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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter? 287

First time accepted submitter jvschwarz writes There was a time when I had rack-mount systems at home, preferring old Unix boxes, Sun-3 and early SPARC machines, but have moved to low-power machines, Raspberry Pi systems, small NAS boxes, etc. Looks like some are taking it to another level. What do other slashdotters have in their Home Datacenter?
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

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  • Small setup (Score:5, Interesting)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:08PM (#47942063)
    Small setup here: 12U rack with 2 servers and one switch (Yes, I have ethernet sockets in every room except toilets, though I regret a bit I did not install one there)
    • Re:Small setup (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:23PM (#47942151)

      Small setup here: 12U rack with 2 servers and one switch (Yes, I have ethernet sockets in every room except toilets, though I regret a bit I did not install one there)

      What do you do with ethernet to each room? I have a single 802.11n dual band Wifi router that serves the whole house, I can stream at least up to the speed of my internet connection (50mbit) from anywhere in the house and in the small front or back yards. My TVs are both Wifi enabled, and I can stream "SuperHD" Netflix streams from both simultaneously. I have a second 802.11bg Wifi router that's dedicated to a few several IP security cameras.I have a central fileserver plugged into the ethernet port on the Wifi router that stores DVD's, and all of my computers run backups to the fileserver.

      So, I'm curious what you do with your home network that you need ethernet to each room?

      • Re:Small setup (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:29PM (#47942187)

        You must live in an amazingly quiet RF area, or have paper-thin walls.

        With 802.11n I don't see transfer speeds higher then 1.1 mb/s, presuming only 1 device is online.

        • Re:Small setup (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:37PM (#47942233)

          You must live in an amazingly quiet RF area, or have paper-thin walls.

          With 802.11n I don't see transfer speeds higher then 1.1 mb/s, presuming only 1 device is online.

          I live in a newish condo, built within the past 10 years, standard wood framed construction. I live in a 50 unit condo complex with a 60 unit apartment across the street, I can see dozens of my neighbor's SSID's, so it's not exactly an RF dead zone. (well, at least not in the 2.4Ghz band. Seems that AT&T is still issuing single band Wifi equipment since I see a lot of AT&T SSID's, but none in 5Ghz, I still get my own 5Ghz channel because 5Ghz is so rarely used around here)

          I use an Asus RT-66U as my Wifi router, centrally located on the second floor, antennas rotated horizontally to try to maximize vertical radiation patterns to get more signal downstairs.

          • I use an Asus RT-66U as my Wifi router, centrally located on the second floor, antennas rotated horizontally to try to maximize vertical radiation patterns to get more signal downstairs.

            Exact same model and rigging here... though the house I live in uses the old plaster-and-lath walls (it's an old beast).

        • Dude - I live in a 105-year-old house, in a small town just outside Portland (OR), and I still do well even with a big front/back yard.

          The trick? Easy:
          1) the wifi router is upstairs, away from the chimney but with a clear shot downstairs (and to each bedroom).
          2) It's an ASUS router (screw that cheapie one that the ISP gives you; disable that and hard-line to a decent wifi router with a good reputation made for gaming.)
          3) Scan the frig out of your neighborhood, and pick a channel no one else is using.


          • by GTRacer ( 234395 )

            [...] and two Android phones (albeit I keep wifi off on mine)...

            May I ask why you keep WiFi off at home? I completely understand keeping it off away from home (Thank you Llama!) to keep ad-snoops from trying to tag me in stores, etc... But home?

            Then again, my poorly-positioned and very outdated Linksys WRT-54G can't get a VOD-capable signal into my room from the den some days, so it's mobile data at home a lot for me ><

            • I keep the wifi dead on my phone mostly for battery reasons, coupled with the fact that I have unlimited data on my plan, so it makes no real diff to me. :)

        • I'm using 11g right now and it can max out my 25mbit internet connection.
          On the other side of the house it's about half as good.

        • by ruir ( 2709173 )
          Amen to that. 2.4GHz did not cut out for me, often was waiting 5 minutes just to get the bars on the wifi icon. Moved to 5GHz and now I can do downloads from the Internet via wifi at 80Mbps.
        • You must live in an amazingly quiet RF area, or have paper-thin walls.

          I see this kind of comment on Slashdot often, frankly I think you live in an amazingly noisy RF area. I've gotten pretty much full speeds of 802.11n. I can see 14 other access points from my phone but they are all relatively low dB compared to my main wireless router, and my access point on the opposite side of the house (installed because I needed access in the backyard, not because of deficiencies in a house). I suppose if you live in high density apartments then wifi can be a problem but doesn't most of

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Just because you use wifi doesn't mean ethernet is somehow depricated. Some choose to not use wifi for security concerns (lots of nonsense with home gear lately), or even future proofing. There is a simplicity with ethernet that can be appreciated, installing it to every room may not make sense for you, but it may for others.

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          Just because you use wifi doesn't mean ethernet is somehow depricated. Some choose to not use wifi for security concerns (lots of nonsense with home gear lately),

          Even if I had ethernet to every room, I'd still want Wifi since the devices I use every day don't have ethernet ports, so there goes the security (though with careful network segmentation, I could keep the Wifi network separate from the wired network, but that sounds like a lot of work for a home network)

          or even future proofing.

          Wifi speeds keep moving forward, but are already fast enough that most home users wouldn't notice any difference between wireless and wired speeds. Though as frequencies increase, putting a Wifi node in eac

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2014 @11:40PM (#47942535)

            I can't answer for him, but I can give you my reasons for wanting to run ethernet to every room. I'm not done yet, but I'm actively doing it as I update rooms.

            Some context, I have 3 kids, a wife, and me (and two set of grandparents who visit for about a month of two each year (in total, not all at once) with their iPads, Android devices, etc). And, truthfully, wi-fi does work for all of us, but most of the kids have a computer sitting at a desk, why do they need wi-fi for machines that are just sitting there anyways?

            That said, here is the list of reasons I want ethernet in every room:

            First, bandwidth sharing, wi-fi is fast, but not that fast, especially when we have six tablets using it at the same time as all the computers... offloading the computers from the wi-fi will solve a lot of bandwidth issues for the tablets (I'm always surprised watching the kids use a laptop and a tablet (or two) simultaneously... considering their next toy will probably be Android Phones... well... it just keeps adding demand to the wi-fi resources).
            Second, security, yes, I know it sounds old fashion, but I've already replaced two wi-fi routers because they stopped supporting the latest security (remember WEP versus WPA)... when a new exploit or attack comes out I like the option of shutting the wi-fi down to analyse it (that's more a personal interest, but still, the family can't be without internet while I tinker).
            Third, dead spots, I have one bedroom that wi-fi just will not work in, and I don't have a clue why either. The room faces the coldest winds during Winter and was the original master bedroom so my guess is that it was "extra" insulated when the last owners did some work there, but I need to do some investigation into why they would have insulated or used something on the inside walls versus all the other bedrooms (4 on that floor, wi-fi from any of the 3 works to the other 3).
            Fourth, coverage, right now I use two Wi-fi's, one in the upper floor and one in the basement which gives fairly good coverage of the house, but with wired connections I can spread that coverage even better (in particular I have wi-fi's that can let me limit their strength so I could then have 3 or 4 wi-fi routers and keep their strength low so that I can keep it within the house itself and not blast good strength across the street while still having a dead-spot in my own house).
            Fifth, internet-of-things, I'm not that into it right now, but more and more devices are going to require/use internet connectivity, again, most of those devices will be stationary (think Blu-Ray player, game box, TVs, fridge, stove, stereo, alarm clock), each may only take a small amount of connectivity, but all those pings, traces, network checks and handshakes are going to saturate any wi-fi in the long run (I can do it now with 10-12 devices so can see the writing on the wall when we are at 30-50 devices).
            Sixth, guaranteed uptime and reliability, I keep my wi-fi routers on a remote on/off switch so I can turn them off and on again from whereever I happen to be sitting, I use it about once a month to reset the wi-fi routers (I've replaced some routers that had to be reset daily!) , but I have never (ok, maybe yearly since we loose power at least once a year) had to reset my switches. I think for internet-of-things, having intermittent network connectivity issues will be a huge problem, wi-fi routers are flaky compared to wire and non-router based switches in this regard. Additionally, I have servers to host data and files for all the devices, if I plug it into one router and that router happens to go down, well, everyone looses access, while if the wi-fi routers each connect directly to the switch which has the servers then my kids can just move to another room or change their access point (if it doesn't do it automatically for them -- sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, depends on the fault with the Router) and everything continues to work :)

            Hope that helps answer the question. note that I would never get rid of wi-fi, but I can definitey justify running ethernet to every room :)

          • Hence my question "What do you use it for", which you didn't really answer.

            Making backups of central storage.

          • First why I decided to not use WiFi at home:

            1- Security concerns: I didn't want to invest so much time to learn how to secure my WiFi. It was 10 years ago, home equipment wasn't safe, and I had to learn from scratch.
            2- Safety concerns: with baby and/or young children I felt I would rather not add RF generator inside my home. I know we are immersed in RF from everywhere, making some a few meters away is another level. I didn't want to add that. Just in case.
            3- Network speed: 10 years ago, Ethernet was much

      • Re:Small setup (Score:4, Interesting)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @11:05PM (#47942399)
        Try streaming mpeg-ts captures from broadcast TV over wireless. They put Netflix to shame.

        Another think that hardly works at all over wireless is remote X clients. X is amazingly sensitive to latency. (Yes, you can try to set up NX etc...)

        • Come to think of it, and more fundamentally, even sharing a home directory to clients using NFS over WiFi does not work at all. Just loading firefox loads something like 50 MB of profile data from disk, NOT including the program itself, and latency kills nfs throughput. (Again, you can dink around with the settings endlessly, to little effect that I've seen).

          WiFi really only works for newer things designed to be cloud-friendly.

        • Re:Small setup (Score:4, Interesting)

          by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @11:24PM (#47942487)

          Try streaming mpeg-ts captures from broadcast TV over wireless. They put Netflix to shame.

          I've done this and it does work. The problem I always ran into wasn't the bandwidth, it was the encryption. I would cook the routers streaming 1080p TS files with WPA2 enabled. Eventually gave up and ran ethernet. Living in a rental townhouse, I had to get creative with runners and area rugs to do that without punching holes in walls...

      • Re:Small setup (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @11:06PM (#47942401)

        Ethernet is faster, more reliable, and less susceptible to interference. Right now I'm picking up about 40 access points (might be more, my card is only 2.4. Besides, transfering stuff is faster with Gigabit ethernet...

        • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

          bout to say, do a full hard disk backup over wifi heh

          I only have wifi right now except for the main 2 computers and its both handy and a pain in the ass when you want to setup something in the other room without wifi

        • I agree. We have wifi of course, but on GB lan I get 80-100 MB/second on transfers.
        • Also harder to MITM
        • Agree 100%. I with I had more ethernet connections in my livingroom and bedroom media closets. When I finish my basement I'm not going to make the same mistake.

          WiFi is great for laptops and phones and stuff, but I don't want my movies or music glitching because of wifi interference.

        • As an aside, what's an excellent wifi repeater? Mine can't cover an acre, but my back yard gets wifi signals from across the street.

      • The force is strong with you. I have everything hardwired because I could never get Wifi to work reliably, or with the speeds that I need. It might be related to my needing 2 routers to provide coverage to the entire house.

      • "SuperHD" Netflix is only 6-7Mb/sec at best so two streams shouldn't be a difficult feat for any recent wifi router. It's no different for DVD's which peak at 11Mb/sec. Try something like a full BR rip, 802.11n just doesn't cut it.

      • For me, I just like wired ethernet better. Overall, simpler to configure, use, secure, and manage, and you can't beat gigabit links for bandwidth/$. I have 802.11n, but pretty much all it does is allow the laptops, tablets, and phones onto the network. The MythTV frontends, desktop machines, and home automation/telemetry bits are all hard-wired. I also keep all my data on a central fileserver in the basement, so having gigabit links from the desktop machines (and laptops when I plug them in) really make

      • Some people -- particularly those with 2 servers -- transfer data on paths other then WiFi endpoint Internet. Wired Ethernet is definitely faster in such cases. It's also frequently more reliable, easier to secure, allows simultaneous full-speed transfers, is full-duplex, doesn't incur a repeater penalty for transfer among local endpoints, requires less configuration and frequently avoids the need for custom driver installation.

        Not that there's anything wrong with WiFi. It has lots of useful applications,

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        I have both ethernet in every room and wifi...
        Ethernet is quite a bit faster for bulk data transfers, has less latency, is less prone to interference and to increase bandwidth you can lay more cables whereas there is finite wifi spectrum. I also have several devices which don't support wifi, or would require expensive optional hardware to do so.
        My house has thick walls, so wifi coverage is somewhat weaker in places, and the garage is separate from the house and has virtually no signal at all.
        I tend to use e

  • Spiner (Score:3, Funny)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:09PM (#47942073)
    that's the Center of my Data.
  • Frankenserver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:13PM (#47942091)

    Core: ancient Dell laptops, which are nice and quiet and run on 70W power supplies. Seven of those, and five dozen hard drives from 120GB all the way up to 2TB apiece either in USB enclosures or in rackmount/grab boxes which are in turn connected via USB IDE adapters. So there's some hotswapping involved but all told I have about 40TB of storage.

  • For my always-on machines I have a couple of Atom 525's with perhaps 30 TB of data storage. The OS for those is Scientific Linus 5.x (someday to be Centos 6.x).

    These are plenty powerful enough for the services I use them for - files storage, light duty web serving, personal IMAP, DNS caching etc. and sip at the electrical supply.

    They are good enough for light duty web browsing as well.

    For more challenging applications (like games, photo editing etc) I have a couple of machines running 4 and 6 core I7s with

    • Don't 30 Terabytes of disk use waaaaay more power than two Atoms? How did you get 30 TB linked to those anyway?

      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        Stick a couple of port multipliers on it. It is a home setup so max out is going to be a couple of 1GbE bonded so about 220MB/s, which is way less than the bandwidth of two SATA2 ports, so with port multipliers that is at least 10 disks, run a RAID6 of 8D+2P with 4TB disk and bingo 32TB of storage. Plenty of Atom boards will take 8GB of RAM which is more than enough for a NAS and the Linux software RAID is all SSE accelerated code so even an Atom has way more grunt than is required.

  • Home / Work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:15PM (#47942103)

    Since I work from home now and had to get a bit more serious about my data storage, I bought a Synology Diskstation, and have been quite happy with it. I was a bit worried because I'm more experienced with Windows than Linux by far, but they've got a great web-based interface and hide any sort of complexity, and it connects easily enough to Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.

    The Synology has a nice backup program let's me to back up data to an Amazon S3 account. Since it's pay by data volume, and I'm only storing a few GB of code and assets, my monthly bill runs about ten cents a month. My local data is backup up to my NAS, and my NAS backs up to my S3 account. I figure I'm probably pretty well protected that way.

    I can't compete with those racks in the linked article, though. My NAS box sits on a desk and has about the footprint of one of those phones, and it doesn't have nearly as many sexy blinking lights and exposed patch cables. Ah well.

    • by bungo ( 50628 )

      (aol) Me Too!!! (/aol)

      I have a Synology DS512+ with 5x 3T disks. For storage size, capability and low noise, you just can't beat it. And it runs Linux.

      It goes well with my
      - Mac Pro (the old big silver box version),
      - i7 with 24G ram (home built)
      - i7 with 64G ram (home built)
      - 2 x Xeon E5-2620 (6 core each) 192G ram
      - Mac Mini

      I have ethernet wired through the house, plus a wifi router on each floor.

      Ah, the old day were good. I have 2 MicroVaxes, a Vaxsation 5000, a DEC

  • Old school (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slowdeath ( 2836529 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:18PM (#47942117)
    A PDP-8m with 16KW of core memory and a pair of 8" floppy drives, and a VT-320 video terminal.
  • Windows 7 Desktop (gaming) Phenom II with 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 2TB storage Windows 8 HTPC, Ceton InfiniTV Tuner FreeNAS server, 12U rack, 24 port managed switch (server has 2 gbit connections), 6 SAS JBOD card, 8x 3TB HDD, 8x 4TB HDD, RAID-Z2 on both sets. 35.4TB total.
  • When we moved into our house, I managed to pick up a full rack off craigslist. I'd planned to populate it with all my servers (a collection of vintage Unix systems as well as some modern vmware nodes). Part way through I realized I value a cooler and quieter room so I've been working to move everything over to quieter systems. For my vintage collection there's not much I can do -- SGI and Sun boxes only came in a few ways, but I tend to keep them off for the most part. My "main" systems have gone from a
    • My purchase of the year last year was a 42u rack for $1 off ebay.

      Though technically I think the seller got a better deal, because I had to navigate that thing down the narrowest stairs ever before getting into an elevator it couldn't stand up in. I think basically I paid them for the removal bill.

  • I had a PDP11 in my basement, all full working, with loads of equipment to go with it. I had a fun time learning about the genesis of the industry and learning about the internals and workings of the machine.

    Then I had a housefire. The machine and all of its components were completely ruined. I had a good laugh explaining it to the insurance adjuster. I think I got decent money for it because it was an antique, but it was limited because I didn't declare it separately on my policy.

  • Not my cup of tea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:38PM (#47942241)
    Maybe as a kid I was fascinated by the idea of having a server or "data center" at home, but these days I would hate to babysit all that trash. Normal networking equipment and a computer or two is enough.
    • I had the same realization a few years ago. Had a rack, plenty of older servers (mostly Sparcs I got free from work when we decommissioned them). All they did was heat up one room and doubled my electric bill. I've become very wary of overprovisioning now, something techies have a bad habit of doing.

      A decently-specced laptop for my day-to-day work and a beefier laptop running ESXi to replace the servers (for a home setup, most VMs don't need that much in the way of resources) takes care of most of my needs

    • You and me both. My datacenter consists of a 4tb HDD plugged into the usb port on my router. Thats it.

      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        Mine is behind a Time Capsule with authentication. I did not plug it on the USB port of the operator router/modem who offers the same service...well, because they could access my files.
    • Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Friday September 19, 2014 @12:41AM (#47942793) Homepage

      I sort of don't get it. White box PCs with many cores, dozens of gigabytes of RAM, and multiple gigabit ethernet ports cost next to nothing these days with a few parts from If the goal is just to play with powerful hardware, you could assemble one or a few white box PCs with *many* cores at 4+ GHz, *tons* of RAM, gigabit I/O, and dozens or hundreds of terabytes of online RAID storage for just a few thousand, and plug them straight into the wall and get better computation and frankly perhaps even I/O performance to boot, depending on the age of the rackware in question.

      If you're really doing some crazy hobby experimenting or using massive data storage, you can build it out in nicer, newer ways that use far less (and more readily available) power, are far quieter, generate far less heat, don't take up nearly the space, and don't have the ugliness or premium cost spare parts of the kinds of gear being discussed here. If you need the features, you can easily get VMware and run multiple virtual machines. 100Mbps fiber and Gigabit fiber are becoming more common and are easy to saturate with today's commodity hardware. There are an embarrassment of enterprise-ready operating systems in the FOSS space.

      If you really need high reliability/high availability and performance guarantees, I don't get why you wouldn't just provision some service for yourself at Amazon or somewhere else and do what you need to do. Most SaaS and PaaS companies are moving away from trying to maintain their own datacenters because it's not cost effective and it's a PITA—they'd rather leave it to specialists and *really big* data centers.

      Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

      • Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

        Control, and for some me included maintaining home storage is a hobby.
        Some are also skeptical about putting some or all of their eggs in the hands of a corporate service provider.

      • Re:Why do this? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Friday September 19, 2014 @12:13PM (#47946523) Homepage

        Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

        Because for any given hobby... there's always going to be someone out at the end of the bell curve. The photographer with $190k worth of gear who drives a $500 car and lives in a $5k house. The model train enthusiast who builds a 2500sqft house around his 1800sqft train layout. The IT geek with enough horsepower in his basement to run a decent sized ISP.. They're all birds of a feather.

        (Disclaimer: Yes, I actually know the first two examples personally.)

    • I understand what you mean. There's some pride when I show friends my setup, and for the most part I'm happy with it. But then something breaks down and it usually takes too much time I don't have to fix it.
    • Yup. Having a single computer with a hard drive for the OS, and a simple RAID1 with (2) 1TB drives is enough for me. I have all of the music and movies that I want, and still have:

      root@server:~# df -h
      Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
      /dev/sdb2 458G 14G 421G 4% /
      /dev/sda1 932G 858G 75G 93% /1t
    • Much the same. I have a single NAS in the basement with a backup of the important stuff (documents, photos, mp3s, home videos).

      My personal desktop keeps all the movies, etc. All the computers on the network rsync my desktop computer (which is essentially always on).

  • old school (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ethan Bernard ( 2954293 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:46PM (#47942285)

    Rolodex 1753, Smith-Corona Super12, roll of stamps.

  • My personal setup is a frankencenter. I have everything from an old Cyrix300Mhz to a P3 733Mhz HP Netserver to random P4 / Prescotts serving up a combined total of ~12TB + 6TB for desktop / laptop backups. Some of these "machines" are not even in a physical case...

    The main trick for the power hungry crap is only keeping what you really need powered on at any time. Most of the old really power hungry stuff is deep cold storage and rarely powered on except to test data integrity. That way I only need to pro

  • I'm using a Dell Poweredge 2950 as an ESXi server, hosting a couple of VMs. I also have a general purpose Linux server running on an AMD FX 8120 loaded with RAM, SSD, etc; that mainly gets used for BOINC and network services

    I've got a few "one-off" boxes in use too - a Sun Netra T1, a Sunblade 1500, an SGI O2 (currently dead) and two SGI Octanes.

  • Porn of course. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Thursday September 18, 2014 @10:52PM (#47942313) Journal

    I have porn in my home data center. What else would I have in it?

    • I have porn in my home data center. What else would I have in it?

      Schlock movies and forgettable juvenile music?

    • Impossible. All my pron can now fit on a portable laptop hard drive. There has gotta be something else.

  • 1300VA Smart-UPS, Dell T110, Dell R210, Dell Optiplex 790 (Plex media server), Couple of Dell CS23. Network is Motorola SBR, HP T5740 running pfSense, Aruba IAP-225 (802.11ac), HP 2915 10-port PoE switch, Ubiquiti PicoStation feeding into Ubiquiti toughswitch to remotely connect printer and Ooma for home phone. Office phone is Yealink T38G.

    Also have a couple of servers offsite in real datacenters and on EC2 and Azure.

  • I'm a networking guy, so I'm more network-based, than server-based.

    Mostly old data-center cast offs-
    24U rack (48U cut in half to fit under my plumbing/duct work) in the basement
    Cisco 3750-48 PoE Gig switch, providing direct connections to all of my first floor equipment.
    Second floor equipment has a direct run to another 3750 switch upstairs. Too hard to run direct lines in an old house.
    Bluecoat (nee Packeteer) Packetshaper 7500 for monitoring and QoS on Internet traffic
    Cisco MCS 7825 re-purposed
  • I ditched my rack mount servers when I came home one February when it was 20F outside and my AC was running. Just not worth the cost of operating them! I culled my equipment down to a pair of T110 quad core Xeon (with HT) Dell pedestal servers, and a build-from-scratch file server with eight 3TB drives, cheap AMD proc, mobo, and all with 16GB RAM. Drastically lower power consumption than my old setup (4 HP DL585 G1's) and more powerful as well. The T110's are setup to allow me to swap out the boot drives
  • 2 Laptops: one for me and a MacBook for the girlfriend's design work. I have to deal with big hardware enough at work, and a beefy VPS instance for personal projects and random freelance necessities is more than enough for me. I used to have a bunch of hardware, but that's not where I'm at right now.

  • Except for a flash drive in a router. I guess these days internet hosting and connection speeds have become so much more affordable and overall better that it doesn't make sense to archive the world at your house.

    A few years back it was a different story:
    SGI Challenge 12 CPU IRIX machine
    Sun UltraSPARC
    K6-2/500 with Debian Linux (or FreeBSD, depends on what year)
    P3-? with NetBSD
    Plus probably 5-6 random computers.. iMac here, dell there, etc.

  • I've got a 36U StarTech rack full of Supermicro chassis/motherboards and miscellaneous other things (Cisco switch, KVM, monitor, etc). The initial cost was pretty expensive but, the rack will last forever and the chassis will be useful until the SAS backplanes start to fail. In total the rack has around 100GB of RAM, 40TB of disk and around 30 cores of varying capability (everything from Intel Atom to Intel Xeon X56xx) and a lot of UPS (rack stays up for 1.5 hours without power). It's been up for a few y

    • Hmmm, unless you have an enterprise at home, all the enterprise grade gear is doing is costing you money. Mac mini, small mirrored 4TB NAS backing up to bus powered USB drives, FritzBox AP/Router/DECT. Super cheap to run, more than enough storage and grunt for the five of us.

  • At one point I had 5 machines all networked together, but nowadays you can get enough memory and CPU to install six different database servers on a laptop, so I'm down to one machine. I did have two, but my Linux box recently decided to go tits up so I've shifted everything to my WIndblows 7 laptop instead. Someday I'll buy another box for Linux, but it'll be a long time before I can save enough to buy a new machine -- I have other things that need buying first, and I'm on a disability budget nowadays.

  • If you look closely at those pictures, in pretty much every rack there are redundant switches with absolutely nothing connected to them, yet they are powered on.

    Really? Do you like the blinking lights? I measured my 24 port 3com superstack switch and it was 50 watts. I switched to a 8 port low power gigabit (i have 6 devices these days) and it runs at 8watts.

    Calculating the cost savings of the switch, at .07 cents a kwh, 42w = cost per year savings of 25 dollars. Roughly the cost of the gigabit switch i re

    • If you look closely at those pictures, in pretty much every rack there are redundant switches with absolutely nothing connected to them, yet they are powered on.

      Really? Do you like the blinking lights? I measured my 24 port 3com superstack switch and it was 50 watts. I switched to a 8 port low power gigabit (i have 6 devices these days) and it runs at 8watts.

      Calculating the cost savings of the switch, at .07 cents a kwh, 42w = cost per year savings of 25 dollars. Roughly the cost of the gigabit switch i replaced it with!

      Yep, managed switches seem to be outrageously power hungry. In my cabinet I've got:
      - Satellite patch panel (wired to the dish)
      - 24 port 8p8c patch panel (wired to sockets in the rest of the house/office)
      - 24 port managed gigabit switch
      - Test machine which is completely underpowered and never turned on (at some point I'll get around to removing it from the cabinet)
      - Sheevaplug
      - USB hard drive for Sheevaplug
      - VDSL modem
      - VoIP/POTS gateway

  • with 20 cores, 128GB RAM, 48TB online storage, and gigabit fiber coming in.

    Yes, I use all of it, for work. But it's definitely not a "data center." These days, I don't know why anyone would want one—even moderately sized enterprises are increasingly happy to pay someone else to own the data center. Seems nuts to me to try to bring it into your basement.

    If you just need the computation and/or the storage, desktops these days run circles around the datacenter hardware from just a few years ago. If you n

  • I have a low power NAS box with a large hard drive. I replaced the stock firmware with debian. It serves all my shared files (linux ISOs, music, etc.) and runs all my network services (CalDAV, CardDAV, etc.). I periodically run backups to an external drive, which remains powered down and disconnected most of the time, and can be swapped with an off-site backup drive.

    Gigabit ethernet connects all my stationary computers and phones. An old wifi base station connects the mobile devices. A wired-only router sit

  • I've got a Dell T410 I bought second hand. I've got 6x1TB WD Black SATA drives attached to a PERC5 in RAID 6. It's got 48GB of RAM and dual Xeon E5504s. It's running Hyper-V 2012R2, and hosts my MS home lab for testing, licensed through the now defunct Technet program. The MS lab is all 2012R2 and consists of an Exchange 2013 server, 2 DCs, and a CA. I use this mostly for testing stuff I'm going to do at work, as well as learning Windows garbage I wouldn't normally get to.

    I've also got 8 Linux VMs running o

  • Only one proper server running ESXi, but the rest is all rack-mountable:

    - Unraid server (bought their premade)
    - Dell 2950 that's been decommissioned from the DC
    - 24 port Gig switch
    - 24 port Gig PoE switch for our phones
    - TV streaming head-end. 3 Cable boxes on shelves
    - Control4 main server and amp, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Would just get the amp and an open source streaming box in the future
    - Modem and router

    Only addition will be UPS at some point. It's only half a rack, but being able to

  • Frankly, I setup my home 8 years ago (when I bought it) with a server room in one of the upstairs closets, had the whole house wired with Cat 6, got a 24 port hub, setup a server in a very large case with 24 1TB hard drives (those were expensive back then), and went to town.

    Over the next few years, those drives were replaced with 1.5TB, then 2TB, then finally 3TB drives...

    I had a second machine in place when the Core i7 920 came out and used that to rip DVD and Blu-Ray discs using AnyDVD to crack them so th

    • Same conclusion. It's too easy to feel that precarity from the early computing age (not enough storage! not enough cycles! data versions of things are special!) if you were there. I think there's some of that going on here on Slashdot a lot of the time.

      People in love with old Unix boxen or supercomputer hardware. People that maintain their own libraries of video, but all that's stored there is mass-market entertainment. And so on. It's like newspaper hoarding.

      Storage and computation are now exceedingly chea

      • :) I used to be a computer hoarder... I actually still own an Apple IIgs and even an ImageWriter II color 24-pin dot matrix printer.

        Why? Well, the computer makes sense, I want to show my kids what computers were like when Daddy was growing up, the printer? Meh, a huge paperweight I guess, but you can still buy ribbons for it.

        I used to have a 386DX-25 setup, a 486-DX/2-66, and a Pentium 166 MMX, just "in case" I wanted to play around with older stuff.

        I have since thrown those away, I turned them on about

  • What does this "datacenter" in TFA actually do? From youtube videos they pointed to some servers with labels like "push email" ... the whole rack of SGI's? Spammers?!??

    Another section of Apache/MySQL "cluster" and DNS servers with only a 60mbit link...

    They have a list of websites hosted on the "datacenter" but this appears to be mostly run of the mill basic business fronts/web presence.

    Notice the light patterns on the switch ports all of the activity at time of filming appears to be dominated by broadcast

  • A Utilite Pro [] which gives me all the grunt I need for an always on server, coupled to an external old DroboPro with 10TB of storage.

  • I was using an old netbook (Atom N270) as a home media server, keeping it running Ubuntu Desktop 9.something. But it was too much of a pain to maintain: keeping it on mains power for a year seems to break the battery-charge-level monitoring, which makes the internal battery useless as a UPS. Too many processes insisted on writing to files every 5 minutes, which was spinning up the hard disk all the time. Also, it got uncomfortably hot with the lid closed all the time.

    So I got a second-hand thin client (Via

  • Pure datacenter are: 2 firewalls, 1 Sun X2100, 1 QNAP NAS, 1 PC, 1 Raspberry, 1 VoIP-Gateway, 1 Homematic automation server, WLAN Controller
    In the network: 5 mobile devices, 2 PC, 1 Notebook, BluRay-Player, 4 Audio Devices (Sonos), 2 Access Points, 2 USB-via-IP extender, Printer, Scanner, multiple IP-based sensors

  • I can play test stuff in the pre-production servers at work, and I also have an AWS account...
  • 42u rack on coasters, with 4 running boxes. Cisco r180 router, 2016swr managed switch, cisco AP for wifi.
    File server, 4u, 10TB+ (4.5TB raid 10), 10GB ram, i5 2.8ghz, 4x intel 1000pt nics (bonded in 2012).
    HyperV: hp6005 w/ Athlon X4 3ghz, 10GB ram (runs multiple hyper-v VMs), w a 128GB SSD for the VM's
    Domain controler: HP 6005 X2 2ghz
    Sharepoint: HP 6005 X2 2gz

    All that's in a rack, along with customize cross-over patch panels, all cat6. Outside the "datacenter" are 3 other boxes, 2 laptops, 1 samsung
  • I currently have a retired iPhone 4s serving primarily as a git server. Also useful as an SSH tunnel into the home network; to view IP cameras remotely without exposing them to the outside world, for example.

    The 4s replaced a 3Gs that replaced a 3G that replaced a long serving, flash only, nslu2 running CVS and later SVN.

    Of the bunch, the 4s is the first device that is indistinguishable over the network, performance wise, from PC workstations I've worked with. I imagine the 5, 5s and 6/6+ must be fantastic.

  • First:
    - 8 ports 10/100 switch.
    - Big noisy custom DIY file server, wall mounted, 6 hard drives, 1.3To , some with redundancy.

    - 16 ports 10/100/1000 switch
    - Compact silent low power NAS, 2 drives, 2 To, one logical drive is with redundancy, the other is for big files with no redundancy.

  • by Hypotensive ( 2836435 ) on Friday September 19, 2014 @04:44AM (#47943621)

    This article would be a whole lot more impressive if the author actually knew what a watt was. The article repeatedly uses kW/hour even though this is not a measure. You either have a kilowatt (measure of power, or energy over time), or a kilowatt hour (amount of energy that running one kilowatt for an hour, or kilowatt MULTIPLIED BY hour, consumed).

    Saying "average consumption is 1-2 kW/hour" is just nonsensical. If you mean that consumption is 1-2 kilowatt-hours, then over what time? Or more likely you just mean that average consumption is 1-2 kilowatts.

  • What's the point? Eat's power, wastes my time, is noisy, etc.

    I've got two 1TB USB HDDs for archive and longterm storage (USB powered, to avoid the hassle with powerbricks) and I regularly archive to one of those and then arsync to the other twice a year or so, so they're basically manually mirrored. I've got three smaller Timemachine/Incremental Backup drives (again USB, USB powered) for sequential backup and disaster recovery, should one of my laptops (MB Air & Lenovo Linux Thinkpad) or my Mac Mini cra

  • I'm working on an endless downgrade cycle tending towards appliances rather than computers. I used to have big hardware. Pentium Pros, Xeons, SCSI drives, etc, but as time wears on I keep seeing the powerbill and asking myself what am I really getting for my money.

    My most recent upgrade saw me go from a quad core Xeon to an Intel Atom, and replace a rack of 12 HDDs with 2, though recently I added another 2TB HDD to that. The little Intel Atom motherboards runs headless with no GUI and makes a great file ser

  • I used to love running my own Linux gateway box in the 90s and was proud as can be of it's uptime and for a while I was leading the eggdrop-bot uptime stats, so I completely understand the fascination of fiddling around on servers as a hobby. Still, I got to ask: why would anyone want to spend all that money to install a data center in their garage and what are you people using it for? There is only so much you can really do and your home data-center needs will typically be ridiculously small and won't go f

  • I got hooked ever since I found about a Beowulf cluster of Playstations running Linux.

  • Where I once had a rotation of 1 or 2u racks, I now have a couple of i7 Mac Minis (with several external dual drive LaCie's in mirrored mode) running VMWare.

    As I traded my consulting gig for straight employment a few years ago, I'm housing far less data, too... Nas4Free for files/media, VPN for when I'm at work (which is funny, because as soon as I'm home I VPN into work...), MySQL, GLPi and Calibre.

    Other than that, I've got my workstation (probably my last custom build....) in my home office, a couple of

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes