60TB Plex & UNRAID Evolution...


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So what started my Plex adventures out using an 8TB external HDD that I had plugged into my first Shield TV Pro which I figured I would never be able to fill up which slowly became a 10TB external HDD and then a 14TB external HDD.

 

In April the 14TB drive was getting full and when they released the 11th gen Intel CPUs I pulled trigger and built my first UNRAID.  It started with 5x12TB Ironwolf Pros (2 parity, 3 data) and never thought I could realistically fill that despite ambitions of grandeur to build most immense 4K library assembled anywhere...

 

In June I was ordering a 6th 12TB Ironwolf Pro and couldn't believe I was getting such a high usage % (trying to keep under 80% on all data disks) of the original HDDs so quickly.

 

Now here we are in October and I am waiting for the estimated 12 hour disk clear to finish on the 7th 12TB Ironwolf Pro giving me a total usable space of 60TB.  Not sure how it takes before I have this 7th drive nearing full and needing a 8th for 72TB usable and just hope it happens after HDD prices come back down to reality since these babies aren't cheap!

 

Tried to do my best at cable management without going extreme with custom cables or loads of zip ties - just stuck to what they included as part of the case for straps. Just wish the HBA card was black too vs that green.  Sorry in advance for picture quality/glare - think my phone's camera lens just recently cracked or was scratched.

 

And for the record these Ironwolf Pro HDDs are super quiet!  Has high entry price for these drives but well worth price for the warranty and data recovery should I need it.

 

Plex for those interested is currently filled with about the following:

 

~12 4K TV Series

~38 4K Movie Remuxes

~57 720p/1080p TV Series

~288 4K Movies

~1,760 720p/1080p movies

 

BTW - anyone know if the RTX 3060 XC 12GB can be unlocked for unlimited transcoding sessions?  Tried in past unsuccessfully and wasn't sure if things had changed since earlier in the year.  Have an extra one again.

 

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Edited by Canes
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  • Canes changed the title to 60TB Plex & UNRAID Evolution...
On 10/27/2021 at 5:25 PM, Canes said:

 

BTW - anyone know if the RTX 3060 XC 12GB can be unlocked for unlimited transcoding sessions?  Tried in past unsuccessfully and wasn't sure if things had changed since earlier in the year.  Have an extra one again.

 

It's still a WIP - you can follow the dev work on it here:
https://github.com/DualCoder/vgpu_unlock/issues/8

 

I wouldn't expect anything in the short term tbh - this entire GPU generation has been such a friggin heartache for so many folks, I wouldn't expect anything until either the next gen, or if we're lucky, the super refresh. I concur with @Michael_P above - since you're running Intel, that iGPU is about all anyone could ask for when it comes to plex transcoding.

IMO at least, this is one of the few clear places that Intel is easily the best choice - any intel system since coffee lake and newer is about as good as it gets as far as bang-for-buck when it comes to a plex server. AMD just doesn't have a viable alternative (that may be mostly on plex though as they've not updated the transcode engine to support APU's nearly as well from AMD), and the efficiency levels you'll get with the iGPU simply can't be beaten.

Use the iGPU for media server/NVR/whatever needs, pass through your 3060 to your gaming VM, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

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On 10/28/2021 at 12:25 AM, Canes said:

So what started my Plex adventures out using an 8TB external HDD that I had plugged into my first Shield TV Pro which I figured I would never be able to fill up which slowly became a 10TB external HDD and then a 14TB external HDD.

 

In April the 14TB drive was getting full and when they released the 11th gen Intel CPUs I pulled trigger and built my first UNRAID.  It started with 5x12TB Ironwolf Pros (2 parity, 3 data) and never thought I could realistically fill that despite ambitions of grandeur to build most immense 4K library assembled anywhere...

 

In June I was ordering a 6th 12TB Ironwolf Pro and couldn't believe I was getting such a high usage % (trying to keep under 80% on all data disks) of the original HDDs so quickly.

 

Now here we are in October and I am waiting for the estimated 12 hour disk clear to finish on the 7th 12TB Ironwolf Pro giving me a total usable space of 60TB.  Not sure how it takes before I have this 7th drive nearing full and needing a 8th for 72TB usable and just hope it happens after HDD prices come back down to reality since these babies aren't cheap!

 

Tried to do my best at cable management without going extreme with custom cables or loads of zip ties - just stuck to what they included as part of the case for straps. Just wish the HBA card was black too vs that green.  Sorry in advance for picture quality/glare - think my phone's camera lens just recently cracked or was scratched.

 

And for the record these Ironwolf Pro HDDs are super quiet!  Has high entry price for these drives but well worth price for the warranty and data recovery should I need it.

 

Plex for those interested is currently filled with about the following:

 

~12 4K TV Series

~38 4K Movie Remuxes

~57 720p/1080p TV Series

~288 4K Movies

~1,760 720p/1080p movies

 

BTW - anyone know if the RTX 3060 XC 12GB can be unlocked for unlimited transcoding sessions?  Tried in past unsuccessfully and wasn't sure if things had changed since earlier in the year.  Have an extra one again.

 

1895569093_ScreenShot2021-10-27at5_34_50PM.thumb.png.bc907b449f5f3c9ffdd1661f73f0434e.png

1671887591_ScreenShot2021-10-27at5_59_00PM.thumb.png.9e9dbeb190598fda8f577ac5a54f2fc5.png1984620177_ScreenShot2021-10-27at5_59_21PM.thumb.png.c67003876d3c60334255bcf429238458.png

Why waste time and energy on transcoding? Just run a second radarr for 1080p. And use lists to sync them. Make everyone using ur plex happy by letting them direct play.

 

Also why so many parrity drives for plex media? If you lose a drive. Just redownload that crap within a day. Its probaly faster then repairing parity

 

Also unraid doesnt run raid 0. The file goes on one drive. Not split over multiple drives. U dont have the same risks as a raid 0

 

Just let that 3060 mine and or game. Make it work what its good at. I mean the nas draws quite some power. Even on idle. Let it earn its own upkeep like the big boy it is.

Edited by okkies
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There are counters to each of these:

 

Why not have everything in 1080p?

A. I like having 4k available for in home consumption 

 

Why not have duplicate copies of everything then? Or even just dupes of your 4ks at least 

A. Because its annoying to manage, and adds additional steps and/or complexity even with the highest levels of automation possible. 

 

Why parity for plex media?

A. Because many of us have limited monthly bandwidth allocations, and waiting 40 months to download 40TB+ (or paying extra for "unlimited"), re-ripping everything or restoring from a backup takes too dang long, and is best avoided where possible. Even losing one 12TB drive worth of data (as you so aptly mentioned) means 12 months rations. If you're ok waiting that long, or else ok being gouged by your ISP instead, that's more than I would be at least.

 

Why transcode at all?

A. It's the best way to have to most flexibility in how media can be consumed remotely. Especially important for those on a cable connection, where you might have gigabit downloads, but are limited to something comparitively stupid like 25mbps upload.

 

Idk, these questions dont really seem very thoroughly considered or thought out imo, but my apologies if I've somehow misunderstood them in some way

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So anything in my 4K libraries are duplicated in my 1080p libraries - doesn't stop some friends I share with that don't grasp playing a 4K movie file on a 1080p TV doesn't mean it's going to be better quality than playing the 1080p movie file.  They do have 4K TVs in their house hence still sharing the 4K libraries. One transcode doesn't kill my machine but as I am sharing with more and more people the odds are simultaneous transcodes increases.  People take

 

I have parity drives because I don't want to have to re-download 12TB of files - at least that is the hope to avoid that.  My understanding of the parity drives is that I can have 1-2 drives fail and not lose any data and since I could afford to buy 2 parity drives on top of the data drives I did.  Even with an unlimited gigabit (up/down) fiber connection coming into my home I am still limited by who is sharing the files and some files are harder to replace/take FOREVER to download.  Not to mention remembering all the files I may have lost.  Furthermore I'm hoping the extra money I spent on the Ironwolf Pros to get nearly enterprise grade drives helps mitigate failure risk.

 

I do wish I had radarr setup - every file I download I have to manually add to deluge using magnet links from rarbg.  I do like selecting specific file versions/movies as I don't just want everything being released.  Is there a good guide to setting up radarr?  I am far from UNRAID expert and learning as I go - much I have not figured out yet.

 

Also I am just going to sell the 3060.  I don't mine and don't have desire.  Appreciate feedback towards iGPU.  Glad I waited for 11th gen intel too since they upgraded iGPU with this gen.

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If you don't mind the noise (they're not *that* noisy tbh), you can save significant funds by going with the exos drives as opposed to the ironwolfs - for about the same price as a 12TB Ironwolf Pro, you can get a 16TB Exos. Same 5 years worth of warranty, still runs cool (mine never hit above 34C, even under parity check), just without the 'recovery' warranty. That's the route I went anyway, and couldn't be happier!

 

I've been trying to find a 3060 for 7 months now so my wife could game with me, both of us running off the Unraid server, but without much luck - The EVGA version was set to be 329 originally, now up to something like ~400 bucks new, and even at that price (which seems absurd for an 'entry' level gaming card lol), they're basically unobtainium it seems like. I'm sure you can find either a good use for yours, or a willing buyer without much trouble! At these nutty market rates, hell, you could probably buy a couple 16TB exos with the funds or something lol

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I have had a Plex server up and running for many years now and have seen the video quality from different homes that I share my library with, and can say that I do not see any or much difference between 1080 and 4k. I have my server set to direct stream and then will transcode if need be. My library is pretty large and no one has complained about quality or speed, and why should they since I allow them on my library. 

The last thing I would touch on is that I do not use plex for my personal use if I am at home. On my local network I use Kodi which I feel does a better job of gathering info for titles and tv shows. If I really need to watch something out of my network I can cast from phone to a TV but that would be extreme use for me. 

Everyone has their own ideas on how to use their media and I am satisfied with my choices.

Good luck on your adventure.

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23 minutes ago, Harro said:

I have had a Plex server up and running for many years now and have seen the video quality from different homes that I share my library with, and can say that I do not see any or much difference between 1080 and 4k. I have my server set to direct stream and then will transcode if need be. My library is pretty large and no one has complained about quality or speed...

 

Everyone has their own ideas on how to use their media and I am satisfied with my choices.

Good luck on your adventure.

 

I'll second that! I recently hit 60TB used, after my parents got through adding their stuff to my server so they could access it remotely - that was a friggin wakeup call lol, "your 70% utilized array as of last week is 95% full as of today". Ugh. Tdarr to the rescue!

 

Transcoding just offers the flexibility without the management hassle, and gives me better overall resource utilization as the GPU is used amongst by numerous other resources anyway - nextcloud for facial recognition of photo backups, image detection in the NVR, video acceleration for a webtops container I've been playing with, plex, and now a tdarr node. Might as well get the most out of it!

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13 hours ago, BVD said:

There are counters to each of these:

 

Why not have everything in 1080p?

A. I like having 4k available for in home consumption 

A. Because its annoying to manage, and adds additional steps and/or complexity even with the highest levels of automation possible. 

 

Why parity for plex media?

A. Because many of us have limited monthly bandwidth allocations, and waiting 40 months to download 40TB+ (or paying extra for "unlimited"), re-ripping everything or restoring from a backup takes too dang long, and is best avoided where possible. Even losing one 12TB drive worth of data (as you so aptly mentioned) means 12 months rations. If you're ok waiting that long, or else ok being gouged by your ISP instead, that's more than I would be at least.

 

Why transcode at all?

A. It's the best way to have to most flexibility in how media can be consumed remotely. Especially important for those on a cable connection, where you might have gigabit downloads, but are limited to something comparitively stupid like 25mbps upload.

 

Idk, these questions dont really seem very thoroughly considered or thought out imo, but my apologies if I've somehow misunderstood them in some way

Tnx for the reply btw :) 
never knew monthly bandwith allocations is still a thing in 2021 on landlines O.o. unless you mean the usenet allocations, just get newsdemon and a coupon from reddit, i think i pay 35 usd +- for 1.5 year or something, its nothing (with the note in mind we can afford these machine's) 

 

transcoding hogs up your system, especially if you go down from 4k to 1080p. it will go slow and people stop using it, and you get the annoying call "plex isnt working blablabla" 

Most of the times they use shitty clients anyway (some build in samsung TV plex app on an already outdated TV sock when the tv was released) 
(this helps btw
https://community.home-assistant.io/t/automatic-sabnzbd-download-pausing/330196)

i give people with an Nvidia shield access to my 4k content, if i know u use a stupid client, all they get is the 1080P access. it saves up those annoying calls where you have to tell them it isnt you, its their crappy stuff that isnt working. Besides transcoding from 1080p > 720p is alot lighter. 

10 hours ago, Canes said:

So anything in my 4K libraries are duplicated in my 1080p libraries - doesn't stop some friends I share with that don't grasp playing a 4K movie file on a 1080p TV doesn't mean it's going to be better quality than playing the 1080p movie file.  They do have 4K TVs in their house hence still sharing the 4K libraries. One transcode doesn't kill my machine but as I am sharing with more and more people the odds are simultaneous transcodes increases.  People take

 

I have parity drives because I don't want to have to re-download 12TB of files - at least that is the hope to avoid that.  My understanding of the parity drives is that I can have 1-2 drives fail and not lose any data and since I could afford to buy 2 parity drives on top of the data drives I did.  Even with an unlimited gigabit (up/down) fiber connection coming into my home I am still limited by who is sharing the files and some files are harder to replace/take FOREVER to download.  Not to mention remembering all the files I may have lost.  Furthermore I'm hoping the extra money I spent on the Ironwolf Pros to get nearly enterprise grade drives helps mitigate failure risk.

 

I do wish I had radarr setup - every file I download I have to manually add to deluge using magnet links from rarbg.  I do like selecting specific file versions/movies as I don't just want everything being released.  Is there a good guide to setting up radarr?  I am far from UNRAID expert and learning as I go - much I have not figured out yet.

 

Also I am just going to sell the 3060.  I don't mine and don't have desire.  Appreciate feedback towards iGPU.  Glad I waited for 11th gen intel too since they upgraded iGPU with this gen.

exacly, multiple transcodes is a hell. especialy if you have sabnzbd repairing / unpacking. Just seperate the 4k content from the 1080p give the plebs access to the 1080P content and the masterrace nvidia shield people access to both

  (again, this helps https://community.home-assistant.io/t/automatic-sabnzbd-download-pausing/330196

 

repairing parity vs redownloading, both take alot of time. from experience i can say redownloading was faster then repairing my parity. Also im greedy with my terabytes :P i wanna use it all. 

Radarr: 
Use it together with Prowler or nzbhydra2+jackett as indexer. here u add the providers like rarbg or any else thats in the list 

 

1: Setup Radarr 4k (deny 1080P in the profile, maybe play with the max size aswell)
2: Setup Radarr 1080p (deny 4k in the profile)

3: Setup prowlerr or nzbhydra2 with Jackett for the torrents

4: Make Radarr 4k import the from radarr 1080p in settings> lists > program lists > Radarr  (due to the more availability of 1080p content)

 

some guides you requested

 

 


 

 

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Maybe we're talking past each other- I guess I'll try ti explain once more-

 

It's not that setting up two radarr instances isnt something that can be done, it's that its additional unnecessary complexity, as well as wastes space with duplicate files- and for someone that doesnt want to waste space, I'm surprised that's the route you went tbh...

 

As for downloading vs rebuilding, two key differences:

1. You dont have to worry about re-locating what was lost, then hoping it's still available, or worse, reripping it.

2. Far more importantly, you continue to maintain access to all your content without the need to wait to re-accumulate it

 

This all is a bit of a moot point though imo for most - if all you ever store is plex data, why even use unraid? Far more likely, theres personal content there as well. If you're ok with losing that along with you media, I suppose that's up to the individual, but I'm not.

 

And for the immediately expected response of "yeah, but you should back that up" - I back up everything. That doesnt mean I ever want to lose access to any of it and have to restore from backup. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

 

Until weve the ability to create multiple arrays, actual unraid arrays, I dont see why anyone would argue *against* using additional parity when available, unless they've just never encountered drive failure before; it's a poor recommendation. Drive failures happen, and if you've not encountered them yet, you will. May not be tomorrow, maybe not even next year or 3 years from now. But itll happen. 

 

If you feel parity isnt a worthwhile investment, you either dont value your data, or dont value your time *AND* trust your backups, both to a degree that is unrealistic for what I feel are the majority of users.

Edited by BVD
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I basically only use my UNRAID for Plex tbh - that at least is why I built it.  I never got serious with VMs since I got caught up with other things in life and never circled back since I have other laptops for those needs and haven't played a video game in years.  I really wanted just a stupid amount of storage space for all the movies and tv shows I could ever want that was relatively easy to configure, could add drives easily later as needed vs a RAID setup or what seemed to be complicated process with FreeNAS and had some sort of parity feature to help against data loss in event of drive failure.  External HDD plugged into a Shield TV wasn't going to cut it and there was no parity at all with that option. I'd either have a Plex library or a paper weight.

 

At least with 2 parity drives I think I only lose the server being offline for maybe a day or so (whatever the time is is inconsequential to me) while it rebuilds itself and restores all the missing data vs me having to re-download whatever files were stored on that drive and hoping all the movie files are still up. 

 

As far as redownloading finding 1080p mp4s usually isn't a problem but I only download the mkv files and try to find the ones with best sound files (atmos 7.1 version, etc) and those can be more annoying to replace since I have some torrents sit stuck at 99% for weeks and then suddenly complete randomly one night.  The few mp4s and 720p files I have leftover from before I'm actively replacing with the 1080p mkvs and only have a few left.

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38 minutes ago, Canes said:

At least with 2 parity drives I think I only lose the server being offline for maybe a day or so ... while it rebuilds itself

 

That's the great part about Unraid (and RAID, too) - uptime resilience AKA the R(redundant) in RAID. Your system stays up during the rebuild and nobody is the wiser as far as end users are concerned (it's still not a replacement for an actual proven backup routine for irreplaceable files).

 

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3 hours ago, Michael_P said:

 

That's the great part about Unraid (and RAID, too) - uptime resilience AKA the R(redundant) in RAID. Your system stays up during the rebuild and nobody is the wiser as far as end users are concerned (it's still not a replacement for an actual proven backup routine for irreplaceable files).

 

 

Can't restate this enough - it's not a replacement for backup, but damn it's helpful in avoiding downtime in the event you do suffer a failure.

 

My main array setup is something like this:
* 10 drives, up to 16TB in size, containing all my data with 2 set up for parity

* Vast majority of this is media content, which I don't back up separately, but this also includes about 8TB of what I consider 'valuable data' (nextcloud user files for 11 users, DB files built up over the years, appdata-like information, and 'hoarded' data I've collected going back to 1997)

* That 8TB worth of files is contained within 4 specific shares, all of which backup via borg to a secondary system

* That second system sends nightly diff's to my parents house (about 2 hours away) over my dog-slow 30Mbps upload, which is regularly verified.

 

I've only had to restore one of those off site backups one time in the years I've had it running, and it was only about 1.5TB at the time, but man am I ever glad I had it available; wedding photos, birthdays, all kinds of memories would've been lost otherwise (flood took out everything locally).

 

The beauty for me with Unraid is how power efficiently I can do all this. I've got file hashing so I can help to detect silent errors, drives are only spun up when content is actually accessed, and overall power utilization savings is substantial. If I'm writing data, it's usually only to one disk, which means I'm spinning 3... If reading, it's just the one disk being read, quite nice vs the alternative of spinning up all 10.

 

I did the math in a post some time back if anyone has the energy and cares to look for it - can't beat the value add here when it comes to power savings!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wellllllll it did not take long for this latest HDD to fill up adding a lot more 1080p TV Series and another 100+ 1080p movies.  Can't believe how quick and easy it was to hit 43TB!  Spoiled with the gigabit connection I guess lol.  Now I am hoping for a Black Friday sale on the 12TB IronWolf Pro to get an 8th to give me 72TB of storage.  They are all still $409.99 minimum right now and the first 6 I picked up for $329.99 each barely 6 months ago...

 

New count is:

 

~13 4K TV Series

~38 4K Movie Remuxes

~90 720p/1080p TV Series

~305 4K Movies

~1,880 720p/1080p movies

 

799835615_ScreenShot2021-11-19at6_59_01PM.thumb.png.8b89a550c71feb81138218286bf5341e.png

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39 minutes ago, Michael_P said:

Yeah, I feel your pain image.png.1aaa64f3cdc56038fa0c4a61c4378fbe.png

 

Hoarding, amirite 

Wow! What is your library like with 134TB? What kind of rig you using for that size? Is that all Media or mix of other data too? 

 

I picked my case because it has space for 16 3.5" drives and my HBA card supports 16 drives and I frankly until recently never thought I would EVER approach using 16 drives and regretted not getting the smaller non-XL case and 8 drive HBA card.  Now I am glad I did all this because I'll likely be at 8 3.5" HDD by years end and approaching 16 drives within next couple years after that.  That would give me 168TB of possible space sticking to my 12TB IronWolf Pros (14x12TB for Data with another 2x12TB as Parity).  I just honestly don't know how I could ever hit that amount of data.  

 

I am going to run out of stuff to download that interests me as well soon too so expecting my growth rate should slow down at some point to just new films and tv shows.  Until then... just waiting for my ISP to complain.  You'd think downloading multiple TB in a single month would catch their eye haha.

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1 hour ago, Canes said:

What kind of rig you using for that size

 

Here's my rig: https://forums.unraid.net/topic/86712-compact-rack-setup/ - more hard drives, and some of the smaller ones upgraded to 8TBs but more or less the same. Almost all movies, tv shows, concerts et al - I have a digital hoarding problem for sure lol.

 

1 hour ago, Canes said:

...expecting my growth rate should slow down at some point

 

Yeah, that's what I keep telling myself, too lol

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On 11/20/2021 at 4:37 PM, Michael_P said:

 

Here's my rig: https://forums.unraid.net/topic/86712-compact-rack-setup/ - more hard drives, and some of the smaller ones upgraded to 8TBs but more or less the same. Almost all movies, tv shows, concerts et al - I have a digital hoarding problem for sure lol.

 

 

Yeah, that's what I keep telling myself, too lol

So jealous!  That is just too cool.  One day I will get there but my better half would kill me if I did something like that all in one shot.  She does not care about this stuff at all the way I do.

 

Concerts... dang you for suggesting a new media category to consider that will require more drives.... lol

  • Haha 1
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