Ideas Wanted Home Server/Private Cloud

DVDR_Dog

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So partially out of boredom, out of need I decided to embark on a new project. It's not done yet but I have tried a number of solutions and learned some things along the way.
My goals were to build a low -power consumption server that would stream files to my home network as well as being a remote server (or "Private Cloud") to access files remotely.
A possible thought was to be able to re-encode media files on the fly for serving to various devices on the network but that requires horsepower and would interfere with low power consumption.
I have a used Acer easyStore H340 server that originally came with WHS but that was wiped off the main drive. What I do like about it was it has bays for 4 drives (1 GB max each) and was very low power. The cons were it was a pseudo 64 bit system which meant that instead of the Intel Atom 230 being a true 64 bit chip Intel fiddled around with the CPU registers and thru coding made it appear as 64 bit. This would explain the 1 GB HD limit to all the internal HDs and the 2 GB RAM limit. So this really limits to what software I could incorporate.
So first I tried a plain vanilla WHS install, Windows 10 won't touch it as a server for security reasons, not enough resources to run Windows 10 Pro, so it's not worth the bother in a Windows environment so I moved on.

So off to Linux land. First I tried Ubuntu server. It taught me a lesson about Linux forks.
#1 There are more forks of Linux than Carters has pills. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/more+than+Carter+has+pills
#2 Unless you are willing to become one of "the gang" and hang out on their boards to keep up with the ever occurring changes being instituted, don't bother with Ubuntu Server. The documentation that is available is outdated and contains errors and typos. I think no one cares to keep it current any more. Fail.

So then I thought I would give AMAHI a try. They do tell a great story and they do provide some neat features such as your own custom URL to direct users to your server. Then it gets odd. I suppose if you are really clever and know Linux well the base AMAHI program can be made to work. However barring that you had better get the credit card ready to purchase add-ons to make this program functional. At the center there seems to be a program "Greyhole" which provides file handling via a GUI. That's $25 usd. If you want a pro subscription with added features for AMAHI that will run you $9.99 to $19.99 usd PER MONTH and the list of stuff to buy goes on and on. They even have the stones to "sell" a version of Plex that they ported to AMAHI, that's pretty sleazy. My goodness I think I know where Satya Narayana Nadella is getting the same idea for Windows. So I am starting to smell rip-off and maybe these guys are taking lessons from the POTUS or vise-versa.

So that really leaves me with a couple of alternatives. Windows 10 Pro can be fashioned into a server of sorts to do exactly what I am looking for but security isn't great. The other options is to haul a server home and either set up Windows Server or perhaps a commercial fork of Linux that is supported. Hardware is not an issue for me. I can grab a couple year old Power Edge Server for nothing at work and max it out with options. My job does have it's privileges.
The only thing is both of these options are going to suck up some major power and I was hoping not to have to do that.

Does anyone have any experience with set-ups like this and could make some recommendations? This is a "stay at home" project so it's filling in time. I just thought it might make a great addition to my home network.
 
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th3m

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My goals were to build a low power consumption server that would stream files to my home network as well as being a remote server (or "Private Cloud") to access files remotely.
This sounds like a Raspberry Pi 4 running Nextcloud (as private cloud) and a Kodi or Plex server to stream files on your home network. I think nothing beats that when it comes to low power consumption and usability.

Security is fine, you ll be running an arm version of Debian called raspbian and connect to it through SSH locally. Using a web-server with a Let's Encrypt certificate you will be able to access services like Nextcloud remotely on https.

Plus it will be fun to set it up and it wont cost you more than 50$.

I am running one and i am really happy with it. Also check pi-hole, you can set up global dns based ad-blocking on your home devices.

If you need any help or have any questions, let me know.
 
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DVDR_Dog

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Hmm. Only drawback is I will have to buy some of this stuff from Micro Center. They are right in my backyard so no biggie. I'll check it out later this week. Thanks.
Oh one last question: Storage. What kind and what are the limits as asfar as total capacity, limits of each attachment, how do they attach and what's the approx. bus speed? Never messed with Raspberry yet so I don't know.
 

th3m

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Let me tell you that are different versions of rpi 4 running 2,4 or 8 GB of ram. If you plan to run a desktop env on it you may need to get the 4 GB or more version. I don't, so i have the 2 GB one and its perfectly fine for my needs.

Also you ll need a micro sd card, a power supply and a lan cable.
Any micro sd will do, but it is advisable to get one with the recommended specs for a rpi. (Speed class 10, A1, 16GB is fine)

rpi is like a mini PC with HDMI and USB ports, you can connect anything to it. So having an external usb hdd covers your needs for streaming or torrenting.

About transfers, you set the limits and this setting rests usually on the web server config file.

Speeds, well you will be getting local lan speeds for transferring, but really depends also where you choose to transfer, external hdd or internal data micro sd.

Its like having a complete linux system, with root - user accounts, home data folder etc

Also there is a nice project that provides a lighter debian image, with easy to install preconfigured packages. I would recommend that if you are new to rpi. https://dietpi.com/
 

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Well I'll have a look at the hardware. I already have the bits and pieces so I shouldn't have to spend too much other than a CPU and the mobo. I am really lucky I can get my hands on the stuff at a local place that has a really good selection. Hopefully I can get that done by the weekend.
 

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Well the old doggie got his hands on a like new WD My Cloud. What a lazy but delightful way to set up NAS and remote cloud.
The doggie also got himself a new girlie and you know how that goes. So TH3M I can’t thank you enough for your input and that’s definitely the next project on the list. Unfortunately there is no way to justify me tinkering with a Raspberry setup at work. How‘s that saying go “You can’t hide your prying eyes”. So it may be delayed.
I still can’t believe the soup to nuts features of this My Cloud that includes TWONKY (At least I think it does or it may have been my handy work from earlier?)
 
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