Nibbler (Futurama character naming scheme) has always been my "omniserver". It does everything: router and firewall, storage server, VM server, backups, etc. Usually upgrades are done here and there, but I've managed to replace nearly everything (with a few exceptions, see below) since the beginning of 2017 when I started to replace the array HDDs. The most recent upgrade was this month (December 2018) with a new CPU / motherboard (replacing an i5 4690K with a Ryzen 7 2700X).

The full build is included, but for some more details and some "why"s:

  • OS: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Asus PRIME X370-PRO motherboard
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 2666 4x16GB. Can never have too much memory. Despite Ripjaws V being advertised specifically for Intel systems, D.O.C.P XMP worked fine for 2666 and is perfectly stable. I haven't attempted overclocking.
  • Boot: 860 Evo 500GB
  • Storage array: 4x 4TB NAS drives in RAID5, with another 860 Evo 500GB as a bcache to the RAID array, for 12TB usable and great cached performance. The drives are both WD and Seagate NAS, and were purchased staggered over the course of 2017 to reduce the possibility of same-batch multiple drive failure.
  • A 4TB WD Purple drive for local archiving of a few network surveillance cameras.
  • A 1.5TB "grab and go" backup drive in a 5.25" hotswap drive enclosure. (I had to evacuate in 2011 due to the threat of wildfires. It was after that I made a plan for when you literally only have a minute to grab stuff and go.)

The Fractal Design Define R6 is great for this sort of tower server setup. Plenty of space with 6 internal 3.5" trays, and I believe you can fit 11 total with more trays, but it would be a bit tight. I'm utiltizing 5 of the 6 trays. Two 2.5" SSD mounts, and a single 5.25" bay (currently being used as a hotswap 3.5" drive enclosure).

The Asus PRIME X370-PRO is good for this setup too. I've got a basic setup (no CPU overclocking, automatic D.O.C.P. XMP memory), splash disabled, RGB disabled, and it even has an option to wait for keypress before boot. (All of my drives are encrypted, so I need to manually boot/unlock it anyway.)

If you're doing a Ryzen server setup, I'd recommend the GeForce GT 710. It's one of the earliest PCIe cards with a UEFI BIOS (needed for Secure Boot and Fast Boot, though neither are needed in my Linux setup), low powered, has a fanless option, and can be found on eBay for less than $20.

While cable management is not cleaned up to the level of a showroom PC setup, I think it looks nice considering there are 8 drives in there. Above all else, it's uncluttered but easy to work within the case.

The only parts which haven't been bought in the last two years are:

  • WD Green 1.5TB HDD
  • Rosewill Hive 650W PSU
  • 5.25" hotswap drive enclosure


  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

The hotswap drive is a good idea. Looks neat enough for a server!