Most hassle free sparc64 platform

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Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Chris Smith-50
Hi,

What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?

Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.

Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
comments/experiences to share?

Best Regards,

Chris Smith

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Stuart Henderson
On 2010/10/03 16:37, Chris Smith wrote:

> Hi,
>
> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>
> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>
> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
> comments/experiences to share?

the rackmount machines are nice as you get power control over serial
(LOM/ALOM) e.g. t1 105, v210, v240, which you don't (as far as I'm aware)
get with the tower configuration boxes.

t1 105/ultras are quite a lot slower than the v2x0/blade 1000/2000/2500
(watch out with blades as some want FC-AL rather than SCSI disks) but
could well be enough.

if you're not in a hurry and interested in the faster ones, I'd suggest
watching ebay for a while, prices can be quite variable.

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Simon Kuhnle-2
In reply to this post by Chris Smith-50
On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 04:37:36PM +0100, Chris Smith wrote:
> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>
> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>
> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
> comments/experiences to share?

Ultra 60 works fine for me here, running 4.8-current
(but releases should work, too, of course).

I'm doing some IRC, Web, Mail and playing with Nagios.

I have two 360 Mhz CPUs in it and serial works fine, too,
with a DB9-to-RJ45-connector (though it must be 'crossed' IIRC,
as some pins are weird, perhaps somebody else can tell more).

So the headless part is no problem, but if you need a monitor,
you should get a 13W3-to-VGA adapater.

Works very nice and stable and for your requirements
it should totally suffice IMHO, so go for it ;-)

Regards,
Simon

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Rodolfo Conte Brufatto
I have an Ultra1 and an Ultra 2 here running rock solid as well... I have
some pretty old 'muscle' SPARCs.
The only shame is that OpenBSD/sparc does not support SMP yet.
I have one SS20 with 4x HyperSPARC modules 1mb cache each, with 512mb RAM,
73gb disk and 1 qfe... And I still cannot take the full advantage of it.

BTW,
You can get some V440, V490 on eBay very cheap tho. And they are pretty good
ones.

Regards,

On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM, Simon Kuhnle <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 04:37:36PM +0100, Chris Smith wrote:
> > What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
> > OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
> >
> > Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
> > support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
> >
> > Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
> > comments/experiences to share?
>
> Ultra 60 works fine for me here, running 4.8-current
> (but releases should work, too, of course).
>
> I'm doing some IRC, Web, Mail and playing with Nagios.
>
> I have two 360 Mhz CPUs in it and serial works fine, too,
> with a DB9-to-RJ45-connector (though it must be 'crossed' IIRC,
> as some pins are weird, perhaps somebody else can tell more).
>
> So the headless part is no problem, but if you need a monitor,
> you should get a 13W3-to-VGA adapater.
>
> Works very nice and stable and for your requirements
> it should totally suffice IMHO, so go for it ;-)
>
> Regards,
> Simon
>
>


--
Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Nick Holland
In reply to this post by Chris Smith-50
On 10/03/10 11:37, Chris Smith wrote:

> Hi,
>
> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>
> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>
> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
> comments/experiences to share?
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Chris Smith

To be honest, the sparc64 systems I've tried Just Work, as far as
OpenBSD goes.  Interestingly, it seems that OpenBSD may be the best
non-Solaris OS for Sparc64 hardware.  A lot of other projects support
certain vintage sparc64 hw, but OpenBSD seems to cover the entire range
better than anything else other than Solaris...  and since Solaris 10
has abandoned the UltraSPARC1 CPUs, probably BETTER than Solaris, too.
:) (and now that solaris 10 is licensed in such a way to make it almost
unusable ...)

It really comes down to the Sun hardware features.  Buy a machine with
the RAM you want/need, upgrading Sun systems can be..interesting.  Some
random thoughts:

U5/U10 are nice in that if you DID want to put a head on 'em, you just
plug in a standard VGA connector monitor, no Sun adapter needed (still
need a special keyboard, though).  However, the U5/U10 HW more or less
sucks (not an OpenBSD issue, just that the U5/U10 sucks).  IDE disks,
but you will HAVE to use surplus disks, as the thing supposedly barfs on
>128G disks.  Good introduction to the Sparc64 platform in a
lightweight, modest power consumption package.  (while the IDE disk
interface is probably the worst seen in on a PCI bus, I've actually not
found them THAT much slower than other semi-comparable Sun systems for
"make build").  (note: I've found some Compaq server RAM will work
nicely in U5/U10 machines, but at "half" capacity -- i.e., a 256M module
will report as 128M.)

U60s rock, though they suck some power. SCSI, two SCA disks.  Don't let
the U60's plastic case fool you, they are heavy!  Lots of different
CPUs, 300MHz to 450MHz.  SCSI CDROMs...if yours is good, great,
otherwise you get a quick intro to netbooting, as finding a working SCSI
CDROM is getting harder and harder.  (I have a lot, but they are buried
under other stuff, so even I have trouble finding 'em. :)

E220 are just a U60 with dual power supply, rack mount, and an amazingly
butt-ugly front grill, and take up a lot of space for only two internal
disks.  Good parts donors to upgrade your U60, though. :)

Blade100 draws surprisingly little power (45w, pretty loaded IIRC).  The
USB ports will make you think you can plug a standard USB keyboard into
them for local console, and you ALMOST can, but you can't hit "STOP-A"
to control the dang thing.   So, you need a Sun keyboard (or serial
console) to set up the machine.  IDE disks.

E450 make great end-tables, but suck a large amount of power and space
for what they do now.  Can hold a snootload of disks, but needs a lot of
disk controllers to do that, and draw even more power if fully loaded.
Might look good painted to look like a Borg Cube.

E250: strange machine, looks like it wants to be a desk-side machine,
but usually decked out to be a server (i.e., no video), but very strange
when converted to rack-mount.  Six SCA disks, dual CPU.

Blade 1000: screamer, but uses FC disks (probably NOT sitting in your
scrap pile), so can be frustrating.  USB machine, like Blade 100.

Netra T1-105: lot of machine in a 1U package, two SCA disks, total
serial console control (power machine on and off via serial!), but wacko
memory (odder than most Sun systems, actually).  What you get with the
thing is what you will live with.  (there were several other 1U USIIi
machines, most used more normal RAM, but the T1-105 is the only one I
have loaded OpenBSD on recently).

Sunfire v240: Duuuude.  Beautiful machine.  As good looking as the e220
is butt-ugly.  Fast, too. :)


Too old for most real-world apps, but as long as I'm babbling:

U1: slow.  SCA disks (capable of 1 half-height drive, one 1/3 height
drive).  'e' variants are 16 bit SCSI, 100mbps NIC, non-'e' variants are
8 bit SCSI, 10mbps.  I've had strange issues with the things dying on
me, they may have hit their practical life span.  sbus expansion cards.
 breaths from the sides (not front to back like most systems), disks on
side.

U2: Usually slow, but if you can get anything from one 200MHz CPU to
dual 400MHz.  You aren't going to get lucky and find a 2x400MHz machine
just sitting around (mine was built out from a 2x200mhz w/ parts from a
stripped E250).  (ok, the best Sun/Solaris guy I know once showed up
with a dual 400MHz U2, and now that I have one too, I feel overly cool).
Two SCA 1/3height disks.  breaths from the sides, but disks are on the
front (yay!).

Nick.

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Chris Maresca
In reply to this post by Rodolfo Conte Brufatto
One thing to be careful about is electricity consumption.  I had an old
Compaq 6500 7u 4-way beast and once calculated it was costing $50+/month
in electricity.

The 440 may be a great and cheap platform, but I suspect that a
traditional pizza box form factor would use far less electricity.  I had
an SS20 for years as a firewall/mail server and I think it would still
do great.  Don't need that much horsepower for that...  I still have it
around somewhere, it has a hyperSparc CPU in it.

I think I would look for an Ultra1 or an Ultra10.  There also seem to be
a bunch of cheap SunBlade machines out there, but I don't know how
OpenBSD copes with that hardware.

Chris.

On 10/3/10 10:26 AM, Rodolfo Conte Brufatto wrote:

> I have an Ultra1 and an Ultra 2 here running rock solid as well... I have
> some pretty old 'muscle' SPARCs.
> The only shame is that OpenBSD/sparc does not support SMP yet.
> I have one SS20 with 4x HyperSPARC modules 1mb cache each, with 512mb RAM,
> 73gb disk and 1 qfe... And I still cannot take the full advantage of it.
>
> BTW,
> You can get some V440, V490 on eBay very cheap tho. And they are pretty good
> ones.
>
> Regards,
>
> On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM, Simon Kuhnle<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>> On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 04:37:36PM +0100, Chris Smith wrote:
>>> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
>>> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>>>
>>> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
>>> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>>>
>>> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
>>> comments/experiences to share?
>>
>> Ultra 60 works fine for me here, running 4.8-current
>> (but releases should work, too, of course).
>>
>> I'm doing some IRC, Web, Mail and playing with Nagios.
>>
>> I have two 360 Mhz CPUs in it and serial works fine, too,
>> with a DB9-to-RJ45-connector (though it must be 'crossed' IIRC,
>> as some pins are weird, perhaps somebody else can tell more).
>>
>> So the headless part is no problem, but if you need a monitor,
>> you should get a 13W3-to-VGA adapater.
>>
>> Works very nice and stable and for your requirements
>> it should totally suffice IMHO, so go for it ;-)
>>
>> Regards,
>> Simon

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Chris Smith-50
In reply to this post by Chris Smith-50
On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 4:37 PM, Chris Smith <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi,

Big thanks to everyone who replied to this thread.  I've seen a couple
of people mention power consumption and it brought back some horrific
memories of explaining large electricity bills to my better half [1].
I've scaled back my requirements to something which consumes less than
100W of power which eliminates most of the big end stuff.  Going
through Sun docs looking at power specs now taking people's advice
into consideration.

[1] I ran an old SS1000 with full complement of SM61's and SIMMs for 6
months on Sol 2.7.  Ouch that one hurt.  Didn't have to put the
heating on though.

Best Regards,

Chris Smith

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Rodolfo Conte Brufatto
In reply to this post by Chris Maresca
Ok Chris, but is it an MP one? I mean how many modules do you have at the
SS20?
I am still concerned about using SMP on it... there is no light that it will
be supported in a near future. I can sendo to the developers a manual from
BridgePoint if needed as well as the patch cds for it or a PROM if needed.
I do not know how i can help on this.
Anyway, I was considering to use NetBSD since they support it... but i read
that they do not support for the current versions...
But I love this SS20 and i am planning to use it for fw/dns or maybe dhcp as
well.

Regards,

On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Chris Maresca <[hidden email]> wrote:

> One thing to be careful about is electricity consumption.  I had an old
> Compaq 6500 7u 4-way beast and once calculated it was costing $50+/month in
> electricity.
>
> The 440 may be a great and cheap platform, but I suspect that a traditional
> pizza box form factor would use far less electricity.  I had an SS20 for
> years as a firewall/mail server and I think it would still do great.  Don't
> need that much horsepower for that...  I still have it around somewhere, it
> has a hyperSparc CPU in it.
>
> I think I would look for an Ultra1 or an Ultra10.  There also seem to be a
> bunch of cheap SunBlade machines out there, but I don't know how OpenBSD
> copes with that hardware.
>
> Chris.
>
>
> On 10/3/10 10:26 AM, Rodolfo Conte Brufatto wrote:
>
>> I have an Ultra1 and an Ultra 2 here running rock solid as well... I have
>> some pretty old 'muscle' SPARCs.
>> The only shame is that OpenBSD/sparc does not support SMP yet.
>> I have one SS20 with 4x HyperSPARC modules 1mb cache each, with 512mb RAM,
>> 73gb disk and 1 qfe... And I still cannot take the full advantage of it.
>>
>> BTW,
>> You can get some V440, V490 on eBay very cheap tho. And they are pretty
>> good
>> ones.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM, Simon Kuhnle<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>>  On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 04:37:36PM +0100, Chris Smith wrote:
>>>
>>>> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
>>>> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>>>>
>>>> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
>>>> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>>>>
>>>> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
>>>> comments/experiences to share?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Ultra 60 works fine for me here, running 4.8-current
>>> (but releases should work, too, of course).
>>>
>>> I'm doing some IRC, Web, Mail and playing with Nagios.
>>>
>>> I have two 360 Mhz CPUs in it and serial works fine, too,
>>> with a DB9-to-RJ45-connector (though it must be 'crossed' IIRC,
>>> as some pins are weird, perhaps somebody else can tell more).
>>>
>>> So the headless part is no problem, but if you need a monitor,
>>> you should get a 13W3-to-VGA adapater.
>>>
>>> Works very nice and stable and for your requirements
>>> it should totally suffice IMHO, so go for it ;-)
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> Simon
>>>
>>
>


--
Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Chris Maresca
Not MP, just one CPU, IRC.  It's 200Mhz or something like that.  I also
have a Sparc5 Turbo, which is similar speeds.  I think both of them have
QFE cards, but I haven't looked at them in a long while.  I'd give you
them both, but shipping to the UK seems like it would be more than it's
worth.

Honestly, you might be better off with an x86 or ARM based system (yes,
yes, I know, heresy).  I just picked up 3 of these
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360302675223 at $25
ea.  They are fanless, diskless and 1ghz.  There's also a number of
multi-port x86/ARM boards from Soekris (http://www.soekris.com/), Alix
(http://www.pcengines.ch/alix.htm) and others that might be better
choices.  They sometime turn up on fleabay, a couple of Alix boards sold
last week for less than $20 ea.  Even new, they are less than $150.

I love old hardware (I have a couple of NeXT's floating around), but the
power consumption, esp. compared to performance, is pretty bad.  That's
particularly true when you compare it to much of the newer fanless,
diskless hardware.  It's probably more reliable than a 15 year old SS20
with a 15yr old spinning drive, even if the SS20 hardware is built like
a tank.

(this is just an opinion, don't shoot me ;-)

BTW, the Compaq, which had a 7-bay RAID5 array, was replaced by a RAID10
network attached storage box which is 5-10x faster and consumes about 35
watts....

Chris.

On 10/3/10 11:10 AM, Rodolfo Conte Brufatto wrote:

> Ok Chris, but is it an MP one? I mean how many modules do you have at
> the SS20?
> I am still concerned about using SMP on it... there is no light that it
> will be supported in a near future. I can sendo to the developers a
> manual from BridgePoint if needed as well as the patch cds for it or a
> PROM if needed.
> I do not know how i can help on this.
> Anyway, I was considering to use NetBSD since they support it... but i
> read that they do not support for the current versions...
> But I love this SS20 and i am planning to use it for fw/dns or maybe
> dhcp as well.
>
> Regards,
>
> On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Chris Maresca <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     One thing to be careful about is electricity consumption.  I had an
>     old Compaq 6500 7u 4-way beast and once calculated it was costing
>     $50+/month in electricity.
>
>     The 440 may be a great and cheap platform, but I suspect that a
>     traditional pizza box form factor would use far less electricity.  I
>     had an SS20 for years as a firewall/mail server and I think it would
>     still do great.  Don't need that much horsepower for that...  I
>     still have it around somewhere, it has a hyperSparc CPU in it.
>
>     I think I would look for an Ultra1 or an Ultra10.  There also seem
>     to be a bunch of cheap SunBlade machines out there, but I don't know
>     how OpenBSD copes with that hardware.
>
>     Chris.
>
>
>     On 10/3/10 10:26 AM, Rodolfo Conte Brufatto wrote:
>
>         I have an Ultra1 and an Ultra 2 here running rock solid as
>         well... I have
>         some pretty old 'muscle' SPARCs.
>         The only shame is that OpenBSD/sparc does not support SMP yet.
>         I have one SS20 with 4x HyperSPARC modules 1mb cache each, with
>         512mb RAM,
>         73gb disk and 1 qfe... And I still cannot take the full
>         advantage of it.
>
>         BTW,
>         You can get some V440, V490 on eBay very cheap tho. And they are
>         pretty good
>         ones.
>
>         Regards,
>
>         On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM, Simon Kuhnle<[hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>>  wrote:
>
>             On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 04:37:36PM +0100, Chris Smith wrote:
>
>                 What is considered to be a relatively hassle free
>                 sparc64 box to run
>                 OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>
>                 Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if
>                 possible.  To
>                 support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>
>                 Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the
>                 UK.  Any
>                 comments/experiences to share?
>
>
>             Ultra 60 works fine for me here, running 4.8-current
>             (but releases should work, too, of course).
>
>             I'm doing some IRC, Web, Mail and playing with Nagios.
>
>             I have two 360 Mhz CPUs in it and serial works fine, too,
>             with a DB9-to-RJ45-connector (though it must be 'crossed' IIRC,
>             as some pins are weird, perhaps somebody else can tell more).
>
>             So the headless part is no problem, but if you need a monitor,
>             you should get a 13W3-to-VGA adapater.
>
>             Works very nice and stable and for your requirements
>             it should totally suffice IMHO, so go for it ;-)
>
>             Regards,
>             Simon
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Alexandre Gauthier-2
In reply to this post by Chris Smith-50
Le dimanche 03 octobre 2010 C  16:37 +0100, Chris Smith a C)crit :

> Hi,
>
> What is considered to be a relatively hassle free sparc64 box to run
> OpenBSD 4.7/4.8 on?
>
> Requirements are fairly minimal: headless, MP if possible.  To
> support: NAT via pf, apache, postfix, shell for 2-3 users.
>
> Was looking at Ultra30/60 as they are cheap here in the UK.  Any
> comments/experiences to share?
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Chris Smith
>

I would like to cast my vote for an Ultra 10 as well -- I have one as my
DNS server. The main reason would be that it accepts commodity x86
hardware (memory, hard drives, cdrom drive, VGA output), so spare parts
aren't that difficult to find :) Its power consumption is acceptable,
too, as previously mentionned by other posts. It also will, like most
sparc machines, default to the serial console if there is no monitor
connected.

And since you indeed don't need that much horsepower to do accomplish
what you wish to do, it seems like a good fit. :)

Hope it helps,

--
Alexandre Gauthier

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Henning Brauer-11
In reply to this post by Nick Holland
I'd really recommend:
v210 - fast, 1U, some are smp, reasonably cheap to get, sucks power,
       usable LOM
v120 - reasonably fast, cheap, relatively low power consumption, good LOM
netra t1 105 - somewhat slow, rock solid, cheap, very low power (~35W
       with 1 SCA disk), best LOM ever made by any vendor

--
Henning Brauer, [hidden email], [hidden email]
BS Web Services, http://bsws.de
Full-Service ISP - Secure Hosting, Mail and DNS Services
Dedicated Servers, Rootservers, Application Hosting

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Henning Brauer-11
In reply to this post by Alexandre Gauthier-2
* Alexandre Gauthier <[hidden email]> [2010-10-03 21:47]:
> I would like to cast my vote for an Ultra 10 as well

as in, one of the worst sparc64 systems ever made.

--
Henning Brauer, [hidden email], [hidden email]
BS Web Services, http://bsws.de
Full-Service ISP - Secure Hosting, Mail and DNS Services
Dedicated Servers, Rootservers, Application Hosting

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Alexandre Gauthier-2
Le dimanche 03 octobre 2010 C  23:02 +0200, Henning Brauer a C)crit :
> * Alexandre Gauthier <[hidden email]> [2010-10-03 21:47]:
> > I would like to cast my vote for an Ultra 10 as well
>
> as in, one of the worst sparc64 systems ever made.
>
Your highly productive contribution and the vast amount of information
and hard facts it contains have been duely noted.

Have a nice day

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Kevin-58
In reply to this post by Henning Brauer-11
On 10/3/10 2:01 PM, "Henning Brauer" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'd really recommend:
> v210 - fast, 1U, some are smp, reasonably cheap to get, sucks power,
>        usable LOM
> v120 - reasonably fast, cheap, relatively low power consumption, good LOM
> netra t1 105 - somewhat slow, rock solid, cheap, very low power (~35W
>        with 1 SCA disk), best LOM ever made by any vendor
We've had several of these netra T1s in use doing firewall and DNS duties
running OpenBSD for years, and I cannot recall them crashing even once.

I think I picked them up for around $150 each on eBay.

They *are* a little bit slow, but the only time I notice it is during login
over SSH.

Once I'm connected, they're as responsive as any of the newest servers we
have. Perhaps not as well suited as newer servers at heavy web service or
similar duties, but they're great in the roles we have them in.

And, has Henning has said, they use next to no power (if memory serves each
takes ~.5A with two disks under load) and the LOM is truly outstanding.

Kevin

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Jameel Akari
In reply to this post by Chris Smith-50
On Sun, 3 Oct 2010, Chris Smith wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 4:37 PM, Chris Smith <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hi,
>
> Big thanks to everyone who replied to this thread.  I've seen a couple
> of people mention power consumption and it brought back some horrific
> memories of explaining large electricity bills to my better half [1].

Not a Sun suggestion, but a general "I have weird old hardware"
suggestion: Get a Kill-A-Watt or equivalent in-line wattmeter.  I imagine
they make a UK/Euro 220V version.  At least then when you get a new
boatanchor you know how much it'll cost you to run.

> I've scaled back my requirements to something which consumes less than
> 100W of power which eliminates most of the big end stuff.  Going
> through Sun docs looking at power specs now taking people's advice
> into consideration.

With those specs I'll second the Netra T1 (105, AC100, really any of the
1U boxes) or even the U5/U10.  I have a U10 as my firewall, and with a
newer hard disk (selected for power rating), and the CD and floppy
unplugged, it's 40-60W with the 440MHz CPU and 512MB RAM.

Also, generic CompactFlash to IDE adaptors will work in this machine so
you can dispense with the spinning disk and save more power, assuming your
application is read-mostly.


--
Jameel Akari

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Matt Rowley
In reply to this post by Henning Brauer-11
On Oct 3, 2010, at 5:01 PM, Henning Brauer wrote:

> I'd really recommend:
> v210 - fast, 1U, some are smp, reasonably cheap to get, sucks power,
>       usable LOM
> v120 - reasonably fast, cheap, relatively low power consumption, good LOM
> netra t1 105 - somewhat slow, rock solid, cheap, very low power (~35W
>       with 1 SCA disk), best LOM ever made by any vendor

I have to second Henning on the Netra T1... I've had nothing but good
experience with the hardware.  I have several that have been running OpenBSD
for years and years.  As long as you don't need a screamer in terms of speed,
they are great.

cheers,
Matt

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

T. Ribbrock
In reply to this post by Alexandre Gauthier-2
On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 03:48:32PM -0400, Alexandre Gauthier wrote:
> I would like to cast my vote for an Ultra 10 as well -- I have one as my
> DNS server. The main reason would be that it accepts commodity x86
> hardware (memory, hard drives, cdrom drive, VGA output), so spare parts
> aren't that difficult to find :)

Well, yes it does, but there are catches: The IDE controller is
notoriously slow (not even DMA, IIRC), which is one of the reasons why I
use(d) my U10s with SCSI-drives. The case is a nightmare - you have to
turn the whole thing upside down just to open it - very annoying in some
situations. And how they managed to make it that difficult just to swap
a HD is anyones guess... :-}
Also, there is at least one series of U510 motherboards that suffers
from "dying capacitor syndrome" - the buffer caps of the CPU will start
bulging and leaking and subsequently cease functioning, causing the
machine to become unstable. So far, I've had three of these motherboards
going bad, all the same revision. The slightly younger one I have in my
remaining U10 seems to have different caps - here's to hoping that they
last longer.


> Its power consumption is acceptable,

My experience: My U10/440 when I still used it as home firewall cum
server with 1xSCSI and 1xIDE was about 80W idle. Less than the U1 I was
using before but some 10W more than the dual PIII/600 I replaced it
with - which was also faster and less noisy.

*If* you go for an U10-like machine, I'd look at an AXi-based machine as
well - same CPUs, same memory, but UW-SCSI instead of IDE and the mobo
is ATX-formfactor => can be mounted in a case of your choice. For some
odd reasons, however, information about them is hard to come by - even
Sun seems to hide it...

Oh, and another data point: I did experiment with EIDE-controllers in
the U10 at some point (Promise ATA66 and ATA100) and that seemed to work
fine. At least OpenBSD didn't have a problem with that - you do need
another IDE drive to boot from, though.

Cheerio,

Thomas
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Thomas Ribbrock    http://www.ribbrock.org/ 
   "You have to live on the edge of reality - to make your dreams come true!"

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Re: Most hassle free sparc64 platform

Alexandre Gauthier-2
Le lundi 04 octobre 2010 C  14:27 +0200, T. Ribbrock a C)crit :
> On Sun, Oct 03, 2010 at 03:48:32PM -0400, Alexandre Gauthier wrote:
> > I would like to cast my vote for an Ultra 10 as well -- I have one as my
> > DNS server. The main reason would be that it accepts commodity x86
> > hardware (memory, hard drives, cdrom drive, VGA output), so spare parts
> > aren't that difficult to find :)
>
> Well, yes it does, but there are catches: The IDE controller is
> notoriously slow (not even DMA, IIRC), which is one of the reasons why I
> use(d) my U10s with SCSI-drives.

Oh, I did not know that -- the U10 I use is mainly a DNS server, it
feels slow-ish, but IO never became a bottleneck for its workload so I
never really noticed that. Now that you mention it that would explain
why CVS takes forever to update the source tree :)

> The case is a nightmare - you have to
> turn the whole thing upside down just to open it - very annoying in some
> situations. And how they managed to make it that difficult just to swap
> a HD is anyones guess... :-}

Ah yes, that is indeed horrid, I had sort of pushed that out of memory
as well.

> Also, there is at least one series of U510 motherboards that suffers
> from "dying capacitor syndrome" - the buffer caps of the CPU will start
> bulging and leaking and subsequently cease functioning, causing the
> machine to become unstable. So far, I've had three of these motherboards
> going bad, all the same revision. The slightly younger one I have in my
> remaining U10 seems to have different caps - here's to hoping that they
> last longer.
>

I did not know that either! Mine has been running fine for years so I
wasn't aware of that risk :(

>
> > Its power consumption is acceptable,
>
> My experience: My U10/440 when I still used it as home firewall cum
> server with 1xSCSI and 1xIDE was about 80W idle. Less than the U1 I was
> using before but some 10W more than the dual PIII/600 I replaced it
> with - which was also faster and less noisy.
>
> *If* you go for an U10-like machine, I'd look at an AXi-based machine as
> well - same CPUs, same memory, but UW-SCSI instead of IDE and the mobo
> is ATX-formfactor => can be mounted in a case of your choice. For some
> odd reasons, however, information about them is hard to come by - even
> Sun seems to hide it...
>
> Oh, and another data point: I did experiment with EIDE-controllers in
> the U10 at some point (Promise ATA66 and ATA100) and that seemed to work
> fine. At least OpenBSD didn't have a problem with that - you do need
> another IDE drive to boot from, though.
>

Thanks for the useful info :) I will keep them in mind if I ever have to
pick a cheap sparc machine again!

-Alex