Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-31 Thread Bjoern Hoehrmann
* James Salsman wrote:
Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
instance?

Related: https://twitter.com/DellCares/status/417812096072818688.
-- 
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Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
25899 Dagebüll · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-30 Thread Leslie Carr
Oh man ---

The trolling here is amazing!!!

First off, you can't just plug a fiber cable into an ethernet socket.
You need at least SFP+'s for 10G fiber connections, plus the cost of
fiber itself -- it's way more expensive than a 100mbit connection.

That said, we do use SFP+ based 10G for our varnish layer -- the
amount of traffic pushed by those boxes compared to the amount it
would cost to buy a bunch of additional machines makes the extra cost
of the interfaces (and don't forget the switch ports! 10G switches
cost more than 100mbit switches) make perfect financial sense.

Leslie

PS - someone technical may point out that DAC (which is copper! gasp!)
is cheaper than two SFP+'s and a fiber cable.  That's true!  However
we have had major issues with DAC compatibility on the switch side,
and some issues on the hardware side.  SFP+'s rarely (albeit
occasionally) have that issue.  Plus we can keep a spare inventory
that is usable in multiple places, making our sparing easier and life
easier on the DC techs when we need to scramble for an unexpected 10G
need.


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 Maximum 100 Mbps ethernet connection

 We should be using fiber, which also costs less power and is orders of
 magnitude faster.

 If the words enterprise-class actually mean something more than
 much larger markup than purchasing components then go with something
 like http://www.marvell.com/company/news/pressDetail.do?releaseID=3576

 For example, maybe the http://www.mitac.com/business/gfx_servers.html
 people have benchmarks representative of our DB/cache usage patterns.
 It's not like we have anything special (or x86-specific, Jasper!)
 other than very high bandwidth.

 At least put out an RFP, please.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-30 Thread Liam Wyatt
As a non-technical person on this list, I have no idea what you just said
Lesile (and Tim, earlier in this thread) but I greatly enjoyed reading it!
Keep up the good work :-)
-Liam / Wittylama

On Tuesday, 31 December 2013, Leslie Carr wrote:

 Oh man ---

 The trolling here is amazing!!!

 First off, you can't just plug a fiber cable into an ethernet socket.
 You need at least SFP+'s for 10G fiber connections, plus the cost of
 fiber itself -- it's way more expensive than a 100mbit connection.

 That said, we do use SFP+ based 10G for our varnish layer -- the
 amount of traffic pushed by those boxes compared to the amount it
 would cost to buy a bunch of additional machines makes the extra cost
 of the interfaces (and don't forget the switch ports! 10G switches
 cost more than 100mbit switches) make perfect financial sense.

 Leslie

 PS - someone technical may point out that DAC (which is copper! gasp!)
 is cheaper than two SFP+'s and a fiber cable.  That's true!  However
 we have had major issues with DAC compatibility on the switch side,
 and some issues on the hardware side.  SFP+'s rarely (albeit
 occasionally) have that issue.  Plus we can keep a spare inventory
 that is usable in multiple places, making our sparing easier and life
 easier on the DC techs when we need to scramble for an unexpected 10G
 need.


 On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM, James Salsman 
 jsals...@gmail.comjavascript:;
 wrote:
  Maximum 100 Mbps ethernet connection
 
  We should be using fiber, which also costs less power and is orders of
  magnitude faster.
 
  If the words enterprise-class actually mean something more than
  much larger markup than purchasing components then go with something
  like http://www.marvell.com/company/news/pressDetail.do?releaseID=3576
 
  For example, maybe the http://www.mitac.com/business/gfx_servers.html
  people have benchmarks representative of our DB/cache usage patterns.
  It's not like we have anything special (or x86-specific, Jasper!)
  other than very high bandwidth.
 
  At least put out an RFP, please.
 
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[Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread James Salsman
Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
instance?

Ref.:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

Best regards,
James
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread geni
On 29 December 2013 12:55, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes


The WMF doesn't.



 and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?

 Ref.:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

 Best regards,
 James



Using non standard data center equipment is a great way to add costs.

As for security given the limited resources the WMF has whenever GCHQ, FSB
and MSS have wanted to get in they have and there is nothing we can do
about this.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Leslie Carr
On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 5:17 AM, geni geni...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 29 December 2013 12:55, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes


 The WMF doesn't.



 and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?

 Ref.:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

 Best regards,
 James



 Using non standard data center equipment is a great way to add costs.


Naw, it's a great idea.  Let's switch to building our own ARM-based
servers (by the way, which have already been a flop commercially),
using only unproven, low-volume available motherboards and having to
buy and assemble all of the rest of the components.  And then of
course, we need to design our own cases... and since these have such a
low performance, we'll need to have a lot more rack and datacenter
space, of course which comes with a cost... and we'll have to figure
out how to run our caching layers which require large amounts of
memory... and our storage layers which require large amounts of disk
space.  At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.

So... I think with about a 100 million dollar per year research budget
we can do this.  Who's ponying up? ;)


 As for security given the limited resources the WMF has whenever GCHQ, FSB
 and MSS have wanted to get in they have and there is nothing we can do
 about this.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread George Herbert
On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 4:55 AM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?

 Ref.:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html



Cubie are not credible enterprise-grade hardware; having made the
suggestion indicates you don't understand what large server farm design and
operations are all about.

One can see signs of a movement towards enterprise-grade lower power CPU
systems such as Atom, ARM, and Via chip mini-servers.  It's not there yet.
 Both hardware and OS issues with the ARMs, and hardware with the others.


-- 
-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Emilio J . Rodríguez-Posada
2013/12/29 Leslie Carr lc...@wikimedia.org

 On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 5:17 AM, geni geni...@gmail.com wrote:
  On 29 December 2013 12:55, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 
  Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes
 
 
  The WMF doesn't.
 
 
 
  and start buying
  datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
  instance?
 
  Ref.:
 
 
 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html
 
  Best regards,
  James
 
 
 
  Using non standard data center equipment is a great way to add costs.
 

 Naw, it's a great idea.  Let's switch to building our own ARM-based
 servers (by the way, which have already been a flop commercially),
 using only unproven, low-volume available motherboards and having to
 buy and assemble all of the rest of the components.  And then of
 course, we need to design our own cases... and since these have such a
 low performance, we'll need to have a lot more rack and datacenter
 space, of course which comes with a cost... and we'll have to figure
 out how to run our caching layers which require large amounts of
 memory... and our storage layers which require large amounts of disk
 space.  At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
 which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
 hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.

 So... I think with about a 100 million dollar per year research budget
 we can do this.  Who's ponying up? ;)


Funny huh?

If we use free software, I don't see why we can't move to open-source
hardware ASAP.



  As for security given the limited resources the WMF has whenever GCHQ,
 FSB
  and MSS have wanted to get in they have and there is nothing we can do
  about this.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Philippe Beaudette
On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM, Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada 
emi...@gmail.com wrote:


  Naw, it's a great idea.  Let's switch to building our own ARM-based
  servers (by the way, which have already been a flop commercially),
  using only unproven, low-volume available motherboards and having to
  buy and assemble all of the rest of the components.  And then of
  course, we need to design our own cases... and since these have such a
  low performance, we'll need to have a lot more rack and datacenter
  space, of course which comes with a cost... and we'll have to figure
  out how to run our caching layers which require large amounts of
  memory... and our storage layers which require large amounts of disk
  space.  At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
  which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
  hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.
 
  So... I think with about a 100 million dollar per year research budget
  we can do this.  Who's ponying up? ;)
 
 
 Funny huh?

 If we use free software, I don't see why we can't move to open-source
 hardware ASAP.



Well, I think Leslie just listed a few, but I'll recap:
- low-availability
- Requires in house assembly
- Requires in house design capacity
- Substantially more rack and datacenter space required
- Insufficient for caching and storage layers
- Cost of manufacturing.

pb
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread ???

On 29/12/2013 22:41, Philippe Beaudette wrote:

On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM, Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada 
emi...@gmail.com wrote:




Naw, it's a great idea.  Let's switch to building our own ARM-based
servers (by the way, which have already been a flop commercially),
using only unproven, low-volume available motherboards and having to
buy and assemble all of the rest of the components.  And then of
course, we need to design our own cases... and since these have such a
low performance, we'll need to have a lot more rack and datacenter
space, of course which comes with a cost... and we'll have to figure
out how to run our caching layers which require large amounts of
memory... and our storage layers which require large amounts of disk
space.  At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.

So... I think with about a 100 million dollar per year research budget
we can do this.  Who's ponying up? ;)



Funny huh?

If we use free software, I don't see why we can't move to open-source
hardware ASAP.




Well, I think Leslie just listed a few, but I'll recap:
- low-availability
- Requires in house assembly
- Requires in house design capacity
- Substantially more rack and datacenter space required
- Insufficient for caching and storage layers
- Cost of manufacturing.



Add to the list people that know what they are doing.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Tim Starling
On 29/12/13 23:55, James Salsman wrote:
 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?
 
 Ref.:
 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html
 

That article doesn't say Dell equipment has a back door, it just says
that there is surveillance software or hardware designed to work with
Dell equipment. It doesn't even say that Dell equipment is especially
vulnerable.

There is no information in the documents seen by SPIEGEL to suggest
that the companies whose products are mentioned in the catalog
provided any support to the NSA or even had any knowledge of the
intelligence solutions.

-- Tim Starling


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Jasper Deng
The WMF's servers have nothing to do with Microsoft.

There do exist alternative processor architectures, not even just ARM
(Itanium (probably too expensive), Tilera (massively parallel)), but I
don't think migrating our software (particularly Labs'
virtualization-related software) to them is trivial.

One should also ask whether the NSA is snooping on our transit links and
our peering IXPs (Google is encrypting their own fiber, as well as their
transit links, for that reason).


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 4:55 AM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?

 Ref.:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

 Best regards,
 James
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread James Salsman
When this came up last time, it turned out that there was some kind of
a deal in place, and certainly many if not most published pictures of
the Wikimedia data center feature rows of shiny Dell logos.  But Dell
does support Microsoft and the NSA, obviously, and also supports some
very creative accounting methods to avoid paying taxes with tax
havens. Dell's corporate structure adventures are not the sort of
corporate behavior concordant with a mission to empower anyone other
than Dell stockholders.

If you don't like Cubietrucks, then how about RADXA? At least with
http://dl.radxa.com/rock/docs/hw/RADXA_ROCK_schematic_20130903.pdf
you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't cost a huge power
bill. We still failover when machines go out of service, and sure the
caches would have different RAM configurations, but the fact is it
doesn't cost more money to switch to ARM, and you jettison a bunch of
legacy x86 crap that nobody uses but take millions of transistors
which need to be powered. Why ask our donors to keep all those useless
transistors warm?

And as much as I personally appreciate Wikimedia staff, I am inclined
to agree with the sentiment that perhaps we should hire more staff
until we get some who believe that it wouldn't cost $100,000 to
transition to less expensive hardware. And maybe some people who know
how to order chassis?

Best regards,
James

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Dan Rosenthal
*And as much as I personally appreciate Wikimedia staff, I am inclined*



*to agree with the sentiment that perhaps we should hire more staff until
we get some who believe that it wouldn't cost $100,000 totransition to less
expensive hardware. And maybe some people who know how to order chassis?*

What makes you think they don't?

Dan Rosenthal


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 When this came up last time, it turned out that there was some kind of
 a deal in place, and certainly many if not most published pictures of
 the Wikimedia data center feature rows of shiny Dell logos.  But Dell
 does support Microsoft and the NSA, obviously, and also supports some
 very creative accounting methods to avoid paying taxes with tax
 havens. Dell's corporate structure adventures are not the sort of
 corporate behavior concordant with a mission to empower anyone other
 than Dell stockholders.

 If you don't like Cubietrucks, then how about RADXA? At least with
 http://dl.radxa.com/rock/docs/hw/RADXA_ROCK_schematic_20130903.pdf
 you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't cost a huge power
 bill. We still failover when machines go out of service, and sure the
 caches would have different RAM configurations, but the fact is it
 doesn't cost more money to switch to ARM, and you jettison a bunch of
 legacy x86 crap that nobody uses but take millions of transistors
 which need to be powered. Why ask our donors to keep all those useless
 transistors warm?

 And as much as I personally appreciate Wikimedia staff, I am inclined
 to agree with the sentiment that perhaps we should hire more staff
 until we get some who believe that it wouldn't cost $100,000 to
 transition to less expensive hardware. And maybe some people who know
 how to order chassis?

 Best regards,
 James

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Jasper Deng
but the fact is it
doesn't cost more money to switch to ARM, and you jettison a bunch of
legacy x86 crap that nobody uses but take millions of transistors
which need to be powered.

ARM is not compatible with a lot of our software, and besides if we really
wanted power efficiency we could instead buy Intel's 14nm chips.
Virtualization also helps.

New servers always cost a lot, and it's not trivial to switch over hundreds
of boxes. That's because you're not going to make ARM CPUs work as drop-in
replacements.


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 7:55 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 When this came up last time, it turned out that there was some kind of
 a deal in place, and certainly many if not most published pictures of
 the Wikimedia data center feature rows of shiny Dell logos.  But Dell
 does support Microsoft and the NSA, obviously, and also supports some
 very creative accounting methods to avoid paying taxes with tax
 havens. Dell's corporate structure adventures are not the sort of
 corporate behavior concordant with a mission to empower anyone other
 than Dell stockholders.

 If you don't like Cubietrucks, then how about RADXA? At least with
 http://dl.radxa.com/rock/docs/hw/RADXA_ROCK_schematic_20130903.pdf
 you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't cost a huge power
 bill. We still failover when machines go out of service, and sure the
 caches would have different RAM configurations, but the fact is it
 doesn't cost more money to switch to ARM, and you jettison a bunch of
 legacy x86 crap that nobody uses but take millions of transistors
 which need to be powered. Why ask our donors to keep all those useless
 transistors warm?

 And as much as I personally appreciate Wikimedia staff, I am inclined
 to agree with the sentiment that perhaps we should hire more staff
 until we get some who believe that it wouldn't cost $100,000 to
 transition to less expensive hardware. And maybe some people who know
 how to order chassis?

 Best regards,
 James

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Tim Starling
On 30/12/13 14:55, James Salsman wrote:
 If you don't like Cubietrucks, then how about RADXA? At least with
 http://dl.radxa.com/rock/docs/hw/RADXA_ROCK_schematic_20130903.pdf
 you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't cost a huge power
 bill. 

Maximum 100 Mbps ethernet connection. Also, it doesn't exist yet.

 We still failover when machines go out of service, and sure the
 caches would have different RAM configurations, but the fact is it
 doesn't cost more money to switch to ARM, and you jettison a bunch of
 legacy x86 crap that nobody uses but take millions of transistors
 which need to be powered. Why ask our donors to keep all those useless
 transistors warm?

Are there some benchmarks which support this idea? I read

http://armservers.com/2012/06/18/apache-benchmarks-for-calxedas-5-watt-web-server/

But it was full of distortions, like comparing the actual power usage
of the ARM system with the TDP of the Intel system, and then using a
workload which saturated the network link of the Intel system versus
the CPU of the ARM system. Maybe this sort of fluff is part of the
reason why Calxeda went bust.

Marketing materials on Calxeda's website indicated that the system was
priced such that it would be more expensive than Intel on a per-MIPS
basis, but that you'd win in the long run through reduced power bills.
It didn't sound like a cheap solution to me.

I read this:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/13/facebook_arm_chips/

But it was clear that it was only at a prototype stage -- the
benchmarks are not in yet because the development work needs to be
done first. I read this:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/16/google_intel_arm_analysis/

which speculated that Xeon may still be better for CPU-intensive
tasks, and ARM chips may be useful for storage control. But a
Cubieboard or Radxa can't be used for storage, since they lack the
necessary high-bandwidth connections.

Leslie Carr wrote:
 At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
 which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
 hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.

Google and Facebook are apparently taking that route. Maybe some day,
this technology will be available for anyone to buy.

-- Tim Starling


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread George William Herbert



On Dec 29, 2013, at 9:11 PM, Tim Starling tstarl...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Leslie Carr wrote:
 At that point we'll probably need to redesign those boards
 which are incapable of doing these things, so we'll need a team of
 hardware engineers, plus a deal with a manufacturing plant.
 
 Google and Facebook are apparently taking that route. Maybe some day,
 this technology will be available for anyone to buy.
 
 -- Tim Starling


One hears rumors of enterprise grade hardware manufacturers floating product 
ideas to customers (cough) but rumors persist that paying customers actually 
calculate bandwidth issues for their applications and generally say no. The 
ones who say yes tend to be academics in strange corners of the money / compute 
cluster CPU vs IO trade space, and are ok with building their own.


-george william herbert
george.herb...@gmail.com

Sent from Kangphone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread James Salsman
 Maximum 100 Mbps ethernet connection

We should be using fiber, which also costs less power and is orders of
magnitude faster.

If the words enterprise-class actually mean something more than
much larger markup than purchasing components then go with something
like http://www.marvell.com/company/news/pressDetail.do?releaseID=3576

For example, maybe the http://www.mitac.com/business/gfx_servers.html
people have benchmarks representative of our DB/cache usage patterns.
It's not like we have anything special (or x86-specific, Jasper!)
other than very high bandwidth.

At least put out an RFP, please.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Jasper Deng
It's not like we have anything special (or x86-specific, Jasper!)
other than very high bandwidth.

Wikimedia Labs uses x86 hardware virtualization (just one example). We
already have transit linkages that include fiber, and new fiber is far from
cheap.

You persist in ignoring the costs of buying equipment. In terms of orders
of magnitude, ~500 servers * $200 per server = $100,000 already. That is a
conservative $200/server estimate that also doesn't take into account labor
and other costs. To the level we'd want it, it's at least one more order of
magnitude more expensive (no, we're not going to recover the costs by
selling our existing servers).


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

  Maximum 100 Mbps ethernet connection

 We should be using fiber, which also costs less power and is orders of
 magnitude faster.

 If the words enterprise-class actually mean something more than
 much larger markup than purchasing components then go with something
 like http://www.marvell.com/company/news/pressDetail.do?releaseID=3576

 For example, maybe the http://www.mitac.com/business/gfx_servers.html
 people have benchmarks representative of our DB/cache usage patterns.
 It's not like we have anything special (or x86-specific, Jasper!)
 other than very high bandwidth.

 At least put out an RFP, please.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread James Salsman
... Wikimedia Labs uses x86 hardware virtualization (just one example)

How does that tie us to x86?
http://www.eweek.com/servers/arm-server-chips-get-xen-virtualization-support/

... a conservative $200/server estimate

I have been recommending hardware which costs closer to $70 per
server depending on storage and cache architecture options.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread Jasper Deng
How does that tie us to x86?

We don't use Xen, nor is that guaranteed to give us acceptable performance.

closer to $70

Please justify that claim (that would be the cost of the CPU or hard disk
alone). You haven't even given us a compelling reason to spend any money at
all on this.


On Sun, Dec 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 ... Wikimedia Labs uses x86 hardware virtualization (just one example)

 How does that tie us to x86?

 http://www.eweek.com/servers/arm-server-chips-get-xen-virtualization-support/

 ... a conservative $200/server estimate

 I have been recommending hardware which costs closer to $70 per
 server depending on storage and cache architecture options.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dells are backdored

2013-12-29 Thread John Vandenberg
Putting aside the 'tax' aspect, whether or not there is a backdoor in the
shipped product is not the point of the article you linked to James.

NSA is intercepting hardware deliveries and adding backdoors while it is
enroute from supplier to customer. Buying new equipment gives NSA a new
opportunity to inject backdoors unless WMF has staff watching the entire
manufacturing and delivery process.

The latest revelations give details of only a few of NSAs capabilities.
Eliminating the now known threats, and all the other possible vectors is
not feasible.

A more sensible strategy is to put perimeters around sets of private data,
and watch your own equipment for unusual activity, with more focus on
outbound than was previously thought necessary by most organisations. The
extreme end is using trusted operating systems, tagging all data and
network interfaces  software preventing unapproved data transits.

WMF already has serious network traffic analytics and monitoring. Maybe
some more rules and alerts are needed, but everyone is reviewing how
suspicious they should be of their 'own' internal equipment now.
 On Dec 29, 2013 7:56 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:

 Can we please stop paying the Microsoft and NSA taxes and start buying
 datacenter equipment which costs a lot less? Cubieboard/Cubietrucks for
 instance?

 Ref.:

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

 Best regards,
 James
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