Thanks DAB, great to hear from you!
1 dollar per word - that's incredible to imagine... And to think that was still a significant improvement over manual labour or claculation to be worth it.
Another great comparison a remeber hearing, I seem to remember the Voyager probes could communicate at about 8 bps, which was comparable to a good telegraph operator!
Another great teardown.
The first computer system I worked on had four racks for the PDP-11-20 computer and four racks of special build electronics for capturing digitized images generated by a laser system.
As for memory costs, we upgraded to an additional 8K by 16 bits of core memory for about 8,000 USD. That was 1 USD for each 16 bit word.
Later we got an additional 2.2 MB disc drive with one 1.1 MB removable platter. Great upgrade from our original 64 KB hard drive.
How times have changed over the last fifty years.
It does bring back memories. We were a small remote engineering design office and we maintained our own servers. When we did an upgrade to standardize the hardware I took home one of the old racks. Of course, it was 7 foot tall with power strip, cable trays, and fans - so I had to disassemble it and reassemble it in my computer room over the objections of my wife.
I have fond memories of the automated sensor calling me in the middle of the night because the server room was overheating. When we had power outages it would knock out our AC, but our UPS backup would keep the servers alive to protect overnight runs. So, it was a judgment call to shutdown.
Thank you for sharing your experiance, there are some interesting points that you raise in here that I am hoping I get to cover in a field trip style "The Electroncis Inside", If I can get the paperwork and red tape all tied up!
I briefly got to work on the power in a TV Broadcast suite. There was a shared comms room for all the equipment that needed high up time and resiliance. The site had 4 different power systems to each rack! It was just at the time they were decommissioning and removing the old tape autoloader "robots". I wish I had been allowed to take some of those home for a future "TEI" episode!
Just some personal insight into the hardware you are using.
Proliants were used extensively in Microsoft Mediaroom streaming television. I worked for an ISP that provided television to 160K subscribers using Mediaroom. A server farm to ingest, encrypt and distribute the content could exceed 200 servers. 1U's and 4U's server sizes were typically along with numerous storage arrays similar to the unit you showed.
If being used to stream video content is any indication of its performance your choice to use it for rendering has some merit.
The beasts are noisy! You would typically leave a server room to carry on a conversation. I had one in a lab in my basement. I gave it up or turned it off when not in use because of the fan noise.
Heating and cooling for our operation were done via Infinite Access (IA) flooring. The floor was sealed except under the racks. Cool air was pumped under the floor space, typically 18inches of free space and exited the top of the rack. All cables came up from under the floor.
Anchors rods would be secured from the rack into the flooring below. Pulling a few servers out of the rack could cause it to come crashing down on you if it wasn't anchored to the floor.
Most monitoring of the servers was performed using SNMP protocol. Vendors invest heavily in using SNMP MIBs to get information from the server to a monitoring host. To get the most out of monitoring using the vendor MIbs was critical.
I have personally hot-swapped both power supplies and hard drives without an outage. As you are changing a drive thinking, is this going to take out a channel on the guide was a little unnerving.
Maintenace was done between the hours of 01:00-06:00 to prevent interruptions other than the customers watching porn:)
Thanks for a trip down memory lane. At my age, everything is from memory lane.