Editorial

Neowin and Impulse servers in reality

Sometimes it's easy to forget that "this" – the Internet – does exist in the physical world too. Millions of servers around the world.

Here's a picture from one of the Stardock data centers. This rack contains one of the Impulse cluster manager servers and just inches below is Neowin.net's servers. Neowin requires 5 very high end servers to run the site that is almost purely database/text is a testament to how popular the site has become over the years.

The Neowin setup consists of 5 servers. Top two are the apache servers, IRC is in the middle, and the bottom two run the database. The bottom server is the one we purchased last month, which replaced our very first self owned dedicated server that we bought back in in the beginning of 2005. We also use this server for development work. For details on stats and what it does, follow this link.

Years ago, when we were a lot smaller and I was more involved in setting up servers, the traffic was so much lower that you could have a single box for handling all the databases and another box for handling the web server. Such a setup, back in 2001, was enough to handle millions of users.

All 5 servers and the site are only made possible by our loyal readers. The revenue to purchase the servers and keep the site running is generated solely from member based subscriptions and advertising on the site. We appreciate our loyal readership and look forward to an exciting 2010. From all the staff at Neowin Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

View: Full Article @ Skinning the frog

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51 Comments

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I was expecting a lot more then that! I guess i'm just use to the lab at work with racks upon racks of servers and storage.

Not trying to pee on Neowin's parade or anything but...
"Neowin requires 5 very high end servers"
Errr... They're 1U.. The Dell 2950 that I just spent £2000 on is probably more high end.
In all honesty; 1U and 2U servers are NOT high end. 4U+ and blade servers are high end.

Actually the three in the middle look more like PowerEdge 1850's. I have two of them in our server room at work.

I just wonder how much of that space is filled with interesting and informative data/discussion, and how much is filled with the words "Owned" "Epic" and "Fail"

Orange Battery said,
I just wonder how much of that space is filled with interesting and informative data/discussion, and how much is filled with the words "Owned" "Epic" and "Fail"


Or +1, First, and Rappy.

They probably had to buy a whole new server just to accomodate Rappy.

Nashy said,
Any pics of the DC?


Some DC's wont let you take pics due to security, anyone that worked at this one know of their security requirements?

Neowin is usually the first source I go to for news (either here or to The Register!)

I've just re-sub'd, I'm more than happy to help support this site so it can continue to deliver great content.

Nice to see the stuff behind the scenes.

And like alot of people, I expected to see alot more... Not just 5 servers neatly sat there, with not a cable in sight !

/- Razorfold said,
Aww look at the baby (servers) :wub:


Someday they will grow up and be full 3U's... but they are cute when they are little 1U's

I never knew that Neowin, deviantART, Stardock and Betanews had such close ties in the early days. For some reason I expected something bigger, or more. Seems a little innocuous.

Fish said,
I never knew that Neowin, deviantART, Stardock and Betanews had such close ties in the early days. For some reason I expected something bigger, or more. Seems a little innocuous.


it doesnt take much power to run a website such as this... now MS, they have server farms.... tons and tons of servers round robbined and load balanced...

Wow Steve impressive setup! and the coolest thing: the databases have been backed up that you even have our original posts back in 2001

Digix said,
only 5 ? :P we have a couple of them cabinets entirely full with 2U and 3U systems ;)

Excuse the language in it but I think this motivational is appropriate for those of us in datacenters lol

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/7219/1260456643049.jpg


Yeah our work server room has 10x the servers there... and probably terrabytes more of SAN storage Just to run our business we have over 30 servers.. most are 3U servers with a massive amount of storage and processors... they all have 2 or more processors... Gigs and gigs of RAM and the price tag is that of a small nation hehe...

I expected something more impressive looking for an Impulse server.

Nice to see the Neowin servers though Why do you need a whole server the same as the web servers for IRC though?

The IRC server also does services, and the mail and holds all of the attachments posted in the forum (the uploads directory). Not sure what else it does, but its kind of like a slave (everything else goes on there).

Neobond said,
The IRC server also does services, and the mail and holds all of the attachments posted in the forum (the uploads directory). Not sure what else it does, but its kind of like a slave (everything else goes on there).

Thats fair enough then, just didn't see IRC alone warranting a whole dedicated server to itself.

Neobond said,
The IRC server also does services, and the mail and holds all of the attachments posted in the forum (the uploads directory). Not sure what else it does, but its kind of like a slave (everything else goes on there).

Not quite but there are other things on there than just IRC

TCLN Ryster said,
I expected something more impressive looking for an Impulse server.

Nice to see the Neowin servers though Why do you need a whole server the same as the web servers for IRC though?


If that's a server cluster, that's probably only a single node of it... there is obviously a SAN of some sort attached to it (the drives below) which are shared storage for each node of the cluster... and since the pic says #6 I'd assume there are 5 more nodes somewhere?

Neobond said,
So beautiful! :P

It needs more blinking lights! Make it so, Neobond!

Also, is that RAID server above it storing all of Rappy's posts/pictures? :P

Good to see Neowin.net going strong after all these years. I remember coming to the website when someone was spamming it in a IRC channel. Did gaming news for a bit here then moved on to other unrelated things. I remember Neowin.net going through many transitions including buying that server in 2005. Good to see you all are still making this site lively.