Feeds

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

Running an internet biz on sunshine and *nix

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.