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  1. #31
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    It's been a while since the last update

    Nothing much has changed hardware-wise, though we've been experiencing some problems with the new Vanilla server. The Java Virtual Machine(JVM) crashes every so often. For those that don't know Minecraft runs on Java which means it's code is processed through the JVM which translates Java code to machine code that your processor can understand. This way the developers of Minecraft (or in our case, Spigot) only have to write their code once and it can run on many platforms. Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac. If it has Java installed on it, it can probably run the code.

    So the JVM crashing is a very bad thing. In the past few months the file system of the Dynmap hard drive had gotten corrupted. I've even re-rendered Dynmaps for TFC and TnFC which took weeks. All of our Dynmap tiles (images) reside on a single WD Purple drive. The drive itself reports no errors. What I'm going to do now is move the virtual hard drive in which all Dynmaps files resides from the WD Purple drive to one of the raid arrays. Then I'm going to replace the WD Purple drive with an old hard drive I have lying around. Then move the virtual hard drive to that 'new' physical drive and see if that changes anything.

    Technically I could do all these changes while the server is running. But to be on the safe side I prefer to bring the server down when swapping parts and handling cables. This means there will be some down time in our future so don't worry if the servers or site is down, it's probably me working on something.

  2. #32
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    All Dynmap files are now running of a raid 5 array of WD red drives. I've removed the WD purple's volumes and configurations from the server and raid controller, it is no longer mounted or being used. We'll see if that makes any difference.

  3. #33
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    My plans for the upcoming weeks is to upgrade the server again. We're still having intermittent stability issues with the current server and it's getting old having to deal with those.

    What I'm thinking of doing is replacing the 1920X Threadripper with an AMD 3900X or perhaps a 3950X on an X570 motherboard with 128GB of memory. Rough estimate:
    • 700 for the memory
    • 300 for the motherboard
    • 450 or 775 for the CPU
    • 75 for CPU cooler


    So somewhere between 1500 and 1750 euros. I haven't decided on the exact memory type (ECC/non-ECC) and motherboard yet. I'm currently looking into VRM benchmarks.

    The CPU will be a lot faster clock-for-clock so along with the extra memory the new server will offer enough capacity to run additional game servers like the new Technode Firmacraft for 1.12 pack.

    As always. If you're feeling generous, you know where the donate button is

  4. #34
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Alright, I bit the bullet and ordered the following parts.


    Gigabyte Aorus X570 MASTER
    Excellent VRM setup. Only beat by boards costing several hundred euro more. It has two ethernet connections: 1gbit Intel and 2.5gbit Realtek. The Intel nic will be dedicated for the PFSense router while the Realtek nic will handle all the LAN traffic. The motherboard has support for ECC memory but I opted to go with a non-ecc kit (see below) because the kits on the "supported list" only went up to 16GB sticks and we need 32 to get to 128GB RAM total.
    €379
    Spoiler!


    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    16 cores / 32 threads. The fastest mainstream CPU currently available. Not much to say here. The only way to get an even faster CPU is to go with a high-end desktop system based on Threadripper or server grade Epyc. Intel just isn't an option anymore at this point.
    €779
    Spoiler!



    Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK64GX4M2D3600C18

    Two kits of 2x 32GB for a total of 128GB. This kit is on the "supported list" of the motherboard. Although it's rated at 3600MHz, when running 4 sticks of 32GB the memory speed will drop to 2666. I could have gone with a (very) slightly cheaper kit of 4x 32GB 2666, but with this kit I potentially have the option to run the memory at lower timings.
    €668 (2x 334)
    Spoiler!



    Noctua NH-D15
    One of the best air coolers on the market.
    €89
    Spoiler!



    VGA0419
    I've also bought a low power (2W) PCI-e graphics card. It's basically one of those onboard VGA adapters you see on server boards, except now on a PCI-e card. It's only meant to display the BIOS and text-based terminals. It's been running in the current server for almost a week now. Saves a bit on power and it was the last part I could swap out without having to replace motherboard/cpu/ram.
    €8 on ebay
    Spoiler!



    All in all these parts cost a bit more than I initially thought they would coming in at a little over 1900 euro. The parts should arrive June 26th. Looking forward to assembling the new server

  5. #35
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Crapper. I just got an email notifying me that delivery of the CPU cooler will be delayed by one or two days.

    Perhaps I can mount the current server's CPU cooler if I can find the AM4 mounting bracket for that...

  6. #36
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    And another update via email stating that it will arrive today. I guess we'll see the items when we see them

  7. #37
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Yesterday the CPU cooler did arrive eventually. Today the rest of the parts should arrive. When they do I'll assemble the parts and test them. If they check out I'll take the server offline and do the upgrade.

    I have no exact time estimate. If the website and Minecraft servers are down, you'll know I'm working on it

  8. #38
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    I've upgraded the server. It took a bit longer than I had hoped but that's how these things go. And this time around I was too tired to plan everything out, get everything tested and running in a shadow configuration. So big-bang-all-at-once-upgrade it was

    The server is now running the hardware listed above, with the exception of the 2W graphics card. The new motherboard doesn't seem to output anything on the card although it boots up just fine. So we could run it without display if we wanted to. For now I've installed a Matrox card.

    The motherboard BIOS has been updated to the latest version. And to my surprise I could run the memory at 3600MHz. From everything I've read so far that shouldn't be possible. When running 128GB of RAM on an X570 motherboard, the RAM is supposed to be down clocked to 2133MHz. This gives you a performance penalty, but you do get to use all the RAM. In our case I set the motherboard to use XMP memory settings, it then selected 3600MHz and it seems to be running well so far.

    With this new motherboard, I've decided to use the NVMe SSD I had previously disabled. It's now being used as a read cache for the storage drives. This should speed up stuff like chunk loading if those chunks have been loaded before.

    The new motherboard has two LAN ports. One is 1gbit Intel, the other 2.5gbit Realtek. The Realtek card is currently not supported by VMWare ESXi so I had to install another network card. I had a quad port Intel server network card lying around so I used that. It works well enough but I'd rather get the onboard card working since I'd rather not have the extra expansion card installed.

    Right now I have an Areca raid controller installed, but I'm going to add another raid controller soon. Before I had an LSI adapter with two 6TB SAS drives in raid 1. I'd like to migrate to raid 5 so I've bought a second hand Adaptec card and two more drives. That means that there would be 4 expansion cards installed. While there is room for four 16x size and one 1x size cards, I'd rather not stack the raid controller between a graphics card and the quad port network card. While there is a large fan blowing directly on all the expansion cards from the side, I'd rather leave more space to help with cooling. Not to mention it's a waste of power.

    The server looks to be running well right now. Let me know if any issues crop up.

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