I want a server. where should I start?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by strantor, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Firstly and most importantly, I want to have a few TB of Network Attached Storage at my house to back up my laptop regularly and automatically. I would prefer it be pretty fast; I have a SSD in my laptop and I use one of those super fast USB3.0 mega thumb drives for backup and I like that. I would like my NAS to be as close to the same speed as possible. I want my NAS to be accessible from outside the home as well, like the many "personal cloud" type NAS manufacturers advertise.

    From there, I would like some flexibility to turn it into a project. The next goal is to add an email server. My business email is through godaddy and it's pop3, which I hate, and which apparently I can't upgrade. I would like to host my own IMAP server.

    Next priority is having it record from IP cameras

    I would also like to abandon godaddy for my website as well, and host that from home.

    Then I would like to start integrating my home entertainment with it. I would like to install one or more TV tuners and use Media Center or XBMC to have it act as a DVR, and a DLNA server to stream video and music to my tv.

    I guess that's about it. This is more for learning than anything else, but having that NAS sure would be nice.

    I've been looking at the commercially available NAS products from Synology et.al. and it seems they have most of these features I want, but I'm not really sure that's the direction I want to go.

    I would like to get some linux experience. I have read some online opinions that a server need not be anything special. It seems a $100 used desktop pc on Craigslist could do just fine. But when I look at servers (desktop PC tower type) online they are extremely high spec and not cheap; quad core processors and such. So which is it? Do I need one of these expensive towers or is a dusty unloved PC good enough?
     
  2. nsaspook

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    You could use a old desktop but if this is a long term server I would start from scratch with a good Intel server board (dual lan ports, DDR3, ECC capable, etc...) in a 4U rack case with space for 6-8 internal drives and build it into something that will last. Two ports for a smaller mirrored SATA drive 1TB for the OS and system file storage with at least 4 onboard ports for NAS storage drives. It's a server so a modest video card with work if there is no internal video. Nvidia works well for Linux and Windows. If you want to handle video from something like the 3MP 1080P IP cameras I use for CCTV or IP TV tuners like the HDHomeRun a hefty server is a must if you want it to easily handle other tasks too.

    Some baseline products from Newegg.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121414
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116907
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125452

    TV tuner
    http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/hdhomerun-dual/
     
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  3. djsfantasi

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  4. shteii01

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    Storing-streaming copyrighted material...

    strantor. I play with Linux from time to time. One time when I installed Linux, I also setup the Apache web server, just the welcome website, so nothing really special. All it took is editing a few lines in one or two files. If I understand these things, the very important aspect is to have a Static IP. For example I have dsl for my internet, so I don't have static ip, maybe twice or so a year my ip changes.
     
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  5. strantor

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    I already have google drive, dropbox, and acronis cloud backup, but I would like to be in control of my own data. It seems like there is a new iCloud hack every week, with nude celebrity photos being leaked. I don't presume to be able to set up a more secure server than the likes of apple and google, but I don't see much motive for anyone to go out of their way to hack my server. If I'm part of one of these mainstream services though, I expect that my files could be accessed easily, without motive. Just by signing up I volunteer my files to whoever wants to hack icloud proper.

    EDIT: that, and as I said, this is meant to be a learning exercise. I want to learn more about networking, different operating systems, networking different operating systems, and website design.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  6. strantor

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    What flavor of linux did you install?
     
  7. bertus

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  8. bertus

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  9. nsaspook

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    For all of my home and work Linux servers I install the Debian "i386" 32-bit or "amd64 64-bit stable releases. I have a few machines running the latest 'unstable' release for development to run the latest and greatest stuff but I can't recommend that for a beginner.
    http://www.aboutdebian.com/
    https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual

    For a server that's also a gateway/router to the Internet I would install a good firewall system like ARNO on the machine with two NICs. One to connect only to the ISP and the other on the internal network using the private IP 10.x.x.x type addressing for all clients that connect to it.
    https://packages.debian.org/wheezy/arno-iptables-firewall
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  10. shteii01

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    In my specific case I have done old Linux distro, because I did it on Pentium II and Pentium 3 machines. I used Red Hat 5.1, which is really old these days, but I have the book that I bought back in the day to go with the installation disk so I can read a chapter and do stuff, read another chapter and do more stuff. Really just self education.
     
  11. JoeJester

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    I have a wired network drive ... similar to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...s=network drive&sprefix=network+drive,aps,235

    You can make some things public, but I just refuse to allow any of my stuff direct connection to the internet.

    Prior to my personal "cloud" storage behind my firewall/router, I had another wired network drive. Prior to that, it was just a shared drive(s) on another machine. I'm sure you can add more personal "cloud" storage, wireless or wired as your need expands.

    Some things I backup to my SDCard.

    The N750 Linksys router even has a usb connection to connect a usb thmbdrive. My wireless printer also has a SD card slot which can be accessed from the network if I put a card in it.
     
  12. tom_s

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    Jun 27, 2014
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    edit: nvm. not relevant to thread.
     
  13. strantor

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    My consumer research keeps leading back to these lenovo servers. This one in particular seems like the best bang for the buck. nsaspook, I believe it has the same (or very close) processor and mobo as those you linked to, full tower for less than the two individual components. AFAIK all it needs is ram and HDDs; am I missing something? Do you approve of this Lenovo?
     
  14. nsaspook

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    Looks pretty good at a great price. The power supply is marginal for a fully loaded server but that's easy to upgrade later. I would get the Intel PRO/1000 Adapter for the home side of the network. Don't forget to have a good online UPS to power this machine that will do a graceful shutdown if you lose power and protect it from line transients.
     
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