What kind of hardware do you run?

I was having a conversation with some colleagues today about hardware.  We all agreed that new server hardware is pretty much all 64bit now, but we questioned just what customers actually use in their environments. I know that I have many customers who “repurpose” older hardware for various things.  For example, a retiring 32bit GW server might replace a less powerful BES, and the like.  And while virtualization is becoming more widespread, it by no means seems to be the norm among my GroupWise clients at this point.

Do you purchase “new” hardware for single application type servers?  Like an Astaro Security Gateway, a Linux open source anti-spam front-end, a Blackberry Enterprise Server, GroupWise WebAccess, a GroupWise Mobile Server, etc.?  Or do you give these processes up to older hardware that still has good life in it?

It seems a given, that the larger the organization, the more likely that organization will be using virtualization (and donating their old hardware) but it’s unclear as to how many folks have actually gone “all 64bit” at this point!

We’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to give all the details in a comment here, and also please take our poll at the main http://www.caledonia.net/blog site!

Thanks.

Danita


Comments

What kind of hardware do you run? — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Danita,

    We mostly use 64bit servers, but as you already mentioned, move older servers (5+ years) over to less demanding services like GMS and WSUS. We don’t do virtualization as we don’t feel really comfortable managing such an environment. Our school has about 1670 students and 158 ftu staff. System administration is just me and my colleague so we’re more general practitioners than specialists, core business is server and desktop management and virtualization falls outside that area. We’re in the process of purchasing a new firewall and that will be a dedicated server (probably Palo Alto, but nothing has been decided yet). We’re running a few applications that need a windows environment, but we run a few of these small applications on the same server. One W2003 server will be end of life this schoolyear and this piece of hardware will also go in the usable for later drawer. We’re in the progress of migrating from Netware to OES and for that we also buy new servers at a rate of about 2 per year, that means that we have finished this migration in 2012. Also we have a dedicated 64-bit server for Reload.

    Regards,

    Hans Bloupot

  2. Unfortunately not all vendors have woken up to the fact that 64-bit technology is now available.

    For example, CA have yet to realise this and currently there is no 64-bit version of the OES agent for ARCserve for Linux. So if you use ARCserve for Linux and want to be able to back up your OES servers then they’d better be 32-bit!

  3. ps Just voted “Yes, of course we do!” but there’s also a bit of “No – we would need to get some new hardware for that” here too!

  4. We still exclusively use 32-bin servers, as up to now there hasn’t been a need for 64-bit.
    Unfortunately, vSphere 4 requires 64-bit on the ESX side, so in order to upgrade it looks like we’re going to have to recycle all of our PERFECTLY GOOD blade servers again. (snarl!)

  5. All of our current server hardware at our two facilities is 64 bit. We have them assigned as follows:

    2 anti-spam+anti-virus gateways (Astaro Linux)
    4 clustered SQL servers (Oracle+Suse Linux 64bit)
    2 NOWS servers (OES2+GroupWise 64bit)
    2 firewall/gateways (Suse Linux 64bit)
    1 backup/utility server (Suse Linux 64bit)
    2 production app servers (Suse Linux 64bit)
    1 accounting app server (Windows 32bit – hardware is 64bit)

    I share your vision – smaller companies (like us) tend to have single-assigned, non-virtualized servers, either by reutilizing decomised hardware or by acquiring brand new ones.

  6. Most clients are running 32-bit systems (we’re a Novell & eComStation consultancy, mainly, and as eComStation is based on OS/2 Warp 4.5, there is no 64-bit kernel). That said, I did recently deploy a 64-bit OES Linux box for a client, to replace his well aged (like fine wine) NetWare 5.0 (no kidding!) machine.

    For GroupWise, I’ve been mainly sticking to a 32-bit clustered environment on NetWare (even GW8). That will likely transition to Linux in the near future, but until 64-bit software gets easier to come by (64-bit JVM, 64-bit desktop apps, etc.), there’s really no rush. So far, everything our clients *need* to run, they can run in under 4GB of RAM, and as 64-bit compliant hardware seems to (in general) be quite up to the task of running a 32-bit OS, there’s no rush.

    Older Proliants become backup servers, bastion servers, and firewalls (we are also an Astaro consultancy), and they do quite well at it. G3’s run OS/2 (eComStation) quite well, and these are a mainstay for those clients.

    In our own office, we have our Citrix server virtualized on SLES 10. 😉 When Windows breaks, I just reload another image (it’s like carrying a bicycle around in the trunk – Windows is the bicycle).