What should I do next?

Hi everyone, I need some help figuring out what I should do next.

Bit of background: for years, I ran a cluster of Raspberry Pi, ODROID, and Beaglebone boards as a cluster to replicate a home server/NAS. I’ve had a lot of fun with this project, but back in Jan I found this site and decided to get into the home server game for real. I built a NAS-Killer 4.0 (build here, with more background on my setup), bought a QSV box (HP ProDesk G4 400), and just recently bought 6x3TB Seagates off Bitdeals to expand. I also bought a UPS to protect against power fluctuations on the supply side

Current Hardware List:

  • (1) NK4 - X9SCM-F, Xeon E3-1230v2, 6x3TB SAS, 4x4TB SATA, 1x LSI 9210-81, 1x LSI 9211-4i, 3x5.25" IcyDock ExpressCages, 6x240GB SATA SSD
  • (1) HP ProDesk G4 400 - 1x500GB NVMe SSD, 1x500GB SATA
  • (1) Odroid-N2
  • (2) Pi 4Bs
  • (3) Pi 3B+s
  • (4) Pi 0s
  • (2) Pi 0ws
  • (1) BeagleBone Black
  • (3) TP-Link 5-port 1G switches
  • (1) TP-Link 5-port 1G PoE switch

But now I’m stuck. My NAS is at its max capacity, all my services work and work well (Plex, Nextcloud, the "R"s, Transmission, Wireguard, Home Assistant, etc), and I’m seeing diminishing returns from the improvements I’m making. I recently have been a little focused on the airflow of my Cooler Master Elite 350 and how to best cool my hard drives, but that is more a refinement than a new project.

Here are some ideas I had, but they’re all over the place:

  • Add a cheapo GPU like a GT710 or GTX1050 (or AMD equiv) to my NK4 or QSV box for sub-$150 and add Steam Link/Parsec capabilities
  • Swap my NK4 case to something like the Enthoo Pro for better cable management/cooling of my hard drives
  • Swap my NK4 PSU to something modular or “better” than the 75%+ Cooler Master box that came with my CM Elite 350 case Done.
  • 3D-print this 19" Raspberry Pi 4U enclosure and slot all my Pis in this
  • buy a rack for said 19" enclosure and redo everything
  • Buy a managed, larger switch to play around with networking
  • Add a 10G card to my NK4 and QSV box for…I’m not sure to be honest
  • Add OPNsense/pi-hole to my NK4s list of things it can do
  • watch my account balance drain to $0 as I do all of these things at once

So…what do you all think? Any fun ideas for where I should go from here? Anything I mentioned that seems like a next logical step? Anything I didn’t mention that would make sense?

Ok so first item done, I just bought a B-stock EVGA 600W modular PSU and will be swapping that out shortly!

On to the next one.

Adding the GPU to your NK4 is a far better option than to your QSV system. Dedicated QSV should run Plex and only Plex.

I really like the Enthoo Pro case. If you’re considering rackmounting anyhow you should probably consider spending a little more on an Antec 4500 4u 15 bay (when they are in stock again). You can stand it on it’s side to mimic a tower if you like, but it’s going to be far better for cable management than most tower formats. Mine is only manageable at the moment because I’m running drives in an external DAS.

OPNSense / Pi-Hole don’t belong on the NK. Run them on dedicated inexpensive hardware just like you do with the QSV box. You don’t want your network going down because you had to install a new drive in your NAS.

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