Ideal location for home data center?

asdf_asdf

New Member
Jul 22, 2018
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Hello everyone - I'm in the process of buying a house on Long Island, NY and trying to figure out the ideal location for a home data center. I was hoping you guys could share some thoughts and help me decide on the placement.

I have a couple of options available:
- Boiler room in the basement - All hardware would be on a shelf about 4/5 feet from the boiler and 2/3 feet from the water heater. I'm concerned about temperature during the winter when the boiler is running. It's also quite dusty and not sure about the ventilation.
- Utility closet in the basement - I could possibly put some some shelving in here but I am not sure this is a good ideas as the closet contains water / power / gas shut off.
- Closet underneath the stairs in the basement - concerned about dust / ventilation
- Storage room in the basement - very dusty
- interior closet on the second floor - limited to no ventilation

Data Center contains:
- Synology NAS
- 16 port switch
- mini server acting as firewall
- cable modem
- looking to expand to include a VM box and UPS
 

dandanio

Active Member
Oct 10, 2017
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For me, anything basement is a no-no, due to a flooding hazard. Having said that, my home rack IS in the basement - calculated risk... BUT I back everything up via WiFi to a Synology box in a shed in the backyard, 8 feet of the ground and well ventilated. Then I back it up the to the cloud. I can accept this much risk.
Design with what you are comfortable and remember, there are only two types of people in this world: the ones who do backups and the ones who will do backups.
 
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marcoi

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2013
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Gotha Florida
I'm currently running my servers in a spare bedroom. With the two servers and switches, etc (about 650 watts average power) the AC set to 76 in the house (down in florida) the room stay around 87 degs. I keep the door closed, the ac vent open and ceiling fan running full speed. I also have the servers in a sound deading rack, one door opened and the fans running in the rack. I put a sound barrier up on the back of the bedroom door to minimize noise.

Dont know if you have spare bedroom or office space to use in the house. Other options are minimize the noise of the lab and keep it in the open part of the house. I used to have the server rack (same lab setup as above) in the middle of our living room apartment and it was acceptable noise levels when the AC or heat ran (lived in NH prior).

Just a though, things dont need to be hidden away if you consider making them smaller/quieter.
 

Blinky 42

Active Member
Aug 6, 2015
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What is the approx power draw of your current/planed equipment? The physical space needed for your equipment doesn't sound too great depending on how big your NAS unit is. You can always build out an area for the equipment and contain in in a smaller "room" or enclosure with provisions for ventilation and dust control. Something from large furnace filters to cut down on dust + box fans to maintain pressure and airflow through the space and into the out larger room for air exchange and ambient cooling may be enough if you don't have a lot of power turned into heat in the space.
You could go all out also - @jmck is in the process of building out a spiffy room documented over here https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/server-room-build.21048/

Dust is easier to design around than the risk of water, so take that into account as well
 

TeeJayHoward

Active Member
Feb 12, 2013
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I vote basement.

Advantages:
Noise - You probably sleep upstairs, and having a couple boxes running won't bother you as much.
Power - Generally mechanic's rooms are located in the basement, which means you've got an often under-utilized breaker for that area.
Temperature - Basements stay cooler naturally.

Disadvantages:
Dust - As you've noticed. Make filters for your intakes and clean the filters regularly.
Flooding - Keep the electronics at least a foot off the floor. Set them on a shelf, table, or rack.
Ventilation - The heat has to go somewhere. If you can, duct it into the boiler room!
 

maze

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
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First thought..

Just put the rack cabinet up on the wall as high as possible and dont worry about it. Then get a sensor to check the humidity in the room and give you an alarm if it goes above a certain value (keep summertime in mind.. can be quite humid).

Thats what I'v done..
 

muhfugen

Active Member
Dec 5, 2016
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If you're worried about flooding there are devices such as APC NetBotz which have leak rope sensors and can trigger Emergency Power Off on UPSes and/or send you emails when a flood starts. Then you just have to bolt the rack to the floor and mount the equipment as high up as you can.