Author Topic: Furtopia's New Server  (Read 4183 times)

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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Furtopia's New Server
« on: June 26, 2012, 11:14:43 am »
Furtopia is going green... WAY green. :)  Furtopia has got a new Raspbery Pi computer which we are converting into a VERY evergy efficient server!

Below are the specs on the new compact mini computer (about the width of 2 quarters):

Arm11 processor
700Mzh (up to 1Gzh)
256 Megs RAM
8 Gigs storage (expandable)
.5 to .7 watts power used
Graphics 1080p (about as fast as a PS3 though we aren't the graphics)

Servers running include:
NginX
PHP-fastcgi
SSHD
SAMBA
FTPD
UnrealIRCd
MYSQL

I plan to run some more tests on the services for another day and then put it online replacing the existing desktop server.  With no GUI I expect the services to run even faster on the pi than the old server. :)
  Enjoy the video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsFq3GnkW9E&feature=autoplay&list=HL1340732351&playnext=1







« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 11:21:55 am by WhiteShepherd »
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[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
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Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 11:25:11 am »
I'm *very* surprised that Furtopia's server is able to run on a computer as cheap as the price you quoted on the video.  Will 8GB of hard drive space be enough, though, or will that have to be expanded?
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 12:32:05 pm »
Price does not dictate quailty.  Price is often what it cost to manufacture the computer+marketing.  As technology moves forward they learn to build things much faster and cheaper.  Being a "micro" computer there are far less materials in construction thus lower cost.  Lets compare the two computers:

New Server ---------------  Old Server
--------------------------------
Cost: $35            |       $750   (for it's time though less expensive now)
CPU:  1Gzh          |       1Gzh   (About the same speed +/-)
Vid: VideoCore IV  |       ATI Rage 128 (The Pi can stream 1080p and 3D video easily.  The Rage can't even do 480 in hardware.  The Pi's video WAY WAY faster)
Power: .7 watt     |       450 watts   (in KWh costs that is roughly $400+/year old server in electric compared to less than $1/year for the Raspberry Pi!).
Storage: 8 GB      |       500 GB  (Old server has more.  But with OS+servers+data < 3GB.  Plus the Pi can take a bigger SD card or hard drive).
RAM 256MB          |      4 GB   (The old server has MUCH more ram.  But the OS and all servers running use less than 100 Megs ram)

The point of this exercise is twofold.  First to upgrade servers and improve efficiency of Furtopia's servers.  Second to teach people that with advances in modern computers you can build a VERY fast and efficient server computer for very little money.  I hope it will encourage others to experment and have fun learning to code and run their own platform/services. :)


  WhiteShepherd
IRC quotes:

[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 12:43:02 pm »
For those wondering just how small this Raspberry Pi is here is a photo of the Pi next to a quarter, dime, nickel and penny. :)
IRC quotes:

[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
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Offline Jet

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 12:46:29 pm »
Don't misplace that tiny thing and lose it! :D
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Offline Avan

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 02:28:16 pm »
D:
My Pi only *JUST* shipped out!

*jealouses around the thread*

That is cool though that you can run it on the Pi
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 03:04:10 pm »
Wow.  So all of Furtopia is going to be run on a Pi.  This is pretty amazing nowadays that you can run a whole website off of a computer the size of a wallet.  :o  I didn't expect to see this after clicking on this topic (the Pi seemed to be more of an enthusiast-type product rather than a usable server).  All I can say is good job in looking towards the future...how many websites can claim to run on less than a watt of power? I think none :)

Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 03:40:56 pm »
Storage: 8 GB      |       500 GB  (Old server has more.  But with OS+servers+data < 3GB.  Plus the Pi can take a bigger SD card or hard drive).

That's what I was curious about.  I figured that a low processor speed and a small RAM size were unlikely to bottleneck a webserver of this nature (which, for the most part, is networked file I/O), assuming that they met minimal requirements to run services.  I just wasn't sure if the hard drive space would be enough.  We do have 44k topics collectively containing .85M posts as well as PMs, signatures, forum settings, IM addresses, and avatars for 7k members.  In retrospect, though, this data would probably only be about 1GB in size if it were assumed that the average size for a post was 1kB (a possibly inaccurate estimate).

If the numbers you quoted for electricity costs are accurate, the Pi is literally going to pay for itself through a reduced electricity bill in approximately a month.  *That* is impressive.
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Offline Weisseman

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 03:48:45 pm »
The GUI actually takes up a lot of the CPU went it's running. I tried using the GUI for Debian today and it was quite slow. Not unusable if performing one task like browsing but any more than that and it struggled a bit. I'd imagine this is because it's early days and the OS interface needs to be optimised some more. But initial tests with it have been good. Rather than go straight into the GUI it starts off in the terminal and you have to tell it to go into the GUI.
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 09:08:11 pm »
The xterm does not use the accelerated graphics yet.  That is in the works.  So right now it's a hand full of applications that do.
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 10:36:19 pm »
We are now on the new Raspberry Pi server. ;)
IRC quotes:

[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
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Offline Avan

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 12:24:23 am »
It looks like the forums made it in one piece!
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 12:57:54 am »
Wait, this site is now using an SD card in place of a web site hard drive? :o
How long is that really expected to last before getting bad blocks from too many writes? x_x
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Offline Avan

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 07:22:19 am »
quite some time? The forums apparently are using only a tiny fraction of the total space available
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 07:46:27 am »
The OS was optimized for SD card longevity. Temp writes are written to ram.  In theory without moving parts it could last longer than a HD as reads produce no wear in the SD.

I'm also leaving the old server hooked up and powered off.  If there are any problems I just hit the "on" switch on the old server. :)
IRC quotes:

[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><span =''><!--Quot

Offline Mylo

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2012, 08:42:11 am »
The OS was optimized for SD card longevity. Temp writes are written to ram.  In theory without moving parts it could last longer than a HD as reads produce no wear in the SD.

I'm also leaving the old server hooked up and powered off.  If there are any problems I just hit the "on" switch on the old server. :)

Always good to have a backup, eh? :)
Congrats on the transition to a greener future!

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 10:38:14 am »
The OS was optimized for SD card longevity. Temp writes are written to ram.  In theory without moving parts it could last longer than a HD as reads produce no wear in the SD.

I'm also leaving the old server hooked up and powered off.  If there are any problems I just hit the "on" switch on the old server. :)

Here‘s hoping that everything continues to turn out well …Though it still seems like such a strange way to do things, (I mean to use an SD card in a web server that way).
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 12:15:21 pm »
The OS was optimized for SD card longevity. Temp writes are written to ram.  In theory without moving parts it could last longer than a HD as reads produce no wear in the SD.

I'm also leaving the old server hooked up and powered off.  If there are any problems I just hit the "on" switch on the old server. :)

Here‘s hoping that everything continues to turn out well …Though it still seems like such a strange way to do things, (I mean to use an SD card in a web server that way).


Only time will tell, eh?

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 04:02:55 pm »
I prefer this raspberry pie.  :D


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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 09:07:56 pm »
We really are on the bleeding edge of technology (which is why the old server will stay for backup).  But the basic idea is with new technologies it's time for a good change.  The old way of doing things was when you set up a server you used a desktop computer.  Sometimes desktops are still needed but that is not always the case anymore.  They use a LOT of power and have a lot of moving parts that can break.  With a good micro computer in many cases you can do the same tasks at the exact same speed for much less "power".  When you think of the coal (or other resources) to produce that power there is a lot of resources saved.

So consider this a pioneering proof of concept project to show others they can save resources AND money at the same time.
IRC quotes:

[05:01] <Kai_Misou> We cats sleep when we want and where we want.
[05:01] <WhiteShep> We dogs sleep WHEN we can. :/
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Offline Kevin Foxboy 47

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 10:14:02 pm »
Sirs: I'm glad real life has caught up with my sci-fi company Hot!Tech. I've been trying for a decade to tell people a GUI is a poor use of cpu and you don't need it for a server computer. None of 'em's hea,rd of Novell Netware, where you don't admin on the server.  Thanks for staying off the Bill Gates 'people are too dumb to run their own computers without a GUI' bandwagon. At that price, you don't need to upgrade, just buy another Pi.
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Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Furtopia's New Server
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 11:55:33 pm »
Thread closed due to gravedigging (more than 6 months have passed since the last post).
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