Stack-able micro computers

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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby Raymond Day » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:36 am

Wow very good. That's all I been using mine for is a server. Nice to have SATA right on it.

I use UCtech USB 3.0 to SATA Converter if can find that any more. But it works real good with the USB cable right in it and if you take the hard drive out and put it on some other SATA you can still read it. Some USB to SATA format it some way were you put it in some other SATA can't read it has to reformat it.

So this ODROID-HC1 is something I been looking for a long time. I don't need any HDMI to use it as a headless server.

WDLabs has a PiDrive No SATA ports the board right on it is a USB.

When this ODROID-HC1 comes out I like to order one.

Thank you for making it.

-Raymond Day
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby SvenDowideit » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:26 pm

Very timely!

I work on RancherOS - http://rancher.com/rancher-os

and while we biuld rpi and rpi64 releases, it takes a long time to build the 32bit version - a small cluster of odroid would not only speed up the builds, but I'd port RancherOS to it too :D
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby synportack24 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:41 am

The HC seems like an awesome use of the XU3/4 platform. I'm really excited to see what images come out of the community to support it! Are there any official OS planned from Hardkernel apart from the typical ones for the XU4? Can't wait till August 21st
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submit an article get cool stuff!
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby MrDreamBot » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:19 am

On a different note, I suggest the My Cluster should have an option to include the My Cloud at the bottom of the stack and 3 My Cluster boards/cases on top (do they fit together?). This is because, from the photo, the My Cluster boards don't have either USB3 connector nor SATA making it tricky to include a fast storage for the cluster which is mandaory, in my opinion for a cluster. By providing this option, customers can choose either the My Cluster as is or the one with My Cloud (SATA storage) if they don't already have a a file server. Just my 2cents.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby MrDreamBot » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:13 am

One question: do we really need the fan at the end of the My Cluster stack? Isn't the metal case enough to dissipate the heat? I really like fanless (meaning quiet) computers and clusters. The only thing I don't like about the XU4 is the noisy fan!
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby mad_ady » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:13 pm

For high loads and performance you'll need the fan or the cores will throttle. If you want it passive you won't plug the fan. But since it's large and runs at constant speed, it will probably not be as annoying as the stock fan.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby gabm » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:21 pm

Great Idea! We've wished to have such systems available at times. We're working on software for automotive applications and while our software can handle rapid prototyping demands very well, finding suitable and rapidly-deployable hardware has always been cumbersome. A key selling point of our software stack is scalability as deployment is easy and rapid. The MC1 seems like a great device for rapid hardware deployment here. It already has casing, uses USB power supply and is supposely low on power usage.. We'd love to get a hand on some MC1 devices and our share feedback with you.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby Armand79th » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:46 pm

So.... how do I get involved in the testing process? :)

I'm currently employed with a large webhosting company and I'd love to test some of these boards as part of a smaller webhosting or application cluster.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby ksubox » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:39 am

Sounds interesting, but I can't find answer how to make real home computer system.

Actually what we need:
1. Network storage - not huge, but quite big for family/work history - and I can't loose it, so must be at least RAID1
2. Servers for family & work - web/mail/ftp..., git repositories - probably also at least RAID1 & memory?
3. Application servers for my public services - probably cluster solution is good for that if interconnection is fast, but I wonder how good could be this solution for Java application servers ? 2M memory is quite small for Java VM + application data, so we will have to distribute data across cluster and as a result - need high speed interconnection/processing.

If somebody could explain how to design what we need, it would be very helpful.

Thank you.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby KRYPTALIVIAN » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:09 am

When someone gets their hands on a unit, can you measure the wattage when under a load(with HDD attached) please :)
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby odroid » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:08 am

@ksubox,
If you really need a RAID1 storage, you can consider our CloudShell2.
Or two HC1 with scheduled RSYNC can be a perfect backup plan.
A lot of Light-weight home server applications can run with 2GB smoothly.
But if you need a high performance server, you have to consider a much more expensive server system instead of $49.

@KRYPTALIVIAN
Heavy HDD access (100MB/sec) + Heavy Gbit access (100MB/sec) + Full 8-core CPU stress test = 14~16Watt (5V/3A)
In Idle mode, it could be down to 3.5~5Watt.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby elatllat » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:15 am

With sata instead of USB 3 fewer drives can be used so I'll avoid the HC1.
The XU4 is happy with at least 23 drives.

There are very few practical reasons to use a cluster.
For personal use some people will likely get them just for playing with, but proper fail-over uses nodes in different data centers.
Data-centers like scaleway tend to make there own stuff instead of stacking others, but it would be nice to see more arm cloud offerings.

UAS and S.M.A.R.T. compatibility are drive specific and UAS tends to only need blacklisting for the larger drives (8TB Segate)

@ksubox The instructions are about the same for any Linux, but it's all off topic so make a new thread for each question.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby tkaiser » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:52 pm

KRYPTALIVIAN wrote:When someone gets their hands on a unit, can you measure the wattage when under a load(with HDD attached) please :)


Measuring behind ODROID's 4A PSU I got up to ~11W with typical NAS benchmarks but using an SSD instead of a 2.5" HDD (so add a little bit more especially with random IO loads, if you do sequential IO with a somewhat decent HDD -- streaming a movie for example -- consumption is very low). This was with cpufreq/dvfs defaults (allowing to clock big/little CPUs with 2.0/1.4GHz) and Hardkernel's dvfs OPP mean a heavily increased consumption when climbing up to highest clockspeeds especially on the big cluster.

Since based on previous and yesterday's monitoring with appropriate IRQ/CPU affinity settings seeing nowhere a CPU bottleneck my personal goal currently is to develop settings that work as fast as defaults but cutting cpufreq on the big cores to 1.4Ghz as well. First tests show 3W less then with just 5% performance drop when using synthetical benchmarks (most probably zero difference when copying files with Windows Explorer or macOS Finder due to some magic happening in the background explained here http://www.helios.de/web/EN/support/TI/157.html )

I shared some first (excellent) experiences at CNX: http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/08/10/ ... ent-545244

For whatever reasons yesterday I got low NAS write performance and only ~550-600 MBits/sec max in RX direction when testing with iperf3 but I'm pretty sure that this must be a problem on my side since RTL8153 on XU4/HC1 is known to reach 940 Mbits/sec. Anyway: If someone running XU4/HC1 with latest 4.9 kernel can provide iperf3 numbers in both directions ('iperf3 -s' on another machine and then 'iperf3 -c' and 'iperf3 -c -R' on the ODROID) that would help.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby willfe » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:31 am

I'd love to put a few of the HC1's to the test running a Ceph cluster! I suspect they'd make very good storage nodes, and could possibly also handle running the monitor and/or manager daemons too. For testing I'd use three of them (with a 1 or 2TB disk each) as storage nodes, a fourth one for the monitor & manager, and a fifth for a metadata server (for Ceph's POSIX filesystem support). The monitor & manager are pretty lightweight, so they can probably run together on a node. The metadata server is CPU-intensive though, so it should run on its own node. The OSDs (storage nodes) have moderate CPU requirements but the CPUs on the HC1 should be more than enough.

With gigabit ethernet the resulting storage cluster probably wouldn't be the fastest thing in the world but I bet it could easily keep up with a Drobo. The other benefits of Ceph are just a nice bonus :)

@odroid, are you also sampling the HC1's? I'd be happy to build a Ceph storage cluster on them, document the entire process and provide benchmarks and feedback.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby uDude » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:58 pm

With the HC1 can we use SMART tools on the drive?

Also, can we use Samsung ssd built in crypto?
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby mad_ady » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:15 pm

Smart yes. I don't know how samsung encryption works
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby tkaiser » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:31 pm

uDude wrote:With the HC1 can we use SMART tools on the drive?


The JMS578 USB SATA bridge on HC1 fully supports SMART, SAT (SCSI / ATA Translation -- that's why you can also use tools like hdparm without issues) and also TRIM (though no idea about software support. The last time I checked I had the impression discard/TRIM is not available through USB with Linux kernel)

Edit: I forgot to mention that JMS578 will be fully supported by smartmontools starting with version 6.6: https://www.smartmontools.org/ticket/841 (so you need to specify '-d sat' for now manually to access devices behind HC1's USB-to-SATA bridge)
Last edited by tkaiser on Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby nobe » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:29 pm

uDude wrote:can we use Samsung ssd built in crypto?

i suppose you talk about OPAL-compliant Self Encrypting Drives technology.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Se ... ing_Drives

as far as i know, the software isn't mature yet in general (i don't find any sedutil package in my x86 ubuntu distro).
for arm linux, it doesn't even seem to compile for now : https://github.com/Drive-Trust-Alliance ... issues/148
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby fvolk » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:37 pm

I'm am bit cautious, the 5TB 2.5" Seagate draws a bit more power than smaller 2.5" drives.
I was unable to get it stable with my C2, it appeared to work at first but sometimes it made clicking noises or disconnected - on a PC it works fine.

So I hope you implemented robust power delivery with the HC1, then you have a customer -> I will upgrade my current C2+2TB Seagate that are now running for ~320 days without problems to a HC1 with a 5TB :-)
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby Seb » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:13 am

Oh, my! I can't wait to have a working version of my OS to cluster on this... It's a fairly distant dream right now. Perhaps there'll be an Odroid-HC2/MC2/XU5/whatnot by then... one step at a time :)
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby tkaiser » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:14 am

fvolk wrote:I'm am bit cautious, the 5TB 2.5" Seagate draws a bit more power than smaller 2.5" drives.


Not really, they work fine on USB3 ports providing 900mA.

HC1 is Hardkernel's answer to the most common disk access problems that occured with XU4 in the past (under-voltage/underpowering, cable/contact issues, crappy USB-to-SATA bridges). On HC1 PCB the 5V go from the barrel jack directly to pins 7-9 on the SATA power connector. The PCB is prepared to feed 3.5" HDDs too (there's a 12V input feeding pins 13-15 on the SATA power connector) so there's no need to worry about HDD powering problems ever again.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby fvolk » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:38 am

tkaiser wrote:
fvolk wrote:I'm am bit cautious, the 5TB 2.5" Seagate draws a bit more power than smaller 2.5" drives.


Not really, they work fine on USB3 ports providing 900mA.


The 15mm 3-5TB draw up to 1.2A (http://www.seagate.com/www-content/prod ... 1609gb.pdf) that's more than 0.9A per USB spec. Plus additional load of USB3<-->SATA converter.

In my experience it's been gamble, now I only use them directly attached to a PC.
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby odroid » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:38 am

tkaiser wrote:For whatever reasons yesterday I got low NAS write performance and only ~550-600 MBits/sec max in RX direction when testing with iperf3 but I'm pretty sure that this must be a problem on my side since RTL8153 on XU4/HC1 is known to reach 940 Mbits/sec. Anyway: If someone running XU4/HC1 with latest 4.9 kernel can provide iperf3 numbers in both directions ('iperf3 -s' on another machine and then 'iperf3 -c' and 'iperf3 -c -R' on the ODROID) that would help.


We will run the iperf test early next week and let you know the result.
But I believe it should be near 900Mbps since the yesterday's LanTest result was fine with HC1 + HGST_1TB_HDD.
Image
Image

Update: One user reported the network performance is around 940Mbps.
viewtopic.php?f=96&t=27982
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby Umbreon » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:02 pm

@Odroid

Have you got any issue with the hard drive like noise or disconnection or other bad things ?
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Re: Stack-able micro computers

Unread postby tkaiser » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:56 pm

fvolk wrote:
tkaiser wrote:
fvolk wrote:I'm am bit cautious, the 5TB 2.5" Seagate draws a bit more power than smaller 2.5" drives.


Not really, they work fine on USB3 ports providing 900mA.


The 15mm 3-5TB draw up to 1.2A (http://www.seagate.com/www-content/prod ... 1609gb.pdf) that's more than 0.9A per USB spec. Plus additional load of USB3<-->SATA converter.


Hmm... we have reports from 2 customers who bought some of them that they just work fine on USB3 ports (maybe Seagate's enclosure contains capacitors to compensate for the short peak consumption when platters start spinning?). But thanks for the reminder, I forgot to ask whether they've tested with average PCs or Macs (based on some tests I found Apple USB ports providing slightly more than 900mA -- though testing methodology not that scientific ;) ).

Anyway I don't believe there's anything to worry about powering since as already said HC1 is Hardkernel's answer to HDD powering problems of the past. The distance between DC-IN jack and SATA power connector are a few cm and I would be really surprised if Hardkernel used PCB traces too thin or put an underdimensioned current limiter in between.

I thought already about testing with rather power hungry WD Velociraptors (10k rpm) I have lying around... but then remembered that they need power on the 12V rail unlike nearly all other 2.5" disks...
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