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[Savannah-hackers-public] on replacing the savannah's hardware

From: Ward Vandewege
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] on replacing the savannah's hardware
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 11:12:59 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Hi all,

The current savannah hardware is a five or six year old HP DL380 G3. It was
donated to the FSF at the time, and was a $20K machine.

I talked to Peter Brown, our executive director, about replacing it with
something more modern, and he agreed. This means the FSF would buy new
hardware (though donations earmarked for this purpose would be very welcome,
of course). Beuc suggested we could also put out a call for the donation of a
specific system, once we've made up our mind on what to get.

We've been buying Silicon Mechanics ( systems
lately, as they ship them to us with coreboot (
preinstalled. Specifically, they can do that for the A236 and A266, a 1U and
2U system respectively. Under the hood these machines have a Supermicro h8dmr
(A236) and h8dme (A266) motherboard.

So, my question first of all is - do you want to stay with the model where
savannah has an entire physical machine at its disposal, or not? 

If you do, you can use vserver and whatever you want to run. You'd have (way)
more hardware resources than savannah uses at this point.

If not, it would mean moving Savannah to (a number of) Xen domUs. That's how
we run the other FSF servers. Upside of this approach would be that it's much
more portable across our machines, meaning that it would be a lot easier to
move Savannah to another one of our servers in case of hardware problems.

I have a slight preference for #2 because it allows us more flexibility, but
I really don't want to get in the way of how you want to run things, so #1
would also be fine for us.

In terms of which actual hardware to get, I would probably go for an A266.
The A266 is a 2U machine that can have up to 10 disks and 2 quad-core CPUs,
and up to 64GB of ram. Some coreboot work would be required to get the
quad-core CPUs working on this particular motherboard, however, so if we are
in a hurry we should get dual-core CPUs - no coreboot modifications needed.

Anyway, we'd welcome your comments.


Ward Vandewege <address@hidden>
Free Software Foundation - Senior Systems Administrator

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