Debian Seeks Hardware Sponsors

Feb 10, 2009

An email appeal by Joey Schulze is calling for hardware donations to support two new Debian projects: snapshot and data archive.

To start the projects, 10 TB disk space, with easy extension abilities will be required, writes Schulze. Sponsors will be featured prominently on Debian's web server and service web pages.

Snapshot will function like Archive.org (the so-called "wayback machine" attempts to archive the Internet.) Based on dates and version numbers, it will enable access to previous Debian packages, as well as current and future versions. Schulze puts the required daily data volume at 3 to 4 GB. Present implementations already consume 4 TB, providing a valuable community service, he adds. The ability to install old packages and view the source codes will be immensely helpful for developers looking to fix regressions, and users frequently need older software to run specific applications.

The second project: data archive, will contain packages so huge they cannot be distributed through the regular archive. These could include medical, statistical and game data, the volume of which is growing continuously and Debian hopes to make available.

Sponsors are also needed for the two separate locations Debian plans for deployment. Unable to host from the US for legal reasons (some packages are not allowed to be distributed from within the USA). Ideally, Debian would like to run both projects on the same hardware, provided the donated resources prove sufficient.

Sponsors are asked to send a mail to hardware-donations@debian.org. "The Debian project is hoping for an independent storage array that can be extended or upgraded without having to reconfigure the hardware of the server attached to it," says Schulze, and,"A disk shelf based SATA SAN seems ideal for this application."

Debian envisions 10 TB to start, where a RAID with 12x 1 TB SATA drive seeming to be a good compromise between price and capacity. Hosts should consist of two recent CPUs and 32 GB RAM. Debian's available machines simply do not meet these requirements.

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