Archive for the ‘xserve’ category

Odometer hits 400,000

January 26, 2008

Last November I blogged about reaching 300,000 visitors here at the gWHIZ blog. While I was taking a hiatus from blogging/tweeting it hit 400,000. That took less than three months. For some, that’s a couple hours or a long day

Here sometime soon I’ll pass the 925 posts mark on posts too. That’s roughly one entry per day since I started blogging. I can feel good about all that.

A couple of interesting bits of tid:

  • There are 825 comments on the gWHIZ blog (a ratio I’d like to improve). But, it means we do have discussions sometimes (gasp!);
  • The gWHIZ Technorati rank is at 110,648. I’d love to break into the top 75,000… Favorite us and help that along please? (shameless, I know);
  • According to Google there are only 31 links into the gWHIZ bl0g (could use more…doh! shameless again);
  • The single biggest day on the gWHIZ blog was  17,479 visits on October 30, 2007;
  • I’ve used 635 tags (half of which are misspellings I can’t seem to delete);
  • And the gWHIZ tag cloud says I’m HEAVY on Apple, Leopard, iPhone, iTunes, MacOSX and WWDC;
  • Surprisingly there have only been 7,572 spam comments (all caught and killed by Akismet);
  • And the all time post “views” leader is sitting at 124,346 views. (over 1/4 of the total traffic) and it’s not that good a post…

Now, I’ve been totally winging this and posting on an “as I can” basis. I’m not a professional journo and 110% sure I don’t want to be. The beautiful thing is… most of the people I enjoy reading aren’t either. They’re either subject matter experts in interesting fields, highly opinionated and interesting on that alone, or they have something unique to offer.

A couple of things learned in the last several months: Pick a handful of topics and work them like mad; Digg and StumbledUpon are super helpful; Tagging is super helpful; Writing often is super helpful; Insightful commenting on other peoples blogs super duper helpful; Trackbacks to other blog entries indispensable; Most of all LINK OUT liberally but with good reason and pure intention; Establishing an alternate FeedBurner feed is super helpful.

To follow up that last point… RSS Feeds… I happen to be of the mind to ALMOST always offer a full rss feed. There have been two exceptions I can think of recently. I highly recommend full-feeds. Once I did that… traffic went ballistic (by my standards).

I also highly recommend as the engine behind your blog. Free with some primo options you can pay for… Very nice. The number of times people have said, “Wow, you stayed up through the big Digg.” Yeah, because I have great infrastructure (for free).

Why this post? Why now? Blogging is gaining in speed, popularity and acceptance. My post earlier this week on helping a local family with some serious needs wasn’t a massive success in traffic count, but it was a help in getting the family some relief and additional attention from people who were in a position to be able to help in big ways. Blogging did that. Sure, the emails I sent out helped. But, they simply linked back to the blog.

This post is for people who don’t yet blog who wonder what they can expect in the way of traffic, participation and how long it will take to build a following. The real answer to all the above is, “It depends.” of course. Look at Fake Steve Jobs blog. That went nutso crazy. It’s unique and super hard to duplicate. There are precious few blogs out there focused on the Apple platforms right? 🙂 So, I’ve found my place by focusing on things others don’t, but things I like. Reviewing high-end software (Daylite, DivX), writing detailed How-To’s, all things Apple Developer Connection (ADC) and live blogging the big events. Podcasting and XServes are really my passion in the middle of all of this and I’ll focus more on that in the coming year.

Outting The New XServes and Mac Pros EARLY. Hmm…

January 8, 2008

Macworld Expo is next week and it’s interesting, isn’t it, Apple chose to unveil their new line of Mac Pros and XServes today. No fanfare. No special gathering of the press. Something big is afoot – next week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge XServe fanatic. Not because they’re so much faster than other servers, or that they’re so much less expensive. They’re not either of those and even if they were… That’s not what sells me on them. I can manage them. Me, a knuckle-headed, non-IT type. I can manage six of them and two XServe RAIDs without breaking a sweat. I’ve enjoyed it. No, really, it’s been a joy.

Now, the fact the new XServes are so much beefier than they’re predecessor and still fit in 1U of rack space is mighty nice (I’d say “cool” but I’m thinking these things must run fairly hot). I’ll be interested to learn more about the heat dissipation and the energy usage. The fact they still have the redundant power supplies, what looks to be adequate airflow and major upgrades to bus throughput, PCI expansion, memory and onboard storage is just killer. Congrats Apple. Can’t wait to get an eval unit (Oh yes, I’ll be trying my best at that one).

Back to the original line of thinking, this makes me wonder what Apple hasn’t told us. Macworld Expo is next week and these are typically the kinds of things that would rate a fair bit of stage time. Well, the MacPro at least. So, that said, there must be some serious stuff about to go on stage next week if they’re getting some of the things most consumers would consider ho-hum out of the way now. This event is now designed for maximum press coverage. XServe doesn’t get the headlines. MacPro’s don’t get the headlines.

I’m fairly certain we’re about to see a huge announcement on the UMPC, iPhone, iTunes (Beatles, yawn. Video will be big. Subscriptions/rental will be big). We’ll probably see an expansion of the iTunes Producer program soon. Independent movie and music producers/artists will be front and center soon (the long tail).

And, for my last trick, remember the scene in Star Wars Episode II where Obi Wan realizes there’s a planet missing from the library records? I have this niggling suspicion Apple’s about to whallop the Windows world with iChat. I have no insider information. It just feels right. There’s a gravitational pull there suggesting a pending event.

Can You Spot The Leopard?

October 14, 2007

 XServe Running Leopard

XServes Running Leopard

Somewhere in this picture, hidden among all my gear, is a Leopard. Can you spot it? 😉

Leopard Server is impressing the bejeemenies out of me. Super easy to set-up (not that it wasn’t easy to configure before). So much so, that anyone who can install their desktop OS… can get an XServe up and snorting flames within an hour.

The above is what I call “my other car” and what a beaut she is! The top pic is heading to Perimeter Center’s OKC facility for failover (just in case). The lower pic is the primary and lives in one of the TulsaConnect datacenters (all quad G5s + RAID on a dual-channel 4Gb fiber channel card). Stock, out of the box… these babies ROCK!

If you’ve ever wanted to know what OS X Server on XServes is all about… Give me a shout (email and phone number are in the header graphic above). I’ll be happy to talk with you (especially AFTER Leopard Server is in the clear).

PS –  Leopard Server is running on the top box in the lower pic. So very nice!

Beating Bejesus Out Of OSX Leopard

September 4, 2007

I keep giving Leopard Server aka 9A528a (and now Client aka 9A527) a pounding like never before and it just takes it and responds SO-O-O-O-O very well. Got Server blasting 5×5 on an Intel XServe and OMG! This is it folks. Apple’s probably got one more pre-GM release in them and we’re off to the races. 9A527 on a MBPro is a screamer.

The 300 soundtrack while coding on Leopard is PRECISELY the right tempo. Especially “Fever Dream” by Tyler Bates

XServes Arriving

June 26, 2007

Racked XServesThe new heavy metal is arriving. Old is going to OKC for failover/disaster recovery duty until it too is replaced with newer heavy metal.

Took receipt of the 8×500 Gb XServe RAID today. 4Tb baby! It’s in the rack. Lights on went well. Have to wait for the config until later. Why? Read on…

Waiting on the three Quad Xeon XServes to arrive over course of next two days for final rack mount. The one I’m particularly jazzed about has the quad-channel 4Gb Fibre for the RAID. That is so gonna rock.

The Zywall is getting an upgrade too.

As much as I don’t like sys admin duties… I’ve learned a helluva lot, am grateful for the experience and super duper ready to hand off. Makes it so much nicer when the sys is as nice as this. Admin is almost a treat.

Oh, what OS you ask? 10.4.109. 10.4.10 is just now making it to seed on ADC. Too early for the Leopard Server deploy. Rest assured. It will be deployed. Oh yes. It will be deployed.

[EDIT: I can’t say enough great things about my hosting outfit. They are simply awesome at TulsaConnect. It’s a family owned business. The guys are super smart, fun and proactively helpful. Two data centers downtown. Redundancy to the nth degree. Secure. Conditioned. Lockable racks. Private caging. They have it all. No interest, yada, yada.]

Krugle’s Day in the Sun

January 26, 2007

Mr. Scoble’s rediscovering Krugle. Mr. Om Malik had a posting back around Thanksgiving about it. So did I. And, it’s really the bees knees. Helped me out of a few XCode jams and scripting messes.

The bigger implications as noted by Messrs. Dodge and Battelle… Vertical search is coming on strong. That’s one of the reasons I was so jazzed about my little side project, Grocio (for those who’ve forgotten, that was for local grocery shopping comparisons… It was intended to answer the question – where to go to get the least expensive checkout). And, I wholeheartedly belive vertical search is at the edges… where the real action is going to be found.

The BFD we launched October of 2005 is built on the same bedrock Krugle is built on. It’s a FANTASTIC indexing tool. It’s wicked fast and totally pliable. Best yet is it’s open source! Might also look into Nutch… Industrial strength big brother to Lucene… also open source but on a much larger scale.

So, what does all this have to do with Apple? Since this is primarily an Applish blog… Lucene’s running on our XServes. Totally rocks… I’m tellin ya!

For those not really into the whole roll your own search application… You might also like SearchBlox. It’s an installable solution built on top of Lucene. Good stuff for those who just want to get up and going with agreggated search solutions quickly.

10.5Tb BABY!

January 24, 2007

If Dick Vitale was a Mac Sysadmin I could hear him going haywire. They’ve up and done it again over at the farm. XServe RAID up to 10.5 Tb and nicely priced. God Bless Em… every one.

A new XServe config can’t be far off.

XServe RAID Prototype Oopsie

January 19, 2007

Someone at Apple’s gonna get spanked. First, they ship keyboard with iPod docks in them and now apparently a prototype XServe RAID seems to have been shipped. Wouldn’t wanna be those product managers over at Infinite Loop.

XServe as an Ad Server!

November 22, 2006

My day job has me doing all kinds of cool things. Most of which resolve around “search”.

Now, I’m no guru on search algorithms. I know what works well enough to build a business around a vertical search engine for the oil industry. Just like the other search destinations it’s time to monetize the traffic by adding advertising and sponsorship capabilities. The easy answer to all that would have been to simply host static inline graphics or text links and let em fly. There’s something to the idea though of having a more sophisticated invetory management system. Something that handles a variety of customers and a large variety of rotation, weighting, etc…

That, oh by the way, has to run on my Mac servers. No problemo it turns out.

phpAdsNew version 2.x is stellar, stunning, awesome. Maybe even lickably so. (who am I to say?)

But, this deal is exactly what I’m after. I wanted it to do rotational banners for a number of prospective ad buyers, track their performance, etc. And boy does it go WAY beyond that! Text only ads? Sure. Flash ads? Yep. Limited inventory runs? OK. So, in that case if it was to run 1,000 impression or even click throughs… it can do that. Start and stop on certain dates? Yep. If I want to weight some ads more heavily than others it allows for that, too. I can’t see yet how to do context sensitive weighting… It may even do THAT! Just don’t know yet.

I’m only a few days into the setup and config. Let me say this as a warning… if you’re not totally comfortable with the OS X Terminal for the few setup issues you’re likely to encounter… get ready to learn a little UNIX. It’s not much to learn and the lessons will do you some good if for no other reason than to expose you to some interesting new stuff. But, if that’s an impediment to your situation… I hope you’ll find a way to overcome it.

The snippets you’d put in your site are script tags. So, another thing to take note of… If your site doesn’t play nice with script tags (WordPress comes to mind) then this probably won’t work for you. There is a noscript alternative that might work in situations like these… I just haven’t had enough time to tinker yet and wanted to post this while the excitement was high.

There will be more to say about phpAdsNew as the days and weeks roll on. Suffice it to say this is one nice honeymoon.

Dude! You’re Getting an XServe!

November 7, 2006

I’m putting my good name on the line and getting two new XEON XServes and plunking them down in place of my two existing Dual G5 get ups. (The dual G4 stays put interstingly enough.)

Should arrive in about 2-3 weeks. These are the bad boy configs too. 3GHz. 3×300 SAS 15K RPM drives. 4Gb RAM. Dual Fibre. Dual Gig Ethernet. Dual Power. These babies are gonna rock!