Just throwing out a request for suggestions on further expansion of my server. I'm already set on the next couple of buys.. the HP Expander and the upgraded Xeon CPU, plus a few SAS cables and more RAM. But I'm going to be in the market for a few other pieces of gear.
1 - Rack
I've been keeping my eyes out on my local Craigslist to see if anybody happens to come up with something to reuse that's cheap. So far, the best thing I've seen is somebody's custom built plywood shelves on a set of 2x4's. So, not much. Sure, I've seen racks.. in the 42u range costing $300-400, that are rusted out, doors hanging off, etc. The GOOD racks are going for $500 or more. So I'm looking at the possibility of buying online. I really doubt I need a 42u size rack. Looking at options, I'm thinking a 15u rack would suit me just perfectly. My server is 4u, and if I upgrade to the point where I need another JBOD expansion case, it'll probably 4u too, so that's 8u's with 7 to spare. I figure 2u for a switch (see below) and 2u for a UPS (also below). That will leave me with 3u to spare. And that's a big IF on the extra case, so I may not even need something THAT big. So any suggestions? I'm seriously contending the one from Norco: (link). The only downside is a lot of people are giving it bad reviews. IstarUSA has one similar, but NewEgg has been out of stock for a while on it. Got any better ideas?
2 - Switch
I've never bought a switch and never really thought I needed one until here in the last couple of years. Typically, I've purchased a router to go from my Cable/DSL modem I've had, to the 2 computers in our house that would use them. Ok, that was it, and the classic 10/100 4-port router from NetGear worked great for that. I even learned the basics of file sharing on it. Then the day came that I had a PlayStation 2, and could hook it up to the internet also. Now I had 3 ports in use. Then I got an HDTV that had a network jack on it for upgrading the firmware (that's all it was for). So then I had 4 ports. Things moved along, and I got an iPod touch, with built in Wi-Fi. Uh Oh, 10/100 wired doesn't do wi-fi.. time to upgrade! Got a Linksys 4-port WiFi router. Same plugs for everything else, only now I got WiFi! Then comes the Xbox 360! Need another port for my Xbox now too. I decided to forget the TV's port and decided to use that. Ok. Then I decided the bandwith provided by the Linksys is too slow, time to upgrade to Wireless-N! Then came BluRay. Sure, the WiFi part works, but it slow and skips a lot streaming Netflix, so I'm swapping my Xbox and BluRay's Lan ports. Then Dad decided he didn't like having a network cable running across the hall, and we hooked him up wireless. Then he gets a Bluray player for the Living Room and goes wireless. Then I get a 2nd Xbox 360 (modded it) and have it wired. Then I start building a server (whs v1) and it's wired. Anyway, I keep getting more and more devices, but still only have 4 ports on my router (I've upgraded the router now by the way to a Netgear R6250). So the time has come for me research the purchase of a switch. To be 100% honest, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. I believe, based on what I've read, all I need is an unmanaged switch. Something I can connect my router to and just plug all my devices into. My new motherboard has 5 ports on it (IPMI and 4 LAN), my HTPC currently has 1, Xbox's each have 1, bluray has 1, Raspberry Pi2 has 1, dad's computer has 1. So that's 11 right there. I'm probably going to just get a 24-port switch rather than 16. The price difference is negligible, and I'll have the future proof benefits. The only thing is, do I WANT unmanaged or would managed be better for my basic home network? It's just going to be simple internet and file sharing. Since I've never owned a switch, I don't know how difficult it would be setting it up. Is it really as simple as plug and play? How do I assign IP addresses? How would I tell the router to forward the ports for Xbox Live to the Xbox when it's in the switch and not connected to the router directly? Would that even work? Do I need PoE? So yeah, need a little help.
3 - UPS
This is another device I've known about for a long time but never gave it much thought as something I should need. But considering the amount of money I'm spending trying to build a decent server, I'd really hate for it to all go kablooey because of a power outage during a storm or something. Right now, I have 2 power strips plugged into the same wall outlet (one for each plug, not daisy chained!). They both have surge protectors on them. However, I'm always scared when the power goes out that my stuff won't come back, because I've actually had 2 motherboards die on me in the past from storms (although that was back in dialup modem days). I'd like to ease my mind with a UPS, and have everything connected through that (computer wise, I'm not going all crazy with stuff like the TV, bluray player, etc). So if I understand correctly, the UPS is plugged into the wall, and stays charged. Power goes out, and UPS provides x amount of minutes (based on the draw of what's running from it). The UPS can tell the computer through USB that it is running, and tells the computer to shut down. This gives the computer a proper shut down, and eliminates the possibilities of corrupted files, damaged drives, blown out circuits. Power comes back, recharges battery, good for another day. If that sounds right, then I definitely want one. Since I'm going to get a rack, I might as well get a rackmount UPS. I'm thinking of this one (link) but I'm up to suggestions. This one is kinda expensive but is on sale right now. If it's on sale now, it will be again. There's other online stores too, so I'll look around. I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm on the right track.
4 - Miscellaneous
Is there something else I'm possibly over looking? Seems like a lot when it's all layed out, but it's really because I like to jabber on when I'm half asleep. It's kinda my way of forcing myself to stay awake, by drolling on and on. I'm really just looking for some advice of some basic equipment, and what the general idea for suggestions might be. I'm completely open on this aspect, since these are things to get in the far off future once I'm up and running with my server.