Intel Atom Server setup

I was previously running a pentium 4 chip in my home server (it was a retired box). This was consuming a large amount of our power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an effort to conserve that, and because the payback on the hardware is somewhere between immediate and ‘months’, I decided I would change over to a newer Intel Atom chip.

The Atom chips have a thermal design power of 10W, compared to the 90W of the previous Intel chips, the Atom is a perfect replacement.

The first step to migrating was a temporary holding case for it. Can’t use mine, work requires I have a computer to use – and I can’t stand the laptop for that. I can’t take the oldest kids machine, he’ll cry too much. The current server case was housing the live server – so eyes off that. The remaining case – my partner’s. She can survive on the Ubuntu laptop for the very short 2 week time it will take to migrate!

So, I started taking the migration approach to taking one box and moving it to another, mashing the Windows Server and CentOS virtual server into one Ubuntu power house.

The mail server was first, the one thing that matters the most is email. The databases followed soon after (so once done, I figured I’d stop blogging as the database would need to be updated again..). Then web sites followed soon after. The firewall rules followed next. I didn’t forget DNS (did I?).

The VNC items were next, and then the customisations that make the operating environment, an operating environment.

I had little time that I could put into it, we had another project we kicked up into for our ongoing sustainability adjustments. So, it took a little longer than it should.B

Mail has been working, I was a bit worried about spam impacts, postgrey greylists what the blacklists don’t already have. And there so far has been 0 (zero), spam. A massive improvement to the previous.

I dumped RSS2Email (a tool I was using to turn RSS feeds into emails), after we later decided Thunderbird’s Blogs & News would suffice. Evolution RSS was buggy previously, but now it’s running nicely – so I’ll stick with it there.

The next setup was the proxy, we now have 3 PCs on the network which run Ubuntu, and the next one will join it (when I can get her to convert over – should be easier now that she’s experienced it for 6 weeks, 4 weeks longer than anticipated).

The long weekend made the ideal time to switch over, the name of the new server? “Reactor” – yes, the Atom Reactor now provides the key online services.

I would have thought the chip not as capable, but it’s great for 1.6Ghz – the server of course doesn’t need to peak at that – it’s often lower, but it’s got that room.

I have actually noticed it’s more snappier at processing requests too, maybe that’s related to the virtual machine the other box was.

I’ve taken the ‘no to root’ approach, I used very little root access to set the box up, and services that don’t need root access, just don’t get it.

I rewrote my monitor script for checking other boxes from PHP to Perl, and turned it into a daemon, a very small learning curve, and it beats cron executing every minute.

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