Yesterday Markus’s server beaver was switched off after more than eight years of service. We initially had a lot of trouble with this machine because of a dodgy PCI network card that caused complete system hangs due to PCI bus errors. It was a long painful process to diagnose this problem which included unnecessarily replacing the mainboard and installing a hardware RAID controller. But after the faulty card was removed the machine worked very reliable. beaver had an uptime of 327 days when it was shutdown. We even enjoyed a small miracle in the form of two Western Digital IDE RAID Edition hard disks that survived more than seven years of 24/7 service without any problems.
In the last couple of years beaver‘s performance had been a bit underwhelming. With its old CPU, a 2GHz Pentium IV, and the moderate one gigabyte main memory it was simply underpowered to serve as the backend for modern web applications. The MySQL database server in particular took its toll.
beaver is survived by tiger which now provides backup DNS and mail services for my domains. With a quad core CPU and four gigabyte main memory it feels infinitely faster than the old machine. tiger even easily handles being (ab)used as a Minecraft server. 🙂