Anatomy of Gmane v2

Many people have been asking what technology / hardware is behind Gmane these days so I thought I’d put pen to paper (so to speak) and explain what’s going on under the hood.

Mid August we received a disk from Lars with the Gmane spool on it. We had already decided to go with ElasticSearch for the document store, it gives us great scalability and as we rebuild the site it will allow us to have a fast search engine.

We’ve currently setup:

  • 4  x ElasticSearch data servers (these are off-the-shelf Delimiter dedicated servers) each with Dual L5630, 48GB RAM, 2 x 2TB disk.
  • 2 x ElasticSearch routers (Delimiter Cloud) each with 4 Core KVM VM, 16GB RAM, 50GB NVMe accelerated storage (Ceph).
  • 2 x Nginx webservers (Delimiter Cloud) each with 4 Core KVM VM, 32GB RAM, 100GB NVMe accelerated storage (Ceph).
  • 2 x Redis servers (Delimiter Cloud) each with 4 Core KVM VM, 32GB RAM, 100GB NVMe accelerated storage (Ceph).
  • 10TB ObjSpace (S3 compatible object storage) which handles the ElasticSearch backups.

On the webservers we have a mix of Python and PHP handling the various lookup functions, Redis is caching the hot data to alleviate some of the pressure during busy periods on Elasticsearch and then the ElasticSearch routers handling the queries into ElasticSearch.

We’re working on adding the NNRP functionality into this and Martin is coding a NNRP server that will use ElasticSearch as a backend. It works but not ready for the prime-time yet. For now the NNRP remains running off INN.

We’re working between two priorities at the moment: a new NNRP frontend and new mailer front/backend. Once we have all the functionality restored then we can start looking at the web interface and fixing up some of the rushed scripting that was done to get the site back online.

We’d love to hear your feedback, what needs sorting, what would you like to see.

~ Mark

Next steps for Gmane

As many of you know Gmane website has been off the air for a few weeks after Lars announced ‘The End of Gmane’ on his blog. For many of us who relied on Gmane for our day-to-day mailing list fix, it was cold turkey time.

I think I first came across Gmane in the mid 2000’s when I was wrangling an Apache server in the middle of the night and Altavista (remember that) popped up a link. For me, Gmane became part of my Swiss army-knife so I was really quite sad to see it go offline.

I petitioned some of our directors to allow us to offer to take it over and in the end we entered into agreement with Lars to take over Gmane. The assets of Gmane have been placed into a UK company Gmane Ltd.

As part of the agreement, we have received the INN spool with all the articles but none of the code that drives the site. We’ve started rebuilding parts of the site just to get it back online, its not perfect and there are pieces missing but we’re working on building all the functionality back into the site.

We’ve rebuilt the storage system using ElasticSearch as the document store. We have used it for many projects and have nothing but a good experience. The site is currently a mixture of Python and PHP, the priority has been given to get the original functionality back in place; then work with the community to decide which of the Gmane interfaces are relevant and what we need to change to bring it up-to-date.

We’ll do our utmost to continue in Lars’ footsteps, his hardwork and dedication to maintain this valuable Internet resource.

Thank you Lars for the hardwork that you’ve put into Gmane over the past nearly two decades, all of the Gmane users are grateful to you!

Martin