Server Hosting Update

The largest happening lately in PINES-Evergreen land is a little place called e^deltacom. We issued an RFP for server hosting (aka “colocation”) services a while back, and e^deltacom was recently awarded the contract. Our intent in obtaining the services of such a place is to ensure that the PINES system has the best possible chance of staying operational, stable, and physically secure at all times. To say the hosting facility is impressive is an understatement. The following is some information I pulled off their website and some materials we were provided in the RFP process:

  • The facility is 376,000 square feet; 168,000 of this is raised datacenter flooring.
  • The facility can operate without external electrical power for approximately 10 days, with 74,000 gallons onsite fuel to power diesel generators. Power to our equipment is provided from two separate power sources for redundancy. The electrical system has a capacity of 63 megawatts.
  • Professional security guards are present and the facility is open 24X7X365. There is a single entrance/exit to the facility.
  • The facility boasts redundant dual OC-192 Internet feeds. Each OC-192 can support a data transfer rate of approximately 9,953 megabits a second. For reference, a T-1, like you may have in your library, supports about 1.5 megabits a second. Internet access to our equipment is provided via two disparate network connections, going out opposite ends of the building (one arial, one underground). Each Internet connection even uses different brands of networking equipment. As you can see, not much is left to chance.
  • The facility employs the VESDA smoke and fire detection system.
  • E^deltacom’s Network Operations Center (NOC) is staffed and monitors our equipment 24x7x365. If they detect any problems, they alert us.

More information, of course, is available on their website. They also have a good virtual tour of the facilities.

Lately, much of our time has been consumed with the planning, coordination, and moving the new PINES-Evergreen servers and networking equipment into e^deltacom. At this point, we have all of the servers in place, powered, and networked. We’re now focusing on installing software and configuration.

In other news, we expect to have an Evergreen “mini-release” later this month, before the Thanksgiving holiday, including an initial statistical reporting module and initial authority control. This release will also include a revamp of the OPAC.

Over the next year, our development efforts are going to shift from mainly developing new features and modules, and more to bug squashing and enhancing our current code base, writing end-user and technical documentation, and training. In light of this, we recently issued an RFQ for a Quality Assurance consultant/programmer. We envision this consultant working with the existing development team on tasks such as setting up a software testing environment, writing documentation, and helping with bug squashing. The response to the RFQ looks promising, and we hope to award a contract very soon.