Supermicro 1U Atom Server Upgrades
So I got this little 1U Supermicro with a 2core/4thread Intel atom ITX board with a 2gb sodimm and a 4GB SATA DOM from an upgrade to one of the clients where I work. It was being used as a pfsense router to simply route all traffic from one of the company's static IP's to the IP of their VOIP system.
After getting this Supermicro I put Debian Jessie on it and setup DHCP and DNS identically to how it was on my now decommissioned 4U box.
Up until I received this Supermicro, my main home server had been an Athlon 64 x2 custom 4U rackmount box, that ran proxomox with 3 VM's, two running debian for DHCP and DNS, and the third running OpenMediaVault, as a small temporary file server. It was a power hog even at idle, and was noisy and generated more heat than was needed.
With this Supermicro I wanted the complete opposite, I wanted cool, quiet, and energy efficient.
After upgrading the server to 4GB of DDR3 with an extra stick I had lying around, I then started to think of how I could make the only fan in the whole server a little more quiet. The fan was one of those typically loud 40mm deep 40mm's in the server's power supply.
I debated for about a week as to whether it'd be better to buy a replacement fan, that was hopefully silent enough yet moved enough air, or to try to get a better 1u power supply and hope it was quiet.
I eventually decided on getting a PICO-PSU, as it'd move most of the heat from the power supply to the brick outside the case, and would also be completely silent! I was just about to check out at the official distributor of PICO-PSU's when I noticed that my $35 (IIRC) order of an 80 watt pico-psu and 60watt EDAC brick was going to cost about $20 shipping! So I set out on ebay and found someone selling a 120Watt Pico-PSU for only $13 shipped! Grabbed that and then set out trying to find the exact model of EDAC 60Watt power adapter that is distributed with the Pico-PSU's (as it is highly praised in reviews as being well built and reliable). Managed to find that on eBay as well, for about $20 shipped.
The only issue with this used Pico-PSU was that it had an odd looking connector for the 12v input as you can see below:
Luckly I actually had this little female barrel connector that was the perfect match for the EDAC brick laying around, and so I got that installed and was now ready to get it all put into the case!
So the server went from looking like this:
To looking like this!:
My next task was to modify some rack ears I had laying around from an old Dlink 10/100 switch to replace the missing Supermicro ones. They don't look very pretty but it'll work just fine.
And here it is all buttoned up and ready to go into the rack:
For those who were wondering, that blurry blob with a SATA cable going into it is the little 4GB DOM sitting inside a rolled up piece of plastic so it won't short against the case. The DOM can be seen below:
So far I've only had this running for about 12 hours, and the server is usually just idling, so I'm still unsure whether this server will be okay being fully passively cooled or if it might need some really low speed 40mm fans.
Also should mention that the power usage from the wall with the original power supply was about 24Watts just sitting basically idle, I'll measure the power usage with the Pico-PSU soon.
Up-to-date specs for this server can be found under my "The Super SuperMicro?" sig rig.