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  • What to do with hundreds of spare servers

    I recently started a job at a large datacenter in downtown Los Angeles. We have racks and racks of servers that sit idle (waiting for the next hosting customer).

    I'm kicking around ideas to make use of these servers for fun and profit (with the blessing of management).

    So far the best idea is creating a renderfarm for 3d animation projects - hey Hollywood is just around the corner.

    Any other ideas? Someone suggested using the cpu power for regression analysis of stocks. That sounds interesting, but a bit above my paygrade.

    Maybe a distributed cracking service?

  • #2
    Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

    Originally posted by not5150 View Post
    I recently started a job at a large datacenter in downtown Los Angeles. We have racks and racks of servers that sit idle (waiting for the next hosting customer).

    I'm kicking around ideas to make use of these servers for fun and profit (with the blessing of management).

    So far the best idea is creating a renderfarm for 3d animation projects - hey Hollywood is just around the corner.

    Any other ideas? Someone suggested using the cpu power for regression analysis of stocks. That sounds interesting, but a bit above my paygrade.

    Maybe a distributed cracking service?
    I'm not sure you'd get the blessing of management if that's what you'd propose.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    • #3
      Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

      Might I suggest something like genome work, or Seti or Folding?
      AMFYOYO

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

        a beowulf cluster dedicated to uber-overtime ROT-13 cracking. I'm willing to bet that you can get upwards of 24,000,000 passes per second if you code it properly. i had one once, but about 50% of the time when we stopped the processing thread, the message was still garbled. maybe you can improve somehow on our results.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #5
          Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

          You could be hosting a ton of pr0n and make some money

          xor
          Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

            Folding@home is nice because you know your computations are actually going to a worthwhile cause, namely medical research and curing disease
            45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
            45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
            [ redacted ]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

              Originally posted by bascule View Post
              Folding@home is nice because you know your computations are actually going to a worthwhile cause, namely medical research and curing disease
              And using lots of energy which is bad for the earth, to keep people alive longer, who use more energy, which is, you guessed it, bad for the earth.

              Just a train of thought... it's very late.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                Originally posted by Cranial View Post
                And using lots of energy which is bad for the earth
                technically speaking, using energy is not a bad thing for the earth. it's the production of energy by certain means that can be bad, depending on your view of global climate change and the factors that drive it.

                and technically, even that isn't bad for the earth... which will just keep rolling right along. it's bad for things living on the earth. and even then, it's not bad for all of them (or even really most of them). it just could be bad for us, depending on how things play out.

                heh, semantics.
                Last edited by Deviant Ollam; December 20, 2008, 12:07.
                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                - Trent Reznor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  technically speaking, using energy is not a bad thing for the earth. it's the production of energy by certain means that can be bad, depending on your view of global climate change and the factors that drive it.

                  and technically, even that isn't bad for the earth... which will just keep rolling right along. it's bad for things living on the earth. and even then, it's not bad for all of them (or even really most of them. it just could be bad for us, depending on how things play out.

                  heh, semantics.
                  ...and the production of energy has increased dramatically since the popularity of the Internet grew out of the early 90's. So if we really want to save the planet, the internet should be dismantled. ;)
                  A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                    Originally posted by Cranial View Post
                    And using lots of energy which is bad for the earth, to keep people alive longer, who use more energy, which is, you guessed it, bad for the earth.

                    Just a train of thought... it's very late.
                    That train of thought is highly dependent whose figures and agenda you believe. Since a lot of the same people and groups who are proponents of the 'warming trend' are those same people who 35 years ago were screaming that the industrial states would produce 'a new ice age', well, let's just be nice and say their figures are highly suspect.
                    Thorn
                    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                      Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                      That train of thought is highly dependent whose figures and agenda you believe. Since a lot of the same people and groups who are proponents of the 'warming trend' are those same people who 35 years ago were screaming that the industrial states would produce 'a new ice age', well, let's just be nice and say their figures are highly suspect.
                      Not to mention the people during the 80's screaming about Acid Rain, I'm guessing that it doesn't exist anymore since we never hear about it.
                      A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                        [RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                        The right wing anti-global warming lobby is actually a conspiracy to use the forces of nature to destroy all the major godless socialist and communist of the world. Because during an ice age they get frosted first. It's our first frost strategy. This of course will leave only red states and southern California(got to have movies). It's also gives us Plausible deniability as we can blame it on nature. It's a win win for the right wing.

                        [/RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                        You should be laughing now.

                        xor
                        Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                          Originally posted by xor View Post
                          [RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                          The right wing anti-global warming lobby is actually a conspiracy to use the forces of nature to destroy all the major godless socialist and communist of the world. Because during an ice age they get frosted first. It's our first frost strategy. This of course will leave only red states and southern California(got to have movies). It's also gives us Plausible deniability as we can blame it on nature. It's a win win for the right wing.

                          [/RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                          You should be laughing now.

                          xor
                          I would be laughing if there weren't some left wing nuts that actually believed that.

                          Disclaimer: This should no way be construed as a political statement against left wing nutjobs.
                          A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                            Originally posted by xor View Post
                            [RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                            The right wing anti-global warming lobby is actually a conspiracy to use the forces of nature to destroy all the major godless socialist and communist of the world. Because during an ice age they get frosted first. It's our first frost strategy. This of course will leave only red states and southern California(got to have movies). It's also gives us Plausible deniability as we can blame it on nature. It's a win win for the right wing.

                            [/RIDICULOUSLY INSANE LEFT WING CONSPIRACIES I JUST THOUGHT UP]

                            You should be laughing now.

                            xor
                            Wouldn't Southern California be the first to go as the modern equivalent to Sodom and Gomorrah?

                            Crazy conspiracy theories of any political leaning aside, my biggest problem is that I find a lot of the so-called science very questionable, no matter who's talking. Most of what passes for fact seems to be FUD verging on the hysterical, and most of the supposed hard figures seem to be taken completely out of context.

                            Back on topic: Cluster the servers to run a politics-free weather model, and see if global/warming/freezing/climate change is true.
                            Thorn
                            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What to do with hundreds of spare servers

                              Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                              Back on topic: Cluster the servers to run a politics-free weather model, and see if global/warming/freezing/climate change is true.
                              And make sure to increase your beef intake during this period. (Well to lower cow methane production of course, to help make the project 'carbon neutral').

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