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MADMAN (the ultimate ghetto build)

Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
38 (0.02/day)
Likes
40
Location
Deutschland
System Name Ghetto Cluster
Processor 12x Intel Celeron @ 2,4GHz
Motherboard Foxconn
Cooling 1 Fan/CPU, nothing else
Memory 48x 256MB DDR2 Sticks
Video Card(s) None
Storage 24x 120GB HDD + 1x 64GB SSD (Controller) + 4x 500GB HDD (Controller)
Display(s) 2x Old TFT Panel (for debugging)
Case Very old Gigabyte Reference Cases
Audio Device(s) Hah
Power Supply 12x 235W NoName
Software minx7 (smaller than Tiny7, faster for Cluster Solutions)
#1
Hi.

A long time ago (~5 years), I made a cluster of PCs called "Ghetto Cluster". 12 old Windows-PCs featuring Intel P4s.

It worked perfectly and I was very happy, but there was a problem. About one month ago I had to move out of my (big) lab ( :( ). The Ghetto Cluster takes very much space (PCs, cables, switches, screens etc.) and therefore a new solution had to be created.

I've already posted a picture of the debug PC for the Cluster in the Ghetto Mods thread here, where you can see my old lab in the background. You can also spot a cart, on which the PC rests.

My plan is: Build the whole Cluster INSIDE of the cart. So it will be portable and I can push it around. At the moment I came up with this idea, I didn't realize how insane it was ;-)

1. The old lab (Cleaning & Packing)








So as I was playing around with some settings and cleaning the lab, I decided it was time to take a break and play some games on my phone, but appearently my phone didn't like me, so this happened:

F* it. Back to work...

Everything packed together:


2. The actual build

I'm really sorry, but I don't have as many pictures as I'd like to. So i started working, disassembling the cart, disassembling all PCs. I've figured out that only 8 PCs are gonna fit in the cart. 1 PC = 1 MoBo+1PSU(stripped)+1HDD.

I took all the internals and ziptied (yes, the whole thing is held together by zipties!) them into place. No srews were harmed during the process. I've drilled holes in the wooden boards as mounting points for the zipties. The first 4 PSUs were glued into place:



Beautiful those zipties! It still looks quite clean, but that will change in a moment.

Now it was time to add the remaining PSUs and do all the cable management (means: zipties). I've also added the 16port switch, all ethernet cables and the first HDDs.

Note: This is not, by any means, a proper way to store HDDs. You should never ever do this with any valueable hardware! (unless you use enough zipties :p ).



Time for some testing! Great, all HDDs and PCs are working fine, airflow is still kinda possible and the noise is reasonable. Time to add the debug screen. For this I'll use zipties again. That's right, I've ziptied a LCD monitor to this cart and fixated it by using old spare metal parts from the former PC cases. Beware of the ziptie monster:




Instead of painting anything, I used black insulating tape:




More improper HDD mounting (WD400 from 2002, 40GB):


Three other metal PC case back parts and one spare metal HDD cage act as a place to keep the debug keyboard. Its covered in duct tape, because ... duct tape (no but seriously, those metal parts have sharp edges, the tape really helps there):


By the way: Old PC speakers (Beepers) are perfect for storing srews:


So far, so good:


This is how the carts look atm:


That's it for today. I'll come back from time to time to post updates about this build. If you have any questions, please leave them here.
So long! ;-)

PS: Thanks SAMSUNG for sending me this much gummy bears with every test unit that I get from you ;)

 

hat

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
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Location
Ohio
System Name Starlifter :: Dragonfly
Processor i5 2400 :: Athlon II x4 630
Motherboard MSI H67-G43-B3 :: GIgabyte GA-770T-USB3
Cooling Corsair H70 :: Thermaltake Big Typhoon
Memory 4x2GB DDR3 1333 :: 2x1GB DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) 2x PNY GTX1070 :: GT720
Storage Plextor M5s 128GB, WDC Black 500GB :: Mushkin Enhanced 60GB SSD, WD RE3 1TB
Display(s) Acer P216HL HDMI :: None
Case Antec SOHO 1030B :: Old White Full Tower
Audio Device(s) X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro - iLive IT153B Soundbar (optical) :: None
Power Supply Corsair CX600w :: Unknown
Software Windows 10 Pro - Plex Server on Dragonfly
Benchmark Scores >9000
#2
What did you use this for?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
38 (0.02/day)
Likes
40
Location
Deutschland
System Name Ghetto Cluster
Processor 12x Intel Celeron @ 2,4GHz
Motherboard Foxconn
Cooling 1 Fan/CPU, nothing else
Memory 48x 256MB DDR2 Sticks
Video Card(s) None
Storage 24x 120GB HDD + 1x 64GB SSD (Controller) + 4x 500GB HDD (Controller)
Display(s) 2x Old TFT Panel (for debugging)
Case Very old Gigabyte Reference Cases
Audio Device(s) Hah
Power Supply 12x 235W NoName
Software minx7 (smaller than Tiny7, faster for Cluster Solutions)
#4
What did you use this for?
Well, it all started back in 2012, when I worked at the university in the bioinformatics department. It was fun, I had no school one day every week and I did improve my programming skills alot. Eventually I've created a software for creating such ghetto clusters (hot swap whole PCs while loosing no data at all). I'll continue this development.

Due to my job, I have to test our software on all the different Windows OS'. I'm going to install Win ME (people are still using it) to Win 8.1 on the clients and try to develop an automated testing suite. (Workflow: Compile->Upload->Coffee->Results).