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Re: [Linux-cluster] Hardware options

On Thu, 2009-04-30 at 18:22 +0100, Virginian wrote:
> I was hit by a rather large electricity bill recently (at home). My
> current cluster set up comprises 2 x HP Proliant DL380 G3s and an MSA
> 500 storage array (all three are very heavy on the juice!). I decided
> that if I want to continue playing with RHCS at home I needed to look
> for a cheaper, greener option. I can easily get a couple of PC's (dual
> or quad core cpus and plenty of RAM for running a virtualised cluster)
> but the stumbling block has been a cheap low power shared storage
> solution. The best that I have come up with so far is an offering from
> Maxtor and from LaCie, which basically comprises an esata disk
> enclosure that has two firewire 800 ports. I believe that Linux will
> support these dual firewire 800 enclosures but I am a little concerned
> about the speed (91MB/s) in comparison to a SCSI disk array. Ideally,
> I would prefer a disk enclosure / array with dual esata ports but I
> haven't been able to find anything. 
> My question is, does anybody have a low cost hardware specification
> that they are running xen and RHCS on with shared storage that won't
> cost the earth and won't hit me in the wallet when it comes to paying
> the electricity bill? 

The cheapest shared storage you are going to get is FireWire. You cannot
do shared storage with eSATA. Thing of FireWire as a cheap mans Fibre
Channel network in loop mode.

However I would roll your own firewire enclosure and fit it out with
some Western Digital VelociRaptor 10k RPM drives. As I would say I/O's
per second is more important than actual throughput.

You could also cheat a bit if you are using more than one physical
drive, and use a bridge board per drive, and wire each drive back to the

I reckon that you could do a couple of quad code nodes, with two 300GB
VelociRaptor drives with a power budget under 400W easily, and less if
you pay for laptop parts. There are also some nice cases that take two
mini-ITX boards if you want to go small.


Jonathan A. Buzzard                      Tel: +441382-386998
Storage Administrator, College of Life Sciences
University of Dundee, DD1 5EH

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