Archive of Our Own: Meet the Machines!

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of fandom, we’ve been able to buy a beautiful new set of servers! Meet the machines below!

The DB Server – aka “The Beast”

The Beast: cartoon style image of server

Our new database server is a serious badass. Built for us by open-source server specialists iXSystems, the DB server is an iX1204 powered by 2 latest-generation Intel 6-Core X5650 processors, and 48GB of RAM. This server will also have 2 Intel X25-M 80GB SSDs (solid-state drives, which have no moving parts) to make reads off the database crazy fast.

The Rails Twins

The Rails Twins: cartoon style image of servers

A set of identical twins, our speedy and strong new Rails servers will split the load of running the Archive app. These two are from the same family as the DB server: iX1204 models, each with 2x Intel Quad Core E5620 processors, 24GB of RAM, and 4x146GB 15k RPM hard drives.

The Originals

Front end server: cartoon style image of server

Slave: cartoon style image of server

Our trusty veterans! The original servers are another set of identical twins: Hewlett Packard ProLiant DL360 G5 models each powered by 2 Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5420 processors. They each also have 16GB RAM, and 4×72GB 15k RPM hard drives. For the last year, these two have had to carry the entire load all by themselves, but now they will both be moving into new roles:

  1. One of these machines will now serve as our friendly memcache server and it runs background and other odd jobs.
  2. The other one will become the DB’s slave. *koff* (Of course the more vanilla-minded among us can think of it as being the DB’s loyal sidekick!) It will also run our search engine.

The Storage Server

Storage server: cartoon style image of server

The QNAP TS-809U-RP is a 2U rackmount Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, intended for what the manufacturer describes as “massive data sharing” — mmmhmm! We’re loading this baby to capacity, with 16TB (8x2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM HDDs) in hot-swap bays to give us greatly increased data storage/backup capability.

The Switch

Switch: cartoon style image of switch

All of our fabulous servers will communicate with one another through an HP Procurve V1910 Gigabit Layer 2+ smart-managed network switch. The switch has 16 auto-negotiating 10/100/1000 ports and 4 true Gigabit SFP ports.

Archive of Our Own
  1. Kayim commented:

    I’m not sure about the others, but Rail1 and Rail2, being twins, should be called Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie, after the speedster mutant X-Men, Northstar and Aurora :)

  2. Rosie commented:

    One of the pairs of twins *has to* be Eowyn and Eomer, don’t you think?

  3. lovelokest commented:

    Jeeves for The Switch – competent and has a real knack for getting people out of trouble/working out problems.


  4. Rosie commented:

    Nah, Uhura for the Switch. It’s all about communications. :-)

  5. peoriapeoria commented:

    railtwins:Bunter and Jeeves
    originals:Watson(to assist Holmes), Bones McCoy(to serve drinks)
    storage:Simon (I’m thinking of Barrayar, but don’t you want to start sentences with “Simon says”?
    switch: Uhura (really, this one Communicates.)

  6. F5bobcat commented:

    I would say you should name the twins Kaoru and Hikaru but that might give you all SORTS of trouble… as would using the names Fred and George….

  7. campylobacter commented:

    The DB Server – aka “The Beast”: RepliCarter (Stargate)
    Rails Twin 1: Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica)
    Rails Twin 2: Aeryn (Farscape)
    The Originals 1: Kaylee (Firefly)
    The Originals 2: Trinity (Matrix)
    The Storage Server: Moya (Farscape)
    The Switch: Uhura (Star Trek)

    [The above list supersedes my earlier Tweet “UNICRON! (Transformers); Oma Desala, RepliCarter (Stargate); Lord Vader (Star Wars); Trinity (Matrix); Razorgirl (Neuromancer)”]

  8. Cynthea Carrington commented:

    * DB – I totally believe that you should name this device “Frankenserver”
    * Rails1 – Wondertwin Powers Activate! Name this one Zan
    * Rails2 – Wondertwin Powers Activate! Name this one Jayna
    * Original1 – Adam (They’re the Originals, right?)
    * Original2 – Eve (They’re the Originals, right?)
    * Storage – Name this one Edward Elric (because he is small but has a huge capacity. he eats and eats and eats.)
    * Switch – Lightbulb

  9. Please leave a name commented:

    Why go cryptic? Keep it simple for easy troubleshooting, as well as, for your future sys admins.
    It maybe be boring, but picture this. You call ixsystems and say we need replace a drive on our Edward Elric, Moya, etc.

    The real fun is to set it all as an impeccable set, configure all the balancing, backups, replication…


    Have fun,

    Alex Support Team

    • rebecca2525 commented:

      Ever heard of aliases?

  10. Cell commented:

    Oracle (or Barbara) – Switch – She is pretty much the hub of the DCU these days, communicating between everyone, plus she is one kickass female. :)

    • Ira Gladkova commented:

      Oh gosh that’s brilliant! <3

  11. lds commented:

    DB – Ivanova (B5) because Susan is still my all time favourite female in Sci-Fi TV and she kicks ass (usually PsiCorp ass).

    Rails 1 & 2 – Elladan and Elrohir (Tolkien) Why should Arwen get all the love? How about her [could be] twin brothers?

    Originals 1 & 2 – I am torn between Romulus and Remus (originators of Rome) and Luke and Leia (because it’s the ORIGINAL trilogy).

    I don’t really have anything for the last two, but hate to be incomplete…

    Storage – Hermione(HP)
    Switch – Uhura(ST)

    Lame they may be, but hey, I had some fun thinking about it. :)

  12. Embly commented:

    Main DB: Giles (for geek value, Buffy’s Giles and for meaning after Saint Giles, considered a miracle worker)

    The Twins: Castor & Pollux (two Greek, adventurous twins known for their devotion to each other)

    Oldies: Cordelia (a devoted Shakespeare character who always proved true) & Mrs. Goodfellows (to keep the whippersnappers in line)

    Storage Server: Howard “Howie” Goodfellows (it can mean “good stout heart & mind” or “guardian) it also can mean young goat but let’s forget that, also the devoted love of the Goodfellows!

    Switch: Basher (cuz it’s a cool name and it reminds me of Don Cheadle’s character in “Ocean’s 11”, a techno whiz)

    Thanks! This was fun!

  13. persnickett commented:

    The beast: Alice (for Alice Krieg’s portrayal of the Borg Queen)
    The twins: Luke & Leia
    The originals: Neo & Trinity (being the ‘one’ and all…but could swap names with the twins, I mean if we’re gonna talk ‘slaves’, Leia’s choice of outfit for such an occasion is hard to pass up)
    Storage: Giles (as, like, an archivist…no he’s not one of the awesome women of fandom but you can’t think of him with out thinking of that booty-kicking blonde with the pointy stakes)
    The switch: a vote for Uhura (whoever thought of this first, it’s brilliant)

  14. Oddegg commented:

    I’m not sure which one it should be, but one of them HAS to be called Rule34 surely? :)

  15. Lispeth commented:

    For the Originals, from Norton Juster’s children’s book, The Magic Tollbooth:

    “Come right in, please; we’ve been expecting you,” sang out two sweet voices in unison.

    At the far end of the hall a silver curtain parted and two young women stepped forward. They were dressed all in white and were beautiful beyond compare.One was grave and quiet, with a look of warm understanding in her eyes, and the other seemed gay and joyful.

    “You must be the Princess of Pure Reason,” said Milo, bowing to the first.

    She answered simply, “Yes,” and that was just enough.

    “Then you are Sweet Rhyme,” he said,with a smile to the other.

    Her eyes sparkled brightly and she answered with a laugh as friendly as the mailman’s ring when you know there’s a letter for you.

    I propose them not only for their attributes (one rational, the other friendly), but for their landmark decision in the matter of Digitopolis v. Dictionopolis:

    “After days of careful consideration, in which all the evidence was weighed and all the witnesses heard, they made their decision:
    “‘Words and numbers are of equal value, for, in the cloak of knowledge, one is warp and the other woof. It is no more important to count the sands than it is to name the stars. Therefore, let both kingdoms live in peace.'”

    What more could you want for two servers that spend their days converting numbers to fiction and back again?

    • Lispeth commented:

      Phantom! Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.

  16. Annabel commented:

    Two mythological choices for Switch:

    Switch- Iris- Messenger of the gods in the Iliad and elsewhere; personification of the rainbow.


    Switch- Ratatosk- the squirrel who runs up and down the world-tree Yggdrasil, carrying messages (read:insults) from the eagle that nests in its branches to the serpent that gnaws at its root.