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tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

Home datacenter setup

Hi all, so I finally got around to taking some photos of my somewhat updated wiring and network setup in the attic, comments welcome.

Photos @ »thinkspace.ath.cx/gallery/misc_t···enet3/en

A few details on the rack gear (top to bottom),
- TRENDnet TC-P24C5E 24-Port UTP Cat5E Patch Panel
- Cisco Catalyst 2950G-48 Switch (WS-C2950G-48-EI)
- HCM-1DV Horizontal Cable Manager
- Linksys WRT54G v1.0 running Tomato
- Cisco 871w Integrated Services Router
- Linksys SPA-3102 Voice Adapter
- Linksys SPA-2102 Voice Adapter
- Cisco 2651XM Dual 10/100 Modular Router
- La Fonera WiFi Router
- Linksys NSLU2 running V2.3R63-uNSLUng-6.8-beta
- Seimens 5100b Speedsteam DSL modem
- Compaq DeskPro EN SFF (333MHz P2 with 256MB RAM)

The Toshiba 7010CT (366MHz Mobile P2 with 192MB RAM) on the right hand side runs Trixbox CE/Asterisk with FXS/FXO capability from the Linksys SPAs. Also connects to a few IP phones around the house and provides call routing via At&t PSTN or VoIP.

I've consolidated various services/applications as much as possible to the Dell PowerEdge 2500SC Server running Linux 2.6.18-92.1.22.el5.centos.plus, it's hardware config listed below.
- Dual 933MHz PIII, 2.5G ECC SDRAM
- Dell PowerEdge Expandable RAID Controller 3/Di
- Adaptec AHA-2940U2W SCSI Controller
- 3 x Fujitsu MAN3367MC Enterprise 10k Ultra160 SCSI 36.7G Drives
- Adaptec 2610SA 6 Port 64MB SATA RAID Controller
- Western Digital 500GB, SATA 7200rpm (RPMWD5000AAKS)
- Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB SATA II, 7200.10 (ST375064)
- Intel EtherExpress PRO/100+ Server Adapter (Intel 82557/8/9/0/1 Ethernet Pro)
- Dell 10/100 Ethernet Server Adapter (Intel 82557/8/9/0/1 Ethernet Pro)
- Avermedia Technologies Inc AverMedia UltraTV PCI 350 Tuner (Bt878)
- Hauppauge HVR-1600 HDTV Tuner (Conexant CX23418)
- Prof Revolution 7301 DVB-S/S2 Tuner (Conexant CX23880)
- Creative Labs SB Live!

Some active services on the PE2500 include,
- Apache Web server
- DNS Caching server
- DHCP server
- Cistron RADIUS Server
- LDAP Server
- NFS server
- Samba Server
- Squid Proxy Server
- MySQL Database Server
- MythTV Backend server
- VMware® Workstation with Windows Server 2003 R2 EE

The MythTV server receives Cable, OTA ATSC & Satellite FTA and streams to a Minimyth player in the living room. The Compaq Deskpro is the DMZ webserver for Thinkspace, runs Apache, Gallery, Wordpress etc.



Voodoo288
Common Sense Dictates
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Richmond, VA

Interesting location for all of your equipment.


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

said by Voodoo288:

Interesting location for all of your equipment.
Yeah, it was pretty central to run all the cabling to which I did myself. And keeps all the noise to a minimal as I can't hear a thing through the ceiling which is well insulated.

Only issue is cooling on hot summer days, as temp can get up there even with both attic fans running. But I've had minimal reliability issues with this setup for 2+ years so far. Server uptime was 200+ days prior to last reboot to install my satellite tuner card.


Sandman
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Strafford, MO
reply to tsarath

Can you tell me about your TV tuners and the Prof Revolution card and what you're using them for?

I read through the Prof website but couldn't find a good description of exactly what the cards do.
--
Rule #62: Don't take yourself so damn seriously!


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

said by Sandman:

Can you tell me about your TV tuners and the Prof Revolution card and what you're using them for?

I read through the Prof website but couldn't find a good description of exactly what the cards do.
I'm using the tuners in MythTV. MythTV is a Linux DVR application which supports the LinuxTV drivers/APIs. MythTV supports split frontend/backend configuration. The PE 2500 only runs the backend which receives the Cable/ATSC/DVB signal and records/streams the signal to the frontend, the player which is connected to the TV. Here is a link to my FE player which I built a while ago, it runs Minimyth.

The tuner cards support reception of TV signals on your PC. The Prof 7301 became recently supported with the cx88 drivers in LinuxTV. I have got is working with DVB-S, but not DVB-S2 as my dish is not yet motorized to find a S2 signal but is locked to Galaxy19.


Sandman
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Strafford, MO

OK, lemme ask my specific question then, as I'm aware of what TV tuner cards do, but I don't know much about DVB.

Can the Prof card tune DirecTV or Dish satellite service or are you getting content for free from some other satellites?
--
Rule #62: Don't take yourself so damn seriously!


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

said by Sandman:

OK, lemme ask my specific question then, as I'm aware of what TV tuner cards do, but I don't know much about DVB.

Can the Prof card tune DirecTV or Dish satellite service or are you getting content for free from some other satellites?
No. DVB tuner cards in general will not allow you to receive DirectTV/DishNet legally here in the US. This is however possible in Europe where providers support a CI module, so this is a provider restriction. Here in the US you can tune to FTA (Free to Air) signals on any number of satellites depending on where you are. A good site for more info on this is »www.ftalist.com/ Galaxy19 has several hundred FTA channels.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to tsarath

I like the homemade rack... I hope you have backups of any important data in a cooler location though!


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

1 edit

said by BiggA:

I like the homemade rack... I hope you have backups of any important data in a cooler location though!
Thanks. Yes, decided to build my own rather than spend $$ on a prefabricate one, cost ~$45. Ready made racks are one of the most marked up uses of sheet metal you can buy imo. Plan on going to RAID 5 for the main data partition this summer to minimize data loss, currently on RAID 0.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Oh yeah, that's a good idea. I used to have RAID 0 as the main drive in a machine, and luckily it never failed, but I backed that thing up a lot. For any desktop/server application in the future, I will always be using redundant storage.


cbiggers

join:2000-08-10
San Luis Obispo, CA
reply to tsarath

Wow wow weeewoow that 4U dell must cost $50 a month in electricity!


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

1 edit

said by cbiggers:

Wow wow weeewoow that 4U dell must cost $50 a month in electricity!
Actually it's not that bad, it uses about ~230W at idle and ~294W at peak load with 2 power modules active as shown. Inserting the 3rd module increases usage about ~20-30W which is why I have it as a spare. It will run with a single module, which will drop this down a bit more still, but will be non redundant. So at an average of 85%/15% to idle/load time that works out to be ~173Kwh in a month. So with a baseline usage rate of $0.12/Kwh with PG&E here, that ~$21/month operating cost, quite reasonable imo.

I've measured power usage of most of this equipment with a Kill-a-Watt meter in the past, and it was one of the key reasons I retired using the old Catalyst 5505 that's shown and replaced with the 2950G. The Cat5505 used +300W at idle and close to 400W at load! The 2950G uses ~33W at idle in comparison. The Cat5505 however can do wire speed L3 routing on all ports, but I decided I really didn't need this level of functionality/performance at this cost. Been meaning to sell it as some point, anybody want to buy a fully loaded used Cat5505?

watts3000

join:2002-01-21

You don't have a problem with heat in your attic


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

said by watts3000:

You don't have a problem with heat in your attic
It is not an ideal operating environment as mentioned earlier as the temp does get up there even with the attic fans running, one of which you can see in the shots. The attic fans are temp activated and come on around 90F. The PE2500 has 5 or so fans which at that temp sucks in a lot of air as well. In addition you can see the two smaller external fans next to the Linksys SPA adapters. I've been thinking of adding an external vent with ducting to feed fan forced cooler air from the living area, but have not done this as yet. The main concern for me is the PE server drives which is where a lot of my data sits. Plan on moving to RAID5 as mentioned soon. If some of the other gear goes toast, not a big deal to replace, but so far so good after 2+ years of continuous operation.

watts3000

join:2002-01-21

tsarath I'm kind of in the same boat you are I just bought my house and I don't have a basement. I would like to move my systems to a central location but I really don't have any where to move them to. My options are the garage or attic however imo those areas are just to hot. Also I think redirecting air flow for systems could get expensive.


tsarath

join:2002-05-04
Palo Alto, CA

said by watts3000:

tsarath I'm kind of in the same boat you are I just bought my house and I don't have a basement. I would like to move my systems to a central location but I really don't have any where to move them to. My options are the garage or attic however imo those areas are just to hot. Also I think redirecting air flow for systems could get expensive.
Yep, I evaluated the garage option as well. But my garage is far from central and cabling would have been quite a bit more challenging.

The temp difference between the attic and living area is significant on hot days. The issue for me is not getting hot air out of the attic, but getting cool air in. the existing roof vents are too small and far apart.

I've been looking at building a vent system from an existing roof vent that's already in place. I was going to go the DIY option and don't think it's going to be that complex or would cost a lot. Some basic ducting and a duct fan should do the trick, probably ~$150 or so from Home Depot, on the to-do list still.

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Heat definitely is an issue with equipment, but I believe what can be even more troublesome is condensation.