The static experiment

Akrin is an server whose soul has been through many iterations of old hardware. It never needed much resources so I easily got away with $30 PCs bought at the university surplus.

It currently resides on an aged Pentium IV with just 500MB of RAM and some old IDE hard drive. With the addition of more & more projects (recently: CCTV installation, new sites such as, database intensive Markov chains generation), it’s close to maximum capacity and could use an upgrade.

More than new hardware I’ve decided it was time to change how computing was done at home.  And I’m going for no moving parts. This means no fans, no spinning disks and no moving heads.

What are the advantages?

  • no vibrations, not an iota of noise
  • no jet take off sound when running heavier computation
  • no malfunctioning fans that could result in a fire hazard
  • supposedly hardware that is more resistant to shocks
  • fanless means less powerful which in terms means less power consumption

Here’s what I ordered:

It doesn’t come with RAM or a hard drive. I like the small form factor and the fact that it has 2 NICs. This means it can easily be recycled in a nice router should the experiment fail.

  • Some RAM (DDR2 SODIMM), I went for the max 2GB that the EPC-6542 will support. ($45) link
  • A 2.5″ SATA II 128GB solid state disk (SSD) ($223 – $75 mail in rebate = $148) link

Now SSDs are pretty expensive compared to traditional hard drives so it is a high price to pay for no moving parts. But they are also much faster, and because of the CCTV cams recording  24/7, I think that the I/O speed gain will have a tremendous overall effect on the server.

Akrin will soon run on $423 of new hardware, this is unprecedented 🙂

To be continued…

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