My home infrastructure


Haven’t updated the site since November 2015, so I thought I post an update. I have since set up an cloud service from home intended for my own use. It has been a learning curve having to set up all the software to host this, although I had significant prior knowledge of similar things, so it was easier than I thought. I want to keep these kinds of services under my control, services like the cloud or music streaming. After all I spent lots of money buying the songs I listened to from Spotify back when you still could buy songs from Spotify. It is also a hassle to always back up or sync your play-lists between your different devices.

From a security perspective I find it creepy to know that cloud services like OneDrive etc. actually utilize your data for marketing purposes and what else. Even Spotify on android wants access much of your phone that isn’t necessarily related to the core service they provide. This means that your data is in one way or the other spread out over the Internet under different companies located in different countries and operating under different legislation. It could be as simple as your e-mail information being sold to third party advertisers and you receiving lots of SPAM due to it or if fallen into the wrong hands, such as criminals, then it could be used to do all kinds of nefarious stuff. Well, hosting everything your self isn’t arguably more safe either, considering corporations may have better resources to encrypt data and so forth, while you need to have a lot of knowledge to effectively protect yourself.

Current Network
Anyways, the network that I employ at home includes an hAP Mikrotik router, an Odroid C1 server and an ZTE 4G ‘modem’. The hAP has 5 100Mb/s Ethernet ports, this has however proven to have become an limitation. This only offers me 9-12MB/s (~70-95Mb/s) and is the current bottleneck in my home-based cloud infrastructure. For those that don’t know the difference between “MB/s” and “Mb/s”, they are basically the same thing but different in formats, both measure data transfer speeds. 1MB aka MegaByte is the same as 8Mb or Megabits, it can be confusing to get your head around.

The server hosts Owncloud and Ampache. Owncloud is an Google docs + dropbox type of service. My Odroid C1 suffers from the same issue as my router, a 100Mb Ethernet port. It is however surprisingly powerful, I used to use an old Pentium T4400 dual-core server, which struggled with the same task and was much larger than the Odroid C1.

Due to the router not supporting the kind of 4G router I’m using, I’m forced to connect the router to my 4G router via WiFi, providing me with much worse speeds than if I would connect it directly to my PC.
internet speed before

The Future
Well, there are problems with my current setup, which I started as an experiment into how to build a working LAN based cloud network. However I soon realized the limitations of the current network setup and have now started planning for an upgrade. My current thinking is to upgrade my server to the Odroid XU4, my router to the RB951G-2HnD and my 4G router to a ‘dumb’ router, namely the Huawei E3372, with an MiMo antenna. This would effectively bring my LAN network capacity to the Gigabit standard and should eliminate the router-via-wifi-to-4G problem. The estimated cost of this upgrade will be around 330-360€, which is an big investment considering I’m an financially poor Finnish student. The cost is the one factor holding me back since I need to secure the funds and remains a near future project for now. I would also like to integrate an proper office suite into my OwnCloud install, thus hopefully rendering Google docs completely obsolete in my case.