Updating and rearranging of the home network

I had an opportunity to re-organize my network a bit and update it since purchasing some new devices and retiring the old Dell PowerEdge server that I’ve used for awhile. So, I thought I would share the new setup.

First, the wireless router is an SMCWGBR14-N Barricade™ N ProMax Wireless 4-port Gigabit Broadband Router. So far this has been a wonderful device with great range and high speeds. You can check out the link for the specs but basically it has all the basic features you would want. I had been using it as a print server and it does OK as one but not great. Beyond that there are filters, logs, and nice easy pre-made firewall rules.

Next, the core of the new network is an Iomega StorCenter ix2-200. Sadly, I bought one for home and one for work and both shipped DOA, requiring replacement parts before I could use them. However, the tech support is pretty good and they all speak excellent English which is helpful when diagnosing unusual hardware failures. This little fella has 2 terabytes of storage but I use it in the RAID 1 array (mirroring) across the 2 disks reducing it to a "mere" 1 terabyte of space. I love that it supports every imaginable network sharing protocol including NFS, SMB, iSCSI, Apple’s AFP, and others. It also has a Bittorrent client built-in which I will likely start using a fair amount to help share legally available software. Setting up users and shares was very easy and I could go on for pages on all of it’s features (but I won’t). Suffice to say, it runs linux and it rocks! It also works with a UPS which brings me to the last piece.

I have an APC Back-UPS XS 1300VA LCD. This little beauty only lasted 10-15 minutes when connected to my Dell Poweredge. But now, connected to just the core networking devices, it’s good for 140 minutes. It is also now connected to the StorCenter so that if it reaches the end of it’s life it can signal the StorCenter to shutdown cleanly. It provides some nice information on power usage and voltage information so you can see how clean the current coming in is.

Finally, our two printers are both connected to the StorCenter now which made connecting to the printers as easy as browsing to them in Windows or connecting to an SMB printer share in linux. It went very cleanly and easily. We have a black and white laser for most jobs and a color inkjet for when color is needed.

I did all of the firmware updates on the StorCenter and wireless router tonight. The processes went well although I made sure to back up the settings first just in case. The web sites I had been hosting on the server are now on GoDaddy and the cost of those sites is less than the cost of electricity for the server so that all worked out well. It has also simplified my life greatly. If there is an e-mail or website problem, I just call GoDaddy and they fix it. Not my problem anymore. I like it! 🙂

About Michael Wigle

I am a servant of Christ who is married and has two children and one grandchild. For employment, I am the IT Manager and the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. I also have a wide variety of interests from economics to politics to caving.
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