Servers Anyone?...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by canyonman00, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Long ago I converted most of my base operations to servers and I operate then in both Windows and Linux OS's. Just about all of my servers are multi-processor machines also. I have a curiosity though that makes me wonder why a lot of experienced traders seem to want to run multiple machines instead of planning a strategy that allowed for more centralization of things. Can someone explain their logic behind the decisions? I'm not looking for wrong or right, just why. Thanks! :p
  2. Well, not speaking from a traders perspective, but from a system engineering perspective - redundancy, redundancy, redundancy. If one of your multiprocessor machines blows a CPU, that machine may be down for the count (perhaps...). However, if you have several machines and one goes down, you still have your redundant machine available.

    Does that make sense?

  3. Hmm, nope. Most servers of choice are multi-processor jobs with flexibility. I have extra CPU's in the inventory for mine. I can also run on less processors than the machine holds. Just about every one is a four processor machine. These units are hot swap on the hard drives and I have hot swap power supplies also (most of the units have three power supplies). I maintain spare parts on hand for most of my units (I'm a tech). :)
  4. Hamlet


    You just answered your own question.

    Most traders are not techs.

    Can you give us more details about your setup, it sounds interesting. Do you use a station with a kvm to control everything? I just did some reading on kvm extenders, which I had never heard of before, and if they work the way I imagine they do it sounds pretty awesome.

    I think another obstacle is that traders use multiple monitor setups, some as much 6-10 monitors. I would imagine this makes things more complicated?
  5. Hot swap CPUs? That is what I am saying - while you are down putting a new CPU in, the trader with two $500 boxes (say one of his goes down) is still happily trading.
  6. That's sort of the reason for the thread. To try to help through some of the anxiety associated with these types of machines. They really are not that difficult.

    I have a three rack setup. One major one for the business. One for my new Internet venture (coming, Dell 6650 with Quad 3.16 GHz processors). A third for the personal stuff. The personal systems rack would easily do for most traders. It is a multi-machine setup with standalone abilities. I'll describe it.

    I have an Internet surfing/e-mail server (Dell 6300) with four 550MHz P3 processors and 4 gigs of RAM. It has a wireless card and 10 hard drives (2 - 18 gig, 8 - 73 gig). This machine cost me $200 delivered. It came with four drives and I spent about another $250 adding the rest.

    I have a database machine (Dell 4600). It has two Xeon 2.2 GHz processors, 4 gig's of RAM and 8 drives (2 - 36 gig and 6 - 146 gig). I traded with this machine (wireless) also. This puppy set me back $1,800.

    Then I run a gaming and music server (wireless, Dell 6400). It has four P3 900MHz processors, 4 gig's of RAM and 10 drives (2 -36 gig and 8 - 73 gig). This one set me back $850 (drives included). It manages the home music center as well as all the host duties for Doom and Quake (various versions), Empire Earth, Age Of Empires, Railroad Tycoon, Open TTD (Transport Tycoon), and a few others for when the guys pop over.

    All of these machines are connected to a KVM which allows me to switch between them. Up until three months ago I ran the four screen setup direct from my database machine and another screen did double duty for the Internet/e-mail and game/music server. With the coming move I have cut down to just two screens and eliminated the trading screen setup (I burned out for trading heavy for a while so off they went). I can still access the trading machine though for that occasional dabble. And, I use a wireless keyboard and mouse for the whole thing!

    As for multiple screens, not complicated at all. The same cards for regular computers work in many of the servers. I believe I could easily configure for 10 monitors. Two of the machines run Windows 2003 Server (Enterprise Edition), the other Windows 2000 Server. This little Intranet is accessible/runable by any of my laptops also. :)
  7. Who goes down? If the CPU goes down I get an indicator telling me its down. That's it! Maybe I lose a nano second or two for the rest of the trading session. I don't need to go down for that situation. Also, my trading machine has two solid processors that have served me well for quite a while now. I doubt very seriously I have taxed either one to over 60% while trading.

    If I were concerned, I'd jump my trading to one of the quad processor machines. And in many instances you can hot swap processors on the newer machines without missing a beat! :)
  8. Wait a second - I thought your question was - Why do traders have more than one machine?

    You have more than one machine. :confused:
  9. That I did not know - cool!

    But how much do these beasts cost?
  10. That's why I said any one of these machines would do for a trader. They all have the horsepower to get the job done. My trading as I do it can be done for any one of these monsters. I was using the Dell 4600 for trading with a quad screen setup. I could easily switch things over to any of the other machines on the fly if I needed. What you guys do with three or four machines, I do comfortably on one.

    As a tech, I maintain a ton of capacity to access and service my clients machines from home. I handle off-site data storage, remote backup and data recovery for mid-sized companies. My machines can't ever really afford to be down. :)
    #10     Mar 11, 2006