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Looking to make my own server for when I go to uni

1610 Views 28 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  420Assassin
Me and my dormmate had the idea of getting a server for files storage and hosting a Minecraft server for all of our old friends from back in high school. We were wondering what is the best way to get started with making a server build for our dorm room? We watched the LTT video on turning old computers into servers (video here), but I would want more direct help on the subject.

Thanks!
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· OG
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TrueNAS has a plugin I believe for Minecraft server hosting.
But whether you want to host a public game server on your file server is up to you..

Have a lot of ECC Ram, no less than 8gb... Suggested rule of thumb is 1GB ram per 1TB storage with no less than 8gb... But that isn't always accurate when you get to huge storage volumes...
Intel NICs play nicely with TrueNAS.

a decent cpu and a decent psu. A ups is also a good idea.
Doesn't need to be server grade hardware. But it's highly advisable to run ECC memory
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TrueNAS has a plugin I believe for Minecraft server hosting.
But whether you want to host a public game server on your file server is up to you..

Have a lot of ECC Ram, no less than 8gb... Suggested rule of thumb is 1GB ram per 1TB storage with no less than 8gb... But that isn't always accurate when you get to huge storage volumes...
Intel NICs play nicely with TrueNAS.

a decent cpu and a decent psu. A ups is also a good idea.
Doesn't need to be server grade hardware. But it's highly advisable to run ECC memory
Is there an issue with running a game server on the same machine as a file server?

What would be considered a decent CPU and PSU for the machine? We were thinking of finding an old optiplex off of ebay/offerup/etc and throwing in at minimum 8TB of storage.
 

· OG
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Is there an issue with running a game server on the same machine as a file server?

What would be considered a decent CPU and PSU for the machine? We were thinking of finding an old optiplex off of ebay/offerup/etc and throwing in at minimum 8TB of storage.
I’m not a network wizard by any means, but I understand it as - It opens ports which could lead to people who are bored with nothing better to do - gaining access to your files and such.
My TrueNAS and router are both running i3 3220s Intel s1200 boards, and 16gb /8gb ram respectively… Which, for my use is sufficient, 3 local users and nightly off-site backup to my parents server.. I know if you have a bunch of users, you’ll need to up the ram and cpu performance dramatically.
as for hardware to run the Minecraft server, I have no clue.

With TrueNAS, it is highly recommended also that you do not use hardware raid controllers. You just get some HBA controllers off eBay. Then you run the raid in ZFS through TrueNAS. Plenty of good setup videos online.

lsi 9211 8i is what I run, some eBay dude flashed them into the IT mode which is basically just disk pass through.
 

· OG
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Anything publicly accessible run it in a vm, secure it and isolate it from the network from anything else in case it gets hacked.
I’ve heard that TrueNAS in a vm is sketchy. Plenty of people who’ve had issues on the TrueNAS forums.
Minecraft server would run in a jail, which can be run from a dedicated NIC passed through directly to it…. So I guess that could work?
 

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I’ve heard that TrueNAS in a vm is sketchy. Plenty of people who’ve had issues on the TrueNAS forums.
Minecraft server would run in a jail, which can be run from a dedicated NIC passed through directly to it…. So I guess that could work?
Yeah mainly meant run the minecraft in a vm, not the nas but you could always pass through an adapter if you wanted to go that route. I did it before and it worked fine but did not use truenas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’m not a network wizard by any means, but I understand it as - It opens ports which could lead to people who are bored with nothing better to do - gaining access to your files and such.
My TrueNAS and router are both running i3 3220s Intel s1200 boards, and 16gb /8gb ram respectively… Which, for my use is sufficient, 3 local users and nightly off-site backup to my parents server.. I know if you have a bunch of users, you’ll need to up the ram and cpu performance dramatically.
as for hardware to run the Minecraft server, I have no clue.

With TrueNAS, it is highly recommended also that you do not use hardware raid controllers. You just get some HBA controllers off eBay. Then you run the raid in ZFS through TrueNAS. Plenty of good setup videos online.

lsi 9211 8i is what I run, some eBay dude flashed them into the IT mode which is basically just disk pass through.
Is there anything I could do to potentially separate the game server from the file server? I know VMing is a potential way of doing it, but I was just curious if that would be the only way to do it.
 

· OG
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Is there anything I could do to potentially separate the game server from the file server? I know VMing is a potential way of doing it, but I was just curious if that would be the only way to do it.
Two separate 'servers' is best bet.
But running the Minecraft server inside a TrueNAS Jail (basically a VM) should be safe - as I understand it. I suggest doing some reading on that topic before persuing it. or wait till someone chimes in with better info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Two separate 'servers' is best bet.
But running the Minecraft server inside a TrueNAS Jail (basically a VM) should be safe - as I understand it. I suggest doing some reading on that topic before persuing it. or wait till someone chimes in with better info.
I mean the files on the file server are just going to be school related stuff so whoever gets bored is just going to see a lot of useless garbage to them.
 

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I mean the files on the file server are just going to be school related stuff so whoever gets bored is just going to see a lot of useless garbage to them.
This is where my intelligence runs out. I'm not certain as to the best blanket methods to prevent it from happening other than building your own firewall (OPNsense, PfSense, Untangle). As @D-EJ915 said, run it in a VM with a dedicated NIC passed through to the VM (or jail)

IMO everyone should be running an firewall as listed above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is where my intelligence runs out. I'm not certain as to the best blanket methods to prevent it from happening other than building your own firewall (OPNsense, PfSense, Untangle). As @D-EJ915 said, run it in a VM with a dedicated NIC passed through to the VM (or jail)

IMO everyone should be running an firewall as listed above.
I'll look into running a firewall on the server and/or running it in a VM with a dedicated NIC passed through to it. Thanks for all your help!
 

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I used my old gaming rig as a server specs HERE
I run a ftp server, minecraft bedrock server, iperf, and plex off it.
In general you want atleast 16GB ram in my opinion, more cpu cores helps do more things but a dual core can handle a single task fine..
If you want to do a storage server stock on on hard drives. If you plan on doing raid get same size drives, if JBOD it doesnt matter (i prefer JBOD)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I used my old gaming rig as a server specs HERE
I run a ftp server, minecraft bedrock server, iperf, and plex off it.
In general you want atleast 16GB ram in my opinion, more cpu cores helps do more things but a dual core can handle a single task fine..
If you want to do a storage server stock on on hard drives. If you plan on doing raid get same size drives, if JBOD it doesnt matter (i prefer JBOD)
Is there any reason to get DDR4 over DDR3 RAM for the server?
 

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Is there any reason to get DDR4 over DDR3 RAM for the server?
DDR4 more bandwidth.. unless your current motherboard has ddr3 then just use that to save bit of cash.
DDR4 provides 21.3GB/s of bandwidth compared to 12.8GB/s for DDR3
 

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What I did was get an older X79 platform (x299 + also works)...

You can get a cheap Xeon, and the platform natively supports ECC. From there you can install TrueNAS, and install any amount of drives you need using addon-PCIe cards if you need more SATA ports, or install an Intel NIC, or again, anything else.

In regards to DDR3 vs DDR4, either will be fine. I run TrueNAS on DDR3 (32gb), and I bottleneck the drives before even my NIC (10gbit) or the CPU
Colorfulness Font Screenshot Technology Circle
 

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For a file/game server would it be worth the extra money to get DDR4 or should we just stay with DDR3?
That bandwidth depends on dual channel vs quad channel.

X79, for example (i'm sure there are others, just not on the top of my head), that are quad channel, which means you'll get more performance from it.

File server really takes no resources -- I use my for Plex, and its really overkill.

For a game server, you want fast CPU and fast internet.

If your budget supports DDR4 and a super CPU, go for it, otherwise the first thing I would cut (RAM vs CPU) is RAM speed, as it is less important than CPU performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That bandwidth depends on dual channel vs quad channel.

X79, for example (i'm sure there are others, just not on the top of my head), that are quad channel, which means you'll get more performance from it.

File server really takes no resources -- I use my for Plex, and its really overkill.

For a game server, you want fast CPU and fast internet.

If your budget supports DDR4 and a super CPU, go for it, otherwise the first thing I would cut (RAM vs CPU) is RAM speed, as it is less important than CPU performance.
Would it be possible to find an already built x79/x299 build online or would I need to buy the parts separately and make it myself?
 

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You would need to buy separately, cause they are "old" -- old, but still useful, atleast when building a NAS.

If you need a cheap but good air cooler, Cooler Master Hyper 212 fits basically every platform.

I recommend first finding the motherboard (ebay is always useful, but thrift stores, aliexpress, or kijiji/craigslist also works), then checking eBay for a CPU (a compatable quad core Xeon can go as low as 15$ depending on platform, obviously higher end ones go for more, but its really dependent on use case), and RAM should be the easiest to find.
 
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