Home Servers – The shit under my stairs

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I get asked a lot about the shit under my stairs. It’s not particularly interesting, but I thought I should blog about it. I run a grossly over-complicated network with various servers, under my stairs. This is largely as a learning exercise but it runs some semi-serious stuff, like my e-mail.

Here’s an image (click on it to make it bigger). Below is the key:

Home Servers
Home Servers
  1. 1500VA UPS. This powers everything in the picture. I haven’t tested the lifetime of the UPS when the power goes off but I guess it’d hold out for about 5-10 mins.
  2. Netgear GS724T Switch. This is a Gigabit managed switch providing switched VLANs to the network.
  3. Watchguard Firebox X700 converted to run Pfsense. This provides routing, firewalling, Internet connection failover, VPN, bandwidth monitoring, etc.
  4. Windows Server 2008 R2 server. I don’t have this running because it sounds like a jet plane and I don’t really have a use for a Windows server.
  5. Dell server running Debian Linux. I use this for network storage as well as backups of the Linux server (#7) and other remote servers. This is also an Asterisk server running my phones. The Asterisk server is grossly overkill as I rarely use my house phones, however it was a good learning exercise to experiment with it.
  6. Power distribution unit (PDU). I acquired this as a serial controlled remotely rebootable unit, however it had a habit of cutting off randomly. I re-wired it into a simple logicless distributor.
  7. Server running Debain Linux. I use this for web development, e-mail, connecting to ssh servers, IRC, DNS and plenty of other stuff.
  8. BT Openreach VDSL2 (FTTC) modem. This is my primary Internet connection, clocking at around 40mbit down and 10mbit up.
  9. D-Link ADSL modem. This is my backup Internet connection, clocking at around 18mbit down and 448kbit up. Avid readers of my blog (lol) will notice the irony of me using this, having ranted about how shit it is. It’s currently ticking over ok when put in bridge mode and dialing PPPoE through it.
  10. Patch panel for the phones. It has 2 analogue lines coming in and 2 phone sockets going out. These are all connected via the Asterisk server (#5).
  11. Another patch panel for the data ports around the house (9 of them).


And that’s what the shit under my stairs is.


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