Not a lab but noteworthy anyway
The servers’n’sofas challenge also scared up few entries that aren’t labs, but deserve a mention.
John Robson’s rig, which he used to do some serious work on Seti@Home, represents the most unusual location, as is visible below.
John Robson's alien-finding home lab
The rig is defunct but once comprised 17 PCs “from a P166 (on firewall duties) to a Dual CPU P III 800 (the 1GHz Athlon (water email@example.comGHz) downstairs, all on a 10MB hub (not switch) and running flat out doing SETI@Home processing, with a local data cache of three days.”
John notes: “17 PCs in a one bedroom flat was a little excessive, and it has mostly been donated/mothballed.”
We’re happy about that, as the roof cavity location of John’s lab looks a far from ideal location for a computer of any sort, never mind 17 humming away producing heat.
John worried about that too, telling us “the tallest machine (on the left) used to run a little warm - the case still has rubber embedded into the top from when the feet of the keyboard melted.”
David Given had the most exotic rig, as the server he has set up to drive his website and do what he calls “the usual routing/caching/proxying/firewalling/fileserving roles” has a motherboard built from “a customised Mele A1000 set-top box, based on a Cortex-A8 ARM core with 512MB RAM. For storage it has a 64GB Kingston SSD and 2TB Seagate spinning disk.
“The big black square on top which makes it hard to photograph is a sound-absorbing baffle made out of a neoprene mouse pad. The console is an old laptop plugged in via USB.”
Ashley Black runs a mail server VPN he uses to access resources at work and a home network from “the little under-stairs cupboard that even Harry Potter would find cramped.”
J.J. Green sent a shot of a defunct under-the-stairs lab that included a stuffed soft toy penguin, which seems fitting and earns him a mention.
Lastly, let’s all bask in the diagrammatic glory of Tim Stone’s effort.
All this to trade shares
Tim was the only one to send us a network diagram. It depicts a rig he uses for day trading.
The Reg wishes Tim and all those who took time to send us descriptions and images of their home labs all the best with their efforts. And their power bills. ®
Clues you spend too much time in the DC
Your home rig has the following:
- No dust
- You worry that even though you've got dual power lines, they're i) 13A not three phase and ii) coming out the same socket
- Your patch cables are bought by length (or better still - custom made) , to ensure no unnecessary slack at the bottom of the cabinet. Naturally, they are all colour-coded from the same reel. You notice when one is not the right shade of blue, so you replace it.
- The patch panel itself is also obsessively tidy
- far too many cable ties in use...but damn, its so tidy and routed perfectly you'll be diagnosed as OCD by a non-IT person. You actually look forward to adding a new U, because it means you can redo the routing, and perhaps improve on it.
- You worry about airflow, and wonder how you'll get cold air retro-fitted into the garage floor
- You used a spirit level to setup the cabinet, and a ruler to measure the height from the floor
- You actually DR test your cabinet, and actively monitor your UPS's for capacity. Even if you only have 4U's worth of kit.
- You keep the 1U blanks in place for empty slots, rationalising this decision for "airflow" reasons
- Your server fronts are millimetre perfectly aligned in all 3 dimensions. And the plastic blanks too. That plastic front panel that sits at a 0.5' angle because of a poor fit, actually has you considering replacing it.
What, no photo?
I see that the photo of my set-top-box seems to be missing --- probably a conspiracy of some kind, you know how it goes. Here it is:
(Served from the machine, naturally.)
The writeup also neglects to mention the 100% organic hydrocarbon biodegradable backplace. In other words, it's nailed to a plank.
...and then sat there waiting for training that would never come. And then wondered why your self-taught colleagues who have home labs were getting all the primo overtime. And then posted a stupid snark on a tech site.