Serving from home, a little advice?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Exactly none of you will remember that almost a year ago now, I was attempting to set up my own server at home.



The idea was to get a simple box that would provide file and print serving, an IMAP server, and a low traffic web server. It would need a built-in firewall, and remote access via telnet or SSH, and preferably an option to dial in, in the event my main connection goes down.



All my files and mail would stay on the server, and I could access them via 802.11b in my apartment, or over the internet from my lab or via a GPRS phone, or whatever.



Well, I've finally got time to see if this could work, so I thought I'd give it a go. I have a high speed internet connection with a static IP address and a domain name.



The reason it's become an issue again is that one of my proposed solutions, a Cobalt Qube, has been offered to me for $1,800. It's the high end model with RAID 1, and I'd like the security of redundancy.



Are there any alternatives I should look at? It's got to be reliable, easy to set up, and easy to maintain. I want to stick this thing in a closet and forget about it.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Can't help you, but I have to ask ... can you have a home server with a "www.yourdomain.com" address, or can you only access it by typing in the IP address. Do you have to create a DNS using your registrar, or is some other way to go about this?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    What kind of OS, hardware and stuff do you have.



    You'll start laughing, but I just set up a small server too. It's a 6100/60 with OS8.6, running NetPresentz for FTP, Web Sharing for HTML, AIM for limited file transfers, and Appletalk. But the best part: I just installed AT&T's <a href="http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/download.html"; target="_blank">VNC</a> server. I can control everything, configure menus, and configure almost everything from any computer on my network. The program is cross-platform too. A must-have for servers without monitors.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    [quote]Originally posted by the cool gut:

    <strong>Can't help you, but I have to ask ... can you have a home server with a "www.yourdomain.com" address, or can you only access it by typing in the IP address. Do you have to create a DNS using your registrar, or is some other way to go about this?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes, you can. I think there are services out there that will allow you to map a domain name to your IP adress.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,501member
    [quote]Originally posted by the cool gut:

    <strong>Can't help you, but I have to ask ... can you have a home server with a "www.yourdomain.com" address, or can you only access it by typing in the IP address. Do you have to create a DNS using your registrar, or is some other way to go about this?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The cheapest one I know if is <a href="http://www.dyndns.org."; target="_blank">www.dyndns.org.</a> Even if your IP is DHCP they can associate a Domain name to it for no charge. Works great for me.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,501member
    [quote]Originally posted by Belle:

    <strong>Exactly none of you will remember that almost a year ago now, I was attempting to set up my own server at home.



    The idea was to get a simple box that would provide file and print serving, an IMAP server, and a low traffic web server. It would need a built-in firewall, and remote access via telnet or SSH, and preferably an option to dial in, in the event my main connection goes down.



    All my files and mail would stay on the server, and I could access them via 802.11b in my apartment, or over the internet from my lab or via a GPRS phone, or whatever.



    Well, I've finally got time to see if this could work, so I thought I'd give it a go. I have a high speed internet connection with a static IP address and a domain name.



    The reason it's become an issue again is that one of my proposed solutions, a Cobalt Qube, has been offered to me for $1,800. It's the high end model with RAID 1, and I'd like the security of redundancy.



    Are there any alternatives I should look at? It's got to be reliable, easy to set up, and easy to maintain. I want to stick this thing in a closet and forget about it.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Is an XServe not right for this? It is about as easy as it gets with some redundancy.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    imudimud Posts: 140member
    Just get a low end pc and put FreeBSD on it. That would be the cheapest way to go.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,501member
    [quote]Originally posted by iMud:

    <strong>Just get a low end pc and put FreeBSD on it. That would be the cheapest way to go.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    She does not want the cheapest, she wants the best bang for the buck. A cheap PC gives no redundancy at all. It does not fit her Criterion.



    [edited for spelling]



    [ 10-28-2002: Message edited by: NoahJ ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 13
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    $1800 is a lot. You could build your own PC with RAID 1 for a lot less.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    I'm going to be installing a new server at home for various things. I'm just going to pick up a firewire based iMac motherboard off of ebay, pop it into a Marathon iMac rackmount case, and away I go There are nice FW raids available if you want. It isn't terribly expensive, will run X Server or linux, and draws little power. And it's in a 1U rack enclosure, which is nice. Did I mention it's quiet too
  • Reply 10 of 13
    bellebelle Posts: 1,574member
    [quote]Originally posted by the cool gut:

    <strong>Can't help you, but I have to ask ... can you have a home server with a "www.yourdomain.com" address, or can you only access it by typing in the IP address. Do you have to create a DNS using your registrar, or is some other way to go about this?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    You can either use NoahJ's solution, or if you're feeling particularly industrious and want to be self-sufficient (and also want to give yourself some chronic headaches), you can set up your own DNS server.

    [quote]Originally posted by Ebby:

    <strong>What kind of OS, hardware and stuff do you have.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Ah, this is one of the reasons I'm interested in the Qube - it's cross-platform out the box. Part of the reason I want to set this thing up is that I currently have a mishmash of hardware, any piece of which I may use to access files, mail, etc. at any particular time (and from any particular location).



    I figure if I set up a server using common standards, I shouldn't have too many issues connecting from any machine, whether it's an AIX workstation at the lab, my assistant's Dell, my iBook, or my pending PDA.

    [quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:

    <strong>Is an XServe not right for this? It is about as easy as it gets with some redundancy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    It's an option, I guess. It sounds like a 747 taking off, though, even when hidden away in a closet. The minimum configuration with two drives is $3,349, which isn't exactly small change.



    I've thought about the option of building my own FreeBSD or (more likely) Linux box, but I'm not sure that I want the hassle of setting up and maintaining the beast. I'm not exactly a stranger to UNIX, but the thought of getting all the services set up and making sure they stay set up just puts me off the whole idea.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    rackmount an iMac. Run OS X Server. You get pretty much every internet standard installed with it to access it from anywhere. AppleShare, FTP, SSH, Windows Sharing, Apache, etceteras.



    Rackmount kit is something like $300, iMac with FW motherboards can be had for about $125 on ebay. OS X Server for $1000, or you could probably find it cheaper if you're a student. Then any storage options you want to add. It's a quiet 1U enclosure
  • Reply 12 of 13
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Rackmount an iMac? Am I missing something? <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> I would like to see that! :eek:
  • Reply 13 of 13
    cakecake Posts: 1,010member
    Yes, you are missing something. It's not the entire iMac, it's the mobo. Like so:





    <a href="http://www.marathoncomputer.com/irac.html"; target="_blank">More info here</a>
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