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Author Topic: Micro Data Center Using Plug Computer??  (Read 5617 times)
plugcrazy
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« on: November 13, 2009, 03:47:10 PM »

Hi,

I'm trying to create a micro data-center using multiple plug computers. I know this is not a new idea and I'm quite intrigued by it due to the capability of being a low-cost low-power highly-available data center for a small/medium business.

One thought was to connect the plugs with a switch and use one of the plugs as a NAS server connected to a USB storage. I was wondering if a star configuration is possible for storage. Meaning a single USB storage that is connected to all the plugs directly via a USB hub. Might be a less optimal solution as compared to NAS but interesting nevertheless.

If anyone is building such a system please do let me know how to go about achieving it. I should be receiving about 5 plugs within the next couple of weeks. Yup FIVE! :-), was using up some research budget that was left over from the year. This might be cooler than some of the other prototypes I have done/thought-about Smiley.

Thanks in advance to the community for all the help.

Regards,
PlugCrazy.
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Rabeeh Khoury
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 02:57:05 AM »

Hi,

Very interesting idea; i think embedded lower powered systems can have a big play in data centers field.

Have you though about using the plugs as memcached nodes?

http://memcached.org/

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plugcrazy
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 04:26:04 PM »

Hi Rabeeh,

Thanks for the vote of confidence Smiley. Another aspect of this is to add virtualization to the mix. Is it possible to have embedded virtualization like OK-Labs, OpenViz etc to be installed on the Plug and the instances managed? There are some interesting use-cases that result (have made some comments on the virtualization thread as well).

Now with regards to 'memcached', are you suggesting the use of plug as a cache-server and accelerator? Could you tell how this can be used in the micro-data-center? I am not too familiar with memcached but trying to read up now. Would be good to get your feedback as well.

Thanks,
PlugCrazy.

 
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Rabeeh Khoury
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 03:21:23 PM »

In the memcached scenario, an x86 server serves web pages while accessing the database can be intercepted by memcache client, forwarded to memcache servers running on multiple plugs.

The memcache server running on the plugs can use memory only (512MB today on the plug).
The Kirkwood chip inside the plug can support much more higher memory configuration than 512MB, make it even deeper cache.

I never tried this idea; but I toyed with it with someone few months ago.

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Loattejak
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 07:04:57 AM »

I was wondering how do I install php onto my computer using apache.  I want it installed so I can test my php files before uploading them to my server.  It would be easier for me to test them that way.
Thanks for any help.
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Takigama
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 09:40:39 AM »

I was thinking something similar at one point. What I did was pull the plug apart and measure the size of the board and figured out i could fit 40 plugs into a 1ru 19" case (played around with the protocase designer software thingy and it looks like it should fit), with a 5v power supply and a small 48 port switch on the back.

While i was thinking about wiring I was tyring to find something that could be a usb target (i.e. pretend to be the other end of the USB bit and pretend to be storage)... didn't find anything particularly promising. Sata is a different story, there is some stuff out there for being a sata target but thats quite tricky.

Ultimately though, I figured "hey, why put storage on it at all" and decided network booting the thing onto an iscsi or vblade/aoe volume is probably possible (or even kernel/initrd in the nand and nfs root, but network booting is way more functional when considering failure's and provisioning). What I was considering it all for was as a vps replacement (without virtualisation). 40 512Mb nodes in a 1ru unit is pretty decent density and you get the added bonus of saying to people "yeah, your not sharing resources like you would be with vps's".

I never really got very far with this cause I had other things on my mind, mostly just pulled out the case designer to see how it all might fit together. I had a quick glance at how plugs network boot but didn't do much else really.
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tony.p.lee
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 08:11:17 AM »

Other things you can add:

    pNFS:  Parallel NFS server
    cluster version of Samba.
    allmydata.org filesystem.

All of them are parallelized cluster base filesystems.

In theory, you can build a system with 10 GigiBytes/seconds or more of storage, ethernet and CPU bandwidth in 1 u chassis. 



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theknight
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 11:59:02 PM »

sounds good to me and very excellent idea by you....  best of luck with it and show us when you launch this micro-data centre
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