You may notice some downtime over the last weekends, the 15k RPM SAS drives running on the server running the site has failed after trusty continuous operation for 7 years. So I took the time to replace the drives, particularly on the database servers and took the opportunity to upgrade the Operating system which the site runs on (it’s like 2 generations old now). Personally I think a harddrive mortality of 7 years is a nice record, and as good as enterprise hardware can get in high I/O workloads. I have similar enterprise drives failing even before 4 years of service, which is the expected lifespan I get from conventional desktop non-NAS rated hard drives.
I am currently setting my sights on fully transitioning all the drives on this server to SSDs, which today has superior performance even over the fastest 15k RPM drives and is more value per buck, per GB now. I had been using SSDs on few of my other servers for a reasonable amount of time to test their reliability in high I/O environments and they never failed to impress me in their read performances over the best platter-based 15k SAS drivers. SSDs connected to PCI-E pipe are also even slowing turning my old SAS RAID controllers irrelevant now.
Looking forward, with flash memory density fast catching up with their platter-based counter-parts, and the transition of ultra-fast (and cheap) flash-based memory to replace RAM, who knows, the computer of the future won’t even use volatile RAM or platter-based disks.
Anyway enjoy the site, with hardware aside, I will be looking into the next design transition of the site. It’s about time the site underwent a UI upgrade in the HTML5 era too.