I have been pondering setting up my own server for quite a while now since I want to remove all mass storage from my main computer and build a small form factor gaming rig. I have a NAS today, but it's so slow and doesn't give me the flexibility I want (e.g. no Plex server options). For some reason I only came across FreeNAS when I started researching a while back and I was close to pulling the trigger, but I held off to see it the new i3 Intel processors were worth the wait. Watching a Linus Tech Tips video a week back he mentioned that he much preferred Unraid to FreeNAS which led me down a rabbit hole of articles and YouTube videos and I'm fairly convinced now that Unraid is pretty ideal for my use case.
The hardware I have:
- 4 x 4TB Seagate Ironwolf Pro
- 2 x nvme M2 256 GB SSD
- 1 X Samsung 500 GB SSD
- Sony 16GB USB drive
The hardware I'm considering:
- Supermicro X11SCH-F
- Intel Xeon E-2234
- Noctua NH-U14S
- 1x Crucial DDR4 2666 MHz 16GB ECC (CT16G4WFD8266)
- Seagate IronWolf 8TB
- Fractal Design Node 304
- Corsair SF600 SFX 80 PLUS Platinum
The server won't contain any critical data, pretty much only video and music files. It would suck to loose the data, but it's not irreplaceable. For now the main use case for the server will be Plex (maybe Sonarr and Radarr) and network storage for my main computer. I try to only do direct play, but there might be two or three simultaneous 1080p transcodes from time to time. I suspect the HW I have chosen is overkill for this use, but I want something future proof.
First I was tempted to go with Ryzen 3600 since it would be cheaper and almost double the Passmark score of the E-2234, but my reasoning for the HW suggestion above is that I want something established and stable with as few head aches as possible while still being fairly modern hardware. And if I do need more processing power down the line, I might be able to snag a used more powerful Xeon for a decent price in a few years. I chose the 8 TB as a parity drive to easily be able to expand the storage in the future. I'm managing fine with around 11 TB today and this config would be able to get me up to 25 TB by adding another 8 TB drive and replacing one of the 4TB drives with an 8 TB drive, should be sufficient for the foreseeable future for my needs.
The motherboard has two m2 slots, would it be beneficial to run my nvme SSDs in raid0 and have a very fast 500 GB cache pool? And perhaps setup the extra SATA SSD as a backup? I have read quite a lot about the cache pool, but I'm still a bit unsure how this actually works and how to best utilice the HW I have and what size it actually needs to be.
The motherboard only has a VGA connection, which I don't really have anything that supports at the moment. I'm considering getting an adapter to hdmi, but I know those can be a bit fidgety. If I have understood it correctly the motherboard has ipmi, but can I actually install and configure the setup from scratch using this? Or would I need a monitor to get things started?
Is there any benefit in going with Ironwolf Pro for the 8 TB? I got the first three 4TB drives for free, that's why I have Pro per now. But cost wise the non-pro seems to be a better option for my use case when/if I need to expand the storage capacity.
In my country this would run me about 1400 USD which is around what I'm comfortable spending.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!