One big home server or several small ones?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Octavio Masomenos, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you're talking shucked drives, then no. I go with longer warranty drives (WD Golds) for my main. Backup is cheaper SMRs.
     
    #21
  2. Aestr

    Aestr Well-Known Member

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    In your case with a single copy locally I totally understand going with higher quality drives. With three copies available shucked makes the most sense in my case.
     
    #22
  3. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    I "technically" could mount my offsite copies as local as it is connected via a 1Gbps S2S VPN connection. The latency would certainly be a lot worse but I've done that a few times and for the purposes of media streaming it actually worked without issue.
     
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  4. Aestr

    Aestr Well-Known Member

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    And we all know that media streaming is the real mission critical service :)

    As long as plex doesn't skip a beat nobody will give me any crap.
     
    #24
    IamSpartacus likes this.
  5. CreoleLakerFan

    CreoleLakerFan Active Member

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    Same here ... the userbase consisting of wife and kids would fire me as CIO if we have a production outage, so the All-In-One ESXi host stays static.
     
    #25
  6. TLN

    TLN Active Member

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    One big server for me too. Easier to maintain and upgrade. I'm the only one user though.
     
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  7. Patriot

    Patriot Moderator

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    1 production server for nas/plex Everything else gets torn down and reassembled as I explore different things. I don't want to count those.
     
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  8. Dreece

    Dreece Master Tinker

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    One multi cpu server with a few storage enclosures. I'm a stout fan of hw raid zero and 5, so different drive pools configured differently based on importance/purpose and backups to garage prioritised accordingly. I VM everything, my whole visual studio dev environment is a VM running off networked NVME storage across 10G to workstation(s) (the pc and a laptop and sometimes even the tablet). I'm in love with SMB 3 Direct, it's just freakishly fast, no matter how hard I try to pulverise it so I'm kind of sticking to Micro$haft as the hypervisor for my virtual world.

    Then in the man-cave I have what I call my tinkering bench, there I just have gear fortune-1000s throw away or lovely ebay sellers hand-over for italian milkshake prices... keeps my tech-level sort of up-to-date as in one gen behind and also keeps my tinkering fetish satisfied.

    Personally been there with a gazillion boxes/racks you name it, from being cramped in a tight attic space to everything rusting in a garage, but since becoming a father I finally settled down on one fat super-server for production hosting a bundle of VMs, because it just works so well and also guarantees that my offspring always gets more attention than my tech/job ie.. no more late nights trying to get things back to how they were after an update or some multi-faceted tweaking session... rolling back a VM still makes me drool to this day lol - if only we had that 20 years ago, just thinking what I could have done with all that free-time back then...
     
    #28
  9. Octavio Masomenos

    Octavio Masomenos New Member

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    Thanks for all the input, everyone. I have a super busy life with a to-do-list that's 10 miles long, so my projects tend to move in slow motion. Having crunched on all this for a couple of months, now, here are the conclusions I've come to...

    The biggest problem with the "1 big server" approach is that it puts all my eggs in one basket. I don't have the resources to build a server cluster or a second/redundant system, and even if I did, I don't want a jet engine in my office with me. -- (Having said that, from a noise standpoint, it's interesting to note that my primary (rackmount) PC and media server together are less noisy than my DGS-1024D switch! I intend to put a fan controller in that noisy bastard soon!)

    Multiple SBC-based servers offer numerous advantages that I really like- I LOVE how cheap and ubiquitous a RasPi is. If it dies, a replacement is dirt cheap and BAM! I'm back in business. Of course, the micro-SD card is a much more likely point of failure but A/ they're cheap, ubiquitous, and I have spares on hand and B/ it's super easy to back them up to an ISO image. (Wish I could automate that, though!) Also, all I need are two SD cards and I can very quickly/easily switch from Production to Dev to Lab and back again! Lastly, the energy savings and low cost of 24/7 operation makes them very economical.

    OTOH, I really can't just go with several SBC-based servers because A/ I need something with some power for Emby transcoding, and B/ even if I find a high-powered SBC that could do the transcoding (which I actually have), there's still the issue of connecting 12-16 SATA drives to an SBC. And since that's an issue I already have resolved (since I already have the server case and PCI SATA expansion cards), a hybrid approach is clearly the most logical route for me - so.....

    I think my setup will look like this:
    • As the central repository for all my personal/family data, NextCloud will be my most "mission-critical" service. Therefore, it will live on a dedicated RasPi 2 with a(n easily upgraded) 2TB storage drive (which I intend to clone to a second, identical drive periodically using a dual SATA dock with cloning functionality). In addition to "Dropbox" duties, this will also serve as a backup server, with the aforementioned HA/Docker backups and critical system restore/configuration data for all my other servers living on this server's storage drive. I like having a backup server separate from everything else because if one of my production servers goes down, I should have exactly what I need to get them back up quickly. The system configuration for this drive will be backed up to its storage drive. As an extra layer of redundancy, the storage drive will also be Duplicati'd to Backblaze (or something similar).
    • My second most "mission critical" service is Home Assistant - and since it's currently running very nicely (in a Docker container along with containers for Mosquitto, Node-RED, OpenZwave, Portainer, Watchtower, Pi-hole, and Ubiquiti controller) on a dedicated RasPi 3, it will continue to do so. No point in reinventing that wheel and, again, super quick and easy to rebuild this server if it fails. I'll image the SD card periodically and make incremental backups of the Docker containers any time I make significant changes. Those oft-mentioned demanding users in my home have become very accustomed to the benefits it provides, so the less I muck with this (and the quicker I can restore its services if anything dies), the better.
    • My (Emby) media server will run on an Odroid HC2 which, like the Pis are inexpensive and ubiquitous while (I recently learned) having the ability to do Emby's transcoding using the video engine of the HC2's ARM SoC. Although this will technically be my media server, running Emby, Radarr, Sonarr, Lidarr, Calibre (?), and some sort of (TBD) photo server, it won't actually have massive amounts of storage...
    • My current media server will essentially stay as is, running OpenMediaVault with SnapRAID on its low-horsepower/energy efficient motherboard and AMD Athlon Kabini (25W) processor. It will simply be a storage array. As with all the other servers, system configuration will be backed up to the NextCloud/backup server so I can (hopefully) quickly/easily restore it if something bad happens.
    • As for my self-hosted web server, I think it needs to be on it's own VLAN, cutoff from the rest of my network (too much risk there) - and while I want to have it up and running 24/7, I'd prefer it cost me as little as possible to do so - so I'll put it on its own Pi.
     
    #29
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  10. Unfadingpyro

    Unfadingpyro New Member

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    If you are going all RasPi, you may want to look at this: The Raspberry Pi PiServer tool - Raspberry Pi

    That way you can do away with the SD cards altogether and boot the RasPi from the network. That would allow easy backup of the images and make changes super easy.
     
    #30
  11. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    I'd just like to chime in to report that I've even further trimmed down my hardware from two boxes (gaming PC & all-in-one server) down to a single box running my server and a Windows 10 Gaming VM. One box to rule them all :D.
     
    #31
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