How to build or transform your Personal computer into a Server?


In computing, a server is a computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients". This architecture is called the client-server model, and a single overall computation is distributed across multiple processes or devices. Now assuming you have built yourself a SOHO network and you now decide to make all your files centralized with more security or probably you just need a server for other purposes then its simple. In this article, I am going to show you...

1) How to build your own home server?.
2) How to install multiple operating systems including server operating systems in one Computer?.
But, before doing this there are a few things or hardware specifications you will need to consider and these include RAM, Disk space(Hard drive) processor, etc.

Any computer can be transformed into a server in as much as the different hardware meet the required specifications for the server operating system to install. Depending on which is simpler and available for you, you can either use windows server 2012, 2016 or 2019. They all have the same concept and mode of installation; they differ in features with server 2019 having more features including system insights, a new feature available in Windows Server 2019 that brings local predictive analytics capabilities natively to Windows Server. Hybrid Cloud, Security(Windows Defender Advanced threat Protection-ATP, Security with Software-Defined Networking- SDN), Shielded Virtual Machine Improvements, etc.
 
1) Addressing the first issue of how to build your home server is very simple. Basically, the computer just needs to meet the basic hardware requirements such as RAM, processor speed, and Hard drive capacity for the Server operating system to install. However, all the above-mentioned server operating systems can install on a computer running at least 512MB of RAM, 1.4GHz of 64bit processor, and less for server 2012, 32GB Storage(or less for Windows server 2012 and predecessors), and finally Network - Gigabit(10/100/1000 base T) ethernet Adapter which is optional anyway.

You can choose to have your server operating system installed on the same main computer that you use or have it installed on another computer in your home. It's possible to run both operating systems at the same time i.e. your normal operating system and the server operating system all in one computer and you can do this using a virtual machine. The disadvantage of this is that a single hardware fault on the computer will cause the entire system to fail or worse still slow the performance of the system due to multi-tasking and multi-threading of the computer especially if the system properties are minimal. So, I will advise you to get a separate system for your server except you of course have a strong and Robust computer with sophisticated system properties. However, these things are electronics and can fail at any time, moreover, you may want to keep adding extra devices such as a NAS(Network Attached Storage) multiple RAMs and Hard drives, etc.

Installing a server operating system to your computer already makes that computer a server and it's very simple just like installing any normal operating system via a Bootable USB Flash drive, A DVD, etc.
You can perform a clean installation if its a computer you solely want to use as a server or install via a virtual machine program. Once the installation is complete, all you need do is configure AD-DC settings and that's set to go. Here's a video you can watch to learn step by step configuration of active directory. There's a tone on the internet you can find.(courtesy from Vikas Singh)

Empty Computer system Cases you can try if you intend to build your own personal computer from scratch.
Empty computer system cases

2) There are a few ways you can install multiple operating systems in one computer. Though it provides the advantage of easily accessing files, familiarity with different operating, and most importantly, you can do a password or disaster recovery of one operating system via the other if you couldn't initially access your desktop via the default computer meanwhile the big disadvantage is that if the main system is down, you can't as well access the virtual machines that include your server operating system so I will recommend the following ways you can safely install multiple operating systems in one computer.

The first option and which is probably the best is to install on a separate partition. Partition your hard drive and install your operating system in it. you can either partition your hard drive during the clean installation when it loads to where you need to select which drive to install such as the fig below
Create a new partition from the unallocated space.
Or you can partition your hard drive in windows before preinstallation by following these steps
Right-click this PC on your desktop and choose Manage.
Click Disk management on the left-hand corner of the screen

Once it opens, click on unallocated space and create a new partition.
The advantage of doing this type of partition is that all system files will be separate in each drive. if mixed, system crashes will randomly occur, files will corrupt, etc.

The second option to have multiple operating systems is to download and install a virtual machine. The good thing about virtual machines is you can create many computers with different operating systems, all unique with different set hardware properties given that your computer is sophisticated enough to host them. but like I mentioned earlier, the bad part which is obviously terrible is that once the main system goes down, all the sub virtual computers suffer the same fate

The Last option is If you prefer to use the newest version of Windows, though, there's a way to run Windows 10 directly through a USB drive. You'll need a USB flash drive with at least 16GB of free space, but preferably 32GB. You'll also need a license to activate Windows 10 on the USB drive. All you need is to install a third-party utility program such as windows to go from Microsoft or Rufus. If you intend to go by this route, learn the step by step installation process from here

So this Wraps our article, keep in mind the main essentials to have all these is the system requirement of the said computer system you want to use. Should you face any difficulties or wish to learn something, hook me up in the comments and I will be up to help.
Check out one of my previous Articles of How to build a Soho Network,  and don't forget to support by subscribing for future posts.

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