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Things look quiet here. But I've been doing a lot of blogging at dan.langille.org because I prefer WordPress now. Not all my posts there are FreeBSD related. I am in the midst of migrating The FreeBSD Diary over to WordPress (and you can read about that here). Once the migration is completed, I'll move the FreeBSD posts into the new FreeBSD Diary website.

Sponsors wanted 4 July 2006
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I am in the process of building up a 2U server. Its primary purpose will be to run my websites, which includes the one you are reading now (The FreeBSD Diary), FreshPorts, FreshSource, and BSDCan.

The server in question is pretty awesome. I have iXsystems to thank for that. The 9550SX-8LP RAID controller donated by 3Ware arrived late last month. The server is configured to use SATA and contains eight hot-swappable drive bays. The plan is to stock it with eight SATA II drives and use the 3Ware RAID card in a RAID-1+0 configuration, with a few hot spares. This will provide plenty of disk space, combined with redundancy and speed.

The server will primarily be a web server and a database server. The database server exists to feed the web server, and most of the disk I/O will be reads.

Why isn't this operational now?

A very good question. At present, this server is sitting at home and I'm running benchmarks on it. It pumps out a bit of heat, so when not in use, it is powered off. Right now, the major thing that's missing is SATA drives. This is where you come in. I'm hoping that Hitachi, Seagate, or Western Digital will hop on board and become a sponsor by donating eight high end SATA II drives. I'm looking for SATA II drives that are robust, reliable, and fast. I've been looking at drives, and these ones seem to fit the bill:

Only the Hitachi has NCQ (Native Command Queuing). It also has a 8MB buffer, versus the 16MB buffers on the Seagate and the WD. The above list was compiled after a brief search.

Many people have suggested the Raptor... That would be an interesting benchmark.

What else?
The drives are the most important thing needed now. However, the motherboard is dual-core capable. At present, there are two Model 246 single-core CPUs in the case. It can handle up to a two Model 285 CPUs which are dual-core. Yes, it would be nice to go dual-core.
Sponsors wanted!

We are looking for a sponsor (or sponsors) who would like to supply the hard drives and/or CPUs. If you are interested, please contact dan at langille.org.

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