07 October 2019

7th of October

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
Running Einstein gravity wave work overnight

Raspberry Pis
All except two running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Weather warm during the day so crunching overnight.


Storage servers
I spent the weekend working on the tower case storage server. The case has room for 10 drives however the top two drive bays are intended for a CD burner. The other 8 drive bays are designed for 3.5" drives. I currently have 4 x 4TB WD SE drives in there. Originally this machine used to run Windows Server 2008 with a RAID controller. I swapped it over to Linux last year.

This week I removed the RAID controller card and plugged the drives into the motherboard SATA controller to simplify things. I updated the OS to the latest Debian and reinstalled ZFS onto it. I went to restore from the Drobo which decided one its drives was missing. A quick power off and reseat the 3 drives got it going in a degraded state. I copied the files back from the Drobo while it was repairing itself. That has the tower case storage server up and running.

For the rack mount (disk based) storage server I ordered more memory. It currently has the 32GB that was in the tower case storage server and I want it back. The rack mount will get 8 x 16GB of ECC memory bringing it up to 128GB.

I looked at adding a cache drive to the storage servers but the recommendations for ZFS seems to be increase the memory to its maximum first. Only add an SSD as a cache drive once you get above 64GB of memory as the L2ARC (cache drive) uses main memory.

28 September 2019

28th of September

Farm status
Intel GPUs
One running Einstein Gravity Wave work

Nvidia GPUs
All running Einstein Gravity Wave work

Raspberry Pis
All except two running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Last week I mentioned issues installing ZFS. I raised a bug report with Debian. A work around was posted for the installer issue and I have now got ZFS running on one of the storage servers. I haven't tried the other one yet but expect the same process will work on it.

Also last week I tried updating one of the Nvidia GPU machines to Debian Buster, their current release. It locks up while booting but can be accessed via ssh. From there I can install the Nvidia drivers. It will boot after that but the screen will only do 1024x768 resolution. I raised another bug for Debian. In the mean time I have gone back to running Debian Stretch which works fine.

CPDN announced on the 18th of June they were going to run the OpenIFS climate models. Normally they run 32 bit versions of the UK Met Office climate models. Since then I increased the memory in the Intel GPU machines to be able to run these. We're still waiting for these climate models to become available.

14 September 2019

14th of September

Farm status
Intel GPUs
One running Einstein Gravity Wave work

Nvidia GPUs
All four running Einstein Gravity Wave work

Raspberry Pis
All except two running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I've been working on one of two storage servers for the past two weeks. Its a hard disk based server in a 2U rack mount case. Hardware wise its all working, but the software is causing problems. I can't get ZFS installed on it. It fails to build. I've tried different Debian releases and all of them seem to be broken. I bought this one almost a year ago. It was intended to replace my current (tower case) server which has less drive bays, thus limited scope for expansion.

I mentioned two storage servers. The other one is a NVMe based one in a 1U rack mount case. Apart from the fans being really loud and annoying its hardware also works fine. It too needs to run ZFS so I have been trying to get the quieter one going first.

I have updated the Intel GPU machines to Debian Buster. Unfortunately Buster locks up on the Nvidia GPU machines and won't even give a logon prompt. Time to raise another bug with Debian.

25 August 2019

25th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
Have been running Seti, now running Einstein.

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I assembled the 4th Ryzen 3600 (aka GPU compute node v3) machine and have had it running in. I also have it on a power point power meter to see how much juice they use. At peak load with the  CPU and GPU fully utilised it jumped to 240 watts (at a supposed 240 volts - according to the meter its getting 236 volts). Running Milkyway work on the GPU is less taxing and it barely gets to 200 watts. Running just the CPU at full load its using 140 watts. Idle was 60 watts.

It was a bit warmer yesterday afternoon so I had to stop GPU crunching, hence running Einstein gravity wave work on the CPU only. The Ryzen 3600 is faster than my i7-8700 machines doing the same work. Both CPU's have the same core count but the Intel has a lower clock speed (3.2GHz base) and doesn't support memory faster than 2666MHz.