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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  • maxusa - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    I do not understand where your hostility comes from, whatthehey. You don't enjoy an intellectual rant? It must be a very dark datacenter. :o) Keep reading your own reference to legal-dictionary and you will learn that extortion is a form of racketeering, which is why I used the terms synonymously referring to the act of obtaining material benefits from a vendor whose product/services might be the subject of evaluation by the same influential entity.

    I will ask you to not be shortsighted in thinking that the influence over public opinion is only limited to, as you wrote, (a) ultra-positive vendor reviews and (b) slamming the competition without reason. How about not slamming the vendor at all when they screwed up, or not slamming too harsh (the shades of negative/positive evaluation given)? What about cashing the favor in when/if the real blow comes. This can be done without readers, including you, even knowing about it. Among other things, these scenarios are exactly what vendors consider when they receive such requests for "donation."

    Ironically, you are exactly on target to mention about hand-offs this publication successfully secured in the past from other vendors. This only confirms that these practices are a pattern, of which the owner himself is a prominent part by virtue of greed, sheer stupidity, or ignorance. It will be interesting to learn the real reason, but without the owner chiming in on this discussion, we would have to guess.
  • pkoi - Monday, November 1, 2010 - link

    I agree with you, corruption and all it's shade of greed.

    Also Thanks you for informing on the scope of this website, in your other post (3million revenue)

    I was personally already very disappointed by the frequency and quality of many articles, small coverage.
    Some article are as boring as a youtube unboxing. Yes, there are quality article, but they are scarce. Given their revenues Anand is a real shame.

    Ps: Patriot box office giveaway,,, Who give a ... This thing is 1 year old and sell for ~60$ ...
  • kairnwulf - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Yes please.
  • eva2000 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    sweet, 288GB memory ^_^

    curious is any of that memory goes to memcached (if used at all) ?
  • marraco - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    It would be more interesting if we knew what altenatives you evalued, and why you made this decision.

    Otherwise is just interesting gossip.
  • beginner99 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    I must admit I was kind of lazy and only overlooked the article but what will actually be running on these servers? Just this site and the forum? Is the site so heavily frequented?
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - link

    While not American Express, the site might well be considered an "Enterprise Application", so I'm interested to see how you go with these. Enterprise (STEC, Violin, Texas Memory), ProSumer (Fusion, OCZ), or consumer (Intel and the rest)?

    And, what's of most interest: will you be using the SSD storage to enable a refactoring of your DB schemas to be more "normal", or just as fast HDD? Enquiring minds want to know.
  • Skouperd - Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - link

    Anandtech, keep up the good work. I've been reading your site for years now and hardly do any upgrades unless I've read the review here about it. Never have I've been misled or dissapointed in any of the decisions I've made based on this site.

    I've been following the server build closely, and really don't care if the memory is provided for free by kingston or not, what I do care about is how well do they last at the end of the day.

    Anand, keep up the good work.
  • Chloiber - Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - link

    I can already tell you that they will use some ssds from OCZ - it became so obvious in the last couple of months.

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