Who We Are
The Datashed is a miniature data center in the American Southwest, in the spirit of the heterogeneous machine rooms of the 1980s and 1990s. Dedicated to melding old and new technology.

The Backyard Datacenter

Since December of 2013, I have been building a miniature datacenter in my backyard storage shed. This site will document its present state as well as various aspects of its design, operation, and how it was built.

The shed itself was built in approximately 1955, and has a floor space of approximately 300 sq. ft.

There are a variety of boxen in the datashed, from bog-standard x86-64 hardware to various Sun SPARC systems, an HP9000/800, a VAXstation, and a sizable Alpha cluster.

It is served by two Internet connections: a T1/DS1 line provided by GTT Communications, and an ADSL line provided by ZiaNet. There are a large number of static IPv4 addresses on the network, as well as full IPv6 support throughout.

I do lots of software development on the servers, using lots of virtual machines. I also host a FidoNet BBS (1:305/1) from here, as well as mail and DNS services for various businesses and organizations.

The main routers are Cisco 3845s, the core switch is a Cisco 6506 with a redundant pair of Sup32 supervisors and a 48-port gigabit blade, and the top-of-rack switches are Foundry FastIron Edge x448s.

There is also a Cisco 2611 router that segregates the public WiFi network I run for my neighborhood from the rest.

Core switch to top-of-rack switch interconnects are redundant multimode fiber (62.5/125).

Here are the main racks:

Left to Right: Cabinets 1DCA.C04, 1DCA.C03, 1DCA.C02

Here is the network rack, containing the core switch and the two main routers:

Cabinet 1DCA.C01. This is where the Internet comes in.

Here is the front of the main server rack (cabinet 1DCA.C02) with the door opened:

Cabinet 1DCA.C02 Front View

Here is the console for everything, along with a Sun Ultra 10 workstation with dual Sun GDM-5410 monitors. The system consoles all go through a 32-port Altusen rackmount KVM switch at the top of the networking rack. Yuna and Rikku from Final Fantasy X are watching over the workstation.

Main Workstation

Main Workstation

The following couple of photos show my efforts at cable management:

Cabinet 1DCA.C02 Power Cables

Cabinet 1DCA.C02 Networking

Here, you can see some of the PDUs and the back of the gigantic IBM blade server: