[rescue] Digest Why not to use an Atom as a Server

J. Alexander Jacocks jjacocks at mac.com
Thu Jan 19 11:51:40 CST 2012

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM, William Enestvedt
<William.Enestvedt at jwu.edu> wrote:
>   So for home NAS building, where I would prefer to run it all the time
> as long as it doesn't burn *too* much electricity, is a little
> Atom-based box the right choice? Is anyone selling these, or should I
> just pick up a Western Digital My Book with an Ethernet port? (Honest
> question: I fdon't have time or budget to reinvent the wheel, even if
> it's cool.)

Well, it depends on what you expect, as far as performance goes.  Most
of the pre-built NAS devices have an embedded PowerPC, MIPS, or ARM
CPU, that uses very little power, but also is not at all powerful.
Given that RAID (especially RAIDs 4, 5 and 6) depend on parity
calculation speed, they will never perform well.  Until very recently,
most home NAS devices have not even bothered to include gigabit
ethernet, as they couldn't even provide a reliable 12MB/sec that would
max out fast ethernet.  I tried a bunch of different NASes (YellowBox,
HP, Buffalo, etc.), and never found one that would perform decently on
gigabit ethernet.

So, my recommendation is to find a desktop CPU (Core Duo is a good
choice, IMO), and use software RAID.  Make sure that it has plenty of
memory (at least 1GB RAM per 1TB of RAID size) to cache in.  With
those two in place, you should have decent performance.

My advice, then, is to get a Core Duo w/4GB of RAM, 4/5 1TB disks, and
2 gigabit ethernet ports.  That sort of system is buildable easily
from spares, if you have them, and purchasable for cheap, if not.

Just my advice...
- Alex

More information about the rescue mailing list