low(er) power high(ish) performance server recommendations

Offloading HDDs and other functions to remote NAS or servers is increasingly popular
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low(er) power high(ish) performance server recommendations

Post by stevea » Sun May 17, 2009 1:17 pm

I need suggestions/advice re a 24x7 soho server. It will run Linux, many network services including routing, DNS,DHCP, and encrypted tunnel, LDAP authentication. email. Also serving files on the LAN side and dealing with encrypted flie systems.

Power, heat & noise are issues.

The system will be "up" 24x7, or at best down for only a few hours per day. Since certain services like LDAP authentication and email must be 'responsive'. OTOH the system will have a lot of idle time. Things like speedstep are therefore important.

The Intel Atom and Via CPUs probably can't support the encryption without bandwidth limitations - insufficient CPU performance). I'm not a fan of the Celeron architecture and worry abt perforance, so let's rule tha tout too.

There are some mobile mobos and parts with decent performance and power but the prices are usually outrageous.

There are a plethora 45W and 65W Intel and AMD offerings, Semperons, Athlon XL's, X2's, Intel "Wolfdale" etc. Unfortunately I'm almost entirely ignorant of the ADM support chip offering characteristics. I'd greatly appreciate pointer & reference link or experience/suggestions in sorting this group.

The MOBO requires a fastpath 1Gbit enet, 4SATA and one IDE. Ideally a second enet (but 100mbit is adequate and a pci card is OK) and a few more SATA. 2GB of mem is probably about right. I'd prefer a minimal on-board graphics since the system will run "headless" except for installation & debug; alternative is a low-power passively cooled vid card.

I'd prefer to use a pair of 120mm case fans and a high quality passive CPU & bridge heatsink arrangement.

Mostly low-power idle but able to step up to a medium/heavy CPU load is the difficult requirement. I find it very difficult to get comparable *idle* power usage figures for parts, which is probably the most important figure in this case.

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Post by mgarl10024 » Thu May 28, 2009 7:16 am

Hi Stevea,

How's your research going?

I wanted to build a similar system a little while back (but mine was just for NAS). You can read about it here: viewtopic.php?p=456178&highlight=#456178.

I'm pointing it out as I wanted low heat and noise, and using a 45watt chip that you ask about, I managed to achieve this pretty well. So far the little box has clocked up over 1mth continuous uptime, and around 2months total.

Of course, you'll need to consider whether the 2.3Ghz will be enough to do everything you want it to, and still be "responsive".

With so many things on there, have you considered Data Security? I went for a RAID solution viewtopic.php?p=457377&highlight=#457377 although I still take periodic backups.

Hope that helps,


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