As part of my work with the University of Limerick Computer Society I work as part of the team that run our server cluster (Skynet).
We provide services to other Clubs & Societies in University of Limerick as well as the University of Limerick Student’s Union.
Most of the equipment in our server room in the Student’s Union is over ten years old and we needed new equipment.
I started looking for funding and pricing equipment in January 2017 and finally in February 2018 we received the new equipment.
We funded the equipment through fundraising, sponsorship from the university and a generous discount from Dell!
Currently our cluster is setup where there is one service per machine as they were not powerful to run Virtual Machines to efficiently run multiple services.
We plan to retire some of the old machines and move the services to Virtual Machines on the new server.
In the order we got:
- PowerEdge R530 Server
- Intel Xeon E5-2650 v4 2.2GHz,30M Cache,9.60GT/s (Quantity: 2)
- 128GB DDR4 RAM
- Dual 750W power supply
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet
- Dell Storage NX430 Base
- Intel Xeon E3-1220 v6 3.0GHz
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 24TB RAID 5 Storage
- Dual 350W power supply
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet
- Dell Ethernet Switch DNN1524 (Quantity: 2)
- 24 Gigabit Ports
- 4 10Gigabit Uplinks
The equipment is valued at roughly €18,000 but we received a sizable discount from Dell.
The main server should allow us to run a large number of Virtual Machines, as we have 24 cores and 128GB of RAM. CompSoc have 62 public IP addresses so this is the major limiting factor in the number of virtual machines we can run. It is the most powerful piece of equipment to ever be part of the Skynet cluster!
The NAS will also be an excellent addition as our old NAS has a capacity of 3TB and is very old and unreliable currently. It also has 8 times more storage at 24TB!
The University supplies us with a Gigabit connection but with a new Student’s Centre Building planned we may in the future get a 10 Gigabit link so we bought new switches to support this. We bought 2 switches so that we have a failover switch in the event of an equipment failure.
It was a long road to get this far but in reality the fun is only starting as we begin the installation and changeover process.
I hope to put up more posts about Skynet as the project progresses!
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask,