I dived into the selfhosting rabbit hole once again and again I am stuck at the hardware part. I’d like to start small-ish to make it realisable. I thought about a NAS (Openmediavault probably). First I wanted to do it on a Raspberry Pi with an external hard-drive but then I read USB connected drives are unreliable and so on. Mini PCs are too small to house internal drives so should I go with a (refurbished) business PC from ebay and add some drives to it?But they usually come with Windows 10, which I wouldn’t need but makes them more expensive. I also have at least one old PC case laying around but no mainboard or CPU for it, if that info might be important. Thank you in advance for helping a noob out!

Edit: What I want to achieve: I would like a NAS and (separated) a server with some small services (pi-hole or adguard, syncthing, jellyfin (getting the data from the NAS), and so on). I thought about running the small services with docker on a RPi 4 and the NAS on a refurbished business PC with SATA drives in the case (I checked ebay and there are mainboards with 4 SATA III connectors and PCI so I could even add more SATA connectors). In a second moment a backup server (maybe with borg) would be a good idea but I could also do manual backups with an external USB HDD for the time being.

  • @just_another_person
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    1 month ago

    I think you’re confusing a few ideas here, and it’s hard to understand what your main goal is. Let me see if I can break down what you want here:

    • Small form factor if possible
    • Storage expansion
    • Low power (antithesis to 3.5" HDDs)
    • NAS features? (unclear here)

    If you’re just trying to run containers easily, Synology NAS that support it (certain tier) are really easy to use, and you won’t have to worry about hardware except inserting the initial drives to use.

    If you’re worried about cost, sure, building your own is going to be the best bet. If you’re not expecting to really tax the I/O of the drives, USB 3+ won’t be the worst thing in the world, but the management of a storage array over USB will be problematic if doing it yourself.

    Lastly, it may help us if you describe what you’re actually trying to to host on this hardware. It’s the difference between someone suggesting a very low power CPU like an N100, or a lowER power CPU like and AMD that has a bit more upfront cost.

    If any of this is confusing, just have a look at Synology or Qnap maybe. It’ll be easier to manage in the long run if you’re not comfortable or enjoy fiddling with hardware.

    • @[email protected]OP
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      21 month ago

      Alright, I would like a NAS and (separated) a server with some small services (pi-hole or adguard, syncthing, jellyfin (getting the data from the NAS), and so on). I thought about running the small services with docker on a RPi 4 and the NAS on a refurbished business PC with SATA drives in the case (I checked ebay and there are mainboards with 4 SATA III connectors and PCI so I could even add more SATA connectors). In a second moment a backup server (maybe with borg) would be a good idea but I could also do manual backups with an external USB HDD for the time being. And I have a tight budget.

      This is roughly what I want to to with my system. A synology sounds nice but they are pricey and I’m not learning so much so I’d go another route if possible.

      Maybe it’s best if I just hook up some USB drives to my Pi and get my hands dirty with that. If the performance is not too bad (like you said).

      • @[email protected]
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        41 month ago

        Maybe it’s best if I just hook up some USB drives to my Pi and get my hands dirty with that. If the performance is not too bad (like you said).

        Just do this and grow as you learn. If you buy WD Easystore/Elements/MyBook external drives, they can be very easily removed from their enclosures later and installed internally.

        The only caveat here is that a Pi is going to be terrible for Jellyfin unless you only download media that is 100% compatible with the devices you’re watching it on. If any transcoding is needed, the Pi won’t keep up. A NUC or Optiplex Micro might work better here as they both have full-fledged PC hardware and aren’t too much more than a Pi.

        • @[email protected]OP
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          11 month ago

          I have a seagate external drive at home, do you know if that one can be opened too? But good to know, thanks.

          I will consider it, do you think a refurbished business 1L client would work too?

          • @[email protected]
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            31 month ago

            I’m not sure as I’ve always stuck to WD drives. You should be able to Google the model + “shuck” and see if anyone else has done it. I know certain models either solder the controller to the drive or add it internally so that there’s no standard SATA port.

            The larger clients should work the same as the micro sized ones, but don’t expect to get much more use out of them than maybe being able to store a drive internally as they’re typically full of proprietary connectors and stripped down motherboards. I’d only bother with one if you can buy it cheaper than one of the micro sized options like the Optiplex 3050