peering on 12 Oct 2011 11:03:16 -0700

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[PLUG] Intel Atom Servers

Wanted to get some thoughts on Intel Atom processors for server builds. Years ago, I used to build Intel servers (this was back when Dell's weren't cheap and didn't fully support linux). Then I started using Dells. But now I am back to building OEM systems, mainly because of cost. The environment does not require any redundancy since its clustered, so I can build really affordable pizza-box 1U servers.

I want to keep the power usage down, so I thought about using Atom cpu's. My only fear is my experience from using an Acer Netbook with an Atom CPU running Ubuntu. It was DOG slow...

The servers are a MIMEdefang/sendmail/SpamAssassin cluster. They will have max memory, but the Atom CPU will need to do some work and process those messages. Granted its not major number crunching... But my experience with that Netbook doesn't make me feel good. Heck, maybe the Netbook was slow because Ubuntu desktop was so overloaded, plus all the CPU overhead of running X11, etc.,.

Power being equal, I can run (8) Atom servers clustered, or (1) regular Xeon.

The (8) Atom servers will definitely have better disk IO numbers since my load is spread across 8 disks - running pure native SATA no raid. Compare that to (1) Xeon server running Raid 1 on SATA.

Thanks, Adam

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