Atlantic Sound Factory

Rocking the 'Net since 2005

This bad boy will soon power the Atlantic Sound Factory

Posted on Fri, 31 Oct 2014


A few weeks ago the PC running the DJ software for the Atlantic Sound Factory lost a power supply. Luckily I had another power supply in the house and was able to get the station back online in about an hour.

The station is running on borrowed time. All the equipment is starting to show its age. There’s a Windows server in the basement that houses the database and dynamic website content. It’s a Dell Poweredge SC430 and it’s almost 7 years old.

Two floors above in the studio, a second Dell Poweredge SC430 runs the station’s DJ software. It, too, is 7 years old.

Besides the fact that the hard drives, main board and power supplies are 7 years old, the machines are separated by two floors, they are big, power hungry and heavy. Let’s just say that, in case of fire, I would not be putting them under my arms as I run from the building.

So it’s time to upgrade. For my daytime job, I’ve spent the past 11 months developing on a Mac Mini, running VMWare Fusion and Windows 8.1 and the platform has been very solid. The Mac Mini consumes about as much power as a 60W light bulb.

8 days ago I took delivery of another Mac Mini, an i7 quad core with a 1TB hard drive, and I bumped it to 16GB RAM. Last weekend, in what was a somewhat brutal journey, I virtualized the station’s server, installed the DJ software, put them on the new Mac, and for the past week I’ve been putting the new hardware through its paces. At the time of this writing, the two Dell systems are still powering the station but the Mac Mini has been running a clone copy of all the station systems in parallel test mode. So far, so good.

Within the next few days, assuming the new system remains stable, I’ll make the switch and move operation to the new Mac. The little Mini with VMWare and Windows will be the new system behind ASF Radio. The Dells will be retired, my electric bill should drop, and in case of fire I might actually be able to tuck it into my sweater on the way out the door.

In the evenings, I’ve been busy working on a website upgrade as well. The new website will look quite different (I’m ditching the dark theme) but it will, for the first time, handle all web traffic for mobile, tablet and PCs in one set of code thanks to the conversion to responsive design. I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it this weekend and can’t wait for all of you to see it. It will roll out with the new hardware in the next few days.

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