The noisy fan belonged to Animal, my email and subversion server. It was never the quietest machine and it had gradually become noiser and noisier over the years. In the past few months, it had started intermittently clattering. Now one noisy cooling fan doesn't a impending catastrophic hardware failure make, but it was a constant nagging reminder that the machine was ever more aging. Rather than wait for the box to eventually keel over I decided, in a non-specific mañana kind of way, to preempt it by doing an infrastructure makeover.
Over the past year or so, I'd toyed with buying another Linkstation, reflashing it to turn it into a proper little computer (rather than a dedicated fileserver) and set that up to handle the email. It's sounds like a fun little project, but the seemingly non-stop changes in hardware and the necessary knock changes to software make for somewhat of a moving target. Plus I'm naturally inclined to laziness.
Clattery-clattery ... but I had to do something. I had, after all, decided. I just needed something to come along and magically make rejiggling less faff, while simultaneously avoiding the risk of breaking anything that already works. And where do you find something like that ...