Years and years ago, when I first started playing with linux and teaching myself networking I built up a PC to use as a router at home. It was based on the family’s old desktop, a Pentium 2 233 w/64 mb of ram. I hacked up an old AT case to mount the ATX board in and used the only spare hard drive I had, a 100mb drive. I squeezed an install of Debian Potato (2.2) on there in just over 50mb and I had myself a router running ipchains. Over the years oracle grew up, was upgraded to a Athlon 2200+ and 512mb of ram, I added a bunch of hard drives one by one and she became the home fileserver.
A drive failure one saturday morning in September 04 led me to the job working at the mom&pop computer shop. I was looking for another harddrive with the same disc geometry so I could swap the logic board, apparently that was enough to peak the interest of the owners.
It was with that failure in mind that led me to decomissioning oracle. I consolidated my data, and my drives, and built up my RAID array in neo. Oracle was replaced by sati, a WRT54GS running OpenWRT.
Oracle is reborn though. I’ve recently picked up a Soekris Net5501-70 to use as my router at home and it seems that sati just isn’t the appropriate name, as this embedded PC is more powerful than sati ever has been, and will do more than sati ever could. It is only appropriate that the 5501 take on the name oracle, and a few very similar roles as well as some new ones.
The new oracle is 500mhz AMD Geode LX with 512mb of ram running on a 4gb Transcend compact flash card. I’ve installed Debian Etch (4.0) and she’ll be running as the gateway/firewall for the home network, with sati handling only WAP duties from now on. Oracle will be responsible for traffic shaping and DNS (both caching the external net and running the .thematrix.dagr.net domain internally). I intend for oracle to also run Asterisk for my local network, feeding my Linksys PAP2T-NA as well as my Cisco 7960. I’ve been considering bringing in a DSL line to suppliment my cable connect. Not so much for the extra bandwidth but for the better conenctivity for work. Currently traffic from home goes to Vancouver to get to the office 7km away from my flat. I think oracle would serve well to run an IPSec link to the office via the DSL line and keep my personal traffic routed over the cable line. I’m not sure what else the new oracle will get up to, but I’m certainly looking forward to playing. This is the first new toy that’s not just a mere upgrade I’ve gotten for the home network in a good long while and I can feel the hacker juices flowing again.
I’m rather excited.