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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Choosing between low power servers



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 26th 12, 03:46 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 330
Default Choosing between low power servers

I wonder if I could have some opinions on this...

At work we have a low-use www/email server, which is a big old 3GHz PC
with a SCSI HD. It draws about 300W and makes a lot of noise.

We also have a backup server on another site; identical to the 1st
one.

We are looking at getting rid of these old boxes before they seize up,
and also to reduce the power because we get power cuts here and a UPS
will last a lot longer with a 20W box than with a 300W one

Looking at fanless PCs with SSDs, it comes down to either Atom or
I3/I5 processors.

Personally I would like to go for the Atom 2GHz box

http://aleutia.com/products/fanless-...e-mini-atom-pc
motherboard:
http://www.intel.com/cd/products/ser...iew/487677.htm

rather than the I5 box

http://www.quietpc.com/products/systems/sys-fc5-z77
motherboard: http://www.quietpc.com/products/moth...ds/ga-z77m-d3h

not least because the 1st one is half the price. It also has an
expansion slot (the Gigabyte slots don't come out of the box) so if
pushed we could stick e.g. a different LAN adaptor in there (or a
second LAN adaptor if we need two).

We currently run FreeBSD.

What I am not sure about is whether the Atom will be fast enough. It
certainly will be for normal web serving stuff (the ADSL uplink speed
is only 800kbits/sec ) but we also run some HTTPS stuff, and will be
running an online shop on it whose code seems very bloated.

A quick google suggests that the I5 is *much* faster than any Atom,
albeit at a huge power penalty of about 10x *at peak activity* whereas
their idle consumption is similar.

The existing 3GHz servers are about 8 year old CPUs (single core AMD I
think) and they are fast enough for our purpose.
  #2  
Old June 26th 12, 04:33 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Choosing between low power servers

Peter wrote:
I wonder if I could have some opinions on this...

At work we have a low-use www/email server, which is a big old 3GHz PC
with a SCSI HD. It draws about 300W and makes a lot of noise.

We also have a backup server on another site; identical to the 1st
one.

We are looking at getting rid of these old boxes before they seize up,
and also to reduce the power because we get power cuts here and a UPS
will last a lot longer with a 20W box than with a 300W one

Looking at fanless PCs with SSDs, it comes down to either Atom or
I3/I5 processors.

Personally I would like to go for the Atom 2GHz box

http://aleutia.com/products/fanless-...e-mini-atom-pc
motherboard:
http://www.intel.com/cd/products/ser...iew/487677.htm

rather than the I5 box

http://www.quietpc.com/products/systems/sys-fc5-z77
motherboard: http://www.quietpc.com/products/moth...ds/ga-z77m-d3h

not least because the 1st one is half the price. It also has an
expansion slot (the Gigabyte slots don't come out of the box) so if
pushed we could stick e.g. a different LAN adaptor in there (or a
second LAN adaptor if we need two).

We currently run FreeBSD.

What I am not sure about is whether the Atom will be fast enough. It
certainly will be for normal web serving stuff (the ADSL uplink speed
is only 800kbits/sec ) but we also run some HTTPS stuff, and will be
running an online shop on it whose code seems very bloated.

A quick google suggests that the I5 is *much* faster than any Atom,
albeit at a huge power penalty of about 10x *at peak activity* whereas
their idle consumption is similar.

The existing 3GHz servers are about 8 year old CPUs (single core AMD I
think) and they are fast enough for our purpose.




I am running an atom board as a home server. I have never ever run into
CPU power issues. RAM? yes sometimes. But its fully capable of dealing
with 100MBPS NFS and SMB file access. Its slot is full of a parallel
card to drive a legacy laserjet :-)


The only times I run into any CPU issues are when dealing with very
large or fast changing graphics - 3D games essentially or compiling
stuff but I don't do either of those on it.

RAM is far more likely to be an issue when serving multiple clients or
running bloatware shops.

But its no big deal for me It was hard to get less than a Gig of RAM in
there.

Currently it has 600M unused...

top - 16:25:57 up 31 days, 19:35, 1 user, load average: 0.04, 0.01, 0.00
Tasks: 122 total, 1 running, 121 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.0%us, 0.1%sy, 0.0%ni, 99.9%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si,
0.0%st
Mem: 1012384k total, 323092k used, 689292k free, 46212k buffers
Swap: 2963920k total, 1688k used, 2962232k free, 44368k cached

I will say the atom is 4-8 times faster than what it replaced - an old
pentium III machine. A lot of that is probably down to SATA rather than
IDE disks.

Two disks and back one up to the other at night(rsync). That is all the
disk capability it has - CDROM was removed once installation of the OS
was done, second disk installed and everything done over the net to
install it.

Frankly I moved all the high activity outward facing stuff to a virtual
hosted server with mega bandwidth - not because the atom couldn't keep
up but because people were shagging my domestic upload bandwidth.


So don't be afraid to go atom. In any case the board is cheap - 65 or
so with processor - so a swap out is not a bank breaker if it doesn't
cut the mustard.


--
To people who know nothing, anything is possible.
To people who know too much, it is a sad fact
that they know how little is really possible -
and how hard it is to achieve it.
  #3  
Old June 26th 12, 05:46 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Chris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 603
Default Choosing between low power servers

On 26/06/2012 15:46, Peter wrote:
I wonder if I could have some opinions on this...

At work we have a low-use www/email server, which is a big old 3GHz PC
with a SCSI HD. It draws about 300W and makes a lot of noise.

We also have a backup server on another site; identical to the 1st
one.

We are looking at getting rid of these old boxes before they seize up,
and also to reduce the power because we get power cuts here and a UPS
will last a lot longer with a 20W box than with a 300W one

Looking at fanless PCs with SSDs, it comes down to either Atom or
I3/I5 processors.

Personally I would like to go for the Atom 2GHz box

http://aleutia.com/products/fanless-...e-mini-atom-pc
motherboard:
http://www.intel.com/cd/products/ser...iew/487677.htm

rather than the I5 box

http://www.quietpc.com/products/systems/sys-fc5-z77
motherboard: http://www.quietpc.com/products/moth...ds/ga-z77m-d3h

not least because the 1st one is half the price. It also has an
expansion slot (the Gigabyte slots don't come out of the box) so if
pushed we could stick e.g. a different LAN adaptor in there (or a
second LAN adaptor if we need two).

We currently run FreeBSD.

What I am not sure about is whether the Atom will be fast enough. It
certainly will be for normal web serving stuff (the ADSL uplink speed
is only 800kbits/sec ) but we also run some HTTPS stuff, and will be
running an online shop on it whose code seems very bloated.

A quick google suggests that the I5 is *much* faster than any Atom,
albeit at a huge power penalty of about 10x *at peak activity* whereas
their idle consumption is similar.

The existing 3GHz servers are about 8 year old CPUs (single core AMD I
think) and they are fast enough for our purpose.


I'd go with a pair of these:
http://www.ebuyer.com/281915

With the 100 cahsback they're a steal. Fill them up with RAM and disk
and you're good to go. Read the ebuyer comments for tips on which cables
and other bits and bobs to buy to get the most of it.

Apparently they draw about 15W on idle, are well built and work fine
with non-MS OSes. A couple people here have them at home as media
servers and it's quiet enough to be in a front room. I've read several
reports from people elsewhere saying they are great.

If I had a need for a small fileserver I'd buy one of these without
hesitation.
  #4  
Old June 26th 12, 06:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Choosing between low power servers

chris wrote:
On 26/06/2012 15:46, Peter wrote:
I wonder if I could have some opinions on this...

At work we have a low-use www/email server, which is a big old 3GHz PC
with a SCSI HD. It draws about 300W and makes a lot of noise.

We also have a backup server on another site; identical to the 1st
one.

We are looking at getting rid of these old boxes before they seize up,
and also to reduce the power because we get power cuts here and a UPS
will last a lot longer with a 20W box than with a 300W one

Looking at fanless PCs with SSDs, it comes down to either Atom or
I3/I5 processors.

Personally I would like to go for the Atom 2GHz box

http://aleutia.com/products/fanless-...e-mini-atom-pc
motherboard:
http://www.intel.com/cd/products/ser...iew/487677.htm


rather than the I5 box

http://www.quietpc.com/products/systems/sys-fc5-z77
motherboard: http://www.quietpc.com/products/moth...ds/ga-z77m-d3h

not least because the 1st one is half the price. It also has an
expansion slot (the Gigabyte slots don't come out of the box) so if
pushed we could stick e.g. a different LAN adaptor in there (or a
second LAN adaptor if we need two).

We currently run FreeBSD.

What I am not sure about is whether the Atom will be fast enough. It
certainly will be for normal web serving stuff (the ADSL uplink speed
is only 800kbits/sec ) but we also run some HTTPS stuff, and will be
running an online shop on it whose code seems very bloated.

A quick google suggests that the I5 is *much* faster than any Atom,
albeit at a huge power penalty of about 10x *at peak activity* whereas
their idle consumption is similar.

The existing 3GHz servers are about 8 year old CPUs (single core AMD I
think) and they are fast enough for our purpose.


I'd go with a pair of these:
http://www.ebuyer.com/281915


not sure that's a brilliant deal. My server was less than 200 with
2x500GB disks. and a gig of ram.


Hmm. disks got more expesive since then

here's a quote for atom, case, PSU plus 2GB ram and 2x1TB SATA drives

290 inc vat



With the 100 cahsback they're a steal. Fill them up with RAM and disk
and you're good to go. Read the ebuyer comments for tips on which cables
and other bits and bobs to buy to get the most of it.

Apparently they draw about 15W on idle, are well built and work fine
with non-MS OSes. A couple people here have them at home as media
servers and it's quiet enough to be in a front room. I've read several
reports from people elsewhere saying they are great.

If I had a need for a small fileserver I'd buy one of these without
hesitation.



--
To people who know nothing, anything is possible.
To people who know too much, it is a sad fact
that they know how little is really possible -
and how hard it is to achieve it.
  #5  
Old June 26th 12, 07:42 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 330
Default Choosing between low power servers

Guys - I am not after the cheapest PC possible. I can build a PC for
nothing, out of old stuff, in an hour. I even have a vintage Intel 440
200MHz motherboard (all passive cooling) with a pile of ISA cards and
64MB RAM; I don't suppose it would draw more than 30W

What I am after is some indication, if that is possible, whether a
2GHz Atom versus an I5, is relevant when running HTTPS, and maybe some
fairly typical interpreted-language bloatware, up an 800kbit/sec
uplink.

I know for a fact that if it was just HTTP and stuff, a 600MHz Atom
would do just fine.
  #6  
Old June 26th 12, 09:42 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 180
Default Choosing between low power servers

Peter wrote:
Guys - I am not after the cheapest PC possible. I can build a PC for
nothing, out of old stuff, in an hour. I even have a vintage Intel 440
200MHz motherboard (all passive cooling) with a pile of ISA cards and
64MB RAM; I don't suppose it would draw more than 30W

What I am after is some indication, if that is possible, whether a
2GHz Atom versus an I5, is relevant when running HTTPS, and maybe some
fairly typical interpreted-language bloatware, up an 800kbit/sec
uplink.

I know for a fact that if it was just HTTP and stuff, a 600MHz Atom
would do just fine.


My desktop system which also runs as a server and is thus left turned
on all the time is an Intel I3 system, quad core processor with three
disks totalling 2.5Tb and 8Gb memory consumes 44 watts unless I really
stress it.

The thing that gets the power consumption down is choosing a
motherboard that is low power.

--
Chris Green
  #7  
Old June 27th 12, 02:18 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Choosing between low power servers

Peter wrote:
Guys - I am not after the cheapest PC possible. I can build a PC for
nothing, out of old stuff, in an hour. I even have a vintage Intel 440
200MHz motherboard (all passive cooling) with a pile of ISA cards and
64MB RAM; I don't suppose it would draw more than 30W

What I am after is some indication, if that is possible, whether a
2GHz Atom versus an I5, is relevant when running HTTPS, and maybe some
fairly typical interpreted-language bloatware, up an 800kbit/sec
uplink.

I know for a fact that if it was just HTTP and stuff, a 600MHz Atom
would do just fine.


well that depends on the bloatware.

Like I said, buy the atom, and if it aint man enough its not that
expensive a thing to replace. Cae, disks and PSU are far worse things to
upgrade.

it IS a dual core 64bit CPU and it for sure ran debian out of the box.

Looks like the I5 is 4 cores and double the clock..so maybe 4 times the
raw CPU speed BUT ..look at 'top' now? are you maxing out the CPU?



--
To people who know nothing, anything is possible.
To people who know too much, it is a sad fact
that they know how little is really possible -
and how hard it is to achieve it.
  #8  
Old June 27th 12, 07:58 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 330
Default Choosing between low power servers


The Natural Philosopher wrote

well that depends on the bloatware.


It is an online shop running under PHP.

Like I said, buy the atom, and if it aint man enough its not that
expensive a thing to replace. Cae, disks and PSU are far worse things to
upgrade.

it IS a dual core 64bit CPU and it for sure ran debian out of the box.

Looks like the I5 is 4 cores and double the clock..so maybe 4 times the
raw CPU speed BUT ..look at 'top' now? are you maxing out the CPU?


The firm making the cheaper (Atom) machine (Aleutia) is not replying
to comms anyway so I may go for the I5 after all

However I have also read that FreeBSD doesn't run correctly on a
4-core CPU. It treats them as four separate physical processors, and
in some cases one is supposed to config something in it to just use it
as single core.

The only version of unix which these things can be shipped with is
always Ubuntu. I wonder why?
  #9  
Old June 27th 12, 01:50 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mark
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 525
Default Choosing between low power servers

On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 07:58:48 +0100, Peter
wrote:


The Natural Philosopher wrote

well that depends on the bloatware.


It is an online shop running under PHP.

Like I said, buy the atom, and if it aint man enough its not that
expensive a thing to replace. Cae, disks and PSU are far worse things to
upgrade.

it IS a dual core 64bit CPU and it for sure ran debian out of the box.

Looks like the I5 is 4 cores and double the clock..so maybe 4 times the
raw CPU speed BUT ..look at 'top' now? are you maxing out the CPU?


The firm making the cheaper (Atom) machine (Aleutia) is not replying
to comms anyway so I may go for the I5 after all

However I have also read that FreeBSD doesn't run correctly on a
4-core CPU. It treats them as four separate physical processors, and
in some cases one is supposed to config something in it to just use it
as single core.


I can also recommend the HP Microserver. The only way to be sure that
the CPU is up to it is to check out CPU benchmarks but the AMD Turion
is quicker than the Atom.

The only version of unix which these things can be shipped with is
always Ubuntu. I wonder why?


Probably 'cos it's a popular distro.
--
(\__/) M.
(='.'=) If a man stands in a forest and no woman is around
(")_(") is he still wrong?

  #10  
Old June 27th 12, 04:17 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Choosing between low power servers

Mark wrote:
On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 07:58:48 +0100, Peter
wrote:

The Natural Philosopher wrote

well that depends on the bloatware.

It is an online shop running under PHP.

Like I said, buy the atom, and if it aint man enough its not that
expensive a thing to replace. Cae, disks and PSU are far worse things to
upgrade.

it IS a dual core 64bit CPU and it for sure ran debian out of the box.

Looks like the I5 is 4 cores and double the clock..so maybe 4 times the
raw CPU speed BUT ..look at 'top' now? are you maxing out the CPU?

The firm making the cheaper (Atom) machine (Aleutia) is not replying
to comms anyway so I may go for the I5 after all

However I have also read that FreeBSD doesn't run correctly on a
4-core CPU. It treats them as four separate physical processors, and
in some cases one is supposed to config something in it to just use it
as single core.


I can also recommend the HP Microserver. The only way to be sure that
the CPU is up to it is to check out CPU benchmarks but the AMD Turion
is quicker than the Atom.

The only version of unix which these things can be shipped with is
always Ubuntu. I wonder why?


Probably 'cos it's a popular distro.


well supported at the 'type this and hit this key' level.

Its parent, Debian is more of the 'if you cant work that out, buy
windows, luser;' sort of attitude..

I run debian on my atom :-)



--
To people who know nothing, anything is possible.
To people who know too much, it is a sad fact
that they know how little is really possible -
and how hard it is to achieve it.
 




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