Kevin's picture

I have added this post for anyone who might be interested in a small box.

I have a fixed ip address with my broardband and could not see the point of paying for hosting my web sites or for my site development space.

so I built a small server.

First of all you have to think of what you are going to do with the appliance, and where you are going to use it.

I have built a small server for a few websites, nas box and mail server.

Hardware most from EBay (Can be a risk but bid low to avoid big losses)

Case : small ITX

Cpu : Celeron D 3.2 Ghz

Main Board : Zotac NForce 610i-ITX (bought new from computer supplier)

Ram : 2 Gigs DDR2 800

Aditional Cards : SATA Compact Flash Reader

Storage : 16 GB Compact Flash Card (For the OS)

1 TB SATA Harddrive for Non OS data.

1 DVD Writer For installing and Burning Backups etc.

The most expensive item out of the list was the main 1 TB harddrive.

Once the system was installed  I noticed that it took longer for the bios to post boot than the Server to load wich is around 15 seconds.

There is also one advantage of using ITX 

Low power  mine runs on a 250 watt psu, also if the case you purchase has no room for a conventional psu you will have to purchase an external unit with the module that connects to the main board and disc drives.

This is not such a bad thing as with an external psu you have the potential to add a battery pack inline as a ups. The only complications with this is that a higher current psu would be  needed around 1Amp higher than needed for conventional connection to PC. This is for trickle charging the batteries. Also a few extra plugs and sockets and some electronic components for the charging circuit. If you live in the right area you can also go green and use solar power to run your server.

Now this Is Going to the extream but the external psu that run most of these small Itx systems is 12 Volts which happens to be the same as the router and the cable or dsl modems.

as long as you calculate the total current used for all 12 volt devices one could run the server, router and modem off the Psu, battery backup and solar system.

Lets not forget you can also get small wind generators.

Liraz Siri's picture

Thanks for sharing Kevin and sorry for the late reply. Your post seems to have fallen between the cracks and gotten lost.

One thing that came to my mind as I was reading this was whether or not assembling your own hardware from bits and pieces was worth it. Was saving money your primary goal (and if so how much did you save), or did you just do it for fun.

Kevin's picture

The whole idea of the server is to make it easier to roll out websites.

What I do is have the domain mapped to my server

then create the virtual server to do the work on it.

Now this is where I do not use ftp etc.

I have installed samba onto the server box and all of the site folders are accessable via my internal network

so basically its a matter of drag and drop for joomla etc templates and graphic images where needed.

All I have to worry about is making sure that when I add a new module or component they are writable.

The whole thing when working is faster than ftp.

Now the cost of the server was around £200 but most of that was for the hdds

Now if this was just a web server then that would be a possible large expence.

but I am able to also use the server as a NAS box which is a bonus when for a good one would cost more than I invested.

Also with the way I have gone using ITX the system can be modded to run on 12 volt, and with a few solar panels or small wind generator can also be eco.

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