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Server retired after 18 years & 10 months

As part of our network upgrade work, Bristol Wireless has recently retired a couple of Pentium III-powered Compaq Deskpro EN machines that were acting as network gateways and performing other roles too. As these CPUs were only produced for 4 years between 1999 and 2003, that means our hardware is rather long in the tooth. To the best of your correspondent’s knowledge, the Compaq’s have been performing their roles reliably for 11 years.

One of Bristol Wireless' now retired Compaq Deskpro EN machines
One of Bristol Wireless’ now retired Compaq Deskpro EN machines

Not bad, you may be thinking.

However, 11 years is chicken feed compared with what was reported yesterday in The Register of a server that has just been decommissioned after running without replacement parts since 1997.

According to El Reg, which quotes a chap called Ross, the machine has “been running 24/7 for 18 years and 10 months.”

To quote further from that august organ:

“In its day, it was a reasonable machine – 200MHz Pentium, 32MB RAM, 4GB SCSI-2 drive,” Ross writes. “And up until recently, it was doing its job fine.” Of late, however the “hard drive finally started throwing errors, it was time to retire it before it gave up the ghost!” The drive’s a Seagate, for those of looking to avoid drives that can’t deliver more than 19 years of error-free operation.