How Would You Build a Nethserver?

How would you build your ideal Nethserver for personal use?

As this is partially fantasy, do not limit yourself purely by cost but at the same time dont go nuts with super expensive stuff. Do consider your own personal needs/environment.

I am mostly interested in the hardware you would use, but the additional packages/programs would be of interest too.

For me I would mostly be looking at a server capable of running a few VM’s. Id like an AD DC server/VM, possibly separate from a file server VM and then likely a Dev server VM and some dev client VM’s.

I am looking at something like:
Supermicro 5028D-TN4T
Ideally based on the newer board/CPU like:
Supermicro X11SDV-8C-TLN2F

I am also eagerly awaiting the release and availability of the AMD Epyc 3000 series SoC’s as they should give good performance at a much lower price point (the 8c/16t is rumored to be roughly $400).

If possible Id like to keep using my Fractal Design Node 304 case as its perfect for a home lab/server with 6x 3.5" bays using an ITX board but still small enough and quite enough to fit in my entertainment center in the living room.

I have also considered building my own (again) but its hard to find any decent ITX board for recent CPU’s available in 8c/16t.

I currently have 4x 4TB drives which I would likely start to replace with 8TB drives as the cost has come down.

Presumably I could use the PCIe slot on the ITX for a quad nvme card as well. Id likely run my VM’s from this storage, maybe slice off a small chuck and set aside for more demanding applications too. Id then use the HDD’s in a pool for file storage.

All in all I think with a budget of around $2,000 it would be possible to build something ITX, 8c/16t, 32GB+ RAM, 4 or more 8TB drives. Likely not including SSD’s in the budget or maybe just 1 as OS/VM drive to start.

Software wise not sure if there is anything outside the typical well known modules for Nethserver I would use.


My ideal/dream home setup…testing environment. If I am to use it, I’ll go physical on one of my installs and provision it as Firewall/router which may include suricata and VPN.

I’ll go separate VMs for the following:

  • serving as proxy, content filter and other web services maybe including Network Monitoring (either Zabbix or Nagios), OCS Inventory
  • Mail/Collaboration (SOGo or WebTop) and chat module. Perhaps PBX :slight_smile:
  • DC, File and folder sharing
  • Backup

Of course the host will be replicated.


Cool, what kind of hardware would you use?

I’ll use any branded but a leaning on HP or Dell, 2nd hand will do as long as there’s redundancy and hot-swappable HDD and perhaps power supply.

My current setup is close to ideal for me. I run 2 instances of NethServer7.4 on my homeserver. They are both virtualized with proxmox pve5.1.
This gives me the flexibility of being able to create a test server very fast (I have a NS7.4 template, once cloned into a new VM, I only need to update to latest patchlevel and change the IP address and it is ready for use/testing.

What it would take to make things complete: probably unlimited Internet data (currently I am still on 500GB / month data limit) so I can use an external drive/service for offsite backup. And I would like to get myself a small NAS for local backup purposes.
For my mail and public webservices, I have NS7.4 instance installed on a VPS at They offer quite cheap VPS’s (12GB RAM + 300GB SSD for EUR9.00/month)

btw, my homeserver is based on a supermicro mITX board with Xeon D1521 processor. Quite nice performance with limited power consumption.
I I were to buy myself a NAS, it probably will be a small Synology. Mostly because of the limited energyu consumption. Since it only will be used for backup purposes, I won’t need a lot of processor power and/or memory on it.


Other than the limited data, very neat. I have also considered a NAS for various reasons in addition to a server but cant decide on building my own or using a Synology or Qnap. Advantages and downsides to each.

@vhinzsanchez I considered a Dell PowerEdge server, but I just dont have the room for it. Pretty sure my wife would divorce me on account of the noise it would make lol. Most of my experience is on Dell servers, so Id know my way around it, but they dont make something small/quite enough for me.

Interested to hear from others as well, thanks for sharing.

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