Small things make a difference

by Volker Weber

Courtesy of Oliver, my server has just received his final upgrade. It is now at its maximum capacity of 512 MB.

I can see the expression on your face. "Is that all?"

Yes, it is. So let me tell you the story of Bert, my super-quiet server. This a HP Vectra VLi-8 that originally came with 128 MB of main memory, floppy disk, CD-ROM and a smallish IDE drive. When it was scrapped by a customer and replaced by a faster machine it became my server. At that time it had double the memory of its predecessor, was about 4 times faster and had the same amount of disk space, only on a single spindle. The old machine was a 200 MHz Pentium while Bert was a 600 MHz Pentium 3.

I later tried to replace the memory modules with higher capacity ones but it turned out that Bert was very picky about the specs. Windows blue-screened after I replaced the original memory modules. The disks were easily upgraded but memory was stuck at 128.

Then after a while when I upgraded my workstation from 256 meg to 1 gig, I tried Kermit's memory module and that worked. Since Oliver bought the same machine two years ago, I asked him for his old module after he upgraded his. So this is how I got this second module today.

Bert does not understand larger modules. Or faster ones. And he does not have to. Look for yourself:


With this kind of load Bert is running:

- Windows 2000 Server SP4 with DNS and Fax Server
- Lotus Domino 6.5 with HTTP and IMAP
- Apache 1.3
- Jakarta Tomcat 4.1
- TightVNC 1.25
- SpamPal 1.5
- SMTPauth
- NT Pullmail
- AutoMailerNT
- VisionGS
- PowerISDNmonitor
- Fritz!vox

It is all a matter of careful tuning. The software enables Bert to

- route SMTP mail
- send SMTP mail via authenticated SMTP
- pull POP3 mail and filter spam
- serve mail per HTTP and IMAP
- monitor the ISDN line and forward incoming caller IDs by SMTP
- answer incoming voice calls and forward recordings by SMTP
- answer incoming fax calls and forward them by SMTP
- monitor webcams and forward images by SMTP or store in wwwroot

And there is still room for a playground with JSPs and servlets. And while doing all of this with a very quiet machine. Quieter than Charlie, the ThinkPad. Of the six machines I operate Bert is the second best engineered, right after Lucy.


Respect :-)

Thorsten Ebers, 2003-10-20

How many concurrent user is this machine serving, while taking this snapshot ?

Tobias, 2003-10-20

Zero. I am not running Notes sessions against the server. it is constantly being pinged via IMAP however from Lucy and Clyde. Then there is iNotes for two users.

So, hardly any load at all. And still the fattest part of memory being taken.

Volker Weber, 2003-10-21

Did you made the recommended registry modifications ?
(Large Systemcache and Application Priority)


Tobias, 2003-10-21

Yes, I did. However, I don't know whether that is a smart thing to do.

Volker Weber, 2003-10-21

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