[Server-devel] Favorite School Server hardware?

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Thu Dec 5 16:12:49 EST 2013

On Thu, Dec 05, 2013 at 03:18:37PM -0500, George Hunt wrote:
> Adam Holt is planning for an XSCE schoolserver deployment in Haiti
> in January, and in this instance there's plenty of power, and my
> favorite trimslice ARM may be under powered for the number of
> clients he is contemplating. 
> The on-the-ground experience is not good with the trimslice that we
> installed earlier this year in a Haiti deployment.  Reports are that
> no more than 11 XO1 clients can simultaneously access the Internet
> In A Box. We're not sure whether the bottleneck is at the wifi
> level, (XO's not registered), the disk drive access, or the raw
> computing power of the dual core ARM processor.

Probably pointless to speculate.  Get more data about the problem,
converting a whinge into a collaboration.  Describe the exact hardware
and software configuration, and the exact symptom that is reported.
Try to reproduce it in your lab or elsewhere.

My gut feel is that it should be easily possible to make it work for
more than 11 XO laptops.  Internet In A Box is a simple web service.
The fault might be caused by something simple and obvious, but you
won't find it without data.

And above all, next time you deploy something, test it.  Either before
deployment or at the time it is deployed.

But if you've hit a non-cooperation brick wall, and can't get any
data, then I agree that blaming the largest cost hardware component
(the trimslice) is good displacement activity.  ;-)

(As the XO-1s age, they are more likely to cause this kind of problem.
Test the XO-1 antennas.  Broken coax cables can lead to lower signal
strength, which can lead to problems operating against an access point
that has many clients.  Retransmissions are fine with a small group of
laptops, but go above 10 and retransmissions become more and more
expensive, leading to falling performance or total blockage.)

> What other hardware have people been using recently?  What
> performance measures does anyone have?
> George

James Cameron

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