My home server is currently in my loft, although at some point I do intend to put it in a cupboard under the stairs (very Harry Potter ), I don’t feel the need to keep it small or unobtrusive, and the airflow is reasonably good in a larger case.
It was originally built on October 2017 (it’s now 5 years old and still running well), a few parts have been replaced over the years, as of today, this is the list of the parts and a few photos. I’ve also included the prices paid at the time, no doubt these have gone down since 2017, apart from the hard drives it would seem.
|Fractal Design Define Mini Black Computer Case||£97.97|
|2 x SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (Mirrored - OS Boot Drives)||£22.00|
|Seasonic G550 550W 80+ Gold Certified PSU||£105.00|
|Supermicro MBD-X11SSL-F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard] LGA 1151 Intel C232||£176.83|
|Intel Xeon E3-1240 V6 Kaby Lake 3.7 GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 72W BX80677E31240V6 Server Processor||£277.33|
|3 x Hynix 16Gb (1X16gb) DDR4 PC4-17000 2133Mhz Ecc Registered Server Memory Model HMA42GR7AFR4N-TF||£180.00|
|LSI SAS3008 9300-8I Host Bus Adapter PCI-E 3.0 SATA / SAS 8-Port SAS3 12Gb/s||£158.00|
|2 x 1m Internal HD Mini SAS SFF-8643 Host to 4X SATA Target Hard Drive||£40.00|
|ICY BOX IB-AC643 Internal Mounting Frame for 2x 2.5 inch SSD/HDD to 3.5 inch Bay||£5:00|
|Total Price of Hardware||£1062.13|
|2 x Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (MZ-76Q1T0)||£170:00|
|6 X Seagate Irnwolf 6TB Hard Drives||£900:00|
|Total Price of Hard Drives 6 x Ironwolf 6TB and 2 x Samsung SSD 1TB||£1070.00|
|Total Price of Home Server Build||£2132.13|
Power Supply Needed (Rough Calculation)
There’s a really good article here about calculating the required power supply wattage. I initially started using 4 drives, but over time I managed to fill them up, at that point it rebuilt my server with 8 drives.
|Power supply needed||Power|
|Each drive will need approximately 35 Watts each||6 X 35||210W|
|Approximately 25W for the motherboard||25W|
|Motherboard Maximum Supported Wattage||80W|
|4 slots available on the motherboard for memory||4 X 6||24W|
|2 built in fans on the Fractal Design Case + CPU Fan||3 X 30||90W|
|Approximate Total Wattage||429W|
|Multiply the wattage by 1.25 to give a reasonable margin of error||536.25W|
So, I’m looking for a 550 Watt power supply and since it seems to be recommended on the Freenas Forum, I’m going to buy the Seasonic G550 550W 80+ Gold Certified PSU after reading a good review of the product here.
Software running on the server
I’ve been running TrueNAS Core since early 2017 and it’s been rock solid.
My Seagate drives are arranged in a ZFS RaidZ2 pool called Tank; this gives me 21TiB of raw storage. I’m currently only using 6.8 TiB (32%). Every month, my server backs up all my important data to a Backblaze B2 Bucket.
The following jails are linked to sabnzbd which is currently running on a Raspberry Pi 3. The plan going forward, is to move everything from TrueNAS Core to TrueNAS Scale, including sabnzbd and add a few other Linux Containers.
I’m running the jails on two Samsung 1TiB SSD drives in a mirrored raid configuration, I’m currently running the following Jails.
VPN Network (192.168.20.0/24 VLAN ID 20)
IOT Network (172.16.69.0/24 VLAN ID 40)
My Plex Pass jail is running on a locked down IOT VLAN , with various other IOT devices, Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, Phones and Hubitat Home Automation Hub, yes, your mobile phone is also an IOT devices.
Home Network (192.168.30.0/24 VLAN ID 30)
This VLAN is used for our Windows 10/11 personal and work devices, printers and home server shares, Nothing can access this VLAN from the IOT network or the VPN network, you can of course access ports 80, 443 and 22 on the IOT and the VPN networks.
How to calculate the cost of running a Home Server
Easy explanation thanks to Martin Lewis
- Find its wattage (average)
- Know 1000W is a Kilowatt (kW)
- I pay roughly 18.31p per kW per hour (at the moment), this will change after the fixed rate finishes.
100W (a tenth of a kW) on for an hour is 1.83p an hour
24 hours would cost 1.83 x 24 = 44p per day
30 days x 44p per day = £13.20 Per Month
We pay 20% VAT on fuel, so £13.20 + 20% = £15.84 Per Month
As the homeserver’s average draw is only 55W, the average cost per month is £8.72
The power meter plug (energy meter) can be purchased from Amazon, here is the link.
- Hardware Recommendations Guide Rev 2a) 2021-01-24
- Supermicro X10 and X11 motherboard FAQ
- A guide to popular Supermicro X11 motherboards
- Silent Freenas Xeon SuperMicro Build DIY NAS: 2017 Edition
- DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study
- Wikipedia Article on ZFS File-system
- FreeNAS: Download
- FreeNAS: Users Guide
- FreeNAS Official: Hardware Recommendations
- TrueNAS Community: Hardware Recommendations
- TrueNAS Complete Guide: TrueNAS Hardware Design
- ZFS and ECC RAM: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Stress Testing Hard Drives: Burn-In Testing
- How to Install FreeNAS Video: Installing FreeNAS to USB Drive
- Distrowatch Article: Myths of ZFS
- Setting up Scrubs: Scheduling Scrubs
- Setting up SMART Alerts: SMART Alerts