Requesting Feedback - Where should STH expand?

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Hi all,

Thought I would start here since there are lots of loyal readers. I want to continue expanding STH. The big question is - where to? I have a few options:
  1. Go more in-depth on RAID/ disk performance
  2. Go into rackmount servers and start reviewing 1U, 2U, 4U (storage) and blade/ micro cloud products
  3. Go more into workstation components
  4. Go into HTPC/ smaller form factor components
  5. Go wild and start covering mobile
  6. Do more preview articles like the ones Pieter does across more segments

Likely it will be a mix of the above, but the site is growing fairly rapidly. In the last six months about 56% visitor/ 73% page view growth. Trying to put together a content plan takes a lot of thinking at this point.

Also, if someone has a passion and wants to write let me know.

Cheers,
Patrick
 

OBasel

Active Member
Dec 28, 2010
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I like #2 but what about making cookie cutter configs for 1A @ 120v or 2A @ 120v so we know what these look like.
 

Mike

Member
May 29, 2012
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I would also like to see more on rackmount builds. Because it's storage the whole discussion about raid, performance and filesystem futures comes naturally. Perhaps also something about networking; ie the new features in SMB (windows 8) that should allow for link aggregation, finally lifting the 1gbit boundary, ...
 

cactus

Moderator
Jan 25, 2011
830
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CA
I would say skip 5 unless related to other content. More rack oriented stuff would be interesting, especially micro cloud/arm. More networking would be nice. Maybe some benchmarks for real world benefits of 10Gb/IB/Link Agg or other protocols like FC,FCoE,RDMA and what goes into getting them functioning. I also like Pieter's articles and it would be nice to see more in depth articles on other segments.

Also, maybe look at more virtualization platforms. It seems to be one of the slower sub forums. ESXi is well covered, but Xen and KVM seem to be less talked about. It could be these are just not used as much, but it would still be interesting to read about. I saw you have the OnApp thread already started, going to keep an eye on that.

Lastly, thank you for the site and all your effort. It has been a great resource.
 

mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
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New Zealand
Good to hear the articles are well received, good incentive to do more.

I'll see if I can vary what I scribble about, as long as Patrick can keep up with them (sleep is over rated) ;)

Really need to get my hands on stuff to actually write more in depth, commenting on what I see online is not ideal.
 

Jeggs101

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2010
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More rack stuff.

Xen and KVM are used mostly with cloud and VPS not for business applications as much. OnApp with E3 Atom ARM micro clouds would be a cool series since that is probably several articles.

What about ZFS? Not on the list but would like to see a napp-it guide with your thoughts on hardware. Also ZFS compared to other RAID

HTPC is also really nice. I build more of those then $5,000 servers

Pieter's pieces are great because they are fast reads. I like his quick format alongside Patrick's longer format. Would also like to see another writer or two and more articles per week.
 

mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
1,838
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New Zealand
Patrick, what are the chances of your contacts getting me one of these Gigabyte GA-6UASV3 motherboard.
The board is no where to be found, I have an evil plan in mind for it.
Of all the LGA1155 based server boards this fits the bill nicely.

I can combine quite a few of the items mentioned above with this build/review.

Want to do a step by step HTPC build, keeping it it cheap but still kick butt.
Also some special features will be included in the build hence my need for the GA-6UASV3 with its exact PCIe layout.
Other wise I'll have to head down the desktop board route to get it done.

Been toying with this for quite a while.
 

MiniKnight

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2012
3,018
925
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NYC
I vote 1-4. you are optimized for keywords like xeon, servers and a few outside. smart to keep that focus and expand out a bit.

2 would be my top ranked then 3.

Edit: wanted to say, another idea is to start doing specialized pieces like home/ semipro recording studio servers. I think I read you play guitar somewhere.
 
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Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Guys,

First, thanks for all of the great suggestions! Really helps a ton. If you have any other thoughts, or want to get involved, please let me know.

Pieter - I have been giving you two per week to get through the backlog. Also working on getting some more E3 stuff for you.

Just so everyone is aware, I have sent feelers out on doing more rackmount reviews, especially in non-4U sizes.
 

S-F

Member
Feb 9, 2011
148
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I think there should be more How-To articles. How to set up and manage this or that. Maybe a FlexRAID article as it's becoming a very viable solution for the home. I'd like to see articles on setting up and dealing with networks and different kinds of home servers. Honestly, my favorite STH articles are the ones from the past which document things like The Big WHS. The How-To IMPI articles are also pretty good. Things like that. Posting some information which is directly useful. Many times one has to troll through thousands of forum posts to find that one sentence or two which answers your question on how to set up or why you have a road block. There are no end of reviews of hardware out there. There are very few well organized accounts of setting up and running various configurations.

I don't mean to disparage the reviews. They are very useful for the person who is thinking about making a new purchase. When you have several grand on the line for a new build you want to be reasonably future proof and completely stable a good source of reviews is priceless. If I were in the market at this time I'd be paying a lot more attention to the reviews.
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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I think there should be more How-To articles. How to set up and manage this or that. Maybe a FlexRAID article as it's becoming a very viable solution for the home. I'd like to see articles on setting up and dealing with networks and different kinds of home servers. Honestly, my favorite STH articles are the ones from the past which document things like The Big WHS. The How-To IMPI articles are also pretty good. Things like that. Posting some information which is directly useful. Many times one has to troll through thousands of forum posts to find that one sentence or two which answers your question on how to set up or why you have a road block.
I have been meaning to get to this. Thanks for the nudge. May take 2-3 weeks to get back into that though.

BTW, the How to fix a 3TB Drive showing as 746GB issue guide I published about a year ago yesterday and it has remained a very popular article.
 

dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
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San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
I'd love to see more I/O content and a focus on rack mount products, but that's just being selfish. Given your focus on "home" computing, a sideline into "low power" computing might be valuable. There are lots of other web sites that cover such servers, but that doesn't mean that you couldn't do so as well.

As an example, I recently upgraded the PC that acts as my sprinkler controller. The old one was an ATX hand-me-down that worked just fine but took up 4U and >100 watts. The new sprinker controller is tiny, much faster, fanless, and draws 7 watts.

Aside: MCS Sprinklers is a fantastic sprinkler control software package for those who want maximum control and maximum water saving and don't mind the extra order of magnitude increase in complexity over a simple timer.
 
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Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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You make me feel so low-tech dba! My sprinkler controller is a small box on a wall in my garage.

Point taken. I think we might be able to work on your I/O focus. :)
 

Jeggs101

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2010
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I like the new what's new activity stream feature. Massively easier to read the forum
 

sotech

New Member
Jul 13, 2011
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Australia
I like the idea of focusing on stuff relevant to people with home servers; most of the people we set up home server systems for are concerned about things like power consumption (total consumption, how to set up things like drive spindown, low-power setups that still pack a punch, whether an Atom system is sufficient for a certain amount of file sharing etc.), rack components that are quiet enough for home use and all of the interesting and different things you can do with home servers (ESXi comes to mind here with the ability to have a VM for just about anything...).

I know a lot of the systems we build have owners who read this site and find it quite useful from the home server setup perspective. Of course, I find all of it pretty interesting so I wouldn't personally complain no matter where it went :p
 

_Adrian_

Member
Jun 25, 2012
42
2
8
Leduc, AB
I Vote....
#2 and more Infiniband related stuff

Myself I'm running a bunch of "retired" HP DL580G4 Servers with Mellanox cards and TopSpin 120 Switch