Home Server Part 1: I need ZFS!

With more and more devices in my life, I soon started to feel the need for some kind of private and centralized data storage. I don’t want to buy desktop computers, laptops and phones each equipped with huge local storage and copy things from A to B all the time. Cloud providers work great in this case, but if the amount of data you have exceeds a few hundred Gigabytes they can be expensive and for sure way too slow if you don’t access the internet with Gigabit speeds.

Having a small server at home solves this problem for me. My devices all have rather limited local storage and access all the important files remotely by now. To be honest, this can be achieved with any store bought NAS system out there. But that would steal a lot of the fun, right? (And also, you get a lot more bang for your buck when building the system yourself.)

Last fall, after about 7 years, my current system started to show its age. It was build on a RAID-5 with 3x 3TB disks which had filled to over 95% over time. Backup disks had even less free space and I had to start excluding less important stuff from my backups. Bit rot ate up one of my oldest files. And simple tasks like zipping a file for download over Nextcloud would bring the old dual core CPU to its limits.

It’s time for a new server and I started to put a lot more thought into building the new one than 7 years ago.

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