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Updating the mindat.org development server

Last Updated: 9th Mar 2016

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

Updating the mindat.org development server



Yesterday I found out that BOTH hard disks in my main development server that I keep here at home had reached capacity. The boot drive was at 100% and the data drive was at 94%. A quick trip to an online IT store and replacement drives were ordered for next-day morning delivery.

I thought you might want to see a few photos of what I'm working with here.

My main development server opened up during the upgrade. It's actually a relatively standard ASUS Intel Core i5 desktop PC with maxed-out memory and larger hard drives running Debian Linux. It's about 2 1/2 years old now but otherwise performing well.


In order to replace the drives I had to do two processes - one to copy the data from the old drives to the new drives, and another (which I am starting in the photo above) to resize the partitions on the drives to make use of the extra space.

A 240GB OCZ SSD disk (boot drive) and Seagate Barracuda 2TB data drive. NOTE: These are the drives I replaced which are full!


These drives were replaced with a 960GB OCZ SSD boot disk, and another Seagate 4TB SATA drive for data. The MySQL databases also run off the SSD boot disk.

One thing you might see on the top photo is that there is a plastic shell of an external hard disk case. This is because of the silly situation right now where an external hard disk (with case, power supply, etc) was £18 cheaper than buying the same hard disk as an internal model. Plus, I get to reuse the case to put another old hard disk in to make up an external USB hard disk for backups.

Resizing the disk.


To resize the disk I had to install a live version of Ubuntu linux on a USB memory stick and boot from this. Then I can run the GParted software to resize the disk partitions without losing data. Handy tip - if you want to do the same on your Windows computer then you can use this Ubuntu linux disk to resize and move your partitions also.

The inside of the machine


Here are the two hard disks fitted in the machine. It needs some dust cleaned out too. This computer sits under my desk and has run 24/7 for the last two and a half years without failure.



My development servers


Finally, a look at my development servers (for there are three!)

Bottom - the ASUS desktop as shown in the previous photos - my primary mindat.org development machine.

Middle - a new server of similar configuration (but more modern) that I am using to set up and test what may become the next generation of mindat.org code - these changes are too drastic to be able to run them on the same server as my day-to-day development machine.

Top - a mini-server donated by David Barthelmy with the webmineral.com code, database and tools that we'll be using to help integrate the two sites better.

And... just hiding behind the righthand monitor is my Mac Pro - my primary desktop computer. Normally none of the servers are connected to a monitor (only when I'm doing maintenance) and I control everything from my Mac.

I apologise for the not-very-mineral-related article today, but I know some of you will be interested in the behind-the-scenes work here, and I still have a few hours to wait for the operations to finish!




Article has been viewed at least 2120 times.

Comments

That's a lot of bytes! A long way from my old 64k computer in the 80's DKJ


David K. Joyce
9th Mar 2016 1:19pm
No apologies needed Jolyon!

Interesting to see what's happening behind the scenes.


John Attard
18th Mar 2016 5:53am
You must like it cold Jolyon, because I imagine you need to have the AC turned up to keep everything cool and running properly! ;-)

Paul Brandes
19th Mar 2016 11:35pm

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