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making a a jack-of-all-trades server (NAS,Minecraft,steamcache,F@H,Bitcoinmining)

I want to build a jack-of-all-trades server. I want it to be (in level of priority) a NAS, a minecraft server, a steam cash, and a little bit of F@H/bitcoin mining on the side. Bear with me as I explain it in detail. NAS will be its main job. I want it to store (not back up) all the documents, pictures, and videos for both me and my wife. My dad will be making a sister server at where he lives which will have the same NAS functionality. The two servers will be synced up (backing up each other) so that if one of the 2 servers explodes, the files will be safe on the other server. Minecraft server because my brother, wife and I like to play together. I tried the online minecraft servers but they are all to slow for what I want to do (10 chunks is not enough rendering distance). Currently I have my old gaming PC doing this, but its 4th gen i5 is lackluster. The next job it will do is a steam cache. This will most likely be a separate hard drive that will not be backed up with my dad’s server. And last is a F@H/mining server. I know that I will not be making a lot of money on bitcoin rn, but it does seem like a fun thing to do. This is also its lowest priority. I have multiple questions on how I am going to pull it of, and I might need more help down the road.

 

This is what I have planned so far, and what I need help with.

 

First question is what CPU should I use? Should I go AMD or intel? And is 6 cores enough?

I was thinking of using AMD’s 3600x I don't think I need any more than 6 cores and with AMD I can easily upgrade to the 5600x if it gets cheap enough (and in stock). I was also debating on using intel’s 9600k (since its a little cheaper and just as good per core performance from what I can tell)

 

next question, how much RAM do I need? And does it need to be ECC memory?

I was hoping I could get away with 16gb and no ECC.

 

3, for hard drives – I plan on having a small (128GB) m.2 for the boot and all the programs it will be running. (including minecraft) then for the NAS function - 5 SSD 0.5TB in RAID 5. I don’t see myself using more than 2 TB of storage for basic documents and our family album, and I was thinking SSD because I don’t want to wait for the HDD to spin up every time I need to access my files, and durability is also a concern. And one massive 6TB HDD for steam cache. My question – is it overkill to use SSD instead of HDD for the NAS? And is this a good idea over all? And what brand should I get?

 

For video cards – what should I buy? I want to use 2 video cards (maybe add more later). I have a few older cards (a 470 and a 680) that I am not using that I could use. Or I could buy (on the used market) 2 identical faster and more efficient cards and sell the old cards. If so what cards should I get?

 

The computer case – I want the smallest case that can fit everything, preferably one that is sideways. I am currently thinking of using Cooler Master HAF XB EVO. Do I have smaller options?

 

The OS – I want to use linux for a huge list of reasons. What distro should I use? Linuxmint is what I am thinking of.

 

For the sister server that my dad will build, its only function will be NAS and backing up my NAS files. Can he get away with minimal specs? I was thinking and older ryzen 3 or older i3, 4 GB of ram, 64GB m.2 boot drive. And of course the NAS hard drives

 

Setting it up. I want it set up in such a way that all my other computers (my gaming PC, my wife’s gaming pc, and our shared laptop) are able to see the NAS storage and the steam cash HDD as 2 separate storage devices. I also want to be able to remotely connect to the computer using something like window’s RDC so that I don't have to give this server its own screen/keyboard/mouse.

 

And lastly - I want to be able to connect to this server remotely, both for it to be able to exchange files with its sister server and so that I can access the files using my laptop, or maybe even phone, while not being home. I looked into using something like OpenVPN and L2TP. ( as is described here https://linustechtips.com/topic/555240-nas-remote-access/) however I don't want the minecraft server to go through a VPN for latency reasons. Can I do that if I use 2 network cards?

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I would never use GPU intensive task loads such as GPU mining and folding on a system that needs to be reliable. GPUs might be %99.9 stable but that %0.1 can be a major pain the butt when handling senstive data. As for mining, unless you are getting brand new cards, dont expect to make any buck out of it, market recently has been bullish that only increases block difficulty. I wouldnt even bother using GTX680 for anything but mediocre gaming, RX470 might be used for mining only if its the 8G variant. As for rest of your post, I dont feel like reading a massive wall of text so I am going to leave to some other poor soul.

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 MultimETeR TeSTiNG!! aMd'S GpU DrIvErS aRe as goOD aS NviDia's
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Let me be the poor soul to read and comment on the rest :D

 

As @Levent already said, try to deperate high compute power and storage focused systems. A storage system with game server ready power is more than fine, but going really high compute like mining and such in the same machines doesn't sound too good. Try to seperate both and pick ahrdware for each task. Otherwise you overspend on hardware that could in theory fit both use cases.

 

How will you handle the backup part between both machines? I do understand your concept of " one is the backup of the other", but it does sound like the sister server your dad hosts is also used as normal NAS. You would then need a backup solution, which can differentiate between what is new on NAS A and what is new on NAS B. But how would it now what was deleted on one of them or never existed in the fist place. If you want to have both NAS' to used as storage by both you&wife and your dad wou would need a third machine to make backups easy. Otherwise the it sounds like a royal pain. It's possible, just not as easy as it could be.

 

6 cores are more than enough for a pure storage solution. Same goes for a small(ish) minecraft server. It does not really matter which brand you pick. If you ahve old hardware to use or e.g. and old intel mainboard, go with and intel cpu, otherwise pick whatever you prefer.

 

RAM depends on the use case. A storage server with a decently sized minecraft server can be run with 16GB no problem. Getting more than that is only usefull if either the storage solution offer some kind of benefit with more RAM or the other application/games need more. ECC comes also down to the use case. You want ZFS, consider it, otherwise probably not. Just check if the cpu/mainboard do have support for it.

 

Yes, it is kinda overkill to use SSDs in generall just for a few small documents. SpinUp is only a problem when the storage soultion spins them down. You can set things up to not spin them down at all if you want. If you have a lot of small documents, like really a lot and they are used simultaneously as well, then SSDs might be a good idea, otherwise just use a normal HDD. About the RAID5 and the SSD size. If money isn't a concern, just go with 2x 2TB and use a RAID1. Otherwise don't go with a RAID here, use the second server as personal backup and buy a small online cloud storage soltuion and third backup tier. SSDs in RAID5 are possible, but it doesn't really appeal to me. It's a valid option though. For brands, check the SSD Tier list in the storage device sub forum.

 

If have no clue about mining and the needed compute power for it. Maybe someone else can answer that part.

 

Case: Use whatever you like and what fits the components and has decent airflow, especially if you go with high compute components.

 

Use the linux you like :D The is not really a correct or wrong answer here. Check what software you want to run and on which distro offer the capability to do so. I personally am a debian fan, but other might, or rather will, say otherwise

 

Minimal specs are usually  fine, 4GB might be not enough though, depending on the storage solution. 8GB will be enough though.

 

Minecraft and VPN aren't connected in any way. The VPN only offer additional option to conenct to internal system or applications through a secured tunnel. You can always access your minecraft server by using your public ip address and port forwarding whatever your minecraft is set to.

Gaming Rig: Ryzen 9 5950x | 2x16GB DDR4 3200MHz | XFX Reference 6800 XT | MSI Unify X570 | Corsair MP600 2TB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB | bequiet 850W Straight Power 11

Server: Ryzen 5 3600 | 4x32GB DDR4 ECC 2400MHz | Asrock Rack X470D4U | Samsung EVO Plus 250GB, 6x Seagate Exos 8TB, Samsung 850 Pro 1TB | bequiet 550W Straight Power 11

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8 hours ago, Jisagi said:

Let me be the poor soul to read and comment on the rest :D

thank you

 

ok, so obviously mining/F@H is out. i thought that it would be fun to experiment with it (not for profit) but stability is a must for a NAS server.

Quote

 

How will you handle the backup part between both machines? I do understand your concept of " one is the backup of the other", but it does sound like the sister server your dad hosts is also used as normal NAS. You would then need a backup solution, which can differentiate between what is new on NAS A and what is new on NAS B. But how would it now what was deleted on one of them or never existed in the fist place. If you want to have both NAS' to used as storage by both you&wife and your dad wou would need a third machine to make backups easy. Otherwise the it sounds like a royal pain. It's possible, just not as easy as it could be.

 my dad and i plan on having the raid5 hard drives divided into 2 partitions. (he claims that that is possible) one will be the local master, and the other partition will be the slave for the sister server. my dad said that he will make a code that allows the 2 servers to communicate accordingly.

 

Quote

Yes, it is kinda overkill to use SSDs in generall just for a few small documents. SpinUp is only a problem when the storage soultion spins them down. You can set things up to not spin them down at all if you want. If you have a lot of small documents, like really a lot and they are used simultaneously as well, then SSDs might be a good idea, otherwise just use a normal HDD.

what about hundreds of photos in one file? our family album is currently stored on the HDD on my gaming PC, and if i open an album with lots and lots of pictures, it takes a hot minute for them to load. and if i scroll down, same thing happens again. i was hoping this would go away if i use a bunch of SSD instead. if that will not fix it, then what should i do? and what if i use a SSD as a cash, will that fix it? (like a 2nd m.2)

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1 hour ago, GarytheGeek said:

my dad and i plan on having the raid5 hard drives divided into 2 partitions. (he claims that that is possible) one will be the local master, and the other partition will be the slave for the sister server. my dad said that he will make a code that allows the 2 servers to communicate accordingly.

 

Why raid 5? With such a small amount of space, go 2x4tb hdds for storage. Id still make them one partition and use folders as its more flexable normally. 

 

 

1 hour ago, GarytheGeek said:

what about hundreds of photos in one file? our family album is currently stored on the HDD on my gaming PC, and if i open an album with lots and lots of pictures, it takes a hot minute for them to load. and if i scroll down, same thing happens again. i was hoping this would go away if i use a bunch of SSD instead. if that will not fix it, then what should i do? and what if i use a SSD as a cash, will that fix it? (like a 2nd m.2)

Still way overkill, just go hdds, you will be network limited normally. What network speeds do you have?

 

I wouldn't bother with a ssd cache here, hdds will be fine for most users. If you need to use photos a lot, just store them on local ssds.

 

 

For os, id go proxmox for easy setup and control of vms.

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33 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Why raid 5? With such a small amount of space, go 2x4tb hdds for storage. Id still make them one partition and use folders as its more flexable normally.

i thought raid5 because 500gb ssd are relatively cheap, and i wanted 2 TB of storage. but if i dont use SSD i could just go for 3 x 2TB HDD (raid 3) or get 2 x 4tb and not use raid at all. just have one hard drive be master, and the other be the slave for the sister server. that info will save me a lot of money and hassle

 

37 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

 What network speeds do you have?

600 down, 60 up. my dad has 200 down, 30 up. i am not to worried about that though because most of the time when i want to access files it will be from my own computer. my gaming rig is capable of gigabit internet, so i would have a strong connection to the server if i am home. which comes to my next question, if the network would be the bottle neck, would a 10gigabit network card help? (both in the server and my pc and my wifes pc?) and get a 10  gigabit router? or is that also not worth it? (i have very little experience with networking. most of my knowledge is fixing/building PCs.)

 

37 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

For os, id go proxmox for easy setup and control of vms.

i wasn't planing on using a vm, do i need to to pull this off? and will proxmox work well as a minecraft  server? since i plan on the server doing both.

 

 

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1 hour ago, GarytheGeek said:

thought raid5 because 500gb ssd are relatively cheap, and i wanted 2 TB of storage. but if i dont use SSD i could just go for 3 x 2TB HDD (raid 3) or get 2 x 4tb and not use raid at all. just have one hard drive be master, and the other be the slave for the sister server. that info will save me a lot of money and hassle

 

just get 2 4tb drives and use raid 1, the ssd speed won't really matter. 

 

1 hour ago, GarytheGeek said:

600 down, 60 up. my dad has 200 down, 30 up. i am not to worried about that though because most of the time when i want to access files it will be from my own computer. my gaming rig is capable of gigabit internet, so i would have a strong connection to the server if i am home. which comes to my next question, if the network would be the bottle neck, would a 10gigabit network card help? (both in the server and my pc and my wifes pc?) and get a 10  gigabit router? or is that also not worth it? (i have very little experience with networking. most of my knowledge is fixing/building PCs.)

Normally 10gbe won't help with pictures or documents performance, gigabit should be fine, esp with how small your amount of storage is.

 

If you want 10gbe, you can do it with just a switch, no need for a router.

 

1 hour ago, GarytheGeek said:

i wasn't planing on using a vm, do i need to to pull this off? and will proxmox work well as a minecraft  server? since i plan on the server doing both.

 

vms make it much easier to to backups and restore of things like the minecraft server, and you can set things up with out the worry of affecting the host. I don't see a reason not to here.

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