Julien Vehent on 12 Oct 2011 11:44:33 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Intel Atom Servers

On 12.10.2011 14:03, peering@philaix.org wrote:

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
The environment does not require any redundancy since its clustered, so
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

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

ATOM cpu is my base setup for any home/sbs linux box I build. It works great, doesn't heat up, and each box with 2 HD in soft raid 1 consumes ~30W.

Obviously, the cpu won't be as fast as a Xeon, but if you mostly process emails with it, you don't care that spamassassin takes 300ms more than on a bigger CPU. Everything is asynchronous already. In my test setup, I even use the atom to serve the webmail with nginx, php5-cgi and roundcubemail, and it works great for a small (<20) number of users.

As a general rule, we use a lot less CPU than we think we do.

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