Starting my Unraid journey.. Couple of basic questions

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Hi - I am going adventurous and trying to build a somewhat powerful unraid server as a NAS, windows VM (blueiris) plus a bunch of dockers including plex.


Main hardware is a short depth 4U rackmount case with intel i7 10700 and asus rog strix z490-h mobo. 


I am planning to shuck 4x WD Elements 18tb hard drives and install 2 SSDs for cache / windows VM.


A couple of basic questions as I continue to prep the hardware purchases (not easy in these times!):


1) Will the shucked drives be SAS drives and consequently do I need to buy a specific PCI-E SAS controller for this motherboard? It seems odd to me this lack of support given SAS drives appear pretty common these days.. is there a generally recommended LSI card I should look for?


2) SSDs - I am assuming that it would be crazy not to have redundancy for the cache drive? This mobo only has 2 m.2 slots though so ideally I would get e.g. 2x 1 TB SSDs and then use it for a combination of cache drive and windows VM partition - however, I understand this is not generally recommended? Any advice on how to accommodate this optimally would be much appreciate.


I will post more details as and when I gather the hardware successfully together..


Thanks for the advice!

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From my experience western digital drives are usually sata inside. (I've only shucked a few)

There is a hardware section in the wiki that lists compatibility for SAS cards. I run an LSI hba flashed in it mode. (Easily found on ebay, check "theartofserver" store for one, but there are many other sellers too.

I don't run my cache in raid mode, that would depend on what you are going to store on there. See this video:

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have not shucked an 18TB drive, but I have shucked several 10 and 12TB Elements and MyBook drives.  In all cases, they were SATA drives.  Once installed they identify as Wester Digital Ultrastar He10/12 drives.


I did have to tape off the 3rd pin to make them work with SATA power connectors but that was pretty easy.

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