FreeNAS Core / Home server

FreeNAS Core beta is available to download now and I wanted to setup a home server using a rack server that is adle at work for an ubuntu server with VMs running Jitsi, Matrix.or and nextcloud.
If I use FreeeNAS i can also install the matrix server as a guest OS.
I have another server node but I really wanted to lower the idle energy footprint.
Also want to replace some of the drives with SSD units and increase the RAM above 32GB.
Also possible run pfsense on it to help manage the network (likely overkill as we also have the Edgemax X router in load balance mode.
Any advice would be appreciated.

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That all sounds do-able, was there anything in particular that you wanted advice with?

A good place to start would be to look at the hardware and see what it supports - how much RAM and what kind, then see how many drives you can attach to it and whether you need a controller card for additional drives.

Offense is a firewall and probably best suited at the edge of the network connected directly the internet so you woukd be best to have a dedicated interface on the server for that as well as a LAN interface so again you need to look at what the hardware supports.

So I have two Dell PowerEdge servers 2950 & R330.

The R330 has an extra 2x 1Gbs card and 2 10/100/1000 NIC ports along with 3TB of HDD space and 32GB RAM. This is the one i would like to use as the network gateway.

The 2950 is older and i found some extra memory cards for it i’m yet to test but i had installed Ubuntu 18 LTS last year as an experiment after replacing the raid controller card which had failed and caused the companu to replace th whole machine with the R330. The 2950 being older had 3.5" drive bays so it likely would be a nice candidate for multiple TB drives as a file server for VMs. (Ideally i’d rather not use it as is more of a power hog.

Wanted to put FreeNas on that and use the VM server to host pfsense, and a node (CentOS federated server with Jitsi installed with it).

I guess what I need advice for is what combination works best… Folks here tend to be brutal about simplicity and efficiency. (In a good way :slight_smile: )

I wanted to put the matrix server on digital ocean but I have these two machines i think would be cheaper to run with 8GB+ Ram each and fairly good CPU’s.

Personally I would (and I do) run pfsense on its own hardware and any VMs on a different more powerful box. That way I can change / upgrade the server without taking down the internet. Unless you’ve got gigabits of bandwidth then pfsense only needs something modest to run it. Your option to run it all on one box works too, but I would have a dedicated wan interface for it that only pfsense is attached to so that you don’t mistakenly expose VMs to the internet.

It’s usually cheaper to run servers in the cloud, but if you got the servers for free and want a project to work on then doing it yourself is more cost effective and more fun.

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