BloggyNetwork: Infrastructure

8 Apr

Continuing the series – it requires a fair bit of hardware to churn through the traffic we do deliver.

We started off with the traditional one server setup – providing web, sql, DNS, mail, and what not all in one box. That worked for a while, but pretty soon we were running at capacity. Our solution was relatively simple – push our non-login based services (such as PageRank Checker and Button Maker) onto a secondary server. It was a simple split, and we wouldn’t have to worry about SQL replication problems. Our actual blogs were on another server, and Blog Top Sites had its own server.

As we grew, it become evident that this solution wouldn’t pan out. By now Enthropia was growing at a rapid pace, a decision was made to invest into a reliable infrastructure. I posted about things to worry about when having your own farm. We ended up with 12 dual dualcore opteron 265s. One of them was the iBegin database server, housing 16 GB ram and 8×72 GB hard-drives.

As previously mentioned, our previous setup of half a dozen servers consisted of solitary servers. Each had to deal with DNS, email, web requests, and SQL lookups individually. This meant a lot of wasted overhead running processes that weren’t required. In our new system, one of our servers functions for both DNS and email. As we grow, adding a secondary server to handle DNS is elementary.

Each server now individually runs apache+SQL. While it may seem like a bizarre decision (we could have gone for a master-slave SQL setup with the other servers acting as web-servers), it makes things simpler for us. Because everything is internal to our own network, whenever we need to do cross-server requests (such as MapStats making sure a user is logged in), it is no problem.

We then have daily weekly and monthly backups to a backup server provided by our host (it can store upto 9TB). We also do monthly DVD backups, as a just-in-case emergency deal.

All-in-all, we utilize five servers for Bloggy Network. We are running at roughly 30% capacity, giving us a lot of room to grow.

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