We recently brought in a number of HP Proliant DL385s with dual-core Opterons and 16GB of RAM. I’ve borrowed one to do some testing for about week or so and I’m having fun.

I installed Fedora Core 5 for x86-64 and played around with that a little bit, tweaking and running my upcoming RSA-704 Python script to generate some load, creating a few hundred million randomly-generated possible factors of the challenge number. The default FC5 environment is laid out quite nicely, and might make a nice day-to-day machine if/when I can dedicate one to GNU/Linux. I plan to check out Ubuntu at some point as well, since I’ve heard good things about it.

I installed Windows Server 2003 x64 edition as well, and loaded up IronPython, .NET 2.0 (x64 native), and the ActiveState Python 2.4.2 distribution for Win-x64. ActiveState’s Python ran my RSA-704 script faster than IronPython. On this config I’ve also loaded up the newly-announced (and free) Virtual Server 2005 R2 x64, which is pretty slim compared to VMware’s ESX Server, but slick. However, VMware’s upcoming free host-based product looks like it’ll be better. It’ll have support for x64 guests and will support dual-processor VM’s. VS2005R2 doesn’t.

These times between patching cycles are when I really enjoy my job. I like trying out new stuff.