View Full Version : Rack Mounted Servers...

17th January 2006, 18:59
I've just bought my replacement mobo and some additional ram for my main workstation. My next project is going to be rack mountable. I'm going to be putting together two rack-mounted servers; one as a simple backup server, the other as a mythtv backend.

Backup Server

I'm thinking for the backup server of going somewhere in the area of 2TB. Processing power is minimal, so an epia system should work fine, even the lower end models like an 800 would be plenty. Speed is not an issue, since I'd do automated incremental backups, so IDE is fine over SATA or SCSI. For the quicker backups with minimal space requirements, I have a conner raid box with 12GB available. I also won't need much in the way of ram, so I think at 256mb I'll have more than enough to handle the job. rsync is a memory hog, but since it will be a minimalized linux install, I don't see a problem here.

My needs would be:

1) Mobo/proc/ram
2) smallish hard drive for the linux install
3) pci IDE controller for additional drives, totalling roughly 2TB (or 1TB raided, or some such similar configuration)
4) well ventilated rack mount case for a mini-itx system, with enough room for all prerequisites, and a decent power supply
5) time..

MythTV Backend

Similarly, I'm thinking of capabilities in the 1TB and up range for storage. Processing power should be minimalized by a hauppauge wintv-pvr-250, and possibly an additional mpeg4 decoder card. Speed is an issue for data, so SATA would be preferable; I don't like choppy playback. A decent amount of ram is also needed, 512mb or more. Not sure that I could get away with an epia here, atleast not with how much c*** I'd like to be running on it, so perhaps I'll go with an amd sempron or some such lower end "standard" hot proc.

My needs would be:

1) Mobo/proc/ram
2) smallish drive for linux/mythtv install
3) sata onboard, or sata card preferred
4) well ventilated rack mount case, preferably with a slick media-pc look (may be in the living room for a while, acting as both backend and front end), better power supply, and plenty of room
5) hauppauge card, possibly an mpeg4 decoder card.
6) even more time...

Well, this is basically my idea written down somewhere. I'll be building out two racks, each 20-24U so as not to dominate the living room in my rented house. One will be located in my office, the other will be located next to my tv, or perhaps in the closet in my living room. If in the closet, I will possibly be toying with the idea of turning the mythtv server into a dual-purpose machine, acting as a control system for the room as well. I have a tablet to use as a control panel, as well as control panels from the av industry available for my use and experimentation.

Any ideas/questions/comments/concerns? Happy to hear your thoughts.

Render/compile farm to come at a later date, when I can afford the powerhouse 64 bit quad proc machine ive been dreaming about (shh... dont tell the gf. She might get upset).

20th January 2006, 22:02
That's a sweet project. I wouldn't skimp on any components for the pvr, since you're looking for good horsepower here or it will pretty much be a waste of time. Dual-core CPU preferable, or at least an x64, and tons of RAM even with everything else hardware accelerated.

You'll also need a serious power supply, and if you are planning on keeping it beside or near the tv, definitely look into a fan-less power supply to keep the noise down (and maybe water-cool the processor to really impress your friends).

If you plan on adding additional house-control functionality, i would use a PDA with Bluetooth as a whole-house remote.

I've thought about a project like this for myself if/when i ever get the time. Keep us all aprised of your progress.

20th January 2006, 22:45
Well I'd use my Z, no bluetooth... too insecure for my comfort level. What I'd use for interfaces for home-control would effectively be industry standard devices that are serial-controllable, though more commercial-oriented products over consumer devices - its just what I can get :)