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Excito B3 Mini ARM Powered Server

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  • #16
    I wonder if the RAM is soldered onboard like with most devices of this kind, or in a (SO-)DIMM socket. If it is possible to upgrade the RAM, this device will be really interesting, despite its high price.

    If not, then a Lenovo D400 or similar might be a better buy, even though it has higher power consumption.

    Originally posted by frantaylor View Post
    Does it support a SATA multiplexer?
    I wouldn't count on it. Historically, only Silicon Image chipsets worked well with SATA PMP. This has improved somewhat since but is still not universally robust.

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    • #17
      Wow, the ranks of appliances in the style of "ARM+Linux = cool, small, energy-saving device" are surely growing fast... which can only be a good thing, from a consumer (and Linux-advocate) standpoint

      Also from what i'm seeing, those guys seem to have done their homework: direct contact to the unwashed masses in this thread, recent Debian installation, open bootloader... Justifies a certain amount of premium on the price for me.

      One question though: Are there any plans for selling those devices without disks? I've got a bunch of HDDs here, and would love to see them spinning in a B3 + eSATA-Storage-addon.
      I wouldn't mind downloading an image from the website for the OS or sth. similar, and I guess that a sizeable part of the target audience (those willing to experiment with debian-on-ARM) wouldn't mind either.

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      • #18
        (stupid 1 minute edit limit... grr)
        Just saw that there's an option to download the OS images from your site, or even buying them preloaded on a USB stick. There's also source code for the Bubba2, but not for the B3... Is a source download for the B3 planned anytime soon?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          Actually had a VIA Eden I was going to compare the performance to, but I may have killed the B3 this morning from overheating after running 12 hours worth of compiler tests on it... Still investigating.
          That's bad. Servers are expected to withstand a great deal of abuse and not fail. I hope you include at least an Atom machine in that comparision. It would be very interesting to see atom vs via vs arm Low power FTW!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by devius View Post
            That's bad. Servers are expected to withstand a great deal of abuse and not fail. I hope you include at least an Atom machine in that comparision. It would be very interesting to see atom vs via vs arm Low power FTW!
            There is no comparison since the ARM system is not turning back on.
            Michael Larabel
            http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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            • #21
              woah that's pretty lame, hopefully it was just a dud unit, not a good look though.

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              • #22
                I've read reports of the other small ARM plugs overheating. They really should improve the cooling.

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                • #23
                  Where's the multimedia encoding benches? :P

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                  • #24
                    How well could this act as a PXE/NFS mount server for 30 PC's or so?

                    I'm writing a proposal for my English class. It's going to suggest some ways for my university to save some bandwidth. One of the suggestions, if the proper way couldn't be done, is to segment the network by placing a cheap, low powered server in the classrooms and labs. Hopefully it'll allow more control over installing software if the lab computers load the OS over the network and controlling some of the bandwidth.

                    Can this fit that niche well? I know an Atom processor could be used instead, but this is the only low-powered server I know of that has two NICs built in. Ordering custom parts will probably be more expensive than just ordering one of these things.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mardok View Post
                      Can this fit that niche well? I know an Atom processor could be used instead, but this is the only low-powered server I know of that has two NICs built in. Ordering custom parts will probably be more expensive than just ordering one of these things.
                      I'd say it would work, as long as the overheating problems are fixed. And by the way, there are Atom servers even smaller than this, and including 2xGbitNICs. One was actually reviewed here on Phoronix:
                      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...b_fitpc2&num=1

                      (the version there only has one NIC, but the fit-PC2i has two).

                      Only problem with that system is that's very unreliable, it also has overheating problems (I bought one and am in the process of RMA'ing it) and the WiFi is a linux-unfriendly RaLink with no AP support.

                      I seems heat is a big problem with these devices, and they were not tested properly under load scenarios, even if they are marketed for "industrial" applications :-/ Maybe the next generation will actually work?

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                      • #26
                        yeah quite a let down, unless Michael just got a bad batch? *shrugs*

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                        • #27
                          I'm also curious what happened with the unit.

                          All these devices seem to suffer from bad design (Guruplug server+ is in the same situation) and fail due to overheating. Which is really sad.

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                          • #28
                            Hi Michael,

                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            Actually had a VIA Eden I was going to compare the performance to, but I may have killed the B3 this morning from overheating after running 12 hours worth of compiler tests on it... Still investigating.
                            This sounds very strange. We have had no heat problems during our testing. Could you perhaps contact me so we could dig deeper into this?

                            /Tor

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                            • #29
                              yeah a round two perhaps?!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by wirrbeltier View Post
                                (stupid 1 minute edit limit... grr)
                                Just saw that there's an option to download the OS images from your site, or even buying them preloaded on a USB stick. There's also source code for the Bubba2, but not for the B3... Is a source download for the B3 planned anytime soon?
                                The source code for B3 is available, all packages except kernel packages has source packages in our repository, http://b3.update.excito.org Kernel sources are available here, http://download.excito.net/kernel/Excito_B3/

                                /Tor

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