What would be the best hardware option for me?

  1. Want my own NextCloud. Just for one user – me. Not too many operations on stored data.
  2. I have not worked with Linuxes at all. I’m a Windows guy. I could learn but not too much because I’m a busy guy. And I need to make sure that I configured all 100% correct – my data is priceless. So the best would be for me to have preconfigured system with installed NextCloud on it.
  3. I’m not too much a hardware guy, I’m a .NET programmer. So no some exotic hardware solutions, something pretty straightforward/mainstream.
  4. My data is priceless to me so this piece of hardware must have some data fail-over system (like RAID).
  5. Price matters but simplicity, reliability, maintainability, security matter more to me.
  6. As a bonus: Availability of some support (both hardware and software including NextCloud) if I need it in the future – even for extra money.

Could you recommend some hardware for me to run my home NextCloud on plz?

Good luck.

Size of data?
Internet speed or data plan.

Budget. Well under $1000 I guess.
Currently now I have 150 GB of data, mainly photos and some videos, about 50K files.
I have some home internet from Comcast, not sure how fast it is – but does it matter? Or I didn’t get your question.

What is Raspberry Pi? OK. Just googled it. It’s a credit card size motherboard. But I will need as well 1) a case to insert this motherboard in, 2) power adapter. Or will they go with Raspberry Pi inside the box?

And how about RAID? Does Raspberry Pi has RAID controller? How many HDDs/SSDs could I connect to Raspberry Pi and does it have SATA or PCIe/M.2. Does Raspberry Pi have network adapters on it (WiFi/Ethernet)?

Would Raspberry Pi already have NextCloud preinstalled on it? Would the operating system be properly preconfigured to avoid security risks?

Bottom line.
Would it meet criteria of simplicity, reliability, maintainability, security?

I’d rather use a IntelNUC or similar, it is more expensive than a Rasp but you have a better performance and there is less finetuning to get a decent performance.
For low cost, I’d rather go with Software RAID (it’s easier to restore, for Hardware RAID you should be sure to get the same model for the RAID controller at any time).

There are images with operating systems and Nextcloud pre-configured. There are even devices you can buy: https://nextcloud.com/devices/

You have to invest some time to think about backup etc. and also continuously invest a bit of time in updates (security stuff changes a bit over time).

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  • I would go with a cheap standard PC and have two HDD’s in a raid mirror. The OS installers will set this up for you.
  • Use a standard Linux desktop distribution. Ubuntu or OpenSuse are good choices. Server distributions usually are harder to get started with and have no benefit in your case.
  • Use an online backup service like Backblaze or similar to keep a safe copy of your data. With DSL this is no problem.

@anon9582441 gave fair advice, besides:

One should not consider a 2 HDD mirror as this cannot establish a reasonable solution to protect against data loss. A mirror of two is never independent and lacks any means of error correction. The problem with the term ‘RAID’ is to make the difference in the more approriate RAID level and somehow it degraded to a buzz word unfortunately.

Further read in example:

JBOD may be a cheap, fast and flexible solution for the home user or for a power user on graphic workstations. However, please avoid Non-RAID drive architectures when seeking to protect data.

Raid is a solution to prevent data loss in case of disk failures (which are common). It will not protect against software or user errors such as accidentally deleted a file. This is what you should use backups for.

In terms of protecting against bitrot and correcting data errors you have to use a filesystem that does integrity verification. Btrfs and ZFS filesystems have this and they will both correct data errors in raid mirror mode. OpenSuse uses Btrfs as default filesystem. In Ubuntu you may want to use standard ext4 ontop of mdadm (default) with journalling or go with ZFS or Btrfs. Slightly more advanced to setup.

But by no means are either option bad. The likelyhood for data corruption due to bitrot is very low. Most people never face problems. I work in photography and have seen bitrot but only a few times over the years.

There are other advantages with Btrfs and ZFS because they are COW, copy on write, file systems. This makes them safer and backups easier compared to traditional filesystems.

But to reiterate. Go simple. If you do cloud backups or backups to an external USB disk, then you are probably very safe. RAID mirror disks makes it quicker to recover, that’s all. :slight_smile:

sure that you don’t want to buy a nas box instead of nextcloud? if it’s just file serving, a synology or qnap box is just plug&play. and both have an app store so you can run any kind of add ons (media server, calendar, etc) just look at their web page and here.

a synology 4tb nas server with ssd discs would fit right into your budget. there should be an offer with smaller discs as well. :wink:

if it’s realy priceless I would make a backup to the cloud. synology (i guess qnap too) has an app to either sync everything to a S3 bucket or make a real backup to AWS Glacier. (costs $5-10/month)

nextcloud is totally cool. but it’s not that plug&play.

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Most people in here seem to be trying to run a dedicated appliance for just their personal NextCloud setup. I’ve priced out some small low powered boxes to use for nextcloud and home automation and e-mail/web for my self/extended family. By the time I had enough disk and RAM for multiple tasks, a low power consuming box was in the $(US)500-$(US)1000 range. Or I could have multiple special purpose boxes which added up to the same or more money. I also wanted to play with some VMs for testing work related stuff without taking chances with my production servers. With three boxes, I had lots of room for play and production with a fast NAS and a couple of dedicated VM hosts.

For $1500 I bought three six year old, “refurbished”, Dell servers off Amazon. I then installed FreeNAS on one. I used the FreeNAS web UI to bring up a Nextcloud “plugin” so i could quickly begin learning NextCloud. It works fine. I have since then managed the nextcloud jail without the FreeNAS WebUI’s help. I’m FreeBSD admin so that makes sense for me. It may not for you.

There are several commercial NAS boxes which seem to have a similar WebUI button for spinning up an instance of NextCloud. The pricing ends up in the same $500-$1500 range. It won’t have as much horsepower, but you don’t have to think about everything that may be outside your area of interest.

The servers I bought had two 6 core processors, 128GB RAM, and six 2TB drives each. Be careful which RAID adapter you get if running FreeNAS. ZFS really needs direct access to the drives rather than allowing the RAID adapter to touch things. I had to get a lower spec RAID card and flash it to be able to do JBOD. ZFS is awesome; but it is it’s own thing. The RAID features of the card just get in the way. If I had gone for a lower spec box, with the needed storage controller in the first place, I’d have spent less than $500 on one server. The server is usable for heavier tasks in addition to Nextcloud without risking breaking a sweat. All I have to do is spin up another VM or FreeBSD Jail as the task requires.

On the downside, it is a power pig. :slight_smile: I’ve been tired of waiting for the atom servers I’ve been using at home. I can only imagine that the Pi devices will also be pretty slow. That’s not a problem if you’re not trying to test code and VMs with new software on them as well.