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SUSE sponsors new hardware for the Open Build Service

April 8th, 2013 by

UTSmOKcQdU_bodybgOver the last year, the Open Build Service (OBS) reference server, a service to build and distribute packages from sources in an automatic, consistent and reproducible way, has been flooded with new packages, new distributions and even entire new architectures, deluging its build servers with compilation jobs. But spring is coming: SUSE has has just sponsored a rack server with some serious compute power for us to speed up your compilations. OBS will kick into high gear again!

Strong Demand For Build Time

Over the last year, the Open Build Service reference server, at build.opensuse.org, grew in three dimensions: number of supported distributions/architectures, packages and users. We’re at a stunning number of over 205,000 packages built by an army of almost 36,000 developers, and we have recently brought the supported architectures up to 6 by adding ARM support, with AArch64 coming soon as well.

Unfortunately, our server farm has not expanded along with demand – on the contrary. As hardware ages and gets hammered by OBS every day it gets unreliable quickly, costing us build power. The last 3 months have seen a large number of hosts fall over permanently, leading to a growing backlog of build jobs on OBS and waiting time for our developers.

“The current OBS hardware situation stinks. If you check the monthly graph, we had exactly two afternoons when we had all built” – said Stephan Coolo, openSUSE Release Manager in February.

Hefty New Hardware Ordered

As the waiting queue kept growing the OBS team approached different sponsors for new hardware. SUSE is so gracious as to sponsor us a new compute rack, with some serious horsepower to forge packages for you at a record pace. We’ll get a rack with 38 nodes, each containing:

  • 1 Intel Xeon E5506 4C/4T 2.13 GHz
  • 16GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM
  • 2x 160GB 5.4Krpm 2.5″ Drives

This is expected to arrive in a matter of weeks. Once it is in, the admins will have to configure this truckload of compile nodes but we expect to have it up and running in the first half of May – spring will bring some serious compilation resources for the Geekos!

“This rack with nearly 40 nodes will blow your socks off! We’re more than thankful that SUSE once again stepped up and showed us that they support us in any way possible. It’s nice to be able to depend on your sponsors” – Said Adrian Schröter, Open Build Service Developer.

Free but not for nothing

While we’re at it, we’d like to remind everyone that building the tens of thousands of packages worked on by Free Software developers around the world isn’t without its costs – the power bill alone is staggering. We are very lucky to have the following sponsors to support the Open Build Server reference instance:


And we are of course always looking for more support. For instance, at the moment, the server delivering binaries across the build hosts and to our mirrors is getting really full and becoming a bottleneck. If you happen to know of someone who can donate serious I/O power to the Open Build Service project – now is the time to tell us!

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11 Responses to “SUSE sponsors new hardware for the Open Build Service”

  1. You may already do this but I could not find it. How about setting up a Paypall account to get some users money. I used to buy Suse now I get it free and would be happy to donate some cash.

    • Eliasse Diaite

      You are right, Andy. The idea of setting a Paypall account is good, but not every user would like to use that mean to contributing to openSUSE financing. The development team should provide the users with more informations for the same purpose.

      We get it for free. So we can at least bring our support for maintaining the infrastructure in good health. I hope the whole community agrees with the idea.

      openSUSE is anyway unbreakable. Have a lot of fun…

  2. Hi !!

    Good news!
    Free as freedom, not as free beer. Free software has a cost.
    Thanks sponsors for support to openSUSE project.

  3. Hello! I would contribute open SUSE team, in Indian Rupees either by cash or banker’scheue.
    Regards to all

  4. Hello! I would contribute to open SUSE team, in Indian Rupees either b cash or a banker’s check.
    There was one typo in my earlier post hence this one.
    Regards to all.

  5. Keks Dose

    I second the idea of a bank account of the openSuse project. I refuse buying a box for every new release, just to throw it away, because I download every new release, instead of waiting weeks for a box.

    But I’d be really happy to buy an app, eg. a green openSUSE dot, for my desktop, from the project, or just transfer some money.

  6. I know the openSUSE board looks into the donation options but this isn’t as simple as it seems, unfortunately. Thanks for the offer, we do appreciate it!

  7. I also would like to donate, but, how and where.
    After jumping from one software to another I finally settle on O/S,
    I just have to figure out on how to install the Brother MFCJ4410dw double side printer and be able to administer it.

  8. Alexandre Pereira

    Congrats and Thank you sponsors !

    As i recently did my first repository on the build service , really like the results ( building virtualbox from a custom kernel repository ).

    Now removed it because Virtualization repository as stepped up to current versions.

    One question though : how do you manage stale builds ? whats keeping of somebody setting crazy build queues and then just dissappears ?

    Good luck for openSUSE ! Thanks for the great distro

  9. Gamgigo

    Seeing as AMD are sponsors, how come they are Xeons and not Opterons?

    • Cliff

      I also wondered why they are using Xeons instead of Opterons… I own a AMD Piledriver and 7950 hd Radeon and couldn’t be happier… Long Live AMD… And how awesome of AMD to sponsor OpenSuse.