Anyone have experience running actual server-grade hardware in a casual setting?
I'll set the bar for "server-grade" fairly low here: Servers that use ECC memory, small business firewalls/switches, etc. all qualify. What's your setup? What do you like about them? Any interesting stories?
I've been running all manners of make-shift home servers for a while: Raspberry Pi, different ARM-based devices, stripped laptops, small Atom computers, etc. They do an adequate job running long downloads, seeding various p2p software, and sharing files, but throughput is always lacking, barely 10MB/s over Gigabit / Wireless N.
Recently a 1TB external hard drive failed on me, taking away with it my mirror of Lenovo drivers. (Fortunately I have backups for things that can't be found on the internet.) Since then I've been thinking about building a proper NAS, one with several hard drives in a ZFS soft RAID for data integrity, and that would require a server with ECC memory.
Weird thing is, before I started looking, there were regular deals on lower end tower servers like the HP MicroServer N54L, Lenovo ThinkServer TS140, or Dell PowerEdge T20, but the deals have dried up completely once I'm in the market.
So I'm still looking.