Author Topic: Hardware reqs for home server  (Read 1552 times)


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Hardware reqs for home server
« on: July 20, 2011, 06:00:57 pm »
I'm a systems administrator at an IT provider/consulting company, and although I'm very familiar with Windows servers and relatively familiar with Ubuntu, I'm new to Zentyal.  I'm thinking of setting up a Zentyal server at home for my family.  It would be used primarily as a gateway/firewall and http proxy (for clamav, ad-zapping, and spyware site blocking), and also a light duty file/print server and maybe some of the communications features like a shared calendar.  As it's related to my work, I may experiment with the mail and VPN setup and maybe even a SIP softphone later on, although those won't likely be permanent additions.  I may also run virtual machines on it from time to time but nothing too heavy and I do have other hardware for that.

I was thinking of possibly building a small form factor computer to serve this purpose.  Something that would sit nicely next to my cable modem or under the desk.  I might also use some old hardware I have lying around, but I'm concerned about the energy usage and heat output.  I'm looking to make something energy-efficient that won't heat up the room which already has a high-powered gaming rig in it.  If it can run with a 65W power supply for example, that's only the juice of three little wireless routers.  I know it needs two NICs, but what else am I looking at as far as hardware specs?  I might use an old laptop if not for the dual NIC requirement of being the gateway, or maybe there's a workaround like getting a USB wired NIC for the WAN link.  Bear in mind this platform will be for 2-4 users, and Zentyal's listed recommended specs are for >50.

Can I make that happen with something like, say... a dual-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, and 320 GB HDD?  More/less?

« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 06:08:01 pm by Karl »

Sam Graf

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Re: Hardware reqs for home server
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 03:27:17 pm »
Hi Karl, and welcome.

For version 2.0, at least, Zentyal would almost certainly run fine on the hardware you've described for the purposes you've described. RAM seems to be the most sensitive area, and I don't like to have less than 1 GB of RAM when running either Ubuntu Server or Zentyal.

We've pretty successfully pressed old hardware into service, dual PIIIs type stuff, for small networks. Antivirus seems to be the truly system intensive item, with RAM being the key maker or breaker.

Since the upcoming Zentyal 2.2 is built on the same Ubuntu 10.04 LTS base as 2.0, I don't expect to see big changes in system requirements/performance (with the possible exception of the Zentyal interface, which the developers are working to improve).

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any additional questions you have.


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Re: Hardware reqs for home server
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 04:07:55 pm »
as i'm concern i was using zentyal on a AMD 4000+ vith 2Go RAM
it was working like a charm

the only thinks that is not very fast is the zentyal login web interface after that all is running smoothly

i have add some parameters to smb.conf to make it even more efficient (async ... )

2Go is more than enough .. i wasn't running out of ram


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Re: Hardware reqs for home server
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 12:25:06 am »
I have a VPS with only 512MB ram running zentyal 2.03 and the gateway and zarafa modules active. That works great for less than 10 zarafa accounts.

If you need a physical server that is doing multiple modules, I wouldn't settle for less than 2GB but would prefer more. And RAM isn't that expensive nowadays, so I suggest to invest 60 euro's for 8GB of ram and you will have a server that will perform great.
A dualcore cpu should do the trick. May I suggest an intel core I3 (either a 540 or an 2100)? It's a very competitive cpu with a very low idle power useage.
As a powersupply I would choose a bit more than a 65W pico. I would prefer a 300W bronze or better powersupply from a decent manufacturer. For instance a be quiet pure power 300W
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 12:31:12 am by robb »