New ODM Focused Build - Help me spend my money!

Hello again,

I’ve only been using WebODM in anger a few days and I’m already hooked, so much potential. (Apologies if the following as been asked many times, but I cannot find a recent or detailed post.)

After yesterday’s post regarding my Bebop 2, I have already invested in a Phantom 4 Pro to improve my mapping, I’m now hoping to build a new home server primarily for ODM/WebODM and to combine some other functions running on my home network in Docker containers. (PiHole & Unbound, WireGuard Server, UniFi Controller, Mosquitto Server, Traccar Server +++ more to follow?? Alway tinkering, suggestions welcome).

Question 1) I’m assuming my best approach is to run Ubuntu Server natively on the hardware and do everything via Docker/Containers. (as opposed so some kind of Hypervisor and running different Virtual Machines/OS instances, for example a Xen Server install with separate OS Installs on top?).

Question 2) Hardware! I’m starting to spec a new server based on the above, whilst my budget is not infinite I do have some cash to throw at it. I need to be efficient with my money, but can afford a decent spec if that makes sense. I used to build a lot of PC’s but haven’t for some time. Ideas, info, experience here seems pretty good here so whilst more of a general Hardware Question (with a strong ODM bias) what system should I build?

I’m currently thinking of Building something around Ryzen 9, and PCIe Gen 4 NVMe OS drive and separate SATA SSDs for bulk data. Not really got much further than that. Once built server will be located in Loft, so noise not too much of a consideration, but power efficiency would be a consideration.

Once spec’d I plan to share the build on here and run some benchmarks etc as I’ve spent sometime today reading around the web and comparisons of different hardware is hard to find. Hopefully it will be fun!

Regards - Woody

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Haha! Always willing to help other spend money.

Since you’ve got the building bug, used equipment shouldn’t be too scary. I have had some success with pretty big iron from, securing a dell 820 with 768GB RAM and 48 cores for a very sweet sub-$3k price. 768GB RAM is only needed for some extreme cases, and a more modern and CPU scaling chip might be better for most people, but I appreciate the opportunity to use some expensive server hardware for very reasonable prices while reducing e-waste, and they have a wide range of options. There are lots of other vendors and lots of other opportunities, so please don’t interpret this as endorsement so much as a personal success. I am a few months into this experiment, so I’m hoping the hardware lasts me a little while.

As far as set-up: you can do docker on Ubuntu on metal. That’s what I’m currently doing. Pretty soon, I am planning on setting up proxmox. I don’t know yet if I can throw docker containers straight into proxmox like I can VMWare, or if I need the docker containers to have and Ubuntu VM host. But virtualization penalties are nominal, and I’m happy to have the abstraction and tooling to manage a whole ecosystem in proxmox, even if it means: metal:proxmox:ubuntuvm:docker.

edit: In my professional capacity, I have metal:VMWare:UbuntuVM:docker. I don’t yet run docker straight in the VMWare environment.

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Thanks for the info. Ref set-up I think I’m likely to give proxmox a go so that I can play with the server as a homelab environment without impact to other VMs too much. The FOSS version of proxmox looks pretty good, but never played with it.

Ref hardware, I hadn’t really considered enterprise servers, but I do like the idea of using something that might otherwise be disposed of. Reduce, re-use, recycle and all that…

I should have mentioned that I’m in the UK. I had a look at the link you provided for some insight. I have found this company

I really have no idea where to start. The Dell server model numbers are almost meaningless to me. Is there a decent guide etc I could reference somewhere. I can only find stuff for the current lineup.

Not sure how I’m gonna get it into the loft without the wife noticing mind :grimacing:



I would just look at chip sets, RAM capacity and storage capacity as needed. The different models seem to go in generations (620, 630, 650) and in some capacity classes (420, 620, 820), and then other dizzying characteristics. But when I searched I just focused on what specs I wanted, and then did a search on dell’s site for additional info (like max CPU speed, etc.).

Ha! Good luck!


Update: After some eBay snooping and gentle negotiation with the boss (wife!) I have bought a T710 Dell PowerEdge server at a very reasonable price. It has 2x Xeon CPU [email protected] and 48Gb of RAM. Not clear on the storage fitted, but it has some (likely spinners).

I’ve not operated any sort of enterprise gear before so I’m excited to give it a go, any advice welcome, especially regarding Firmware updates, I’ve not looked into that yet.

Regards - Woody


Glad the Budgetary & Oversight Committee decided not to enforce austerity measures this budgeting cycle :smiley:

In my mind, no company is going to pay significant amounts of money to have highly specialized developers write firmware unless it was something they absolutely HAD to do to not risk losing even more money.

So… Update your firmware. Always. (IMO)

Sounds like fun kit! Shove some RAM in that thing!

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