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Old 03-04-2011, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking to buy or build a home server

Not sure if this is the right section, if not I apologize!

We just recently upgraded our comcast internet to the 50mb down and 10mb up plan. This immediately made me want to buy a home server. Thing is I know nothing about them.

I am a casual pc enthusiast. I am pretty confident that I will be able to build my next pc from scratch. I have repaired my current pc numerous times (mostly replacing ram, fans, video card, cpu, cpu fan, power supply,cd drives, etc(Only thing I haven't had to pull out/stick in is my mobo))

My first question is this, How much harder would it be for me to just build a server? If I end up buying one can anyone make some suggestions on which ones to look at?

The things I am planning on using this for is:

Back-up
Streaming music,movies,etc to any pc/laptop in the house
Minecraft server
Possible web host for wifey.
Access to network from outside

I am sure I can think of more but this is the main objective for this server.

If you do not know what minecraft is, it is an indie game for pc. It runs from java. It isn't graphic intensive but it is processor intense from what I understand. From what I have gathered it needs a pretty fast processor and a good amount of ram to run smoothly. I wanted to host my own server since we have the bandwidth to do it.

See Minecraft.net for game information.

I don't know if this will lead to me wanting to host other games or not. I am not looking for the top of the line (infact I am looking for low price 200-800 area.)

Any help, suggestions, or ideas are greatly appreciated! Thank you to anyone that took the time to read this
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

I looked on Minecrafts page, no server info requirements listed, that said, its not as complex as Opensim, as far as objects and variables, so it cannot be much worse. the biggest issue i can see is what kind of streaming, and how big a website, and this may lend itself to being alot for 1 pc to handle if its a busy webpage/Store that demands good performance.

I think you might be better with a making your web server a standalone linux box or something of that nature if its intended to be a high traffic situation.

because you are talking about 2 different types of servers, and no info available on server requirements with a quick look, I would look to Opensim( Minecraft appears to be a simplified similar situation) and follow those guidlines, adding a seperate core and more ram to handle your media needs I snipped a section from another place about OSGrid (uses opensim servers) this should give you some kind of baseline at least. if it is like Opensim, whether it is public or private also matters greatly(you have to account for other peoples nonsense)
------------------------------------------
Wright Plaza and Plaza Lbsa both run on a 1.2Ghz dual-core Pentium with 1 Gbyte RAM. They both run on different mono instances in two different directories. The server is on a 100mbps connection in a colo in San Diego.

Yang and the 'moons' (south west of Wright Plaza) are a total of five regions on a 3.4 GHz dual-core Pentium with 3Gbyte RAM. Yang runs on one mono instance and the Moon (4 regions) run on a different mono instance. The server is running at my home in Irvine, CA and talks across the DSL.
---------------------------------------

hope that helps. I think the biggest questions will be what OS, and what usage rates. I hope any of this helped, I wish Minecraft was posting server req.s somewhere simple to find but as with most things I think it depends on intended use. there is a thread here Server Requirements - Minecraft Forums

good luck
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

I am going to admit I was a bit confused by some of this. This is my very first time thinking of going server, with that said, I will give you what I can.

Minecraft - I figured this would be at least dual core 2.x-3.x+ and 8 gb of ram minimum. I have read you should allow about 1 gb of ram per 5 people. An issue I have is the game is coded in java. Does this mean the server is also running in java? If so I believe Java is only able to use one processor. So I am thinking at least a 3.0Ghz. I am not sure how server processors/mobo work.. I know their can be two separate? As in two separate dual core CPUs.. Would it be possible to have a high end single core dedicated to MC and have a Dual Core running the rest of the servers processes?

I am looking to host 20-40 players I have read rule of thumb .25mb of upload per person should suffice *We just upgraded to the 50 mb down 10 up comcast package.) So bandwidth is covered.

The web server I was speaking of will mostly be used for easy access of files away from home. Anything I want to share with other people above standard file sharing limits. An example would be going on the road and wanting to watch media on the server.. I would simply go to my server web page and download it instead of logging into the server that way I could access anywhere without software.

The streaming will most likely NOT be constant, on the web page and off the web page. The streaming in house will mostly file sharing, Music, and movie accessibility. Their are only 2 people using so this will not be a heavy load for it.

As far as OS goes.. I am most familiar with windows but it can be a pain in the *** I know.. I am semi familiar with Linux. Mine craft is Linux compatible and I am sure it wouldn't cause any issues with file storage/sharing/streaming. I have heard Ubuntu server is pretty user friendly. I like learning new things soo it may be my choice of OS unless you can recommend one.

I have no idea what kind of 'box' I am looking for.. A server, media storage, another pc tower with linux installed, network server, ahhhhhh idk. I was looking through amazon/ebay/newegg.. and I am just lost.

Specs I can figure out.. but it seems their are so many different kinds of servers, setups, and options hardware-wise *brain spins* D:
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

I would definitely go multicore for a gaming server, I would also recommend a seperate hd for your movies/data to keep things moving nice if your game server is loaded and you want to stream a high def. I have used an FTP server to stream, but only because it doesnt have a huge overhead, and your files are not "public" which keeps the average lookylou from copying your stash (utilizing your bandwidth) it does need to support resume. the benefit of this way would be you only have 1 server for files to share backups and media streams, the downside is its not as "clean" as a winamp or similar system. if you are streaming to a PC, then FTP will work, since you can browse FTP in browsers.TV's and web streaming devices may not like FTP. use of FTP requires the files to be AVI/some form of streamable file. if you don't want to hassle with that using something like VLC which has a media converter and streamer would be better, but I have only had that explained to me, and never actually done it since I can convert them myself and dont mind doing so.

good luck and let us know what you come up with.

I would just stick with windows if you don't know what your doing in linux, learning is fun, but you can do that for fun and have something that works in the meantime
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

Yeah, you will definitely want some kind of authentication on your downloads area if it is public facing. Running linux without a GUI (as you would be by default on Ubuntu server) will save you a lot of resources (and I mean a LOT) so if you think you can do that (it's not that hard) then the specs become a very different discussion.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

I wasn't aware there was no gui by default.. Would it be hard to install one? I guess I should stick with windows since I know it much better. Any suggestion on what version to run? I am guessing just the latest version of win server?

So at least a 2x dual cores in the system.. at least 8gb ram. Again I am curious if processors have to match? Would it be possible to have a dual core for multi and a single core dedicated to minecraft (or should I just point it via windows to use one core and just go 2x dual core)?

FTP sounds good to me. I can set it up and it will work for now at least until I can find a better solution.

So what am I looking to spend on a system like this? I don't mind buying something to upgrade.. I.e. 1tb hd half the ram I want but the processors should be there. What kind of system should I look into? I have no idea when it comes to a server.. Should I just get a housing a build my own? I would rather buy one and upgrade it myself than to build it myself. I am semi confident I could build it but I do not want to waste the money on something I cannot get going when I know I can at least upgrade a premade system.

I thank you for the responses! Apologies for being so ignorant on the subject. Also apologize if I am typing like an idiot .. I am about to fall asleep
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

If you were to install a heavy GUI (such as GNOME, which is the default for Ubuntu desktop) then you would be back to square one with a resource footprint much like Windows. Using Windows will immediately add a few hundred in licensing and also have a larger resource footprint.
2 x dual core wouldn't be worth it today, you would be better off with a single quad core. When building a dual processor machine, you could look at an entry point of $900, before that point you will be getting less power than an equivalently priced single processor machine. (That figure is, of course, an estimate as I don't live in the USA). Even if you found a board that says it will accept different CPUs, I wouldn't recommend you go that way.
Linux is packaged with ssh tools included. These tools will include SFTP, a more secure version of FTP that I would definitely recommend. There will be a Windows version of the SFTP server but you will have to seek it out.
To buy a prebuilt dual processor system will cost upwards of $1500.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

Would I be better off just building from an old pc tower with these specs? Would this be able to be run as a game server efficiently?

What about something like : Amazon.com: HP EX490 1TB Mediasmart Home Server (Black): Computer & Accessories

I am fine with a single dual/quad if this would fit my situation(and wallet) better. Any suggestions on a product line or maybe even a good builder page to start with? Mostly the only thing I can find is Atom processors or business servers.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

I am so confused as to what you are looking for.
In post 6 you were talking about a dual processor machine with 8GB of RAM and in post 8 you're talking about a machine with a celeron CPU and 2GB of RAM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to buy or build a home server

TBH that is why I am here, lol. I am not to sure what I should be looking at.

The link was just an idea, well more of a question of 'is this what I should be looking into.' (Media center types)

You had mentioned a price on the dual processor and that is a bit out of the range I am looking to spend so I guess single, multi-core is the way I would want to go.
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