A couple of months ago we shared with you the CPUs that are going into our new server farm. We've actually started physically installing the machines (hence the brief outage over the weekend) so it's time to share another piece of the server puzzle.

The final configuration we decided on was 12 machines. This is a significant reduction of the number of systems we have installed (currently nearly 30) but the performance per box is much higher, allowing for consolidation through virtualization.

We are building two private clouds: a lighter cloud of 8 machines for our application serving needs (including some redundancy in the cloud), and a 4 machine DB cloud to handle the heavier IO. We'll dive into our infrastructure design in the later, full article but for now let's talk about memory.

The application server cloud is light on memory. Each system in this cloud has 12GB of memory (6 x 2 DDR3-1333 DIMMs). The DB server cloud on the other hand has 48GB of memory per box (12 x 4GB DDR3-1333 DIMMs).

Kingston was nice enough to supply the memory for our project with. The 96 sticks of memory were broken down into 48 x KVR1333D3D4R9S/4GI and 48 x KVR1333D3D8R9S/2GI. If you want to see what 288GB of memory looks like, check out the gallery below.

Note that for all of the components we selected for this project, we decided upon the components first and then petitioned the manufacturers second. The stipulation was that the AnandTech server farm would be a publicly visible test bed. Any failures of the hardware are public failures and would obviously reflect poorly on the manufacturer. For CPUs and memory it's not so big of a deal - physical failures there are fairly rare, but for SSDs this provided an interesting challenge. More on that in our next installment.

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  • bhigh - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Agreed, these are clusters not "clouds".

    If the site could transparently move from one datacenter to another, or spin up a new instance in a remote location then it would be a cloud service.

    12 machines in one datacenter is a cluster.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Going with Klinky's comment, I believe the final production setup will easily allow adding/contracting of the number of machines in the "cloud". It's starting at 12, but the idea is to allow growth (and perhaps relocation, though I have no idea if that's in the cards) as our needs require.
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I don't have an issue with the donated memory and the advertisement of such. My only concern is if you got cherry-picked products from the manufacturer, or is it the same stuff I would get if I bought it from a retailer?
  • DEFIANT! - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link


    Expecting anything other than a positive reply to this inane question is a fail.

    If Kingston is donating something that will be so visible to a fairly high number of people, do you really think that there is any possibility that they'd ship any part that has questionable reliability?
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    That's a very naive quesion.

    It doesn't matter what company it is or what product it is. If you are sending a product in for review to a magazine, website, tv show or whatever. You are going to cherry pick what you are sending.

    Those sticks have probably passed 168 hours stress test at low voltage and high heat.
  • Penti - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    That would be ridiculous expensive to do any more to them then any other product.
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Naive or not, if they promote these sticks as off-the-shelf and they are not, they can get into trouble.

    I know that the vast majority of sites get a lot of, ...ahem, perks and other little rewards for being cooperative. And thats why the vast majority of sites are so generic and similar. I don't know if Anand can provide more transparency without burning bridges, but I'd like to see it.
  • Hrel - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    So, I haven't seen any camera reviews in a long time. Are you guys no longer doing DSLR's? Cause if that's the case I am one very dissapointed reader.
  • Zink - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    I actually prefer the site without cameras. There are other great sites that do very precise and quantitative reviews for cameras. If anything more system builds and smartphones.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    I think the guy that was doing cameras (and CPU coolers) left Anandtech. And while I miss the cooler reviews, I am also one of those who thought the reviews were not up to the quality of other photo-dedicated sites on the web.

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