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Nanoman's Company News: Server Shuffle 2017

Server Shuffle 2017

2017-04-18 00:00:00 -04:00 by Nanoman

We do virtually all of our software development and testing on older hardware. By using hardware that is much slower than what our customers use, bottlenecks become much more apparent. In our experience, being forced to keep software efficient on older hardware results in software that is remarkably faster on newer hardware.

Our old development server has had a series of hardware failures over the past few years, and our production server's hardware has reached end-of-life status. Fortunately, we've had a spare server on standby since early 2013, so after yet another failure of old hardware, we decided it was time for a server shuffle.

Today, we migrated our production server's data to our spare server. This represents a major hardware upgrade for our production server:

  • 1.6GHz single-core 32-bit CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 7200RPM hard disk drives

Our former production server has become our replacement development server, which now sports these speedy specifications:

  • 500MHz single-core 32-bit CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 5400RPM hard disk drives

Along with these hardware upgrades, we've made a significant number of software improvements and upgrades. Two of these software upgrades are worth mentioning:

  1. IPv6 is finally supported. We intended to bring this online when it first became available to us in 2010, but we were too busy with other priorities to make this happen sooner. Our delay hasn't yet caused any problems for our customers, but we knew this would become a problem eventually.
  2. New certificate authority: Let's Encrypt. Certificates from Let's Encrypt are supported natively by every web browser used by our customers, and we have a high degree of confidence in the people running Let's Encrypt, so we decided it was time to change.

To get our company functioning the way that we've always intended, we still have a lot more work to do, but we're making progress. We'll continue to announce notable achievements on our News page.