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Apr 18, 2004 at 10:13 PM
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The OS for all my servers was/is/will always be FreeBSD, f.e. asgard is still on FreeBSD-5.3 patchlevel one-thousand-something right now, all the others are on the latest 6 branch, they are easier to update. I remember a happy time when I used to install every server that I built with FreeBSD 4.x because it's reliable and very fast, but for now the constraints are a little bit different. It's not that I just wanted to have features like pf out-of-the box (smile), even speed is not so important anymore because in the meantime it's the link that acts as the limiting factor, but you "have to stay up to date". And since I have physical access within 10 seconds if something breaks severly, in fact asgard is located in the entrance hall of my flat (hi there swap_pager_getswapspace) it can't be that bad, unless, mhmm let's say it's christmas time, I'm at home with my family and one of the RAID arrays goes nuts ... BTDT.

Given this "special access", I chose FreeBSD 5.3, the benefits of the new 5 branch seemed to outweigh the cons, and I don't have to be afraid that certain ports won't compile on 4.11 anymore. Even though the 5 branch sometimes seems to be not such a good idea for production servers, I gave it a try. And what can I say - while it's still not perfect (it never is), I am very satisfied with what I got, at least considering that this was 2004. Now we have 2007 and FreeBSD6.2, but I wished the 4.x branch was continued with some kind of magic enhancement for multiple processors. The funny thing is asgard is now the last of my systems (well almost, the fallback router or "artist formerly know as heimdall" runs 5.5) that is still running a 5.something FreeBSD, everything else is already under 6.2 :)

For the main server, it's very likely that I'll switch over to new hardware within the next weeks. Although I first tried to build a system myself, I got an excellent offer for a FSC RX300S2, epuipped with two 3GHz Xeons and 2GB RAM and some nice 10k U360 drives, so this is what is going to be the hardware of the new server. There are still some things to test, as I'm also changing everything over to seperate jails, but everythings running pretty smooth already.

This means that the new hardware components (E7501 motherboard, Xeon cpu's, etc) that I aquired last year will only make it into the new filer. But that's not too bad, since the RX300 only offers SCA cages, and I'm not going to buy 500GB SCA harddrives anyway. The good thing about this housing is, there are hot pluggable S-ATA slots, quite what what need for my central storage pool. So I have almost everything laying around except for the new harddrives, but it's not urgent. The new filer box will be called vault, so yes I'm finally getting over the old germanic myths :) vault will be running on 6.2 or better, we'll see. Although my first tests with 6.2-RC2 were pretty frustrating speed-wise (please, do not remind me of new sendfile() implementations or old bugs in bge(4)), it's the way to go if you want to use current software.

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