A server is a vital component of every computer-based system. You probably already know that there are different types and sizes of servers in the market for commercial and personal use. However, did you know that you can build your own server from the comfort of your home with no coding experience?
If you want to learn how to design a personal server from scratch, this article is for you. It contains everything you need to know, from how to build your own server to how much it costs.
Why You Should Build Your Own Server
Building a server is an important learning process for anyone with an interest in gaming, database management, or computers as a whole. Having your own server gives you complete control over its specifications, ensuring that you get all the bandwidth you need to run your computers. You can also increase your server’s data security and ensure product quality by making your own database server for enterprise, instead of renting a pre-built server.
Building a server is a more affordable option than you’d think and most of the components required can be easily purchased from brick and mortar or online stores. After you have mastered the process, you can make money from the skill by building servers for others or teaching them how to do it.
How Hard Is It to Build Your Own Server?
Building a server is not hard if you have the right set of tools, plus the time and patience required to get it right. Apart from building personal servers, you can also successfully design a business server for your small-to-medium-scale business network without seeking the services of a professional technician.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Server?
It takes between six to ten hours for a professional to build a dedicated server and configure it to meet the needs of a business. This should not be mistaken for cloud servers that already have physical access points and only need to be configured virtually. The software configuration itself requires only 10 to 30 minutes.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Server?
Building a server for your small-scale business costs between $1000 and $3000, depending on what you are looking for. For most small-scale businesses, it is usually easier, cheaper, and more energy-efficient to just pay for a server through a service platform like Amazon and tap into their cloud service for a monthly fee. The hardware setup for a cloud-based service costs less since the supplier deals with the actual hardware.
How Much Cheaper Is It to Build Your Own Server?
It is more expensive to build a file server than it is to buy one. For example, a small-scale business can spend around $300 to $400 to set up the hardware for a rented server but the cost for building one from the ground up can be over $2,500. Even cheaper are cloud servers that cost between $5 and $10 monthly to rent.
What Do You Need to Build Your Own Server?
To build a dedicated server for your gaming room, home computer, or small business network, you will need to gather some components. There are many options to consider but the ones listed below are the most important.
- Computer: You can repurpose an old desktop computer into an efficient server, even if the graphical interface is no longer working. A server doesn’t need a graphical interface to function so it requires significantly fewer working functions than a standard computer. Just making sure that the server has a 300MHz processor and 64MB of random access memory (RAM) should do the trick.
- Network router: While a network router is not mandatory for someone who is building a server, it adds a layer of protection to your home or business network. The router filters the data packets that move in and out of your home server.
- Ethernet (CAT5) cable: These are also known as Category 5 cables and they are used for making computer connections when you are setting up a server. With an Ethernet (CAT5) cable, you can get up to 100 MBps of data.
- Memory: For your server, you will need RAM. This is the temporary memory required for processing data. In a server, the RAM is important for processing data from the hard disk drives (HDDs) to the central processing unit (CPU).
Building Your Server From Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you have never built a PC or anything remotely related to a computer-based system before, you’ll need to carefully follow the steps below to build a functional server for your home or business use.
Build the Server Hardware
If you do not have a computer that can serve as your server hardware, you will need to build the hardware yourself. For this part, you will need to create an entire PC with a motherboard, CPU, RAM, monitor, and every other vital part of a personal computer. The only part of a computer that isn’t required is the graphics processing unit (GPU).
Install the Software With the OS Disk
It is the operating system (OS) of a server that separates it from a regular computer. The most popular server operating system is Linux. Buy Linux or use a free, open source version, save it in your OS disk, and install it into the PC through the USB port. You will need to connect it to the monitor to ensure a smooth process. The instructions for Random Array of Independent Disks or RAID configuration will be posted on the monitor screen.
Test Your Server
One of the best ways to test your server is to set it up to host a website or two. It helps to have software to measure performance in place before you start testing your server as a website host. The right product will show you errors that you didn’t see.
How to Monetize Your Server
You can monetize your server through web hosting. As a web host, you can sell server space to websites that want to build and maintain their domain. You can make even more money by selling virtual private networks (VPNs) to your clients, in addition to the storage option. A VPN server acts as an intermediary, ensuring that IP addresses are safe.
Do You Need Coding Skills to Create a Server?
Yes, you will need to learn to program to create and maintain a server, especially if you are trying to build a cloud server for your online website or application. The type of programming language you learn will depend on the service provider you are using. Python, Java, and PHP are among the most popular programming languages for Microsoft Azure and other providers.
Can You Learn to Build a Server in a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you can learn to build a cloud-based server in a coding bootcamp that teaches network administration, database administration, or even network security. The best coding bootcamps are fast-paced institutions that allow you to get the knowledge you need at an affordable rate.
Gather Feedback, Reflect, and Iterate
With your server complete and set up in your home or business space, you can get feedback from those around you. You may also provide feedback by yourself as long as you can be honest about what needs to change. Even if the server is not yet fully operational or it hasn’t reached the level of performance you were hoping for, you do not need to be discouraged. You can take a step back and make improvements.
Building entry-level servers should not be about how much money you can save, but how much experience you can gain. Being able to see the task to completion says a lot about your problem-solving, dedication, and critical thinking skills. These are all qualities prospective clients look for when they hire within the tech industry.
How to Build Your Own Server FAQ
A home server can be used to manage and store data in your home. It is especially useful for frequent gamers and people who work from home. If you have a dedicated server in your home, you can take off the load from your personal computer.
Yes, you can set up a dedicated web server in your house, if you want to. Servers do not take up too much computing power unless you’re hosting a large number of sites, so you do not need to worry about any drastic increase in your utility bills. All you have to do is set it up on your own or get a technician to do it. You can also pay for a cloud server.
Renting a server costs about $100 to $200 monthly, depending on the size of your home, business, or any other establishment that is connected to the server. Cloud servers from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and similar platforms cost significantly less.
No, a server doesn’t always need Internet connectivity for you to get access. If your server is connected to a local area network (LAN), you should be able to use it freely whether or not there is an Internet connection. However, the reliance on an Internet network will depend significantly on the purpose of the server.
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