I am now back in Rochester and all moved in! I started my official co-op earlier this week on Monday and mostly up until now have been focused on getting systems back up and running. Right now I’m running a more skeleton crew of servers and hardware while I execute the research and information testing phase of the project but I still have some cool things going on. I’m testing all sorts of systems of different magnitudes that aren’t typical server systems. Apart from the Dell server units I have running in a lab on campus I also added a new low power machine to see how little power is required for computation work and a pair of Alienware Area-51 ALX machines which are a bit old but still very (very very) robust machines.
I’m trying to compare the two machines and see how they work in tandem since one takes very little power (~200 watts) and the other is a power monstrosity – the Alienware runs off of a 1000 watt power supply. The smaller machine is running an Intel Atom dual core processor, but strangely enough the newest generations have also included the ability to hyper-thread those processors (essentially allows each processor to handle two simultaneous processes instead of one). I am investigating what use this can grant the project, perhaps replacing the very robust kernel control unit in an effort to make the unit more power friendly. The Alienware machines pack Intel Core 2 Quad processors which are essentially just heavy duty quad core processors. These don’t operate with hyper-threading per core but still manage to put out a lot of computational processing power. We’ll see how the Atom machine stacks up!