Project CORE Server

This summer I found out that my working enviroment just got too many computers and generated too much heat too (of course the electricity bill is a bit too high). This is the time to talk about Green Power and Save the enviroment 😉 hah

I will be getting rid of my current server which is

  • AMD Sempron (just because it’s cheap)
  • nVidia C51 Motherboard (for 3D testing)
  • 1GB DDR533 Memory (RAM is expensive when I built this)
  • Total of 1.2TB storage (4 HDD with different size)
  • 400W PSU (just too much)
  • Running on Centos 5 with XEN (I love YUM)

The current server  mainly is for NAS Storage, PHP/MySQL Development server and to practice more on SSH + UNIX

OK, let’s talk about new thing now.

I am going to build my new tiny Green Powered Server which I will name it as usual – CORE Server (maybe I should call it 2nd generations?)

The aim for this new CORE server is mainly because

  • I will be bringing it along for my long term travel from UK to Malaysia and back
  • Small in size (to comply with the above) which can fit in my bag
  • I want a less power consuming server (to save the bills)
  • I want to try out the new Intel Atom Duo Core (Virtualizations with XEN and VMWare)
  • I want to build a beautiful server with facilities such like NAS, LAMP, Media Streaming, Media Player, FTP, SSH + etc (of course, this is a SERVER)

Here are the specs of my CORE Server


Product Specs Price Remarks
Mini-ITX Casing
  • 120W Internal PSU
  • Internal 1 x 3.5″ HDD Space + 1 x 2.5″ HDD Space on the same rack
  • 1 x 5.25″ External Space
CPU + Motherboard
  • Intel Little Falls 2 Mini-ITX Motherboard
  • Intel Atom N330 Dual Core Processor
  • Intel 945 chipset
  • Built in Intel XMA Graphics with D-Sub and S-Video Out
  • 6 channel AC97 Audio
£60 17cm x 17cm
  • 2.0 GB DDR2 667 (1 x Dimm maximum)
£18 CL5
Data Harddisk
  • 2 x 1.0 TB Western Digital 7200rpm Green Power SATA II HDD
£140 Low Power Consumption
OS Harddisk
  • 1 x 20GB 2.5″ Hitachi HDD
£0 Used HDD from old laptop


Operating System
  • CentOS 5.3 64 bit Server Edition
  • Gnome Desktop (for LAN remote VNC)
  • WindowsMaker Desktop Manager (for WAN remote VNC)
£0 Running on ext3
  • VMWare Server 2.0
  • XEN kernel (Optional Boot for Testing)
  • Apache 2.0
  • PHP 5.0
  • MySQL 5.0

Now I am waiting for my Intel Little Falls 2 to come on Wednesday and will continue this post 😉


Finally the Intel Little Falls 2 arrived!!!

It really a headache when trying to put this motherboard into the tiny casing. I have to remove the HDD racks and power supply in order to fit the board in. I even have to take off the bottom part of the casing (No wonder this tiny casing so expensive, the design is really user friendly 😉 )

The second problem is the cables after fit in the board and every other parts. SInce the space will be super compact, I have to squeeze all the power and data cables into the sides. The CPU Fan only remains about 3cm height of space just under the 5.25″ HDD rack on top.

Just after completing the assembles, the first thjing I need to check will be the temperature of the CPU. It shows around 40 celsius in the BIOS with the CPU fan running at about 2800rpm and the casing big fan which draws out hot air running at around 4500rpm.

Since the server will not be fit with any optical drives, so I have to temporary plug in the DVD-RW drive to install the CentOS 5.3 Final. The installation went off smoothly and then after around 30 minutes I have the OS up and running!!! It takes long for installing because I want to customised all the installations. I only choose the Server-GUI version with customized packages to keep the overall system file size below 2GB.

If you are interested in the system process details, please leave me a comment so I can tell more. At the moment let me test the server first and moving all my data files into it.

updated: by using “smartctl” command, 3 HDDs detected running at around 30 to 36 celcius, not bad huh!!!



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