Patrick Project Mini Cluster

Patrick

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Starting a mini cluster project. Really I just want a small cluster to "play" with. Not going to be practical, this is more of a proof of concept. Will document more as it is built out.

Design Goals

Scale down the Dell C6100 multiple cluster idea into something much smaller.
Size = Short Depth 1U
Power Consumption = <80w max
Noise = sub 40dba
Performance = Let's find out
Cost = Sub $600

Update 1: Test fitting the Atom Pi Cluster:


Three nodes total + switch 1TB of disk storage, 9GB total DRAM, 80GB SSD + 36GB of various flash media. More details on post #22 and more to come.
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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The perfect MB for that project doesn't exist...but if it did it would be something like this:

Mini-ITX
Socket LGA1155 (IB Xeons)
C206 or similar chipset to support ECC
4x DIMM sockets for 32GB
2x X540 LAN (you'll want the option of 10G-baseT for access to SAN)
2x mSATA sockets connected to the SATA-III links of the chipset - boot from mSATA
up to 4 SATA-II connectors exposed as space on MB permits (will probably never be used...)
PCIe socket - at least x8 but x16 if space permits
Support for vPRO/AMT for management
Video out from CPU - nothing fancy, RGB will do - DVI or DP OK too.
At least 3 PWM fan headers
USB-3 MB connector
4x USB-3 exposed on rear IO
Support for VT-x & VT-d

Since you want to mount it in 1U the RAM sockets need to align longways front-to-back for airflow/cooling.

You don't need/want any more bells or whistles...given 6-8 of these and a 12-port 10Gbase-T switch like the new Netgear and you could build a heck of a little compute cluster. Small, reasonable power, reasonable cost.
 

McKajVah

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Nov 14, 2011
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How about something like this...

Dell Optiplex FX160 USFF Intel Atom 1 6GHz 512MB 533MHz TK7TF 92NWV Motherboard | eBay

$30 for an Atom mainboard. I'm not sure how you connect power though, but you could probably get a standard ATX-power supply to work with some small modifications...

10 of these stacked on top of each other and 1 powersupply could be fun...

Edit: On closer inspection it looks like it is missing the CPU heatsink. And powerconnecter is 6V...
 
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Patrick

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PigLover - I love your enthusiasm. The goal is MUCH smaller and less expensive though. 1U short depth and sub $600. Practical - no way. Fun - certainly.
 

PigLover

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PigLover - I love your enthusiasm. The goal is MUCH smaller and less expensive though. 1U short depth and sub $600. Practical - no way. Fun - certainly.
Like I said - that board doesn't exist. But if it did it would be about $230ish (comparing to the Intel DQ77KB, which has lots of high-end stuff and adding $100 for the 10G). With a low-end Xeon and 32GB your still near/under your $600 budget and with Mini-ITX you could fit pairs of them into each short-depth 1U.
 

Patrick

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Very true. I was thinking total cluster cost $600 to be less than the C6100 :)
 

dba

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Feb 20, 2012
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So i guy who already owns four Dell C6100s wants another set of cluster hardware? I think it's time for an intervention... not that I know anything at all about accumulating too much hardware.

Starting a mini cluster project. Really I just want a small cluster to "play" with. Not going to be practical, this is more of a proof of concept. Will document more as it is built out.

Design Goals

Scale down the Dell C6100 multiple cluster idea into something much smaller.
Size = Short Depth 1U
Power Consumption = <80w max
Noise = sub 40dba
Performance = Let's find out
Cost = Sub $600
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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Well 5 in a few hours (but three are at the DC) :cool:

Seriously though, want to do a proof of concept. Of course, I have nothing to do with it, but at least I'm keeping a tight budget. Then again, could just pull 12 DIMMs and 4 CPUs from the $899 one, sell those off, and would likely be less expensive.
 

TeeJayHoward

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Feb 12, 2013
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2x Mac Minis sitting on a 1U shelf? Should meet your noise and price requirements. Not sure about power draw, though.
 

Biren78

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Jan 16, 2013
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How much are minis? I thought the mac mini is like $600 each?
Only doing two endpoints or more? Heterogeneous or homogenous cluster?

Demand answers
 

Patrick

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Interesting Cactus and nitrobass24 - more details tomorrow! Will still be missing a part I need but have a interim solution.
 

RimBlock

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Sep 18, 2011
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For LGA 1155 if you are looking for a board with ECC then you are pretty much limited to the S1200KP(r). If you want VT-d then the DQ67EP or one of the newer Ivy bridge boards.

Pair with something like a G620 for base performance.

There are a number of companies in Asia doing multi-node 1U chassis or multi-board 1Us but not all are short.

Two node chassis.
There is a 2U version with hotswap bays as well but I cannot find a link to it. Model number is EKI-B2ITX.

5U - 9 blade mITX.

I am getting pricing on all 3 and also the Norco like 4U chassis ;).

RB

Update: Prices in from the manufacturer...
1U dual seperate nodes: approx US$150 + shipping from Singapore.
2U dual seperate nodes: approx US$190 + shipping from Singapore (suspect the hot swap are additional).
5U 9x mITX seperate nodes: approx US$700 + shipping from Singapore.
 
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