This is the first of many updates on my personal server hosting this and many other sites.

The world of servers has interested me for a while but I never actually pulled the trigger on trying this out until COVID hit and I was confined to my home for several months. I was looking for an easy way to host applications myself, and Cloudron answered the call. Yes, I do pay an annual licensing fee to have more than 2 apps running, however the analytics, built in mail server, user management, and SSO make it worth it for a noob like me. Initially I was hosting everything on DigitalOcean, but that quickly got out of hand price-wise. I paid about 30 USD per month for 130GB or storage, 4GB of RAM, and 2 shared CPU cores. What really became an issue was the cost of more RAM and the 1USD per 10GB pricing for storage, especially when I wanted to host cloud storage and a media server.

My next step is what led me to my current setup. Now, I have the Cloudron server running on a small PC I purchased the parts for from MemoryExpress (awesome store by the way... 10/10) for approximately 450 CAD. This was for a quad-core i3 9100, 512 NVMe SSD, and 16GB of 3200MHz RAM (of course, including a MOBO, case, PSU, etc.). Now if you do the math, I was paying 30 USD, or 39.7431 CAD per month to rent a server from DigitalOcean. This server costs somewhere in the single digits per year for power use, so thats negligible. So in just over 11 months I would make back the cost of parts which is insane to me. I also pulled a 2TB drive from my desktop and used it as a mass storage drive and backup drive.

My current setup. No case, and a wacom tablet is being used as a trackpad.
My current setup. No case, and a wacom tablet is being used as a trackpad.

Next steps:

I need to do a few things. First, I would like to get my hands on a 4TB drive to use as a proper backup drive. Right now, the drive hosting my cloud storage and media server is the same 2TB drive being used for backups. I hope I don't have to explain why this is a bad idea. Also, I would like to build a custom case for this server myself. This second point is what I will be documenting more often on here. It is going to be a process but hopefully worth it and definitely rewarding.