Wednesday, 15 May 2013

On the COMSC Cloud Infrastructure

Some facts and figures. 

  • 8 Physical servers
  • 172 Cores
  • 424 GB RAM
  • 20+ TB Storage
  • 10GBit Backbone networking
  • Multiple 1GB connections to the outside world.
  • Running OpenStack Cloud software
The VMs used for the development and early production phases of the DataPortal v2 were usually 2-4 cores, 4 GB ram and about 80 GB Storage.

This can be scaled up later if demand requires it, potentially with load balancers if the complexity is considered worthy necessary.

The webserver and database servers are both running Ubuntu 12.04, fresh instances of which can be spun up within the cloud, on demand, in around 15 seconds. As the major releases of the DataPortal are performed, "snapshots" of the current state of the VMs are taken in order to use as backups, or disaster recovery.

There is also some level of redundancy within the Cloud. Having two "nodes" each containing approximately half of the available cores means if one node goes down (which, as an ever changing, research led piece of equipment can lend an occasional challenge), there is a chance that the second node can be used to spin up previous snapshots, achieving a higher level of uptime.

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