Thursday, 6 April 2006

Adding a test server and some rantin'

After rebuilding Siona a couple weeks ago, I went out and (finally) bought a battery backup. I got the smallest APC UPS I could get from Futureshop which cost 40CDN. I brought it home, hooked it up, and installed "apcupsd" on Siona. It's pretty bitchin. With apcupsd, I set the tolerences, e.g. if the battery level drops below 10% or 3 minutes remaining, and the battery will notify apcupsd that power is failing so apcupsd can shutdown the server.

The really fun part is that I already got to "test" the power failure events. I had set the threshold to 10 minutes but the estimated battery life, which is just w/ Siona mind you, is only 8.4 total. So the thing with the UPS is that if there are any "significant" fluctuations in the power from the line, then it cuts to battery mode. These dirty power fluctuations happen, oh, every other day or so. So even though it only cuts to battery for a second and then restores normal power, my threshold was high enough that it just issued a shutdown at the first sign of trouble. So I've now confirmed proper operation of the UPS during a "power event" and I've "tuned" the parameters (back to the mfr default).

In other cool application news, I'm finding that AmaroK really rocks! It builds a database of your music from the song meta-data and has a really fabulous interface both for playing music (queues and playlists) and for modifying the metadata (e.g. you can update many songs at once). AmaroK is pretty damned good.

So for upcoming events, I'm thinking of finally putting Chevette to use again but this time as just a test server. Her display is hopelessly foobar and upgrading RAM would also require more $$ then I want to invest in her (sadly). So I figure she'll make a good test server so I can setup stuff like a secondary mail server and test fail-over for mail delivery. Or inter-domain operation with the XMPP server. Or just try different applications. I plan to load her with Debian Sarge on the weekend and go from there.

Anyhow, back to work for me.

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