[svlug] Hardware for a new server

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Feb 8 11:48:50 PST 2013

Quoting Robert Hajime Lanning (lanning at lanning.cc):

> The only issue with getting something that can take
> more RAM, is that you usually have to move up to the
> large, more power hungry CPUs.
> The Atom and AMDs equivalent are limited.
> For the Atom, I usually see a limit of 2G and AMD I
> usually see 8G.

Exactly the issue.  Near the end of Dan Mashal's excellent talk
yesterday, he made a really good case for ARM-family processors being
the future, and showed us product pages for some really incredible
rackmount machines that pack 1000+ ARM cores into., say. a 4U enclosure.
A little Web-searching finds examples, e.g., rackmount systems from HP
(using Calxeda's ARM9-family EnergyCore chip).

And I imagine RAM address capacities of over 2GB are at least possible
in theory, given that the ARM family went 64bit starting with ARMv8, but 
I still keep seeing ARM devices otherwise suitable for a low-power small
server topping out at 64MB, 256MB, 1G, or at most 2GB.

SheevaPlug.  Nice little ARM-based plug computer, maxes out at 512MB.
NSLU2:  Nice little ARM-based NAS.  Maxes out at 256MB _if_ you hack it.
Buffalo LinkStation?KuroBox/Terastation:  Nice little ARM-based NAS.  
   Maxes out at I-don't-know-but-not-much.

Then there's the usually limited I/O, which tends to be USB2 at best.
Personally, I regard even USB3 Full Speed as not quite reliable/fast
enough for main storage.  SATA/eSATA is more satsifactory.

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