Success Stories

Wireless router upgrade

In May 2015 a client called up because they were having a problem when a few people were connecting wirelessly to their current router. I decided to try out a stronger router, than I had tried out at a previous client, with the same 9dbi aerials that I had use before. When I had configured and connected up the router, I decided to test how far the range of it was. I first tried a room beside their kitchen, but the signal was too strong, so I went down a floor, but the signal was still good.

Main server upgrade

The client for who I had set up the remote backup, decided to upgrade their server in December 2014 because they needed a machine that could handle their storage requirements and that would be easy to upgrade in the future. The old server was running Mac OS X, which had run well for a few years, but it was lacking in any advanced filesystem options, so it was hard to expand it above the level that it was at. I had been successfully using Centos in the previous servers that I had built, so I decided to install version 6, because it would still be supported until 2020 with updates.

Mini server relocation.

In November 2014, the client for who I had installed the first mini server had successfully grown from 3 people to more than 12 people, so they had to move offices. The have now moved to an office near Piccadilly Circus and they did need some help with the networking in the new office. I liaised with the telecoms company, that they had commissioned to install their new IP phones and network points. Once they had put in their equipment, I then connected up the switch so that the server could be accessed from the network.

Photographer client upgrade

In August 2014 my photographer client decided that he needed another server to store the data from his 4k camera recordings. Silverstone had recently released a reasonably priced 8 bay case that can take a Mini-ITX motherboard. I built it with 4 6GB hard drives arranged as a RAID5 and set up the filesystem to match the RAID stripe width. This server was my first attempt at running SMB and AFP sharing from a system on a USB flash drive. The filesystem is read only, so that the flash drive does not wear quickly, with a configuration setup that is only rewritten when any settings are changed.

Remote backup server

In April 2011 one of my design clients asked me about the best way of backing up their data remotely. Since the setup for my photographer client was working so well, I suggested that a backup machine could be kept externally at someones home and the data could then be synced between this machine and a machine at the office. The setup consists of a staging computer that makes a copy of the data from the main server and this copy is then synced with the remote server computer that also keeps a few days worth of backups by using symbolic links.

Router reset

Between March and April 2011, the photographer client was having a problem with his ADSL connection at his home and at one point, while he was on holiday, he had to call someone to go to his house to reset the router so that he could access his servers again. It was suggested that a device could be made that would connect to one of his servers and this would allow the router to be reset if it is detected that the internet connection has dropped. A box was constructed, tested and then dispatched to him and was again tested once he had connected it to the server.

Double mini server install

In May 2010 a photographer client decided to get a mini unix server to act as a backup to his main server. In the months since then, this server has performed just as well as the first one and it has also been set up to send an email if there are any problems with the RAID. This server was made with a new mini case that had just come out and it can hold up to 6 drives, but the client decided to start out with just 4 drives. If he decides to add any more drives later, then the number of RAID disks and the filesystem can be expanded without the loss of any data.

First mini server install

A mini unix server was set up for a client back in April 2010 and it has performed beyond expectations. At least the odd call or two, was expected, with connection or file access problems, but not one single call has been received from the client with any problems. It looks like these free unix systems are so stable that I can see why it is hard to find any companies that offer them, they have probably realised that they will not generate a lot of revenue when it comes to the support calls.