Data Services Newsletter

Volume 11 : No 2 : Summer 2009

Server Hardware Transitions at the IRIS DMC

The IRIS Data Management Center has been hard at work porting software and services to new hardware this year. Two primary areas of upgrades have been planned for this year. The first is the web server topology and the second is the Oracle database server.

For the web server, we have moved from a single Sun server to a load balancer network consisting of a Barracuda Load Balancer unit connected to two cooperative SPARC multicore systems. The rationale for going to more than one machine is twofold: 1) to provide a format for horizontal scaling of web transactions to multiple machines, and 2) failover capacity for uninterrupted service should one machine go down or need to undergo routine maintenance. We still use a single, separate master machine for driving tasks to be coordinated among the load balanced web servers.

Barracuda hardware photo

The Software, Operations, and System Administrator teams worked hard from March through May before carrying out the switchover on June 4th.

The new Oracle database server is a much larger, enterprise scale server consisting of 4 quad-core SPARC processors and 128GB of on board memory. This new server will run Oracle 11g and on board memory utilization is expected to increase by an order of magnitude. Data processing software that shares CPU time with the current Oracle server will be completely divested to other servers, leaving this machine to put all of its resources into processing database transactions.

The database transition is scheduled to occur at the end of the summer, before the end of Q3 2009. It is our expectation that this upgrade will serve all facets of IRIS DMC operations through increased efficiency and timeliness of data queries. More will be announced on the transition schedule on the IRIS website shortly.

IRIS DMC Website: http://ds.iris.edu/ds/dmc

by Rob Casey (IRIS Data Management Center)

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