New Year, new server

There’s this silly thing where people make promises to change something about themselves at an arbitrary point in our planet’s orbit when someone some time ago decided it was a good place to start a year. Well, I’m not gonna do that, since I know it doesn’t work.

But I will tell you about a thing I actually want to change. In September 2022 I wrote a blog about my history with computers and what I actually have. This is an update to that. Well, not an update, more of a continuation. 

The jankiest of NASes.

My current home server setup consists of a WYSE Zx0 with 8GB of scavenged RAM and a RaspberryPi 4. There are four SSDs pretending to be network storage, two of which are 2TB-mirrored disks in an external bay connected through USB, and 250GB and 1TB drives connected to the onboard SATA ports on the WYSE with some creative wiring. That gives me about 3TB of multi-purpose disk space and a lot of extra stuff like DB storage on the 250 one where the WYSE system is located. RasbPi has an SD card and all of those disks NFSed to it to use as actual storage for NextCloud, Jellyfin, docker apps like HomeAssistant, my local wiki and some other stuff. The WYSE only has MySQL and of course NFS engine. I need 4 different power supplies (one for WYSE, one RasbPi, one for extra juice for external disk dock and one for a scavenged graphics card fan assembly for cooling all of this), it takes up an entire shelf, it gathers ungodly amounts of dust and, worst of all for an engineer, it’s very inefficient. 

Old GPU fans I use to force some airflow into the shelf. they are surprisingly quiet when you under-volt them enough.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it works, I had very few problems with that setup over the years, but I don’t like it. It takes a lot of space, it takes up too many electric sockets, there are coils of wire around it and it needs two network ports instead of one. So, I waited till the new year hits and made sure I have some gold coins to spare and I ordered a much newer, much more powerful OptiPlex thin client with a couple of custom parts, like 32 Gigs of DDR4 RAM, i5 intel processor and 500GB M.2 drive. The plan is to put ProxMox on it, create virtual instances of each of my current physical devices and have some compute power to spare for… dunno, a minecraft server? 

Overkill? Yes. 

Will it work? No idea.

Will it be fun? Oh definitely. 

I already tested some of the things I want to do. I have a couple of test builds of other machines. I played with ProxMox, so I have ideas on how to pass-through disks, USB devices and so on. And I definitely could have used something cheaper, but at the same time, I’ve been going with something cheaper for the last couple of years and the only result is that I now own a pile of progressively slightly less crappy thin clients and old PCs which collectively can’t do what this one OptiPlex will hopefully do.  

So what next? I’m picking my new toy tomorrow and the plan is to migrate all my server-related things over the weekend. Expect updates next week, I guess. 

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