Thursday, February 27, 2014

serve me up

It's been too long since I last blogged. Since then, I bought an Apple Xserve as well as two Apple Xserve RAID boxes. The idea is so I may have ALL my images online so I may access them as needed. Prior to this, I had (and still have) all the images archived to CD or DVD. I never liked the idea of archiveing to DVD simply for the fact that if I lose one CD, I lose around 50 images. If I lose a DVD I could lose as much as 300 images. And what I mean by lose is one CD or DVD becomes unreadable for some reason or another. But now with my Nikon D800 and it's crazy large file size, DVD's make more sense. Still, I have to catalog the DVD and retrive it off a shelf to access the images I may be in need of. OR I could archive to DVD then copy the images over to my RAID box and use Adobe LightRoom to catalog the RAID and access the image files as needed. The cool thing about using a Xserve and RAID is even though it somewhat old (OK VERY old in computer years) it's still useful and relativley cheap for what you get. I have about $32K in hardware if bought new for around $1,700.00. Currently, my server has 18 terabytes of storage. and really I could have more if (when) I replace all the 500GB drives with 750GB drives. It would give me 25TB total.
I have been watching ebay daily for deals on Apple Drive Modules (AMD) for the Xserve and RAIDs. I have been able to buy brand new, still in a box 500GB ADM's for as little as $25.00 I picked up a lot of three 500GB ADM new in boxes for $90.00 for the three with free shipping. This is one way I have been able to fill all fourteen drive bas in the two RAID boxes for less than five hundred dollars. I have gotten brand new 750GB drives for as low as $35.00 with free shipping. The Xserve is a "Late 2006 Quad core" model that came with two 2.66GHz Dual core XEON processors. Again, off ebay, I was able to buy a matched set of two 3.0GHz dual core XEON processors for $7.00 ea. that and some thermal paste and she is running like a top! I got a quad channel fiber card for $100.00 SCORE! All of this hardware is packed in a 9U server rack I picked up off Craigslist for $40.00 And it was just a few blocks away from my house. I'm running cat6 and cat5E cables I picked up from the Computer Goodwill store in Austin. The server is running OSX 10.6.8 server which is fairly straightforward but I've had to brush up on my UNIX skills quite a bit. It has been both a breeze and a challenge setting it up and I am learning a lot working on it.