Tag Archives: AMD

AMD Huskyboard (video)

This board has the AMD “Seattle” A1100 64 bit, 8 core ARM.


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AMD previewing Seattle at the Red Hat Summit

The announcement is here, and according to that announcement the development boards will be available in “second half” 2015.

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Caseless virtualization cluster: remote libvirt

Now to the question of how to manage the VMs on my virtualization cluster.

I don’t have a good answer yet, but two things are true:

  1. libvirt will be used to manage the VMs
  2. ssh is used for remote logins

It’s simple to set up ssh to allow remote logins as root using ssh-agent:

ham3$ sudo bash
ham3# cd /root
ham3# mkdir .ssh
ham3# cp /mnt/scratch/authorized_keys .ssh/

From a remote host, remote virsh commands now work:

$ virsh -c qemu+ssh://root@ham3/system list
 Id    Name                           State

Using libvirt URI aliases (thanks Kashyap) I can set up some aliases to make this quite easy:

$ cat .config/libvirt/libvirt.conf
uri_aliases = [
$ virsh -c ham0 list
 Id    Name                           State

However my bash history contains a lot of commands like these which don’t make me happy:

$ for i in 0 1 2 3 ; do ./bin/wol-ham$i; done
$ for i in 0 1 2 3 ; do virsh -c ham$i list; done

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Caseless virtualization cluster: Wake On LAN

Wake On LAN (WOL) is a feature where you can send a specially formatted network packet to a machine to wake it up when it is switched off. The on-board network ports of my virtualization cluster should support WOL, and the always-useful ArchLinux Wiki has a guide for how to enable WOL.

$ sudo ethtool p6p1 | grep Wake
	Supports Wake-on: pumbg
	Wake-on: g

By the way the BIOS option for WOL on these Gigabyte motherboards is implausibly called “Onboard LAN Boot ROM” which you have to set to Enabled.

It basically just works once the BIOS option is enabled.

$ sudo wol -i 74:d4:35:51:ab:86
$ sudo wol 74:d4:35:51:ab:86
Waking up 74:d4:35:51:ab:86...

Edit: Don’t use the -i option. You want your WOL packets to be broadcast on your LAN.


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Caseless virtualization cluster: power usage

I have a handy power meter which is useful for measuring the power consumed by my virtualization cluster under various loads.


Note in the figures below I’m only including the four cluster hosts. Not included: the NFS server (which is my development server, so I have it switched on all the time anyway), or the network switch.

With all four hosts idling, power usage of the total cluster was around 174-177 watts. To give you an idea of how much that costs to run, it would be about £263 p.a. at a typical UK rate for electricity.

Interestingly, with one host running, power usage was 50W (I would have expected it to be exactly one quarter), and with no hosts running, something consumes 7W. I suspect the PSUs leak a bit even when nominally off but with the hardware switch still in the ON position.

Under some moderately heavy loads (parallelized compiles in a loop) I was able to drive the power usage up to a maximum seen of 584W (£869 p.a.). Note that was a one-off, and most of the time it bumps wildly around the 300-500W range (unfortunately my simple power meter doesn’t do running averages).

So low power ARM this ain’t! One thing we can do to mitigate this (apart from turning it off) is to migrate VMs to a single node when load is low, and turn the other nodes off. That should save a fairly considerable amount of power.

I also installed lm_sensors so I could monitor temperatures and fan speeds, but there’s not really anything interesting to say. Under load the fans of course spin like mad (typically 3000 RPM), but the temperatures stay at a cool 40°C or so. Even though there is only one fan per motherboard (the CPU fan) there don’t appear to be any cooling issues.

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Caseless virtualization cluster: one machine is 43% faster than the others

Edit: Mystery solved — see the end

The hosts are identical — motherboards, memory, processors — yet one machine is 43% faster than the others, consistently, on a simple compile benchmark with everything on a ramdisk.

dmidecode and cpuinfo data is here. That should cover all questions about the hardware and processor configuration, I think.

Kernels are identical (all 3.11.10-301.fc20.x86_64).

I’ve no idea, but I’m starting to doubt my own sanity now!

Edit: Mystery solved:

It turned out to be a difference in the OCaml compiler versions installed. On the “fast” machine I had installed the new compiler, which it turns out is quite a bit faster.

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Caseless virtualization cluster, part 6

Holy crap: you can connect PCIe ports across motherboards!


Unfortunately the cables for this sort of thing seem to be a bit expensive, but they run at 20 Gbps!


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