Two years have passed since the family and I moved into our current home, meaning we’re now 1/15th of the way through paying the mortgage. One of the many things I’ve learned over these last 24 months is that a house is never “done”. There’s always something that needs attention. Whether it’s the yard or the cleaning or new appliances or some unexpected thing, there’s yet to be a time where I’ve been able to stand back and say “The house is done! … which has me wondering about the future as the house begins to deteriorate due to ageing and a teenaged boy being rough on everything.

One item that I’ve been considering as a near-future project is building a proper space for some servers. At the moment there are three servers in this house in three locations to reduce heat and sound. Ideally these would all be in the same cool location sharing a UPS1. To accomplish this, I’ve been considering a half-rack that could handle some mounted machines in the future. Given their size, it would need to be in my workspace — where Nozomi sleeps — and that means there will be fur to contend with. To handle the fur, some filters could be mounted to the sides of the rack, but this would also trap heat; a serious problem that results in the servers running incredibly hot without load during the summer months.

A first-world problem, for sure.

Another part of me wonders if it would be better to just get a bookshelf, like I have now, and have all the machines in there down in the workspace. A bookshelf would be much nicer to look at than a metal cage full of computers. More than this, the bookshelf would be cheaper, easier to repurpose in the future, and could hold some of the many, many, many notebooks I’ve written in and filled over the years. There would still be the matter of dog fur to contend with, but perhaps some filter sheets would look better on a piece of furniture than a brick-like metal cage.

The overarching goal is to have all the technology in a single, easy to reach location so that fewer wires are seen and fewer fingers can create problems. Maybe I’m just overthinking the issue.

  1. Uninterruptible Power Supply. This is basically a backup battery in the event of a power failure. There is one connected to the network equipment and the main web server, but it would be nice to have everything properly surge protected with enough juice to go four or five hours without main power. Right now everything is good for up to six thanks to an APC UPS in the closet.