Server

Hardware specifications

  • Intel Celeron G1610 (Ivy Bridge)
  • Intel Desktop Board DH67BL
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 500 GB 2,5"
  • Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB 3,5" (2x)
  • Seasonic G-360 80+ Gold
  • Scythe Big Shuriken
  • Corsair Carbide 330R case

Setup

Originally running Arch, then Debian Wheezy, now Debian Jessie in search of an ever lower idle power consumption.

See the powersaving tweaks below for more information. The server is scheduled to shut down when electricity day rates kick in (in the morning). The storage disks are ZFS pools with mirror disks in eS-ATA cases (offline, but not off-site), ZFS code is from the ZFS On Linux project. Disk health is monitored through smartmontools, which performs regular checks, and e-mails me when something is wrong. The data disks get a scrub every two weeks; I get an e-mail if errors are detected. The server up can be brought online through Wake on LAN (yay for smartphones and tablets!).

Services running:

  • NFS v3 and v4 server. OpenELEC does not support NFS v4 yet (nor does libnfs, where XBMC gets its built-in NFS support).
  • SSH for remote administration.
  • MySQL server for the XBMC database
  • Lighttpd web server. Two instances: one chrooted for WAN traffic, a regular configuration for the LAN.
  • rtorrent 'server' with rutorrent web front-end.
  • SickBeard and Autosub instances.

Powersaving

The system idles below 20W (19,4-19,7W to be precise - measured with a Voltcraft Energy Logger 4000). I have applied the following tweaks to bring down power consumption:

  • Disabled all USB ports except for 2. Does not seem to impact idle power consumption a lot.
  • Disabled the on-die GPU and onboard audio.
  • Powersaving CPU governor enabled by default.
  • Hdparm spindown. The 3,5" data disks go into standby after 10 minutes. The 2,5" disk does not seem to like hdparm's settings, going into standby every few minutes to be spinned up again after a few seconds. Spindown on that disk has been disabled.
  • S-ATA ALPM (Agressive Link Power Management) enabled.
  • Forced PCI Express ASPM (Active State Power Management). Seems to have little to no impact on idle power consumption; both on 3.2 and 3.12. The Intel board has a BIOS option for it (disabled for now) so it should be properly supported by the board, but the ASPM feature seems to be/have been a mess on Linux.
  • Forcing ASPM does not seem to have any influence on the PCI-E buses' power settings. I enabled this manually. Saves less than 1W.
Updated: 2014-03-23