14 October 2014
I've just switched all the website hosted on my garage server over to a new 12 volt low power "server" which runs off my solar system.
Last night was the first night running everything on the new set-up - and it all seemed to run fine. The batteries were back up to 100% charge by 8am so it looks like the whole arrangement will cope with a string of bad weather without straining the batteries.
Up til now I've been running a handful of website from a HP Prolient G3 rack server that I bought for $35 off Trade Me. It's a great old machine for running very simple websites with dual hot swapable hard drives, but it was pretty power hungry and sounded like a jet engine (which is why it's living in the garage).
The new "server" is a QOTOM-T250C dual lan mini itx pc with Intel Celeron processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD. I'll add a second 32GB SSD at some point to make a RAID array. For a display I'm using a 7 inch LCD car monitor which is also powered from 12 volts DC.
The server OS is SME-Server - a very easy to install Linux server which comes with all the web server software installed.
This setup perfectly illustrates a dilemma you can see over and over - cheap stuff often has higher running costs so costs more in the long run.