Antville Project

We're on the new server

Unfortunately we had to switch IP address, so it may take some time for the new DNS record to propagate. So far, things look pretty good. Let us know if you see anything weird.

With the new server we also switched back to better quality image resizing and switched story read count on again.

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New Antville server is on its way

I ordered the new, future antville.org Server the other day. The picture above shows what it will look like on the inside. After lots and lots of thinking and discussions with people with lots of experience running big server racks, I decided to go with a bigger 2 unit server instead of a 1 unit model. The reason is that 1 unit rack servers are tightly crammed and usually have significantly reduced lifetime compared to spacier models. They also lean towards thermal problems, and they are less extensible. People also reported reliability problems with products from major vendors like Compaq, Dell, and IBM, which led me to think that I could just as well go with a minor vendor as long as the components are first rate and built to run. Which is why I went with german server discounter Thomas Krenn, which offers significantly more bang for the buck than any other vendor.

Here are the specs:

2 HE Dual Rack 4000, IDE and Dual CPU
Tyan Thunder LE-T mainboard with ServerWorks ServerSet LE chipset
2 x PIII-S 1400MHz Processors
2048 MB ECC Registered SDRAM
3ware 7500-4 IDE RAID controller
4 x 60 GB IDE harddisks
2 x redundant 300 W power supply
extractable rack rails
CD-ROM drive

The price is 3447,41 Euro, so we already have the necessary amount of money. There is however a possibility that we will have additional upcoming expenses of a few hundred Euro. If this is so, I'll let you know. For now, there's no need for additional funds. Thanks for everybody who contributed!

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server fund

sollma hier noch spenden für die neue hartware?

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Antville Server Fund?

Sorry for being anxious, but is there any update on the issue? I.e. when will the box be bought? :-)

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Server fund update

According to a quick calc I just did (keeping track of 4 accounts is not so easy) we are stopping now at approx. 2840 Euro.

Let's see what that money would buy us. A quick tour around various vendor's sites shows that we could spend that money on this IBM server.

It has a single Intel Xeon processor running at 2400 Mhz, upgradable to two CPUs. Adele, our current server, has dual Pentium 3 processors running at 500 Mhz, so this would most definitely fit our current needs, give us some headroom plus an optional upgrade path via the second processor.

The server comes with one 40 GB IDE harddisk. IDE disks should be ok, and it would be large enough space wise for some time to come. I'd much prefer to have a second hard disk though, so we can share the IO load for tasks like database, logging, static serving etc. However, with the current prices for IDE harddisks, this definitely wouldn't be a big hurdle.

The only major problem with this server is that it only comes with 512 MB RAM, which would be a downgrade from the 768 MB we currently have on adele. Folks, we really need 1 GB of RAM for the golden shiny future we all want for antville.org!

With the Antville server fund getting close to what we need, I'll start getting offers for systems that match our needs. I'll report everything I get here on the project weblog. If you know any cheap, high quality vendor, please let us know by posting a comment here - of course we'll consider everything. The main requirements are that the server must be rack-mountable, should preferably only be one rack-unit high, and must come from a major and trustworthy vendor (i.e. no experimental home-made stuff).

And of course it's still a great time to contribute to the antville server fund, if you haven't done so yet! The more we get, the more power to you!

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Antville server fund

Update: We ordered our new server! For the time being, there's no more need for donations. If we have expenses in the future, we'll let you know and reactivate the fund. Thanks to everybody who contributed!

Here are the details for how to contribute to our fund for a better, faster Server for antville.org.

As of February 9 2003, we have received 3455,55 € in donations. Thanks to everyone!

You can send us money to our Paypal account using a credit card by clicking on the button below.

If you are located in Germany, Austria or Spain you may prefer to send your donation to one of our local bank accounts. Please be sure that you add the words "Antville Server Fund" as the reason for the transfer, as these accounts are not dedicated and it will make it easier for us to determine the amount of donations.

Deutschland
Empfängerin: Ute Hennig
Bank: Deutsche Bank
BLZ: 380 707 24
Kto.-Nr.: 4632071

Österreich
Empfänger: Hannes Wallnöfer
Bank: BAWAG
BLZ: 14000
Kto.-Nr: 01810085297

España
robert gaggl
caixa catalunya
oficina: 0010 barcelona fontanella
entitat: 2013
d.c 95
num 0202153234

We will update this page regularly to let you know what the current status of the funding is. Thanks to everybody who has agreed to contribute so far, and everybody who will contribute!

PS: Note that we are not targeting 3000 Euros flat as my previous posting made some people believe. Rather, that is a threshold I set up from which on we'd be able to get some serious hardware. 150 Euros more and we get a redundant power supply. 500 Euros more and we may get faster processors with more Cache. You get the picture. The more we get, the better antville will run in the future!

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Getting a new, community funded server for antville.org

Update 2003/02/27: We brought home the bacon! Thanks to everyone!

Update 2002/12/17: We are now collecting donations.

OK, obviously software optimization and tuning alone only bring as so far, but they're not enough to match the ever increasing load on antville.org. Let's put our programmer's pride aside for a moment and do something where it's easiest to do, and that is on the hardware side. And let's try to use our biggest asset we have here on antville, which is the loyality and support of our users.

Here's the math: We can have a server that has 3 times the processing power of adele, plenty of disk space and 1 Gig of RAM for approximately 3000 Euro (you'll have to reconfigure a bit to get to what we need). That would be more than enough to run antville.org, in fact it would give us a good safety cushion for the years to come. If 100 people would contribute to the purchase, that would mean they'd have to put out around 30 Euro each on average. I think we should be able to get this, especially for a one-time long term expense!

Organizing the collection of money will probably be the hardest thing to do, so I propose the following: Please think about whether you'd be willing to contribute to the purchase of a new antville server. If you are, please drop a short note to antville@helma.org and tell us how much you'd like to contribute. It may also be a good idea to get together in local groups of antville users and find out how much you'd like to contribute together. This way, we'll be able to to see if this whole plan works out or not after a week or two, and let everybody know if and how they should actually send us the money. We hope to have bank accounts in Austria and Germany as well as a Paypal account (we still have to check out how to withdraw Paypal funds to a german bank account, though).

Please don't feel obliged to contribute and only commit to giving what you are actually and easily willing/able to pay! Better only commit to 10 euro and then pay 20 than the other way round!

And please spread the word about this - the more people know about it, the higher our chance to succeed.

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The Antville Server Fund has been a great success. Thanks to everybody who contributed!
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