[lustre-discuss] Hardware advice for homelab

Andreas Dilger adilger at whamcloud.com
Mon Jul 19 15:10:42 PDT 2021

On Jul 19, 2021, at 04:51, Andrew Elwell via lustre-discuss <lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org<mailto:lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org>> wrote:

Hi folks,

Given my homelab testing for Lustre tends to be contained within
VirtualBox on laptop ($work has a physical hardware test bed once
mucking around gets serious), I'm considering expanding to some real
hardware at home for testing. My MythTV days are over, but I'd ideally
like an aarch64 client that can run on a Raspberry Pi, incase I ever
poke at Kodi.

What server hardware would people advise that fulfils:

* low running cost (it's my electricity bill!)
* fairly cheap to buy (own budget)
* if I'm buying a cased 'nuc' type thing, it must be able to fit in a
3.5" SATA drive (as I have some old ones that fell off the back of a
* not full of screaming fans

Given it's not planned for production use 24/7 I don't care about HA
with multi-tailed drives, but would quite like the ability to add more
OSSs as required.
Cable sprawl / mounting isn't that much of an issue, providing it can
live in the shed

Any suggestions?

Really, the hardware you buy depends only on your performance requirements.
I have run my home Lustre server in a single "whitebox PC" for many years
(filesystem originally formatted with Lustre 1.4 in 2006 and has been upgraded
in-place ever since then).

I have 1 MDT + 5 OSTs (one OST per drive), using LVM below the filesystems
to facilitate snapshots for MDT backup, and to allow LV migration to new drives
as they become full/old.  I started with maybe 2 or 3 200/300GB drives, and now
have 3x 4TB drives and 2x 6TB drives + 512 GB SSD for the mDT.  The server
itself was a Pentium-D + 2GB RAM for many years until that hardware failed last
yeaar, and is now a 3.3GHz Core2-Duo + 4GB RAM (old Dell deskside computer).

Basically, any computer you can buy today is going to be enough for functional
testing, if you aren't looking for peak performance.

Client performance is limited by the 1Gbit Ethernet I'm using, but that is enough
for my use (video is under 1MB/s, and backup of family laptops).  I have a beefier
x86 client (i5-6600 + 48GB RAM), formerly an Intel Atom, but that couldn't handle
HD video decoding.  I was also running a 32-bit Raspberry Pi 3 for a while, but
it was very marginal for HD video and died after a year of uptime.

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger
Lustre Principal Architect

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