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Cost effectiveness of making your own home server setup vs remote servers + fire risk at home?
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Cost effectiveness of making your own home server setup vs remote servers + fire risk at home?

lowendguy7lowendguy7 Member
edited July 29 in General

I really like the idea of making my own server setup at home as I have always enjoyed building computers since I was a kid and the whole self-hosted part appeals to me. However I am a hypochondriac and am even afraid of leaving my toothbrush plugged in when I leave the house when I go to sleep let alone a 24/7 server stack! Can the risk of fire damage be mitigated?

Also what about the cost effectiveness of making the servers vs the monthly rental fees of remote ones? I am wondering if the economy of scale of commercial providers would outstrip the performance you could get from doing it at home or not? or whether their markup for renting it to you would make it better economically to do it yourself?

Oh I suppose it depends a lot on what type of server I need. Well the setup is CPU intensive and the more CPU power the better so my thought would be to get the best I could afford at the time and I could scale up if/when I needed to.

Of course the initial outlay cost is the hardware, say $500 bucks to $1k for a modest dedi to start? if you pay $50 per month for a modest outsourced server it would not take many months to pay that off and then you would not have any more costs except elec and internet.

Thoughts?

My main concern is , like I said, the risk factor of having a server on 24/7 in my rented apartment and the economic factor of whether it is much better to do it yourself vs rentals. If the potential gain was at least equal then I would still be interested in it, provided it was safe, for the 'self-determination' factor.

So just throwing it out there to see if it is feasible/worth it?

Comments

  • SplitIceSplitIce Member, Provider

    For what application?

    The fire risk is usually negligible. But the security, cost effectiveness (economy of scale), availability of high quality bandwidth and low capital expenditure for most applications makes datacenter deployments better in many cases.

    That's not to say there isnt locality advantages to say a 100% locally accessed plex server... especially if your internet is slow or unreliable.

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  • In home you will never receive quality cooling, redundant power and network. Think you also will not have repair set for your server. Providers often has access to long money that allows them to sell them at low cost. You are at low-cost users' forum actually:)

    I suppose the only way you to need server in home is extremely exclusive requirements (like you write software to fire-alarm systems and need to visualize different environments). Or you have free hardware. Or free money and you want to have server because you want:)

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  • danielhmdanielhm Member
    edited July 29

    Home vs. Remote simply isn't comparable for any important/production use.

    I purchased a Dell OptiPlex 3040 - i5-6500T 8GB RAM 128GB SSD then plugged in ~5TB of USB storage for use as a makeshift home server that I can run moderate level compute (docker containers for experiementation, Plex etc.). All I will now pay is for power at maybe £5/mo with an initial outlay of £185 for the server (used - eBay). For the same spec on Kimsufi it's around 20 EUR/mo (but with only 2TB storage, no SSD to boot from) so won't take very long to recoup my investment for my specific needs.

    YMMV - there are many use-cases where a home server makes sense, but never confuse this for production use. I'd never host a public facing website on a home internet connection, and the second you try and upgrade cooling/power/internet you will find it's much more expensive then just renting one.

  • raindog308raindog308 Moderator
    edited July 29

    @lowendguy7 said: However I am a hypochondriac and am even afraid of leaving my toothbrush plugged in when I leave the house when I go to sleep let alone a 24/7 server stack! Can the risk of fire damage be mitigated?

    I've had some sort of PC running in my house for over 40 years. At present I have 11 if you count NAS boxes and RPis. That's not included laptops or phones/tablets plugged in and charging overnight.

    No fire yet.

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  • doughnetdoughnet Member

    That's not to say there isnt locality advantages to say a 100% locally accessed plex server... especially if your internet is slow or unreliable.

    Sadly to say Plex phones to their master servers so in my experience when internet at home is down it isn’t even possibly to access Plex unless it’s through DLNA. That’s why there’s are other projects like Jellyfin and Emby that are gaining large popularity.

  • @danielhm said:
    Home vs. Remote simply isn't comparable for any important/production use.

    I purchased a Dell OptiPlex 3040 - i5-6500T 8GB RAM 128GB SSD then plugged in ~5TB of USB storage for use as a makeshift home server that I can run moderate level compute (docker containers for experiementation, Plex etc.). All I will now pay is for power at maybe £5/mo with an initial outlay of £185 for the server (used - eBay). For the same spec on Kimsufi it's around 20 EUR/mo (but with only 2TB storage, no SSD to boot from) so won't take very long to recoup my investment for my specific needs.

    YMMV - there are many use-cases where a home server makes sense, but never confuse this for production use. I'd never host a public facing website on a home internet connection, and the second you try and upgrade cooling/power/internet you will find it's much more expensive then just renting one.

    Good to see it isn't all naysayers although you seem to be sitting on the fence on recommending one or the other :)

  • @SplitIce said:
    For what application?

    The fire risk is usually negligible. But the security, cost effectiveness (economy of scale), availability of high quality bandwidth and low capital expenditure for most applications makes datacenter deployments better in many cases.

    That's not to say there isnt locality advantages to say a 100% locally accessed plex server... especially if your internet is slow or unreliable.

    It will be for 100% encoding then uploading, not some website type of thing, so heavy cpu and strong internet. I already have high speed internet (around 300mbits) and it is being wasted, it came with the building complex that I live so not like I paid for it especially, so would be good to put to use.

  • danielhmdanielhm Member

    @lowendguy7 said:
    Good to see it isn't all naysayers although you seem to be sitting on the fence on recommending one or the other :)

    Then you haven't understood my reply.

    I will summarise.

    Home: good if you have a SPECIFIC use-case and do not need it for public use. Example: I need a plex server for cheap that can hold 5TB+ and be available when my internet isn't working.
    If you don't have that, rent a server. Don't DIY it.

  • lowendguy7lowendguy7 Member
    edited July 29

    @danielhm said:

    @lowendguy7 said:
    Good to see it isn't all naysayers although you seem to be sitting on the fence on recommending one or the other :)

    Then you haven't understood my reply.

    I will summarise.

    Home: good if you have a SPECIFIC use-case and do not need it for public use. Example: I need a plex server for cheap that can hold 5TB+ and be available when my internet isn't working.
    If you don't have that, rent a server. Don't DIY it.

    Well you saw my reply is like you say, a specific use-case (encoding + uploading) which will not be for public use. So it is good for me?

  • danielhmdanielhm Member

    @lowendguy7 said:

    Well you saw my reply is like you say, a specific use-case (encoding + uploading) which will not be for public use. So it is good for me?

    Yeah, for a use-case like that I would buy and just pay the ongoing cost for power + parts.

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  • rcxbrcxb Member

    @lowendguy7 said:
    Also what about the cost effectiveness of making the servers vs the monthly rental fees of remote ones?

    Datacenters have much cheaper (and more reliable) electricity, network bandwidth, cooling, etc. If you don't need much bandwidth, are lucky enough to be in a cheap electricity area, and don't care that it loses power regularly, you could do it at home.

    Well the setup is CPU intensive and the more CPU power the better

    So you'll be consuming a lot of power. Let's say 300W @ 24/7. With electric rates of $0.20/KWH, that's $45/month just to power one server. During summer you'll pay probably 30% more to remove that heat you're putting off as well. Your rates could be higher or lower.

    My main concern is , like I said, the risk factor of having a server on 24/7 in my rented apartment

    Being an apartment changes this, too. Do you even have somewhere to put a very noisy server (much louder than a PC) that you won't have to hear it all the time? Somewhere it'll still have good A/C airflow? Don't even consider a 1U!

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  • deankdeank Member, Troll

    Every single year, this topic comes up by or during summer.

    I have not created a single thread. Verify it if you dare.

  • lowendguy7lowendguy7 Member
    edited July 29

    @rcxb said:

    Don't even consider a 1U!

    what is? Oh I see it is some server thing.

    I have a spare room in this place.

    EDIT: oh I just did a check at 300w (taking your figure) on some site at 17.8p kwh, which is the cost and it comes to £35.88 per month (28 days) for 24 hours a day.

    Hmm so 300w is expected? It is interesting to study, gonna research more.

  • @raindog308 said:

    @lowendguy7 said: However I am a hypochondriac and am even afraid of leaving my toothbrush plugged in when I leave the house when I go to sleep let alone a 24/7 server stack! Can the risk of fire damage be mitigated?

    I've had some sort of PC running in my house for over 40 years. At present I have 11 if you count NAS boxes and RPis. That's not included laptops or phones/tablets plugged in and charging overnight.

    No fire yet.

    Yes, but how many toasters running Linux?

  • raindog308raindog308 Moderator

    @TimboJones said: Yes, but how many toasters running Linux?

    I think my toaster is just a dump mechanical without any chips...but Keurig probably needs at least a dual core Xeon to calculate all those "we reject everything except proprietary Keurig-branded coffee" algorithms.

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  • bugrakocbugrakoc Member

    @lowendguy7 said: Can the risk of fire damage be mitigated?

    Sure thing! If you really want to be sure:

    1. Move to a detached house with a big yard.
    2. Make sure no combustible vegetation is present.
    3. Build a shed a fair distance from the house.
    4. Run power and ethernet lines to your shed underground.
    5. Erect a wall made of stone or other fireproof material, preferably twice as tall and wide as the house, between the house and the shed.
    6. Place your server in the shed.
    7. ?
    8. Profit!
  • I don't think there's much fire risk. But I don't want to listen to that shit at home. I keep all that noise at the data-center. I don't want the extra heat in the summer either. and my residential power rates will never be as good as those in a commercial building.

    So. Data-center just makes more sense as long as you have good connectivity there and at home. I've got Gig symmetrical at home and 20gbps to my dedicated boxes, so I'm a happy camper!

    Other than some SMALL low power local storage for security camera local recording, I keep just about everything on a dedicated or coloed box.

  • dodheimsgarddodheimsgard Member
    edited July 30

    Ive bought 2u rack server, dual xeon 2670 to use it for homelab. Worst decision ive ever made.

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  • poissonpoisson Member

    The fire hazard is not an issue if you ask me. The two biggest issues are redundancy and electricity cost. If you need your server to be always up, you better go with a datacenter, especially if the cost of electricity is high. If you just need a seedbox to maintain your tracker ratios, a home server with a Rpi probably is okay. Or, as someone else has pointed out, a local plex server may make sense in some cases.

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  • @poisson said:
    The fire hazard is not an issue if you ask me. The two biggest issues are redundancy and electricity cost. If you need your server to be always up, you better go with a datacenter, especially if the cost of electricity is high. If you just need a seedbox to maintain your tracker ratios, a home server with a Rpi probably is okay. Or, as someone else has pointed out, a local plex server may make sense in some cases.

    How do you mean redundancy in this context? Redundancy of what? You mean scalability?

    Elec costs seem the biggest factor. Can anyone weigh in on UK elec prices? is it good/bad?

  • poissonpoisson Member

    @lowendguy7 said:
    How do you mean redundancy in this context? Redundancy of what? You mean scalability?

    Electricity and network redundancy. Fire is almost impossible, but electricity trips and routers dying suddenly can make your server go offline, and data centers usually have measures in place to ensure redundancy in these aspects that your home does not have.

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  • lowendguy7lowendguy7 Member
    edited July 30

    @poisson said:

    can make your server go offline,

    well I said above this is not for a public internet thing so that is not an issue. It is just for heavy encoding and uploading, not to run a website or anything; so that would be no more an issue than any of my desktop hardware going kaput, inconvenient but no biggy.

    Elec seems to be the dealbreaker here.

  • LTnigerLTniger Member
    edited July 30

    IBM blade in a home. Boy, what a journey that would be :) . The noise, the heat, the insanity that comes with it!

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  • JoeFJoeF Member

    Elec costs seem the biggest factor. Can anyone weigh in on UK elec prices? is it good/bad?

    UK utilities tend to be on the cheaper side of Europe. I pay 12p per kWh for elec.

    Thanked by 1lowendguy7
  • LittleCreekLittleCreek Member, Provider

    When I first started I had about 40 servers in my home with high speed business internet and redundant cooling and backup generator and commercial grade UPSs. I was a control freak and wanted everything under my personal care. But I wouldn't do it like that now. A data center is much cheaper.

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