Which Hardware equipment for a self-hosted system with approx. 25 people

Hello Community,

We are a small global community of people dedicated to the Buddhist teachings of Dzogchen. We started about 15 years ago to publish documents and records of our teacher online in order to make them available free of charge. In the last few months, especially spurred on by the corona pandemic, the demand for these published media has grown very strongly, as has the desire of many to actively participate in this project.

So we now have the challenge of building a cost-effective, yet well-functioning infrastructure that enables people to communicate with one another in real time, exchange documents and work together on joint projects as quickly as possible.

This is where Nextcloud comes into play as a self-hosted solution and which is why I’m addressing you here today.

I have some experience in server administration due to my job and therefore I would like to set up a server that is suitable for this task. Unfortunately, I can’t find any reasonably conclusive information about the specifications that such a computer should bring.

Therefore, I’ll give you a few key data that might be helpful:
The server can be connected to the Internet via a GigBit connection to a DSL connection with fixed IP and 150MBit upstream and 50MBit downstream. The data stream can be neatly separated from the rest of the network data traffic using VLAN tagging.

We intend to operate Nextcloud with the “Talk” application and the free Collabora Edition. A RAID 5 system that is connected to the server via USB 3.0 serves as data storage. Further features such as e-mail etc. are initially not given priority but can still be implemented afterwards. A Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM will serve as a reverse proxy.

We expect around 5-15 people to be online all the time in the first 24-48 months. Should there be more after that, we would have to think again about the scalability of the system.

My questions are accordingly

What hardware equipment does a server need that can meet these requirements?
Is the connection with 50MBit downstream sufficient for this?
Is the Raspberry Pi 4 with its GigBit interface suitable as a reverse proxy without acting as a bottleneck?

I very much hope that I can get at least a few answers here that will help us with our project.

@Chrisly welcome to the user-forum of Nextcloud.

There are already some threads on the forum about this kind of issue. It would be nice if you would try to search for existing similar threads yourself… as there is a built-in searchfunction :mag: available here.

Please don’t crosspost your future inquiries.

Hello Jimmy,
Well, I’ve already used the search function extensively, but it seems that there are as many opinions as there are posts. :confused:
I’m simply trying to find an expedient answer here and I don’t want to discuss the pros and cons of self-hosting.
I looked at the Intel NUC solutions from the Swedish partner, which I consider suitable, but I was hoping to find some reliable data about CPU load, network traffic per user, etc. here. But obviously there are very few technicians here.
I hope to find a professional answer, so that’s the reason I tried to ask all over the available channels.

In addition, the reason to speak up here was that this information obviously seems to be available, but it is only reserved for people who have subscribed to an Enterprise Plan. Personally, I think that is inappropriate and not very user-friendly

Many community users have smaller setups, so usage statistics are then heavily depend on the use case, e.g. few sync mainly some contacts while other work on rather large files that are constantly synced.

User with larger setups don’t share much details. With the desktop client, you can probably make a few tests and estimate a load, especially the new high performance backend (also some numbers are in the announcement itself: Nextcloud faster than ever! Introducing Files High Performance Back-end).

there was a limit in the free version that only 10 people can use it at the same time.

You need that? If yes, I’d rather put it on the large server and use it in one virtual machine…

If you want to have video meeting via Talk, I’d test a bit the bandwidth used.

For Nextcloud, there is the federated share as well, so you can link between them, so if you require a lot of bandwidth for conferencing and also sharing documents externally, you could put this on a separate server with high bandwidth and use the in-house solution just for documents you are currently work on and share with other staff. So the load created by external download and conferences doesn’t bother you.

Will you be enabling image previews? Because that’s going to increase your hardware requirements…