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We’ve been busy adding new clients as quick as we can. Often with a new client comes a new point of sale system we need to support. The process for supporting a new POS involves installing a copy of the software on the lonely test computer in our office, a re-purposed quad core desktop computer. The problem is that we are bringing on so many clients & POS systems that our poor test computer is struggling with the load of multiple virtual machines constantly being accessed by our development and testing teams. So far we’ve built support for or are in the process of supporting POS systems like Maitre’d (7 &8), Halo, Volante, Micros, and Positouch. With so many new systems we tried splitting the load onto two computers and adding as much RAM as they could handle to no avail. It was time for a new system.
Enter the Dell Poweredge R900 server: 100 pounds of American computing muscle! Seriously though… it took two people just to carry it into the office. This machine, originally built for scalability and data-demanding enterprise applications, should be more than enough to run dozens of Windows environments for each POS system simultaneously without breaking a sweat. For you spec geeks out there this machine has 4 Xeon CPUs with 6 cores each for a total 24 cores along with 64GB of ram and 4 hard drives at 10k RPM setup in a RAID 10 configuration.
We naively set up the R900 right in the middle of our office and turned it on. The noise that ensued could only be likening to an jet airplane taking off inside of our normally quiet workspace as the servers massive fans spun up at full speed. Needless to say: it couldn’t stay.
Luckily our landlord, Invest Ottawa, has an awesome server room on the 2nd floor and was more than willing to host the R900. With the help of our building IT guy we had the server humming away in the server room in no time. We’ve already set up over 10 virtual machines on it and have certainly made the lives of the developers and testers much easier. Bring on the new clients and new POS systems!