Need cheap Raspberry Pi Arm server? MiniNodes' board takes five Pi modules

MiniNodes offers an almost cable-free way of creating an Arm-based cluster consisting of five Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3s.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Developers looking to build a mini Arm cluster can now tap the miniNodes Raspberry Pi carrier board.

The board has slots to add five Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3s to bring 'extreme edge compute capacity' to cramped spaces, industrial IoT applications, and remote villages.

The other way to use it is on the desktop for learning about compute clustering, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, or development using Python, Arm, and Linux.

The cluster or 'carrier' board is available on pre-order from miniNodes for $259 and was unveiled at the recent Arm TechCon 2018 conference, according to CNX-Software.

The printed-circuit board features a gigabit Ethernet port, power barrel, and five slots to house the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3s. The board delivers power and connectivity to the Pi.

The board will also be useful to miniNodes, which provides server hosting based exclusively on low-powered Arm servers using a range of single-board computers, including Raspberry Pi, 96Boards, HiKeys, Pine64s, and Odroids.

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It built the carrier board with GumStix and the help of Arm's innovator program, with the aim of making it easier for developers using Docker, Kubernetes, OpenFaaS, and Minio to build cable-free cluster computing projects.

MiniNodes says it will use the carrier board to engineer a five-node 'hosted cluster' product on a private LAN for testing Docker, Swarm, and Kubernetes applications.

The board was originally designed to reduce manual work in deploying lots of Raspberry Pi devices, but the company thought there'd be a market for it among home-automation hackers.


The cluster board supplies power and connectivity to five Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Modules.


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