adwatkin19
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:31 am

PiServer ram requirements

Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:34 am

Hi all. I am working towards using pi server to run a group of pi's for some computer science projects for my students....I have been looking at PiServer (great tool) and I understand about the storage needed for each of the pi's, that's fine. But it doesn't detail any RAM requirements for the server to have. So just wondering what they were and if there aren't really any, why? My understanding of the thin client setup is that the server does everything so needs bags of ram to do it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

epoch1970
Posts: 3860
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: PiServer ram requirements

Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:43 pm

A thin thick client would load in its own RAM everything it needs from a server and then go its merry way.
The server needs ample (and if possible fast) storage space, but unless it runs a lot of services on behalf of the clients it wouldn’t necessarily need a lot of RAM.

Edit: Think thick.
Last edited by epoch1970 on Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

ejolson
Posts: 3792
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: PiServer ram requirements

Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:25 pm

epoch1970 wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:43 pm
A thin client would load in its own RAM everything it needs from a server and then go its merry way.
The server needs ample (and if possible fast) storage space, but unless it runs a lot of services on behalf of the clients it wouldn’t necessarily need a lot of RAM.
Probably you mean a thick client, as thin clients run everything on the server using VNC or RDP.

My experience when providing a root filesystem to 50 or more thick clients is that it helps for the server to have 10GB networking and a suitable switch. As far as RAM goes, the amount greatly depends on the filesystem used by the server. For example, the ZFS filesystem uses huge amounts of RAM whereas most others much less. Also, if the server uses spinning disks or particularly slow flash, then having enough RAM to buffer the root images for each of the Pi computers will help greatly.

For serving 5 to 10 Pi computers, maybe a server with 1GB Ethernet, 4GB RAM, ext4 filesystem and a fast flash drive would be sufficient.
Last edited by ejolson on Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

incognitum
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:34 pm

Re: PiServer ram requirements

Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:28 pm

Piserver = thick client
Applications run on the client.
Server only provides storage and central authentication.

Anything 512+ MB should do.
However a little bit more is better because Linux can use spare RAM for file caching.

==
For serving 5 to 10 Pi computers, maybe a server with 1GB Ethernet, 4GB RAM, ext4 filesystem and a fast flash drive would be sufficient.
Yes, one should be able to build that for roughly 200 EUR incl. VAT (probably the same in USD, excluding sales tax)

E.g.

- Intel NUC NUC6CAYH - 125 EUR
- 4 GB RAM, e.g. Kingston KVR16LS11/4 - 20 EUR
- Crucial BX500 480GB SSD - 53 EUR

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