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What do you use your home server for?

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by nails666, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. nails666

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 1,130

    Location: Kent, UK

    Hi, having convinced myself that I really need to get a little home server (probably an HP microserver running WHS2011) I now need to decide what I'm actually going to do with it.

    I currently have a D-Link DNS320 NAS that isn't great so the server will start by taking over basic fileserving duties plus backups and media streaming to my other pc's and PS3. After that I might look at an ftp server and possibly some video downloading stuff like Sickbeard and Couchpotato. Beyond those obvious basics I'm not really sure what else to try so I'm looking for inspiration.

    So what serious/useful/fun/pointless but cool things have you all got your servers doing?

    Thanks,

    Ross
     
  2. DJMK4

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 1, 2004

    Posts: 21,935

    Location: S.Wales, Cardiff

    I have a HP Microserver with 1 x 250GB HDD, 2 x 1TB HDD's, 8GB of RAM, soon to be testing 16GB and need to upgrade the drives at some point.

    USB drive loaded on the motherboard and I run VMWare ESXi 5.0 for home use and for labbing stuff/testing stuff from that USB stick

    Currently have 6 VM's set-up (so far), not all switched on at the moment though but have switched most of them on all at once, the host is only set to load VM1 and VM3 on start-up, the other ones are only needed to be started when I want to use them.


    ---------

    VM1: Windows Server 2008 R2 - This is my main server which I use for downloading, FTP, controls some user accounts, backup server using Symantec Backup Exec, SAB NZBd+ server and remoting on to when I am out and about an, also use it for doing the admin from VSphere client when I am working remotely and to administer VM backups using Veeame

    VM2: Ubuntu Server - Dedicated Newsnab server although I havnt used it and updated it in a while (just for backup just incase usenet sites are closed) - Private use only

    VM3: FreeNAS - My NAS storage for file storage and sharing

    VM4: XP LAB Workstation - Simple XP workstation to use alongside the below lab servers

    VM5: Windows Server 2008 R2 - LAB Server for testing when I carry stuff out and test systems for clients from my side business

    VM6: Windows Server 2003 - Another LAB server for the same purpose


    Soon going to be creating more server VM's to build a virtual lab environment for Active Directory and Exchange
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  3. kitkat9933

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 26, 2012

    Posts: 3,278

    Location: Manchester

    I Run Windows Server 2012 on my HP MicroServer. I have it fitted with 60GB boot SSD and 4*3tb drives.

    On the host I Run AD/LAN File sharing/Printer Sharing/Media Streaming/Backups/FTP

    I also host a hyper-v machine running Ubuntu Server which I host my own website on and also Owncloud (own personal cloud).
     
  4. nails666

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 1,130

    Location: Kent, UK

    Hmm, some fairly serious usage there then. I've only dabbed extremely briefly with VMs at work so don't really know where to start with them. From looking around I do see a lot of usage of them on the microservers. Might be something to look into to get somewhere to practice using linux, something I've never quite got around to doing.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
     
  5. dfarrall

    PermaBanned

    Joined: Nov 21, 2010

    Posts: 2,315

    Location: Newton Aycliffe

    Pfsense!
    Also have a CentOS install on there that i use for random things really. Will use it more when i get time for a file server and the likes.
     
  6. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    I had a microserver running WHS2011. It was taking backups, provide centralized storage, media streaming and remote access. I've since moved up to a custom build server as I wanted more hard drive space and more PCIe slots. Windows home server is a great OS and would recommend using it.
     
  7. roachyuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 6, 2009

    Posts: 1,820

    Location: Liverpool

    what is the spec of you custom server and what case did you use ....thanks

    I use my microserver ...8gb 60gb ssd 1x 1tb 2x 1.5tb 1x2tb...used for downloads...media server and storage...
     
  8. KIA

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 14, 2004

    Posts: 13,540

    Torrent box, file server & vboxheadless.

    HP Microserver running Debian 6 x64 with 1x SSD & 6x 3TB HDD (RAID5).
     
  9. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    Current server is:

    Xeon L5630
    Intel x58 motherboard
    12GB corsair XMS3
    ATi x300 GPU
    LSI 9260-8i RAID Card
    6x Seagate 2TB HDD's (RAID5)
    Crucial C300 64GB Boot Drive
    4x WD Caviar Black 1TB
    Dual port Gigabit Intel NIC
    PCI TV Tuner

    All built into a 3u rack mount. The only problem is there is not much air flow and the power supply is pretty noisy. I want to rebuild it in a new 4u rack mount with a silent Seasonic power supply, Noctua fans & CPU cooler. I also really want to add a 10GB NIC in both the server and my main machine so I can have a quick direct link between the two but I will have to wait till prices drop a bit for that!
     
  10. Kaktus69

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 6, 2013

    Posts: 288

    I love my Microserver, cracking bit of kit for the price (paid ~£130 after £100 cashback from HP back in Feb 2011 for my N36L). A lot less than I paid for the 2-bay Qnap NAS it replaced.

    Running Debian & I don't do anything interesting with it just the usual backup/download/media sharing/file sharing/web etc. Microserver just hums away 24/7 and gets on with it, can't recommend them highly enough.
     
  11. roachyuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 6, 2009

    Posts: 1,820

    Location: Liverpool

    what wattage power supply would you use for that....
     
  12. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    well currently I have a 600w server PSU which is massively overkill. I think a good 400w should suffice. Maybe a 450W for a little headroom. The CPU is only 40W though and is never really pushed hard. Although as it is left on all the time I will be looking at 80+ platinum supplies.
     
  13. jameshurrell

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 1, 2013

    Posts: 179

    I have a ML110 G7 10GB RAM - ESXi is installed on a USB stick and then several VMs run for business purposes:

    1- Win 7 Pro - SVN server (to manage client web site source code), SQL Server 2008 R2 (testing and client usage), Postgres SQL server (client stuff)

    2- Win 7 Pro - Oracle 11g (client stuff)

    3- Ubunto 12.04LTS - LAMP stack for website testing

    Needs some more RAM as maxing it out at the moment...
     
  14. Bobcat

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 1,537

    Location: Swansea

    Server 2008 R2 System, which is used for the following -

    + AD Domain for linking media clients around the house, plus some remote work when im away for long periods.
    + Exchange 2010
    + IIS so that i can listen/watch my growing media collection from anywhere, but mostly at work streaming MP3 Albums from home, but occasionally used in Hotels etc for streaming movies when im sent away to work.
    + File/Print
    + SABnzdb (self explanatory)
    + Backups
    + The odd VM will be fired up to do additional tasks if/when needed

    It is just hidden away in a cupboard, linked to my VirginMedia broadband and does not miss a heartbeat :)
     
  15. roachyuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 6, 2009

    Posts: 1,820

    Location: Liverpool

    Thanks for the info....was interested as looking to build me own in the near future....
     
  16. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 24,217

    Location: Surrey

    HP Microserver with 8gb and a 2tb drive (more to be added shortly) running Ubuntu Server and acting as a NAS and FTP site.
     
  17. smargh

    Associate

    Joined: Dec 29, 2010

    Posts: 74

    HP Microserver + Server 2008 R2:
    - Some ad-hoc scripting (primarily munging some RSS feeds)
    - DHCP+DNS
    - Mezzmo DLNA server
    - Storage, duh.
    - VM host for semi-persistent Hyper-V VMs - currently has no VMs though
    - Mail server

    It was primarily just a way of separating my desktop PC from the storage, to make backups easier. I have a second identical Microserver (2TB Ultrastars + Adaptec 3405 each, but +ILO card) in a different building - the intention is to have Site A & B with regular backups. File versioning isn't important, so it will be just a scheduled mirror - if I accidentally delete massive amounts of data, then I'll just pause the sync job and restore from the Alpha Site*. If all the kit in one building is stolen, then I can just buy new stuff and restore from the mirror.


    [*SG1 homage]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  18. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    No worries, there is a good power supply calculator around if you look for it. Get some pictures up if you do build it. Seeing gaming rig after gaming rig it's nice to see some servers on here!

    I will be updating mine in the near future which will probably end up lumped in with my main build log.
     
  19. nails666

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 1,130

    Location: Kent, UK

    Nice, thanks everyone for all the info, plenty of good stuff there.

    I have to admit I'm tempted by the ESXi approach but I think for my current experience level and the fact that I need to get the basic functions working solidly I'll go for a WHS2011 install. From there I can add some VM stuff later as I get more adventurous.

    That Pfsense! looks very interesting, I could definitely see advantages to having the server act as my main router for the network. Would it be possible to run that from a VM running within WHS or is there some equivalent type software that could be run natively in windows?

    As a general question on the microservers, is there much advantage going for an SSD as the main OS drive (assuming WHS) over the basic 250gb drive supplied with the server for the type of operations I've mentioned?

    TIA,

    Ross
     
  20. BahBah

    Gangster

    Joined: Nov 25, 2002

    Posts: 247

    Those running FTP sites, I hope they're SFTP.