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  The Hardware and History Behind The Forward Look Network
Ever wonder what it takes to run a large web site like

The Forward Look Network officially launched on March 7th, 1998 on GeoCities.  As the amount of information quickly compiled, we were forced to move to our own server -- a humble 4x86 133 Mhz homebuilt system with only 64Mb of RAM and 4 small hard disks.  Internet connectivity was provided for free by my previous employer.

We got "serious" in late 1998 by moving everything to what is now the development server -- a dual CPU machine that could handle the load of the rapidly-expanding web site.

After getting laid off in April, 2003, we were forced to find a new home for the server.  Unfortunately, I could not get a fast enough DSL connection at my home.  MANY, MANY, thanks to Ben Pultanovich who graciously provided an entire room of his home to be our "NOC" (network operations center) for the entire year of 2004.  Ben completely rewired the room to handle the load of the servers and their respective equipment, and handles a lot of emergency on-site work for us as needed.  Thanks again, Ben -- without your help, none of this would still be possible.

Unfortunately, our ISP (TeleRama) started experiencing issues with our connection in September, 2004, and the connection was down almost 50% of the time. When they were still unable to resolve the situation by December, the decision was made to relocate the server to an area with a more reliable connection -- my girlfriend's parents' basement, where we now run a Britsys/Covad 1500/768Kbs DSL connection. On December 29, 2004 we went live from the new location.

It all adds up to over $4000 worth of equipment, most of which has been paid for by contributions from generous members, and through sales from our Site Store.  Our monthly operating expenses are partially paid for through our eBay links on the main page.  Please use them when you can!

Production Server "ForwardLook-PROD" Development Server "ForwardLook-DEV"
  - Dual Pentium 4 CPUs, 2.4 GHz, 533 FSB
- Dual Western Digital 120 Gb 7200 RPM 8Mb buffer hard disks in a RAID 0 configuration
- 1 Gb of DDR RAM
- Dual Intel NICs; (1) 100Mb & (1) 1000Mb
- Dual Pentium II CPUs, 333 MHz, 100 FSB
- Western Digital 20 Mb 7200 RPM 2Mb buffer hard disk
- Western Digital 8Mb Hard Disk for miscellaneous
- 1 Gb of PC133 RAM
- Dual Intel NICs; (1) 100Mb & (1) 1000Mb
Other Hardware:

- HP 24x6 DDS3 Tape Drive
- BlackBox ServSwitch Keyboard/Mouse/Video Switch
- Cisco DSL Modem/Router
- Netgear Gigabit Switch
- APC 1400 Rackmount UPS

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