Best / most stable OS and Hardware for NodeRed?

#1

Hi,

this time i´m working a lot with NodeRed on an Raspberry with Rasbian installed.

Sometimes i´m note sure if this is really a stable device (sd-card etc) ... but which OS / Hardware is the best and most stable to use NodeRed?

Start with the cheapest solutions please :wink:

#2

I'm a fan of generic x86 hardware running Ubuntu Server (excellent boot times.) You can also run as a service in Windows. Most of my production instances are running daemonized by PM2 on Ubuntu Server 18.04 running on an ESXI 6.5 cluster, but I do most of my non-prod scratch work with a PM2 daemonized instance running under OSX 10.14.

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#3

Can't remember the year I bought for my daughter the HP mini 100. Too long ago. It's not a laptop you want to use today for anything. But about 4 years ago I found it in the box of throw-away things, I cleaned up the cooling fan and updated it to windows 10, set up my first home automation solution and it runs with no technical problems since then. About 2 years ago I switched to Node-RED solution which gave me more freedom to do what I want with whole system reliability about 99,99%. As main goal of running program is cost savings by smart use of electric power and latest calculations show ongoing savings about 14%, the investments on the heart of system are paid off long time ago.

#4

If you want to keep with the pi, then a decent power supply and good cooling if your having issues. I have no issues with with my pi been unstable.

#5

Why boot Linux more than once :slight_smile: - Sorry Jay Couldn't resist.

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#6

The last Windows version I personally used was Windows XP, so I cannot comment on the stability of Windows. I am using several Raspberry Pi's here running Stretch which have been running very stable for various times, one pi 3B (not +) has been running for 2 years with no problems (apart from power cuts). If you use reliable SD cards you should not have many problems.

#7

I work mostly with medical data. That has me so paranoid I grew the habit of doing disaster recovery and backup-restore tests on everything! (Including game consoles at home ;_; )

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#8

I can understand that, my worst ever experience was with a new HP server that crashed a hard disk two days after commissioning. The engineer who repaired it said something that polarised my world view on backup strategies - "It happens more than I should be telling you"

#9

The "best" is an emotive word.

The cheapest, most stable and best supported hardware in my view is the Raspberry Pi. By a LOOOOOONG way. So that gets my vote.

There are some really simple things you can do to make it a rock solid platform. I've had Pi's running for several years at a time. Only rebooting for the occasional refresh.

Here are my tips:

  • Get a decent power supply.
  • Connect that power supply to a PC UPS (uninterruptible power supply) or get one of the battery addons for the Pi - though the former is the better option as you can also plug in routers, switches, access points, etc. The Pi doesn't like having power cut off. A UPS will also filter the power which is another device killer so even if you can't afford a UPS, at least get a filtered extension.
  • Get a branded SD card of at least 32GB. I always use the Samsung EVO or EVO+ cards. The extra space allows lots of room for "wear levelling" which will mean that the card will last for years even with heavy use.
  • You can go further by adding an external disk interface and putting a hard disk or SDD on.
  • Clear out the rubbish. If there are packages you don't need, get rid of them.

That's it.

If you have a newer Pi, you might consider adding "webmin" and configuring it to automatically update your installed packages. Not only will you be able to enable remote admin if you want, you won't have to worry about system updates. You can also use webmin for alerting on things like disk space, services failing, low memory, etc.

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#10

Haha, my best one was upgrading a very expensive Dell enterprise server with additional memory modules. Turning the power on resulted in a very loud bang, lots of smoke, a s***t scared consultant (me) and an inquest.

Thankfully it really wasn't my fault - honest guv! Turned out that the customer had "saved" some money by purchasing after-market memory who's manufacturing tolerances were ever-so slightly out.

The full server power going through the resulting short blew up the memory and melted the motherboard.

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#11

Data loss prevention is what that extra digit on the prices of good gear gets you! My favorite is being in meetings where the vendor essentially says "we won't sell these as singles, only replicating pairs" and I get to chime in with data loss horror stories to explain to money guys why the vendor (who I may have been poached from) isn't BSing us.

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#12

I'm suspect to talk, specially because the company that I work has a product that runs Node-RED on a PI 3 (https://netsmarttech.com/page/st-one). But based on previous experience, if you want a robust and cheap solution all I can recommend is:

  • A good SD card (as @TotallyInformation mentioned). Strongly recommend EVO Plus
  • Make your system a read only system (ref: https://hallard.me/raspberry-pi-read-only/). This makes our product very, very robust, trust me.
  • A good Power Supply: never ever trust on Pi's micro USB for connecting the power. Go for the ones that connects to the GPIO
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#13

Why and do you have any recommendations?

#14

The reason we don't trust the Micro USB for powering is because it's not designed to be mechanically resistant and we normally use it heavy industries (where mechanical resistance matters). Unfortunately I do not have any recommendation because we use a Power Supply which was designed by our company.

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#15

I'd agree that it isn't suitable for anything unless it is never going to move. But good enough as long as it has plenty of "headroom".

I'm currently running a Pi2 and a Pi3 off this and it is excellent. Rock solid. Decent USB cables help as well of course. Though if I had more stuff connected, I'd probably look for something with 3-4a per socket. Still, both Pi's have at least a couple of things attached via USB including an RFXtrx433E.

#16

It looks like that working with Raspberry is not so bad ...
The only thing I was looking for is to use an SSD drive for the os.
Are there any recommendations of the os ? Rasbian or Ubuntu or something else?

#17

Personally, I've learned to stick with mainstream. Since the best supported variant on the Pi is Rasbian, I'd stick with that. Just don't start the GUI, stick with the command line only. That alone saves loads of grief.

#18

DietPi.com on (almost) any platform including PC/VM.

#19

Raspberry 3 Pi with Raspbian runs by a couple of years without problems.
It is in a Gewiss junction boxes (quite big) without heatsink.
I just keep a second RPi if any possible hardware problem. :slight_smile:

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#20

Absolutely. You might be surprised how little resistance in the cable or connectors (especially the micro-USB going into the Pi) it takes to drop the voltage to unacceptable levels. (This video is entertaining but correct.) The higher current needed by the Pi3+ adds to the problem. On the other hand, connecting power to the GPIO pins involves some risk, because it bypasses the on-board fuse of the Pi. (An external fuse might be a good idea.) I think that eventually the Raspberry designers will have to re-think how they deliver power to their boards.

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