03 February 2019

3rd of February

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
All off

Raspberry Pis
Idle


Weather impacting processing
We have flooding in the north of the country and bush fires in the south. Sydney has been hot but we had two days of cooler weather so I managed to run the Raspberry Pis and Intel GPUs for a short period. Its hot so they are off again. It doesn’t look like the weather is going to cool down any time soon.

In other news the parts for the proxy server are awaiting assembly. I also have someone interested in the 6th generation i7’s that I replaced so hopefully he’ll take the lot and that should make some room.

13 January 2019

13th of January

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Off. Have been doing bursts of Einstein work overnight

Nvidia GPUs
Off

Raspberry Pis
Idle. Have been doing bursts of Einstein work overnight


Other news
Parts were ordered last year for the Proxy server, but the CPU got back-ordered. The CPU has now been changed from an i3-8300 to an i3-8100 as they are in stock. The parts are supposed to arrive next week.

Linus Tech Tips did a video called "Using 6000 CPU cores for Science" which was about the LIGO gravity wave detectors. Unfortunately they didn't cover the Einstein project and how we process the data. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCuKuUgNfjA

The weather is effecting processing or work so I am down to turning machines on in the evening, doing a burst of work and powering them off the following morning.


New GPU announcements
As expected Nvidia announced a RTX 2060 graphics card at CES 2019. The specs look quite good apart from the fact the Turing GPU's and the Einstein GPU apps won't work together. They also announced a GTX 1160 which is basically the same card without the Ray Tracing and Tensor cores. We'll have to wait for some of these to come to market but they sound like a better alternative for number crunching.

AMD also announced a Vega VII graphics card which could be useful for number crunching. It was targeted to the gamers and comes with 16GB of video memory. Its built using 7 nanometer fabrication so hopefully won't use too much power.

I expect I will be replacing GPUs in the 1st quarter of this year so now its just a matter of finding the right one to pick.


23 December 2018

23rd of December 2018

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Running Einstein O1OD1 work overnight

Nvidia GPUs
Off

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Away
I had a couple of weeks off so things were powered down while I was away. Since returning Sydney had a couple of heavy hail storms that fortunately haven't broken anything for me. The hail storms seem to have cleared the hot weather so I am able to continue crunching for the moment.


Projects
I have a couple of little projects to finish off this year. Firstly I need to finish off the Pi Cluster which means I need to buy more Pi3's

The second one is to replace the proxy server which also means buying some more hardware. Its a 4th generation Intel i5 and Intel are currently up to the 9th generation which gives you an idea how old it is. While it doesn't impact the crunching, its running 24/7 so reliability is everything.

There are a number of things on the "to do" list for next year. Technology advances and hardware needs updating. I try to replace the hardware over a couple of years so they don't fall too far behind.

25 November 2018

25th of November

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Einstein O1OD1 work overnight

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Einstein O1OD1 work overnight

Raspberry Pis
Twelve running Einstein BRP4 work


Increased storage capacity
I purchased 3 WD Red 8TB disks to put into the Drobo (its used to backup the storage server). This brings the Drobo up to 16TB of usable space.

At the same time I purchased 3 Toshiba 8TB disks to put in the storage server. I have a new disk controller on order that supports up to 8 drives and will swap the drives around when installing it. The idea is to have a vdev of 3 drives in raidz1 which will give single drive redundancy and more than 16TB of disk space due to compression. I can then add more drives as needed.


Disk performance
While doing some online research I came across the gnome-disk-utility that can benchmark disk performance so I let it loose on a few different drives that I have. Interestingly the Seagate expansion drives had a high transfer speed and the SSHD came in the slowest for transfer speed and 2nd slowest for seek time. I haven't benchmarked the NVMe SSD yet.

Drive model Type Interface Ave read (MB/sec) Ave seek (msec)
Samsung 850 Pro 2.5" SSD SATA 521.7 0.05
WD10j31x 2.5" SSHD SATA 89.8 17.31
WD2002FAEX 3.5" HDD SATA 124.2 12.78
WD4000F9YZ 3.5" HDD SATA 137.3 14.32
Seagate expansion 3TB 3.5" HDD USB 3 158.8 17.51
Seagate expansion 2TB 3.5" HDD USB 3 139.6 15.42