So much fun in a so little box

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So much fun in a so little box

Jeff Kelley
That was 6 months ago and I was in search of a
host for a small grid. It should be low-cost, and
I should have full access to the server and the
database through ssh.

After a test on a dedicated server, I settled the
price tag for a hosted machine should be around
30¤/month. [Prices have changed since I have made
my decision. I can now have a i3 8G for
15¤/month, which is exactly the configuration I'm
running]

But there was a special offer at my favorite
hardware supplier I could not resist : A 128¤,
low-size, low-power Core i3 "Next Unit
Computing". This is a barebone. You have to add
8Gb RAM (65¤) and a 60Gb SSD (54¤).

http://techreport.com/review/23888/review-intel-next-unit-of-computing

I do not recommend this model specifically. This
is not a buying guide. There is a large choice of
mini-PC at Shuttle, Gigabyte, Zotac, Acer... from
Celeron to i7. Graphic power is a no-issue since
the machine will run screenless.

Of course, if you sit it on a DSL like I do,
bandwith is scarce. Get crappy hardware or get
crappy network, so is the deal when budget is low.

The NUC arrives in a music box. Literally. It
plays the Intel logo when you open it. So kitsch!
My OS pick was CentOS 64. I chose the minimal
install CD to spare my SSD. Some yum later, it
was compiling gdi+ and MONO (maybe there is a
gdi+ repo somewhere, anyway that's a short build.
MONO is a hefty one).

wget the last opensim tarball, install and
configure. Fast and smooth. The grid is running
10 regions in 6 simulators (one simulator for the
HG login region, one for the sandbox, five
simulators with two regions each).

http://www.pescadoo.net/tmp/grid_monitoring_panel.png

Four avatars can log with no noticeable lag.
There usually are two builders, a scripter, one
friend or two chatting around. The machine
consumes only 13W. These are actual, measured
watts. Processor load less than 5% each core.
Used RAM 6.3Gb. MySQL large-pages enabled.
innodb_buffer_pool_size bumped to 256MMb. NEVER
stick to the 8Mb default!

Everything is done through HG. All objects and
object's content are set to group and shared with
a SQL script so nobody gets stuck with uneditable
objects. The team is advised to use HG1.0
XInventoryService when possible, to get full
acces to their inventories. Automatic OAR every
10 hours and nightly SQL dump. NFS share to host
the big files. Finally, there is voice since it
speeds up things so much.

Why stop here?

I usually am reluctant to try oar's because they
pollute the database. Remember, this is a
low-cost project and I have only 60Gb of disk.
Wouldn't that be nice if we had a trashable
standalone just for that? Load anything you like,
then DROP DATABASE when finished. Here we go.
Duplicate the bin folder, configure, create a
database and voila. The Mini-PC is now running a
total of 19 regions.

All this in a 4" x 4" x 2" box.


-- Jeff
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Re: So much fun in a so little box

Dr Ramesh Ramloll
Thanks for sharing :) this gives me a few ideas.
R


On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 10:24 AM, Jeff Kelley <[hidden email]> wrote:
That was 6 months ago and I was in search of a host for a small grid. It should be low-cost, and I should have full access to the server and the database through ssh.

After a test on a dedicated server, I settled the price tag for a hosted machine should be around 30¤/month. [Prices have changed since I have made my decision. I can now have a i3 8G for 15¤/month, which is exactly the configuration I'm running]

But there was a special offer at my favorite hardware supplier I could not resist : A 128¤, low-size, low-power Core i3 "Next Unit Computing". This is a barebone. You have to add 8Gb RAM (65¤) and a 60Gb SSD (54¤).

http://techreport.com/review/23888/review-intel-next-unit-of-computing

I do not recommend this model specifically. This is not a buying guide. There is a large choice of mini-PC at Shuttle, Gigabyte, Zotac, Acer... from Celeron to i7. Graphic power is a no-issue since the machine will run screenless.

Of course, if you sit it on a DSL like I do, bandwith is scarce. Get crappy hardware or get crappy network, so is the deal when budget is low.

The NUC arrives in a music box. Literally. It plays the Intel logo when you open it. So kitsch! My OS pick was CentOS 64. I chose the minimal install CD to spare my SSD. Some yum later, it was compiling gdi+ and MONO (maybe there is a gdi+ repo somewhere, anyway that's a short build. MONO is a hefty one).

wget the last opensim tarball, install and configure. Fast and smooth. The grid is running 10 regions in 6 simulators (one simulator for the HG login region, one for the sandbox, five simulators with two regions each).

http://www.pescadoo.net/tmp/grid_monitoring_panel.png

Four avatars can log with no noticeable lag. There usually are two builders, a scripter, one friend or two chatting around. The machine consumes only 13W. These are actual, measured watts. Processor load less than 5% each core. Used RAM 6.3Gb. MySQL large-pages enabled. innodb_buffer_pool_size bumped to 256MMb. NEVER stick to the 8Mb default!

Everything is done through HG. All objects and object's content are set to group and shared with a SQL script so nobody gets stuck with uneditable objects. The team is advised to use HG1.0 XInventoryService when possible, to get full acces to their inventories. Automatic OAR every 10 hours and nightly SQL dump. NFS share to host the big files. Finally, there is voice since it speeds up things so much.

Why stop here?

I usually am reluctant to try oar's because they pollute the database. Remember, this is a low-cost project and I have only 60Gb of disk. Wouldn't that be nice if we had a trashable standalone just for that? Load anything you like, then DROP DATABASE when finished. Here we go. Duplicate the bin folder, configure, create a database and voila. The Mini-PC is now running a total of 19 regions.

All this in a 4" x 4" x 2" box.


-- Jeff
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--
'Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin.'
Rameshsharma Ramloll PhD, CEO CTO DeepSemaphore LLC, Affiliate Research Associate Professor, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209 Tel: 208-240-0040

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Re: So much fun in a so little box

Jeff Kelley
At 10:27 AM -0400 23/8/14, Dr Ramesh Ramloll wrote:

>  Thanks for sharing :) this gives me a few ideas.

Don't go CentOS. I installed a Ubuntu grid yesterday and

sudo apt-get install mono-mcs libgtk2.0-cil libgtksourceview2-2.0-cil
monodevelop monodoc-base mono-tools-gui mono-complete

did all.

No MONO compile, no libgdiplus compile with libs in /usr/local/lib or
/opt/mono/lib.


-- Jeff
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Re: So much fun in a so little box

Mister Blue
In reply to this post by Dr Ramesh Ramloll
I inherited a mini-ITX chassis with an old Atom motherboard in it. That turned out to be way to slow for physics. So, for $70 I bought the "ASRock Motherboard Mini ITX DDR3 1066 Q1900B-ITX"[1] from Amazon. With Ubuntu 14.04 server it runs the BulletSim regions on OSGrid [2]. Does a pretty good job for just being a 2GHz Celeron.

The small processors are pretty capable.

[2] dual core (4 threads), 4GB ram, 500GB disk, cable modem


On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 9:37 AM, Jeff Kelley <[hidden email]> wrote:
At 10:27 AM -0400 23/8/14, Dr Ramesh Ramloll wrote:

 Thanks for sharing :) this gives me a few ideas.

Don't go CentOS. I installed a Ubuntu grid yesterday and

sudo apt-get install mono-mcs libgtk2.0-cil libgtksourceview2-2.0-cil monodevelop monodoc-base mono-tools-gui mono-complete

did all.

No MONO compile, no libgdiplus compile with libs in /usr/local/lib or /opt/mono/lib.



-- Jeff
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[hidden email]
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