New Homelab - Is it capable? Advice and suggestions please

Well the last of my parts have arrived. I can build my new main Nas for permanent storage. Time to reorganize, redo and update. Start the new year off right, right?

Up til now my homelab has been a straight up hodge podge put together on the fly as I bought something or I tried a thing and liked it or not. I installed and uninstalled willy nilly no real organization on what ever i was using at the time. I bought a piece here and there as things went on sale. I am planning to redo everything the right way - planned out and structured from the beginning and it even has a naming scheme. Make it a real homelab.

My use case is me and 2/3 other people max. Everything is gigabit and has separate internet service. I have a list of the machines and services I am thinking about running on each. Do you see any major problems. Am I overloading anything or bogging it down. Anything I am overlooking that will cause me major pain or make my life a living h*** getting it set up? Different services than the ones listed?

I have some questions and I am open to suggestions. Equipment listed below

Is gigabit going to bottleneck me? Do I need to hit ebay for some used 10G internal network stuff?

Would the T440p work as a dedicated Jellyfin/Plex server for 2 people outside the house? It has Intel Quick Sync if something has to be transcoded (it shouldn’t, it will all be MP4/720/1080 when finished). It will be reading off the main NAS, that shouldn’t be a problem with gigabit ethernet, right? If not able to do so, any ideas as to what it can be used for? Or should i just give it away?

Is the thinkcentre too old to be a useful/viable test server?

Homelab Machine list

Main Nas - Ryzen 6c/12t, 8G ddr4, 40+TB storage - permanent cold storage it will run no services. Will hold personal docs, photos and scanned documents as well as my personal library of movies, tvseries, music and books. Will only be accessible from the internal network with NFS and SMB. Only my desktop will have write access and everything else is read only. All docs/pics are backed up to an external drive every 2 months and kept offsite. (Belgarath)

New main server/nas - ryzen 8c/16t, 32G ddr4, 16+TB storage. Currently Ubuntu/cockpit/docker/portainer but i may switch it up. Truenas Scale? (Garian)

  • Main File server/storage - daily use
  • Nextcloud with all the extras
  • Collabora (Office suite)
  • Gitea (self hosted git)
  • Calibre Web (ebooks)
  • Syncthing
  • Lychee (photo)
  • QOwnNotes (currently just using Jopline synced to onedrive)
  • BookStack (testing personal wiki/notes/info dump)
  • Airsonic (streaming my music library)
  • Plex (currently using) Internal use only now but want to move to dedicated server later
  • Jellyfin (testing ) Internal use only now but want to move to dedicated server later

T440p (retired daily driver) 4th gen i5 4c 16G 128G m.2/480 2.5 ssd/2T spinning rust in optical bay. Will be on a docking station permanently. (Durnik)
Jellyfin/Plex for 2 people outside the house?

Thinkcentre 3rg gen i5 4c 32G ddr3 - just a test server with random hdds (4-10TB total) playing with new things i want to try out. Basicly a skunkworks machine. Thinking Redhat/Alma, cockpit, podman? Maybe Proxmox? Truenas Scale? OMV6(open media vault) (Beldin)

pi3b+ with pihole running. (Polgara)

pi3b+ running Nginx reverse proxy pointing to my main server, t440p and desktop (?) with cloudflare in front. (Kheldar)

Daily driver desk 2nd gen ryzen 6c/12t 16G ddr4 4+TB storage (Zakath)

Daily driver laptop Surface Pro 5 (2017) i-7 256 GB, 8 GB (Eriond)

Dedicated xfinity connection ( main connection uses a different ISP)
Have 3 domain names (5 years pre-registered)
Cloudflare account for DNS stuff
ingress will be a pi3b+ running NGINX Reverse proxy with cloudflare in front - uses 80/443 only and points to 2 machines main server, thinkpad and maybe my desktop
everything else will be through a pi3b+ with pihole
2 gigabit switches (1-5 port, 1-7 port)
all new ethernet cables cat6a and cat7

All suggestions and ideas are welcome. Just trying to figure out what my homelab will be capable of running. Are they any bad takes or horrible misconceptions I have? Keeping homelab on a totally separate network to limit damage if I mess up and get pwned. I have a backup desktop on the other internet connection if I totally bork it up and my important stuff is backed to an external usb drive. Trying to limit potential damage

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Bonus points if anyone recognizes the names at the end of the description

Does your thinkcentre talk back much?

Yes it seems to sometimes. It’s old, It’s ugly and cranky just like the character.

1 Like

I would have thought it would be an good idea to include at least one old / slow computer to test code claiming to be good for old slow systems. You could confirm or deny that claim.

Your NAS is great! Overpowered the way I like it!

Your main server are you running into high CPU wait time? With 8c/16t you might be fine just watch out that. Even at idle VMs use CPU cycles. On KVM I typically allow 4-6 vCPUs for every 1 physical core. You can go with a higher ratio if most of the VMs sit idle but I don’t recommend it.

TrueNAS Scale is looking interesting since it is basically implementing the same oVirt hyper-converged architecture with KVM+Gluster, just with a different management plane, but it is only worth it if you plan to use Gluster. It does have a good user interface so it might worth it just for that.

Using a laptop as a server in my opinion isn’t a good idea. The ThinkCenter might make a better Plex Server, if it has room I would put in a graphics card for video encoding for Plex/Jellyfin. My old laptops get use because they are my only devices with an optical drive so it might be worth just keeping around to get content to your Plex server.

I am in the throes of migrating my home lab set up from OpenMediaVault 5 + Docker on an old Dell R710 to TrueNAS Scale on a bespoke server. I also took the opportunity to shrink the rack to something my wife can tolerate.

Between OMV and TrueNAS Scale, the latter is a much more professional piece of software. The design is nice and clean and (since it is based on Debian) has a lot better hardware support than TrueNAS Core (FreeBSD based). Apps are catalog based (Helm charts + k8s), Docker (Podman under the hood I suspect) containers, or full-on virtual machines. TrueCharts is a must-have add-on as it provides a much expanded catalog of apps plus some of the core apps with extra features.

My bespoke hardware is a Ryzen 5 5600G, 64GB of RAM, 48TB of ZFS storage, RTX 3050 (for transcoding once the 510 drivers are included in Bluefin) in a 4U shorty case. A 2U 12-drive array hosts additional drives for future expansion (another 72TB as I am using 3 bays already).

I will post photos once I have it all tidied up.