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Hardware ordered January 2004

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The servers installed in their rack

The hardware order in January 2004 was for 8 multipurpose machines (bart, bayle, browne, coronelli, isidore, moreri, vincent, zwinger) and 1 database server (suda). Placement of the order was announced with this mailing list post. The total cost was US$19,308 plus tax and shipping and created a complete new hardware set as part of the switch from a west coast to an east coast colocation facility. Primary objectives were increased tolerance for failures, followed by improved site performance. Funds were provided by charitable donations. Thanks to all who donated! The switch to the new equipment at the new location was complete by 13 February 2004.

Wikimedia server arrangement as of 2004-02-19, using the machines from this order

This is their configuration as shipped. See the Wikimedia servers article for the current configurations. One early planned change moved 1GB from isidore, moreri, vincent and zwinger so that the two Squid machines, browne and coronelli, would have 4GB for caching.

On 7 October 2004 the 2GB of RAM in bart was moved to browne. 4GB of newly purchased Kingston (?) RAM costing US$202 per GB was added to bart.

Multipurpose machinesEdit

This part of the order contained 8 of Silicon Mechanics SM-1151SATA machines, each a P4 2.6, 2x1GB RAM, 80GB SATA RD, Redhat 9 preload, 1.44Mb floppy, rail kits. Motherboards are Supermicro P4SCE Rev 2.01 [1] (specification).

Starting in February 2004 these machines provided the web server, Squid cache server, NFS storage and mailing list processing for the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki projects. They made a massive difference to site performance, placing it in the top 25% of web sites in response times according to Alexa, with response times reported by Alexa as 0.9s. The Squid machines handled most of that load, generally serving 60-70% of all hits.

As orderedEdit

A copy and paste from the invoice.

  • SM-1151SATA
  • CPU: Intel P4 2.6GHz - 512KB Cache - HT - 800 FSB
  • RAM: 2GB (2 x 1GB) Unbuff non-ECC DDR 400 Interleaved
  • HDD 1: Seagate 80GB 7200.7 (7.2Krpm-8MB Cache) SATA
  • Floppy: 1.44MB Floppy
  • O/S: Red Hat Linux 9 - Preload, No Media
  • Rail Kit: 2 Piece Ball Bearing Rail Kit
  • WARRANTY: Standard 3 Year - Return to Depot

Vendor hardware highlightsEdit

"The SM-1151A 1U P4 Server features a single Intel Pentium 4 processor (800MHz FSB, Hyper-Threading), up to 4GB of DDR SDRAM DIMM, two gig-E LAN adapters, an integrated SATA controller and 2 Hot Swap SATA drives. With all these features this is one powerful and economical P4 Server in a rack-dense package!"

  • Economically Powerful
  • 1 Rack Unit Height (1.75")
  • Single P4 800MHz FSB Processor up to 3.2GHz
  • Up to 4GB DDR SDRAM DIMM (6.4GB/s)
  • Dual 10/100/1000 Intel Network Interfaces
  • 2 x Fixed Mount Serial ATA HDDs
  • 1 x 32bit/33MHz expansion slot
  • CD, CDRW or DVD / 1.44 FDD





Vendor hardware detailsEdit

  • Chassis
    • 1 Rack Unit Height
    • Dimensions: 1.70" (h) x 16.7" (w) x 22.6" (d) 1U, 2 Piece Ball Bearing Rail Kit
  • Processor options
    • Single Intel Pentium 4 - up to 3.2GHz with 533/800MHz Front Side Bus
    • Single Intel Celeron - up to 2.6GHz with 400MHz Front Side Bus
    • Hyper-Threading processor support
    • Intel 875P Chipset
  • Memory
    • Up to 4GB of DDR-400/333/266 ECC and non-ECC or unbuffered DDR SDRAM
    • 6.4GB/s memory bandwidth (Interleaved DDR400)
    • 4 memory slots available supporting qualified DIMM modules
  • Storage
    • Intel ICH5-R SATA-150 controller for 2 drives with support for RAID 0 and 1
    • Dual Channel ATA-100 Controller
    • Optional: SATA RAID Controller (uses free PCI slot)
  • Drive Bays
    • 2 Drive Bays for Hot Swappable SATA 150 Hard Drives
    • 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    • Low-Profile IDE Device (CD-ROM, DVD or CDRW)
  • I/O
    • PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse
    • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 x Serial Port
    • 1 x Parallel Port
  • Video
    • ATI Rage XL 8MB PCI video controller
  • Network
    • Dual 10/100/1000 Mbps NIC (Intel)
  • Management
    • Serial Console Re-direction
  • Expansion
    • 1 x 32Bit/33MHz PCI
  • Power
    • 250W Power Supply
  • Warranty
    • 3 Years Parts and Labor Standard
    • Extended Warranties Available

Database serverEdit

This part of the order contained Silicon Mechanics SM-2280S, Dual AMD Opteron 246, 4GB memory, SCSI RAID 5, 3x36 (Seagate ST336607LC), logical capacity 72GB, redundant power supply, RH9 preload, 1.44mB floppy, rail kits.

The RAID controller is an MegaRAID SCSI 320-1LP [2] with 64k buffer and battery-backup for it, allowing safe write buffering. Options to use the buffer are described here.

Subsequently three refurbished 146GB Seagate ST3146807LC drives [3] were added, showing "CSC146GB-10KREFURBISHED" as their drive identifier string. In August 2004 a fourth 146GB drive replaced one of the 36GB drives and the RAID arrays were reconfigured to 4 disk RAID 10 and 2 disk RAID 1.

From February 2004 to July 2004, when it was replaced by Ariel, this machine, named Suda, provided primary database service for all Wikimedia wiki projects, both as the initial machine in the new east coast location and continuing after reliability problems which made geoffrin unusable after it was shipped to and returned from the vendor (not Silicon Mechanics!) to fix the initial problems it had. Geoffrin was eventually returned for a refund.

As orderedEdit

A copy and paste from the invoice.

  • SM-2280S
  • CPU: Dual AMD Opteron 246 - 2.0 GHz - 1MB L2 Cache
  • Memory: 4GB (4 x 1GB) PC2700 Registered ECC
  • HDD 1: Seagate Cheetah 10K.6 36GB U320 10KRPM SCA SCSI
  • HDD 2: Seagate Cheetah 10K.6 36GB U320 10KRPM SCA SCSI
  • HDD 3: Seagate Cheetah 10K.6 36GB U320 10KRPM SCA SCSI
  • SCSI Controller: LSI 20320 1 Channel U320 SCSI Controller
  • Floppy: 1.44MB Floppy
  • Power Supply: 460W Hotswap Redundant
  • O/S: Red Hat Linux 9 - Preload, No Media
  • Rail Kit: 2U 3 Piece Sliding Rail Kit 24"-31"
  • WARRANTY: Standard 3 Year - Return to Depot


Vendor hardware highlightsEdit

"The SM-2280S 2U Dual Opteron Server features dual AMD Opteron processors, up to 16GB of ECC DDR SDRAM DIMM, dual Gigabit Ethernet, up to 6 Hot-Swap SCA SCSI drives, two PCI-X expansion cards, and a low-profile CD bay. This 2U Dual Opteron Server doubles as a storage server when you need the extra capacity".

  • 2 Rack Unit Height (3.45")
  • Up to Dual Opteron 248 Processors & 1MB Cache
  • Up to 8GB DDR SDRAM DIMM
  • Two 10/100/1000 Network Interface
  • 6 x SCSI HDD Bays
  • 2 x 64bit/66MHz Expansion Slots
  • CD, CDRW or DVD / 1.44 FDD



Vendor hardware detailsEdit

  • Chassis
    • 2 Rack Unit Height
    • Dimensions: 3.45" (h) x 17.00"(w) x 25.6" (d) 2U, 3 Piece Sliding Rail Kit
  • Processor options
    • Single or Dual AMD Opteron - Up to 248 (2.2GHz) with 1MB L2 Cache
    • Supports 64Bit processing with backwards compatibility to traditional 32Bit computing
    • AMD-8111 Chipset
  • Memory
    • Up to 16GB of DDR-333 Registered ECC DDR SDRAM
    • 6.4GB/s memory bandwidth
    • 8 (4 + 4) memory slots available supporting qualified DIMM modules
  • Storage
    • U320 SCSI Controller (uses free PCI slot)
    • Optional: SCSI RAID Controller (uses free PCI slot)
    • Dual Channel ATA-100 Controller
  • Drive Bays
    • 6 Drive Bays for Hot Swappable U320 SCSI Hard Drives
    • Low-Profile 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    • Low-Profile IDE Device (CD-ROM, DVD or CDRW)
  • I/O
    • PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse
    • 2 x USB 1.1 ports
    • 1 x Serial Port
  • Video
    • ATI Rage XL 8MB PCI video controller
  • Network
    • Dual 10/100/1000 Mbps NIC (Broadcom 5702)
  • Management
    • Serial Console Re-direction
  • Expansion
    • 2 x 64Bit PCI-X
  • Power
    • 460W Power Supply
    • Optional: 460W Hot Swap Redundant Power Supply
  • Warranty
    • 3 Years Parts and Labor Standard
    • Extended Warranties Available

mailing list post announcing this orderEdit

[Wikitech-l] The order
Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com 
Tue Jan 13 17:41:42 UTC 2004 

Previous message: [Wikitech-l] Secondary servers 
Next message: [Wikitech-l] Re: The order 
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8 SM-1151SATA, P4 2.6, 2x1GB RAM, 80GB SATA RD, Redhat 9 preload,
1.44Mb floppy, rail kits.

The 2x1Gb was more expensive than 4x512Mb, but gives us more
flexibility for growth and also for shuffling the memory around to
specialize the machines.  For machines that aren't doing anything too
intensive (mail server), we can buy cheap 2x256=512Mb and donate the
extra 2gb to the squid(s), if that seems helpful.  And there will be
slots available to just buy more memory outright if that seems like a
good idea.

8 machines gives us some oomph, no matter what.

1 SM-2280S, Dual AMD Opteron 246, 4GB memory, SCSI RAID 5, 3x36,
logical capacity 72GB, redundant power supply, RH9 preload, 1.44mB
floppy,, rail kits.

This machine is very similar to our big dog geoffrin.

The total cost is $19,308, plus tax and shipping.

--Jimbo