If you know me, you know I like technology. If you know me well, you know I have a server at home. I have been running a server at home for many years. It has ranged from old Compaq PCs that were headed for the landfill to previous gaming desktops that are more than capable of running server workloads I throw at it. Each piece of hardware was always a hand-me-down from a business, a person, or even my own machines that aren’t ready to be donated yet.
I have also bounced back-and-forth between many server OSs – both Windows and Linux desktop/server. I have even run many types of Hypervisors too – from Windows Server Hyper-V to VMware’s ESXI to Proxmox / KVM Linux. Each has its pros and cons and each were chosen to address a specific need at the time.
Over the years the types of workloads I run at home have changed dramatically. From simple web sites that are nothing more than static HTML pages, to fully virtualized UTM firewalls, home security software, Docker clusters, and even Twitch streams.
I have always wanted to have my own server rack. Not sure why. Maybe it was due to all the servers I racked in my first job out of college. There was always something awesome to me about a rackmount server. Something about how nicely they fit in a rack, how well you can organized cables, and how you have a dedicated space for everything. So when I set out to acquire my next server, I knew it would be a rackmountable one.
I ended up picking up one from Amazon. It’s a Dell R710 and it’s fully loaded The price had dropped a few hundred dollars since the last time I looked at it so I decided it was time to buy. It’s also super popular with /r/homelab on Reddit.
- System: Dell PowerEdge R710 6B LFF Server
- Processors: 2x 2.93GHz X5670 12-Cores Total
- Memory: 18x8GB(144GB)RAM
- Hard Drives: 6x 2TB 3.5″ HDD
- RAID: iDRAC6
- Optical Drive: DVD-ROM
- Power Supplies: 2x PSU
- Bezel: None
- Rails: None
- Operating System: None
High level – lots of RAM, decent amount of space, lots of compute power (24 logical cores) and room to grow.
I feel like this was such a good deal for such a capable system. I’ve read lots of stories on Reddit where people have gotten better deals if they piece it together however I wanted to buy a fully working system that is fully compatible with each part. It came with a 90-day warranty too.
Over the last few weeks I have migrated all my data and services to this server and so far it’s running great. I settled on an OS, hardware config, added on, and have even modified it with a Dremel (scary, I know). Over the next few weeks I am going to document some of my findings, some of my decisions, and elaborate on the workloads that run on this server.
Do you run a server at home? Have a homelab? Run a raspberry pi? Let me know some of the services and workloads you run on your 24×7 machine 🙂