Home Server

There is a privacy-focused hardware vendor selling a 6W TDP home server on Amazon.

As such, lots of people are looking to distance themselves from big tech and major players in the cloud space. … With ZimaBoard, we wanted to create an accessible option for the average user wanting to set up a home cloud.

1 Like

Interesting, and at the top end it kicks what I have set up.

Gotta say that there has been a considerable amount of personal benefit to trying (and failing and trying again) to do all of this work myself, salvaging of a machine formerly without a purpose.

Always good to see something which seeks to make the process of bringing home the data easier for the average person.

1 Like

I have a QNAP NAS at home. I just use it to back up my computer. But QNAPs do have a dizzying array of features including the common features of home servers like media streaming and hosting services.

I admit that QNAP is not a good fit for what I’m doing. I’m not taking advantage of their many strengths. And I think they are too complicated for the non-technical person to manage.

That’s why I thought the news article was interesting. IceWhale has a commitment to privacy. But they also pointed to complexity as an issue that they were trying to address. And I think both of those goals are commendable.

Maybe other people can share what hardware and software they’re using at home.

1 Like

I’m deeply interested in this, and I’ll add to my neofetch that I’m using OpenMediaVault and that I didn’t hop around much distro-wise, so I’m sure there’s something better I’m not aware of. It suits the purpose (media and backups) absolutely fine though.

rsync is pretty important. Unfortunately, QNAP has a proprietary version which means I have to do something else to back up from Linux.

@Josh I think you mentioned in an e-mail that your setup has a standard rsync service.

1 Like

Good shout on that link, thanks.

On rsync yep it is in there and very easy to use. One of the main reasons I haven’t looked to change the OS, it just fulfills the needs I have for a NAS. Shame that you have to find a workaround, but I’m guessing you probably have a more performant setup as there’s less jerryrigging involved at the hardware level?

In terms of file transfer efficiency, I rsync to a mounted Windows file share. I think the underlying network protocol–SMB–is poorly suited to the work rsync does. And performance suffers there. With a stock QNAP, my other options are to SSH as root to the NAS and rsync through the secure shell or to mount an iSCSI LUN. I don’t like either option. I should not have to use root to access my backup share. And, while the QNAP has immutable snapshots which protect against ransomware, I don’t like the idea of having a backup drive constantly mounted. I’d prefer to only authenticate and connect during my manual backup. Ideally, I would connect to a standard rsync service as my unprivileged QNAP user.

In terms of hardware, I just have a pair of Seagate IronWolfs in a RAID 1. Speaking strictly of the hardware, setup was plug-and-play. But QNAPs have many options and abstract layers which build on each other so that even basic software configuration is complicated. I used to get confused at work which is why I bought one at home to practice on.

1 Like

And then some for me. My original setup leveraged SMB so that two separate Pis (sharing a MariaDB for watch progress) streamed from the server. I understand now that Windows<=>Windows SMB is supposed to be a good choice, but Linux<=>Linux it is not. This was especially problematic when it came to library updates, which I have as a cron task, and the rsync from one set of drives to another - much buffering, not much fun for movie night. I ended up switching everything over to NFS and it works like a dream. I agree with you on neither of these options really being obviously golden to solve this problem.

This is where my salvaging aesthetic means I’m for sure suffering from a performance POV, everything in this server is built out of things grabbed from around the house, old drives etc. if there was an opportunity to upgrade or replace I think I’d probably spend the money on similar kit, would you say the IronWolf has served you well for the money?

1 Like

Yes, I like the IronWolfs. Those are the drives Seagate makes for the NAS market. I would just say look into the different product lines offered by the manufacturers to see which matches your use case (ex. IronWolf vs Barracuda). Also, stay away from SMR for a NAS. There was a problem a few years ago where a manufacturer snuck SMR into a NAS product line and the drives proved incompatible with storage software.

1 Like

It’s interesting reading these, thanks! At home I’ve got a laptop (was unused) with a 2TB SSD that’s running Nextcloud via Docker (OS is Manjaro), and that holds all our family’s photos (Android and iOS devices). It’s closed all the time, but nice to have the screen+keyboard+touchpad whenever I need to do something in it that isn’t easily done via SSH.

I then have mini computer in the living room with another 2TB SSD which only takes backups from all the house laptops (excluding the server one), + select photos, to display them on an external display (as an expensive but not limited photo frame).

Finally, I take backups every few months to Proton Drive and an external 2TB SSD I’ve got, as kind of like “online + offline storage”.

Any important documents (invoices, contracts, etc.) I have in a DigitalOcean droplet, also running Nextcloud, because it uses up much less storage, and that’s synchronized to a couple of machines here locally, and also backed up daily via DigitalOcean.

I’m happy to elaborate on anything that’s unclear or that you’re just more curious about.


Is the droplet for work? Or is it just a server?

I played around with an AWS WorkSpace once. I liked the performance of PCoIP when remoting in. But I was concerned with having to manage a private cloud, active directory, and more just for a personal desktop.

1 Like

That specific droplet is just a small (nextcloud) server for those specific docs, and I have the nextcloud data in a dedicated storage block, so it’s easier to scale up and down as necessary (I used to have everything in there, but then this laptop became free and I saw an opportunity to reduce costs and latency for photos, which are frequently accessed).

1 Like

Running the non-automated aspects of my backup routine this weekend and I’m very much considering this extra redundancy step. Is your plan one of the larger-storage ones on Proton? I was gifted 520GB as a part of an annual VPN sub and although it’s too small for the entirety of what I need to have copies of, it seems silly for me not to use it.

I have a very large (1TB+) plan on Proton, yeah. I used Tresorit for a long time before that, but they’re crazy expensive and their customer support is quite bad.

1 Like

Toshiba announced a new line of hard drives at CES. This is a good description of the type of drive you should be looking for.

Lastly there’s the N300 line of enterprise hard drives targeting NAS applications, which come in capacities of up to 18 TB, with up to 7,200 RPM spindle speed, and CMR recording (no SMR). These drives are designed for 24x7 operation, come with up to 1.2 million hours MTTF at 300 TB/year workload, and are backed by 5-year warranties.

There is a hot-swappable NVMe standard for consumers that I had not heard of before.

[T]he industry was consolidating towards E1.S and E1.L as standard form-factors for hot-swappable NVMe storage.

… will be the first QNAP NAS to support E1.S hot-swappable SSDs (up to 15mm in thickness).