Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home Network Changes

For the past few months I've been using an SMC-D3G DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway for my Internet service at home.  It's a solid box but unlike my SMC8014 DOCSIS 2.0 cable gateway, I wasn't able to get it provisioned with a static IP.  The bottleneck in my Internet access isn't the gateway so much as my WiFi LAN, so I decided to go back to the 8014 with its static IP.  Which leads me to my second change ...

Today I placed an order with Tiger Direct for an Intel 945GCLF2 barebones kit.  This is a Mini-ITX format system on which I'll be installing Linux to run as a headless web and email server.  The dual core Atom should provide more than enough horsepower for my needs, and the 2 GB of RAM will also be plenty.

To round out the box I also ordered a 320 GB Western Digital SATA drive.  I won't be installing an optical drive.  To install Linux I'll use an LG USB DVD burner I picked up last Fall from NewEgg, and I'll temporarily connect the box to a monitor and keyboard.

When looking at hardware I wanted something small, cheap, quiet and with low power consumption.  The other main contender was an MSI Wind nettop barebones system from NewEgg.  Based on experience with a similar machine I built for my MIL towards the end of 2008 it would have worked just fine.  However, but after adding 2 GB of RAM and a hard disk the combo deal at Tiger Direct was cheaper.

My intended use for the new system will be to host a couple of low traffic web sites, email, and general experimentation.  For the distro I'm leaning towards 64 bit CentOS, which from what I've read runs well on this hardware.

For security, the new machine will get assigned a routable public IP (it'll still be firewalled), while the rest of my home LAN will run on a private, RFC-1918 compliant IP space.

I haven't run a server at home for a few years, this should be fun.

No comments: