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Excito B3 Mini ARM Powered Server

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  • #31
    Originally posted by tkrill View Post
    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
    Thanks for the reply. Any thoughts on selling disk-less systems?

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    • #32
      I second that.

      While the nice interface of the Excito B3 suggests it is directed to a more mainstream, not necessarily very technical audience, the fact that it also allows unrestricted access via SSH means users are given the choice to basically customize it the way they want.

      The systems including the disk are definitely a good option for those that don't want to worry about purchasing a disk on their own, but, at the same time, I think there are users who would like to have that option, so the option to buy a diskless system wouldn't hurt.

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      • #33
        Hi,

        Regarding disk-less systems. We currently does not have that option. This due to two things.

        The setup as it is,for now, results in the factory delivering all units prepackaged with a disk. Thus if we where to ship units without the disk we have to manually alter this with a lot of manual work for us.

        This of course could be changed in future production batches, but for now this is a problem.

        The other, and possibly more problematic issue, is that this would leave us out of control on what disks people put into the unit and how they do this. The fact is that there is quite some difference on disks with regard to power consumption could result in the disk overheating in the unit.

        We ship all units with WD green power disks which runs with very moderate power consumption. This setup plus the fact that we use the entire casing as a heat pad with heat conducting materials between the disk and casing results in us not having the same problems many other similar constructions suffer.

        But with all that said we do see demand for a disk-less configuration and are reevaluating this decision.

        /Tor

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        • #34
          Motherboard

          Any idea where I could by a Mini-ITX motherboard with an ARM processor and 4 SATA ports? For one of these: http://www.chenbro.com/corporatesite...ail.php?sku=79

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          • #35
            I was trying to move my firewall/web servers to low powered Shevaplugs, but they died after 6 month and 1 year. 24/7 usage but in no way running full tilt.

            Went back to my Via C3 boxes, which has been running 24/7 for many years now.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by cheemosabe View Post
              Any idea where I could by a Mini-ITX motherboard with an ARM processor and 4 SATA ports? For one of these: http://www.chenbro.com/corporatesite...ail.php?sku=79
              Good question. Unfortunatelly I don't think there are any. If anyone knows otherwise I would also like to know.

              PS: Those Chenbro cases are awesome \m/

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              • #37
                Originally posted by tkrill View Post
                Hi,

                [...]
                The other, and possibly more problematic issue, is that this would leave us out of control on what disks people put into the unit and how they do this. The fact is that there is quite some difference on disks with regard to power consumption could result in the disk overheating in the unit.

                We ship all units with WD green power disks which runs with very moderate power consumption. This setup plus the fact that we use the entire casing as a heat pad with heat conducting materials between the disk and casing results in us not having the same problems many other similar constructions suffer.

                But with all that said we do see demand for a disk-less configuration and are reevaluating this decision.
                /Tor
                Thanks for giving insight into your plans. In my view, the freedoms offered by an adapted debian installation could be well complemented by the freedom to install own disks. People who know how to ssh into a remote installation generally also tend to want to mess with the hardware, and therefore could be more aware of the risks of overheating etc.
                I wouldn't mind if you slapped a big red "I understand the risks" sticker on diskless devices, or a chart stating max values for power consumption/heat production, or something saying "if you mess with our construction, you do so at your own risk, so don't expect easy RMAs".

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                • #38
                  Hey, it would be nice if we were kept up to date on this overheating problem. I'm interested in low-power systems like the Bubba and it would be good to know more about the possibilities and limitations.

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                  • #39
                    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.
                    Any news on that?

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                    • #40
                      Nice RAID boxes

                      Originally posted by devius View Post
                      Good question. Unfortunatelly I don't think there are any. If anyone knows otherwise I would also like to know.

                      PS: Those Chenbro cases are awesome \m/
                      Haven't found a standalone ARM + 4 SATA mobo but I found a couple of really nice integrated RAID enclosures:

                      http://www.cooldrives.com/ra4xhddto1331.html
                      http://www.cooldrives.com/ra4xhddto133.html

                      They seem to be using this chip (ARM CPU and SATA controller in one?):

                      http://www.plxtech.com/products/consumer/oxufs936qse

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                      • #41
                        Hi all,

                        Regarding the possible heating problem. We, Excito, have tried to reproduce the situation that might have caused the situation. I.e. a heavy load produced by compiling large "projects", gcc in this case.

                        This far we have been unable to even get our test environments near any critical temperatures. We have recompiled the kernel, GCC 4.5.1 with all languages enabled, several times. And a recompile of GCC on B3 takes several hours with a high load so this should be a good candidate for stress testing.

                        During this we sample CPU and disk temperature, this done in normal
                        room temperature here ~21C. While running the above tests the disk never
                        exceeded 48C and the CPU never rose above ~81C. The 81C on the CPU was
                        measured on the capsule and should correspond to a ~100C die temperature
                        which is well within working temperature according to Marvell specs.

                        So with this in mind we do think that it is some other failure with Michaels unit such as a faulty disk, power supply or perhaps a bad mainboard. This is however just specultion since we havn't looked at that specific unit.

                        We are talking to Michael about this and asked him to do some tests to try determine what might have failed. After this we will most likely exchange the unit to get a closer look at it.

                        But to summarize, i would say that it is still very much more likely that the unit in question failed for other reasons than overheating.

                        /Tor

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                        • #42
                          Hi,

                          I've been meaning to ask about your testing methodology, so your post came right on time.

                          Thanks for the updates.

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