Thursday, December 07, 2006

Node5 has arrived!

Yesterday we received 'node5' -- a fifth front-end processing node for our cluster. It's essentially identical to the four other nodes: HP Integrity rx2620 with two Itanium2 1.6GHz CPUs, 8GB of RAM and three 146GB SCSI disks connected to a 6420 RAID controller. The server has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and we added a third Gigabit NIC for our tape backup network.

The front-end cluster handles all the incoming web, CVS, rsync and e-mail connections for all our sites. Load is distributed to the nodes by a Cisco LocalDirector, which can automatically detect a broken node and put it out-of-service. The nodes connect to a pair of backend IBM eServer P5 550 servers for database, ldap authentication and shared storage services. This setup allows us to scale horizontally by adding more nodes as CPU load increases, which is exactly why 'node5' is here. Each node is capable of handling over 600 simultaneous web clients -- and at the same time, a few RSYNC connections and dozens of CVS connections between the dozens of e-mails per minute sent to/from our servers.

We're waiting for a few parts, but Node5 is expected to be in service as early as December 15. Break it in gently ;-)


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