Morning all! Haven’t posted here in a while, so I thought I’d give some updates regarding an older post - the one about my server/homelab. A lot (ish) has changed since January, so let’s dive straight in.
While the Proliant featured in the initial “review” is still my primary server, I have given it a couple of upgrades. For a start, my network-storage needs are no longer handled by a shoddy WD Mybook drive hooked up over USB 2. The server is now fitted with (2) 2TB WD Blacks in RAID 0 (living on the edge!) for a combined total of 4TB (3.6TB formatted). Again in regards to storage, the measly 32GB SSD has been replaced with a 120GB one, which despite being from Kingston and not being particularly suited for this envrironment, performs more than adequately for running a few VMs and containers.
The mention of VMs and containers previously brings me onto software; no longer am I using OpenMediaVault for everything. Instead, I use a hypervisor called Proxmox, within which I run a selection of containers, each dedicated to hosting a single app or two. This allows much finer control over resource allocation compared to the previous Docker-only solution. Additionally, having proper support for full KVM Virtual Machines means I don’t have to rely upon the janky PHPVirtualBox web interface to run applications that would otherwise not work in a container. On top of all this, I am able to create a “cluster” if I were to ever get more fancy servers.
I know that programs and services are technically software in and of themselves, but there’s a bit to talk about here so I deem the seperate heading worthy.
Here’s basically everything I have running at the moment, although I often install things briefly just to play around with:
- Emby: A Plex alternative which I prefer the flexibility and customization of
- Ombi: Ties in with Emby and allows friends to request media for me to acquire and host on the Emby.
- SMB: Due to its multiplatform support, SMB is my primary method of network file transfer. I make use of Webmin to manage shares and configuration here.
- Deluge: I run Deluge as a headless daemon with a web interface for any Linux ISOs I might need to download overnight.
- Apache: Apache is my HTTP server of choice and I have a few apps running under it, such as Dokuwiki.
- GitLab: While heavy on resources and over-the-top for what I need, GitLab is an excellent option for self-hosting Git repositories.
- Grafana: Grafana goes hand in hand with InfluxDB to display system metrics and statistics for the plethora of VMs and containers as well as my other smaller devices. I primarily use Telegraf to send statistics to the database.
- UNMS: While not strictly required, I much prefer the look of UNMS over my stock EdgeRouter interface and it could come in handy in the future if I get more Ubnt kit.
As well as the Proliant, I have two Raspberry Pis chugging away, performing tasks. My Pi Zero runs Pi-Hole, a DNS server that will filter out domain lists of your choosing (ads, malware, etc). I paticularly enjoy just looking at the graphs and statistics really, but the block lists are useful also.
The beefier Raspberry Pi 3B essentially just acts as web host/reverse proxy. Since I’m lazy, I use Apache to forward requests to certain domains to where they have to go within the network (service.example.com ➔ 192.0.0.5:1234, for example). The Pi also hosts a couple of mediocre Discord bots used within my friend-circle.
While not strictly homelab related, I should touch upon a common question others have brought up:
Why do you still use [Google Photos/Twitter/Insert Service Here] when you're all about FOSS and that?
What it all boils down to is convenience.
Google Photos is simply best-in-class when it comes to web interfaces to manage photos. While I disagree with the data collection and the cost I have to pay to keep original-quality photos, those are small sacrifies for the convenience and the rich featureset that Google Photos offers.
It is a similar story with Twitter. I attempted to use Mastodon for a good while; I wanted to like it. The problem was simply lack of adoption. Everyone I would want to follow (bar perhaps Bryan Lunduke) are on Twitter. Not to mention the polish that has gone into making Twitter be as soom as possible to use - something you can’t really match as a one-man-band.
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