AnandTech Upgrade

To keep up with the AnandTech tradition, we'll open the covers on the latest upgrade performed at the AnandTech NOC Facility a few months ago. This latest upgrade focused on an enterprise database platform change, and a security infrastructure upgrade. We apologize for the delay, but there has been so much going on after the upgrade that this article took a bit of a back seat.

Planning for the upgrade started back in October of 2003. Our planning involved a review of the storage requirements of the databases, and growth predictions for the next 2-3 years. Next, we started research on a Firewall for the network. If you can believe it, we had been running Windows 2000 servers on the public internet with no firewall. Were we lucky? Probably, but we were meticulous in applying security updates as they came out and made good use of local security policies in Windows (especially after SQL Slammer hit us one morning).

It seems that all of our trips to the NOC to perform the various upgrades over the years have always been eventful to say the least. This upgrade actually went extremely well, which is attributed to some careful planning and the excellent staff at Elite Internet Communications (our ISP).

The Database Upgrade
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  • kherman - Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - link

    How about a pic of that motherboard!
  • JasonClark - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    Penpun, I updated the article with the URL's, and correct a spelling error on my end. It's CI Designs not CSI Designs, guess I watch a bit to much CSI :)
  • penpun - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    "CSI Designs RMHR 9000"

    where can we find more info on this company and their products? a quick google search didn't reveal anything obvious.
  • Phiro - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    Not sure if you want to give out these numbers, but how many page views did you have in the last 30 days, and how many unique visitors?
  • JasonClark - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link


    Because, we have standardized on the microsoft platform, and that is where our expertise lies. Performance-wise, a well tuned .Net application on windows will run just as good as it will on linux if not better as the framework was built on the windows platform.

    MySQL is no where close to SQL Server in terms of an enterprise database server (at least not yet). No stored procedures, triggers etc. 5.0 is a way off yet, which should include those features. Also the tools for MySQL are terrible in comparison to SQL Enterprise Manager. SQL Server is where it's at in terms of productivity, enterprise class features and the best management tools in the business.

    As #22 said, productivity is key, why run something you are not familiar with and is not the best platform for a .NET application? We're not interested in PHP or any other language.
  • yelo333 - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    #21, probably familiarity. Which means productivity.

    IIRC, they also chose the forums software this way...

    Remember, nobody(well, hardly anybody) can know all combinations of software just as well as another.

    There are probably more reasons, or completely different ones, so wait around for the "official" answer. ;)
  • unhaiduc - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    This may be a dumb question, but why don't you guys run a Linux/Apache webserver? or even Win/Apache?.. MySQL?
  • JasonClark - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Sharkeeper, we are no where near 16,000 sessions simultaneous... only 3-4000, no slow down at all at that level.
  • VirtualLarry - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Reflex, my friend also has a quad-proc Slot-II Xeon Compaq server, dual-redundant sets of 3 cooling fans, 2+1 redundant PSUs, hot-swap 64-bit PCI, SCSI RAID, etc., crazy overkill kind of stuff for home. He has a rack-mount case in his kitchen. :P Oh yeah, it definately DOES sound like a jet plane taking off when he turns the thing one. It's pretty snappy though, good for LAN game servers and stuff. It also uses an insane memory-expansion daughterboard, with its own buffer chips, can accept up to 16 or maybe even 32GB of registered ECC SDR memory, in quad-interleaved groups of 4 DIMMs. I think he just has 4 x 256MB or 4 x 128MB now, because he got the RAM for cheap.
  • sharkeeper - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Interesting choice of firewall. What happens when it get saturated? I've implemented NS25's in small enterprises with ~200 or so users and was concerned. Their utilisation is nowhere near what yours would be.


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