iXsystems has hosted the Quality Assurance Tinderbox used within the FreeBSD ports infrastructure for several months. The Quality Assurance Tinderbox (QAT) is an automated QA system used to identify problems in FreeBSD ports and packages, by building ports and generating the corresponding binary packages, then generating automated failure notifications. Recently, iXsystems decided to help the FreeBSD community improve upon QAT’s existing capabilities by updating the existing QAT server hardware.
The previous QAT server ran only FreeBSD 8.0-STABLE AMD64, which limited its ability to detect issues that port builds may have with other FreeBSD versions and architectures. In order to increase the functionality of QAT, iXsystems upgraded the hardware to increase speed and to extend its quality checks to other versions of the FreeBSD operating system. The new QAT server is housed in a 1U form factor with dual quad-core Intel® Xeon® 5400 Series processors. This machine features 8 total processing cores, 16GB of memory, and two 1TB SATA hard drives. QAT is being heavily refactored to utilize these new hardware resources as efficiently as possible.