[kwlug-disc] [OT] linux server power

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Mon Jan 31 10:03:21 EST 2011

----- Original Message -----
> In terms of lowering my electrical costs, I'm leaning towards getting
> rid of both the servers in my basement and replicating everything on
> one
> of our desktops.
> How does that plan sound to everyone?

It would work. It's a balance between stability and power. In my experience workstations are more dynamic than servers and run more fragile software. That means there is more chance for downtime as a result, planned *and* unplanned. As long as you're okay with that, then it technically could work.

One ideal would be running the desktop process as a VM guest with the server instance running as a VM guest too. This way they can be independently updated and rebooted and will affect each other less frequently. However VMs don't yet do a great job at graphics but other than not being able to do 3D effects I'm not sure what the drawbacks are, perhaps HD video streaming.

Recently virtual desktops are being heavily marketed. Maybe the reverse could be true: putting everything on your biggest server, running everything as a VM guest. I wonder if you could put several video cards in and run each desktop VM on a different monitor. Parcelling out the keyboards may be interesting though. There is at least one company that makes special adapter cards that can do just that.

In the end, is there something else in your house you could change to save as much energy? Waiting until a better time to replace everything?

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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