Dec 12, 2014

CCBoot 3.0 : Server Hardware Requirements

Here is the recommended server hardware for diskless boot with CCBoot.

1.] CPU: Intel or AMD Processor 4 Core or more.
2.] Motherboard: Server motherboard that supports 8GB or more RAM, 6 or more SATA Ports.
3.] RAM: 8GB DDR3 or more.
4.] Hard Disk:At first, we introduce some items.
Image disk: the hard disk that stores the client OS boot data. We call it as "image".
Game disk: the hard disks that store the game data.

Writeback disk: the hard disks that store the client write data. In diskless booting, all data are read and wrote from server. So we need writeback disk to save the client's write data. Other products are also named it as "write cache".

1) One SATA HDD is used for server OS (C:\) and image disk(D:\); some users put image file into SSD disk. It's not necessary. We have RAM cache for image. All image data will be loaded from RAM cache at last. So put image file into SSD disk is not necessary.

2) Two SATA HDD are set up on RAID0 for Game Disk.
We recommend to use Win2008 disk manager to setup RAID0 instead of hardware RAID in BIOS. We recommend to set SATA mode as AHCI in BIOS. Because AHCI is better for writeback disks' write performance. For more information, please refer to AHCI on wiki. In the BIOS, SATA mode can only be one of AHCI and RAID. If we set it as AHCI, the RAID function of the motherboard will be invalid. So we use Win2008 disk manager to setup RAID0. The performance is same as hardware RAID0. Note: If you skip RAID0, the read speed of the game may become slow. But if the clients are less than 50 with SSD cache, it is OK to skip RAID0.

3) One SSD disk for SSD cache. (120G+)

4) Two SATA/SAS/SSD HDD is used for client write-back disk. We do NOT recommend to use RAID for write-back disks. If one disk is broken, we can use the other one. If using RAID for writeback disk, one disk broken will cause all clients stop. On the other hand, CCBoot can do balance for writeback disk. Two disks write performance is better than one RAID disk. Using SSD as writeback disk is better than SATA. SSD has good IOPS. The street said the writing activities are harmful for the lifetime of SSD. In our experience, one SSD for writeback disk can be used for three years at least. It's enough and worth.

Conclusion: You need to prepare 6 HDDs for the server normally. They are 5 SATA HDDs and 1 SSD HDD. 1 SATA for system OS, 2 SATA for game disks, 2 SATA for writeback disks and 1 SSD for cache.

For 25 - 30 client PCs, server should have 8G DDR3 RAM and two writeback disks.
For 30 - 70 client PCs, server should have 16G DDR3 RAM and two writeback disks.
For 70 - 100 client PCs, server should have 32G DDR3 RAM and two writeback disks.
For 100+ client PCs, we recommend to use 2 or more Servers with load balance.
Network: 1000Mb Ethernet or 2 * 1000 Mb Ethernet team network. We recommend Intel and Realtek 1000M Series.


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