[Cryptography] Thoughts on hardware randomness sources

Marcus D. Leech mleech at ripnet.com
Fri Sep 13 23:51:04 EDT 2013

On 09/13/2013 11:32 PM, Jerry Leichter wrote:
> On Sep 12, 2013, at 11:06 PM, Marcus D. Leech wrote:
>> There are a class of hyper-cheap USB audio dongles with very uncomplicated mixer models.  A small flotilla of those might get you some fault-tolerance.
>>   My main thought on such things relates to servers, where power consumption isn't really much of an issue....
> I'm not sure what servers you're talking about here.
> If by server you mean one of those things in a rack at Amazon or Google or Rackspace - power consumption, and its consequence, cooling - is *the* major issue these days.  Also, the servers used in such data centers don't have multiple free USB inputs - they may not have any.
> If by server you mean some quite low-power box in someone's home ... power is again an issue.  People want these things small, fan-free, and dead reliable.  And they are increasingly aware of the electric bills always-on devices produce.
> About the only "server" for which power is not an issue is one of those extra-large desktops that small businesses use.
>                                                          -- Jerry
I was mostly contrasting with "mobile" systems, where power consumption 
is at an absolute premium.

The USB sound systems I'm thinking of consume 350mW while operating, and 
about 300uW when idle.   A couple or three of those on even
   a stripped-down server would contribute in only the smallest way to 
extra power consumption.  And the extra computational load?  When these
   servers things are running flat-out serving up secured connections?  
I would guess the phrase "an inconsiderable trifle" would apply.

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