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[libreplanet-discuss] home / small office servers with free hardware

From: Daniel Pocock
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] home / small office servers with free hardware
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2016 10:08:44 +0200
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Can anybody comment on strategies for building a home or small office
server using entirely free hardware?

The earlier thread (here[1] and on the FSFE list[2]) about Intel and AMD
never being truly free identifies platforms like ARM and other low power
chips as alternatives that can be 100% free.  For home and small office
servers where people typically want low power consumption and low noise
levels rather than raw performance, using ARM is probably quite
agreeable, a compromise they may already have been willing to make for
other reasons.

Are there any particularly good examples of off-the-shelf solutions  or
how to make such servers from components?

Even if CPU power is limited, can such solutions be designed for
IO-intensive workloads, such as hosting NFS home directories or
Maildirs?  These tend to do lots of small writes, just putting them on
SSDs helps a lot.

Another thing that people tend to look for these days is the ability to
have lots of storage for photos and movies.  This type of storage
doesn't need fast IO but it does generally need multiple disks for

A combined solution to both of those storage problems typically needs a
pair of SSDs (for home directories) and a pair of large disks (for media
collections) and if there is going to be a spare disk bay for migrations
and standby disks, it means having a box with 5 or more bays.


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