The homelab I’ve built really just started so that I could have a centralized media server in my house. I’ve gradually added some other functions to it but it’s still mainly just a media server that also runs a few virtual machines so that I can test a few things out. The computer I ended up using is nothing more than a Dell i3 desktop with 8GB ram. Nothing fancy, but I’ve witnessed first hand their durability and ability to remain powered almost indefinitely without issues.
- Model: Dell Optiplex 3020 Mid-Tower
- Memory: 8GB (4GBx2)
- Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 CPU @ 3.40GHz x 4
- Drive: WD 2TB
As you can see, it’s not a powerful computer in any sense. It is however perfect for running a centralized Plex media server off of. It’s utilizing a headless Ubuntu Server install and while most of my access to it for maintenance is through SSH I’ve also installed the Gnome GUI onto it for when I want a graphical interface. When a GUI is needed I simply remote into it through Remote Desktop.
In addition to Plex, I also have a Samba share set up on the server for sharing files within the home network. I’ve found though that the only thing I use the share for is for automated backups of all the Windows machines on the network. At the time I built this server I was utilizing some sql query scripts in my job and in order to test some scripting out I created a virtual SQL server which is available over the network. As of right now the SQL server is only used for some apps I’m testing that require connection to a SQL database as well as Visual Studio. There’s a virtual web server available as well which is really only used to when I get the urge to do WordPress theme coding. I’ve got an unusual fascination with writing procedural documents. I generally just use Microsoft Word for this but it tends to start out disorganized. To try and better my procedure organization I built a virtual wiki server which utilizes BookStack. While it does work, I’ve found it to be an inefficient means of organization, I’m very fond of the software but it’s just too time consuming for my needs. This particular virtual server is probably one that I’ll be getting rid of due to this.
- Homelab Server
- Samba Share
- Plex Media Server