In the office today is an old IBM P-Series running OpenSUSE. We’ve had nothing but outstanding uptime with the box, but for some reason, before now, we have not considered expanding our Linux infrastructure to more Power systems. Since we are now exploring all of our options, the idea of moving from lots of small virtual machines to a few LPARs is being tossed around. Would it make sense to migrate our environment away from standard Intel machines to big-iron IBM systems? It is an interesting proposal.
Determining the best hardware for a self-hosted web environment is complicated, and fraught with danger. One of the most popular schemes in use is to purchase commodity hardware. Normally, the term “commodity hardware” is meant to include basic Intel pizza box servers that may not have the most power, and may not come with the best reputation for high mean time between failure for components, but are plentiful and cheap. The core concept is to avoid the need for larger, more expensive hardware by purchasing a lot of pizza boxes, and just adding on as you go. When done right, this results in a fairly easy to manage system, but it needs to be done right from the start.