Feeds

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

Running an internet biz on sunshine and *nix

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.