Feeds

How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Running an internet biz on sunshine and *nix

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Lessons Learned

After a year of relatively reliable and silent operation, the SheevaPlug hosts all my main Internet-facing servers in the space of a pack of cards and consumes less power than a typical PC in standby!

I'm glad that I went in two steps via the Linux laptop else the effort might have been overwhelming; the SheevaPlug has been in the end just more of the same, evolution not revolution.

I need to resolve the USB flash issue one way or another: maybe by experimenting with a different brand of drive, or a different file system (such as btrfs), or even by trying out a purpose-built SSD external USB drives. I want to find out why I'm seeing this transient flaky behaviour.

I may also try having a second SheevaPlug mirror come on as "dump load" when the sun is out and the batteries are full, to provide more bandwidth to users and make use of the otherwise "lost" energy. I have a spare sitting waiting, and at only about £100 why not?

Memory and storage have been the unexpected jokers in the migration from a bank of conventional Sun Solaris servers down to a single embedded Linux box. But for a couple of orders of magnitude of reduction in energy consumption saving the better part of £1,000 every year, the liberation of a room in our smallish house, and quite a lot of fun, I'd be happy to do the project all over again. And if a lower-power successor with just a bit more memory becomes available, maybe I will... ®

For more gruesome detail see my more detailed SheevaPlug write-up, and its predecessor, the Linux laptop.

Damon Hart-Davis is an IT consultant who has spent most of the past 15 years in the City, with a long-standing interest in small and low-power devices and various flavours of UNIX. He founded one of the first British ISPs, virtual credit card company, and once edited a supercomputer magazine.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.