LAN Upgrade, Phase 1

I have compelted Phase 1 of the LAN Upgrade project. For those of you who don’t know [which would be most], I have come up with a plan to update the hardware and software of my home LAN [by LAN, I’m loosly referring to computers, networking equipment, and other accessories] in order to bring it into the next generation of technologies.

The Phased Approach

For Phase 1, I upgraded all my wired machines to 1GB from 100MB [this was a network upgrade for those of you who aren’t familiar with technologies – 10x faster than before]. That included a new GB switch to replace my old, reliable Netgear, new GB network cards for two of my machines, and a new KVM [again: for those that don’t know, this device allows me to use one keyboard, monitor and mouse to controll up to 8 machines at once]. I know, the KVM isn’t “network” gear, but it’s part of the overall purpose for this upgrade. My old KVM was putting not-so-faint lines on the screen and was interfereing with digital photo editing and generally giving me a bad picture.

And that brings us around to the core reason for the total upgrade: Digital Photography. I am running out of file storage space on my current server and was looking for a way to make the entire LAN more capable. Phase 1 was networking capacity and usability – it’ll be much quicker to access that file store now. Phase 2 will be a new file server – but one made with current technologies, not one that is a year or so behind. It will have about 1.2 TB of storage. That’s Tera Bytes… 1000 Giga Bytes, 1,000,000 MB, … you get the picture. Lots of space. This server will be built on a dual core x64 processor. Phase 3 will add a second dual-core processor and lots more RAM. I will then move the email processing to that box and re-task the current email server.

Yep, it will be lots of fun! Cost? Well, let’s just say that there’s a financial reason for the phased approach. Phase 1 was fairly inexpensive, but I’ll have to save a bit for Phase 2. Phase 3 might be far out enoug that the extra processor will be much ceaper than it is now.

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