Long term project: super server

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  1. #1
    TR Staff Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Long term project: super server

    This has been a dream of mine for a really long time and I think with todays, or at least within a generation it might be a reality.

    At this point it is spitballing stage...

    Have a single powerful computer in the home. I am not talking about one gaming desktop and a bunch of laptops, although that is a possibility...

    MS recently released server 2k8 r2 sp1 and windows 7 thin client.

    The neat thing about R2 Sp1 is the remoteFX feature. RDP will now transmit 3D APIs, using the host GPU as therendering engine, and the clients GPU as a simple display.

    Now, the idea is to have weak little $100 SFF PCs und the house and let the kids all be able to jump online and watch youtube, or play some silly flash game...

    All via remote desktop...

    Things I need to know before I go further...

    1) How much GPU power do I need for possibly 6 clients.
    2) How much bandwidth? Possibly get multiport PCIE LAN cards and run each client on a single line?
    3) Can I run VMs over RDP and get the 3D API benefits?
    3a) Make mobile thin clients. Ability to automatically sync, and run off the server when at home, but itsa laptop/tablet/smartphone that can roam on its own.
    4) Am I limited to single 3D desktop? RDP can handle multiple desktops, but what if I was playing a SD video in one and a light game in the other?


    Hardware

    the idea is not to hear or see the main powerful unit to run little silent boxes all over the house. At this point It is not a feasible situation, when I build my own home maybe. The only option now is to make it the HTPC. Which means Most likely water cooled.

    I am not above building my own entertainment center (as unrefined as it might look)No building my own cases, although if I am building hte center, the PC is being integrated....

    Which leads me to server style questions...

    In a rack that houses multiple heat generating devices... say a laser printer, HTPC/server, HTreceiver, router, modem, wii, and of course the TV....not even bringing up leaving room for a midmounted center channel speaker.. (not sold on that. I like 4.0 surround sound best with speakers that cost less than a car. )

    As an HTPC unit, I will have to compact the situation as much as possible. At this point, Z68 with IGP for HTPC duties and a dedicated GPU for RDPs... but.. would that work? Doubt it...

    And I would hit another problem.. only K units have the good IGPs... but only the nonK units support V-i/o

    So dedicated Graphics it is...

    1) I want to keep it cool but relatively noise free. Need to cool the whole cabinet. Is MORA 9x120mm rad enough with low speed fans (or even not 9) to cool a cpu and GPU quietly? maybe also use it as exhaust for the cabinet?

    2) what gpu do I need to work with remoteFX AMD or nVidia? More over what generation?

    3)How feasible is it to build an indoor outdoor loop? So I can vent heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter? Maybe put pump in basement and go with a 24/7 design?

    4) The case for the server... horizontally mounted and muted or no LEDs... buy or build? Or build a cabinet and integrate PC? Reuse my 4U server chassis but modded for water/better air?

    Thats it for now... I will post answers to Qs as I get them. If anyone has insight, it is appreciated
    Beer drinking is like finger painting. When you are young, you do not care what you stick your fingers into as long as you got to do it. When you are older, eww Heineken? I really want a beer that comes from the factory skunked?


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  2. #2
    TR Staff BoT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post
    1) How much GPU power do I need for possibly 6 clients.
    2) How much bandwidth? Possibly get multiport PCIE LAN cards and run each client on a single line?
    3) Can I run VMs over RDP and get the 3D API benefits?
    3a) Make mobile thin clients. Ability to automatically sync, and run off the server when at home, but itsa laptop/tablet/smartphone that can roam on its own.
    4) Am I limited to single 3D desktop? RDP can handle multiple desktops, but what if I was playing a SD video in one and a light game in the other?
    i had a very similar idea and was going for just about the same thing. i needed a server anyway. i went with smb 2011 because it integrates a sharepoint site and exchange. the exchange part was the real seller for me.

    i think as long as not everybody at the same time is hammering the server something in the GTX 460-480 range would do. i'd probably go with a 470. i have a 465 now and it has yet to be tried. wireless N and a gigabit lan should do. network wise you won't need anything too fancy but it should be solid.

    you can rdp into a vm

    i have yet to fully understand and grasp remoteFX and most of the info i find is some great explanation of what it could and can do but nothing solid. nothing like: "here install this and fire it up and you done". from what i understand the rdo client is updated with sp1 in win7 sp1 and supports it and sp1 for win2k8 r2 has it. so in all logic it should just start up as is but for some reason i doubt it.

    also, the win thinpc client is not really a thin client and is not all that thin. it really has only a few features removed and a handful of services disabled. the system requirements are actually almost the same compared to a regular install and only the hdd space has been reduced. a better thin client would be to install server 2k8 as a core install and start rdp from there.
    so hardware wise, again, you won't be saving much or you won't be enjoying much.
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  3. #3
    TR Staff The Duke's Avatar
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    I am not a big server guy, but this looks pretty sweet. Can't wait to see what you come up with ...
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  4. #4
    TR Staff Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the Thinclinet, BoT. not looking like I should spend the money on the technet subscription I guess..all the PCs in the house are currently running 7 anyway.
    Beer drinking is like finger painting. When you are young, you do not care what you stick your fingers into as long as you got to do it. When you are older, eww Heineken? I really want a beer that comes from the factory skunked?


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  5. #5
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    well, it's always good to have and gives you a lot of flexibility and more options. you could replace all you os's with lics from technet and recoup some of your money.
    not only could you replace what you have but you would also gain access to lics for ms office for all pc's needed as well as all available servers and so on, and so on.
    it was certainly a gain for me
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  6. #6
    Whiz Kid Cigarbug's Avatar
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    This concept is way over my head, but what exactly are you serving? media and what else?




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  7. #7
    Terminator Administrator Archer's Avatar
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    Works for big things to save big bucks on the power bill. For the home it can reduce cost and allow more control.
    People that buy OEM systems think Linux was a Charlie Brown character, a registry is something you see at target to buy shower gifts, RAM is a Dodge truck and a hard drive is DC at rush hour.
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  8. #8
    TR Staff Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Well for starters, yes it will be a media server.

    More importantly is the ability to have anyone be able to sit at any PC and have access to their windows Desktop. (Hence the RDP VM question, need to find out if remote FX will work with that). And have it function just like they were not remoting. So Games and youtube and such will still work

    I will have to play with that for a while of course to make sure it is feasible, this is all theoretical at this point.

    Picking up a MORA 9x120mm rad for the server this weekend Still need a mobo (either AMD hexa or Z68 not sure yet) and GPU (and GPU block) I am keeping my eyes open Might use the 6850, or the 580 not sure yet...
    Beer drinking is like finger painting. When you are young, you do not care what you stick your fingers into as long as you got to do it. When you are older, eww Heineken? I really want a beer that comes from the factory skunked?


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  9. #9
    Terminator Administrator Archer's Avatar
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    I did a study on this and I found that more cores (not necessarily threads) smooths things out. With a quad you will have the potential for lag. Go AMD Hex, Intel i7.
    People that buy OEM systems think Linux was a Charlie Brown character, a registry is something you see at target to buy shower gifts, RAM is a Dodge truck and a hard drive is DC at rush hour.
    Current Active Fleet:
    Daily Driver - Phenom II X4 @ 3.6, 8GB Ram, 890GX GFX Bedroom PC - Athlon II X4 @ 3.6, 8GB Ram, 790GX GFX
    Entertainment Room HTPC & Madia/File Server - Pentium G6950 @ 3.5, 4GB Ram, On Chip GFX Living Room HTPC - i5 661 @3.7, 10GB Ram, 6770 GFX
    Entertainment Room Cinema - Brazos E350, 4GB Ram, On Chip GFX (Projector) Game Rig - i5 2500K @ 4.5, 12GB Ram, 465GTX + 9800GT (PhysX) using intel SRT




  10. #10
    TR Staff BoT's Avatar
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    power consumption is also something to consider when choosing a platform.
    i would have a look at this.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4193/c...pus-compared/5
    and
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4193/c...pus-compared/6
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  11. #11
    TR Staff BoT's Avatar
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    here is a good snippit about remoteFX
    http://www.petri.co.il/configuring-r...r-v-r2-sp1.htm
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  12. #12
    TR Staff BoT's Avatar
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    there is also seperate licensing for RDS alas VDI or remoteFX
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../cc753650.aspx
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  13. #13
    TR Staff Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoT View Post
    here is a good snippit about remoteFX
    http://www.petri.co.il/configuring-r...r-v-r2-sp1.htm

    Awesome man! Thanks Lots of good guides in there and look like RemoteFX will work with VMs
    Beer drinking is like finger painting. When you are young, you do not care what you stick your fingers into as long as you got to do it. When you are older, eww Heineken? I really want a beer that comes from the factory skunked?


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  14. #14
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    something i was also somewhat unaware of is that it seems that there is different licensing for RDS which is RDP with RemoteFX services.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserv...nsing-rds.aspx

    you basically have to by an extra lic for each RDS
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  15. #15
    TR Staff Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Looks like it is not going to happen as envisioned.

    P67 does not really support Vt-d on the Q series will.

    Also only quadro 4/5/6000+ or Firepro 5800,7800,8800 cards will be supported with RemoteFX. So this is not goingto happen for a while.

    Firepro 5800 is not too insane on prices so might still go that route, but need to get a Q68 motherboard too.. *sigh.
    Beer drinking is like finger painting. When you are young, you do not care what you stick your fingers into as long as you got to do it. When you are older, eww Heineken? I really want a beer that comes from the factory skunked?


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