In probably another folly move, I've ordered another big server.I previously nabbed myself a Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 Server with a generous processor and a bunch of RAM with the idea to increase my computing throughput without increasing my computer footprint. It's a big, kinda noisy box, but it sits in the basement where the furnace and waterheater are both louder when they're on.
Alas, while I was able to do many of the things I wanted to do, such as throw my DB server on there and leverage the big RAM and CPU, I wasn't able to do everything. The Soalris Zones are neat and handy (and working as expected), but they lack some of the integrations that OpenStack bring. There's a promise of OpenStack on Solaris, but much, much more geared toward Solaris on Intel. Also, there has been a disappointing shift in the FOSS availability, and a lot of the new software I like so much isn't available.
A little disappointed, I still love the server for what it does. It's running some Tomcat instances, freeing this server from having to do that. It's running the databases, also freeing this server. It's not doing them quite as optimized as I'd like (I've not yet optimized the DB to use more RAM for cache, for example), but the 64GB of RAM helps make the load really into nothing. Before, the 8GB, dual-core server was running a dozen Tomcat servers, oversubscribed with the mail and web and database servers. Now the Tomcat instances on that server enjoy generous space, and this server has much lower demands.
I think it's a success story. But it isn't done. I'm still not satisified with the system I had.
When I chose the T5220, I had decided against a Sun Fire M4600 X2 server. Roughly the same era and other specs, but an 8x Opeteron quad-core rig. I decided to go native SPARC and with the 64 native threads, rather than x86 and 32 threads. Also, the x5220 has 8 drive bays while the M4600 only has 4, which made me lean that way, too.
I recently spied another M4600 with even more RAM, for fewer dollars (granted it's a re-purchase, so it's overall more dollars), so after a brief chat with funding, I dropped for that and a couple of HDD. This one has 128GB of RAM, and 8x 2.6GHz Opteron quad-core CPUs. The 2x300GB HDD will be enough to boot and run, so I'll have to leverage some other network storage or add some more drives in the future.
I'm leaning toward a LINUX on this one, giving a more natural OpenStack or other containerized system. I might give Solaris (on Intel) with its OpenStack a shot. It is a lab, after all.
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