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Ideas for Server/NAS for home use?

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#1 SteveOC


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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:06 AM

This caught my eye as it is on offer right now -  http://www.ebuyer.com/430446-hp-proliant-g7-n54l-2-2ghz-microserver-ebuyer-704941-421 - with the cashback offer it comes in at £129.


It crossed my mind that it may be possible to use it as a number of things:


1) Add some drives and use it as a backup device (NAS?) - perhaps used in conjunction with some software (Freenas) as it costs as little or less than some dedicated NAS enclosures?

2) Run an OS (Windows Home Server 2011) and use it as a server ?

3) Run some kind of virtualization software/hypervisor to do multiple things - maybe including both of the above and running Windows/Linux client guests)?


If I had the cash to spare, I'd just buy it, install some WD Red drives and extra RAM and have a play, but as it is, I want to get an idea what I could do with it to see if I want to spend the money.


I would want to avoid any expensive software on top of the costs of the server and drives - so freeware or 'cheaper products' like WHS 2011 would be better options.


I am also curious as to whether/how to run it with no monitor/keyboard/mouse so it just sits in a corner out of the way.


So really I am looking for input as to what I could do with this piece of kit - the more functions the easier to justify the cost - it just looks like a cheaper/more flexible option than buying a NAS enclosure for backups which is what I previously had in mind.


Steve O.

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#2 rotor123


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Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:04 PM

I would say freenas, Just look at what it does. I have been using standalone NAS's with the WD Red drives. I believe this would be faster. Many times the NAS transfer speed seems to be limited by the NAS's CPU and memory. This will however use more power and space than a NAS would. The price looks good. This seems to be a Gen7 Server. I had a sale offer today for a Gen 8 at $399 and the reviews seem to be that the Gen 7 is a decent server.


You could go here and read the user reviews



Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for home lab 1 Aug 2013
By Gaz E
Rather than the other review, which sounds like it was written by someone with zero knowledge of server systems, I thought I would give it a go.

I bought the microserver to run VMware ESXi 5.1, running a lab, and a file server / few domain controllers for my home network.

the microserver is cheap, well made, and performs better than I was expecting, especially as it has an underpowered AMD processor.

The 250GB drive supplied was put on ebay, and sold, and I replaced it with 2 x 1TB WD Black drives, which performed fine.
I have since purchased an adaptec raid card from ebay, and these drives are in a Mirror / Raid 1 configuration.

I have installed 2 x 8GB Crucial memory, and also an Intel Server NIC

All in all, I have a server that's on 24/7, uses less than 50w of power, and easily runs 10 VMs at once without issue.

As for the comments from the other reviewer, why in gods name would you need audio and any other graphics capabilities, this is a small business / home server, not a workstation.

A couple of the reviews mention running VMWare


Good Luck



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#3 SteveOC

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 06:49 PM

Thanks, I googled for the server and read those same reviews.

Is it possible to run VMWARE on this box and then run something like FreeNAS under VM?

Maybe I'll give it a whirl and treat myself.

Steve O.

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