So far I have been using my big quadcore machine as a desktop and as a server at the same time. With the Q6600 processor with four cores, it was hardly doing anything for the vast majority of the time. As I also use it as my digital video recorder (thanks to MythTV) it has been running 24/7 using quite a bit of power. The latest energy bill and a recent discussion in my group of friends on how to reduce consumption of resources led me to change this setup.
Out of curiosity I had been looking into the Mini-ITX formfactor before and thought it would be the right way to go. After a few evenings of research I found the perfect mainboard for my needs. An Intel Atom based Mini-ITX board with integrated powersupply and completely passive cooling (Intel D945GSEJT). Combined with a slow spinning 1GB harddrive (Samsung EcoGreen HD103UI) this server would hardly emit any noise.
I ordered all components online and when I got the last part (the mainboard of course 😉 ) putting everything together was just a thing of minutes. Installing a console Ubuntu system is quite a routine for me and only took a few moments. Of course installing all the services that had previously been running on my desktop took some more time:
- NFS Server for my files
- Digital TV (DVB-S) using MythTV
- SqueezeCenter for the SqueezeBox in my sleepingroom
- E-Mail server using fetchmail and DOVECOT IMAP
- Subversion server via SSH
- Apache2 webserver providing the following web-interfaces
MythWeb for managing my recordings remotely
RoundCube for IMAP
PHPMyAdmin for MySQL maintenance
WebSVN for Subversion repository browsing
Munin for systemÂ statistics
So far everything proved to run reliable and best of all: The whole shebang only uses about 20W compared to 160W the desktop is using. The next thing I’ll have to do is to create a simple enclosure as I am not convinced by the Mini-ITX cases you can buy off the shelf.