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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another (32-bit) one bites the dust

In 2002 ICPSR had three main servers. All ran Solaris 8; one was a SunFire 280R used for testing out new web server software, and the other two were our production systems: a dedicated web server and a systems which did double-duty as an Oracle database server and a shared staff login machine. Both were bigger E9000 systems.  All of the machines were pretty new at that time.

When the machines were tired and ready to be upgraded in 2005 or 2006 we made the move to Red Hat Linux and inexpensive, 32-bit Intel machines (mostly from Dell).  Most of these initial machines have been retired over the past year or so, and only a handful remain.  And, of course, they are the machines that deliver the most mission-critical services and so are the most difficult to upgrade.

By my count we now have over a dozen 64-bit Intel machines running RH and a only two 32-bit machines remaining (the web servers for our staging content and our production content).  We retired the 32-bit machine that served as the primary data processing platform last week; it had been replaced by a 64-bit machine that runs inside our Secure Data Environment a few months ago.

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