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Thread: Home Computer and Network Setups

  1. #1
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Home Computer and Network Setups

    I know that a number of people on here have a background in computers, and may even be self-proclaimed computer geeks. I figured I would start up a thread to see what you all have running at home for computers. I will start


    I just recently bought a house, so I have been setting up the new place for of my needs. I have been running Cable/Satellite and Cat6 cables to every room, and I completely reconfigured my home server setup. I have not finished this whole project, but it is well underway at this point.

    This is the structured wiring drop for my living room. I have another setup exactly the same up in the "master bedroom" on the 2nd floor, except one more Cat6 left inside the wall for a future wireless access point. Three RG6 cables and three Cat6's here right underneath the Television:



    The ethernet drops are terminated to a Cat6 Patch Panel in the basement.


    The coax drops go to a video distribution board, also in the basement. On the left are the splitters and amplifiers for Cable TV, and on the right is the multiswitch for a future Satellite setup.



    I do also have a short (24U) server rack that houses my networking gear. It includes a number of servers for video storage, content downloads, email backups, and other functions for the home. Two of the servers are starting to really run out of space, and instead of upgrading them, I decided to replace all of them with a new virtual server platform running VMWare vSphere Hypervisor 6. These are the parts that I picked up:

    Supermicro SC846A-R900B
    Supermicro X8DTE-F Motherboard
    Supermicro SAS846EL1 24 bay SAS Backplane
    2x Intel Xeon L5630 2.13GHz Quad Core CPUs
    6x 2GB DDR3-1066 Registered ECC
    Adaptec ASR-5805Z SAS Controller

    For hard drives, I am re-using many of my WD Red drives for storage and downloading, but the VMs themselves are now running off of some HP 300GB 15K SAS drives that I had kicking around for a future need.

    Total out of pocket cost for this setup is $320.54 after shipping. $258.65 for the Case, motherboard, SAS controller and backplane; $37.90 for the CPUs; and $23.99 for the memory.









  2. #2
    SLi Lurker meepers's Avatar
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    Nice clean setup! Rackmounts are the sickness. I absolutely HATE exposed wiring and you did a very nice routing job on your setup. And WIFI Sucks for everything other then checking email on an IPAD. With my gimpy leg I have not been able to run my Cat6 from our Cable modem/router into the bedrooms. My setup started pretty simple as my Xbox360 setup streaming video files from a NAS that was stuffed in my closet. When everything started going MKV and Microsoft refused to update the codec packs for the video player, I ended up building a server that transcoded on the fly.

    I have since revamped my setup. Late 2012 Mac Mini hooked to my TV for movies, web, general Tom foolery. Xbox360 for swearing at little kids and getting out my road rage. My TV has built in Netflix, youtube and huhu streaming (when the WIFI works properly).

    I have several 2-4TB WD External Drives, that keep my content/applications/family photos all separated and easily transported between machines.

    Basically I want to run a cat6 run to my room into a router and wireless access point. The WAP will be just for my Ipad and phone, and everything else will be hardwired ethernet. Also thinking of adding a few Wireless cams in the house, garage and back yard. This will let me know when people are home, where my dog is, and if the bathroom is free. lol.
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    As for networking, I have a fairly inexpensive Linksys 600N Dual Band router that has hard connections to my computer, Roku 3, Blu Ray player downstairs (no wifi), and everything else is wireless.

    Oh, and I get 60+ mb/sec with Charter, so my internet is pretty good, too.
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I have made a large number of changes to this server setup over the last few months...


    I added another server (the one with the orange face). This is now my ESX platform, so all of my primary services like network routing, status monitoring, and Plex processing are done on this box:
    Supermicro CSE819TQ 1U Chassis
    Supermicro X9DRW-7TPF Motherboard
    2x Intel Xeon E5-2620 V2 Hex-core CPUs running at 2.10Ghz
    8x 4GB PC3L-10600R Registered ECC DDR3 memory (32GB total)
    Adaptec ASR-6805R RAID Controller w/Battery
    2x SanDisk Extreme 480GB SSD in RAID 1
    2x HGST 3TB SAS drives in RAID 1


    The original box above has been rebuilt, and is now a dedicated file server. I was using one HBA card and a SAS expander, but I found that any time the machine rebooted, that the drives would re-enumerate and change numbers.. It was also limiting the speed available to each drive, so I decided to install some more drive controllers and run a dedicated channel to each drive. I also removed the second CPU to save some power, and increased the amount of RAM.

    Supermicro SC846TQ-R1200B (after changing out mid-plane and power supplies)
    Supermicro X8DTE-F Motherboard
    Supermicro SAS846TQ 24 bay SAS Midplane
    1x Intel Xeon L5630 2.13GHz Quad Core CPUs
    6x 8GB DDR3L-1066 Registered ECC (48GB total)
    3x Dell PERC H310 HBAs reflashed to LSI 9211-8i in IT mode (total of 24 6GB/s SATA/SAS ports)
    Mellanox Connect X-2 10Gb/e Ethernet Card
    10x HGST 4TB DeskStar NAS drives (in RAIDz2 for 32TB of "usable space")
    3x Toshiba 1TB Laptop Drives (ZFS Mirror w/Snapshots for Critical Document storage)
    3x Western Digital 4TB Green Drives (ZFS Mirror for non-Critical document storage)

    These two machines are linked directly via 10Gb/e, and the ESXi box also uplinks to the switch via 10Gb/e.

    Read/Write speeds on the big array. Looks like CIFS appears to peg out at about 2.8Gb/s, so I didnt see much improvement in CIFS reads, but writes went up a bit. I have not done AFP and NFS testing yet, but the native read/writes will greatly improve ZFS housekeeping times.
    Code:
    TQ mid plane (new):
    		Write		Read
    Native		7.675Gb/s	8.624Gb/s
    CIFS		2.496Gb/s	2.784Gb/s
    
    EL Mid plane (old):
    		Write		Read
    Native		5.328Gb/s	6.96Gb/s
    CIFS		1.984Gb/s	2.776Gb/s
    While the speed bump is definitely nice.. the fact that each drive has its own dedicated (and unmoving) wire back to the motherboard.. greatly increases the stability of ZFS across reboots. When I lost power three times in one day, giving me an interesting day trying to keep the array stable.

  5. #5
    "Proby" yaya's Avatar
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    Nice, I like seeing other people's home setups.

    Over the years I've been getting rid of my rackmount stuff and consolidating equipment. I'll have to get some pics after I finish moving my NAS to it's new home in the next week or so.

    I'm going from a 42U Cisco rack full of old enterprise hardware to a homemade 14U rack to a 6U wallmount network rack and a small form factor NAS (with a pair of Intel NUCs running a xenserver pool for VMs).

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    Wow man. That all went over my head but it's clear you guys look after your internetz like you do your subaru's. Rad stuff.

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    "Proby" yaya's Avatar
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    Here's my little home setup.



    Whole house is wired with at least 2 cat6 drops in each room.

    Top to bottom
    UPS for network
    OBIHAI OBI202 (Google talk voip)
    Raspberry Pi Zero (Pi hole)
    Ubiquiti ERPOE-5 (also powering Obiquiti UAP wireless ap)
    Netgear 24 port gigabit switch
    24 port patch panel
    2x Intel NUC (i5, 16gb ram and 250gb ssds)
    Freenas box (3x4tb in raidz1)

    Currently does everything I need it to do, is pretty quiet (would be practically silent with a new fan in the switch), and only draws 92 watts at idle.

    The NUCs run a windows 7 VM to handle usenet downloads and various Linux VMs for tinkering. The freenas box handles all my storage and serves up Plex for streaming media (Atom C2750 board with 16gb ECC ram).

    Other than some cable management, I'm pretty happy with this setup for now. Though, I'll likely snag a quiet scythe 40mm fan for the switch.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Dead91silvia's Avatar
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    Wow... you guys are hard core! I have a Comcast router and a HP laptop... there, I'm done. Oh, I do have a couple external hard drives. haha :P

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    My computer was a Stop & Shop Point-of-Sale terminal that a friend rescued from the scrap heap. upgraded a few internals, loaded up a bootleg copy of Windows 7, and gave it to me. My home setup is that, a Charter router, an external CD drive and an HP printer that I can't get the computer to connect to except through the wi-fi.

    Total cost? Zero.
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  11. #11
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Huh.. apparently I never updated this thread. My storage system went through some fairly significant changes about 6 months ago, where I actually downsized (somewhat) the storage machine. Instead of the 24-bay Supermicro SC846, I now have a 16-bay Supermicro SC836. I was able to resell the SC846 along with its replacement higher-performance midplane for quite a bit more than I originaly spent on them.

    I am still using the same ESXi box right now, but I will likely be moving to a smaller and lower power server at some point in the near future. I did also upgrade the switch to a MicroTik CRS226-24G-2S+RM, which has 24 Gigabit ports and 2 10 Gigabit SFP+ ports.



    Dell Compellant CT-040 (rebranded Supermicro SC836TQ)
    Supermicro X8DT6-F Motherboard
    1x Intel Xeon L5630 2.13GHz Quad Core CPUs
    6x 8GB DDR3L-1066 Registered ECC (48GB total)
    2x Dell PERC H310 HBAs reflashed to LSI 9211-8i in IT mode (total of 16 6GB/s SATA/SAS ports)
    Mellanox Connect X-2 10Gb/e Ethernet Card
    10x HGST 4TB DeskStar NAS drives (in RAIDz2 for 32TB of "usable space")
    3x Toshiba 1TB Laptop Drives (ZFS Mirror w/Snapshots for Critical Document storage)
    3x Western Digital 4TB Green Drives (ZFS Mirror for non-Critical document storage)

    This all said, I am working on "downsizing" the setup in physical size. The 24U rack is likely going to be going away fairly soon, as I am working on building shelves under my basement stairs for the two servers, and the rest will be wall-mounted over where my Satellite/cable wiring currently is.

    This will be updated as that plan unfolds.

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