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First unRaid server, might need some suggestions


Bogardo

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My Planned Setup
 
  1. Windows 10 VM
               Connected to TV (4K) for day to day use, mostly media consumption (Plex Client)
  1. NAS
  2. Torrent/Usenet client
  3. Plex Server
  4. Linux Server VM
               Mainly for playing around with webservers and docker containers

 

Let's start with what I have laying around

Do you have any spare parts laying around that you would like to apply towards your build?  This includes drives.

Case:          Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
Motherboard:   TBD
CPU:           TBD
Cooler (CPU):  TBD
Memory:        Corair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1866C9B (2x4GB)
Graphics:      TBD
Power:         Be Quiet Pure Power L8-CM-430W
Drives:        2x 2TB   Western Digital WD20EARS
               1x 2TB   Western Digital WD20EFRX
               1x 1TB   Western Digital WD10EADS
               1x 2TB   Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001
               1x 128GB Samsung SSD 840 PRO
So the parts I'm looking for are:
 
CPU:
     Preferably Intel, probably some i5
 
Motherboard:
     Minimum of 8 SATA III ports.
     The case has 6 harddrive slots and I would probably like to add 2 more SSD's for caching.
     Support for Virtualization
     4 RAM slots
 
Graphics Card:
     The Windows VM will be connected to a 4K TV on which I would like to be able to stream 4K content.
     I'm not planning to run any games on the VM. Mostly media consumption like with the Plex Client and browser.
 
What is your budget?  Even if you don't have a strict budget set out, at least give us an idea if you are pinching pennies or splurging on your build.

Probably something around € 400,00 for the basic parts to get the system up and running.
I'll probably add extra memory and more and/or larger SSD's and HDD's in the future.

 

How many drives do you want your server to be able to support and how much capacity do you need?

The case I'll be using had room for a maximum of 6 drives, I don't think I need more than that.

 

Is expandability important to you?  If so, what's your long term goal?

Not very important, like I mentioned under budget, I'll probably expand on RAM and Disk size in the future. I'm not planning to have a 80 disk array running in the (near) future.

 

Are you interested in running any unRAID Add Ons (see here)?  If so, which ones?  Be specific.

Docker: Plex Media Server, openVPN, nginx proxy+letsencrypt
VMs: Windows 10; Linux (Ubuntu) Server
Plugins: Speedtest, Community Applications, Unassigned Devices

 

Do you want to run green/low power drives or faster 7200 rpm drives?  If you don't have a specific need for 7200 rpm drives, then choose green drives.

Most of the drives I already have are 'green' drives.

 

If you already have parts in mind, please oh pretty please post links to them so that we don't have to look them up.

Here is a list of links of all the parts I have laying around:

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Hello and welcome.

 

A couple of comments to start things off:

- The R4 is a well known case, lot of people are using it successfully.

- The memory you have is regular DDR3, does that mean you're willing to limit your CPU and motherboard search to ones that support it?  Current gen is DDR4 and there are more motherboards that support Virtualization in current gen products.  There are also some problems with current gen products, hopefully they will be solved soon.

- I think you'll want more than an i5.  People have been happiest under unRAID/KVM when giving performance sensitive VMs their own cores.  So, one or two cores for unRAID, two cores for Windows VM... and you're out of cores on an i5.  The i7 or Xeon make a better platform for serious virtualization.

- The BeQuiet power supply you've selected has 2 +12v rails.  Life is easier under unRAID with single 12v rail, that way you don't have to worry about having too many hard drives on either one of the rails.

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Thank you @tdallen for your quick reply and warm welcome.

 

24 minutes ago, tdallen said:

- The R4 is a well known case, lot of people are using it successfully.

That is good to hear. :)

 

24 minutes ago, tdallen said:

The memory you have is regular DDR3, does that mean you're willing to limit your CPU and motherboard search to ones that support it?  Current gen is DDR4 and there are more motherboards that support Virtualization in current gen products.  There are also some problems with current gen products, hopefully they will be solved soon.

Whoops, didn't catch that. DDR4 it is then.

 

24 minutes ago, tdallen said:

I think you'll want more than an i5.  People have been happiest under unRAID/KVM when giving performance sensitive VMs their own cores.  So, one or two cores for unRAID, two cores for Windows VM... and you're out of cores on an i5.  The i7 or Xeon make a better platform for serious virtualization.

Could you give some examples for decent processors for which I don't have to get a second mortgage.

 

24 minutes ago, tdallen said:

The BeQuiet power supply you've selected has 2 +12v rails.  Life is easier under unRAID with single 12v rail, that way you don't have to worry about having too many hard drives on either one of the rails.

It's a modular power supply, wouldn't it be enough to split the 'load' over the two separate cables. Or isn't that how it works? 

 

 

Please note, all the parts I mentioned are parts that I already have laying around from an older system (on which the motherboard and/or CPU died), not what I intend to purchase.

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Yep, balancing the load between the two rails will work, it just takes more thought.

 

It looks like you are in Europe, so pricing and availability will vary from what I'm used to in the US.  That said, here are some strategies:

- Buy a new or used Haswell Core i7 or E3 Xeon and make use of your DDR3 RAM.  Upgrade to ECC RAM over time if you get a Xeon.  Target 4 core chips, with Hyperthreading.  Core i7-4xxx or Xeon E3-12xxv3.

- Buy a new or used Sky Lake or Kaby Lake Core i7 or E3 Xeon.  They'll need DDR4 RAM, and suffer temporarily from the problem linked above.  Again target 4 core chips with Hyperthreading.  Core i7-6xxx or 7xxx or Xeon E3-12xxv5 or v6.

- Buy a used Xeon E5 and a Socket 2011 motherboard.  You get more true cores this way.  You can get some real bargins on the CPUs, but the motherboards can cost more.

 

I tend to like motherboards from Asus, ASRock, and Supermicro but others work.  You have to be careful about IOMMU/VT-d, though - every board doesn't have it.  It was more on Haswell server level motherboards, and we're starting to see it more commonly now on the Sky Lake / Kaby Lake server and consumer boards.

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  • 10 months later...

Thank you @tdallen for the suggestions.

So after about a year... I've finally decided that I am going to build myself an Unraid server.

 

I came up with the following CPU and Motherboard.

- Intel Xeon E3-1245 v6 (link)

- ASUS P10S WS (link)

 

Which would cost me around €525 (~$630).

 

I went for this Xeon mainly because of the integrated graphics with H.265 support.

The purchase probably won't happen for another 2-3 months, would this still be a decent combo or am I better of with something else?

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