Buying Things: Phase 1

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Phase 1 of network upgrades: buying some things!

I’m almost to the point where the NAS can actually be installed, configured, and tested with some existing drives.

New NAS hardware

I ended up buying a used server with the following specs via Ebay:

Project “Quieten the NAS”

Unsurprisingly, this machine is quite loud. A lot of research led me to some good ideas for quietening the machine while keeping it at acceptable temperatures, notably this very useful YouTube video. I bought a few things so far:

Unfortunately, Amazon have somehow managed to get the 120mm fan order stuck in fulfillment limbo and they haven’t even SHIPPED after a week 😒

Other NAS bits and pieces

Network pieces

I finally decided on something to run pfSense or OPNsense for routing:

A rack… sort of

Cheap racks tend to be low quality and difficult to ship, and good quality cabinets are a bit too expensive right now. Thanks to posts on r/homelab I found a solution that will work for now, won’t break the bank, and will be reusable in the future: restaurant shelving 😅

… for a total of $115 shipped (inc. CA tax). Fits in the available space, strong enough to support heavy servers (much higher weight limits than cheap 4-post racks), and enough shelves to fit 2 servers + networking gear + printer + wifi + store some bits and pieces.

Cables, exciting!

Rearranging things

  • Removed the existing 50ft ethernet cable and ran the 2x 75ft ones. This was quite a workout, especially when I moved everything back and realized that I hadn’t actually left enough slack to connect the cables 😫
  • Moved the router/WAP next to my computer where the “rack” will end up. Orange cable from modem to router, purple cable from router all the way back to the TV switch.
  • Removed the 5 port switch that was connecting our desktops to the network, they’re directly connected to the router for now.

Next steps

Probably have to wait a while to buy anything else, especially the drives. Hoping that external drives get solid discounts during Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales!

  • Install the new CPU coolers in the NAS.
  • Install FreeNAS on the NAS.
  • Install pfSense or OPNsense on the new router machine.
  • Work out cable management with the shelving.
  • Move the UPS over to the shelving.
  • Buy a small UPS for the modem, maybe?
  • Buy a “new” network switch. Currently leaning towards a used Brocade/Ruckus ICX 7150 24- or 48-port PoE model if I can find one at a reasonable price. Very solid hardware, full L3 capabilities, and a convenient silent mode to run without fans until we need more than 150W of PoE.
  • Buy some more RAM for the NAS, ideally taking it to 64GB.
  • Buy 3x 10GbE NICs - 2 for servers, 1 for my workstation.
  • Buy drives 💸