Yesterday while at ICCC, I had a chance to talk with Steve McIntyre at length about the state of the Climate Audit server. As many of you know, Climate Audit failed a couple of weeks ago and was down for almost 3 days due to a hard drive failure. Even with RAID1, it didn’t prevent downtime. Since then I’ve been thinking about making an upgrade, and with Steve’s blessing yesterday, I’m going to go ahead with the project while he’s on travel. Some of the points we discussed are:
- Climate Audit has become an important repository of data, with links to posts and content made from thousands of websites worldwide, to lose it would be a tragedy.
- Due to the complex nature of the CA setup, subfolders, BBS, LATEX, etc, we are unable to move to wordpress.com hosting (Where WUWT is at) without some significant work and likely loss of some features.
- The current CA configuration goes down about every 2-5 days due to Apache failing and needing a restart.
- CA in it’s current form has a lot of legacy code in place that needs to be updated. Doing so on an operational server is always risky.
- The current CA server configuration was done under quite a bit of duress and pressure. Readers may recall the downtime in 2007 due to the traffic from the Y2K announcement as well as the flooding in the UK which affected the CoLo there. There’s never really been a chance to fine-tune the setup and to test offline to ensure stability. It has always been a rush job to get it back online.
So with those things in mind, Steve and I have decided to upgrade the hardware platform.
I want to establish RAID5 for added security, plus an automated offsite backup, dual processor, and hot swap drives. The current platform has fixed drives (requiring a de-racking to fix drive issues) single core CPU, and RAID1.
Here is the Intel server platform, the SR1530HAHLX (PDF spec sheet) that I want to acquire for the new home of CA. 1U is required due to costs of CoLo doubling if we put in a 2U rack unit. It will have three main drives running RAID5, plus a small 2.5″ fixed drive used for an automated backup. We also want to establish an automated off-site backup.
This platform will tolerate drive failure better and allow for easier servicing one a drive does fail. Plus since I’ll be able to build it in parallel to the existing operational CA server, install latest code, fine tune it, and then move content, finally doing a swap, downtime will be minimal.
I hope to accomplish this before Steve returns from his trip.
Here is where you come in. Steve has authorized me to solicit for donations to make this happen. The server, drives, etc I estimate will take about 1800-$2000 to put together.
About 50 people donating $40 each would be all it would take. Or 20 donating $100 each. Steve and I think this is acheivable.
So if you feel so inclined here is the donate button. I’ll be building the server which is why my donate button is present below instead of Steve’s His being out of the country will complicate matters of funds transfer.
To help build a new Climate Audit
Thank you all for your consideration.
– Anthony Watts
UPDATE: We have reached the GOAL! Thanks to everyone who helped with the many donations! Thanks to everyone’s generosity, I will be immediately able to purchase the Intel Server and begin setting up a parallel system. I spoke with Steve McIntyre today at the end of our joint session at ICCC and he also sends his thanks. – Sincerest thanks, Anthony Watts
PS I will provide updates as they occur.
UPDATE2: We have enough to complete the job with a quality server. It has been pointed out to me that I should leave the donations “open” so that we may acquire a “rainy day fund” for emergencies such as drive failure or costs of software upgrades. Thus if anyone wishes to add to the goal, we certainly won’t turn it away and your donation will ensure continued operation even in times of faults. For example, with extra cash I will be able to buy some hot swap drive spares to have at ready. But please don’t feel obligated in any way. – Anthony
UPDATE3: 3/13 The new server has been ordered, preconfigured with Linux OS and RAID5. ETA is Wednesday 3/18. I have also ordered some spare drives, thanks to everyone’s continued generosity. There will be a fourth internal drive to use as a backup drive, plus we’ll work on getting automated offsite backup as well. So with RAID5, local second drive backup, and offsite backup, the continuance of the CA “lifeforce” has a high probability. – Anthony