[rescue] DIY-blade?

Francois Dion fdion at atriumwindows.com
Thu Feb 26 15:24:04 CST 2004

Eric Webb wrote:

>Not that there would be much to gain for those of us with home labs, but has 
>anyone ever thought of a cheap way to build a blade-like system?
Blades are really only good for render farms, JBOWS (just a bunch of web 
servers), SETI and the like. What are you thinking of running on this?

>  Basically, 
>a bunch of single-board computers with some kind of backplane (or not, 
>doesn't have to be fancy...  goal is high-density)?
Is your goal purely high-density? Your backplane, what is it for? SMP 

>  I know there are SBC 
>P4's out there, but I'd rather not be limited to x86.  Mini-ITX is another 
>idea (once again x86), but performance-limited.
P4 min-itx with gigabit port are available. If purely for density, might 
want to look at nano-itx.

>Like I said, mostly a "can it be done" question, not a "should it be done" or 
>"is it cost-effective to do" question.

Yes, it can be done. Cheaper setup is using standard ATX or even mATX. 
I'd like that as you dont have to throw away your mobos, just add them 
in your chassis.Then setup something like the CPU boards on the Sunfire 
x800 series. A handle plate on one end, an edge connector board that can 
distribute power, ethernet, kvm etc, a box with guides and a pair of 
large power supplies, fans to suck the air to the back etc. I did a few 
designs over the years. PXE seemed the way to go, with a master board to 
control all the others (only hard disks on the master board. I 
experimented a bit with 4 miniitx boards, but they were and are too 
expensive and too scarse. I'd like to find very cheap mATX boards with 
gigabit ether on board. That would be ideal.

The really cool thing to do would be a box with backplane and the edge 
connector would connect into the last PCI slot and do an SMP box.


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