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[personal profile] holyhippie
For my friends who are long term followers of this journal, you may remember a time almost four years ago where I had to raise a couple of computers from the dead. Well, the saga of one of these computers took a new turn today. Specifically, Bocana, which was running on my desk for just under four years, has been turned off.

I've been looking at the pile of computers around my desk for a while now, going "I have got to do something different." For the past two years, I've had four computers living in my home office pretty much full time:

  1. Bocana: a SunFire v120. I use this as a permanent presence on the internet, it does DNS, web and email services.

  2. fehu: A MacBook Pro. I use this as my main computer for personal stuff - my photos and videos are here.

  3. unnamed: A Sun W2100z workstation. I got this to be a personal lab machine, and hadn't used it very much. I mostly used it to run various other environments in VMWare. This system was a pain to work with, since the video drivers never wanted to cooperate with my monitor.

  4. ehwaz: Another MacBook Pro. This is my primary work computer, and goes everywhere with me.


For a while now, I've been looking at computers 1-3, saying to myself "I don't need these, I should consolidate." Well ... in part, because Valkyrie needed a new printer, I finally placed an order for a new system - a Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro is an impressive and sweet system. Apple charges way to much for add on disk and memory, so I got a pretty much base system, and ordered 8G additional RAM and an additional disk from Other World Computing. The extra RAM makes a huge difference.

Rather than run DNS, web and mail services on Mac OS X - Mac OS X is a great desktop OS, but it just isn't a great server OS, and the mail server I run works best on Solaris - I decided to run them in a virtualized instance of Solaris. VirtualBox turned out to be the best answer here.

So, after about a week of hacking away at my systems to transfer all the services from the old Bocana to the new VirtualBocana - at about 2am this morning, I finally shut down Bocana. VirtualBocana is now chugging along merrily in its place.

In the rebuild work, I took the time to do things better. I put some effort into making each service run as a separate account for that role, and that everything restarts cleanly when the server has to reboot. And, I made sure that if the Mac Pro ever needs to reboot, it will freeze the virtual machine with the Solaris instance first.

The one real big difference for me right now - my office is now eerily quiet. The Sun V120 is a nice small server, but it is meant to live in a data center, so its fans are kind of noisy. The Mac Pro was meant to live in a house, its fans are very quiet.

So, now there will be only two computers living in my office, and I have some computers I need to sell. Anyone need a MacBook Pro?
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