[clug-talk] OT: Help me pick my hardware

Royce Souther osgnuru at gmail.com
Mon Mar 26 05:52:50 PDT 2012


/sys should not be needed in a server unless you have a goofy NIC that
needs proprietary firmware ROM to work. I remove it from my servers without
issue.
/proc does not actually exist on the physical file system. It is a special
mount that maps to memory inside the running kernel and lets you see what
the kernel is doing but no data is ever written to disk
/var/log can be redirected to a different log server on the network and
that is a good way to find out what happens when the USB / root boot server
dies
/tmp can be mounted to a RAM disk

And with those changes there should be very few write cycles to the USB
memory stick and a quality thumb drive it could last many years. You can
have a second or even a third USB stick connected to the USB ports and you
can use dd and a cron script to once a day keep the other sticks up to date
with the main boot stick, no need for RAID1 and IPMI will let you switch if
the main stick dies.

Thanks for the idea. I am going to try this. I will let you know how it
goes.

On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM, Dan Graham <grahadan at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's just like an external usb port on the back of the mainboard but its
> located near the sata ports. I use a cheap usb stick for boot root and have
> not bothered to worry about /sys /proc /var/log etc. I used to symlink
> /var/log etc to a physical disk. Last couple of times I just got lazy and
> did not bother. My last stick on my old Supermicro board (with the same
> feature) went for a year and a half without intervention, running full
> read/write 24/7. Regardless I feel very confident that no matter how you
> deploy this board it will make you happy. To install on usb stick just make
> sure its plugged in, setup bios to boot from it and install as you would
> normally from CD or use IPMI across the network from your workstation with
> an iso image (This is just pure "GEEK SEX"), less the swap of course. (Just
> use lottsa RAM) :)
>
> Seriously do this and feel the love....
>
>
> On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM, Royce Souther <osgnuru at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Is it any different then a normal USB port out the back? Other then a
>> port out the back is in danger of having someone pull the stick out.
>>
>> Can you make that USB port a read-only drive and have the system use RAM
>> for a read-write / root like a unisonfs? I would not want the memory stick
>> to die from to many write cycles.
>>
>> Do you have to do anything special with OS to install it on the memory
>> stick?
>>
>> Supper easy OS upgrades, just build a new thumb drive at your desk and
>> swap it at reboot.
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM, Dan Graham <grahadan at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Oh and I forgot the coolest part. It has a USB port integrated right on
>>> the main board which is where I install the boot/root filesystem. It lets
>>> me use all the sata ports for /home. ... :)
>>>
>>> Cya, Dan
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM, Dan Graham <grahadan at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Royce,
>>>>
>>>> I recently acquired one of these: It has dual gig Ethernet (Intel) an
>>>> IPMI port for remote headless access, etc. For $179 it is just amazing. I
>>>> put a Sandy Bridge quad core Xeon on it for $240 and run a number of KVM
>>>> VMs on it and it just flies. CPU power consumption maxes out at 80 Watts,
>>>> and idles at 20 or less. You could do far worse than this one.
>>>> All the best, Dan
>>>>
>>>> Mainboard:
>>>>
>>>> http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182262&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-
>>>>
>>>> Xeon CPU:
>>>>
>>>> http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115083&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM, Jamie Furtner <jamie at furtner.ca>wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> On 2012-03-25 8:52 AM, Royce Souther wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I am trying to put together a file server and trying to get as many
>>>>>> SATA ports as I can. I found a motherboard I like but it only has 6 SATA
>>>>>> ports. It also has PCI-Ex8 and PCI-Ex16 slots. I want to add a SATA card.
>>>>>> Supermicro makes an 8 port SATA card that is PCI-Ex4.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Can I use a PCI-Ex4 cards in a PCI-Ex8 or PCI-Ex16 slot? If so then I
>>>>>> can have 22 SATA drives in this box.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>  Yes, you can use a card that uses a smaller number of PCIe channels
>>>>> in a larger slot - the reverse is not true of course. The card won't be any
>>>>> faster than if it were plugged into its native slot but it works correctly.
>>>>>
>>>>> This means you can use a x1 card in a x1, x4, x8 or x16 slot, a x4
>>>>> card in a x4, x8, or x16 slot and so forth.
>>>>>
>>>>> Jamie
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Jamie Furtner jamie at furtner.ca
>>>>> "I aim to misbehave"
>>>>> - Malcom Reynolds (Serenity movie)
>>>>> "It's not safe...
>>>>> "For them."
>>>>> - River Tam (Serenity movie)
>>>>>
>>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>> One thing you can be sure of. If you throw a loaded gun in a monkey
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>>>
>>>
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>
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