[svlug] Hardware for a new server

Mehma Sarja mehmasarja at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 18:55:14 PST 2013

On 02/06/2013 06:27 PM, Rick Moen wrote:
> I wrote:
>> I invited comments on the draft component selection.  So far:  crickets.
> So, let me back up and try something smaller in scope.  I'm hoping that
> not _everyone_ is still either running on hardware from the turn of the
> milennium or outsourced to somebody else's hosted hardware.  Right?
> There must be a _few_ people running Linux around here, and not just on
> laptops.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?
> In that spirit:  Anyone running 2.5" drives externally on eSATA?  Any
> problems or pitfalls?  Things going into standby mode or umounting when
> you want them to keep spinning?  Enclosures for 2.5" drives to avoid and
> why?
> Bad idea?  (Should I stick to 3.5" drives for my RAID1 storage?)
> Any tips about running a server on an SSD as main storage, other than
> obvious things like not putting /var on it?  Particular SSDs you love or
> loathe?  Kernel tweaks that keep power consumption low without risking
> reliability in 24x7 operation?
> You know, that sort of thing.  I've spent decades trying online to help
> other people fix problems and avoid making blunders.  I was really
> hoping someone might wish to return the favour.
It seemed you had it pretty much figured it out. Here is what I think:
a.  Using laptop drives - a single platter thingie is a good choice. I 
have just bought the 500 GB WD Black something and my criteria is also 
single platter to reduce heat and increase reliability.

However, I don't know if the 2.5 inchers are a serious always-on option.

b.  I would put a spinning 2.5 incher as the main boot drive and use 2 
SSDs in the eSATA enclosure. I don't care what they say about their 
reliability, SSDs suck especially during a power outage, they may not 
boot back up... from experience in a Supermicro Atom box in Kenya. Had 
to rebuild the firewall over the phone once but no problems since ( over 
6 months now). Your machine will be at home and it can probably survive 
your swearing if it chokes.

Another thing to consider and perhaps this is more relevant for the 3.5 
inchers, the spinning disks put torque forces on each other and reduce 
the reliability. Why not put non-moving SSDs there instead?

c.  Wandboard.org is ruminating coming out with an ARM board. Choices 
are limited and we are still on the bleeding edge here. Performance is 
weak and RAM is limited. That said, you may be able to push a few 
envelopes here. Another source is http://trimslice.com/web/

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