Having just discovered that I can get rackmount data storage (QNAP) I’m moving back toward my “Mac in a rack” plan that I was considering a ways back.
Basically, I currently have:
- Two Mac Minis, networked using the 2 (100Mbps) Ethernet ports on my wireless gateway.
- 5 external drives of various sizes.
- A cheap UPS
What I’d ideally like to have is:
- Two Mac Minis
- Larger sized drives to get rid of my patchwork of small externals
- A nice enclosure for those drives (QNAP TR-004U is what I’m considering)
- Some manner of separate cooling. I’ve never been happy with how hot my equipment gets.
- A separate network switch so I can quickly plug in laptops & things I’m working on, and upgrade that component as needed.
- A UPS with the ability to run everything in this rack, plus my monitor, for 20-ish minutes (longer term - I know this will be more expensive!)
- Maybe separate power management (just a panel with switches)
From what I can tell Minis chunk into a 1U enclosure nicely, QNAP enclosures would let me connect drives, and I could handle power / cooling a little more centrally. Upgrades could be relatively modular and done over time, and if I ever need to move the setup to someplace else (out of town for a couple weeks sometimes), the rack would basically have 1 or 2 external cables to unplug and it could be loaded into the car.
I was actually thinking of grabbing a more ruggedized, musician-style enclosure as they’re already built for moving around.
From what I can tell, I shouldn’t need too much depth. Mac Minis, drive enclosures, UPS, switches, etc. are all relatively shallow - as long as I don’t want to be throwing in old 1U “pizza boxes” for some purpose.
Anybody done something like this for a home / small biz setup? Advice for hardware, rack depth, vertical sizing considerations (number of U), etc.?