[LINK] Green web servers with netbook components

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Tue May 19 11:15:42 AEST 2009

On Tue, May 19, 2009, Tom Worthington wrote:

> The conventional thinking on servers has been high density 
> specialization: pack as much processing capacity as possible onto a 
> processing server and disk capacity into a data server and then try 
> to load share it efficiently. Dell's approach is similar to that used 
> for Google's servers, where each disk gets its own processing 
> <http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/2009/04/google-battery-backed-shipping.html>.

The conventional thinking is "write crappy software, run an untuned OS,
and only scale by adding boxes."

> The 2U rack mount case of the Dell XS11-VX8 will hold up to 12 server 
> boards. Each board has one Nano processor, up to 3GB of RAM, a 2.5 
> inch disk (or flash RAM equivalent), a SD card slot for boot software 
> and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Or you can get a core i7 class box, attach a 10GE interface and
enough RAM, and serve a few gige worth of dynamic and static content.
(Or ~ 10GE of static content.) But only if you've done it "right".

I agree that optimising for low-end hardware has its advantages in
some deployments (eg how do you think you'd run an always-up webserver
for a small remote rural community? Answer - a PCEngines Alix.2 (for
example), a 12V car battery and a set of solar panels) but it requires
re-thinking how you design the OS environment, the network facing
infrastructure and all of your web apps.



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