Last week the storage rack and UPS arrived so I had quite a lot of work to do.
First, the UPS arrived, an APC Smart UPS SUA 750 RM 2U. The device was really heavy and was quite some work to it installed into the storage rack. After installing it there was a problem with the power connector at the back probably to a loose contact but I managed to solve that by opening up the UPS and pressing the internal connection to the power sockets a bit harder.
After that, the problem was to get the interaction with the UPS to work. Luckily, there is the apcupsd daemon which worked straight out of the box. Power loss was immediately detected and after the configured timeout the shutdown of the server was triggered. However, the last part of the shutdown process to terminate the power from the UPS itself did not work. That part is essential in case the server should reboot again when the power comes back up. Luckily, that problem was easily fixed by modifying the configuration of apcupsd to trigger the shutdown of the UPS a bit earlier in the shutdown sequence. That approach works because the UPS itself also has a delay before it actually terminates the power.
So now the UPS is working fine. Really cool to pull out the power plug and seeing everything just continue to run. Then the orderly shutdown of the PC after which the UPS shuts down the power. In the mean time, there are all kinds of beeps and flickering lights, which is always nice to see for a gadget freak like me. At least the server and especially the disk array is protected.
After that, I installed the addonics storage rack. First of course, I had to install the fanless Silverstone ST45NF power supply which was also quite difficult because the manual of the storage rack wasn't really clear on how what should be connected. After 2 hours of trying, testing, and googling however I also got that to work.
Then the next problem occurred. Everything worked but was there a jet fighter flying over my house? No, it was just the fans making an enormous amount of noise. A few days ago I got some quiet fans to fix the problem. I also replaced the fan on the disk array 3SA that I used from my old addonics storage tower. This was quite adventurous. Replacing the fan itself was easy but the power connector did not fit, so instead of connecting it to the disk array I connected it to the thermal management card of the storage tower. That in turn caused a led on the front of the array to glow red which is inconvenient. I then decided to kill the LED but to do this I had to remove a connector which was unreachable. So I screwed open the disk array further and could remove the led connector. That, however, caused another problem as it was now almost impossible to reassemble it. To reassemble it, I had to open the disk array even further until I had it almost disassembled to the basic parts. Staying calm however, I managed to put everything back together and had a working solution.
The storage rack now consists of, from left to right, a addonics snap-in SATA mobile rack and the 3SA disk array. The first component makes it easy to insert arbitrary SATA drives and I am using that for backups. To support these backups I got some two 1 TB disks of which always one will be stored at another location. An older 400GB maxtor disk is now used as the storage for the VCR so I now have an additional 200GB of space for recordings.
All in all a great improvement. A quiet storage rack, complete server backups for the first time, 19'' standardized components, and robust power. The next step will be a new server but that will take some more time. First Intel will have to release the new low power Intel Xeon L5520 processor (expected end of this month), and then I will have to wait sometime for the prices to drop. Right now, I am very happy with the system I have so I intend to keep it as it is for a longer period of time and focus on other things. One of those things is focussing a bit more on my software activities. Still have to do a lot of reading on OSGI and need to find out how my own IOC framework could integrate with that.