I spent a couple of hours in the loft at the weekend mounting my rack mount server (at last) and tidying up some cables. I thought this might be a good opportunity to talk a little about my ‘Node 0′.
Located in the loft I have a 12U wall mounted rack. In this rack I have a 24 way patch panel, mostly unpopulated at the moment but the intention is to provide at least two CAT5e ports in each room in the house.
Below that is a cable management panel followed by a 24-port ZyXel 2024-PWR 10/100 POE switch. This was the first switch I purchased and it has served me well, but with only 2 1Gb ports, it isn’t quite fast enough these days. I keep it in the rack to provide power-over-ethernet to the VOIP handsets located throughout the house.
Below the POE switch is my most recent purchase, a 48-way 10/100/1000 3Com (HP) Gig-E switch. This provides the majority of switching on the network and crucially allows the server to connect back to the network at gigabit speeds.
More cable management and then we find the server. This is the core of everything computer related in my home. Its a rack mounted Rackable Systems C2001 purchased from a colleague a couple of months ago. These can be picked up for a pittance on eBay but not at this spec. Mine has 14Gb of RAM, upgraded processors (2x dual-core AMD Opteron 275s) and just under 7TB of hard disk. The server runs VMWare VSphere 5 (ESXi bare metal hypervisor) with a bunch of virtual machines on it doing everything from graphing my heating system and routing my phone calls to serving up media and replicating my the IR to my SkyHD box. It has lights out management on it too.
Below the server is a shelf currently holding my LightWaveRF WiFi link (and in need of a couple more screws) and then a bunch of power sockets on a 19″ rack mounted PDU.
Node-0 is connected to the Internet wirelessly. An Apple TimeCapsule is located in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It was in the loft, but is starting to need more than the occasional reboot, so it was relocated downstairs and connected via the CAT5. This is currently connected wirelessly to an Apple AirPort Express downstairs which in turn is connected to my Virgin Media Superhub and out via a 30Mb broadband link.