circle of influence" - the handful of diseminators. These people are the ones that are more available for inquiry. The larger the organization, the greater the number of layers of segregation.

As you make a simple request for you "foe list", it's not a question that needs to go to the master server - one of the plebian 2nd tier servers will be more than happy to answer that question for you.

Of course, I could be over-complexing this...

Re:Write-only database? (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044707)

I use /dev/null as a write-only database.


That does sound fast, certainly, but I prefer the idea of using /dev/urandom as a read-only database. Or maybe /dev/zero as a source for your encryption keys......

Possibly obtuse question (4, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043419)

What determines why you run Red Hat 9 on some systems, and CentOS on others? Was BSD even considered? (You wouldn't run on Macs, would you?)

Re:Possibly obtuse question (5, Informative)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043477)

Deployment date. The Redhat 9 machines were deployed 3 years ago and just haven't needed to be reinstalled yet. BSD, not so much.. we have a team of great linux admins, introducing another variable isn't likely to happen.

Re:Possibly obtuse question (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043529)

Thank you for clearing up that puzzler. Seems like a nice, stable network setup.

Re:Possibly obtuse question (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044977)

I have to give you high marks for using CentOS. It is a great server distro.
CentOS doesn't get the publicity that it should IMHO.

Re:Possibly obtuse question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043531)

We run macs on our desks, we've considered them for servers from time to time, but they always had some showstopper that didn't meet requirements.

Also, have you ever tried to get support from Apple for their commercial offerings? It's like getting support for an iPod. "Sure, we'll send you a replacement disk, just give us a credit card number in case you don't send the failed one back..."

Re:Possibly obtuse question (3, Insightful)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043793)

Usually these decisions are made based on familiarity, availability, and the like. If you're staff and you are all really familiar with RedHat, why would you force them to run BSD or Debian? Each system has pros and cons, but to be honest, the largest pro or con is usually familiarity. It's really easy to get familiar enough with any *nix to get Apache running. The issue is whether you have the knowledge to deal with it when your live webserver suddenly stops responding to requests.

Stability and familiarity are more important than the latest cool distro. Is there a reason that they should have picked BSD over RedHat? Of course there are some. There are others to pick RedHat over a BSD. In the end, you have to go with what you're comfortable and familiar with in order to ensure that you can deal with sudden, unexpected problems.

Still can't believe.. (1)

doomicon (5310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043435)

It's been 10 freakin years!!! I can remember going to Rob's page for his E apps. An amazing ride!

Reference Materials (2, Interesting)

Ided (978291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043471)

This may be slightly off but I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good reading materials for setting up clustered sites or how to spread out work loads like they're doing with their systems.

Re:Reference Materials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043537)

Umm.. the next article in this series?

Re:Reference Materials (2, Interesting)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043619)

http://www.linuxvirtualserver.org/ [linuxvirtualserver.org] or anything about F5 BigIPs. Most of understanding load balancing is about understanding (a) how to fool layers above you in the OSI stack (switching on layer 4 through 7 -- particularly 7 -- can take a while to wrap your head around) and (b) the algorithms to pick which physical server gets the next connection (round robin, least connections, predictive, whatever).

Finally some adult stories (5, Funny)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043519)

Oh yes, geek pornography finally appears on /. :)
Thanks for the report, looking forward to the software part!

Re:Finally some adult stories (1)

goodtim (458647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044505)

Oh yes, geek pornography finally appears on /. :)

I agree. But lets get some pics up! I'm sure everyone here would enjoy a few pictures filled with racks of servers and blinking lights.

On a serious note, are you currently running in a SAN environment? If so, what vendor?

Re:Finally some adult stories (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044879)

The article mentions NFS - available via most NAS offerings - and local disk. No mention of a fiber infrastructure. You'd think that would deserve it's own paragraph, at least...

the fark guys have a much better setup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043635)

Check out what the guys at fark [fark.com] are running

Re:the fark guys have a much better setup (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043813)

I'd say doing more pageviews with less (and older) hardware says more about a "better setup" than having shinier boxes.

Mod Parent -1, Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21043843)

you heard me

Re:the fark guys have a much better setup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044059)

Ha!!! I'm not buying that farking link..

Which DB? (1, Offtopic)

umrguy76 (114837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043711)

The database hardware was discussed, but what database software does Slashdot use today? MySQL?

bandwidth usage and cost? (5, Interesting)

TwoWheelTomy (952518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043799)

wonder how much bandwidth slashdot is using and how much it costs.

Re:bandwidth usage and cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044123)

I just got a quote for a point to point 100 Mb circuit that spans about a mile for just over $3,000. I imagine an internet connection an order of magnitude faster probably doesn't scale linearly.

Ouch.

Re:bandwidth usage and cost? (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044337)

That's crazy. just lease a dark fiber. WE do that for a point to point that is 12 miles and pay $1500.00 a month. bring my own gear and I'm running 1000Mb happily.

The savings pays for the gear in less than 2 years plus we have 10X the band width as well as full control over the connection.

Re:bandwidth usage and cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21045091)

The value proposition for dark fiber is dependent on the distance involved, not to mention in many markets dark fiber is becoming scarce.

Re:bandwidth usage and cost? (5, Informative)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045215)

The average monthly bandwidth usage for /. is around 40-50mbit/sec, which is relatively small. As for cost, you can contact your local ISP for a guesstimate, we get fairly deep discounts since we push quite a bit more with all the sites consolidated.

Why CentOS? (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21043919)

I am not saying that CentOS is any inferior at all but wonder why they chose it over all the possible serious systems in the Linux world. Is there anything CentOS does better than say OpenSUSE or Ubuntu/Debian and the rest?

Re:Why CentOS? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044263)

CentOS is redhatish for the sake of redhatishness, as opposed to the current RedHat, which we all know is redhatish for profit, and Fedora, which is redhatish for testing purposes only. Ubuntu can't be taken seriously; you should have asked about Debian. Debian is redhatish to a fault.

Re:Why CentOS? (2, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045099)

CentOS is RHEL, minus the support. CentOS is 100% binary compatible w/RHEL as well, meaning the RPMSs you'd get from RHEL would work just fine in CentOS and vice-versa.

Re:Why CentOS? (5, Informative)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045281)

We use a combination of CentOS and RHEL. The reason we chose CentOS over say debian is because it is basically identical to RHEL, we end up with a "single" platform that we have to deploy, test, and build packages for regardless of support. Depending on the system we will deploy either RHEL or CentOS accordingly based on support requirements.

Re:Why CentOS? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045335)

Well I can not answer for Slashdot but I can think of a few reasons I would.
CentOS based off Redhat Enterprise. It favors stability over "new hotness". But unlike Debian it keeps pretty up to date without going to "Testing" or "Unstable". Yes I have used Debian and I am not a big fan. It may have changed so try it for yourself.
I also use OpenSuse daily. Yast is a mixed blessing. I find it very slow and too gui like for a server. I use it on my desktop and several servers in my office. I have years of experience with it. I bet I could set up Yum on Suse but just have not. Yast works in it's own way. The other thing is servercentric packages will be available for RedHat Enterprise first. I have never seen a major server package come out for OpenSuse before RedHat Enterprise. They may come out at the same time but not before. RedHat RPMs will work for CentOS so you benefit from RedHat popularity.
I set up Ubuntu server as a test. I found it to be a big pain. A lot of packages I wanted where not in the repositories so I spent a lot of time compiling stuff and chasing libraries.
For a server I would have to say that when it comes to CentOS the question really isn't "Why" but "why not".

Multiple master DBs (3, Interesting)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044077)

"These are doing multiple-master replication, with one acting as Slashdot's single write-only DB, and the other acting as a reader."

Isn't that a contradiction? If you have only one write DB, why do you need multiple masters, aren't the other 6 just slaves at that point? Or are there separate master/slave pairs (I'm assuming these are MySQL databases)

Re:Multiple master DBs (4, Informative)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044547)

master-master allows really fast fail over because you don't need to down the system to re-cofig a slave as a master. I've actually worked with companies that have master-master-master clusters.

Re:Multiple master DBs (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045131)

Perhaps it meant the write-only database has only 1 machine that is a reader for it, and the rest of the slaves all use that one reader as their source for replication. So the master writing database only has a single client, and all the other readers read from the "master" reader.

Uriah? That wouldn't happen to be U R Welcome? (1)

potscott (539666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044143)

CT: Thanks to Uriah and Chris Brown for the report. Now if only we remember to update the FAQ entry... Not a lot of dudes named Uriah out there. Could it possibly be Precision? The running Enlightenment and Gnome on a dual Celeron 300?

Re:Uriah? That wouldn't happen to be U R Welcome? (1)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045597)

Indeed it is, sir. And it must have been my Dual PII 400, I've never owned a Celeron.

Considered a CDN? (5, Interesting)

xmpcray (636203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044235)

I was wondering if you ever considered using a CDN service like Akamai to serve content? Most of the big sites (Apple/MS etc) use it.

Re:Considered a CDN? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21044907)

Would not be good for me. I block Akamai in my hosts file. Sure some sites render badly as the CSS is not pulled from the Akamai server but that is my choice to make and I have work arounds for that.

I made this choice after coming across an odd occurrence on an order form. With Akamai blocked the order would not submit. With Akamai not blocked the order would submit. I looked at the form used and it sent the order to an Akamai server first instead of directly to the site I was ordering from. Up until that point the only thing Akamai was serving for this site was the CSS. In fact all the other pages I clicked next on during my information entry and item selection did not do this. I thought it very odd. I started blocking Akamai on my main machine ever since.

Akamai is nice and all. Very useful for a great number of things. However, seeing that my order was being sent to an Akamai server before being sent to the store server, I decided that Akamai did not need that much information about me while using that IP address.

The site in question was Best Buy online. I was ordering a laptop on a web only special. I ended up calling the order in.

Re:Considered a CDN? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045045)

And admit they can't handle it themselves? Never!

Personally, I think /. does just fine without a CDN -- never experienced much lag here.

Re:Considered a CDN? (5, Informative)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045419)

Actually many of our sites do use a CDN, however the /. devs long ago decided against it for some reason or another. Heck it's still even all setup for them.

I want my sense of childlike wonder back! (4, Funny)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044381)

I always imagined slashdot ran on hundreds (perhaps thousands) of modded Dreamcast consoles powered by lucky, randomly selected registered users running in hamster wheels who were lured by blocks of Wisconsin cheese dangling just out of reach.

Thanks for destroying my sense of childlike wonder, you insensitive clods!

Re:I want my sense of childlike wonder back! (3, Funny)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045331)

I always imagined slashdot ran on hundreds (perhaps thousands) of modded Dreamcast consoles
Are you seriously saying that you imagined a Beowulf Cluster of them?

Re:I want my sense of childlike wonder back! (0)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045631)

Wait...you mean...

then WTF am I doing running on this hamster wheel with my dreamcast plugged in? Damn you, Digg -- fooled me again!

Thanks for giving me the red pill, I guess.

backup? (4, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044391)

Well, let's begin with the most boring and basic details. We're hosted at a Savvis data center in the Bay Area.
Do you ever worry that a big earthquake will hit and your datacenter goes offline? Do you at least keep an offsite backup?

Re:backup? (2, Informative)

statikuz (523906) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044895)

From the website: "SAVVIS has done extensive engineering to ensure that any Datacenter located in a region prone to seismic activity is braced for such events. Design elements include, seismic isolation equipment to cushion facilities against movement as well as seismic bracing earthquake bracing on all equipment racks. All SAVVIS Datacenters have racks anchored to the concrete slab below the raised floor."

Re:backup? (3, Informative)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045105)

Well, let's begin with the most boring and basic details. We're hosted at a Savvis data center in the Bay Area.
Do you ever worry that a big earthquake will hit and your datacenter goes offline? Do you at least keep an offsite backup?
First rule of offsite backups: Never talk about your offsite backups.
Second rule of offsite backups: Never talk about where you keep your offsite backups.

You thought I was going somewhere else with that didn't you?

In all seriousness, that sounds like it would be in the software article instead.

Re:backup? (5, Informative)

Precision (1410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045317)

Of course we do offsite backups, but also we're currently preparing building a new primary data center in Chicago away from Earthquake land.

Re:backup? (1)

brarrr (99867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045421)

The rest of the world might be surprised to know that earthquakes are not a daily concern to californians. There is no 4pm shake. Sorry to disappoint.

read the entire series (5, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21044509)

I can't wait for "Slashdot's Setup, Part 8 - Root Passwords".

Re:read the entire series (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21045155)

Webservers: Yur@wank3r

DB servers: G3tfuk3D1

Routers: CwByN34Lr00lz!

Re:read the entire series (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045539)

You're going to have to wait, it's scheduled for the 50th anniversary celebration.

Scalability / Reliability (1)

omkhar (167195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045213)

I'm actually surprised, I was expecting much bigger Iron, esp on the DB side. Ah well.

Very curious that /. chose to use "free" distros. I would have thought SLES or RHEL would have been a consideration.

I think we all want to know... (1)

The Real Toad King (981874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21045407)

How many FPS in TuxRacer you can get on them. Sure, individually, probably not so good, but working together, you could probaly break the 1000 FPS mark if you're lucky.
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