Over the years, we've had various hardware setups for the staging server at AnandTech. For the most part, it had been running off my personal web server, since ColdFusion is quite easy to develop from anywhere because of its scripting language roots. For the new .NET architechture for AnandTech, I performed all development on my local machine due to the simplicity of local debugging with Visual Studio .NET (it's geared for local host development, especially debugging). The problem that I ran into is mostly a limitation of Windows XP - its limit of 1 website. That is, you can only create one website in Windows XP's IIS. There are a few hacks out there to work with multiple projects or websites, like IIS Multiplex, but none of these available hacks or work-arounds can really replace an unrestricted version of IIS.

The reason for requiring multiple websites is that there are several key projects that make up the AnandTech back end. The main AnandTech .NET project is the largest project; it contains the entire website (www.anandtech.com) front end code and back end API. Next, we have the Ad tracking engine that is a .NET port of our old ColdFusion-based FuseAds ad engine. The rest of the projects are all ColdFusion- based, as they are mostly form interfaces to our database for reporting purposes. We have a statistics site that analyzes our home-grown, database-driven web statistics engine, and the AnandTech Admin site (allows the Editorial Staff to post and edit their content), which is a home-grown CMS. Each of these projects are separate websites.

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  • a3217055 - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    Why don't you use Linux, it will be better faster and cheaper. But then again if a big corpration is promoting hardware for Anandtech to use so ...
    Anyway but you should use what ever you feel like. After this is a job and in the end you gotta get the job done.
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Please test workstations in the manner they are used, i.e. heavy multitasking situations. Reply
  • gherald - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    I would like to see an Opteron vs Nocona article using Gentoo AMD64 with GCC 3.4.2 and
    CFLAGS="-O2 -pipe -funit-at-a-time"

    USE="nptl" when compiling glibc would also be nice.
    Reply
  • ncage - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Jason i know what i would like included in the benchmarks if you have time to do it:

    1) SQL Sever 2000 DEFINITLY; Preferably with Net Server
    2) SUSE 64 bit Linux with 64 bit MySQL would be an awesome test too.
    Reply
  • T8000 - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    This looks like a very good video editing system to me. Could you include Adobe Premiere Pro in your upcoming review to see if it is.

    Preferably with some HDTV footage, as this is getting more common in large screen live video presentations and it takes long enough to edit to see very large improvements here.
    Reply
  • fritz64 - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Good Article Jason
    Most of you guys have not really respond to Jason's request. I will particularly like to see benches on
    scientific computing(say parallel Molecular Dynamics). GROMAC is freely available and runs fine on windows. This will task the FPU and NUMA capability of Nacona and Opteron dualies. Nacona with Hypertrading turn on can also be compared with HT turned off. If you can, try to bench any Chess program with parallel CPU support to gve us an idea of the Integer Unit performance.
    Reply
  • val - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Ecmaster76: My professor once said us: independent journalist is the one who takes from both :-).
    And nooo, i am realy not dreaming about to have such a system at home... Noooo sure not!
    Valerie
    Reply
  • RZaakir - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    This is interesting, but setting up the 2003 server seems like overkill. I have been able to do multiple site .NET development on XP IIS pretty easily. All that you have to do is make a folder under the web root of the site and then turn that folder into an application by opening the IIS manager and going to properties of that folder and clicking the create button under application settings. That way http://localhost/foldername) would be an individual project. You could repeat this as many times as you wanted.

    Since they are applications, your bin folder and web.config files should sit in the root of these folders like any other .NET application. Maybe I missed something, but the only way that this wouldn't work is if you had some sort of per project need for host headers, custom error pages, or performance throttling. I have to say that only use VS.NET to build my assemblies and I use Dreamweaver MX for my layouts and bindings. I tried using VS.NET for everything but Dreamweaver is head and shoulders better when it comes to HTML / CSS. I say that to say that again, I may be missing something.

    Whatever the case, clearly you guys had the resources to splurge so go for it. I would love to have a setup like that (though with dual Optys :)).
    Reply
  • STaSh - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    You don't need to edit any ini files to connect to session 0 (the console) on a 2003 machine. That ability is already there.

    Just type "mstsc /console" from the run line.

    Or you could type "mstsc /console /v:servername" to connect directly to the machine.
    Reply
  • Brickster - Friday, September 10, 2004 - link

    Jason,

    Thanks for the article! I find it really awesome that you guys put these together and actually talk about Anandtech's experience with hosting such a site.

    It's like reading a really good white paper that just keeps going; a good story that never ends.

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Brickster
    Reply

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