Tier I datacenter in the garage?

Steve Alligood steve at betterlinux.com
Tue Jun 25 11:04:24 MDT 2013

On Jun 25, 2013, at 10:07 AM, Levi Pearson wrote:
> If you insulate and air condition your whole garage, be sure you do so
> in a way that is in compliance with building codes.  Hooking garages
> intended for car storage up to your home's central AC is a problem,
> but it may be okay if the garage is sufficiently converted.  But yeah,
> non-insulated garages tend to trap heat, somewhat like attics, and
> would definitely not be a friendly environment for a server.  A nice
> tightly-enclosed room in the corner of a garage with its own AC unit,
> on the other hand, would probably be more friendly than in the main
> part of your home with all the dust that living in it creates.  These
> are probably obvious, but I thought I'd bring up potential building
> code issues just in case.
>       --Levi

You could build that room to only add cooling on the one side of the servers, and let them vent the heat to the rest of the garage, or even outside (with filters to stop bugs coming in), and you will save some money not having to void extra heat.  Aka, hot/cold chamber idea, but make sure to foam or somehow seal the area around the servers so cold air can only go *through* the servers and not around them.

Personally, I think you will pay as much in just electricity for the servers and the cooling as you do for AWS (not even counting the cost of the equipment), unless you plan to do those $500 months more often.  If you take the time to calculate the price point, it would be interesting to hear where the break even point it.  Servers in general use the same amount of power as the ac does to cool them (and yes, there are ways to reduce that, but it can get complicated).

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