December 2000


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Revision 4: December 2000

  December saw a few minor improvements, primarily the addition of a new development workstation.


Name: MainDev
Dual PIII-800, 256Mb RAM
30Gb IDE hard drive, IDE DVD

Along with the workstation came the first LCD monitor, a ViewSonic VP181, using DVI directly from the video card - all digital, no stops.

Two more APC 1U 450VA UPS added - one for the workstation, the other for the network hardware, after experiencing a power outage and watching all the servers work happily along, with no network.

An SMC 8 port switch was added to the top of the rack, the DSL modem routed through it. This provided a simple way to get at the Internet directly - the DSL service I purchased provides five "real" IPs, the LinkSys router uses one of them. 

A second LCD panel, this one a ViewSonic VG151 was installed for the secondary console, along with a small wireless keyboard. The VG151 was mounted to an ICW Ultra 210 swing arm, which allowed it to be swung around nearly 180 degrees, so that the secondary console was usable both from in front of the rack and at the main station. The swing arm is actually mounted to the rack using a custom-made plate.

Also, it seemed like a good time to take some pictures of the rack:

Here's a top-to-bottom look at the rack as of December 2000. The desk is on the left, and the VG151 LCD panel on the swing arm is turned to face the rack. This is the fullest the rack had been to date!
Close up of the file server (Cartman). The bottom 4U case is the drive array, there are eight caddies, only four are filled with 80Gb Maxtor IDE drives. This solution isn't working reliably because the IDE cables are too long. The second case is the computer itself, with an APC 1U UPS above it.
SQL Server (Chef) and Web Server (Stan) - both in 4U cases, each has its own UPS. On the right of the rack is a vertical power strip. On the left is a finger duct cable channel - all non-AC wires run in the finger duct.
The top bit of the Web Server (Stan) is visible. Above Stan is the Kyle, the Exchange Server (I should have called it Mr. Hanky, it is a piece of shit). Above that is the main development workstation, a dual 800 Mhz PIII, 256Mb RAM running Windows 2000.
The two UPSes at the bottom cover the development workstation and the networking hardware. Above that is the Belkin 2x8 switch box - up to eight computers, with two consoles. Then there is one of two Ortronics horizontal cable channels, between which is the patch panel for the house - each room is wired to this panel. On the right side of the panel is the phone line and ADSL line connectors.
Top part of the rack - the networking gear. The 16 port SMC switch is on the bottom, its cables run into the cable channel just above the patch panel. The shelf holds a fax modem, cable modem and ADSL modem, along with two LinkSys NAT routers (one for each Internet connection) and a wireless gateway for 802.11b wireless networking. At the top is an eight port switch and cable channel - this is connected to the ADSL modem. My DSL service gives me five "real" IPs, only one of which is used by the LinkSys router. The eight port lets me access the Internet directly using the other IPs if I wish, without going through the router.

Problems with this revision:

Very low on space: 5Us left!
Need a backup solution, preferably a black, rack mount backup solution.