Saying goodbye to keith (our server)

LincLinc OwnerDetroit Icrontian
It's been a good run.

We spun up our current server, keith, on 1 June 2010. His current uptime is 329 days - not bad! He's a pseudo-cloud server with LiquidWeb, meaning his hardware has changed a little as we upsized and downsized him over the years. Currently he's a Xeon X3440 with RAID 1 and 8gb of RAM.

keith replaced mortin, our last physical server at a colo, and one of the very first 64-bit web servers ever put into service anywhere. AMD gave us a pair of their first Opterons to show them off! mortin replaced bart, the server that we cobbled together in a mad scramble back in 2003.

For those not aware, the site's founder was Keith "Mortin" Whitsitt (the namesake of these last two servers). He died in 2004. Bart Williams, the namesake of the first, was an avid, founding member of our Folding@Home team who passed away in 2002.

We're moving on to a new server very similar to keith (except with a Core i5-760) primarily to start with a fresh disk image. There were some issues with how poor keith was configured that have haunted it ever since. This will allow us to finally improve search around here, and give me fresh confidence about ordering up future improvements.

I'm aiming to do the migration this weekend, probably Sunday, if all goes well. It's about 50/50 right now whether that'll happen. I'm still doing basic setup, to be followed by testing of the new installations. There should be no downtime, only some read-only time (no commenting) during the final transfer. (Obviously it won't remember discussion 'read' status either during that time).

One more thing.

The new server's name is spencer.

I expect it will be optimal.


  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    this makes my heart smile.
  • I skimmed this earlier and missed the last few sentences.

    So happy about this. ^5.
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    As soon as I noticed that the server names were in honor of Icrontians who have passed on, I instantly skipped to the end to confirm my suspicion of where you were going with this.

    Well done, sir.
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    There were some complications over the weekend so it'll likely be another week.

    What happens when a sysadmin tries to yum update source-compiled copies of PHP and MySQL? A weekend of fun!

    Them: "Our staff are trained to use 'yum update' on all our systems."
    Me: "Maybe add training whereby they actually check if that's a good idea first?"
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    I think things are back under control thanks to a couple highly skilled technicians taking over my plight.

    This is rescheduled for Saturday assuming my tests go accordingly.
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    It was another good run.

    Fortunately, we've run out of passed friends to name servers after. Our new home is much less somberly named 'ivan', for our mascot.

    [linc@derby ~:]# call spencer
    Last login: Mon Jan 18 23:09:00 2016 from
    [linc@spencer ~:]# sudo /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd stop
    Stopping httpd:                                            [  OK  ]
    [linc@spencer ~:]# exit
    Connection to spencer closed.

    Bon voyage old friend.

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