[mythtv-users] Proposed future power saving networked configuration (0.22 in mind)

Chris Pinkham cpinkham at bc2va.org
Thu Feb 19 13:19:51 UTC 2009

* On Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 06:23:12PM +1100, Ben Coleman wrote:
> Chris Pinkham wrote:
>> Not a block diagram, but here's a simple text description of what I'm
>> currently headed towards:

> You must be doing a lot more than just running two frontends to demand  
> such a setup?

As Mike pointed out, I'm a developer.  That means I have 2 concurrent
MythTV configs running in my house a lot of the time.  I didn't include
my dev systems in the above mix.  My dev workstation runs trunk while
my production systems are still running current -fixes.  The current
wakeup/shutdown patch I'm working on is being developed on trunk, but
immediately after testing it, I backport the changes to my -fixes tree
so I can perform live testing on my production systems.  Most things I'm
touching aren't affected by the mythui changes in trunk, so it's mainly
QT4 vs QT3 changes between the two patches, but I digress....  I have a
dev slave VM as well for testing master <-> slave relationships, as well
as a dev slave physical machine that I was using to test the WOL code.

> I run 1 dedicated backend with 6 SATA drives, 2 dual HD tuners and 1  
> Gbit nic. It's my fileserver, adsl gateway, FTP server, HTTP server,  
> DHCP/DNS server, MySQL Server, Squeezebox Server,  X10 home automation  

My fileserver is a lowly Athlon 700 w/ 384MB of RAM and about 1.5TB
spread across 4 drives.  My VMware server is a HT Xeon @ 3Ghz w/ 3GB
RAM.  I have about 5-6 VMs on it, all of which used to be on physical
machines.  I plan on upgrading this, it currently also does double-duty
as a mailserver and that is causing problems when Spamassassin starts
sucking all my CPU to process SPAM while I've got 4 HD recordings going
on and another playback session.  My recordings are spread across 3
spindles here and another in my master backend, but I have some PCI
drive controllers I plan on putting in to be able to consolidate storage
more while maintaining dedicated a dedicated channel for each PATA drive.

> I 'hear' that analog tuners chew up CPU .. I say hear as I've never had  
> analogue tuners but the digital tuners appear chew up little CPU as they  
> do a striaght dump essentially to the disk (less than technical  
> observation). As for power draw.. well .. I might go plug in my power  
> meter one day and see what's really going on.

I think I only get a few percent CPU utilization per M179 card (these
are almost equivalent to the Hauppauge PVR-250) and that is on my master
backend which is running a P3-733.

> Do you have special circumstances that drive you to separate all these  
> functions?


> My theory is less boxes = less power, which I'm happy to be proven  
> wrong. If you can squeeze more functions out of an existing setup, one  

That's the idea.  If I have slaves that are told to shut down and wake
up on demand, then on the backend side I am only running one fileserver
and one VMware server 24x7 and those need to be there anyway.  I plan
on upgrading the VMware server to a C2D or C2Q sometime, probably in
the near future, but may switch from running a dedicated server to the
VMware Server edition so I can use the base OS for other things.  My
wife's P4 @ 1.7Ghz could use an upgrade so I've considered making that
the fileserver and getting her a C2Q and running VMware Server on it
and shutting down the Xeon for an overall savings of 200 or so watts
per hour.

> less footprint is a difference, and there are less boxes to maintain  
> when something goes wrong. Setting up a VM is great when you want to  

There's a whole lot less maintenance if you run a shared nfsroot.  It
mainly comes down to hardware at that point and that doesn't take up
much time in my case.


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