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Beat This: Server Retired After 18 Years and 10 Months

Accepted submission by -- OriginalOwner_ at 2016-01-15 03:32:51

from the live-long-and-prosper dept.

El Reg reports []

A chap named Ross, says he "Just switched off our longest running server".

Ross says the box was "Built and brought into service in early 1997" and has "been running 24/7 for 18 years and 10 months".

"In its day, it was a reasonable machine: 200MHz Pentium, 32MB RAM, 4GB SCSI-2 drive", Ross writes. "And up until recently, it was doing its job fine." Of late, however the "hard drive finally started throwing errors, it was time to retire it before it gave up the ghost!" The drive's a Seagate, for those of looking to avoid drives that can't deliver more than 19 years of error-free operations.

The FreeBSD 2.2.1 box "collected user session (connection) data summaries, held copies of invoices, generated warning messages about data and call usage (rates and actual data against limits), let them do realtime account [inquiries] etc".

[...]All the original code was so tightly bound to the operating system itself, that later versions of the OS would have (and ultimately, did) require substantial rework.

[...]Ross reckons the server lived so long due to "a combination of good quality hardware to start with, conservatively used (not flogging itself to death), a nice environment (temperature around 18C and very stable), nicely conditioned power, no vibration, hardly ever had anyone in the server room".

A fan dedicated to keeping the disk drive cool helped things along, as did regular checks of its filters.

[...]Who made the server? [...] The box was a custom job.

[...]Has one of your servers beaten Ross' long-lived machine?

I'm reminded of the the Novell server that worked flawlessly despite being sealed behind drywall for 4 years. []

Original Submission