Tinkering with current HW for a Home Server

utamav

New Member
Apr 4, 2018
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I have a self built mITX desktop computer with i5 3570K, 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM. I decided to build myself a NAS server with a i7-3537U, 8GB RAM on a laptop running OMV. So far the laptop is stable but I don't use my desktop that much and I was wondering if I can convert it into a multi purpose server. The idea is to run a NAS, Emby and Windows on the server. I checked a few solutions like XenServer and ESXi but none of those support my CPU.

My other option was to get a Dell T30 from the outlet store if the price drops down below $300.

1. Is it possible to do what I am looking for with virtualization?
2. What upgrades would I need?
3. I am better off with a server hardware?
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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Maybe run Windows 10 and just use the inbuilt hyper-v as a way to run VM’s ? Nice and simple compared to other solutions, or same thing with a Linux install using KVM but if your more comfortable with windows and probably have a windows 10 license already...
 

ttabbal

Active Member
Mar 10, 2016
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Things might be a bit tight with 8GB RAM, particularly with a Windows VM. If you aren't doing a lot of transcoding, Emby should be fine on that hardware. NAS doesn't take a lot really, so that's fine. For setups like ESXI, you really need server hardware to get good support for IOMMU so you can pass controllers into the storage VM.

To answer your questions, yes virtualization can do what you want. Upgrade RAM, more is better. Better off, well, it depends on priorities and use. Since you're new to the home server game, you might as well try with what you have and learn how it runs. If nothing else, it gives you a place to start when deciding how much CPU/RAM/HD you will need to manage your needs.

Since the more enterprise style all-in-one is out, you can do a couple things. If you have a Win10 license, you could use it to manage NAS and VMs for the other services. The newer linux on windows stuff might not be a bad idea here, or something like Docker.

Another option is something like Proxmox. Handle NAS on the host and use a container for Emby and a KVM VM for Windows if needed. This is going to have a steeper learning curve if you're not familiar with Linux.

You might also look into FreeNAS to see if their VM/Container features work on your CPU.

UnRAID might be a good match as well.

I don't like laptops as a NAS because people tend to string a bunch of USB hard drives on them to get enough storage. Then complain when USB falls over and they lose data.

NAS software choice depends a lot of how much data we're talking about and if you want redundancy (RAID), ZFS, etc..