[Beowulf] Clusters and Distro Lifespans

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Jul 19 13:32:22 PDT 2006

On Wed, 19 Jul 2006, Jim Lux wrote:

> And, what I'd really, really like is a small standalone server (headless) 
> that is like a pocket sized network attached disk storage.  Like those 
> portable drives with a Firewire or USB interface, except with an RJ45 
> Ethernet jack. If it could run things like DHCP, tftpserver, etc., all the 
> better.

I think that you can come really close to this now with OTS components.
I have a lovely little 80 GB USB/FW drive (about the size of a
paperback).  Pair this with one of the ultra-small-footprint systems out
there (maybe micro-ATX?).  That gives you a system maybe 10"x10"x3".  Or
see if you can get a USB equipped PDA or Zaurus or something (although
getting all the software you want running in their available memory
might be a problem).  You might be able to get a Zaurus connected to a
small USB bridge, and hang a paperback drive and a network interface on
it in something like 4"x6"x4", including a little mini keyboard and VGA
display... would that work?

Mind you, the network performance would probably suck in anything with
less than a 10x10 base -- a bit less than laptop sized -- but that's
really pretty small.  The paperback hard drives suck power from the USB
port, BTW, which might stress the USB power capacity of even a plugged
in PDA.  Something else to think about.


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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