Its time to do some tinkering ...

Have you ever look at your home setup and realise how messy your cables are?

Messy cables everywhere.

I got something very similar, especially since I started to run a Kubernetes cluster, for which if you want the fun, you will need a lot of machines. (I got 6).

And when all the machines are Raspberry Pi, it got even messier because I don't want to spend money on all the cases which cannot be stacked together and organised well. Also, you will at the end have a lot of power bricks. I have 4 Pi machines, so should I get 4 power bricks?

So I have decided to do something more economical and easier to organise. My setup includes:

  • A 2-post, 8U rack that I got with a extremely reasonable price in Amazon.
  • A rack-mount ethernet switch with PoE support (Power over Ethernet, basically allows you to run your power through RJ45 network cables).
  • Raspberry Pi PoE HAT (Raspberry Pi supports PoE after you install this). It is compatible with Pi 4B and Pi 3B+
  • A Raspberry Pi mount, for which I can mount 4 Pis into 1U.
  • Modular patch panel to get things organized.
  • Lots of RJ45 jacks, CAT-6 cables and equipments that I already own for crimping my own cables because I used a patch panel, so I need a lot of very short cables that you cannot buy in shops.

And the final result is like this:

My own rack

Looks good right? Next time when I move again, I will just ask the mover company to move the whole rack rather than moving 30+ equipments, or I can also hook all the TV side equipments into 1 place as well if the cabling is run correctly.

What should I do next?

I am obviously trying to save some money, but once I got more luxary, what I plan to do is:

  • Have another 4 Pis setup so that I can setup my own small Hadoop Cluster testbed.
  • Move my reliable OpenBSD router (a guide to this will be out soon) into a 1U server.
  • Move my SAN storage into another 2U server.
  • Maybe move my telephone's RJ11 into the patch panel as well.

Let's see when I can post the final result later.