1. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Have you built a home server?

    Did you use a premade box? Custom built box? Hardware specs advice?

    What OS version? What custom programs drive it?

    How is it networked? What does it serve (media content/emails/document or picture vault)? What devices do you have drawing from it? Best use scenarios?

    Help clue us in. The more details the better.
    jmshub likes this.
    12-03-2015 12:00 PM
  2. Nicholas Radtke's Avatar
    I guess I'll go first:

    Custom built
    Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Black
    CPU : Intel Core i5 3470S
    RAM : 8GB Samsung low-voltage DDR3 1600MHz
    Mobo: ASUS P8H77-I mini-ITX
    PSU : Rosewill 450M Capstone 450W
    Boot drive: Samsung 840 250GB SSD
    Data drives: 4x WD Red 6TB HDD
    OS Backup drive: WD Red 2TB HDD

    OS: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

    I've got it being used as client backup machine, a remote access machine for my home network (incl. VPN), a mail server and a media server. Connected via Gigabit Ethernet.

    Custom Programs: I'm the creator of the WHS 2011 Media Collector, so I have it controlling client applications that aggregate all media from connected Windows PCs including my custom desktop and my Surface Pro 3. I'm also using the WS2012R2 Connector app on my Lumia 830 to access content remotely.
    RumoredNow and jmshub like this.
    12-03-2015 03:37 PM
  3. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I'm really interested in making a home server out of a spare laptop I find myself with. Currently it is running Windows 8.1. It is a Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102. Nothing glamorous. I'm going to do some poking around to see what I need to do to make this functional as a media server, email center,. etc. Also what functionality I can build out with it. The 1TB HDD doesn't hurt.

    It will be nice in that I can pull the battery and have it run off AC with no worries. It seems to run cool enough for dedicated use.
    jmshub likes this.
    12-04-2015 10:53 AM
  4. Nicholas Radtke's Avatar
    With the specs on that thing, you could run a Windows-based server, but you might get a bit more out of it with a Linux-based server OS. They're less overhead and substantially cheaper (if you don't have cheap/easy access to a Windows Server SKU). If you want one that's relatively easy to set up, check out Amahi. I've messed with it in VMs before and it's pretty easy to use. Only thing that's kept me from switching to it on my server is the backup functionality in the Windows Server Essentials versions.
    RumoredNow and jmshub like this.
    12-05-2015 10:16 AM
  5. jmshub's Avatar
    How did I miss this thread before?

    My rig is a Fractal Array R2 Mini ITX case. It is running an Asus board with an i5-2400 series CPU and 4 GB of RAM.

    I don't remember the specs on the boot drive, but the data is stored on five WD Red 1.0 GB drives in RAID6 configuration. RAID6 means there is a lot of redundancy, so I'm only getting a little under 3 TB of storage from the 5 TB of storage in the array, but I can drop two drives without any data loss. Data protection was and is my key goal.

    The operating system is Windows Home Server 2011. When I built the machine, I was using all Windows 7 client PCs, and WHS was a dream. WHS has client software that worked until Windows 8.1 that would run incremental backups on any client PCs. You could do restores from this data store any time you wanted, and it was very slick. This functionality has been greatly reduced however, with Windows 10.

    However, the server still stores all my MP3s, pictures, a bunch of video files, some that we took on our phones or camera, and a few DVD rips, and all of my documents and files for me, my wife and my parents (I have my parents files there for backup more than instant access, I set their laptop up to VPN in for occasional backup).

    I use CrashPlan to back up all of this.

    As I watched WD Red drives balloon in size, I griped with my coworker that my RAID array was getting undersized, but would need to update all 5 drives to increase the size of my array. However, that is just the nerd in me being unable to be happy with what I've got, because despite this rig starting to show it's age, I have never had a risk of running out of room. Despite what I think is a ton of data, I'm never dipped below 1 TB of free space in the array.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    03-18-2016 11:27 PM

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