An OpenSolaris EeePC Homeserver

Early last year I was one of the first to get an original Asus EeePC 4G 701, to be used as an OpenSolaris based mobile presentation and email machine. Well - almost two years later, counting the number of occasions I actually used the machine for that purpose, I decided to convert the EeePC into an intelligent ZFS Storage controller for my home data. So what are my requirements? Actually not that many:
  • 500GB of ZFS secured data, shared via SMB (today) or streamed via DLNA (later), using a 100MBit network
  • Low power consumption
So on to genunix.org I went and downloaded the latest OpenSolaris build as USB memory stick image. But to my surprise, installation was not possible. OpenSolaris seems to have grown some fat since 2009.06 days, too fat to fit onto the 4GB internal SSD disk. Just before giving up I recalled the website of that EeePC wizard over in Japan, who helped me getting OpenSolaris onto the EeePC in the first place, and I found images customized and pre-compressed for the EeePC. Thanks, Masafumi!

After getting OpenSolaris up and running I went hunting for a USB disk solution able to house two 2.5" drives in one case but without a RAID controller. ZFS is happy with Just A Bunch Of Disks. The IcyBox IB-2221StU-B was the perfect fit. With just 130 Euros additional investment I converted my EeePC to a storage server with 500GB mirrored capacity.



Setting up the data pool, and sharing the file systems was a breeze with help of various available HowTos. Transfer speed to the ZFS mirror is 8-10MByte/sec, which is close to the limit of the 100MBit network, leaving the EeePC's tiny little 630MHz Celeron 50% idle (no dedup or compression so far).

So what about the power consumption? Low enough to be ready for 24/7 operation? Equipped with a high-definition power-meter able to measure with one watt accuracy, I got these values:
  • EeePC, normal operation: 15.7 watts (almost 4 watts already wasted by the power supply...)
  • EeePC, closed lid: 13.4 watts
  • EeePC, closed lid, plus IcyBox with to 500GB 2.5" disks and poer supply: 17.8 watts
  • Above configuration during "zfs scrub": 21 watts
So my OpenSolaris EeePC Homeserver draws between 17-21 watts which translates to 3 euros a month or 8kg CO2 a month, or three liters of gasoline.
Kommentare:

I like your setup. But there's one little itchy thing.

With the standard 32bit Atom-CPU build in most netbooks, you're stuck at the 1TB barrier for disks.

Aug 8 14:17:45 32bitCPUthing scsi: [ID 107833 kern.warning] WARNING: /pci@0,0/pci17aa,200b@1d,7/storage@5/disk@0,0 (sd0):
Aug 8 14:17:45 32bitCPUthing disk has 2930277167 blocks, which is too large for a 32-bit kernel

Gesendet von Sebastian am Dezember 15, 2009 at 04:18 AM MEZ #

[Trackback] This post was mentioned on Twitter by rolfk: Just blogged: An OpenSolaris EeePC Homeserver http://bit.ly/8BjBYR #homeserver #icybox #opensolaris #zfs #eeepc

Gesendet von uberVU - social comments am Dezember 15, 2009 at 04:30 AM MEZ #

Thanks for the comment Sebastian! - Actually I do not expect my data to grow above 1TB so quickly. I was able to keep it in a 160GB cage so far. But since the first law of gas dynamics also applies to data of course, I'm looking forward to 64bit Atom powered Nettops with even less power consumption in 2010. If they only had ECC memory...

Gesendet von Rolf am Dezember 15, 2009 at 12:35 PM MEZ #

ECC could be hard to find with such a small energy footprint. :(

Gesendet von Sebastian am Dezember 16, 2009 at 01:39 AM MEZ #

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