Posted: June 14, 2011 in General, Hacking, Hardware, ubuntu
Tags: , ,

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve posted.  Had to do some major revisions to the Panda build system.  With external USB drives, USB boot cables and such it was impossible to install all 21 Pandas into the single 4U case. Bummer….  Really did not make my day, I had wired up 10 Pandas with power, Ethernet, serial, and USB boot cables and there was no room for airflow, let alone room to wire the other 11 Pandas.  I had to rip out all that work, and pull out 10 boards and relocate the 11 that were going to stay in the box, also ripped out 10 USB drives.

Grumble, that was not a happy day.  Anyway, moved the Pandas into a better spot in the box took out one full drive stack and 3 drives from the second drive stack.  Redid all the wiring and then shipped the box to London Canonical office.  I’m here now and the system arrived in pretty good shape, couple of cables came lose but no detectable damage.

Time to get it installed into the Data center.  RT Ticket to IS and hopefully it will get installed soonish.

The question was asked where I got everything.  The Pandas, power supplies and standoffs came from Digikey, the power cords, USB cables, and automotive fuse panels from Amazon.com, the relay board came from controlanything.com.  The crimp connectors 22 & 18 gage wire and such from RadioShack and U channel, angle and plate aluminum, crimp on Ethernet connectors from Lowes (cause it is close to my house).   Finally the case was made by Par-Metal Products custom to my specifications.

I’ll put together a better list with part numbers sometime in the near future.  But at least you have some idea what is in the box.

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Comments
  1. Alexander Holler says:

    Using icecream you could just use all your x86-boxes without having the pain which is usually involved with cross-compiling stuff.

    • dmtechtalk says:

      Icecream does not help us, we can’t cross compile for several reasons, mostly because many Debian style packages don’t cross compile as they run code and tests in the building process and that fails when run on the wrong platform. I’m sure icecream is a nice solution for many things, and might even work for some Debian packages but we require a solution that works for all Debian packages in Ubuntu not a subset. But thanks for the suggestion.

    • Actually, I don’t understand why icecream would solve most cross-compilation pain points, which have to do with the fact that the binaries you are building can’t be run on the build host; this is what leads to approaches that span from deploying-the-binaries-to-a-target to emulating-the-target. Is there something special about icecream that helps address that?

  2. Rune K. Svendsen says:

    This is really cool. Thanks for doing this.
    When the new Genesi Smartbook comes out it would be nice to be able to use PPAs, which, as far as I have understood, will be made possible with this build cluster (once it gets up and running completely of course). So many thanks to you and to Canonical for being in on this ARM – dare I call it – revolution. I can’t wait to get an ARM netbook and start playing around with it.

  3. kgardas says:

    Nice! I feel really a pity that none went forward and make GNU make to be cluster aware. i.e. kind of PVM gmake. Have you seen that? Have you tried to use this on NFS shared pandas? http://sourceforge.net/projects/pvmgmake/ Thanks!

  4. Craig Turner says:

    Your project is inspiring, and I’m in the early stages of working towards something similar. How did you do power connections? I’d like to have (for example) one power supply with multiple 5V leads, one per motherboard. But I could imagine that it’s not possible to buy a product that does this. Please can you give some more details about how your design works?

  5. Alexander Holler says:

    Your reply just explains that you have not understood how icecream works. When using icecream all tests are running native on the compiling machine and just some gcc-stages are run on remote (cross-compiling) machines.

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