Project idea #1: Mini home server

APC Australia - - » Mini-pc Projects -


With an ever-dig­i­tal life re­quir­ing dense stor­age so­lu­tions to keep up with our con­tent cre­ation and con­tent con­sump­tion, hav­ing one’s dig­i­tal life cen­trally served can make life so much sim­pler. This as­sess­ment is rel­e­vant to serv­ing dig­i­tal me­dia col­lec­tions for movies, mu­sic and TV shows, through to stor­ing dig­i­tal me­mories and doc­u­ments such as fam­ily pho­tos, im­por­tant per­sonal doc­u­ments and so on, or per­haps to as­sist not just in creat­ing or­der from the chaos of size­able quan­ti­ties of dig­i­tal con­tent but also cre­ate or­der from the chaos of nu­mer­ous dig­i­tal de­vices.

De­pend­ing on a num­ber of fac­tors, you may even con­sider util­is­ing mul­ti­ple ser­vices from a home mini server. For ex­am­ple, you may wish to set up a proper do­main net­work struc­ture oper­at­ing from a cen­tral server to pro­vide ser­vices such as DHCP or fire­wall pro­tec­tion if you wish to off­load these from typ­i­cally be­ing im­ple­mented by a mo­dem-router or router. Or per­haps you may take a ‘dumb server’ ap­proach and rather than mak­ing the sys­tem a server as per the tra­di­tional sense, it could sim­ply be an­other client PC on the net­work but with the stor­age drives mapped to the net­work and shared to other net­work clients.

You can go the vanilla route and look into dif­fer­ent oper­at­ing sys­tem ver­sions, pos­si­ble us­age re­stric­tions, within the Win­dows ecosys­tem, but there are so many great and of­ten free al­ter­na­tive home server OS op­tions out there to con­sider. There are op­tions that are both noob friendly and hard­core to de­liver the level of func­tion­al­ity, gran­u­lar con­trol and user friend­li­ness that you re­quire for your needs.

Some al­ter­na­tive server oper­at­ing sys­tems for home use in­clude Amahi Home Server, FreeNAS, Open Me­dia Vault, XPEnol­ogy, NAS4Free and for the con­sole line Linux cham­pi­ons there’s Ubuntu Server.

While serv­ing data is a core func­tion­al­ity of a home mini server, an­other use­ful func­tion is to op­er­ate as a cen­tralised backup point for other client de­vices on the net­work. So you may con­sider con­fig­ur­ing the client to back up data to the home mini server on a daily ba­sis or per­haps just once a week, or month, de­pend­ing on the im­por­tance of your data.

An ASUS VivoMini-V VC65R makes for a po­ten­tially su­per- stacked file server.

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