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Provisioning a New Server

Fri Jun 29 12:00:25 2012

           the server stack in the SC offices looks likes Vader's port-aloo.
The server stack in the SC offices looks likes Vader's port-aloo

During June and the start of July the Shadowcat Senior systems administrator, C. Jackson known as epitaph on many irc networks, will be provisioning a new server. The server is new but the services it will provide are already in existence, as this is a replacement for an existing system that has reached the end of its functional life.

The server in question has an internal designation of Agaton and it is used to support the community by providing services such as the irc deamons that run both Shadowcat's own network and Perl's irc network[1]. In fact, as is the way with several of our servers, the majority of their task is to support community projects.

Shadowcat, like many other comapnies we could easily mention in the Perl world, take seriously the need to support and promote the community. The provision of servers is just one of those ways that we undertake.

If we were to examine the cost of a server such as this, the hardware costs would come to several hundred pounds, the provisioning is a couple of weeks as the services have to be moved without causing severe disruption, the monitoring of day-to-day activities, the support of community users, the cost to Shadowcat would be a few thousand pounds of potential lost revenue and capital costs for outlay.

Of course, these costs are then balanced against the value to the community; the fact that there are benefits from promotion as marketing for the company and our services; the creation of a better base environment will have natural advantages to those who work in that system; and if you nurture any organism[2] it will have a better chance to evolve and develop.

There is also the, what we consider natural feelings, we develop and encourage here at Castle Shadowcat to be involved with, and supportative of, the broader community to which we belong. So provisioning a new server is not seen as a cost, and normally we wouldn't calculate it as such. It is more what we consider our duty as a responsible company in a revolutionary community.[3]

At some point epitaph might write a longer article for the Shadowcat blogs on the actual processes involved and the services that were moved and technical challenges involved in such. In the meantime if there are any outages or disruptions to community services as we move this system, we apologise in advance.


[1] As is the way of these things Agaton is only one of several servers we run such daemons on that allow redundancy and stability of the network.

[2] A community can be seen as a large organism, a life form with differing components that work autonomously but are still part of the same whole system.

[3] It is often seen as a negative as in some cultures the notion of revolution and revolutionary and their direct relationship to communism and socialism, especially when we are discussing communities and groups. We are using it to suggest a dramatic change to what has come before.[4]

[4] We have no argument with Communism/Marxism/Socialism as political systems but make no discussion of their validity to business/community relationships as that is out of scope for this piece.

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