New server and fund raising drive 2011

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A fund-raising drive and purchase of a new server, took place in December 2011

Target reached, and server purchased!

We reached the fundraising target on Christmas eve 2011, thanks to all the donors!

We have now received delivery of a new server. Details to come shortly

Servers-bdbackup-20120111.jpg


Details

The following are the old details of plans for a fund-raising drive and the purchase of a new server. A more straightforward announcement appeared on the OSMF blog:

'Funding drive – Improving OSM reliability and performance' announcement on the OSMF blog

Fund raising drive

We are running this fund-raising drive while we invest in server infrastructure to improve reliability and performance of OpenStreetMap. If you’d like to support the project in this way, or you know anybody else who would like to give OSMers an early Christmas present, we'll be collecting donations on our fund raising site: http://donate.openstreetmap.org/server2011

You have the option to include your name on the donors list. We’re aiming to raise £15,000 (~ 23,000 U.S. dollars). Let’s see how quickly we hit the target!

We wanted to run another fund raising drive, because last time we had a big one was back in 2009 (old blog post) and we were blown away by how quickly we raised the target amount. It seemed as though people were looking for an outlet for their generosity and goodwill towards the project. Since we’re looking to buy a new server, now seems like a good time to do it again.

Funding situation

To be clear, the foundation is not short of funds at the moment, so we're not saying "We need this money or OpenStreetMap will collapse!" . The fund raising drive and purchase of a server, will help put OpenStreetMap on a stable footing for the future, as the project popularity continues to grow. (Finances are explained along with the 2010 balance sheet here)

New server

The Operations Working Group, who have the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, have planned to invest in a new server which will provide us with a database back-up. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means we’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements.

We hope you’ll agree that, although these improvements are very much behind-the-scenes, they are important. Please help raise the funds, either directly, or by helping to get the message out.

Technical specs

Ordered specs are:

4U server (36 bay)
2x Opteron 6238 12-core 2.6 GHz
128GB RAM (8 x 16GB, leaves room for 128GB more in the future)
8-port hardware RAID controller (LSI 9265 + BBU)
19x 600GB SAS2 6GB/s 15kRPM disks (+ 2 system disks)

When we have the server you'll find details added to the Servers page

Plans for the server

Current plans are:

  • to use the server to investigate performance settings which would be reckless on the main DB server.
  • to act as a backup for the main DB server, meaning that in the event of a catastrophic hardware failure OSM will be down for minutes/hours rather than weeks/months.
  • to scale reads horizontally, giving better API performance.

Whether the new server will replace the old or not - this isn't actually important, and is technically a difficult question about whether, in a fail-over situation, the backup machine can cope with the extra load. the important thing is that having this machine drastically reduces the probability of a worst-case scenario and improves capacity.