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hisnameisdome

Best solution for special home server demands?

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hisnameisdome

Hey guys!

 

For the last days I've been researching online non-stop for a good solution for my rather complex (from my point of view) problem, but I'm near desperation. I hope that you guys can help me out!

 

At the bottom line it's all about a home entertainment and file management system. The core functions are NAS + cloud, media center, gaming and some sort of web. My first and biggest question there is: Is it possible to realize all this with a single machine?

 

On the software side I would use Windows 8(.1) as the operating system, OpenMediaVault for the NAS functionality, ownCloud for the cloud capabilities and Plex as the media center. For the hardware I first wanted the HP MicroServer N54L, but I guess the CPU isn't up to my needs, so I think I have to build the machine on my own. I'm a total novice at hardware and everything I came up with is that I'll need a SSD for the OS and programs and some big HDDs for the NAS and therefore a multi-bay system. Unfortunately, I have no idea which CPU or motherboard I need.

 

I imagine the scenario like this: A server functioning as central hub for everything is hooked up to the TV + wireless USB keyboard with trackpad and has wired connection to the network. It's possible to watch movies, which are stored on itself (NAS) with the usage of Plex (media center) on the TV itself or on a tablet. It's also possible to play a game on the TV (since the OS of the machine is Windows) and to even run a little game server (like Minecraft) on it. When being on the go I can access my files from the NAS on my smartphone via ownCloud. And when connected to the network it's possible to call a webpage from the server on any end device with the status information of the server like CPU usage, heat etc.

 

I know that this is a high request and I'm afraid that I have to outsource some tasks onto at least a second machine, but I still have the hope to get served well with just one machine, too.

 

The goal of all this is to have kind of an ecosystem where everything just works and is able to interact with everything smoothly without the risk of commercial lock-in (Apple, Samsung, ...). My budget is not unlimited, but I'm willing to invest in a future-proof system that can serve me for at least 5+ years before the need to upgrade on a larger scale.

 

So, what are your thoughts of all this? Did anyone make similar experience/build a similar setup? What should I keep in mind? Any risks?

 

I appreciate every answer I get!

Thanks,

Dome

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ikon

Unless the gaming is very light weight, I would recommend putting it on a different machine. Gaming generally needs a lot more in the graphics department than a server. Gaming also can require more CPU power than you would need for most servers.

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Drashna Jaelre

I agree with ikon.

 

However, you can accomplish all of that with Windows 8.1 Pro...

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hisnameisdome

Okay, I feared that there would be the need for a second machine. But which components would I need for the main server? Do you have some recommendations?

 

Would the HP ProLiant MicroServer G7 N54L be a good choice?

Edited by hisnameisdome

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Drashna Jaelre

I'd recommend the Gen8. Newer hardware, more upgrade options.

 

That or build it yourself...

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hisnameisdome

In comparison with the Gen7 the CPU of the Gen8 isn't that much of an upgrade, I'd say. The DELL PowerEdge T20 seems to be a better choice though it's a bigger form factor, but I could get it cheaper than even the Gen7 model of HP. Would the T20 be a good choice?

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jmwills

Have you considered building your own?  The upgrade path is a LOT more flexible.

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hisnameisdome

Yes, i did. But I'm a total novice at hardware and everything I came up with is that I'll need a SSD for the OS and programs and some big HDDs for the NAS and therefore a multi-bay system. Unfortunately, I have no idea which CPU or motherboard I need. Do you have some recommendations that fit my needs (NAS + Plex/transcoding + ownCloud)?

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hisnameisdome

(Tried to edit my last post, didn't work)

 

Due to my limited knowledge and experience with custom built machines I kept searching for off-the-shelf, but configurable/upgradable setups online. I also found the Dell PowerEdge T110 II. It's specs:

  • Intel Core i3-2120, 3.3GHz
  • 4GB memory (1x4GB), UDIMM
  • 500GB HDD
  • Up to 4x 3.5" HDDs

Since I'm planning to automatically boot the machine at specific times (wake-on-lan), the boot-up time isn't that important to justify the exchange of the 500GB HDD with an SSD, so I would just keep it. For the beginning I would also install two WD Green 3TB HDDs. Any thoughts?

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ikon

The box itself sounds reasonable. You might want to upgrade the RAM to 8GB, and I would use WD Reds instead of Greens.

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