rpi4 as server?

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Hi all; a quick query about speeds.

I currently use an old i386 machine as home server (everything from  
local NFS file-store, to bind, to email server). It's an acer aspire  
r3700, running at 1.8GHz, 2 proc/4 thread job. It runs freebsd headless,  
and I use vnc for day-to-day operations on it.

I'm contemplating replacing with a rpi4, which I gather is now supported  
by freebsd, using a usb3 external hard drive. But is this likely to  
prove slower or problematic for any other reason?

TIA for any thoughts.


--  
Mike Scott
Harlow, England

rpi4 as server?
  Re: rpi4 as server?
  By: Mike Scott to All on Sat Nov 28 2020 11:33 am

 > Hi all; a quick query about speeds.
 >  
 > I currently use an old i386 machine as home server (everything from
 > local NFS file-store, to bind, to email server). It's an acer aspire
 > r3700, running at 1.8GHz, 2 proc/4 thread job. It runs freebsd headless,
 > and I use vnc for day-to-day operations on it.
 >  
 > I'm contemplating replacing with a rpi4, which I gather is now supported
 > by freebsd, using a usb3 external hard drive. But is this likely to
 > prove slower or problematic for any other reason?
 >  
 > TIA for any thoughts.
 >  
 >  
 > --
 > Mike Scott
 > Harlow, England

The PIs are not great at I/O. They will do for a personal server with a couple
of users, but it is not ideal as a server platform.

II don'tknow about the newer PIs, but at least the early ones used an USB bus
for the ethernet connection, which meant network I/O was limited from the
start.
--
gopher://gopher.richardfalken.com/1/richardfalken

Re: rpi4 as server?
Richard Falken wrote:

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The CM4 (with the I/O card) has a PCIe slot ...

Re: rpi4 as server?
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Why post if you don't know. The Pi4 has a true 1 Gbps ethernet port and two
usb 3.0 ports of 4.8 Gbps (what others now call usb 3.1 gen 1). This is
possible because the new chip has PCIe (x1).

Also, get Fidonet to fix their clocks.

Re: rpi4 as server?
On 29/11/2020 08:15, A. Dumas wrote:
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Thanks all for the comments. I've played with a pi3 (and earlier), but  
it's clearly too slow even for my home network; I'm sort-of hoping a pi4  
would be up to the job. Just a little pricey to buy and try yet another  
unless there's a real chance it'd be a go-er.

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--  
Mike Scott
Harlow, England

Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01-12-2020 09:44, Mike Scott wrote:
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To avoid disappointment, I think you should try & establish some  
performance criteria, as detailed and specific as possible, that you'd  
be happy with. Then investigate if they can be met (for example, by  
asking here or on the RPi forum). For instance:

- must be freebsd
- will be used wired on a gigabit switch
- application is samba server
- large file read throughput must be x MB/s

I use my Pi4 4GB on ethernet, it boots from usb3 ssd, it's in a passive  
heatsink case (cpu temp below 40C for ambient of ~18C). It runs my  
development web server + database (apache2, php7, mariadb10) which it  
does fine. I run some backup scripts which I never notice interfering. I  
test bash scripts, no problem of course. Sometimes I fire up VNC from my  
desktop and use Mathematica on the Pi which is a bit slow but useable.  
Recently I set it up as a jupyter notebook server on the LAN which works  
well (but I end up using the local python install, anyway). Without  
overclock:

$ time /usr/bin/factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m2,086s
user    0m2,075s
sys    0m0,011s

Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01-12-2020 11:30, A. Dumas wrote:
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My 7 year old iMac (3.2 GHz quad i5) is only about 8x as fast:

$ time gfactor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m0,257s
user    0m0,248s
sys    0m0,004s

(installed via MacPorts, then 'sudo port install coreutils')

Re: rpi4 as server?
On Tue, 01 Dec 2020 11:36:59 +0100, A. Dumas wrote:

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Interesting: for exactly the same number to be factored I see:  

System       Real    User    Sys     CPU
======
Lenovo T420   0.254s  0,252s 0.002s  1.9GHz Core i5
Lenovo R61i   0.702s  0.693s 0.006s  1.6GHz Core Duo
Whitebox PC   0.321s  0.314s 0.004s  1.0GHz AMC Dual Athlon
RPI 2B       21.995s 11.496s 0.040s  

I'd been wondering whether an RP14B would be a good replacement for the  
old AMD whitebox, but it looks as if a some sort of mini-ITX system would  
be a better bet because I do all backups via rsync to a removable USB  
drive connected to the old AMD system, and to do what I need it to do, a  
replacement would need a minimum of 4 USB ports plus SATA and a VGA-
capable display port.

Thanks for posting those numbers, though - doing so gave me the kick  
needed to compare those speeds.

  
--  
--  
Martin    | martin at
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Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01/12/2020 12:28, Martin Gregorie wrote:
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I cant get near those


Pi zero
--------

$time factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m9.186s
user    0m9.156s
sys    0m0.013s

Shonky old pentium used as server
---------------------------------
$time factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m0.452s
user    0m0.440s
sys    0m0.000s

quad core desktop
-----------------
$time factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m0.224s
user    0m0.220s
sys    0m0.000s

But on most CPU intensive  tasks the desktop is 4x faster than the server.

Compiling on the zero did however take about 20 times as long....

--  
It?s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Mark Twain



Re: rpi4 as server?
On Tue, 01 Dec 2020 12:42:13 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

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Its much the same here, except that the T420 laptop is 3-4 times faster  
than the AMD Dual Athlon for decent sized Java and C compiler runs while  
the RPi is about the same speed as an OS/9 system I used to have, that  
ran on an 8MHz 68020.

The other thing I really notice is when I'm writing or debugging C or  
Java, the T420's first compilation run of the day typically takes 3-4  
seconds and all subsequent runs are under a second. This seems to be due  
to memory caching: the first run pulls compilers/linkers/JVM/make or ant  
into RAM along with most of the source files and they stay resident until  
doing something else with large memory requirements kicks them out.
  

--  
--  
Martin    | martin at
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Re: rpi4 as server?
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

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there is a lot of IO involved when compiling as well.

I was wondering if someone considered the 32 vs.64bit.
Here some results on the CPUs that I have. #3 is RPI4B with 32bit. #4 is
Geode 32bit.

The test might be discriminating the 32bit by the number size to be
calculated


$ grep "model name" /proc/cpuinfo
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2400 CPU @ 3.10GHz
$ time /usr/bin/factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m0.241s
user    0m0.237s
sys     0m0.001s

# grep "model name" /proc/cpuinfo
model name      : AMD FX(tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor

# time /usr/bin/factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m0.332s
user    0m0.320s
sys     0m0.000s

# grep "model name" /proc/cpuinfo
model name      : ARMv7 Processor rev 3 (v7l)
# time factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m6.358s
user    0m6.321s
sys     0m0.002s

# grep "model name" /proc/cpuinfo
model name      : Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by National Semi
# time /usr/bin/factor 1234567890123456789012345678901
1234567890123456789012345678901: 7742394596501 159455563099482401

real    0m37.042s
user    0m35.503s
sys     0m1.408s


Re: rpi4 as server?
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For what it's worth here are my figures for the factor test, though
I doubt it has much relevance to throughput when running backups.

Lenovo T470: 0.221s 0.219s 0.001s       Core i7
Desktop:     0.192s 0.191s 0.000s       Core i5, Fujitsu Esprimo
Pi 2B:       6.931s 6.924s 0.000s
Pi 4:        2.124s 2.114s 0.010s

It's interesting that my Core i5 desktop is actually a little faster
than the Core i7 Lenovo laptop as the Lenovo is newer as well and,
subjectively, often feels a little faster.

Why my Pi 2B is so much faster than yours I don't know, it's a Pi 2B
Revision 1.1.

However the real 'wow, that's a lot faster' thing for all of them was
to move from spinning disks to SSDs. (The t470 of course had one to
start with).

--  
Chris Green


Re: rpi4 as server?
On Tue, 01 Dec 2020 12:47:17 +0000, Chris Green wrote:

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Thats easy: mine is one of the early 512MB jobs.
  
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:-)

I got the T420 as a replacement for the old R61i and was going to sling  
the latter when its disk (120GB) failed because its disk interface  
hardware refused point blank to handle any disk of over 256GB, and by  
that time you couldn't find any disks of less than 320GB capacity. But it  
seemed a shame to bin it, so I fitted a 128GB Sandisk SSD and was amazed  
by its performance for disk-related stuff. It still seems slow for  
compiles etc, though, compared with the T420.
    

--  
--  
Martin    | martin at
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Re: rpi4 as server?
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An M.2 to 2.5" SATA (or PATA, if it's old enough to use that) adapter is one
route to getting smaller drives for older computers.  I recently dropped a
240GB M.2 stick into a G4 Mac mini (probably slower than a Raspberry Pi 3,
to keep on topic) this way.  Boot time into Mac OS X is measurably quicker,
and the extra space is now hosting a Gentoo Linux install.  Total cost for
the M.2 stick and the PATA adapter was about $40.

  _/_
 / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
(IIGS( https://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
 \_^_/                              >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?

Re: rpi4 as server?
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Bear in mind that you're probably running a 32 bit RPi OS (on the Pi 2 you
will be), and the PCs are probably running 64 bit binaries.  That'll make a
large difference to the speed of the arithmetic for this test.

Also to note that GNU Factor can be compiled to use libgmp, which has custom
assembler implementations of key functions.  It appears the one on Ubuntu
18.04 isn't compiled that way, but that could make a large difference in
performance if different OSes are compiled different ways (as well as the
ARM v x86 comparison being different)

I don't think it's a particularly good benchmark to compare across
architectures.  And of course it's only single threaded.

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That sounds like what you care about is I/O performance rather than CPU
performance.  Also bear in mind that mini ITXes are (mostly) a completely
different power class from the RPi.  Horses for courses.

Theo

Re: rpi4 as server?
On Tue, 01 Dec 2020 13:20:52 +0000, Theo wrote:

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Indeed the AMD box doesn't do a lot: it runs my local website (apache)  
plus my getmail/spamassassin/postfix/dovecot mail handling chain plus a  
couple of Java/PostgreSQL applications  that do their heavy lifting at  
night along with an rsnapshot disk backup. The only time it gets a decent  
workout is once a week when every system that is backed up gets rsynced  
to a USB drive attached to the AMD box immediately before a software  
update. So, as you thought, I care more about its i/o throughput than its  
CPU performance.




--  
--  
Martin    | martin at
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Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01/12/2020 13:20, Theo wrote:
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That it does.

RPi-4B 32bit    2.079s  2.075s  0.000s
RPi-4B 64bit    0.633s  0.627s  0.001s

By comparison

Lenovo X1       0.172s  0.167s  0.004s  2.60GHz i7-9850H CPU x 6

---druck

Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01-12-2020 14:59, druck wrote:



Nice. Here's another number to try which should take about 10x as long:
$ time factor 101060998680964776859557640281323

Re: rpi4 as server?
A. Dumas wrote:

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0m1.953s  (7 year old Xeon E3-1245 v3)

Re: rpi4 as server?
On 01/12/2020 16:16, A. Dumas wrote:
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RPi-4B 32bit    28.093s  28.080s  0.004s  Single core max 1.5GHz
RPi-4B 64bit    7.717s   7.713s   0.000s  Single core max 1.5GHz
Thinkpad X1     1.848s   1.842s   0.004s  i7 Single core max 4.2GHz

---druck


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