Virtualmin is a great open source server management tool. In fact, its what I use for my hosting. Amazon S3 is a great, affordable online storage service. What do you get when you combine them? A great way to back up your servers.
Virtualmin has had support for local and remote backups for some time now, but the idea of weekly 8GB FTP sessions to my home server doesn’t seem so grand (it would interrupt the Linux ISO torrents). So I signed up with S3, and for less than the cost of a egg mcmuffin, I can keep 4 weeks of full system backups available for restore at a moments notice.
This guide assumes you’ve got Virtualmin Pro (not sure if the free version does S3 - it does, give it a try!), and an active S3 account.
If you’ve been to my place, you know my basement sounds like a hair dryer. I have 5 machines running 24⁄7 most of the time. Noise and electric bills finally got to me, so I picked up a Kill-A-Watt to track power usage, per machine. What I found out is that having those machines on constantly accounts for 1⁄3 of my electric bill,almost 330 kilowatt-hours per month.
The 2 biggest hits towards power usage were # of drives, and processor type. More drives = more motors to spin. The most power-hungry drives were the Ultra320 SCSI drives, followed by PATA drives and finally SATAs. Processor power usage seemed to follow a slightly different curve, with a 2nd gen P4 using the most power, followed by P3s, Pentium Ds, and the Core 2 Duo.