PDQ.com retires a SAN

Katie Sorenson headshot
Katie Sorenson|February 20, 2019
Goodnight, Sweet Prince. PDQ.com Retires a SAN
Goodnight, Sweet Prince. PDQ.com Retires a SAN
RIP Datacore   Obituary section

Obituary section

Dearly beloved sysadmins, we have gathered here today to put the soul of a cluster to rest. INFONUCLEUS1 and INFONUCLEUS2, along with their persnickety IMS pair, served PDQ.com and its growing demands in early 2019 when it was put out to the colo pasture to host ultra-low-priority lab machines.

Individually crafted by SuperMicro and a myriad of other hardware manufacturers, the INFONUCLEI were lovingly assembled right here in sunny Salt Lake City back during the summer of 2016 by our very own Lex.

Shortly after being brought into the world, the two halves of a SAN received the latest and greatest copy of Windows Server and were christened INFONUCLEUS1 and INFONUCLEUS2. Little did these two boxes filled with HDDs know, they’d be the backbone of a swiftly growing software company over the next few years.

With approximate raw storage of 100TB, two well-loved IMS blade servers, and several laboriously configured fiber channel switches, a cluster was born.

The quaint little software-defined SAN almost always faithfully served up LUNs to its XenServer cousins on an IMS blade server pair and later, a group of SuperMicro XenServer hosts. It even briefly served a budding VMware environment. Though prone to fits and bouts of moodiness, the SAN was host to many VMs from lowly disposable lab machines, to great and important file servers, as well as our build pipeline machines.  

The INFONUCLEI and their hypervisors weathered power outages, roof leaks (rain in a server room is as terrifying as it sounds), rack movements, upgrades, patches, Patch Tuesdays, and countless webcasts together. Late in life, the INFONUCLEI grew restless, and attempted to separate from their RAID controllers, citing “irreconcilable differences.” It began to grow paranoid, and accused ghosts of removing HDDs by surprise – “I know we didn’t pull the drives, but the logs said someone did!” Responsible for more than a few whiskey-soaked late nights and missing hair, the INFONUCLEI are survived by four PDQ.com sysadmins – Lex, Josh, Alex, and Mark.

With the help of the rest of the Solutions crew, the INFONUCLEI are being taken to a restful rack in a local data center to participate in a disaster-recovery and offsite lab although running a different software-defined SAN solution, without the need for laboriously configured fiber channel switches. It’s not headed to a bland nursing home, but rather an active senior server community with fun activities like bingo and shuffleboard. The cluster will live out its remaining days under a new hypervisor with a new and less pressing purpose.

Gone but not forgotten, the SAN and cluster will live on forever in the hearts of PDQ.com.

Katie Sorenson headshot
Katie Sorenson

Katie is your garden variety Windows sysadmin—clicker of buttons and keeper of servers who are definitely pets (not cattle). She hates the awkwardness of writing in the third person, has a fondness for cats and very soft yarn, and would be delighted to never again touch vSan on a 3-host cluster. She was a PDQ employee.

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