Home Server

I just bought a HPE PROLIANT ML310e GEN 8 V2 SERVER on TradeMe for 458$. Unfortunately I bought it Christmas Eve so I’ll need to wait until early New Year before it arrives. It does not have any Hard Drives or Operating System, so this is going to be a learning project.

The reason for this purchase is that my NAS (Network Access Storage) WD MyCloud is being particularly difficult at the moment. I Synced a few folders and suddenly I’ve used up 3.2 of 3.9 TB of disk space, so its very sluggish. Also connecting to it has been very difficult and I’ve spent a whole day trying to connect to it from a couple of PC’s and its SLOW!!!!!

I lost a bit of data from a Hard Drive about 6 months ago that I connected to my PC’s, not a solid state one, so I’m a bit peeved with that, as there were a lot of photos that I think I’ve lost. So have become a bit more aware of loosing data.

Cloud storage

It is tempting to just purchase some cloud storage, or run servers on AWS or Google but thats just an on-going cost and you have to watch it when the Cloud services start chewing up money, you only finmd out at the end of the month when the bill arrives.

I’ve got a VPS in Germany and that costs me about $30NZ/month so about $360/year. Its an ongoing cost. Its convenient, but I feel I should take the next step and try running my own local server.

Another NAS

I did initially look at another NAS, but I’ve been there, done that and the specs are pretty rubbish for the cheaper ones. Also, like the servers, you purchase the box and then add your Hard Drives to it. So price of box & then price of Hard Drive Storage. Also for the price of the used server you get pretty low specs, as in a couple of gigs RAM and slow chips and specific hardware that you have to work with and through, compared to something that can be expanded and you can use different OS’s and software on for the Servers, as well as using Virtual Machines to run other instances on the same machine. The spec for the above server is 24 Gig RAM, so in a different league to the NAS in the same price range.

This does require a lot more maintenance but with that you get flexability.

The Server

The HPE PROLIANT ML310e GEN 8 V2 SERVER was the bees knees in 2014 and has a has an Intel Xeon E3-1220v3 (3.1 GHz/4-core/8MB/80 W) 4 core Chip as well as a Graphics card, so a lot more features than a NAS.

So, the next part is to source some HD’s , I’ll look on TradeMe to see it there are some that I can get cheaply. I think you need a special caddy to hold them, but they said that they are included.

I may need to purchase a Screen to look at what is on the machine, although I may see if I can use one of my laptops remotely. I’ll need som,e cables to link it up with Router & PCs

Hopefully the fan will not be too noisy. I remember taking a NAS back as the fan was too loud. We’ll see.

Setting up

The OSD will be a challenge, there may be a MS 2012 Server Key, that you can access via the software for the Server from HP, I’ll need to see if that works. Purchasing a MS 2012 Server software copy will be quiote expensive, up to $3000NZ so I may need to go to Linux Ubantu instead, or another flavour of Linux.

This article talks about the ILO which is an embedded system in HP servers, that should see your Server licence number and accept it. See this article.

Support from HP

There is this site that seems to have heaps of information on doing things on the Server, pretty impressive. I’ll need to work through it.

Cables

I’ll need some cables to hook up Server to Router & PC (or just Router?). I can start looking out for these. Also I hope there are some power cables to go with it too.

Hard Drives

I went onto TradeMer, I’d seen some HP 2 TB used disks for $50NZ each so got a couple of these. I then went onto PB Tech and they are having a sale, or a 2TB seagate its $100 or 4TB seagate its $155 in Bank Holiday Sales. I think I need 2 HD’s for RAID setup (not absolutely sure but I’ll get and test) so happyu with the purchase, I just have to wait for them to come and put them in. Hopefully the Caddies can hold them, but in the spec for the Server they are referenced so hopefully they will work. So about 1/2 cost of equivalent new, we’ll see if they were a good purchase.

End Commment

Well, I’ve done part of the money spend, I’ve got to wait until the bits come before I can start playing with it , but I can do some research beforehand.

I’ll need to start delving into the support page and there seem to be a few short videos on topics so they will require a further bit of study.

A wait and see what arrives in the New Year and then the setup can commence.

I think this is a good way to go. The NAS, while useful, got me so far, also Cloud Storage and setup a VPS is useful, now trying to setup an actual server, although a bit early 2000’s will be useful & will allow me to spin up a few different VM’s to try different things like n8n and maybe even a standard KNIME process running continuously as well as a React Instance.

So some mighty cock-ups and articles in the future when the toy arrives.