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Re: Summary of the Arm ports BoF at DC18

On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 05:01:05PM +0000, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> >On 20-09-18 10:24, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> >>  * I'm expecting to pick up several Synquacer machines (24-core Cortex
> >>    A53) to use for Debian, donated by Linaro. Some will become
> >>    buildds, wanting to get more to use for autopkgtest, debian-ci,
> >>    reproducible builds etc. [UPDATE: 3 of these are now in Vancouver,
> >>    ready to set up as buildds]
> On Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 09:49:45PM +0200, Paul Gevers wrote:
> >
> >Cool, very cool. Regarding autopkgtest/ci, do you already have any
> >(rudimentary) plans how you want to handle this? E.g. should DSA manage
> >these machines and does the infra gets access? Are there other
> >possibilities to host these machines?
> On Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 10:05:18AM +0000, Holger Levsen wrote:
> >
> >did you discuss getting some of this synquacer machines to vagrant for
> >reproducible builds testing?
> Reponding to both of you...

First of all, thank you for going after this.

> I now have 3 more basic Synquacer machines in my posession, ready to
> order new cases, RAM, etc. (They ship in desktop cases with a single
> 1TB hard drive and 4 GiB of RAM.) Again, I'm hoping to pick more up in
> the future, but supply is still limited.
> Again, I'll reiterate - these machines are *not* fast for
> single-threaded workloads but they have a lot of cores so it's
> perfecty reasonable to run lots of things in parallel. For my own
> build testing, I've been running up to 6 sbuilds in parallel for
> better throughput while lots of our builds don't parallelise
> individually. They should also work well for multiple VMs running in
> parallel.

For CI, in my experience the limiting factor is I/O, because a lot
of time is spent installing packages, so running too many jobs in
parallel doesn't really help if the storage can't keep up.

> So, practical questions...
> Hardware setup: I've configured the earlier 3 as buildds in little 1U
> cases with 32GiB RAM and mirrored SSDs, but for $reasons they're not
> yet installed and running. I'm assuming that a similar spec would be
> wanted for autopkgtest/ci and reproducible builds?


> If so, we'll need to ask for approval for funds for that - it cost
> ~£750 per machine to do it. I had offers of funds at DC18 which I'm
> about to chase to help.

Let me know is there is something I can do to help here.

> Hosting: Talking to DSA, it seems they're not too keen on hosting /
> managing new machines for these projects. What are current hosting
> arrangements for you folks?

Currently all the amd64 CI nodes are VM's on Amazon EC2. There is
currently no arrangement for hosting actual hardware.

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