For as long as I can remember I have had a home server. I've gone through many iterations and it has served many purposes. It used to be a simple NAS but has now become the centralized brain of the house.


Some of these services probably deserve articles of their own but I will do a quick listing for now.

  • OpenMediaVault

Used to be a frankenstein build of Ubuntu (used as a desktop) with all the GUI packages removed, then Ubuntu Server Edition and now I'm on OpenMediaVault for the web based admin interface and great Docker support.

  • MergerFS

Was never quite able to make the jump to ZFS as I keep buying oddly shaped hard drives on sale rather than building a good consistent array. But MergerFS has performed well and is amazingly easy to use. All my disks mount to one single point and I stop worrying about where my data is.

  • HomeAssistant

Great community and integration into everything. Conctrols all my smart home devices and I stopped worrying about whether different ecosystems will play together.

  • Plex

This um, plays stuff.

  • Syncthing

It's like my personal Dropbox.


Thermaltake Core V21


This started off as a case for a desktop workstation build. I ended up working much more off a laptop and converted the case and parts into the server. This case is great and out of the box has mounting space for 3x 2.5" drives and 3x 3.5" drives and plenty of room for MicroATX.

Dust circle from the giant front fan.

GoControl USB Hub


This is great as it gets you both ZigBee and ZWave. And Home Assistant ties em together. Samsung Smarthings would be a great All-in-one solution for this but I didn't want yet another device.

LSI SAS 9201-16e

I love this thing. Sits in a PCI-E slot and has support for 16 more drives. I literally these long SATA -> SAS cables out of the DAS encloser into the external SAS ports of this card. A lot simpler and less to invest into if you're really sure how hardcore your server setup will (need) to be yet.

EBay Hard Drive Enclosure

Even though the V21 has plenty of mounting space for drives - problem came when I bought my 4th drive. I thought about getting a Rosewill 15 bay but I really liked keeping my current setup and then stumbled onto this.

das panel
Super simple panel. Not sure how to hook up the activity LEDs
das rack
Zero frills - Space for 8 drives
  • The Drives

Western Digital Red 4TB


Western Digital Red 5TB


WD Elements 8TB (Shucked)

Needed the 3 pin mod


WD EasyStore 8TB (Shucked)

Almost same drive as Elements but is a BestBuy exclusive.

  • Other Stuff

Intel i7-4790K

Random RAM 2x8GB

Random Gigabyte Motherboard

Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD

Future Plans

  • SnapRAID

I got a ton of files - I need to probably get some parity drives and set up SnapRAID immediately

  • Automated Scripts

The idea is that I will have automated scripts that backs up things like documents to S3 and RAW photos to Glacier. WIP

  • Consolidate into a 4U box

This is just a distant idea