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Small Form Factor Kobol Helios64

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gareth Halfacree, 25 Oct 2020.

  1. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    So best would be to set a hard coded amount of time before doing a clean shutdown then?
     
  2. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, I'm guessing that's how they'll do it when they get around to writing the daemon for the UPS. Half an hour would be safe, I reckon, even with all five drive bays filled.
     
  3. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    7200rpm drives seem to use about 6W when doing reads or write, how large is the battery?
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    The two I'm testing with are 5,400 RPM NAS drives - a Seagate IronWolf and a Western Digital Red Plus. The battery is a pair of Panasonic NCR18650BD cells, officially rated at 3.18Ah typical capacity - so around 23Wh total for the pair.

    Remember that during a power cut, though, you're unlikely to keep sustained read/write operations for the entire outage - 'cos all the things that would be trying to load from or save to the NAS are powered off.

    On the big.LITTLE front, Armbian reckons that properly prioritising the big cores is an Armbian special and is unlikely to work on non-Armbian builds:

     
  5. andrew8200m

    andrew8200m Well-Known Member

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    Just read through and was like.. I need this! Then noticed I can't order.. sigh.. :rollingeyes:

    I'm currently rocking a 1241 Xeon in an hp server with redundant PSU, a UPS and a PDU with ILO4. Considering its got xpenology on it (don't judge too harshly) and I use it to back up a few bits and to store some images it's somewhat over kill.

    How you finding everything from an ease of use perspective?
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's hard to say, 'cos the software's still not quite finished. Armbian's a respin of Debian (or Ubuntu, in the flavour I'm using) designed to be, effectively, Raspbian for non-Raspberry-Pi Arm-based dev boards. Under the hood, it's Debian/Ubuntu - but there's an armbian-config which sits on top and handles some of the more commonly-required things.

    Stuff like installing the OS to the eMMC instead of the SD card, or booting from SD/eMMC but loading the OS itself from a USB/SATA drive; configuring clock speeds and governor; enabling/disabling interfaces; and even installing third-party software. Sure, you can still apt-get whatever you need, or even snap install if you're on the Ubuntu variant, but using softy you can install and set up Samba, CUPS, TV headend, Syncthing, Hassio, OpenHAB, Plex, Emby, Radarr, Sonarr, MiniDLNA, PiHole, Transmission, UrBackup, Docker, Mayan EDMS, and ISPConfig as quickly and easily as possible. I'd also heard tell of being able to set up OpenMediaVault that way, but I can't see it in the list I've got 'ere.

    Screenshot from 2020-10-27 08-25-04.png

    The downside of Armbian: it's community-driven, and the community isn't always at its best. The project just hit Reddit yesterday 'cos the maintainer of an unofficial build for TV set-top boxes dubbed ArmbianTV has threatened to put, effectively, malware in the builds for Amlogic chipsets because he's sick of them "stealing" his work - and while, yes, that's just some random third party, he announced the plan on the official Armbian forum and has been neither banned nor denounced, and in fact two Armbian members proper came forward in his partial defence.

    Installing anything other than Armbian as the base OS would be a challenge: it's possible, as I've got other RK3399-based stuff 'ere which I run Ubuntu on, but it's not going to be as easy as burn-image-to-SD-and-boot.

    The upside of Armbian is the very reason it exists in the first place: 'cos Chinese companies throwing Arm-based stuff at the market tend to do so with an initial software bundle that never gets updated. As long as Armbian exists, you should receive updates for this thing.
     
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  7. enbydee

    enbydee Active Member

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    Bit surprised there's no battery level reported, vapes use 18650s so it should be cheap to include.
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    With any luck the ADC you'd need for that is actually present and just waiting for software support. We'll see.

    Meanwhile, I've got lots of Actual Paying Work to do... so naturally I tried installing the OS from microSD to eMMC and SATA SSD. Went smoothly: I'm now booted from eMMC, with / on the 240GB SSD and getting 514MB/s write and 554MB/s read performance. Little bit better than the 24MB/s I was getting off my microSD card, that.

    Screenshot from 2020-10-27 10-30-04.png

    Not sure what happens when I want to boot from the microSD again - with any luck the SD has priority over the eMMC and I can just redo the same process again. If not, there's a physical jumper that lets you disable particular boot options - but I'm not sure how easy it is to get to without taking the whole thing apart again...

    EDIT:
    Also benchmarked the eMMC, while I was there. You've got 16GB, and it gets you 56.2MB/s write and 186MB/s(!) read.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2020
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    As an aside from the NAS stuff for a moment...
    I realised I still had an Orange Pi 4B in a drawer - same RK3399 CPU as the Helios64, but clocked to 2GHz instead of 1.8GHz. Threw a random heatsink on it, installed Armbian, and added it to what is now a three-node cluster:

    Code:
    blacklaw@shodan:/media/RAM Disk/testing$ time parallel --trc {.}-resampled.png -S :,helios64.local,6/192.168.0.57 --ungroup --progress 'convert -limit thread 1 -density 600x600 -units PixelsPerInch {} -resample 300 -units PixelsPerInch -density 300x300 -units PixelsPerInch +repage {.}-resampled.png' ::: *png
    
    Computers / CPU cores / Max jobs to run
    1:192.168.0.57 / 6 / 6
    2:local / 16 / 16
    3:helios64.local / 6 / 6
    
    Computer:jobs running/jobs completed/%of started jobs/Average seconds to complete
    192.168.0.57:0/19/19%/9.6s  local:0/63/63%/2.9s  helios64.local:0/18/18%/10.2s   
    
    real    3m3.629s
    user    5m35.105s
    sys     35m37.403s
    
    So that's from 4m43s local-only, to 3m39s running both locally and on the Helios64, and now down to 3m3s adding the Orange Pi 4B into the mix.

    I tried a Raspberry Pi 4, too, but they don't like ImageMagick very much - actually slowed the process down, rather than speeding it up. I've got another RK3399-based board somewhere, wonder if I can scare that up...
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Complete topic shift, but y'know how I was pleased about getting the process down to 3m3s by clustering a bunch of computers together?

    Turns out there's an easier way: swap ImageMagick for GraphicsMagick, the "I'll make my own ImageMagick, with blackjack and hookers" fork.

    Code:
    blacklaw@shodan:/media/RAM Disk/testing$ time parallel --trc {.}-resampled.png -S : --ungroup --progress 'gm convert -units PixelsPerInch -density 600x600  {} -resample 300x300 -density 300x300 +repage {.}-resampled.png' ::: image*png && rm *resample*
    parallel: Warning: --trc ignored as there are no remote --sshlogin.
    
    Computers / CPU cores / Max jobs to run
    1:local / 16 / 16
    
    Computer:jobs running/jobs completed/%of started jobs/Average seconds to complete
    local:0/100/100%/0.3s
    
    real    0m32.433s
    user    7m34.350s
    sys     0m21.687s
    
    Yup, that's 32.4 seconds. For 100 pages. Running purely locally. Visually identical results.

    Sadly, my main processing uses some features of ImageMagick not available in GraphicsMagick, so I can't move that across too. That doesn't take as long, though.
     
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  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Made and mounted the 6TB mirror. Nothing odd to report, everything worked as you'd expect.

    Code:
    blacklaw@helios64:/media/mirror1$ btrfs filesystem show
    Label: none  uuid: c185b552-ea99-4840-a84f-5bb49d380f04
            Total devices 2 FS bytes used 640.00KiB
            devid    1 size 5.46TiB used 3.01GiB path /dev/sdb
            devid    2 size 5.46TiB used 3.01GiB path /dev/sdc
    
    EDIT:
    Screw it, let's fire up Syncthing...

    upload_2020-10-31_15-22-33.png

    790GB left to sync to a zstd-compressed btrfs RAID1 mirror. Should prove or disprove the thing's stability!

    EDIT:
    Going OK so far...

    upload_2020-10-31_15-46-30.png

    EDIT:
    160-some gig into the process, things still staying upright. Cooling seems to be working fine: one drive's at 28°C and the other at 30°C in a 22°C ambient.
     
    Last edited: 31 Oct 2020
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  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Stable as you like, not a sniff of a problem. Apparently the current crop of bugs only really raise their heads if you're using the 2.5-gig-E port, and I'm only using the gigabit port 'cos I only have a gigabit switch.

    Synced all the files, nearly a terabyte, no errors. Currently syncing my desktop's home directory, which is taking an *age* 'cos Syncthing doesn't like thousands upon thousands of teeny-tiny files, but still no errors.

    I've also set up ISC DHCP server in the pool, Pi-Hole as a secondary DNS server so everything'll keep working when I turn the old MicroServer off and with cloudflared as a DNS-over-HTTPS resolver proxy, installed irssi so I can maintain an IRC session across multiple computers... Everything Just Works. At least, so far.

    Oh, and miniDLNA as a media server. Takes way less time to scan for the media than it did on the MicroServer, at least as far as I can remember!
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Turns out the 2.5Gb thing rears its ugly head if you use it on a gigabit switch... and it's a design flaw, only fixable with a bodge wire:

    EDIT:

    upload_2020-11-3_10-40-33.png

    Apparently that's what you have to do to get the 2.5-gig-E port to work at gigabit speeds.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2020
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's a bit premature, really, 'cos the software is still under development, but I've moved the Helios64 to its permanent home:

    upload_2020-11-12_14-18-48.png

    Fits perfect-like next to a cheap CyberPower UPS in IKEA Kallax/Expedit shelving - and is about half the height of the HP MicroServer N54L it replaces.

    CyberPower's own UPS software is a pre-built binary available in x86 and AMD64 flavours, so a no-go - but the UPS works fine with NUT. At the moment, it's configured to basically ignore the built-in UPS: when the CyberPower's down to 10 percent battery it'll trigger a shutdown. As and when the software for the Kobol's own UPS is released, I may revise that so it ignores the CyberPower in favour of its built-in one.

    Everything seems stable: it's been a week since I last rebooted it, it's running Syncthing, Pi-Hole, a DNS-over-HTTPS proxy, SSH, MiniDLNA, and a bunch of other stuff, no problems.

    Oh, and I stuck a strip of Light-Dims over those crazy-bright status LEDs. For anyone else picking one up: get some Light-Dims and apply them before the front panel sticker, and you'll enjoy the benefits of dimmer LEDs without the black strip covering a third of the reset and power buttons.
     
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