What is it
Fred is a 2015 model, tower style, Dell server. It has enough computing horse power to run several virtual machines, which is its job. It is sited in a commercial hosting centre owned and operated by a MAG volunteer.
The machine was bought in the summer of 2015 as part of a general refresh and development push for MAG's online presence. It was loaded with the most recent version of one of the most widely installed enterprise operating families; CentOS Linux version 7. This gives us access to the current stable versions of the same sophisticated server software used by the commercial hosting companies; on hardware perfectly capable of handling our usage for a while to come.
The virtualisation is done using a system called libvirt/kvm. This is the same technology used by Rackspace and others for both their standard virtual hosting and their cloud services; their cloud is built on top of it. This technology would, for example, allow the creation of a mirror of a virtual machine running at one site on another machine, elsewhere, to be fired up in case of emergency. If the plan to repeat this server refresh with a similar machine sited at MAG central comes to fruition, this is exactly what will be done for key services.