DIY Home Server with VM’s and Container (Proxmox)

A construction report of a powerful home server with many functions

Hello everyone.
It’s been a long time since I have published anything here. Excuse me. I’ve been working on my thesis for almost a year now. That has priority.
It is also about LoRa. When I am done with everything, I would like to translate the thesis and make it available to you here. I believe that I can help some of you with it.

Another topic.
I needed a little more computing power than I currently have in my vServer. Since my old server (HP N54L, dual core, 8gb ram, from 2011) was not that strong anyway, I thought I’d build a new one.

New server targets

  • Faster and more economical CPU
  • small GPU for video transcoding
  • min. 16gb Ram
  • min. 4 HDDs
  • SSD for OS
  • Dockers, or other containers
  • Possibility to install VMs
  • stay under 400€

Server-Tasks

  • Plex/Jellyfin/Emby Media Server
  • Network Shares
  • Next Cloud
  • Pritunl (VPN Server)
  • NodeRED (MQTT Broker)
  • InfluxDB (database)
  • Grafana (Visualization)
  • UniFi Controller
  • Elasticstack (database, visualization, security)
  • possibility to try out a lot

Hardware

After a lot of research, I decided to buy AMD Ryzen, because there are also power saving processors and they are much cheaper than the Intel ones. Unfortunately there are often problems with ECC Ram. I do not want to use something like ZFS, so ECC Ram is not that important, but I wanted to try it anyway. So a lot of google and then just try it. For the mainboard I wanted to use a FullATX, because I don’t have to pay attention to the size. I bought all parts except SSD and RAM used. Here the list with my costs:

  • Mainboard: ASRock B450 Pro 4 (FullATX), 75€
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (6 Core 12 threads), 100€
  • RAM: 1x Kingston Server Premier 16GB DDR4-2666 (ECC), 80€
  • SSD: Corsair Force MP510 M.2 240GB NVMe PCIe, 45
  • GPU: Nvidia Quadro P400 2GB, 55€
  • Cooling:
    • Noctua NH-L9a (CPU), 30€
    • beQuiet! shadow Wings 2 (Case), 15€
    • Noctua NF-A6x25 FLX (HDDs), 13€
  • Case: Selfmade
    In total my costs were 413€. Top.

Software

I have been using Ubuntu Server LTS for the last 10 years. The harddisks were mounted as ext4, the services were installed as usual and I hope that it will last for a long time. After some time the system always caused problems. But I never really maintained the system.
After a while I started to use Docker and RAID systems and so on… But I did not like that at all.
Then I read about Proxmox. Fantastic tool? Tried it on a vServer, RPi and this DIY Server. Everything worked fine. Similar to Docker, I can run services in containers, create snapshots, restrict rights, etc. A VM with Windows (for whatever reason) is also possible, but I can’t think of an application. Backups are easy to do and everything works hand in hand. 🙂

Screenshots.

Proxox Overview
Proxox Container/VM Overview
Proxmox Backup Settings (All VMs and LXCs one time per week to GDrive)
Proxmox Backup History
Proxmox Web Console
Grafana Proxmox Build-In Monitoring
NGINX Proxy Manager to redirect the different domains to the individual machines and encrypt them with SSL using Let’s Encrypt
Self-built “housing”. Not finished yet, but only the case is missing. Built like the Mac Pro from a few years ago “trashcan“. But I liked the design very much, because the heat can go up nicely. The parts for the case are 3D printed, lasered, cast out of concrete or produced with the CNC milling machine. That was a lot of fun. I will mount a 250mm acrylic glass around the outside.

I created the design with Fusion 360

Conclusion

I am very satisfied. I have space for two M.2 SSDs, for 6 HDDs and space for two RAM slots, one of the RAM Slots is still free.
The server is super fast, Proxmox works great and also Jellyfin works great with the GPU. I transcode a 1080p video to 720p in a few seconds to minutes completely. It buffers half of the movie in a very short time and is only at 30% load. I guess that about 10 people can stream media at the same time. Great.

Just trying out a service is super easy and can be quickly removed. I can quickly migrate the containers as ZIP to other servers and I really like the GUIs.
For 400€? Unbeatable.

One more thing:
I will soon put a power meter in between and show IDLE and ACT power consumption here. A little patience 😉

Many greetings, Mario

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