Some of you will be wondering what the announcement at the top of the screen about an outage tonight is about. I have to power down the system to put in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to handle possible power outages. The reason why is that after 5 years on server farms, The Standard has moved home1.
The Standard has been running on a home server running fibre connection2 since August 3rd, which has massively reduced the cost of running The Standard. With the exception of an outage for a network card that became unreliable, it has been running perfectly.
While originally envisaged as a backup system for the cloud based servers at Amazon in Sydney, it has proved fast enough on the NZ network to provide a significiant drop in latency for our mainly NZ audience.
So this evening the system will get the UPS that should allow it to handle any reasonably short power outages. You can see the new 650 VA UPS in the front of the photo waiting to get plugged in. Mounted on the wall are the Chorus fibre end point, Zyxel switch, and our main VOIP phone (whose main user is Lyn’s mother calling us).
The fibre connection is running at 100MBits/sec down and 50MBits/sec up, and has been easily able to handle the load including the spikes of 250 users per minute online after the launch of Dirty Politics.
The average traffic load has doubled during the month as we head into the election. In July according to Statcounter3 we had 444 thousand page views from humans. In August it was 717 thousand. Base don previous elections, I’m expecting that this month it will be a lot closer to a million page views.
It runs on a quiet watercooled 8 core AMD box with 24GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state drive. Next to it is a dual core AMD server which has a 8TB RAID6 array and 16GB RAM. It acts as the immediate backup server for the site, and feeds the offshore ‘warm’ backup servers in Sydney that I set up a few weeks ago.
These two systems are usually my home development systems and are rather notorious for being a messy mass of cables and keyboards (night and wired4). On top of the servers is a rarely used printer scanner with a bluray player that acts as the digital gateway to the wall mounted TV above it and out of the picture.
The new 1600VA UPS is sitting in front of the servers waiting to go in tonight.
So now when you see me saying that you can’t treat The Standard as a person with opinions because it is a machine. You’ll now know what I’m talking about….
But the reality is that this is just the hardware. The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.
It appears this blog runs on quite a different model to those on the right that have been exposed in Dirty Politics. It is far closer to the bulletin boards and usenet that I played on when I was a somewhat younger person in my 20s and 30s. The hardware even looks the same, just black rather than IBM beige..