[CentOS] Intel NUC? Any experience

Thu Jan 8 23:57:55 UTC 2015
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Thu, January 8, 2015 5:40 pm, david wrote:
> At 01:54 PM 1/8/2015, John R Pierce wrote:
>>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
> John
> Thanks for your comments.  In the particular application, I used the
> word "server" only in the sense that GUI is only rarely used, and CPU
> speed isn't an issue.  The data the server holds has other "primary"
> copies elsewhere, so if some corruption or damage occurs, it can be
> restored within acceptable time.  Thus, I am not interested in ECC
> memory or RAID for this situation, although I do appreciate the need
> for servers with mission-critical data.  As a former employee of
> Tandem Computers, mirroring, backup, check-everything, dual
> everything is in my blood.

Still, John, thanks for your brilliant comments (I bet there are many
people for whom they are very instructive), and for pointers to small
footprint/ small consumption units, - these are particularly interesting
for me!


Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247