[K12OSN] New Building's LTSP Server

Jeff Siddall news at siddall.name
Fri May 6 15:36:04 UTC 2011

On 05/05/2011 07:25 PM, Julius Szelagiewicz wrote:
> Jeff, your point is well taken, but as I said, YMMV. It's been my
> experience that servers do a better job serving. ECC memory makes a huge
> difference - I never had a server sudden stop due to a transient memory
> error, it did happen to  many desktop systems. I have yet to experience a
> bad failure of SCSI disk array. Software RAID? Not that good. And
> honestly, my Atom based netbook is really not a very good server, despite
> 8GB memory.

You bring up an interesting point: desktop user system versus headless
server system.  I too have found that desktop workstations frequently
hang or otherwise get into a bad state requiring a hard boot.  Above you
attribute this to ECC RAM/desktop hardware, but my experience is that
those two things are unrelated.

I have a number of headless "desktop" servers and _all of them_
consistently run forever.  By that I mean that I end up rebooting them
to install a kernel or replace hardware or something before they ever
stop on their own.  In the past 9 years I have been running desktop
"servers" I can count on one hand the number of times a machine just
died inexplicably, and even those could not be confirmed as a memory
corruption issue.  Likewise, I have never had a power supply  or
system/CPU fan fail in that time either.

My latest LTSP "desktop" server, now almost 2 years old, has _never_ had
even one second of unplanned downtime.  And it has at least a dozen
clients connected all the time.

So I can't explain why headless systems work so much better, except that
it is probably related to flaky X drivers or something.  Anyone else
have similar experience?

> Oh, I forgot - the 10GB switches arte not yet commodities.

Not exactly commodity, but for a few thousand $$$ you can get a switch
that supports 10GBaseT so it's not that far out of reach any more.


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