Apollo Rebuild Part I

The Homelab has been getting a nice bit of attention recently. Today I rebuilt Apollo, the main "server" in the cabinet that handles things from Plex, a UniFi controller, Ubuntu repo and a few other VMs.

Apollo is mostly comprised of consumer gear to keep the power consumption and noise levels down. This may change soon though with a different cabinet installation - more on this soon!

Apollo also was housed in a 4U chassis which takes up precious space in the cabinet and the hardware wasn't necessarily requiring a large space. This Homelab is under strict instruction to have as little downtime as possible by a closely monitored SLA implemented by my girlfriend, so a two part build it is.

Even though the hardware is staying mostly the same, moving to another server chassis was a pain.

Anyway, onwards with the build! I'll start with a spec list dump of what Apollo currently runs off:

Gigabyte HD3 Motherboard
Intel i3 4330 1150 CPU
Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler
Gigabyte 650W PSU, to be replaced with a Modular Corsair PSU
250GB SSD, can't remember what brand - to be replaced with a 500GB Samsung SSD
Rosewill 2U chassis
3x Noctua NF-A8 FLX fans
Corsair CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz RAM

Part I of the build involved switching to the 2U chassis, installing the new RAM and the CPU cooler.

Total downtime was a little less than 2 hours, not bad :) Stay tuned for Part II.

Apollo in the 4U chassis, takes up a little too much space
These ridiculous blue LED fans also need to go
Apollo out of the cabinet and the rails removed
A close up of the 4U build, and the poor cable management
What's all being replaced during part 1 of the build. Noctua CPU cooler, 16GB RAM and 3 80mm Noctua fans
I've really become a fan boy for Noctua stuff recently
PSU out of the 4U chassis, this needs a really good clean
Apollo's new home, a neat little 2U chassis from Rosewill
Motherboard dust down, that crusty old thermal paste was also scraped off and replaced
I wanted to replace the stock fans with the Noctua ones, you have to remove the ears to do so
Along with these 3 screws at the bottom
CPU cooler and RAM sticks installed. These RAM heatsinks may be an issue for airflow, you'll see in the next image
Motherboard mounted in the chassis. The only fans blow from the right, straight into RAM heatsinks
PSU mounted. It was at this moment that I realised I'll want a fully modular PSU to avoid a mass of cables
Temporarily wired up, drives and cable management will happen in part II
Not bad for 2 hours of work, now just for the face place re-installation and we're good to go

Everything booted up on the first go, which was satisfying!

Apollo is currently sitting on top of the PSUs until Part II is complete, here's the to do list for Part II:

Install rails

Install new SSD

Re-install Ubuntu server

Migrate from OpenVZ to Docker

Mount SSD and HDD in their drive bays

Cable management

For now, let's look at the RAM and sensors output to see everything is OK.

jeff@apollo:~$ sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +27.8 C  (crit = +105.0 C)
temp2:        +29.8 C  (crit = +105.0 C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +48.0 C  (high = +80.0 C, crit = +100.0 C)
Core 0:         +48.0 C  (high = +80.0 C, crit = +100.0 C)
Core 1:         +45.0 C  (high = +80.0 C, crit = +100.0 C)
This is with one Plex transcode happening, looking good

Stay tuned for Part II, thanks for reading!