One of my many goals for this year's trip back to Ohio was to replace my oldest rackmounted machine (family.zawodny.com) with a new one. The old one is about 3 years old, the memory (512MB) is maxed out, the CPU isn't quite as fast (700MHz) as I'd like, the drives were starting to develop problems (yeay! for software RAID), and it doesn't auto-reboot after a power failure.

I had most of the new machine shipped to my parents house (from ASL in California) and brought the disks (120GB) and the RAID controller (3Ware 7000-2) with me. It arrived on Friday, so I got it configured over the weekend. My Dad and I headed down to Bowling Green this morning to rack the new box. (He's going to retrieve the old one in a few weeks and needed to know where it is.)

The setup is pictured on the right. The top machine is "family" (the old one), the middle is "friends" (about 1.5 years old), and the bottom one is "family2". Click the image for more pictures.

Anyway, it's a 14 inch deep, 1U box running Debian GNU/Linux with a custom compiled kernel:

jzawodn@family2:~$ uname -a
Linux family2 2.4.23-jdz1 #5 SMP Fri Dec 26 20:42:25 CET 2003 i686 GNU/Linux

The 3Ware card provides me one virtual SCSI disk made of the two RAID-1 IDE disks.

jzawodn@family2:~$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             3.9G  1.3G  2.6G  34% /
/dev/sda2             2.0G  176M  1.8G   9% /var
/dev/sda4             107G   37G   71G  35% /home

And, if you're curious, the CPU is a 2.66GHz Pentium 4 and there's 2GB of RAM installed.

CPU: Trace cache: 12K uops, L1 D cache: 8K
CPU: L2 cache: 512K
CPU: Hyper-Threading is disabled
Intel machine check reporting enabled on CPU#0.
CPU:     After generic, caps: bfebfbff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU:             Common caps: bfebfbff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU0: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.66GHz stepping 09
per-CPU timeslice cutoff: 1463.05 usecs.
enabled ExtINT on CPU#0

The old machine will stay on-line for another week or two while I transition all the services (CVS, mail, spam filtering, MySQL) over to the new box. Then I guess it'll come back to California where I can figure out what to do with it.

Any ideas?

Posted by jzawodn at December 29, 2003 10:16 PM

Reader Comments
# tasberry said:

Saw you on movable type's recently published so I stopped in. Nice blog you have here. Feel free to stop by mine.

on December 30, 2003 09:23 AM
# incognito said:

I will buy it for 75 bucks!

on December 30, 2003 09:47 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Tom, the case alone is probably worth $125 or so.

on December 30, 2003 10:09 AM
# wil said:

One word: doorstop.

on December 30, 2003 10:15 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

You could give it to me. Then instead of asking you questions about domains and websites, I can also ask questions about linux administration. :)

on December 30, 2003 10:25 AM
# incognito said:

Well you can counter my offer if you would like to get rid of it.


on December 30, 2003 11:08 AM
# George said:

What was the RAID software?

on December 30, 2003 11:24 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

It's standard Linux software RAID, as built in to the kernel for a long time now.

on December 30, 2003 11:30 AM
# Ross said:

The Office Space method of equipment disposal is pretty fun.

on December 30, 2003 01:54 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Indeed. However, I have not angst toward this machine. It has served me quite well. Many many gigabytes of data served, in fact.

on December 30, 2003 02:15 PM
# Justin said:

While you're on the topic of rack mounted machines where is a good place to purchase one, 1U in Canada. I guess I can order one from the states but it would be nice to have something that is at least in my own country. Typically we purchase our systems from Compaq, the DL series but I just need something generic for a project I'm working on and donít want to shell out the big bucks.

on December 30, 2003 02:21 PM
# Kevin R said:

So, if my website or email stops working in about a week, I'll know where to come knocking ;-)

(good thing I keep up with the blog...)

on December 30, 2003 02:45 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Well, maybe. I plan to warn everyone in advance of the change, which will be after I've tested things to *my* satisfaction.

on December 30, 2003 02:49 PM
# justaguy said:

Jeremy, are those Supermicro cases? I don't know that I've seen a 14" deep 1u before. That would be slick.

Also, how do you pull off the custom 'uname -a' kernel name? I've often wondered how that's done, but never ran across the trick (I'm sure it's something 'duh' simple).

on December 30, 2003 05:54 PM
# Dave said:

--append-to-version does that justaguy

on December 30, 2003 06:25 PM
# tio d said:

Project ideas? Well I have one however it involves a little money, but worth it.
Step 1: Okay take the machine and put it somewhere in your house but make sure it has a wired network connection.

Step 2: Buy an XBox if you don't already have one and make sure it too had a network connection. "Upgrade" the XBox so it will run Xbox Media Player. Then on your old box install xbms which is a streaming server for Xbox Media Player. (note I haven't used the UNIX/Linux version just a Windows version of the streaming server).

Step 3: Copy tons of movies/songs/tv shows/divx on to the old machine. Then enjoy from your couch as you stream your videos from that old box to your XBox to your tv which I am guessing is a bigger screen than your computer.

My friend and I did it in our apt and it was nice...we watched all of season 1 of "24" this way. Just a thought...

on December 30, 2003 08:20 PM
# tio d said:

Project ideas? Well I have one however it involves a little money, but worth it.
Step 1: Okay take the machine and put it somewhere in your house but make sure it has a wired network connection.

Step 2: Buy an XBox if you don't already have one and make sure it too had a network connection. "Upgrade" the XBox so it will run Xbox Media Player. Then on your old box install xbms which is a streaming server for Xbox Media Player. (note I haven't used the UNIX/Linux version just a Windows version of the streaming server).

Step 3: Copy tons of movies/songs/tv shows/divx on to the old machine. Then enjoy from your couch as you stream your videos from that old box to your XBox to your tv which I am guessing is a bigger screen than your computer.

My friend and I did it in our apt and it was nice...we watched all of season 1 of "24" this way. Just a thought...

on December 30, 2003 08:20 PM
# tio d said:

I am not sure how that happened...sorry about the double post.

on December 30, 2003 08:21 PM
# david said:

Send it to anybody that wants to put it to good use. That would be a good idea.

on December 30, 2003 09:26 PM
# Kenneth said:

Which make and model of hard disk gave you problems? That's the Lancelot 1148-T you put in right? ( http://www.aslab.com/products/rackmount/lancelot1148.html )

I looked at 1U servers a month ago and thought the Tyan integrated server bundle looked like a great setup: Transport GX28 B2880T1S Minus Processor / Memory and Storage though so end cost may be much higher.
( http://www.tyan.com/products/html/gx28b2880t1s.html )


on December 31, 2003 06:24 AM
# gabe said:

Donate it to the open source project of your choice. Or perhaps, run a poll for which project to give it to.

on December 31, 2003 07:34 AM
# Egor Egorov said:

Make a public shell box out of it. It's a great fun to run such :-)

on January 2, 2004 08:10 AM
# Peter Bowyer said:

Jeremy, just curious, but what do you use your family server for? I've always managed to provide the family-required services from a multi-domain shared hosting account. Not saying I wouldn't prefer a dedicated server, but the shared hosting is cheaper :-)

on January 3, 2004 06:14 AM
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