Current Closet Status (and more) - February 14, 2008


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Here's an updated look at our server closet (and room 329 where we keep the servers that don't fit in our racks yet), among other things...

(click on images for larger versions)

It was a beautiful day, so I warmed up the digital camera with a picture from the lab's back patio. That's the Lawrence Hall of Science directly below us, then the city of Berkeley below that. Across the Bay, in the distance (left to right) is San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Mount Tamalpais.
Actually it's so clear you can see all the way to the islands beyond the Golden Gate.
So here it is - the server closet, as seen from the front looking up from the ground, more or less. The three racks, from left to right, are: 1. The "k" rack - when we first got this rack all its servers had names starting with "k", but this habit fell away over time. 2. The Network Appliance rack - basically disk shelves and one head unit adding up to a single 3 Terabyte NAS. It's big and old but it works. The CASPER server is squeezed in at the very top. 3. What we call the "jocelyn" rack, named after the most important server in it.
A shot behind the racks. Months ago there were far more cables in a bunch of spaghetti dangling from the back and (quite dangerously) in twisted piles on the floor. Jeff and I cleaned this up making it much nicer to deal with. We still have those thick, unweildy KVM cables which we hope to replace in the near future.
Looking above the racks you see some web of power/network cables. This room wasn't meant to be a server closet and so the power distribution isn't optimal. To keep servers on separate breakers we need to do a little bit of kludge-y cable routing. So be it.
Okay now the closeups. Here's the bottom half of the k-rack. From the bottom we have: Two UPS's, ewen (Eric's HI server), thumper (the Sun X4500 master science database server with 24TB of raw storage), bambi (the secondary science database server with 12TB of raw storage), and the lower half of ptolemy...
Continuing upward from the bottom of the k-rack: There's ptolemy (the scheduling server), bane (the 1U server doing handling half the downloads), two of the original Sun Sparcs that came with the rack (kosh and penguin), our local gigabit switch, the current (overloaded) router for Hurricane Electric traffic, a Cisco console server called jansky, and finally another original k-rack 1U administrative server which is still useful.
Moving over to the jocelyn rack, starting from the bottom: Another UPS, then the Snap Appliance NAS called gowron (both its 16 drive expansion and the head unit, totalling about 6TB raw storage), Dell server isaac (the BOINC web/alpha project server), the recently donated, unconfigured and rather oversized router to ultimately replace the skinnier Hurricane Electric router, the current cheap KVM, and a 1U NAS used by project affiliate Dr. Andrew Howard (who is mostly working with Dr. Geoff Marcy finding planets these days).
Continuing upward: the KVM switch and the 1U NAS (previously mentioned), Sun server jocelyn (the master BOINC mysql database server), and its Sun 3510 fibre-attached storage, server lando which reads raw data for splitting and acts as a shelf for the console keyboard/monitor, above that a 3com switch for Hurricane specific traffic within the closet, and the SATA drive enclosure where we put the drives full of fresh data from Arecibo for lando to read. On top of the rack (nowhere else to put it) is thinman, a 1U server acting as the SETI@home public web server.
Many of our servers still remain outside the closet due to lack of space, which we keep in our secondary lab (room 329) with piles of other junk. For example, here's sidious, the BOINC mysql replica database server. Sitting on top of it is a thermometer bought for 25 cents at a garage sale.
Here's bruno (the upload server) sitting at the top of what is Eric's old (and pretty much useless) HI database server/storage. Near the bottom (with the green LEDs) is the actual fibre attached storage unit bruno uses to store the uploaded results.
And this is vader, the other download server. It has a lot of CPU/memory power so it doubles as a testing server. Off to the left and right (but barely visible in this shot) are a couple of Sun 450s which were the SETI Classic user and science database servers, but are now literally buried under junk.
In the foreground on the desk is server "maul" currently in use as a beta build/testing machine. Next to that is a dead server much like sidious/vader but despite days of tinkering never functioned all that well. On the far desk is another administrative linux desktop next to the oversized Dell desktop running Vista (also for building/testing).
Today a subset of us went out to lunch at Pyramid Brewery, paid for by the kind donation of SETI@home participant Fuzzy Hollynoodles (thanks Fuzzy!). Seated left to right are Jeff, Eric, me (Matt), and Josh. I refrained from the lunch-time beer as I had to drive to Ashland, OR that evening.
At the end of the day I walked back to my car and took this shot - the moon hovering over a grove of non-native eucalyptus on the edge of Tilden Park.

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