Saturday, 24th September, 2022

I’m looking for a server replacement. I’m also trying to decide what I want/need. I use my server for backups of photos, plex for our movies etc., and not much else. Occasionally I’ll run a game server on it, like minecraft or whatever my friends and I are playing. I could run more stuff on it but I find I’d rather use a vps than my home computer.

For plex, a reasonably modern intel cpu is the way to go. Quicksync can transcode anything with ease. A pentium gold can do something like 10 transcodes. Most likely a refurb Lenovo or Dell USFF box is ideal as they use about 5W on idle. One nvme is sufficient for services, the tricky part is storage of media.

If I find a SFF one, then those tend to have space for a 3.5” drive and I could just get a single 10TB hard drive to sit in it. I could keep my existing server and just have it turn on once a week to do a backup.

Alternatively I could get a USB 4 bay enclosure. I’m not entirely sure about them but people on /r/homelab seem to suggest they’re okay. That could fit with a USFF.

I also looked at HP microservers, which are nicely built but maybe overkill and having two computers perhaps defeats the purpose. A rpi might be a solution? I have an older 2B sitting about and a 3 running pi hole and unifi controller. I could add the hard drives to the rpi running pi hole and add a samba share. Although I think pre-rpi 4 share Ethernet and usb so it would be quite slow.

Reducing the amount of storage I need would help. There’s lots of junk on there that I could clear out and my friend is backing up to my server so I should honour that.

A HP ProDesk 400 G7 SFF seems like a good balance. Not super tiny so can have one drive. I think that plus a rpi with the usb on a weekly backup schedule might be the easiest way.

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