Early-stage advice sought

Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking for a while and finally wanted to say hello. I’m really impressed with the knowledge in this community - and some very cool builds.

We’re planning a new custom house build, and technology will be at the heart of it. We have a home lab set up in our current home, but since we live in an RV, it’s somewhat limited in size! It has however worked as an excellent proving ground for various hardware and software tests.

In our new home, we’ll have a location to install computer equipment (ie a server rack) in a secure ancillary building, so noise is not an issue. I have some ideas for the hardware, but would love some input from this group!

As part of this, I’d like to try and establish a budget. Noise isn’t a big concern, but I’d like to keep power consumption reasonably low (trying to strike a pragmatic balance between upfront and running costs). My rough plan is a server rack containing the following components:

Firewall / Infrastructure Server
1U server running Proxmox VE with a VM for OPNsense (running Sensei) and VMs / LXCs for NTP, DNS (eg AdGuard) etc. Thinking dual SFP+ with LAG for redundancy and to support ~1Gbps fiber WAN with a little headroom. Also love the idea from this forum of using a cool enclosure for this!

We have a YouTube channel and have ~30TB video footage + photos and growing. We also use Plex and like to self-host as much as possible. I’d prefer to use ZFS so I’m leaning towards TrueNAS with two vdevs - one large with spinning disks and a smaller one with SSDs. I’d consider networking this with either LAG on multiple SFP+ ports or perhaps a QSFP+ port.

Application Server
We run the typical plethora of self-hosted services - Plex, Home Assistant, GitLab, InfluxDB, Grafana, some SDR stuff, NodeRED, etc. Right now I have everything running on an 8th gen Intel NUC i3 with 32GB memory and that’s OK, but I’d feel happier with a few more CPU cores.

CCTV Server
I’ve been going back and forth on options, but I’m leaning towards Shinobi here. The plan would be for 10-20x cameras - a mix of 5MP and 8MP. Expect total data rate to be up to ~200Mbps. I’d plan on leveraging in-camera motion detection, but also interested in options for running some analysis on the server too. Continual recording on local storage with any motion recordings pushed to the NAS. Most cameras would use PoE or FiberPoE.

Networking Gear
I think a Brocade ICX6610-24P in the main rack would work well. I’d then run SMF 10G fiber links to the main house and other buildings. Switches in each building would break out for local devices - including VLANs for cameras, etc. I’ve been testing WiFi access points and am impressed with the TP-Link Omada range - eg the EAP-225.

I’m still at the early stages of planning, but would like to start getting specific so I can set up watches on eBay, etc. Specifically, I’d love some help with:

  • What’s a reasonable budget for the above? I realize there are a lot of unspecified details (eg size of storage arrays) and newer gear will use less power but cost more to buy. That said, is something like this achievable for ~$5k?
  • Should I combine the NAS / application / CCTV servers? I keep going back and forth in this. Fewer servers in theory means more efficient utilization of resources, but more to lose if one thing fails. Plus, TrueNAS works best on raw metal I think.
  • I’m keen to have redundancy in the system, and am even considering running two firewall boxes for HA - does anyone have experience with that?

Anyway, just wanted to say hi on the forums and am looking forward to turning these initial ideas into a real build with your help!