Rebuilding home servers, need some advice

Came here after watching the Level1Techs (Wendell) build an unraid server with Steve at GamersNexus and it made me think my current home server setup should be replaced.

Currently I have 2 Dell OptiPlex 9020 (i7-4770) desktops acting as servers.

The first Optiplex is a dedicated Plex Media Server with a 120GB SSD as the boot drive, a 240GB SSD to hold the plex metadata and live transoding data, and 2 8TB drives in raid 0 as the media storage. I’ve come to realize that raid0 is probably only useful for throughput and is not in any way for redundancy. As such, I have an external USB 8TB drive that I connect monthly to check the media for consistency and backup new media.

The second Optiplex is a hodgepodge of different services. It has a 120GB SSD as a boot drive, a 2TB drive, and a 4TB drive for various storage. This box runs a syncthing service to backup the family’s phones and documents from other desktops. An apache instance is used to run FileRun as a means to interact with the syncthing files from a handy web interface. An MQTT instance for home automation. An instance of OpenHab2 for home automation.

I know I need to be running something of a NAS for better storage handling and I’m leaning towards unraid.

Currently I have an unused AMD 2700X on a Gigabyte x470 AORUS GAMING MB that I’m thinking of using for the unraid server.

Could the 2700X box run unraid and through virtualization/docker also be the PMS, syncthing, and home automation server as well? Or should I primarily use it for the storage and keep the Optiplex boxes as the servers?

Thanks for any and all advice.


Correct, it actually leaves you more vulnerable as with two drives in raid 0 you have approximately twice the chance of losing all the data.

Yaay, backups.


Technically strictly speaking unraid / virtualization / docker are not required, but unraid is easy.

Have you considered using home assistant instead of openhab2. I find it really nice, it works well on a raspberry pi, as well as in the VM.

Only thing is, you’ll end up using and wasting more ram if you do VMs/docker, compared to just installing all those pieces of software directly onto the host - it’s part of the cost you pay for convenience.

I agree and that is basically what I have now. My approach to security at the moment is separating services by having them run as different non-privileged users. I guess I was hoping that unraid would make the administration and monitoring of the server more friendly/easier to manage at a glance.

The virtualization/docker environment would be for the couple of services that have internet facing connections. As I understand it, unraid can aid in the setup and management of virtualizing network interfaces so that only the virtualized interface is exposed. Obviously the box isn’t connected directly to the internet and only those service ports that are necessary are forwarded to the servers.

Also I’m looking towards unraid to manage the storage shares for the individual services. Buying some RAM for the increased encapsulation of virtualization is okay. The box I have already has 32GB in it.