XS35GTV2 retires, Shuttle DS77U5 takes over

After 6 years of faithful service time has come to say goodbye to the venerable Shuttle XS35GTV2, codename: Silencer. Silencer took over during Christmas 2011 as the super silent (passive cooling), low power server solution for hosting algoholic.eu and later adared.ch. I have been online (i.e. 24/7 server) using different combinations of hardware and software for almost 20 years now and I can attest that this little Shuttle beast was BY FAR the most reliable and hassle-free solution with literary ZERO hardware faults during the 6-year period and only occasional software quirks. Silencer had the privilege of running a serious operating system – FreeBSD as opposed to geek battle royale which is Linux 😉 It contributed vastly to the security (jails), performance and ease of maintenance of the entire setup. Following this great experience I have decided to upgrade to Shuttle DS77U5 (pictured) which boasts an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU (4 threads, up to 3.1GHz), support for up to 32GB of RAM (16GB currently installed) and ability to install an M.2 SSD drive as well as a classical SATA one (currently Intel 600P 512GB M.2 + old Intel 320 128 GB SATA). To top it off I have installed the most recent stable release of FreeBSD 11.1 which – despite initial scare of ZFS performance with NVMe drives – turns out to work absolutely flawlessly with my workload. A couple of peculiarities worth mentioning are: 1. one must disable serial ports on DS77U5 in order for FreeBSD to boot when no screen is attached (read more here), 2. cups required a patch in /usr/ports/print/cups-filters/work/cups-filters-1.16.0/filter/foomatic-rip/foomaticrip.c after line 589 “rewind(file);” one must add “lseek(fileno(file), 0, SEEK_SET);” – otherwise the file position is inconsistent between C library and the OS. cups-filters has the unfortunate habit of mixing the two APIs. The cherry on top for this big upgrade is finally a definitive switch to HTTPS with a free Let’s Encrypt certificate. Highly recommended. Finally HTTPS traffic without self-signing warnings. The new server (codename: Prodigy) is a monster. Everything works lightning fast now so that you can enjoy a fully responsive 21st century user experience. To round it all up – adared.ch has ambitious technical plans for 2018 and Prodigy will help us all to achieve them. I wish you a fun New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year!!!

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