[CentOS] Intel NUC? Any experience

Thu Jan 8 21:54:31 UTC 2015
John R Pierce <pierce at hogranch.com>

On 1/8/2015 11:32 AM, david wrote:
> The price point of Intel's NUC unit makes it attractive to use as a 
> server that doesn't have significant computational load.  In my 
> environment, a USB connected hard-drive could provide all the storage 
> needed.  I wonder if anyone has had experience with it, and can answer:

IMHO, its totally unsuitable as a server, there are many better choices.

A) there's no ECC, and servers tend to keep data in memory for a long 
time.  soft bit errors in gigabytes of memory are a more frequent 
occurance than you might think.  With a file server, that corrupt data 
stands a good chance of ending up back on disk, where it becomes 
permanent silent data corruption.

B) a single USB drive is a very poor choice for any sort of server, 
there's no redundancy whatsoever.  When (not if) that drive croaks, you 
lose everything.

something like an HP Microserver is a much better choice for a SOHO 
server.   Been running one of the older N40L models here for 2+ years, 
running FreeNAS, although it certainly can run CentOS. supports 8 or 
16GB ram, with ECC, and has 4 SATA drive bays.  Mine has 4x3TB in raidz 
(like raid5) for 7.3TiB total usable storage, I have no trouble reading 
or writing at near gigE speeds.

Another good choice would be one of the mini-ITX "Avoton"/"Rangley" Atom 
C2xxx family of boards (don't let the 'Atom' branding fool you, these 
are low power high performance server processors).  These have 2-4-8 
cores at 1.6-2.4ghz, support ECC RAM up to 32GB, and have 6+ SATA ports 
and 4 gigE ports onboard.  A variety of people make mini-ITX chassis 
that hold 2-4 disks, and a few with 6-8.

> ...
> 3) Is it possible to add an additional NIC for possible use as a home 
> router/gateway?  If not internally, then via a USB connected NIC?

for a home gateway/router, I would suggest looking into an APU1D4, such 
as are sold by Netgate.    This little 6x6" board draws less than 10 
watts TOTAL ACTIVE, has 3 GIgE ports and a dual core 1Ghz CPU with 4GB 
ram, it has SD card slot, miniSATA slot (for a SSD), and 2 miniPCI-E 
slots (for expansion boards such as wifi), its fanless (convection 
cooled via a heat spreader to the aluminum case, and basically rocks.

I'm using one with pfSense (a freeBSD based firewall distribution) and 
its very slick.    routing tons of connections (bittorrent) to my 30Mbps 
internet, it uses only 3-5% of its CPU, I've been told it can handle AES 
IPSEC vpns up to about 100Mbps, and 400-500Mbps simple NAT routing.

john r pierce                                      37N 122W
somewhere on the middle of the left coast