If you read my last post you know about the adventure of me building my new home server. I ended it with my ordering of the new processor and motherboard. They came in on time and I was able to put the machine together and it booted up just fine! Now I could get to setting it up and put this project to bed for the time being! I listed in my last post what I was looking to get out of my home server. Basically, maybe a VM or two, some docker containers for services, some storage, and some quiet!
On my Dell, I had Proxmox set up running on the metal of the machine to allow me to stack LXC containers and VM’s on it. I liked it. It gave me what I wanted functionality-wise and it had a nice user-friendly web interface for management. But I wanted something different this time around. I had read some about Unraid, and it seemed that it would offer me everything that I wanted, It would be pretty simple to expand storage in it as I built it up and allow me to run both VM’s and Docker containers on it.
I was pretty much dead on about it being easier to set up. I created the boot USB drive and had it up and running in maybe 15 minutes. In another 15, I had my Unifi controller up and had restored a backup. The community keeps a great repository of ready to go Docker containers that you can install and manage from the web interface of Unraid. Yes, it takes a little bit of the nuts and bolts learning of Docker away. But I feel like once I get comfortable with getting some of the images up and running, I can circle back around and get my hands dirty with learning Docker command line tools.
It also definitely ticked the box of quieter! My Unifi switch makes more noise than the server now. I was really surprised by that. I had to put my ear up to it to make sure that I was hearing the switch and not the server. Most importantly, my wife no longer hears a low roaring sound while she is watching TV in the other room.
Since I was downsizing the server, I figured I need to downsize the 42 unit APC rack as well. I had heard about the Lackrack project from the home server subreddit. The general premise is that using a $9 end table from Ikea, you can rack gear between the legs. I wanted to stack a couple of them together to give me a couple of shelves and also to give my cats another place to perch and look out the window at the traffic outside our apartment.
I followed some basic guidelines outlined in the Lackrack wiki and a couple of videos on YouTube, here and here. I made my trip to Lowe’s for brackets to stabilize the legs where I stacked the tables on one and other. At Ikea, I picked up the three tables I used and some casters to put on the bottom to allow for some mobility of the rack. FULL DISCLOSURE: I did have to go back to Lowe’s later on to get some screws with expanding anchors to give some added support when drilling into the mostly hollow Ikea furniture. You can’t just make one trip to Lowe’s for a project. Of this I am convinced! Below are the images that I remembered to take over the course of putting the rack together. I will say that I was able to begin and complete building the rack in one day. It is a personal record for me!
Here is a link to my final buy list on PC Part Picker. Thanks for reading and let me know what I should put on this new Unraid server!