The Tranquility Cluster and the next phase
Tranquility, now been to hell, see it freeze over a couple of times and is now back, currently consists of about 40 machines in addition to support servers.
The recent upgrade involved expansions to our FAStT600 with an EXP700 and adding 14 disks. All the disks are 36GB 15KRPM Fibre Channel disks (and not all arrived). This increased the throughput or I/O of the SQL cluster considerably.
We will also upgrade the servers in our SQL cluster with 2 IBM xSeries 445 bricks. Each configured with 4 Intel Xeon 3.0GHz processors and 16GB of RAM.
The cluster is divided into proxy servers and SOL servers. The 12 proxy servers handle packet sanity, data compression and manage sessions on behalf of the clients while the 28 SOL servers handle all simulation needs of the world. Our automatic load management assigns services to SOL servers on demand, be they solarsystem simulation, chat channels, market regions, agents etc.
In the second phase we will add a bunch of SOL application servers. They are IBM xSeries 335 all configured with 2 Intel Xeon 2.8GHz processors and 2.5GB of RAM.
You can see an early pic of the cluster like it was at launch here on the right. We'll get updated pics after the second phase.
There are 7 administrators (not all full-time) that work around the cluster on database, application, hardware, networking and backup administration. In addition we get various experts on the team in larger operations. We also have a number of server developers that give it lots of love.
As an example, our first phase of the upgrades involved 11 people including the IBM experts. The second phase will include more since they are larger scale ops and of course ensuring the shortest downtime possible without compromising the upgrade process is key.
* Updated pic pr. request :)