13€ Recycled 20 cores Homemade Cluster

Why?

On January, I wrote a post with a comparation of different ways to build a cluster to play at home.

The conclusion was not clear, but Pine64 was the winner.

This summer, when I was on holidays, I realized the amount of old hardware that I have stored in the basement. So I decided to add this software to my homemade cluster.

The adventage of this old hardware respect to the Pine64 one is:

  • More memory per thread.
  • More and faster storage.

Pictures.

home made cluster picture

Specifications.

All of them with Ubuntu Server 17.04 (Zesty)

Cluster Specs
Motherboard CPU RAM Storage Ethernet
ASUS P5K SE Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU
Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
DDR2
7GiB
SATA 3 Gb/s
Seagate
ST1000DM003-9YN1
1TB
 
Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet
EliteGroup G31T-M2 Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU
Q6600  @ 2.40GHz
DDR2
4GiB
SATA 3 Gb/s
Western Digital
WDC WD10EARS-00M
1TB
RTL8111/8168/8411
PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
ASUS P5N73-AM Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad  CPU
Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
DDR2
4GiB
SATA 3 Gb/s
600GB Software RAID 0 of:
RTL8111/8168/8411
PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Seagate
ST3320613AS
320GB
Seagate
ST3160215AS
160GB
Seagate
ST3160815AS
160GB
HP Pavilion dv6 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU
Q720 @ 1.60GHz

with Hyper-Threading
DDR3
4GiB
Hitachi
HTS72505
500GB
RTL8111/8168/8411
PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  16 Cores / 20 threads 19GB 2.6TB  

By the way.

Also, I found an old PCI USB 2.0 HUB. It is not good for data transfer, but what about power supply?

So I added this card to one of the server and I can use it as a power supplier for the Pine64 cluster.

Expenses.

I needed to buy few things:


Shelf Shoe Storage Rack (Sales in Argos) to collocate all the hardware
2x 4.99€
PCI Express Ethernet because one of the motherboard comes with a 100Mbps port 1x 7.95€
Total   12.64€

 

It was not necessary, but I also bought:


D-Link GO-SW-16G - Switch 16p Gigabit so I can replace my two smalls switch
1x 43.22€
Electric air duster to clean 10 years old dust from the compenents 1x 27.98€
Total of extra unnecessary money   71.2€

 

To the bin.

In the process, few of the components failed or was not used:

  • The original RAID used 4 drives, but one of then had problems. It was a 250GB Seagate ST3250310AS 
  • A DDR2 module of 2GiB was died, so I replaced it with a old 1GiB module. I know that mix memory types it is not for a dual channer memory architecture, but It is what I have.
  • All CPU towers. The old hardware was stored with the case tower. I removed all necessary  components and discarded the tower.
  • After install a Asus M2N-MX SE Plus with an AMD Atlhlon 64 and small cooler. The combination was so noisy and the CPU only contributes with two really slow cores, that I decided remove it from the cluster.

Remain.

Few point to keep in mind the next time that I will do it (maybe in 10 years):

  • Check all HDs before to use it.
  • Check all memories modules before to use it.
  • Check the pendrive with the OS image before to start to install.
  • There are things too old to be reused. I'm sorry little noisy AMD Atlhlon 64