BetaArchive
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An inside look at BA, a detailed walkthrough...
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2329
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Author:  Andy [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  An inside look at BA, a detailed walkthrough...

An inside look at BetaArchive, a detailed walkthrough...

I got a little bored this afternoon so I decided I’d give you a detail “insight” into the workings of BetaArchive from my end. Since all you have ever seen are pictures and the odd details here and there, I thought a nice compilation in a thread might help to clear up any problems and questions you might have (of course questions are always welcome!).

All of the following equipment is located in my converted loft or small bedroom at home in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom.

HTTP Server

Image

So I’ll start with the server hosting the websites, the HTTP, PHP, MySQL and Mail Server. Obviously I’ve just described its purpose but what about specs?

2.13GHz Intel Celeron D, 256KB L2 Cache
512MB RAM (2x256MB) 333MHz
16MB On-Board GFX
40GB, 80GB and 200GB Hard Disks (IDE)
230w PSU
10/100 Ethernet On-Board

The purpose of the hard disks are individual.
40GB – Boot and boot backup image.
80GB – WWW drive, contains the websites, MySQL data, etc
200GB – Backup and storage drive

Software:
Abyss Web Server X2 2.4 *
PHP 4
MySQL 4.0.24
hMailServer
FileZilla FTP (for hosted clients only)
Norton Ghost 9.0

Incremental backups take place every 1-hour and a full backup during the night. Maximum of 5 days backups then the oldest is removed.

I use an external 160GB NAS drive to occasionally backup one of the ghost images from the server for safer keeping.

The server is connected to the network via the 10/100 Network card to the 5 Port Switch located on top of the UPS.


Storage Server

Image

Next is the storage server. Again, its purpose already described.

This server holds backup/mirror copies of all the files hosted on our two main FTP Servers, AbyssUnderground FTP and the SillyProject FTP. In case one server should go down and we lose the files, we have a copy here safe with me. Updates to this server’s mirror copy are made every time I move files from upload to download. This ensures I always have an up to date copy of the contents of the servers.

So what are the specs?

975MHz Pentium III, 512KB L2 Cache
256MB RAM
32MB ATI GFX
20GB, 2x250GB Hard Disks (IDE)
250w PSU
10/100 Ethernet Card

As above, the purpose of the hard disks are individual.
20GB – Boot.
250GB #1 – Storage Drive for my files
250GB #2 – BETA files only drive

Software:
Abyss Web Server X1 2.4 *
PHP 4

The server is connected to the network via the 10/100 Network card to the 5 Port Switch located on top of the UPS.


5 Port Network Switch

Image

This is a standard 5 Port switch (1 Up-Link and 4 standard ports). It is a switch and not a hub and therefore is faster and can create separate VLAN connections when transferring data. This ensures that all hosts connected to the switch can transfer at the full 100Mbps with any other host connected to that switch.


UPS

Image

I’m guessing you all know what a UPS is but for those who don’t know it’s an Uninterruptible Power Supply, in short, battery backup.

This UPS is a 1200VA version capable of 780w of output power. Of course the server’s don’t use this much. It contains 2x7Ah 12v batteries, which can run the 160w load for approximately 30 minutes in the event of a mains outage. Only 1 outage has ever occurred that has out-run the uptime of the UPS and that was late 2006 as some of you may recall. The server was offline for 18 hours as I was away at the time of the outage. Nobody was around to turn the server back on again.

This UPS cost around $80 and was a bargain. It also has surge protection built in in case some bad power comes down the line. Unfortunately it won’t protect against lightning but it’s rare that you will ever be struck.


The Network

The network is hard wired into my house. Cables run through the walls and the floorboards to get to the lower floor where the network equipment is based. It is all 100Mbps based but could cope with 1Gbps.



For the Router we have a Linksys WRT54GL* flashed with the DD-WRT firmware. I flashed it with DD-WRT simply because it offers many more features that are of use to me as a server admin, for example logging, firewall etc. It also allows me to turn the wireless power up as this is of great need to me sometimes.

Image


For the Modem this is a standard issue NTL:100 modem that is around 5 years old now (of course the ISP is now called Virgin Media). The connection speed is 4Mbps downstream and 0.4Mbps upstream. Traffic throttling can come into effect from the hours of 4pm to midnight for a maximum of 4 hours, in which time my connection will be roughly halved (to 2Mbps and 0.2Mbps upload), but only if I download more than 750MB in that time, which is rare.

Image


The UPS is a 300VA MGE UPS. Just like the 1200VA UPS it has surge protection. This unit easily powers the network equipment for well over 1 hour in the event of an outage. Of course I am unsure if Virgin Media have UPS backup in their cabs. I will have to wait until the next outage I am here for to determine that.

Image



And there you have it, the inside workings of the BA servers and network. Hope it wasn’t too boring and I hope it answered any questions you had. If not, feel free to ask and I’ll fill you in!



* Information correct at time of writing.

Author:  callumh [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:38 am ]
Post subject: 

How can talking about servers possibly be boring? :lol:

Author:  Luckie [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:51 am ]
Post subject: 

thanks for the pictures :)

Author:  GRJParker [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An inside look at BA, a detailed walkthrough...

Andy wrote:
*snip*
HTTP Server

Image
*snip*


Your HTTP server's case is almost the same as mine, same design, but I have two extra bays in the top! Also, interesting look behind the scenes of BA.

Author:  Jeff [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, that was a great look behind the scenes...

Author:  4tified [ Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Great walkthrough, though I oringinally thought the server was bigger than that, hehe. That obviously make no difference though. :)

Author:  Daniel [ Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks that was very interesting!!

Author:  fzajac [ Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An inside look at BA, a detailed walkthrough...

Andy wrote:
For the Router we have a Linksys WRT54GL* flashed with the DD-WRT firmware. I flashed it with DD-WRT simply because it offers many more features that are of use to me as a server admin, for example logging, firewall etc. It also allows me to turn the wireless power up as this is of great need to me sometimes.

Image
Ive got the same router... i think i also should flash it with DD-WRT fw... :)

Author:  Andy [ Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

It was well worth flashing it for the extra features. You even get a CPU load meter so you know whats going on load wise. Very useful :)

Author:  Gnome [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:51 am ]
Post subject: 

A cpu moniter on your router?
Cool.
I need a new router.

Author:  Andy [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:53 am ]
Post subject: 

Toshua123 wrote:
A cpu moniter on your router?
Cool.
I need a new router.


Yes its built into the console and uses AJAX to update, which is cool as you don't have to refresh the page to see the current usage %age.

Author:  Gnome [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thats my type of router.
Ive got a phillips atm.
Wich isnt for servers :P

Author:  UltimateGTR [ Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Why the HDDs in the Storage Server can placed like this? I think the HDD will get damage if they are placed like this. Don't the HDD must be placed horizontally??

It is a nice server! :D

Author:  happy dude [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Well UltimateGTR the HDDs are in horizontally, the case is however, standing vertically :P

Author:  Andy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:45 am ]
Post subject: 

UltimateGTR wrote:
Why the HDDs in the Storage Server can placed like this? I think the HDD will get damage if they are placed like this. Don't the HDD must be placed horizontally??

It is a nice server! :D


A hard disk can be placed in any position providing it is not moved while it switched on. If it is moved the head could touch the disk causing a head crash.

Author:  empireum [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Andy wrote:
UltimateGTR wrote:
Why the HDDs in the Storage Server can placed like this? I think the HDD will get damage if they are placed like this. Don't the HDD must be placed horizontally??

It is a nice server! :D


A hard disk can be placed in any position providing it is not moved while it switched on. If it is moved the head could touch the disk causing a head crash.

I'd either place them horizontally (0°) or vertically (90°). Anything inbetween doesn't sound that healthy, even though the drive in my iPod has to bear it. And as you said, moving a HD while it's on should be avoided if possible.

Author:  Andy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Yeah. I can't say I've ever tried to use a drive in any position other than 0 degrees or 90 degrees...

Author:  empireum [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:09 am ]
Post subject: 

Andy wrote:
Yeah. I can't say I've ever tried to use a drive in any position other than 0 degrees or 90 degrees...

Well, as I've said, one of my iPods has an 1.8" HD and sometimes it has to spin up (briefly) at odd angles. Never had a single problem though, but then these HDs may be better suited for that than standard 3.5" ones.

Author:  Apache [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Although this is a good walkthrough, it isn't the servers that BA uses anymore, maybe Andy could update it to the specs of the server that we are currently on

Author:  Andy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

OK then... :)

AMD Athlon 2800+ 2.08GHz
1GB RAM
120GB HD
1000GB Bandwidth on a 100Mbps Cogent Connection
Windows 2003 Web Edition

Author:  empireum [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Andy wrote:
OK then... :)

AMD Athlon 2800+ 2.08GHz
1GB RAM
120GB HD
1000GB Bandwidth on a 100Mbps Cogent Connection
Windows 2003 Web Edition

And yes, it's obvious you can't provide pics of that one :wink:

Author:  Andy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

No I can't. The datacenter (like all commercial datacenters) don't allow any form of photography inside the building for security purposes.

Author:  sevan [ Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Nice to know that the site is well kept.

I setup a server locally for my website, I unfortunately am only using an eval copy of Windows Server 2003 with IIS6, Active Directory (for the hell of it I suppose) and DNS setup.

I don't know if it would be worth moving my site to the desktop (server) or not, but I have a backup site on another host that I don't update as often as I should.

Author:  InsaneNutter [ Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:42 am ]
Post subject: 

I gather the servers you posted in your first post are not used for hosting BetaArchive anymore, it seemed quite a good setup. Im curious as to what are they used for now? :)

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