Want to invest in a home server..ideas/suggestions/recommendations?


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Sharpstick68

I am looking into building or buying a home server, mainly for data storage and streaming media. I am looking at a few different routes such as desktop server computers, or a rack server and I'm looking to spend no more than $1,000. If possible I want to have 8 hard drive bays. I just don't know what the pros/cons would be if I had either a desktop server or a rack server..and any input would be greatly appreciated, and also suggestions on what can possibly fit my budget. Cheers

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Mindovermaster

Rackmounts usually allow for more HDDs than desktops. I think what you are looking for is 2U.

 

I am not wise in the server world, though, just my 2 cents.

 

Maybe @BudMan can help?

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+BudMan
1 hour ago, Sharpstick68 said:

mainly for data storage and streaming media

Does that $1k account for your disks as well?  Or just the Box?  Unless your into building computers/servers your best bet would prob be just a NAS..  It will for sure allow you to store files, serve up media. Run VMs, run Dockers.. Pretty much anything you would want without need of OS management, and easy of use via just a web gui.

 

Also prob going to less power hungry as well. 

 

Why do you mention 8 Bays?  Do you currently have disks to put in, do you have an amount of storage in mind? etc..

 

There are plenty of people to help walk you through decision making process.. But really need more details to be able to help you make an informed choice on what to get.. You mention rack - do you already have a rack? etc.. 

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freedonX

I like my SYNOLOGY, been using it for 8 years "just as" a file server for the my business. Of all the apps, I only use  cloud (connects to OneDrive).  But internally it's just a shared folder with the user restrictions


So in that sense I'm no expert, but 8 years without a hiccup (except 1 drive dying, which is of course not Synology fault). But heck 8 years that I didn't have to worry about my files being accessed  that works for me!

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Mindovermaster
20 minutes ago, freedonX said:

I like my SYNOLOGY, been using it for 8 years "just as" a file server for the my business. Of all the apps, I only use  cloud (connects to OneDrive).  But internally it's just a shared folder with the user restrictions


So in that sense I'm no expert, but 8 years without a hiccup (except 1 drive dying, which is of course not Synology fault). But heck 8 years that I didn't have to worry about my files being accessed  that works for me!

Well, there's more to it then just that...

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Nexus-

I picked up a tiny Lenovo Thinkcentre M92P from ebay. Cost me $90. 4GB Ram $250 2.5" 5400RPM drive i5-3470T 2.9Ghz and W10 Pro. Upgraded that to 8GB ram and a 120GB SSD from the egg. Currently my media consumption needs have me using a 3TB and 1TB drive connected to it. Its fast enough for home media streaming and when I am using plex at a friend's house with it I notice it may only pause once during the movie to buffer for about 4 seconds. Without the Ram and SSD upgrades it was buffering far more often remotely making movie watching nearly impossible. Being intel based if you wanted to do linux it should be very easy.

 

I say go that route because its cheap, quiet, low power. It's not the most tidy, no with a mess of wires. I have both anydesk for remote access and a KVM sharing with my gaming rig If I want to look at it directly or want to do something that doesn't interrupt what's going on like a game. As a SFF pc it does have tons of accessories that exist for it, for instance I bought a $5 vertical stand that helps stabilize it in the upright position against any strong vibration or bumps. A VESA monitor mount also exists that may be able to attach it to a closet wall if you wanted to tuck it away somewhere. Another nice thing is if I need a desktop app I could remote in with my chromebook and just pretend I am at home.

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Sharpstick68
3 hours ago, BudMan said:

Does that $1k account for your disks as well?  Or just the Box?  Unless your into building computers/servers your best bet would prob be just a NAS..  It will for sure allow you to store files, serve up media. Run VMs, run Dockers.. Pretty much anything you would want without need of OS management, and easy of use via just a web gui.

 

Also prob going to less power hungry as well. 

 

Why do you mention 8 Bays?  Do you currently have disks to put in, do you have an amount of storage in mind? etc..

 

There are plenty of people to help walk you through decision making process.. But really need more details to be able to help you make an informed choice on what to get.. You mention rack - do you already have a rack? etc.. 

No the $1k doesn't account for the drives, just the box. I wouldn't be opposed to building a computer/server and I have a friend who can help if I ask. My current 4-Bay NAS is good but when I bought it back in 2016 it was $600 bucks and it didn't really seem like a powerful system but the specs it has, my friend said you mostly pay for the software that comes with it. But anyway, I mention 8 bays because I want to be able to expand in the future if my needs call for it. I don't have the disks to put in, but at the moment I am wanting to make a RAID-5 using either 8 or 10 TB drives. 

 

 

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+BudMan
8 hours ago, Sharpstick68 said:

when I bought it back in 2016 it was $600 bucks

And what is the make and model of this box?

 

Other than storage issue, what is it not doing that you "need" it to do?

 

I can serve up file and media with a 35$ pi... There is nothing saying that it needs to be latest gen I9 16 core with 128GB of ram to do what you have mentioned.

 

A lot of people spend a lot of money on hardware that just sits there and sucks juice (that they pay for)..  What is your local network speed, what size files are you moving about.

 

Seems more like you want suggestions of some new toy, but really have no actual requirements.. Is this media server actually going to serve up the media, or is just files.. Ie do you want this server to run plex?  Or some other media server? 

 

As to mostly paying for the software it comes with.. Ok you build this box, what OS do you plan on running on it?  freenas, OMV, whitebox DSM? Or windows, you going to just put some linux distro on it?  Do you know linux? What free os are you planning on using if you don't want to pay for OS in any way.  Kind of good info to know when picking out hardware to make sure whatever you picking works good on that hardware and has drivers for the components, etc.  But yeah part of the nas package is paying for the OS.  But again you have stated nothing that couldn't be done with a pi.. So why are you paying for hardware even?  Does this box need to be able to transcode 4k, hdr, what?

 

Why don't you just have your friend help you spend your 1k$ He seems brilliant when it comes to technology ;)

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Sharpstick68

@BudMan The make and model of my current NAS is a QNAP TS-453A. It is a great box, and the software/interface is very easy to use..I love it to be honest. The only problem I want to expand my raid volume and the current expansion unit they have for it, you can't do that, you can use it as a Direct-Attached-Storage (DAS) which I don't want because then I'd be making a whole new volume.

 

My local network speed is a gigabit connection 125/75 and the size of the files that would be moved around wouldn't be bigger than say 5 or 10 GB

 

Yes I would want to run Plex on it for sure. My current nas uses it

 

A friend of mine suggested if I really want to expand my raid volume without buying a new unit, would be to buy bigger drives and just do it that way, and since my raid is in Raid 5 I would do it one disk at a time, but I've never done anything like that before.

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+BudMan
1 hour ago, Sharpstick68 said:

since my raid is in Raid 5 I would do it one disk at a time

That is what I would suggest to be honest..  Looks like qnap does support such a method

https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/tutorial/article/online-raid-capacity-upgrade/

 

If your happy with your current system, and just want a larger raid.. Or buy a bigger qnap and migrate your data to that..   If your use to qnap and its features... Stick with that brand, but if you want 8 bay your prob going to need more money ;)

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Sharpstick68

Thanks @BudMan I may just do that, buy bigger drives and expand my NAS that way, and either use the previous drives for something else or keep them for back up. 

 

I am happy with my current system don't get me wrong, I just would like to have more bays for the future if I wish to expand later on down the road. I do have more then the inital $1K I said, I have a bit of disposable income (not millionaire status).

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+BudMan

Sure you could put them in a case and use them as backup drive, etc.. They sell cases for 4 drives usb, even some that do raid.. Say $100 to 150 and you have a large backup with the old drives.

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