Actually, the details I'm about to share are fairly pedestrian, but I do want to document the environment in which I run the experiments detailed here. Also, I'm pretty excited about finding "free Visio" solution Dia. Check out the diagrammatic pyrotechnics:
This setup serves both "work" and home needs - data shares, backups, media, wireless, etc. Here are the highlights:
NAS - FreeNAS 8.0.2 with 2 x 2TB hard drives in RAID1 mirror configuration, which I built into an older Acer Veriton. It serves Windows and Apple shares, including Time Machine backups for the Mini and my laptop, which runs on Lion. This is especially cool because when Lion was released, it was discovered that the change to its authentication protocol for Time Machine had made a lot of third party NAS solutions incompatible. No issues here.
ED - Windows Server 2003 on a 3GHz desktop I got at Gig when I first moved to Albany after college. A long time ago. It's running SQL Express and VS Express, the JRE for things like FreeEed and WORDij, and is a web server. Right now, all it's got is BugTracker.net, which is basically my to-do list and notebook. It's made available outside by DynDNS, which is a lot cheaper -- and I imagine safer -- than buying a static IP address. It has two hard drives -- SQL Server is not using the NAS as of now. I usually connect to ED via RDC for Mac.
Mini - This Leopard Mac Mini had been the family desktop since 2007, until we upgraded recently and retired it. It's now the iTunes Home Sharing server, whose library lives on the NAS.
Router - I'm happy with this Netgear -N router. My house has three floors plus a garden apartment. The router is on the third floor, and its wireless reaches all the way downstairs with no problem. It's split into two networks, so my tenants are not on the network shown above, but nevertheless have wireless access to the Internet and their own machines. It's got port forwarding to send http traffic to ED, and a built-in client for DynDNS.
Like most living systems, this will continue to develop. But for now it's working and stable. It's most of what I need for the work done for this blog, which can now continue!
I'd love to see your network! Please share in the comments, or offer suggestions. Thank you very much for reading.