Hardware requirements

All things groov RIO
Hello I did a pilot in my manufacturing plant in two screen machine extracting data from digital and analog signals and now I want to connect more machines ( perhaps like 20 machines in total) so I like to have more groov rio connected in this project, I am newbie in this and need support in the following, I would like to use for example a nuc style machine to install node red, influxDB and Grafana and also mqtt but I don’t know the hardware sizing guideline to support all this, I am not sure if this is the correct media to ask this question, also the big question I make myself is to run locally or in the cloud since management is picky with cyber attacks, please I need your guideline regarding this question

Hello @renedavid6

Is there any reason why you desire a NUC vs, say, a regular Linux PC? Node-RED, InfluxDB, Grafana, and Mosquitto (MQTT broker) all run on Windows, but in my experience they are all easier to get up and running on Linux. If you have not done so already, I would recommend you carefully plan your data fields, tags, measurements, etc. that will be used in Influx. This will also dictate how large of a hard drive(s) you need. I would think 16GB of RAM would be sufficient to run all the programs above.

There is a lot more to explore & plan (incl. looking at cloud-hosted options, where they take care of periodic upgrades, patches, etc.).

The new NUC clones are amazing value and I know of several people using different versions of them in many different projects.
Their ‘gotcha’ seems to be the BIOS…

  1. The BIOS does not always have a setting for assuming the same power state after a power fail. In this case, you need someone on site to press the power button after power is restored.
  2. The BIOS update utility is Windows only. In this case, two options present themselves.
    2.1 Dual boot the NUC so you can run Linux but still have the option to boot to Windows to do any hardware updates.
    2.2 Buy a new M2 drive and remove/safely store the original SSD with Windows on it for possible use in the future.

I don’t recommend running Node-RED on Windows. Its somewhat complicated to set up as a service and installing something like PM2 is also not trivial.

Your use case sounds reasonable for a NUC or NUC clone. Node-RED, influxDB, Grafana and Mosquitto all run fine under Linux. If each machine is using a RIO the I/O count is well contained.
As @grant1 said, I would select a platform with a minimum of 16GB RAM, around 1Tb of SSD should be fine, but could vary depending on your data logging needs.
Personally, I would try and run everything on prem, cloud has its benefits and risks and should be managed as all server locations should be considered as part of your cybersecurity audit.

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One other suggestion, especially if you’re not super familiar with Linux: run all those things on a Mac mini. Homebrew makes it trivial to get them all up and running, and in many cases management (and backup) is easier on a Mac than on Linux (if you don’t already have Linux expertise). I run Mac minis in my facility for Telegraf, InfluxDB, Grafana, Mosquitto, and more, and I couldn’t be happier.

Out of curiosity, have you had any compatibility issues with M1 chip minis?

All those things can run headless.
Have you found any advantage in running the Mac desktop and not using it for any of those services?

@philip: I haven’t had compatibility issues, but I waited to run them that way until the M1 had been out for a while and Home-brew and the relevant packages were optimized for M1.

@Beno: I’ve been primarily a Mac user for many, many years, so running those things on a Mac made sense to me. The M1 mini hardware is a good value, and when I do have to troubleshoot, I appreciate the security blanket of being able to log in through macOS if I can’t easily figure out what I need over SSH. I run the Mac minis headless, and even that allows me to use macOS’ built in VNC screen sharing if I want to.

I’ve found Homebrew simpler to use than other package managers I’ve tried, and I like knowing that I’m not ever going to have to fight for hardware compatibility with an OS. I know that’s mostly a thing of the past when it comes to Linux, but I just don’t have the capacity to become more of a Linux expert (or train the guys on my team to become more proficient with Linux).

Ah, there is the key. Gotcha. That makes sense.
I am not a Mac user and when I tired using Homebrew I broke a lot of things and bad words were said.
I dropped back to a Debian install and was up and running smoothly since I have been using Linux command line for a good while.
The key is to use what you know, or learn it.

This is a good thread, really interesting talking about the different ways to do things.

@Beno: I totally agree. For people who are already comfortable in Linux, there’s no reason to run those things on a Mac. For people without Linux experience, it may be simpler to get up and running on a Mac, so it’s worth keeping that in mind. In any case, I think learning how to run those services on Linux/Mac will provide a significantly less frustrating experience than trying to run them on a Windows box.


Great now I have a lot of feedback, I will digest all this information and decide in based of the options you mentioned, Thank you very much for your support

Cheers from Honduras Central America