Donation Drive – Build infrastructure repair and capacity expansion
August 15, 2012 5 Comments
Thanks to all of you, Fuduntu has seen phenomenal growth. Fuduntu is now believed to be installed on over 30,000 computers worldwide. This is an excellent achievement for our small project! To support our growth a lot of important changes had to be made to our hosting infrastructure and to other areas of the project which have hit our budget really hard this year. To ensure that we are able to sustain our current growth rate and to budget for the future we need to ask for your help in terms of monetary donations.
Earlier this year we held a fundraiser that reached its goal of absorbing the expense of migrating to ELDnet. We raised enough money to cover the first year of hosting, in just a few days.
Unfortunately, our 64bit build host is beginning to show signs of failure, as it has shown very erratic behavior over the last two days ranging from just powering off to flashing error codes via all connected IO devices when powered on (when it does this it does not complete POST and begin booting). This system will need immediate repair or replacement. Without repair, once it fails completely we will be unable to continue to provide updates or installation media for the 64bit edition of Fuduntu.
Also, due to our significant and unexpected growth this year, our primary package server – packages.fuduntu.org hosted at ELDnet has already nearly reached capacity.
To repair or replace our critical 64bit build host, increase capacity of our package delivery service, and also ensure we are able to keep the project financially stable, we need your help. Our goal is to fund the project’s basic needs through 2014, expand our package delivery capacity, and refresh our build infrastructure to increase our build capacity. To achieve this goal, we are going to need to significantly increase our funding.
Remember, Fuduntu is managed by a team of volunteers that donate thousands of hours per year to build an operating system that is free for everyone to download and use. We don’t mind bearing this burden, as long as it is financially viable to build and distribute this free product.
Our budgetary requirements to optimally finance operations and maintenance at Fuduntu through 2014 is estimated at approximately $6,000.
This money will allow us to refresh our build farm, add capacity to our package delivery service, help fund test equipment to help us test the software we are delivering to you, and keep the lights on through 2014. In addition it allows for a small amount of our budget to be set aside in the event of of another critical system failure like the one we’ve had today.
As a user of Fuduntu you directly benefit from a financial donation to our project, as it helps us continue to be prepared to support you as we grow. Your net benefit is quite simply the future of the Fuduntu product that you use and love.
Even if you are able to provide a financial donation to the project, please consider disabling adblock on our websites. The use of adblock greatly reduces our secondary source of funding which impacts Fuduntu financially.
Below you will find some examples of how your donations have been and will continue to be used to support Fuduntu.
Currently, Fuduntu has a relationship with two hosting providers ELDnet, and Linode. These companies provide VDS and VPS servers for various components of the Fuduntu project.
We also have multiple partners who graciously donate space on their mirrors to our project.
Our primary package server – web001.fuduntu.org is near capacity. This server is currently averaging 1.7TB of traffic monthly and trending upwards as our user base increases. Within the next two months we will be at or will exceed capacity with our provider. To proactively accommodate for this growth, the project must add a second VDS and spread package requests across nodes.
Recently, the team moved all of our websites away from Dreamhost to a new VPS hosted with Linode bringing with it an incredible performance boost. Our first year expense was small thanks to a donation of a few months of hosting by Linode, however the project will incur an annual expense for hosting with this new provider.
Our current build environment consists of a router / firewall, and a pair of dual core computers dedicated to building software using local storage and NFS. This configuration was sufficient for package management when we only had one or two people building software, when we were working on one or two packages at a time. Now that we have a few more packagers and we are moving packages through our build service at a much faster rate – it isn’t able to keep up with the demand anymore.
For example, building LibreOffice 3.6 required 6 hours of build time per server. During this period of time the servers were at 100% capacity and couldn’t be used to build anything else. It is a similar scenario for other large packages including the Linux kernel, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Chromium.
Another problem with this configuration, and the scenario we are currently facing is that if one of these systems fails we will be unable to build software for that platform for the duration of time that the system is down – as one is dedicated to 32bit builds, and the other 64bit builds.
Currently, our 64bit build server has had a critical failure and requires immediate repair or replacement. As it stands there is currently no funding available to repair or replace this host.
Instead of replacing or repairing the 64bit build host I would like to re-engineer the build environment to be more architecture agnostic and support our current growth pattern. To accommodate this new design, the project needs a bastion host, a switch, four new build hosts, and a NAS.
In addition to our web hosting and package service requirements, there are a lot of other expenses related to developing and hosting a Linux distribution ranging from needing test gear to keeping the lights on. The project currently has no test equipment with ATI and Nvidia graphics hardware so our testing is constrained to equipment with Intel video and only a small range of WIFI adapters.
Thank you in advance for choosing to support our project. Your direct support helps Fuduntu thrive.