Question Resources for building a dedicated media/gaming server

emrystuatha

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I'm looking to put together a dedicated media/gaming server for family and myself. I need help on determining the hardware I may need for this endeavor. I expect this project to be expensive, and am probably 2 years from being able to commit to action. Here is what I want this to be able to do:

House local storage
Playback across any device within my home and a handful of family located across the country (~12 users in total).

I have a solid understanding of the HDDs I will want to use. Most likely, I will utilize something like Parsec for playback of games within devices in my home. However, I know next to nothing about networking, and want to be able to support up to a dozen users playing AAA titles at the same time from this server. I recognize that is a unlikely scenario, but given Professional gaming servers can support multiple users off a single user, I'm looking to duplicate this process for private use. I will most likely go with a rack mount setup, and over time intend to build two of these for a true backup system, but let's start with getting the first one done.

I need resources on how to build such a machine, why I should be looking at certain parts over others, and maybe recommendations on components to make this operate smoothly.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter!
 
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Darkbreeze

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If you are two years from being able to pull the trigger on this, then there, honestly, is no point in talking about it now really because all of the options that are on the table now, including cost of hardware, availability of hardware, choice of hardware and capabilities of hardware are going to be vastly different in two years.

So whatever you discuss or decide on now will either be unavailable, entirely different in price, obsolete, or outclassed at a price that right now isn't reflected, by then.

And that is without factoring in the very real probability that you are setting yourself up to be a victim when it comes to security as the moment you open access up to the side of the pipe inside your house you are also welcoming them into not just your other devices but the homes of anybody else that might be connected as well in all probability. Professional "gaming servers" have literally TEAMS of people who are highly trained and who maintain the security of said networks, have far better hardware in terms of security, and STILL get hit from time to time.

And, unless you can afford to set yourself up as your own ISP, you are likely to draw the ire of whomever provides service to you. Potentially in a legally compromising way as well.

Doing something like this from your HOME, is a really bad idea from the start. I'm sure others with far more knowledge on the subject than me will chime in with other or more in-depth considerations, but that should get you started in thinking about the more unpopular ramifications of such a project.
 
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emrystuatha

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Let's unpack this a little bit shall we...

I'm less concerned about specific models of Hardware that I may need. I understand price and availability of Hardware will change in this time. I understand that core count, multithread vs single core performance, GPU Cuda cores, PCIe changes, etc can all change in the next few years. It's Moore's Law! What I don't understand though, is whether to go with server grade components vs consumer grade. What advantages/disadvantages come from selecting one or the other. If building a private server for media needs ECC memory or not. How many GPUs would I need to theoretically support multiple users at once. If some of us are playing a co-op title over Parsec but someone else wants to access the server to play a different game or watch a movie at the same time, what Hardware do we need to consider this?

I should also clarify, this is not being designed with the intent to distribute or offer our media for download outside of this server. We want a universal place to house the media but restrict access to only It's owners. We are sort of pooling our media resources for the whole family to enjoy.

As such, I understand once we connect to the internet, security becomes an issue. What sort of security Hardware should we be looking for? What sort of network cards should we consider? What features on security equipment or network equipment do we need to be considering? These sort of considerations aren't going to change much in the next two years. So, we are wanting to understand the methodology for selecting the right equipment so when the time comes we can evaluate what's available and go from there.
 

USAFRet

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"media server" can be done with any consumer level NAS box, and applicable drive space.
QNAP or Synology.

"Game server" would depend on the requirements of the game(s) in question, and number of simultaneous users.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you are running a "game server" then you are ALWAYS connected to the internet, because if you are not, there is zero point in having a "game server" unless by game server you are talking about ONLY local network connections, meaning just the systems in your house and no systems outside of it.
 

emrystuatha

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If you are running a "game server" then you are ALWAYS connected to the internet, because if you are not, there is zero point in having a "game server" unless by game server you are talking about ONLY local network connections, meaning just the systems in your house and no systems outside of it.
It would need to be connected to the internet. We're talking about access to up to four households at once and potentially as many as a dozen users. So, we would need to consider security equipment with this in mind.
 

emrystuatha

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"media server" can be done with any consumer level NAS box, and applicable drive space.
QNAP or Synology.

"Game server" would depend on the requirements of the game(s) in question, and number of simultaneous users.
The games would be as old as early 80s PC to some modern AAA titles like GTA Online or Cyberpunk2077. So, let's assume AAA title performance (not so much competitor level quality), but let's say, considering current gen GPUs, up to a dozen users able to play 4K 60Hz or 1080P 120Hz as general goal. I recognize newer and better games will come out over time. So, again, I'm not as concerned about specific hardware models as just wanting to understand how to determine what to select for this project.
 

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