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Raspberry Pi Search Server

The launch of the Raspberry Pi had me and Steve Hine thinking about what we could do with a cheap PC on a chip style device – especially if we had a few of them.

The idea:

  1. Acquire a number of Raspberry Pis (as many as we can get our hands on), we’ll need the Model Bs as we need the ethernet support.
  2. Use a Fox’s biscuit tin or suitable housing to house them
  3. Use lego, or technical lego to secure them
  4. Use 20v multi-adapter to power 5v the devices
  5. Use SD cards (probably 16GB), to store data
  6. Use a -1Gb- 100Mb switch or hub ideally powered by 5v, with CAT 6e cabling to connect them

From the FAQ: “The Raspberry Pi measures 85.60mm x 53.98mm x 17mm, with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. It weighs 45g.”

PiServer diagram

How a PiServer may look, if it were made of construction paper

Upon this behemoth, we will configure Solr instances to shard a large-ish set of search data - probably the ~300k documents we have available on NHS Evidence.

We will then benchmark this against the rather powerful servers we have at Rackspace to compare search performance.

Following that, we will open a Raspberry Pi hosting company running from Fox’s biscuit tins called RaspberryFoxR, and enjoy a life of tinkering with VERY small linux devices.