In the earlier days of the internet, very few could afford themselves to own or rent servers. Best you could have done was buy a shared hosting server to publish your website and probably not much more... unless you were pretty rich or had a rich friend. Happily, that was a really long time ago and I hope those times are gone forever. Nowadays, you can rent a virtual private server (VPS) for just a few bucks a month and configure it to do whatever you want it to. But if you're a "dabbler", and not an IT professional, you might ask "well, what would I wanna do with a private server?" As it happens, quite a bit! Running your own server is easier than you think, while carrying a lot of potential.
First and most common is a webserver, which is often set up using a software package called LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP). Most websites are using exactly that software setup to publish their own WordPress blogs, or Joomla sites for self promotion.
Maybe you're feeling uncomfortablle using Google or Microsoft's email services? Need the extra privacy? You can run your own mail server.
You can set up a small server on your local network, considering how cheap the hardware is nowadays, and run Plex or Kodi to store, catalogue and play multimedia files accross your networked devices including TVs, smartphones and tablets.
Are you into music? You can run Subsonic and stream your music too. It can even download music and podcasts for you automatically. Or you can install SHOUTcast radio server and create your own streaming radio – stream and share your playlists with your friends!
And if you rent a VPS, you might be interested in setting up an OwnCloud, which lets you store and sync files and folders with your server, access them online or using a client app on your mobile device. It’s like your personal Dropbox but with a lot more space for files, and without having them managed by another company. Or just use it as a backup. You should have one, anyway!
Are you a programmer? You can install a GitLab server and host your repositories yourself instead of Github. You get the privacy and don't have to pay for premium. Invite your friends and write code together!
The point is, there is a world of possibilites when it comes to setting up a server. It's literally easier and cheaper than ever. Give it a shot. You never know, you might enjoy it! Keep up with more articles from ServerSuit server monitoring tools by following us on twitter!
Until next time!