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Re: [Linux-cluster] Hardware options



On Fri, 2009-05-01 at 11:42 +0100, Virginian wrote:
> Thanks Jonathon, that's very informative and some very good ideas.
> 
> I like the idea of the 10K RPM disks, I will definitely read up on those.

Well worth it, make a big difference to running any virtualization
solution.

>  
> Also, I had been thinking of quad core CPU's too, something in a small form 
> factor or as you say even laptop size. What I am looking for is (ideally)
> 

Have you looked at the ZOTAC GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi Mini-ITX board? It is
a mini-ITX board that takes a up to a Core2 Extreme with 8GB of RAM, a
1Gbps Ethernet adaptor. No FireWire, but does have a PCI-E x16 slot, so
you could add an adaptor in. You might even be able to squeeze two of
these with two drives into the Travla C147 Dual Mini-ITX rackmount case.

> 2 physical machines
> 
> 1 x Quad Core CPU with Intel Virtualization (for KVM)
> 4GB RAM

More RAM, if you want to do virtualization this is what limits the
number of guests more than anything. I would say 8GB is a minimum.


> External shared storage, anything from 250GB upwards (I like the idea of 
> 2.5" disks perhaps two in RAID 1)
> 

The VelociRaptor is a 2.5" SATA drive, under 10W a drive. I upgraded my
workstation to the old 150GB Raptor drives a couple years back and it
made a big difference when running lots of guests on VMware
workstations.

> The above would give me plenty of horse power to run quite a few guests and 
> enable me to set up a physical and virtual cluster. If I can get the whole 
> lot for under 400W I will be more than pleased. At present my two DL 380's 
> run at 500W approximately as does the MSA 500 disk array. Cutting my power 
> consumptiion by nearly 75% definitely appeals!!

Take a look at the picoPSU power supplies. They are small and efficient,
and pick the right one (for your application the M3) and you can do a
UPS direct from a lead acid battery in the form of a battery backed
power supply. Much more frugal than a normal UPS. Even if you don't want
a UPS, one step down from mains to a beefy 12V, is more efficient.

> Anybody else got any example of a lower power set up for home use?

I have doing it for some time, but on VIA and now Atom boards. My
current setup has a power draw *under* 30W at the wall plug, for which I
get a 1.2GHz Via C7 with 1GB RAM, with a PCI ADSL card, 1GbE, 100GB of
RAID-1 7200RPM, WiFi and with a battery backed PSU. It's role is a home
file server, come ADSL gateway, come Wireless access point.

I am looking at a new setup which will have an Atom N330 with 2GB of
RAM, and a pair of 300GB VelociRaptors and a pair of 2TB 3.5" drives,
cause I want to ditch the external firewire drives. The power budget for
this will be under 50W and I will reuse the battery backed PSU.

I would have thought that under 300W would easily be achievable using
desktop processors. If 4GB of RAM is definitely enough, then you could
go Socket P, pick one of a range of mini-ITX boards and go under 150W,
possibly 100W. However this will bump the cost up because you are buying
laptop parts.


JAB.

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


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