[Server-devel] Recommended tropical island XS hardware

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Fri Feb 4 21:25:45 EST 2011

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 3:31 AM, Tom Parker <tom at carrott.org> wrote:
> Is there a "recommended" school server hardware these days?
> We took EEE Boxes to Samoa and they seemed to do ok in the short time we
> monitored them. Their biggest downside is no second ethernet (you have
> to use USB) and you pay for the Ion chipset (both upfront and on power
> consumption).
> The schools in question are probably less than 200 students each, so I'm
> guessing an Atom processor will be ok?
> There are a few people building fanless no-name boxes based on the Intel
> D510MO motherboards. I'm running one of those very successfully as my
> own server, with a 3.5" harddrive it consumes about 25W when powered by
> a wide input PicoPSU and HP Laptop brick (35W with a no-name desktop
> power supply!). Is anyone running a schoolserver with one of these? How
> many students is it good for?

We have one of our graduate students (Ben Tran) working on this
problem as part of his Masters thesis. We should have his report up on
the wiki shortly. Ben is on the list, and can maybe add to what he
did, the findings, caveats etc.

Some mention of his project is at

In essence, he load tested six different boxes of varying capabilities
to see where it starts to fail. Hopefully that will give some insight
into how these boxes perform.

We also plan on making all the scripts available to replicate the
tests so you can set up your own tests as per your requirements and
your environment and see how your XS performs.

Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Information Systems
Director, Campus Business Solutions
San Francisco State University

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