Friday, October 17, 2008

Sun Ray Installations

Welcome to this new 'blog' thing of mine. This is the first time I think I'll actually try to post regularly online. I had a site on a Windows Virtual PC box that was on my parents' computer, but I haven't migrated that over to a VMWare box yet. I'll eventually move that over, but I'll probably have the main page redirect to this, depending on how I upkeep it.

As many/all of you know, back in December/January, the Computer Systems Lab was awarded a donation by Sun Microsystems for a grant worth $388,042 of hardware, including 12 servers and 155 thin-clients. The pallets were shipped and got to TJ in mid-March, just in time for Spring Break. We spent a few days this week unpacking boxes, rack-mounting servers, installing workstations, installing thin-clients, and taking breaks for wondrous pizza lunches. At the end of the week we had a few of the 24" monitors, as well as 3 Ultra 24 workstations and one Ultra 40 45 set up in the Admin Office for usage by the Sysadmins for testing, compiling, and anything of the sort.

I heard last month that now all donations coming into FCPS schools are required to have barcodes on them. I'm sure there's some relation to this and the Sun grant, and we may have caused this to happen. Luckily our older servers that may retire soon don't have barcodes on them, and can go on loan to Sysadmins for use (instead of being recycled).

A month or so ago our faculty sponsor, Mr. Washer, received an email from an associate of the Partnership Fund who is now at Chantilly High School, offering to give us 30-some Sun Rays and 2 V440 servers. After a while of waiting, a pallet came with 10 1Gs, 5 150s, 30-odd keyboards and mice, and 1 V440. Mr. Washer emailed the contact at Chantilly wondering about the split-down-the-middle numbers, and asked if this was a mistake of some sort. Hopefully there is another pallet of Sun Rays somewhere, either hiding at TJ or still sitting at Chantilly HS...

One of the reasons the V440s from Chantilly would be so helpful is for the Sun StorEdge D2 storage array that TJ bought in the spring. From one of our retired servers, Sol (an E450), we had 6-36GB SCSI drives and 2-73GB drives. We got 4-73GB drives with the 1 V440 that was brought to TJ, and getting the other would most likely get us another 4-73GB drives. This would definitely greatly increase the amount of storage we can put on the array (don't forget the magic of ZFS!), and we also have 4-73GB drives in another server that we aren't using anymore. Swapping the 36GB drives that we have in the array now for these 73GB drives would increase our storage from about 600GB to 800GB+, and almost 1TB with compression.

Well, you lasted through my strange first post...who knows when I'll update this next :)

Edit: This post incorrectly stated that we received an Ultra 40 from the Academic Excellence Grant. It was really an Ultra 45.