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Building my deployment server


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Good evening,


I'm new to the forums, and brand new to servers in general. I recently purchased a used T620 and hope to have win10 installed with a raid 6 array of 5 8TB drives expandable to 8 as required shortly. This machine will be the backbone of a network set up for our squadron for personal use (file sharing, media streaming, etc.). I've mulled over a lot of ideas on how to properly set up the network, but being so new to it all I'm afraid I've fallen short. Here are some of the ideas/requirements I'm hoping for:


1. NAS and file sharing

2. Controlling/limiting who is logged in, and how many instances of the same login can access the network simultaneously (trying to limit user name and password sharing)

3. Plex or Kodi media server with streaming

4. Gaming server for games like WoW or Minecraft

5. Continuous video recording (security cam for my state room)

6. Chat client

7. Console server for xBox, PS4, etc (probably as simple as a LAN thing but worth asking)

8. Accessing my NAS from the internet one home from deployment like a personal cloud


- For the NAS (1), I would really prefer to be in control of the file structure. Having a directory where others can drop files and folders, but the bulk of the file file structure would be read only for the users and I can place new content accordingly. Additionally, if each person could have their own small (20-50gb) amount of space for personal storage only they could access?
- Controlling user login - I will be providing most of the hardware, including the server, for the squadron so it would be great to recoup a little bit of that up front cost. My idea was to provide permanent access to the network for $20 (for a 7 month deployment). with an expected 50-70 users, it's not a lot but it can help cover a bit of a multi-thousand machine. To do so, I am interested in limiting each user to one login and it ca only be used one at a time. I know this won't prevent everyone from sharing but hopefully it will encourage individual use. 

- Plex or Kodi would be a great feature to help with #2 on the list. Plex might get a bit resource intensive but it does look nicer than Kodi IMO. 

- I like to play Minecraft and thought my friends might enjoy exploring a world together. This one shouldn't be too hard on Win10 to set up. Other games might be more of a challenge but again, just throwing out some possible ideas

- Personal security camera should also be pretty easy to set up on Win10

- A chat client would be great because our rooms will probably be pretty far away. Might just be a simple program? I really liked how NextCloud has it built right into their OS, but seeing as how I'm going to be using this as a personal machine as well as a server, I am trying to avoid running a dedicated OS for that reason.

-I believe the console server can be handled by the individual consoles. 2 or 3 xBox's on the same LAN should see each other without any other hardware?

-Once we return from deployment, I would like to be able to access my NAS like a cloud server.


The machine that I got is a professional grade server, but hopefully Windows 10 wiill be adequate and robust enough to handle these tasks however. I see advantages to using software like Synology DiskStation Manager, FreeNAS, or NextCloud, but none of these seem perfect for the job, and I still need a windows machine for deployment. Unfortunately, I also don't have the IT background or experience necessary to run a Windows Server 2008 for example, so relying on Windows 10 seems most logical to me. 


I'm looking forward to your suggestions and help!

Thank you for your time. 

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Welcome to the forums!


Congrats on the new server. For me I would not use Windows 10 or any Microsoft server for what you want to do. You have a pretty good laundry list of things you want the box to do and as such you would have to get some software from 3rd party's, Test and hope it works not to mention extra cost for the software.


Everything you wan't to do can be done with XPEnology aka Synology DSM, You install this on your own hardware. There is a great how-to video by Morten over at My PlayHouse found here. If you follow his video as I did you will be up and running in 30 min. Synology has a huge package center and most are free. You talk about wanting chat, Synology has a nice collaboration suite that includes Chat, Calendar and Office and it's all free. They also have an NVR package for your IP cameras called Surveillance Station and includes two free camera licenses, Each additional will cost about 50.00


I see you also wan't to run some Windows application, Not a problem. You could install Windows 10 as a VM in Synology DSM using there new Virtual Machine Manager, I tested this back in November and it worked well. This is my recommendation and what I would use and what I do use. I use to be all in with the Microsoft stuff but after getting my first Synology NAS back in 2012 I never looked back, I now have several of this in production at family and friends that I manage.


Hope this helps....

Edited by itGeeks
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After doing a bit more research, I came up with a similar idea using NextCloud. You mention running XPEnology as your main OS and using VM for Windows. Would there be any advantage or disadvantage to using windows as your OS and running XPEnology or NextCloud using Windows Hyper-V or other virtual machine?

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With the list of things you are looking at doing, I would look at running a hypervisor, like Hyper-V or ESXi, on the server then run VM's for each function you want the server to do. Performance may be an issue if you try to run too many VM's.

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Not sure if there is advantages/disadvantages, What I outlined above is my personal preference. As much as I/we need Microsoft I have a love/hate relationship for them. I had a bad time running anything I depend on in a Hyper-V so I now stay away from it. If you don't want to install XPEnology bare-metal and use there VM manager to install Windows an anything else then I would use ESXI like schoon recommended, I have never used ESXI so I can't be any help.

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If I recall correctly it is best to run ESXi if you want to run a XPEnology VM. There is something in the Microsoft platform that doesn't work well with XPEnology. I think it is only on S2012 and newer though. So s2008r2 would be fine. I will see if I can find it and post a link.

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