Multiple consoles in one vehicle
I'm toying with the design of my next project. It will have four to five different consoles, one for the driver using my existing prototyped environment and the rest will be "general purpose" workstations for doing pretty much anything that the passenger desires. It will be based upon the prototype though so that is the default mode (headphones for passenger specific AV playback, button to toggle to "desktop").
What I'm trying to decide at this point is what hardware model to follow.
Do I use one big SMP mobo or multiple, separate systems?
I'm keen on something like a single dual Xeon (w/ HT) mainboard (or AMD equiv) but I am worried about latency caused by system load affecting the driver's console. Couldn't care about the other users being affected.
In the one mainboard model each user gets their own dedicated X-Window server while using dual head display cards to reduce the number of display cards required. That's at least 1 ACP and 2 PCI display cards for 5 seats so that dictates at least one mainboard feature. I may have to remove one console (four seats total).
Is there an operating system level virtualization/partitioning engine for Linux that can be used to guarantee OS partition performance and/or soft real-time performance?
I'm not terribly keen on separate systems per console, or even one dedicated to the driver if I can avoid it. Separate systems will be more expensive, occupy more space, etc., etc. X-terms might reduce some of the complexity in multiple systems but it is still a distinct hardware footprint per seat (dollars and space). I'll listen to good debate. :)
Heat and noise are an issue. I haven't turned my attention to quieting the dual Xeon board I have now but surely there must be a quieter fan for Xeons other than what ships from Intel? It's quite noisy.
What say you?