Friday 20 September 2013

Create your own cloud with ... Own Cloud :-)

Straight forward installation and configuration with support for M$Windows, Linux, OSX , IOS, Android...

Perfect for protecting your data from NSA :-D

Friday 6 September 2013

Mini Firewall Mark I (or 1.5...)

In order to recicle the defunct XBMC - WAF2 - Mark II I decided to create this small (but good looking) firewall.
It has an external laptop PSU (the converter is in the back side), an external adapter (user replaceable :-D ) and some other small perks that can be seen in the gif.
The HDD is a Compact flash to avoid any useles power consumption.
The motherboard has been protected as in the previous design to avoid any "small humans" interaction.
I reckon the back is not 100% finished since I should get rid of the elastic bands, but it is operational, and this is what I want, no more no less.

Hope you like it.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

XBMC - WAF2 - Mark II

XBMC - WAF2 - Mark I is dead!!! Long live to XBMC - WAF2 - Mark II !!!

As you can see, the form factor of my previous HTPC was not completely of my taste os I decided to make a design a bit more "studied".

It remains with the same tech specifications (The innards are the same) but the externals have changed completely.
Hopefully you will like it as much as I do :-).

Sunday 25 August 2013

I am on vacation and I have to disconnect...

I am on vacation and I have to disconnect... I am on vacation and I have to disconnect... I am on vacation and I have to disconnect... I am on vacation and I have to disconnect...

Friday 19 July 2013

XBMC - WAF2 - Mark I

 Some time ago when I was presenting one of my earlier creations to a workmate when he told me that it didn't have "Wife factor" (if you are nerd illiterate you can check the meaning here:

I had to agree with him, but decided to start creating machines with more WAF from this moment.

Obviouslyif you are wondering now WTF means all those acronyms then this is no longer your blog ... anyway I will translate to earth language saying that XBMC is this, WAF is that, 2 becouse it is the second one created even if the first one will never see the light, and Mark 1 is because I already know that there will be a MArk 2 :-)

The motherboard is an industrial mini-itx board, with everything integrated (net, USB, video,...)
The power comes from a small PSU (400W max I think it was).
Of course it has Ubuntu 13.04 integrated with autologin and XBMC configured to start automatically.
It has enough power to decompress 1080p and still only use 10% of the dual core p7300.

The transparent "screen" allows me to protect the innards from "unauthorized fingers" while providing enough cooling power.
The PSU has been covered with some fabric just to make it look better, and the stand has been fabricated from Leroy Merlin shelves, plastic corners and anti-slip fabric.

Of course it has "dual layout capability" meaning that it can be laid on its back if it creates a better look to the living room :-)

Monday 15 July 2013

The engine of life

The engine of life is what pushes us to go ahead, to break barriers and think out of the box to get what we envision.

I have my engine.

Saturday 27 April 2013

IBM Systems Technical University

Now it is over and I'm already missing it. Some bits good some average and a lot of gems.
I only hope I will be able to attend next year again.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Beowulf Beta 0.5

Hello everybody

I just finished some iconic steps of the beowulf and even closed its first "personality".
HW wise is now finished and even the MPICH2 personality was added to all nodes.

As you can see the PSUs are re-aarranged and the local disks are completely out of view (at their back).
Also the network switch is 100% attached and functional.
Even the new power plugs are running ok.

Still some power on issues aflict my nodes :-(  I guess time is an enemy of computers when not treated correctly :-P

Project phases (as of today):

Infrastructure building  100%
Frame building            100%
HW installation           100%
HW "Stabilization"      100%
First boot                   100%
SW installation           100%
SW selection --> MPICH2 (For the fiirst personality) 100%
OS installation (Ubuntu server 32bit 12.04 LTS) -->   100%
OS customization -->                                                 100%
Network configuration -->                                          100%
New switch (24 ports) installation. -->                        100%
SAN & NAS configuration (NFS) -->                         50%  (still using only local disks)
Test the System -->                                                        0%

Thursday 28 February 2013

Beowulf v0.3 conceptual and physical layouts

Ok, now that I have received all the network gear I needed I can continue with this adventure :-)
Here is the conceptual design.
I know that Hadoop runs tipically on local storage but I will try also MPICH2 and may be Rocks cluster, both of them using SAN storage.
  • I had problems with the HW of one node (Overclocking is no longer supported to provide max stability :-) so I had to fix it reducing its speed and finished adding one master node with plenty of power (P-IV 3Ghz) and heat :-(.
  • I have installed the net switch plus one manageable power plug array so I can start any node remotely. I have seen more than 400Watts when they are running :-((((( so it is mandatory to be able to switch them on and off on demand.
And this is the physical layout (not very detailed but gives one idea of the real stuff).

Will continue.....

Friday 15 February 2013

Beowulf Alpha 0.2

Had to "reduce the map" of the cluster ;-) so I cut the height of the stack. Initially each node had 13cms in height but it looks like11cm is enough. Also now it can be placed under my shelves, which is a good thing for the space in my room.

I replaced the initial mix of 2x20GB & 2x40GB HDDs with 2x120GB & 2x160GB HDDs so I can run two different versions of my HPC system... hellooouuu Rocks cluster :-P

Project phases:

  1. Infrastructure building  100%
    1. Frame building         100%
    2. HW installation        100%
    3. HW "Stabilization"   100%
    4. First boot                100%
  2. SW installation            0%
    1. SW selection --> Hadoop (For the time being) 100%
    2. OS installation (Ubuntu server 32bit 12.04 LTS) --> 75% 
    3. OS customization 
  3. Network configuration
    1. New switch needed (24 ports). Installation.
    2. SAN & NAS configuration (¿NFS or iSCSI?)
  4. Test the System

Will continue.....

Thursday 14 February 2013

"Has four men's heft of grasp in the gripe of his hand"

Poor man's Beowulf Alpha 0.1

Project phases:
  1. Infrastructure building  100%
    1. Frame building         100%
    2. HW installation        100%
    3. HW "Stabilization"   100%
    4. First boot                100%
  2. SW installation            0%
    1. SW selection (Currently between Rocks Cluster and Ubuntu + Hadoop) 0%
  3. Test System
Will continue.....

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Stand-up Firewall Mark-II

Or version 2.0 as you prefer.
I was not very happy with the outcome of my first project so I decided to improve it slightly.
I got rid of the nails and started drilling small holes in the wood in order to use now screws so the motherboard could fit better to the wood.
I also got rid of the plastic handcuffs :-P and now I am using some clever solutions to make the ethernet cards more stable. A dumb adapter cover with foam glued to the inner side holds them together and it is attached to the mobo with a plastic strip (the mobo had a hole just in the middle :-) )
Additionally I am using a small "fonera" as wifi access point attached to the firewall using a molex for power and its standard RJ45 for data (attached to my last free 3COM adapter).
So now those are the final specs (until my next generation firewall appears of course :-D ):

  • M0n0wall firewall OS v1.3x. 
  • Boots & runs from Compact Flash to avoid power hungry disks.
  • 5 fast ethernet ports (100Mbps), 1x integrated + 4x 3COM cards.
  • "Almost static" WAN IP thanks to DynDNS
  • Variable speed fan with manual control to avoid noise.
  • Wifi 802.11g using a fonera with extended range antenna.
  • Fonera using Gargoyle  firmware v 1.4.7. stable branch.
  • Motherboard donated by a DELL (cannot remember model but ... who cares?) Optiplex GX150.
  • Intel Celeron 900Mhz Socket 370 with the lowest TDP. Just 27 Watts.
  • With QoS and full use of Bittorrent it only goes up to 75% of capacity so it is good enough (for the time being since it has just a 45 Mbps/2Mbps internet connection)
  • 60 W PSU donated from an old SUN machine.
  • Shelve from Leroy-Merlin.
  • Lots of fun :-D

Saturday 9 February 2013

Gamla eller Nya

After the stand-up firewall, my first project, I had to come up with something to make good use for the rest of the spare parts I had scattered all around.
So I decided to go for a NAS project, and here is the outcome:

  • OpenMediaVault Debian based NAS OS
  • OS boots from Class 10 SD card in a USB 2.0 port
  • Industrial mobo with mini-itx form factor
  • Intel T7300 Core 2 Duo CPU
  • 3 Gigabit ethernet ports
  • 4 SATA ports with 4 SATA disks in RAID 5 (8GB raw capacity so 6GB real capacity)
  • Two compact disk cases to hold the 4 disks together and reduce vibrations.
  • Mini PSU capable of 450 400Watts but using just 35W in iddle mode.
  • 3 different fans with their own speed control to allow reduced noise
  • 1GB DDR2 SODIMM RAM in two modules.
  • Shelve from IKEA
  • Shelve from Leroy -Merlin
  • 4 rubber legs to avoid vibration
  • Some screws and loctite eveywhere along with black paint to cover some scratches :-P
  • Massive fun :-D
Of course it has some more bits but I cannnot recall them all just now.

Monday 4 February 2013

Presenting my shiny new stand-up firewall.

Being freaky has things like this.

Due to some unused shelves & some spare parts I had at home I managed to create this "thing". Actually it is my new firewall.
Since the last one was unable to cope with my ISP's bandwith I decided I needed a new one. So I did it.

Good air flow, no noise at all and 0 capex :-D.

Thanks to Leroy Merlin and M0n0wall :-P

PS: It is still in prototype phase so expect some cosmetic changes during the next few days.

Monday 7 January 2013

January day (Winter in South Spain)

This is how it looks a winter day in South Spain (almost 18ºC). Several "cañas" & "tapas" had to be tasted :-P

Holidays are for the summer