Recommendations for Home Servers

I have been looking into getting some hardware for hosting a TrueNas server and ProxMox server for home. I don’t mind building the machines myself. My only requirements are that the servers not be too loud. Are there any form factors that physically stack on top of each other well (rack or rackless) that you recommend? What are your recommendations for a decent home server(s) setup that isn’t loud? Thanks!

I usually default to an off the shelf NAS like Synology or QNAP if you don’t want to build something yourself. They are usually quiet and have the ability to run VMs using their respective software. If you want to build something yourself, I would go for one the AM4 (AMD CPU Socket if you aren’t familiar) Workstation/Server boards from ASRockRack or SuperMicro. They have out of band management (IPMI/RedFish) and most of the boards support several SATA or SAS drives. These boards are perfect for TrueNAS Core or TrueNAS Scale or building a virtualization system. Best part you can pick any AM4 CPU so you’d an go as low as 4 cores all the way up to 16 with Ryzen 9. You will spend a lot more building your own vs off the shelf. If you are into building your own go down the DIY route, the flexibility is great. If want something plug and play go with QNAP or Synology. I’ve owned both and each have their ups and downs but I haven’t had any significant issues with either brand, I would just recommend getting one with an x86 processor vs an ARM processor if you want to also run virtualization on the NAS.

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Thanks, Brandon. I really appreciate the response. I was looking at building an Intel Xeon dual CPU server with 20 cores. The Ryzen 9 approach gets me 16 cores (which is pretty close) with a single CPU. I will look into this and get some pricing. So far, building my own server seems to be much cheaper than purchasing an equivalent one from Dell, HP, System76, etc.

I run Prox at home with a Synology NAS with great success. I wanted a NAS that just worked without the headaches of trying to keep it quiet and routing cables. My system is VERY quiet and was inexpensive. I run some HP z640 workstations with a Xeon 2650L v3 chips. I have plenty of CPU power, 64GB of RAM in each host, and SSD storage locally although I connect to the NAS over 10GbE. I’d be happy to chat with you more about it if you like and give you a full walkthrough of the setup and why I did what I did.

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Your setup sounds awesome. I am open to chat more and learn about your config.

If you want an off the shelf server, I’ve found HPE Gen9s for a good price but they might be loud. Another option I’ve considered for storage only is the HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus. You can add faster NICs thanks to the PCIe slot and on ServetheHome they upgraded the processor just not sure how many cores you can get. The Xeon E processor it comes with I’m pretty sure is 4 Cores/8 Threads. The big down side from my point of view is it doesn’t have a m.2 slot. On the ServetheHome upgrade they added this card into the PCIe Slot (QM2-2P10G1TB | 2 x PCIe Gen3 NVMe SSD & 1 x 10GbE port expansion card to enhance performance | QNAP (US)) which isn’t ideal since the single PCIe slot is handling both network and storage but for most home use cases it shouldn’t be a huge problem.

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Thanks. That lead me down a path on newegg. I had forgotten about them and always just went to amazon. They have a lot more selection when it comes to servers, newegg does. This one linked below isn’t bad at all and adds workstations to the list of machines to consider.

Speaking of ProxMox here’s a discussion I found interesting about why NOT to use it instead of just pure Debian. 2.5 Admins 66: Lack of Entropy – 2.5 Admins The discussion starts at 20:15.

Food for thought.

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That is an eye-opening discussion. Thanks for that. I will compare proxmox and virt-manager.

My approach to a quiet NAS was an old unused AMD A8 Based PC running Open Media Vault. Its got 5 2tb SSDs in raid 5 and its incredibly loud. I solved that noise issue by running it in an external building.