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New server news, continued slow

By rusty in Site News
Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:01:43 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

The long-awaited new server does demonstrably exist, at last. It's up and running at the colo. However, it needs a kernel rebuild to use SMP (so it can see both processors) and bigmem (so it can see all 3 Gb of memory). I have been banned by Voxel from doing remote kernel builds, since I tend to screw them up and force someone to go down the colo and hit the Big Red Button, so dilinger will be building a new kernel on it tonight.

I decided against any premature archiving, because the proper archiving patch is very nearly ready and should be in CVS by Friday. Since this update is going to be kind of complicated, involving moving the database and upgrading Scoop, I will probably just be taking the site down for a day or so when it's ready to go. Right now I'm predicting that will be on Friday. So, if everything seriously bucks tradition and goes the way I expect it to, you should all probably make time-wasting plans for Friday that don't involve K5.

Meanwhile, everything will unfortunately continue to be intermittently slow. Please feel free to rant and rave and threaten to go back to Slashdot and so forth if it makes you feel better. :-)


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Related Links
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Display: Sort:
New server news, continued slow | 39 comments (39 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Rusty, what the fuck? (3.52 / 53) (#1)
by Trollaxor on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:13:20 PM EST

Why do you insist on using Linux? FreeBSD 5.0 came out and has a much better SMP system than Linux. Even FreeBSD 4.7, which is highly refined, performs better than Linux and can readily take advantage of your 3 gigs of RAM.

Let's be brutal: why do you choose Linux on production systems over the alternatives? What makes it a superior choice for a k5 production system? I hope there's something compelling going on-- you have paying customres to answer to now, and you should be making the better choices when and where possible.

I for one won't be resubscribing if this Linux choice is based on some non-technical (re: political) bullshit.

It's what I know (4.37 / 8) (#4)
by rusty on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:43:09 PM EST

Linux is what I know. It's what all the software K5 uses is developed and best tested on. And the OS underlying it makes no difference at all in the performance of the site, comparatively.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
What's the CPU utilization? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 10:47:23 PM EST

Like, are both CPUs constantly pegged, or is it mostly I/O-bound, or what?
"Is not a sentence" is not a sentence.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Memory (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by rusty on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 05:16:32 PM EST

The scoop boxes are way below maxed. The database was basically memory-bound. Load has generally hovered at around 1.5-2, which is tolerable. The problem was that it couldn't hold the larger indexes in memory, which slowed certain queries way down and cut the legs off of performance in general. Shrinking the database by archiving seems to have fixed that.

The new DB box has 3x as much memory, and faster processors, so we should be good to go for a long time when I move over to it. And if problems start again, I can just shorten the archive time.

It's an interesting sidenote that 2/3rds of all K5 content has been posted in the last year. I archived the first two years of stuff, and shrunk the database by 1/3.

Anyway, as to the original troll comment, Linux is what I and Voxel both know best and can best support, and what most of our key software is best-tested on. I feel those facts are way more important than raw performance or political issues. I'm not surprised to see no response to my comment, and a lot of flaming in other replies though. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#38)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:12:32 PM EST

Use what you know or what works for the situation. I just got finished with a rather stupid debate over the presentation slides for my graphics.cs "initial meeting" stuff... basically, I was only using CSS for formatting the text, because MacMSIE 5's CSS doesn't work right. I was using MacMSIE 5 because when I wrote my presentation-slide-formatting stuff, it was the only usable browser for OSX for that purpose. So anyway, one of the students who attended the presentation took issue with my MSIE-optimizing the pages because Mozilla's CSS support is so much better, and didn't seem to care that I wasn't *using* Mozilla, and I didn't care how good the slides looked on the web if they looked like total garbage in front of the audience. (He also seemed to think that when I took a dig at OmniWeb's CSS when presenting it, I was grievously insulting Mozilla by not even mentioning it or whatever, when OSX Mozilla is extremely slow and crashy, and it's only very recently that Chimera has become usable. After I pointed this out to him, he said, "Oh, I haven't actually used Mozila/OSX or Chimera." So yay for him flaming me over his own ignorance.)

Anyway, I'm using Chimera now, and will probably rework my stuff to do proper CSS. Heh.
"Ain't proper English" ain't proper English.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Why not use OpenBSD! (3.12 / 8) (#6)
by egg troll on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:48:33 PM EST

If you're looking for excellent SMP-support, might I suggest OpenBSD. Furthermore, it has unparallelled security. Just check the MD5s before you use it! :)

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

[ Parent ]

rightttt (nt) (3.75 / 4) (#8)
by pheta on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 07:18:52 PM EST

[ Parent ]
TO CLOVER WHO MODDED ME 1.. READ (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by pheta on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 11:49:13 PM EST

OpenBSD does NOT support SMP, and never has. There is an implementation in the works but don't hold your breath.

[ Parent ]
Jesus Christ! (2.66 / 6) (#27)
by Scott Marlowe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:57:59 PM EST

The BSD fanatics are horrible around here.

Open BSD doesn't support SMP yet and they're still working on it.

Only FreeBSD has any real support for SMP, and it tends to max out perf wise on about 8 CPUs.  Linux runs on 64 way SGIs with NO SMP PATCHING (as said on SGI's web page, it's a stock kernel patched to be able to communicate with their chipset, no other changes.)

don't the people who recommend crap like this realize that the WORSE thing that could happen to their beloved BSD would be if Rusty were to switch over to it and find it is a worse fit than the Linux he is already using?

[ Parent ]

0: Rabid Linux Zealotry (1.00 / 3) (#29)
by Trollaxor on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:15:44 PM EST

I 0ed the parent comment for its obvert and rude Linux zealotry.

With this action I have instated a new site policy for k5: any and all Linux zealotry I discover will immediately and with extreme prejudice be rated 0.

That is all.

[ Parent ]

zealotry? (none / 0) (#34)
by Scott Marlowe on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:42:31 PM EST

Interesting.  Parent to my post said to use OpenBSD for it's excellent SMP implementation.  something it doesn't actually have right now.

I pointed this out.  I also pointed out that Linux HAS BEEN SHOW TO SCALE to 64 CPUs on SGI's boxes with no kernel patches for scaling.

That's zealotry?  Interesting.

You sir, have a warped sense of zealotry.

I like BSD, I like Linux.  I hate misinformation.  You modded down an informative post because you didn't like it's tone, but yet you had NO argument as far as it's actual content.  Oh well, I guess if you have no real talents or knowledge, you can always mod people down for pointing out that fact as well.

[ Parent ]

all apologies (none / 0) (#35)
by Scott Marlowe on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:47:41 PM EST

I should try to be more polite next time I'm pointing out what an idiot you are.  I'll try harder next time, really.

[ Parent ]
Utter nonsense (1.75 / 4) (#26)
by Scott Marlowe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:52:47 PM EST

Ok, so FreeBSD is so much better at SMP, then how come SGI is using Linux with NO SMP PATHCES for their 64 way Itanium 2 machine and setting records.  Anyone ported BSD over to the Itanium 2 and tested it on this box?  They're only a $1,000,000 or so, so I'm sure SGI picked linux because of emotional and not technical reasons, right?

You're anti-Linux rant is just that.  Linux IS superior to BSD in many ways, and one of them is in threading.  BSD 5.0 is the first version that's able to run a processes many threads on more than one CPU, Linux has been doing that for about 2 years now.

There is also a bug in FreeBSD 4.7's thread handling that makes MySQL crash randomly under load.  There's a fix for it he Rusty could download, then he'd be just catching up to Linux's superior kernel threading model in reliability, but not in performance.

Linux hasn't stoof still the last few years, just in case you're catching on to that by now.  It can, for instance, handily use all 3 gigs of RAM and has for about 2 years now as well.  On 64 bit architechture, like the above mentioned SGI, it can handle all 512 gigabytes should you need that much memory. As a single image!  no bank swapping.

You're outdated information on Linux seriously handicaps you in this conversation and makes you look like a cheer leader for BSD.  Both BSD and Linux are great OSes, but I'd say my experience has been that Linux scales better onto multi CPUs, and runs heavy CPU loads things better, while BSD is better at networking and I/O.

Throwing around your comment about not reupping if the choice of Linux is based on a non-technical reason is especially ugly, given your apparent lack of recent knowledge on the performance of Linux versus BSD.

What Rusty REALLY needs to do is use a REAL database.

[ Parent ]

Cheater :-) (none / 0) (#36)
by Scott Marlowe on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:54:31 PM EST

Wow, you can't even let the chips fall where they may, you have to ask your buddies to help you rate your post a 5.

Sad really, considering how utterly wrong virtually every sentence in it is, and how you give ZERO examples to prove how much better BSD is than Linux.

Everything you list as an advantage for BSD is basically similar in the late model Linux (2.4.19 or so) kernels.

To sum up your post:

All emotion, no facts, get your friends to mod you up.  good work, you're ready to start your new job for Microsoft now.

[ Parent ]

You sir... (3.00 / 3) (#2)
by /dev/trash on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:24:32 PM EST

You did make me go to Slashdot and I have been so prolific in my comments that I haven't moderated in months and I actually have the +1 Karma bonus.  Hell my comments are so good I get a few +5, Interesting from time to time.

Oh, um, yeah, this weekend is good, it will force me to get my Gentoo box up again and I shall feel suprerior to you all.

kidding, just kidding

Updated 02/20/2004
New Site

painted yourself into a corner? (3.54 / 11) (#3)
by turmeric on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:26:35 PM EST

we have the way out

I'm going back to Slashdot (4.50 / 4) (#5)
by truth versus death on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 06:46:40 PM EST

On second thought, it is a silly place.

Freedom Transcript

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
Fiction Section (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by Gord ca on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 07:01:02 PM EST

When I saw site news I thought you were going to inaugurate the fiction section. What's up with that anyway? I suppose rusty's a little busy...

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
Thanks and a suggestion (3.66 / 6) (#9)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 07:25:41 PM EST

Thanks for the update. It sucks that you have to do it on Friday, but I guess the alternative is having a slow Friday. All told, I guess I'd rather know the problem is being worked on as opposed to having something to do with my hands while I'm "working". Maybe I should take up smoking.

My idea for making Thursday be a little less slow is this: The problem is too many users, right? So disallow all the "less desirable" timezones. Clearly, Eastern Time needs to read the site. Everyone else can go to hell.

Play 囲碁

Can you do us a favor? (4.50 / 6) (#10)
by Wah on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 08:41:19 PM EST

And give a kick-down to everyone who actually pays for this mess by upping our subscriptions by a day?

Or does that involve building a kernel?

(I kid, I kid..but think about it.)

Fail to Obey?

Forget going to slashdot... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by dram on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 09:30:55 PM EST

Maybe I will even get my ass in gear and do some work on my own site. Year old scoop sites with all of three active users are great! We get some real lively discussions going on our non-existent articles. Anybody want to come and help me out make some new content? How about all of you that think K5 is a site on politics? Mine was intended to be a scoop based political discussion site, I invite you all to come and visit! (How magnanimous of me, huh?)


I'm feeling curious (none / 0) (#12)
by vadim on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 09:43:42 PM EST

How do you screw up kernel builds?

Getting a kernel right isn't hard, IMO. You just build it, double check that the settings are sane, and don't forget to run LILO. The kernel should boot on very different hardware configurations, so booting it at home should be good enough to check that at least it does boot.

The only time I screwed something up seriously with a kernel build was when I enabled devfs and had to use cat and sed (vi wasn't available, /usr couldn't be mounted) to fix config files enough to make the system boot properly. But that's not the kind of thing I imagine doing on a production server.
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.

kernels (none / 0) (#13)
by hypno on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 10:32:39 PM EST

There is that, there is also failing to compile some critical drivers such as io, netcards; or screwing up lilo in some way. I don't think that's ever happened to me, at least not on a remotely located machine, where i was being sure to be careful.

Probably not something that should happen on a important/production server.

[ Parent ]

you are a mean cruel cold unfeeling sot (none / 0) (#22)
by turmeric on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 11:03:09 PM EST

i suggest you apologize to rusty immediately

[ Parent ]
No offence intended (none / 0) (#24)
by vadim on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:24:49 AM EST

I'm just curious about what can go wrong, because I didn't have any big problems with building kernels and think it could be useful for me and other people to know about possible problems.
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#25)
by rusty on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:05:59 AM EST

No offense taken. I'm just not particularly experienced at building kernels, and I tend to be unlucky and make dumb mistakes. Like, for example, forgetting to turn on SCSI support on an all-SCSI system. Things like that. If the machine was sitting right in front of me, no big deal. But it's parked at a colo, and if it doesn't reboot cleanly on the new kernel, they have to pay someone to go reboot it.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Kernel updates at colos? (none / 0) (#31)
by csmiller on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:30:56 AM EST

I'm by no means an expert on kernel rebuilds, but is there a way to either

Get LILO to boot into an emergency kernel, if the primary kernel exits (i.e. it panics when it tries to load the SCSI module from a SCSI drive...

Does your colo support 386's, so that you can have a second machine connected to K5's serial port, which would allow you to catch K5's boot sequence, and then boot into the backup kernel? Of course, having a second machine (and IP number) might be kinda expensive. Just my 0.02 EUR worth.

[ Parent ]

Well yeah, but (none / 0) (#32)
by rusty on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:50:14 PM EST

I'm sure there are any number of possible solutions we could devise, but the simplest, and the one we've opted for, is just to have someone competent build them. This isn't a task I'm yearning to do, and if someone else will do it, that's fine by me. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
rusty, rusty, rusty (none / 0) (#33)
by DesiredUsername on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:01:47 PM EST

If you didn't want to endure great pain for many hours while performing even the simplest task, why did you choose Linux?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#39)
by JAM on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:06:25 PM EST

I wouldn't exactly define a kernel compile/testing over a ssh connection as the simplest task ;)
-- Sorry for my engRish (TM)
[ Parent ]
Friday plans? (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by jabber on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 10:39:14 PM EST

No K5 on Friday?? FINALLY! A chance to catch up on some heavy drinking! Rusty, any time you want to take the site down to "do upgrades" is A-OK with me! You buying?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

I liked the updates page (none / 0) (#15)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:00:34 AM EST

that you had running during Operation Minimal Downtime.

Twining's is better. Fortnum's is excellent, if you can get it.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Hey rusty! (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by gazbo on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:22:33 AM EST

Unless gazbo is going crazy, he thinks that he's lost the ability to set what comment types he should view. Gazbo likes to view all comments, but he can't even view an editorial comment he wrote yesterday that is in his "your comments" list.

Is he being stupid or has he just witnessed some sort of for-the-greater-good scoop change?

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

Gazbo not crazy, or stupid (none / 0) (#18)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:31:27 AM EST

Unless wiredog is also crazy and/or stupid in being unable to view editorial comments.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#20)
by rusty on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:46:34 AM EST

There's some new stuff to make it easier to run Scoop in "closed queue" mode, and one of those things is a permission that controls who can see and post editorial comments. The default enabled it for most of the standard user groups, but K5 subscribers have special groups, so it wasn't on for you by default. Should be fixed now.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Im going back to slashdot.. (none / 0) (#17)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:23:47 AM EST

I miss ill-informed opinions and fat geeks with tortilla chip and Xena fixations. Like the upgrade so-far though, it seems a little faster on the searches, and the new open nested comments button is very handy.

I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
slashdot.... (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by postindustrialist on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 08:32:18 AM EST

SLASHDOT!?!??!?!?! YEAH AND YOUR MOTHER WAS A MAC USER!!!! ungh.. i'll cut open my eyes with rusted razor blades first.. probably won't be around on friday like usual anyhow.
oooh.. looks likes somebody has anger problems.
question everything.
this sig is only one hundred and fifty characters long and it's still not eno
Hello Rusty (none / 0) (#28)
by dollyknot on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:09:28 PM EST

K5 is more pompous, Slashdot is more angry. I want to die with this anger.

They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.

no I don't, I want to live with this anger (none / 0) (#30)
by dollyknot on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 06:53:04 PM EST

They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.
[ Parent ]
New server news, continued slow | 39 comments (39 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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