View Full Version : Home Servers...a discussion
03-19-2012, 07:46 PM
Years ago I was big into doing full blown Microsoft servers for my home...even Small Business Server quite often. Doing VMWare labs.
And then I started cutting back...got tired of the tons of servers, noise, electrical bill. And..really don't need the functionality at home.
But these days..with "media centers" becoming more popular, a place to centralize music/movies/stuff....even access from the web maybe...I was thinking it would be nice to build some home server.
I've always played with lots of various linux distro firewalls....IPCop, m0n0wall, Smoothwall, PFSense, Untangle, IPFire, Endian, Astaro, ..the list goes on 'n on. So my most recent hardware for those was a 1U SuperMicro Atom D510 server.
Been turned off for at least 6 months while I'm running the home LAN just fine on a Cisco e3000.
So anyways...I briefly skimmed the page about Amahi.
My point of this thread...what are some other "home servers" that you guys are using? I'm not looking for e-mail/remote access portals/UTM stuff...just...more media home serving stuff. Yeah...I could snag Windows Home Server 2011..but I feel like diggin some open source first.
03-19-2012, 09:05 PM
if you're talking about amahi, freenas, openfiler and unraid should probably go into the mix.
I used freenas for awhile. it ate al my data, but my bad - no backups.
Then went to WHS - but found it had too many annoyances. (good for end-users though!)
Now back to freenas with ZRAID and external backup. ZFS offers some cool features plus the system is very configurable/flexible.
03-19-2012, 09:21 PM
We have a homemade Linux box that stores all of our stuff and uses Samba to allow others access. We use a WD TV to stream video files to the television. Since my laptop has been the only computer to interface with the file server for over half a year I've been thinking about yanking out the Linux box and just replacing it with a few external hard drives that can still plug into the WD TV.
I guess my needs aren't as much as others here. I hardly get time in front of the television so it tends not to be a big priority.
03-19-2012, 09:27 PM
I'm talking a bit more into multi-media hosting.....than I remember FreeNAS being used for. I've used FreeNAS in the past...but it was more just...file storage. Something like Amahi...able to allow iTunes clients to pull from it, Windows Media Player, DVD viewing....I guess it leans more into allowing UPnP stuff to pickup the media in a more native format. Guess I'll have to play with it more....maybe those features are more Hype than useful?
Years ago I had a nice stereo system...been retired and boxed up since past couple of marriages and moves and relocations and homes....was thinking of getting back into a stereo system, but then see everyone going to media server based stuff instead of the old school systems from years ago (old tech guy in a new tech job I am!)
03-19-2012, 10:36 PM
I like Ubuntu and Samba. Also I do the LAMP install so I can run test platforms in apache.
My servers now:
5 Dell Poweredge 1950's (RAID1 73GB SAS 6Gb)
1 Dell Poweredge 2950 (RAID5 5 246GB SAS 6gb drives)
1 Home built 3.4Ghz Intel Dual Core something or other.. 2TB RAID1(8 500GB drives - 4 arrays)
Soon to add 2 IBM Servers System X3850 Drives ???
I have these now as test platforms and am going to sell them or do hosting... Got them for a good deal.
03-19-2012, 11:54 PM
Review of it here
Think my little Atom box is too underpowered for that one.
Doesn't appear to be true open source free....but just adding to the list.
03-20-2012, 12:07 AM
03-20-2012, 05:48 AM
Myself I have tried various options and ended up with Unraid and I am really pleased with it. I have been using it for over a year now and it is rock solid. I used Amahi for a while but it felt really unpolished and was always searching for solutions to little issues. I would rather use a roll your own Linux over Amahi. WHS was nice at the start but storage pool issues (don't really remember what exactly) made me search for another solution. What I really like about Unraid is.... IT Works. I don't have to worry about my media , it's there. when I'm done fixing computers and networks all day I don't have to worry about my home server.
03-20-2012, 06:03 AM
I'm talking a bit more into multi-media hosting.....than I remember FreeNAS being used for. I've used FreeNAS in the past...but it was more just...file storage. Something like Amahi...able to allow iTunes clients to pull from it, Windows Media Player, DVD viewing....I guess it leans more into allowing UPnP stuff to pickup the media in a more native format.
maybe those features are more Hype than useful?
I guess that depends on what you are running off it (the front ends). We use XBMC on both our media PC's so there's no need for any back-end coverart or metadata scraping. As far as UPnP goes, I done have a lot of experience with it, but Im not sure how important it is on the server side - it seems to me from what Ive seen, that this is more relevant as a communication protocol between devices.
03-20-2012, 06:04 AM
IT Works. I don't have to worry about my media , it's there. when I'm done fixing computers and networks all day I don't have to worry about my home server.
You said a whole bunch right there. Couldnt agree more.
03-21-2012, 03:23 AM
I found on old off lease P4 tower 3.2GHZ socket 775 got it for $50 put in two 1TB drives in a RAID 1. Installed Ubuntu Server with SAMBA, and Open SSH. Created three separate shares Pictures/Music/Videos. Installed ushare so I can watch the videos on the Xbox 360, and copied all my data to it.
It was plain, simple, and easy. Took all of 30 minutes to set up, sans data transfer.
It has been running now for 6 months nonstop very little maintaining, and upkeep. Every 6 months or so I reboot it and blow the dust out of the fans.
It can easily stream to a couple PC's at the same time.
Outdated, but still relevant hardware being re purposed with open source software is amazing.
03-21-2012, 11:40 AM
I've been hearing good things about MediaTomb. I tried Amahi once but it wants to take over your network as a router/firewall also. I did not really care for this approach since I already had my own in place.
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