26 February 2017

26th of February

Farm Status
Intel GPUs
All running Einstein Multi-directed Gravity Wave work

Nvida GPUs
Two running Seti work

Raspberry Pis
All except two running Einstein BRP4 work. The other two (a Pi2 and a Pi3) are running Seti Beta work

Seti multi-beam apps for Rpi
There has been some progress on the Raspberry Pi app which is why I have a Pi2 and Pi3 running Seti Beta. We're currently testing an updated app that is slightly faster than the previous one as well as being able to work on the ARM v6 (Pi Zero, B and B+). If you're going to run on a ARM v6 apart from it being very slow it also needs a patched kernel. Even the ARM v7 is slow when it gets a VLAR (Very Low Angle Range) work unit but at least it can do them now.

AMD Ryzen
I've asked my usual computer shop to quote on a couple of Ryzen S7 1700 machines to replace the two i7-5820K gas-guzzlers. The parts showed up on the PC Case Gear website yesterday (due for delivery 3/03/2017). I'm looking at two for the moment but given they use a bit less than half of the wattage of my current i7's I could get more AMD machines. I would expect they'll be slower than the i7 but then I get two extra threads so it will probably produce around the same throughput.

Storage Server
I am also looking at updating the file server, or at least its storage capacity. Currently I have an Intel RAID controller in it that provides 4 ports and there are 4 x 4TB drives in there.

SuperMicro have a storage server which is a similar motherboard to what I already have with a built-in SAS controller and another 10 SATA ports on the motherboard provided by an Intel chipset and it comes with 12 (3.5 inch) hot-plug drive bays on the front and another two (2.5 inch) on the back. The bad news is they is they only support Windows Server (2008 or 2012) or RHEL on it.

There are a number of other options such as a SAS expander, another RAID controller, bigger drives and so on that I could use which I will look into.

ZFS on Linux
The file server had me looking at ZFS on Linux. My first attempt was so try and install it on a Pi2 which failed miserably. It downloads the code and you have to compile it. The compile failed for a couple of reasons:
  • Its written with AMD64 architecture in mind
  • You have to get the Linux kernel headers to compile it
The Pi2 and Pi3 are currently ARM (32 bit) architecture. Technically the Pi3 could run ARM64 architecture as it an ARM v8 CPU but the Raspberry Pi foundation don't have it available.

As for the Linux kernel headers one has to get the version from the Raspberry Pi foundation that matches whatever version they are on (mine currently have 4.4.38). That isn't a simple apt-get command, you have to back-track the 4.4.38 version to the git check-in to find it.

My next attempt was to install Debian Stretch onto one of the i7-6700's which sort of worked. It gave some errors at bootup. I guess it doesn't have the necessary drivers for an H170-Pro motherboard. As well as that the beignet-opencl-icd didn't support the HD Graphics 530 that they have so I gave up on that one and reinstalled Win7 on it.

Ubuntu has a pre-compiled one in their repository so you don't have to compile your own, however there is some debate around the licensing of it.

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