Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Very Large Raspberry Pi Cluster - Part II

Last week I posted about the very very large Raspberry Pi cluster that I'm building for Code One. Read that post here.

I realized after that post went live that I didn't give any backstory as to what we are actually building. When building something like this it's easy to document the entire process, it just takes 2-3 times as long to build. I figured I'd document the process in a fast and loose to blogs, YouTube and Twitter. So, before we go any further with the status of current progress let's backup.

Last year Stephen Chin and Gerald Venzl came to me with an idea. The conversation went something like this:

Stephen: "Gerald has an idea"
Gerald: "Let's build a HUGE biggest Raspberry Pi cluster for 2019 CodeOne. Like 1000 Raspberry Pis. The developers will love it. We will call it OSCAR!"
Me: "1000 is a lot, but 1024 is a better number"
Gerald, Stephen: "😃"

Back in the lab a few months later Jasper Potts and I did some math about how to pull off a cluster like this and we produced this rendering.

There will be 49 2U racks containing 21 Raspberry Pis (last weeks post was about this).
There will be 22 network switches.
There will be 18 USB power supplies.
There will be one server.
There will be 8 fans. This thing is going to get hot.
There will be 5 six foot server racks.
It will consume 120 amps of power.
It will require a fork lift to move.
It will network boot because can you imagine flashing 1024 SD cards?
In actuality, the server running the entire thing may be more powerful than all those Pis.
All of this barely fits in 5 racks.
This will travel to other Oracle events around the world next year.

WARNING: Actual numbers may vary, but the 1024 is the goal.

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