Super low power (energy) linux server? - Networking

This is a discussion on Super low power (energy) linux server? - Networking ; Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now. There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and yet are not very demanding for a server. Examples are: - DHCP server - Name server - ...

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  1. Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.

    There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    yet are not very demanding for a server.

    Examples are:

    - DHCP server
    - Name server
    - Web server for some minor scripts
    - NTP time server

    I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.

    In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state
    disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    reliable due to not having mechanical components.

    Sort of like an EEE PC, but rackmountable and with built in
    chargeable, replaceable battery.

    Is there anything like that?
    --
    Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
    to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
    from Google Groups. If you want your postings to be seen by
    more readers you will need to find a different means of
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  2. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    > There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    > yet are not very demanding for a server.
    >
    > Examples are:
    >
    > - DHCP server
    > - Name server
    > - Web server for some minor scripts
    > - NTP time server
    >
    > I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    > power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    > use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.


    Check out Intel's Atom solution....


    --
    @~@ Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
    / v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
    /( _ )\ (Xubuntu 8.04.1) Linux 2.6.26.5
    ^ ^ 15:20:01 up 10 min 0 users load average: 1.24 1.64 1.07
    ºî ´© (CSSA):
    http://www.swd.gov.hk/tc/index/site_...ub_addressesa/

  3. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    > Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.
    > There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    > yet are not very demanding for a server.


    Perhaps not quite what you're after, but how about...

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/17/cherrypal/

  4. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Ignoramus15569 wrote:

    f'up comp.os.linux.networking

    > Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.


    > I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very
    > low power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would
    > a) use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.


    > Sort of like an EEE PC, but rackmountable and with built in
    > chargeable, replaceable battery.
    >
    > Is there anything like that?


    Not that I'm aware of. But why not an eeePC or a similar small notebook?
    Even your old Notebook will do the job if the battery is still good. As
    for the Atom: AFAIK no one of the processors supports both X86-64 and
    VTT. This and the maximum memory sets a limit for server applications.
    You will get the Atom platform in a rugged package for industrial use
    also, e.g. from Digital Logic (MPC25/L). This won't be exactly cheap,
    and you will need an UPS and an external Monitor which drives up cost
    and power consumption.
    Even a MIPS based device like WRT54 could do the job: check openwrt.org
    for a list of compatible hardware and packages available. This is not
    X86, so no copy and paste job from your primary server. But then the
    hardware is dirt cheap and designed for 24/7 operation.

    Günther

  5. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Ignoramus15569 wrote:

    > Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.
    >
    > There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    > yet are not very demanding for a server.
    >
    > Examples are:
    >
    > - DHCP server
    > - Name server
    > - Web server for some minor scripts
    > - NTP time server
    >
    > I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    > power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    > use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.
    >
    > In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state
    > disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    > require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    > reliable due to not having mechanical components.
    >
    > Sort of like an EEE PC, but rackmountable and with built in
    > chargeable, replaceable battery.
    >
    > Is there anything like that?


    Have you looked at OpenWRT. It takes small routers and some boards (like
    the Microtik/PcEngines/Soekris ones) and runs Linux on them. They have
    flash memory so no moving parts, and you would be very surprised at the
    set of apps you can run on these boxes, there is even Asterix so that you
    can build your own PBX.

    They typically have a power requirement <10W. As to a battery backed
    PSU, they are readily available at this kind of power requirement, and
    there are 1U 19" racks for some of these boards - the Soekris ones for
    instance.

    David

  6. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On 2008-09-09, Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k) wrote:
    >> There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    >> yet are not very demanding for a server.
    >>
    >> Examples are:
    >>
    >> - DHCP server
    >> - Name server
    >> - Web server for some minor scripts
    >> - NTP time server
    >>
    >> I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >> power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >> use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.

    >
    > Check out Intel's Atom solution....
    >


    Something like that, in a server envelope, would be very exciting.
    --
    Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
    to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
    from Google Groups. If you want your postings to be seen by
    more readers you will need to find a different means of
    posting on Usenet.
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  7. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    >>> I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >>> power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >>> use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.

    >> Check out Intel's Atom solution....

    > Something like that, in a server envelope, would be very exciting.


    yes, but I would like to have more PCI slots and USB ports, and a eSATA
    port for backup purpose...

    --
    @~@ Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
    / v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
    /( _ )\ (Xubuntu 8.04.1) Linux 2.6.26.5
    ^ ^ 22:32:01 up 7:22 1 user load average: 1.17 1.08 1.02
    ºî ´© (CSSA):
    http://www.swd.gov.hk/tc/index/site_...ub_addressesa/

  8. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On 2008-09-09, Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k) wrote:
    >>>> I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >>>> power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >>>> use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.
    >>> Check out Intel's Atom solution....

    >> Something like that, in a server envelope, would be very exciting.

    >
    > yes, but I would like to have more PCI slots and USB ports, and a eSATA
    > port for backup purpose...
    >


    I would be fine with not having any of that. Backup can be done
    remotely.

    --
    Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
    to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
    from Google Groups. If you want your postings to be seen by
    more readers you will need to find a different means of
    posting on Usenet.
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  9. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On Mon, 08 Sep 2008 22:16:08 -0500, Ignoramus15569 wrote:

    > Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.
    >
    > There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and yet
    > are not very demanding for a server.
    >
    > Examples are:
    >
    > - DHCP server
    > - Name server
    > - Web server for some minor scripts
    > - NTP time server
    >
    > I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    > power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    > use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.
    >
    > In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state
    > disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not require
    > a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly reliable due to
    > not having mechanical components.
    >
    > Sort of like an EEE PC, but rackmountable and with built in chargeable,
    > replaceable battery.
    >
    > Is there anything like that?


    mini-itx boards (and nano-itx and pico-itx) from VIA are pretty low power.

  10. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Ignoramus15569 writes:

    >Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.


    >There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    >yet are not very demanding for a server.


    >Examples are:


    >- DHCP server
    >- Name server
    >- Web server for some minor scripts
    >- NTP time server


    >I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.


    >In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state


    old=high power consumption. they have gotten better and better at reducing
    power consumption. But if you want the lowest, use a laptop. They are
    designed for low power consumption. Run it at low speed as well.

    >disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >reliable due to not having mechanical components.


    Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard disks-- one
    problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap etc, that could be a
    problem.



    >Sort of like an EEE PC, but rackmountable and with built in
    >chargeable, replaceable battery.


    Put the laptop onto a rack. Why in the world do you want all the rack
    garbage?


    >Is there anything like that?


    Sure. eepc, mac airbook,....

    >--
    > Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
    > to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
    > from Google Groups. If you want your postings to be seen by
    > more readers you will need to find a different means of
    > posting on Usenet.
    > http://improve-usenet.org/


  11. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    "Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)" writes:

    >>>> I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >>>> power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >>>> use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.
    >>> Check out Intel's Atom solution....

    >> Something like that, in a server envelope, would be very exciting.


    >yes, but I would like to have more PCI slots and USB ports, and a eSATA
    >port for backup purpose...


    Make up your mind. YOu want a low power server to serve those few apps, or
    you want a full power expandable machine. " I want a small car, for a few
    trips around town, buying groceries, etc " "How about a Prius of a Volt?"
    "No it should have a towbar and 20 inch wheels"


    >--
    > @~@ Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
    > / v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
    >/( _ )\ (Xubuntu 8.04.1) Linux 2.6.26.5
    > ^ ^ 22:32:01 up 7:22 1 user load average: 1.17 1.08 1.02
    >ºî ´© (CSSA):
    >http://www.swd.gov.hk/tc/index/site_...ub_addressesa/


  12. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On Tue, 09 Sep 2008 18:20:54 +0000, Unruh wrote:

    > "Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)" writes:
    >
    >>>>> I would like to know if any work is being done on making super very low
    >>>>> power consumption servers, perhaps with slow CPUs, but which would a)
    >>>>> use VERY little electric power and b) be very highly reliable.
    >>>> Check out Intel's Atom solution....
    >>> Something like that, in a server envelope, would be very exciting.

    >
    >>yes, but I would like to have more PCI slots and USB ports, and a eSATA
    >>port for backup purpose...

    >
    > Make up your mind. YOu want a low power server to serve those few apps, or
    > you want a full power expandable machine. " I want a small car, for a few
    > trips around town, buying groceries, etc " "How about a Prius of a Volt?"
    > "No it should have a towbar and 20 inch wheels"
    >
    >

    You might get more than you need anyway, courtesy of Moore's Law. It's
    difficult to buy storage in less than 250G increments now. In the near
    future that will apply to motherboard/CPU combinations, too (IMO).

    I am glad that competition remains at all price points in the CPU market,
    and that there are major developments at the "low end." The driving force
    appears to be that the major players would like to be in the best position
    to power new handheld and ultra-portable devices (translatation: be the
    guts for the emerging cell phone platform). The major players (Intel, Via,
    AMD) all are competing in this space, which is healthy. I like the trend
    of designing a completely functional device on the state of the art
    process (45nm) as Intel is doing with the Atom, instead of just adding
    more and more cores to their high end. The "low end" may prove to be the
    "sweet spot" for the entire market. I know I'd like the equivalent of an
    iPhone, but running Linux ;-)

    --
    Douglas Mayne



  13. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Unruh wrote:
    ....
    >> In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state

    >
    > old=high power consumption. they have gotten better and better at reducing
    > power consumption. But if you want the lowest, use a laptop. They are
    > designed for low power consumption. Run it at low speed as well.
    >
    >> disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >> require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >> reliable due to not having mechanical components.

    >
    > Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard disks-- one
    > problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap etc, that could be a
    > problem.


    With RAM so cheap, and with a linux/BSD system, swap is probably
    optional. I'd be slightly more worried about log files.


  14. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Mike Scott wrote:
    > Unruh wrote:
    > ...
    >>> In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state

    >>
    >> old=high power consumption. they have gotten better and better at
    >> reducing
    >> power consumption. But if you want the lowest, use a laptop. They are
    >> designed for low power consumption. Run it at low speed as well.
    >>
    >>> disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >>> require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >>> reliable due to not having mechanical components.

    >>
    >> Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard disks--
    >> one
    >> problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap etc, that could be a
    >> problem.

    >
    > With RAM so cheap, and with a linux/BSD system, swap is probably
    > optional. I'd be slightly more worried about log files.
    >

    typically those get written across the network to a log file server..


    Your average DSL router is a low power piece of hardware with no disk at
    all running some flavour of *nix..

  15. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Mike Scott writes:

    >>> disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >>> require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >>> reliable due to not having mechanical components.

    >>
    >> Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard disks-- one
    >> problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap etc, that could be a
    >> problem.

    >
    > With RAM so cheap, and with a linux/BSD system, swap is probably
    > optional. I'd be slightly more worried about log files.


    My OpenWRT router uses a log daemon, and sents it to another server.
    OpenWRT acts as a DHCP server, firewall, WAP, etcand a , with just 4MB
    of RAM. Once of these days I should get one of those Kill-A-Watt
    devices so I cam measure power consumption.

    There are books on hacking the Linksys WRT54GL/OpenWRT devices and making them all sorts
    of devices, such as an intrusion detection system, etc.

    http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-WRT54G.../dp/1597491667



  16. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    Maxwell Lol writes:

    > My OpenWRT router uses a log daemon, and sents it to another server.
    > OpenWRT acts as a DHCP server, firewall, WAP, etcand a , with just 4MB
    > of RAM. Once of these days I should get one of those Kill-A-Watt
    > devices so I cam measure power consumption.


    Oops. I meant 4MB of flash RAM.

  17. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    The Natural Philosopher wrote:
    > Mike Scott wrote:
    >> Unruh wrote:
    >> ...
    >>>> In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state
    >>>
    >>> old=high power consumption. they have gotten better and better at
    >>> reducing
    >>> power consumption. But if you want the lowest, use a laptop. They are
    >>> designed for low power consumption. Run it at low speed as well.
    >>>
    >>>> disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >>>> require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >>>> reliable due to not having mechanical components.
    >>>
    >>> Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard
    >>> disks-- one
    >>> problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap etc, that could be a
    >>> problem.

    >>
    >> With RAM so cheap, and with a linux/BSD system, swap is probably
    >> optional. I'd be slightly more worried about log files.
    >>

    > typically those get written across the network to a log file server..


    But the OP presumably doesn't want a joule-munching server running 24/7
    just to keep the logs - rather defeats the point of what he's asking :-)
    There are ways round it of course.

    >
    >
    > Your average DSL router is a low power piece of hardware with no disk at
    > all running some flavour of *nix..


  18. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    In article ,
    Ignoramus15569 wrote:

    > Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.
    >
    > There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    > yet are not very demanding for a server.
    >
    > Examples are:
    >
    > - DHCP server
    > - Name server
    > - Web server for some minor scripts
    > - NTP time server


    Will the clients of those services still be up during the power outage?



    --
    --Tim Smith

  19. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On 2008-09-10, Tim Smith wrote:
    > In article ,
    > Ignoramus15569 wrote:
    >
    >> Have seen some unusual power outages and I am thinking now.
    >>
    >> There are some tasks that are very important for an enterprise, and
    >> yet are not very demanding for a server.
    >>
    >> Examples are:
    >>
    >> - DHCP server
    >> - Name server
    >> - Web server for some minor scripts
    >> - NTP time server

    >
    > Will the clients of those services still be up during the power outage?
    >


    Most will not be (the ones affected by power). However, I want the
    server to be up before these clients. I would rather not have it go
    down. Then I can have a part of the network (router, that server) that
    would be up for a very long time after an outage. So I can log on
    remotely and assess.

    --
    Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
    to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
    from Google Groups. If you want your postings to be seen by
    more readers you will need to find a different means of
    posting on Usenet.
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  20. Re: Super low power (energy) linux server?

    On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.misc, in article
    , Mike Scott wrote:

    >The Natural Philosopher wrote:
    >> Mike Scott wrote:
    >>> Unruh wrote:


    someone else wrote:

    >>>>> In my mind, something with a old slow and cool CPU, and solid state


    >>>> old=high power consumption. they have gotten better and better at
    >>>> reducing power consumption. But if you want the lowest, use a
    >>>> laptop. They are designed for low power consumption. Run it at low
    >>>> speed as well.


    >>>>> disk, would probably use a minuscule amount of power, would not
    >>>>> require a fan, would have no moving parts, and would be highly
    >>>>> reliable due to not having mechanical components.


    The laptop is a great idea. The firewall at home is what is left of a
    386SX-16 without case, keyboard, or display, with 16 Megs of RAM, and
    a 420 Meg hard drive. It's using about 16 VoltAmps (probably 15 Watts),
    most of that in the hard drive.

    >>>> Ssolid state disks are as yet probably less reliable than hard
    >>>> disks-- one problem is the finite write lifetime, and with swap
    >>>> etc, that could be a problem.


    Agreed - though scanning recent issues of Linux Journal, I do see small
    embedded systems and single-board systems [1][2][3][4] using them.

    >>> With RAM so cheap, and with a linux/BSD system, swap is probably
    >>> optional.


    Well, it is if your CPU supports adequate RAM, but the older CPUs did
    not. That 16 Megs is the maximum on a 386SX, while a DX, the 486s, and
    most Pentiums have the address lines for 4 GB (but the motherboard may
    not have sockets for more than 64 Megs).

    >>> I'd be slightly more worried about log files.

    >>
    >> typically those get written across the network to a log file server..


    >But the OP presumably doesn't want a joule-munching server running
    >24/7 just to keep the logs - rather defeats the point of what he's
    >asking :-)


    Another laptop (I do NOT advocate running anything on the firewall
    except the firewall)? Logs are typically a "slow" application, so
    something with the horsepower of a 386SX-16 might be overkill. (Heck,
    I know some people logging *directly* to a dot-matrix printer.) You
    might find that running a standard laptop disk drive isn't all that
    expensive in power. Remember that a server really doesn't need to
    be running a windoze-wannabe super eye-candy GUI desktop, and if you
    avoid that garbage, your hardware requirements are a LOT less. This
    may rule out a "popular" desktop style distribution, but that should
    be obvious.

    Old guy

    [1] www.arcom.com
    [2] www.emacinc.com
    [3] www.embeddedARM.com
    [4] www.routerboard.com

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