I think this will be the fifth time we've moved servers, so hopefully we know what to expect. I think last time it took about an hour. We're stating two hours to be safe, but unforeseen circumstances could make it longer. If you've ever wondered what it takes to power a site like this, read on.
The only thing wrong with the current server is that we're outgrowing the hard drives. Replacing drives on a production server is not easily done. We've also decided it's time to make a number of improvements to our infrastructure. For storage, we're switching to a RAID array, plus backup drive. The drives will be SAS
for increased reliability. In addition, we'll use an iSCSI
virtual drive at the datacenter to replicate the database, in real-time. Off-site backups will be R1Soft
in Kansas City, MO. R1soft is a very cool product that does block level backups in almost real-time, with little server load, and allows multiple snapshots. While our old system of rsync to an off-site server was okay, it wasn't as reliable or robust.
Server hardware will remain pretty similar. 4GB RAM, 4 CPU cores. Except we'll have one quad core CPU, instead of two dual-core (AMD instead of Intel). Plus the addition of RAID. Software will remain CentOS Linux 64-bit, but we're investing in LiteSpeed
instead of Apache for faster performance (especially page load times). Finally, we're switching data centers, from LayeredTech to SoftLayer
. They are both in the Dallas area, so there should be no changes in network performance.