Private cloud for home
One of my longest, ongoing projects - started as a simple print & scan server and kinda just evolved.
Back when I was at Uni and lived with roommates, we kinda needed a solution to print stuff. Since I already had a printer, we just put some money in the pool towards the ink, but printing required my PC being turned on – this quickly has become unacceptable, as our schedules didn't always match.
Me, being me and always finding stuff to improve upon, got the brand new Raspberry Pi, installed drivers, saned, shared the printer on the network and as an extra put together a web panel that allowed to print and scan. Life was good.
After that the Pi has got some new features, as IT students usually have a lot of ideas, so we added a NAS, started hosting some services and a few web pages. It quickly became clear that the RPi was not enough. It was replaced by an old laptop and that's how the Home Server project was born.
Adding more and more features I've started to realise that we needed some sort of directory or a panel, where we could put links to all the services it was running. Soon we had the file manager, films, a notepad, weather, cameras and more!
The laptop has been replaced with a thin PC, but soon even that wasn't enough. I have acquired a server.
I've bought a slightly used Fujitsu Primergy server and started building. 32 GB of RAM, 2x Quad-Core CPUs with 16 threads total – and this baby can fit so many hard drives inside 🤣
The move was dictated mostly by the required storage space and processing power. I've got to the point where I had used all the USB ports of the Thin PC for external hard drives!
I've played around for a bit, experimented with RAID, but in the end decided against it and used LVM instead. Firstly, I do have backups, secondly, RAID is not a backup, haha.
The software got rewritten too. After upgrade to the networked printer the print server was no longer necessary, and maintaining all the integrations have become a time sinkhole. Now the services are contained and mostly open-source, so maintained by somebody else, and all the software written by me is kind of cherry on top – so just a launcher for the apps (so I don't have to remember the links, lol).