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Re: Summary of the Arm ports BoF at DC18

[ Apologies for the slow response - I've been struggling with a bad
  cold for the last week. :-( ]

terceiro@debian.org wrote:
>On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 05:01:05PM +0000, Steve McIntyre wrote:
>> 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.

It's probably worth trying to tune the workload then, with some
benchmarks to inform the best setup.

>> 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.

I think the best thing would be to ask DPL for funds, initially.

>> 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.

Right. I didn't realise that. In that case for arm*, would VMs on
packet.net or similar work for us then?

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
"Further comment on how I feel about IBM will appear once I've worked out
 whether they're being malicious or incompetent. Capital letters are forecast."
 Matthew Garrett, http://www.livejournal.com/users/mjg59/30675.html

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