Question about home "server" builds. Why are they needed?

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by Robert Last, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Robert Last

    Robert Last New Member

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    New viewer here. As I build my new computer, I see many people here building home "servers" , to share files with family members.
    Now forgive me, but what is being shared among the family? We have a plex media player installed, running on my desktop, a Dell 8 year computer, for 2 years without incident. There, the family can look at tv shows, family photos and home moves. I also have HDHomeRun to record over the air programming.
    But for the life of me, I can't figure out what I want to share with my wife's desktop computer, or my 2 teens aged kids?
     
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  2. chn

    chn New Member

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    Some people want more "hands-on" experience or flexibility in managing their own services at home. For example, they may want to run their own DNS on their home network, and be able to block ads that way. Sharing files is another reason, which you have mentioned above. Personally I have a server for learning and testing different configurations of servers (in VMs), which helps me for work.
     
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  3. Robert Last

    Robert Last New Member

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    No, I understand the hands on. I love it too. I just don't understand what people are sharing with family members. What am I missing?
     
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  4. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    Some people do a lot more on their home networks than just a simple Plex server for their immediate family. As you can see from the services I'm running on my home server even just running things like Plex/Emby you can do a lot more with many of the associated apps (Sonarr/Radarr/NZBGet/Deluge/NZBHydra/Jackett). I also don't have any PC's in my house. All my "PC's" are VM's that run on my server with passed through hardware either directly to monitors/keyboard/mouse or streaming the desktop do devices like Surface Pro's and/or Nvidia Shield TV's.

    You can really get deep with the amount of services/applications you can run on a single home server that can really improve your experience and/or save you time in the long run.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Robert Last

    Robert Last New Member

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    Interesting indeed, thanks.
     
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  6. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Think of this the other way around for starters; I've got no interest in my partner's machine, but it gets backed up to a central server (and then replicated offsite). Centralised edited highlights from both our photo collections if needs be. The usual sharing of films etc. to the house.

    But mostly it's a stomping ground for fiddling with Interesting Things.

    <adjusts onion>If you've got teenaged kids, you could share some decent music with them instead of the noise they listen to these days!</shakes fist at cloud>
     
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  7. Robert Last

    Robert Last New Member

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    OK, thanks guys
     
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  8. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    - Phone Video & PIC Backup (family stuff mostly)
    - Phone Data\downloads Backup
    - GoPro Vid Storage
    - DSLR\Camera Storage
    - Older software storage\archive
    - Any shared project resources
    - Security Camera Backups


    To me these are the most basic "Home Server" needs.
     
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  9. msg7086

    msg7086 Active Member

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    That IS kind of a home "server". A server doesn't have to look like a "server", you know, rackmount server. As long as it functions as a server, it's a server. My server also runs on a used Dell Optiplex because I don't have the need to put more hardware into it (for the moment). If you want to fit 12 or even 24 HDDs, or a few SSDs, you'd need a bigger "server" and usually that's why people buy an actual rackmount server.

    So if your plex library is large enough, you would be looking at a big server.
     
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  10. Dark

    Dark Member

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    Big one is backups (for our environment). Computers in the household sync data with multiple locations (some with different datasets than others).
    More so for myself--
    -it's a lab
    -a home for vms that have unique purposes (perhaps tools that have horrible security that I want locked down without neutering my primary PC)
    -services (plex, backup/restore tools, etc)
     
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  11. Markess

    Markess Active Member

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    So, a couple thoughts that could apply to you as you contemplate your new computer:

    If you had a separate server for Plex, then everyone could stream media from Plex to their own computers, or TVs, tablets, etc., independent of your Desktop. If, for example, you do CPU/Memory/Bandwidth intensive work (or gaming) on your Desktop, it may be beneficial for your desktop not to be serving up media via Plex at the same time that you're working (or gaming).

    It doesn't take a lot of power to run Plex. So, if your new PC is seriously high spec (and therefore requiring a lot of power to run), it may be beneficial to have it sleep when not in use, and have a separate low power machine dedicated to Plex.
     
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  12. Navy_BOFH

    Navy_BOFH Member

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    What dash/instance are you running? I am wondering what can run Docker and VMs at the same time... and I am behind the times!
     
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  13. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    Unraid :cool:
     
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  14. cheezehead

    cheezehead Active Member

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    Generally using them for file, plex, backups (laptops/desktops), and a lab environment for learning new things. I've looked at public cloud storage and it works well if your upload speed is fast and you don't have a ton of data. Once your data increases, the question of cloud storage can be expensive. For me it was around 40% cheaper to run it at home outside of the faster speeds, it's more secure, and given the local climate it helps augment my winter heating but not enough where the A/C needs to run extra during the summer.
     
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  15. Steve Simmons

    Steve Simmons New Member

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    I have an HP z420 based esxi host, mostly for educational purposes, lab etc to have the abilities to test things that I would do at the office, esxi itself, AD, Exchange, MSCS Failover clustering, ConfigMGR based OSD and automated rule based windows patching etc. Didn't really use it for any 'home use' as far as file shares etc (other than testing particular file share issues I ran across at work) Now I"m looking to build 3 new servers so I can use vsan and have true hyperconvergeance at home. using vmug advantage licensing ($200 a year, 365 day trial licensing) and Microsoft Action Pack ($400 a yearfor MS software licensing of just about all server/client based software licesning).
     
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  16. SRussell

    SRussell Active Member

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    I run services that mimic my enterprise environment... HA Proxy, Apache, JBOSS, Database, Vagrant, Docker... Lately I have been playing around build X using closed source and open source tools. Down the road I want to setup 100% remote/cloud and migrations between on prem, cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud.
     
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  17. i386

    i386 Well-Known Member

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    When I read "home server" I think about two scenarios: running services for home (filesharing, mediaserver) and homelabs for learning/trying new technologies (some are relevant for work, others are just for hobby)
    I'm sharing iso files/installers, drivers/driver repos (eg snappy drive installer), install/shell/configuration scripts over the homenetwork
     
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