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Thread: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

  1. #1
    Water Cooled silverdemon's Avatar
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    Default Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Hey guys, long time no see! This project is something that I began with a couple of months ago, and itíll probably take me another couple of months to complete. Not because itís a big project or anything, just because I donít have enough time to work on this mod. Also because I already have a server and it is not necessary to complete this one very soon. So donít expect me to work on this very often.


    This is not my own picture, but it is the same type of switch.

    Anyways, I got this NETWORK SWITCH from a friend of mine. I wanted to use it bus then I saw it was only a 10Mbps switch, so no good. Then my roommate came with a nice VIA motherboard with soldered in processor (a M789,picture below). This processor has a very tiny heatsink and fan on it and thatís good, because it doesnít need anything bigger! (itís VIA)


    This is a picture of the VIA M789, ripped it from the interweb.

    Sow the basic idea is to mount this board inside the housing of the network switch. I measured it and it should fit, but only justÖ It requires some modding before it does. I probably should tell you the dimensions of the casing: width: 43cm/17in height: 4.2cm/1.6in depth: 25cm/10in. For now I only have some SolidWorks drawings of the lay-out of the part inside the housing.


    This is how the exterior should look (maybe Iíll have to paint itÖ)


    Hereís the lay-out I had in mind.


    A nice 3D-view of the thing.


    I just love SolidWorks. The details in this render are sooo nice


    Another artistic view, in the front you can see the external power connector and a HDD. In the back you can see the PicoPSU.

    Some specs of the system:
    processor: VIA C3 800MHz
    memory: DDR (256MB, I'll see what I have laying around)
    PSU: PicoPSU* (otherwise it wonít fit)
    HDDs: not decided (probably just some I have laying around)
    other: custom made power buttons and status LEDs at the front panel
    * The PicoPSU will require a power adapter because it runs on 12V, this adapter will have to fit in the space behind the motherboard.

    Thatís about it for now, let me know what you think! Any suggestions or comments are welcome. I also donít have a theme for it (colors and stuff) so ideas on that are also welcome.

  2. #2
    Spam Sniper SgtM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    That looks pretty sweet! Can't wait to see the build get underway.

  3. #3
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    I'd say add a USB hub into the enclosure as well, and a 1gigabit 5 port switch, and you are set.

    Any plans for the OS on this beast?

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

  4. #4
    Water Cooled silverdemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke122 View Post
    I'd say add a USB hub into the enclosure as well, and a 1gigabit 5 port switch, and you are set.

    Any plans for the OS on this beast?
    No plans on the OS yet, I think windows Home Server would be great. Only thing is that it can only just run at these specs, which means the server will get slow. Maybe I'll have to try linux or something, haven't decided yet.

    On the usb and network idea: it's only a 800MHz system so don't expect wonders of it. I've already got two USB-ports, one will probably be for a printer.

    I think I will use this thing only as a file- and back-up server. Gigabyte LAN would be nice, but where can I put it? there's no room to put in any PCI card or someting. And also I don't think I can use the full bandwidth due to the other specs of the system.

  5. #5
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    My bad, I thought that board had gigabit lan. Ok, then a small 4 or 5 port 10/100 switch in the case will allow you to plug other devices into it, and access stuff on this server. It will also mean less external wiring mess.

    As for the 2 usb ports, the USB hub will use one of them to give you 4 more, so that's not really an issue.

    You could always run Windows 2000 server on it, there's enough power there to do that, and that board will support up to 2gb ram as well, so there's plenty of room for growth.

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

  6. #6
    SOB Fettler xmastree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Why not run freesco on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by aintnothang View Post
    Think of a way to simulate a real bullet hole, like shooting it.

  7. #7
    ATX Mental Case tinker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Thats a really cool idea.
    They build sooo much extra space into the rack-mount switches which makes for a great project like this.
    I may have to do something similar to this but keep the ethernet ports intact.

    I really shouldn't go on this site as much. Its draining my wallet.
    haha.

    ...definitely will keep posted.

  8. #8
    Water Cooled silverdemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Quote Originally Posted by tinker View Post
    ...They build sooo much extra space into the rack-mount switches...
    Well, actually, the motherboard does not even fit in this housing. I will have to apply force (or mod the housing) for it to make it fit. And even then every mm will count! The main issue is the height; the audio ports on the 'backpanel' (now in the front) are a bit too tall. I can show a render when I'm back at my room, but that will be after the weekend (have to visit your parents some times...)

    as for the OS on the thing: I like to keep everything open. A linux of some kind might be nice, though I'm not an expert at linux. Once I tried to connect my linux pc to an XP machine over the network and couldn't even get the shares to work That's probably me though

  9. #9
    Project: Elegant-Li The boy 4rm oz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    That looks very cool, awesome idea. I am looking forward to see how this goes.
    Project: Elegant-Li *NEW*
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  10. #10
    Water Cooled silverdemon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Network Switch -> Low Power Mini-Server

    Right, I did some thinking during studying and I might go for a white case with blue accents. The render below show how I had it in mind. I thought about pearlecent white and metallic blue paints. I do think there should be some kind of graphic on the top of the case and maybe even one on the frontpanel. Tell me what you think...



    Quote Originally Posted by silverdemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tinker View Post
    ...They build sooo much extra space into the rack-mount switches...
    Well, actually, the motherboard does not even fit in this housing... The main issue is the height; the audio ports on the 'backpanel' (now in the front) are a bit too tall. I can show a render when I'm back at my room...
    Here's a render of the front panel straight from the front. The green line is where the edge of the housing starts. You can see that the audio-ports on the backpanel are about 0.5mm too high to fit in the housing. So I have that much space! Actually I meassured it, I have exactly 41 mm of space between the top and bottom of the casing...


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