No fancy-schmancy hardware here.
Lots of web sites like to brag about the spectacular multiprocessor Unix systems that host their site. At the risk of disappointing you, I must confess that mouratis.org runs almost entirely on discarded computer equipment.
If you're interested in doing the same, I would recommend
making friends with all the sysadmins and networking folks at
your company, and make sure they know to tell you before stuffing
the dumpsters full of "obsolete" equipment. Know when
to say when. Just how big do you think your basement is?
Hardware Rescued from the Trash
- mouratis.org's primary DNS, web server, mail server and KDC all run on a Digital DECsystem 5260. This was a pretty slick machine back in 1992. In its past life, it ran an international portfolio performance application for a Chicago financial institution.
- An IBM RS/6000 model 370 acts as a fail-over system, in case the DECsystem fails. Too distasteful for you? Like any OS, AIX has its ups and downs.
- The, uh, disk farm is made up of an old DEC SCSI StorageWorks
- Backups are done to an Exabyte-compatible 8mm tape drive.
- Many of the smaller disks (especially in the RS/6000s) were replaced with larger ones scavenged from a Cambex disk array. (I have an old Macintosh Performa with a SCSI enclosure dedicated to bench testing SCSI disks.)
- My Ethernet hub is a 24-port Cabletron with a bad ASIC: The management components are dead, but it still works fine as a hub. (Their repair department wants US$500 to make it better. I think I'll wait.)
- LANtronix terminal server. Better than an A/B switch for
- Most everything sits mounted in a 19-inch rack that once
held a big disk array.
Stuff I Paid Money For
- DSL bridge. These aren't old enough to be found in the trash
- Macintosh desktop and laptop computers. It takes a lot of
horsepower for user-interfaces, and I'm spoiled on snappy response.
- CAT-5 cabling. Man, so much of this gets thrown out, but
it never happens at the right time...
I Have My Limits...
I don't care how many token-ring adapters, switches, managed
hubs, routers, and the like get thrown out. Game over man. And
I'm not really tempted by anything that doesn't run UNIX. Can't
say I care for peecee hardware, even if it does run UNIX.
The Free Software Parts