The Secretaries Retire

MGP

MGP

Soldato
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It's with a tinge of sadness that I have to announce that the secretaries are retiring from Folding.

There is too much weirdness going on with the office network, and it appears that the folding clients are just adding to the chaos. I have no idea why, but the server frequently drops connectivity of everything via ISA2004. Experimentation suggests folding traffic compounds the problem, especially if for some reason the WU can't upload correctly first time. At least one client seems to be borking it's connection numerous times, somehow there seem to be some 10 WUs that haven't uploaded. A couple of others are giving that a good run for it's money. To be honest chasing down the folding issues isn't something I have got time for at the moment (shameful attitude I know).

The last few WUs should upload in the next couple of days, after which I might well be joining the single cruncher league.

I'll prepare myself for the inevitable parps :(
 
Man of Honour
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Sure it's a software problem and not a hardware fault or flaky network connection? I've had silly things like a slightly dodgy network cable take down servers at random and unpredictable moments (one of the old servers on which Team OcUK was hosted did this).

Diagnosing it on a server 4,000 miles away wasn't fun, especially when you had a fair bit of NOC incompetence to wade through before you got to the people who knew what they should be doing. Think it took about 3 months and numerous wrong guesses before we nailed it down to a $5 piece of wire.
 
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Associate
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The problems will probably continue even without Folding adding to the chaos.

So if you should ever get it all running smoothly again perhaps you could open a few rigs back up one at a time? :)

Well with my next few rigs I should be able to take up your slack and a bit extra with your 2k 24h average :p
 

MGP

MGP

Soldato
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There are so many places to look for problems. Folding just compounds it. I've literally just downloaded one client onto my home PC, and that's uploading the WUs fine. (takes some 5 minutes per WU though even on a 4 meg download connection) That does suggest some incompatibility between folding and the office network.

Tracing the rest of it though is tricky. Network wiring might be one area, but the server has two NICs one LAN one WAN, and yet connectivity falls over on both. I'm more inclined to say there is an incompatibilty between ISA and some other server configuration or software. But troubleshooting that is beyond me at the moment.

Folding isn't being made a scapegoat for all this. It's just helping to highlight the symptoms. I need the network back to basics so I can move it all forward again.
 
Soldato
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C'est la vie.

Well, I hope that you might eventually be able to get a few back folding, but that's up to you. Good luck in the single cruchers league - some stiff competition out there!
 
Man of Honour
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Are both NICs on the same card (or motherboard) or different cards?

I've never been a fan of using Windows-based kit for network routing tasks. It's too error-prone for my liking. Linux or dedicated hardware every time.
 

MGP

MGP

Soldato
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Both NIC 10/100/1Gig cards are part of the server motherboard setup. The server is very well spec'd and only a year old, runing M$ Small Business Server 2003 which includes ISA 2004. It's all supposed to have been compatible, beign OEM software supplied with the server but I have my suspicions, as hyperthreading had to be disabled before ISA would even run (too many CPU's detected error). I had other threads on all this some time ago.

The crashing has been going on for some time, but seems to be occurring more frequently. What is noticeable is the slowing up of the network periodically, and that from the few logs I have, does relate to the internet activity of folding WU uploads / downloads which seem to be a few meg in size.
 
Soldato
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Oooh err, sounds like you need to step back and take a fresh look at your network configuration. I also think you are correct in deciding to get rid of folding@home for the time being. It is one thing to troubleshoot network problems its another to try and do it with all sorts of network traffic.

Be a shame to lose the output but with more and more of us on SMP clients I am sure we wont be affected too much.
 
Man of Honour
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I agree with that - getting rid of F@h is the right thing to do from a business perspective, but so is fixing the problem.

I'd give a seperate NIC (or even two) a go if you have the option. If it's a rackmount server of course you may not have that option.
 

MGP

MGP

Soldato
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The problem is that the licence terms don't let you separate out a component like ISA even if you had the space for the separate server box. But I can't see how using M$ Small Business Server itself is a "cardinal sin". Countless businesses do this.
 
Soldato
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Sorry to hear that MPG - but to be honest if SMP continues as it is, the days of office farms are numbered.

Mind you, if the machines on, you might as well fold on it.
It is where the whole DC principle started afterall. DC compertition, just followed as a by-product (some might argue that giveing 'points' was a direct hook aim at pc enthusiast to join the project).
 
Soldato
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MGP said:
The problem is that the licence terms don't let you separate out a component like ISA even if you had the space for the separate server box. But I can't see how using M$ Small Business Server itself is a "cardinal sin". Countless businesses do this.
Yeah, I know. :(
Biffa's point wasn't aimed at SBS itself but at using an MS product as a proxy server/firewall.
 
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