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TCO - Home servers


stalni
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12 members have voted

  1. 1. Have you calculated TCO

    • yes
      4
    • no
      5
    • who cares, power consumption is all that matters HAHAHA
      3
  2. 2. I finde this topic interesting

    • yes
      8
    • no
      4


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Hi HHS Forum,

 

I am making this post as I could not find anyone other topics on the subject, and feel that there is more to this topic than power consumption. I am in no way an expert or even trained on the subject, which is why I post it here.

 

My understanding of the term; Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is that it covers the total monetary cost of running a system or product, in total per time unit. This would for our purposes, meaning Home Servers, include power consumption costs and new hardware. But for a company this would also include lost revenue and salaries. is this correct?

 

On to the topic :D

 

I have been thinking as the upgrade thoughts slowly gets to be reality, what does it cost me per year to run my server? And as such I have thought it best to divide the calculations into two categories, Drives and Hardware/System components. I have made a little list of what I thought needed to be included in this calculation.

 

  1. Cost to keep my current capacity.
  2. Power costs and power consumption based on the number of drives.(made a little calculation of the cost of running 7 1TB drives vs. 4 2TB and found a difference in the cost of power per year of 400 DKK ~ 80 USD).
  3. And as I am a home builder I run my servers from home builds/Franken builds and on a regular basis upgrade the hardware.

I am currently running 10 drives, 2 system drives and 8 storage pool drives.

 

So have any of you readers/members had similar thoughts or have you studied/learned about the subject?

 

Below is my thoughts as how to calculate the 3 categories.

 

Cost to keep capacity, must be based on the annual failure rate of my drives and be influenced by the new drive cost. see servethehome.com article

 

Power consumption, must be; 'power consumption of drives' converted to kWh (1000 * power consumption of drive * number of hours in a year= number of kWh per year) * number of drives * price per kWh(see power company for number) = number of currency. And to see the difference in price between x and y number of drives, you simply make the same calculation inserting x or y at number of drives:)

 

New server cost must be based on how often one plans to build a server, and the failure rate of the components in the server(excluding HD). I am calculating that the server hardware will last 10 years, but I will want to upgrade/replace the components every 3-5 years and as a new server currently costs me 4000 DKK(800 USD) excluding PSU and cabinet. and the PSU I would think would need a change every 5 years(what is your experience?) and one would like to change the cabinet at least every decade. this would mean that my cost per year to buy server components would be; 4000 / 3 years+PSU(500 DKK)/5 years + cabinet(1000)/10 years = 1533,33 DKK (eu notation) ~ 278.78 USD (U.S.A. notation). This price is per year for hardware excluding HDD.

 

What are your thoughts on this subject? And if you feel like it please go over my calculations, and assumptions :D

 

PS. Please vote and should I make the poll public?

Edited by stalni
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You've thought about this way more than I have :D but my thoughts:

 

Hard drives are my biggest expense. I replace hard drives way sooner than the warranty period and the old drives move down the food change, ending up as bare drives in a cabinet as an archive. I hesitate to count how many I have but I number them when they go in the cabinet and I'm up to 16 there. I buy them when they're on sale at a good $/GB price. These days 2 TB are the sweet spot but I have a couple 3 TB.

 

I put more value on my time these days along with reliability so I'm willing to spend a little more to get it for other hardware. I'm also more likely to spend more on a case or PSU that I can reuse for years than I am to get today's bleeding edge CPU at its premium price. So I tend to look at what I perceive as the value to me and as long as its in my budget I don't do a lot of hard dollar comparisons. It's probably best I don't think too much about TCO and just enjoy the shiny tech.

 

On the other hand, at the day job we include hardware + maintenance over the life of the hardware/software + training + estimated support costs. Then the cost is compared to the income or other benefit and it's pretty much a dollar based decision.

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Hi HHS Forum,

 

I am making this post as I could not find anyone other topics on the subject, and feel that there is more to this topic than power consumption. I am in no way an expert or even trained on the subject, which is why I post it here.

 

My understanding of the term; Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is that it covers the total monetary cost of running a system or product, in total per time unit. This would for our purposes, meaning Home Servers, include power consumption costs and new hardware. But for a company this would also include lost revenue and salaries. is this correct?

 

...

 

Direct cost/benefits, indirect cost/benefits, opportunity costs/benefits, externalities.

 

It appears you're only considering a portion of direct (economic) costs -- there's nothing wrong with that approach and knowing (approximately) things such as power requirements/costs are going to be important in the design as well as the enjoyment of your system(s) -- total as-built system investment $ depreciated over the expected life of a System (+ mntc costs) is also going to be useful -- but at least for me this is also a hobby or "fun" whose costs are difficult to quantify except in comparision to what other hobby or "fun" thing I would be doing (spending $ on) if I wasn't doing this "stuff". (and it depends on our perspective -- My wife would view a "system" I'm proposing to get from the perspective of what furniture :) she could get for what I'm proposing to spend -- i.e. her opportunity costs/benefits) Trying to determind TCO including environmental externality costs, for instance, by trying to drill down to the number of picoliters of high-level-nuclear-waste generated by my annual kVA (or kW) power useage fits more in my definition of "work" instead of "fun".

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Interesting topic for discussion.... but to me it boils down to this:

 

- I will have a home server as my life is now digital and requires a device to maintain and protect content.

- I consider creation/maintenance of a server not only a necessity but entertainment (I'm a nerd and enjoy it).

 

that said, I started out with a Homebuild (Win 2003/DC), moved to a headless Acer v1 box (and hate it) and now just built a new homebuild to run v2.

 

The Acer works and provides a reasonable server appliance that operates at low cost, but... the headless/lack of control and poor performance (Atom 230 CPU) has pushed me back to a homebuild. So cost be damned, I want a system that is fully accessible, is not under powered and gives me expansion room as needed.

 

like I said, Interesting topic but I just don't care that much. I will use green drives for data, a core i3 CPU and an 80Plus PSU, but that's as far as I will go. no more headless pre-built boxes, no whimpy Atom CPUs, no lights out shutting down my server. I want a server that works and works now.

 

 

... carry on :)

Edited by TechMule
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Interesting topic for discussion.... but to me it boils down to this:

 

- I will have a home server as my life is now digital and requires a device to maintain and protect content.

- I consider creation/maintenance of a server not only a necessity but entertainment (I'm a nerd and enjoy it).

 

that said, I started out with a Homebuild (Win 2003/DC), moved to a headless Acer v1 box (and hate it) and now just built a new homebuild to run v2.

 

The Acer works and provides a reasonable server appliance that operates at low cost, but... the headless/lack of control and poor performance (Atom 230 CPU) has pushed me back to a homebuild. So cost be damned, I want a system that is fully accessible, is not under powered and gives me expansion room as needed.

 

like I said, Interesting topic but I just don't care that much. I will use green drives for data, a core i3 CPU and an 80Plus PSU, but that's as far as I will go. no more headless pre-built boxes, no whimpy Atom CPUs, no lights out shutting down my server. I want a server that works and works now.

 

 

... carry on :)

Your experience is almost identical to mine, except I had a Synology NAS as my first 'home server' and then my Acer. I also find the Acer inadequate, so I'm in the middle of converting my previous desktop computer (core 2 duo 2.4GHZ, 4G RAM) to a WHS2011 server.

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Interesting topic for discussion.... but to me it boils down to this:

 

- I will have a home server as my life is now digital and requires a device to maintain and protect content.

- I consider creation/maintenance of a server not only a necessity but entertainment (I'm a nerd and enjoy it).

 

I agree, I simply am on a very tight budget and need to know my costs so that I can budget them accordingly, thereby maximizing my enjoyment of my hobby :D

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Direct cost/benefits, indirect cost/benefits, opportunity costs/benefits, externalities.

 

It appears you're only considering a portion of direct (economic) costs -- there's nothing wrong with that approach and knowing (approximately) things such as power requirements/costs are going to be important in the design as well as the enjoyment of your system(s) -- total as-built system investment $ depreciated over the expected life of a System (+ mntc costs) is also going to be useful -- but at least for me this is also a hobby or "fun" whose costs are difficult to quantify except in comparision to what other hobby or "fun" thing I would be doing (spending $ on) if I wasn't doing this "stuff". (and it depends on our perspective -- My wife would view a "system" I'm proposing to get from the perspective of what furniture :) she could get for what I'm proposing to spend -- i.e. her opportunity costs/benefits) Trying to determind TCO including environmental externality costs, for instance, by trying to drill down to the number of picoliters of high-level-nuclear-waste generated by my annual kVA (or kW) power useage fits more in my definition of "work" instead of "fun".

 

Thanks for the feedback, do you have a book or other source where I could read more on the subject?

 

I find this type of exercise to be fun, as long as I am not doing to many of them :P But have mostly been forced into such considerations as I am a student at university.

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Thanks for the feedback, do you have a book or other source where I could read more on the subject?

 

I find this type of exercise to be fun, as long as I am not doing to many of them :P But have mostly been forced into such considerations as I am a student at university.

 

If you're studying engineering I would suggest those textbooks associated with you Engineering Economics classes such as "Engineering Economy - 4th Edition" (OK, I may be dating myself with that one.) Any book associated with studying for the Economics portion of the PE exam would also be a good resource.

 

Another good basic textbook is "Managerial Accounting" by Garrison -- that's the textbook I used to teach intro Management/Cost accounting at Purdue.

"Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphaisis" is another good book from the MBA program.

 

Find a good Engineering Economics book and a good Management/Cost accounting book and you'll be 99.9% there.

 

"Price Theory and Applications" has some useful stuff including an intro to externalities. The "Financial Executive's Handbook" would also be handy or at least interesting to page thru IMHO.

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Guest no-control

TCO is only part of it, as Joe mentioned. You'll also need to factor in ROI and emotional influences. For me personally with the amount of systems I've built and run concurrently. I'm big on squeezing the most out of my systems. most of my systems are specialized to minimize costs. The HTPCs have a long service life, are fairly cheap and have low power consumption. Cost wise they aren't very expensive. My primary is excessive but also emotionally satisfying. High cost, high power requirement, highly enjoyable. My home server on the other hand is an example of squeezing the most out of a system. It was inexpensive to build (glorified HTPC!), but I run several (3-10) VM's on it. This alleviates the power consumption and cost burdens of running separate machines for each machine.

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Here's how I see it:

 

Cost of suffering using a cable company provided set top box >>>> Cost of building a HTPC and WHS 2011 box.

 

And how do I know I'm coming out ahead? Everyone wishes they had my setup! :)

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