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DoItMyselfToo

New To unRAID - My First Build [COMPLETED]

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Posted (edited)

I've wanted a NAS to centralize backing up of three MacBook Pros.  We have several 1 TB external USB drives which is grossly insufficient.  I have considered a Synology box, though the prices seem quite high for the hardware.  I've built several desktop PC's in the past before moving over to the Mac platform when Apple moved to Intel chips from Motorolla, so I decided to resurrect my rusty computer skills to get a NAS running.

 

First I considered FreeNAS, then Openmediavault.  I came upon unRaid by way of a discussion in the FreeNAS forum, I think.  After looking at the unRAID site, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.  One thing that stands out is the vast amount of helpful getting started information, videos, etc., which is arranged in a logical, step-by-step, fashion.  Honestly, the videos on the various topics really make this seem less like work and more like fun.

 

So, here's what I'm looking at for an unRAID NAS build:

 

Start with this motherboard and CPU:

Supermicro X8SIL-F

Xeon X3460

 

Build into this case:

Fractal Design Node 804 Cube Case

 

Add these components:

Arctic Freezer 12 CPU Cooler

Seasonic Focus Plus SSR-650FX Power Supply (I wanted a 550w, but this was cheaper)

4 x 4GB Nanya 1333 ECC Ram

LSI SAS 9211-8i

Sandisk Cruzer Fit 16 GB

 

2 - Samsung 860 EVO - 500 GB for redundant cache

 

Add these data/parity drives:

5 - WD Red 4 TB NAS Drives (3 data; 2 parity)

 

Replace stock 3 pin fans with PWM fans:

 

5 - Arctic 120mm PWM PST Fans

1 - Arctic 140mm PWM PST Fan

 

Note:  I had intended to add two additional 140mm fans above the MB to push heat up.  Though, since the MB power connector is at the top of the board, the fans do not fit.

 

Conclusion:

 

This server will be used to:

 

  • Backup MacBooks through Time Machine
  • Backup DVD's
  • Backup FLAC music files
  • Run OwnCloud via Dockers

 

Thanks in advance for looking at my proposed build.  Any input would be appreciated - suggestions, questions, changes, etc.  After I get this all set-up, I'll post pictures and detailed posts of my trials getting this server running.

 

UPDATE:  Initially I was going to transplant an HPE Proliant.  Instead I went with the above Supermicro X8SIL-F.  The system is built.

 

Edited by DoItMyselfToo

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8 hours ago, DoItMyselfToo said:

This server will be used to:

 

  • Backup MacBooks through Time Machine

I don't use Mac, so I don't have first hand experience here, but Time Machine seems to be a particularly difficult thing to get working based on some of the posts here. I'd do some due diligence in this specific area first to find out if your combination of Mac machines will work. Like I said, I don't do Mac, but it seems to me Mac support is a moving target on unraid. Some have it working, some struggle.

 

Use google to search the forums, the search function built in is broken. Just add +site:lime-technology.com to your search terms on google.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, jonathanm said:

I don't use Mac, so I don't have first hand experience here, but Time Machine seems to be a particularly difficult thing to get working based on some of the posts here. I'd do some due diligence in this specific area first to find out if your combination of Mac machines will work. Like I said, I don't do Mac, but it seems to me Mac support is a moving target on unraid. Some have it working, some struggle.

 

Use google to search the forums, the search function built in is broken. Just add +site:lime-technology.com to your search terms on google.

 

I appreciate your input.  It looks like the issue is whether the user client file system is set as HFS+ or APFS.  APFS is automatic for Mac OS's updated to High Sierra on SSD drives.  We haven't updated from Sierra to High Sierra, yet.  So right now it looks like an AFS or SMB share in unRAID would still be the way to go.  The Apple support page says, I believe, that while the client side requires no change in Time Machine, the server side requires SMB shares, not AFP, for Mac clients using APFS file system.  It appears Apple is saying that they're moving away from AFP to SMB sharing.  Am I reading this correctly?

 

If there is a problem getting time machine to work, I wouldn't be opposed to another backup solution.  I like that Time Machine takes care of versioning of data automatically for each user.

 

Right now, my big thing is being sure that I can run the HPE server with unRAID.  Then it's getting the system tweaked.  My next priority is setting up a backup routine.  Somewhere near the end of everything is being able to run OwnCloud.

 

By the way, thanks for letting me know about the search function not working.  Something seemed off with the searching via the forum; now I know why.

 

 

Edited by DoItMyselfToo

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On 5/1/2018 at 3:16 AM, DoItMyselfToo said:

I've wanted a NAS to centralize backing up of three MacBook Pros.  We have several 1 TB external USB drives which is grossly insufficient. (You could still use these drives if you have the USB ports for it using a plugin called 'Unassigned drives' its super easy to setup and allows you to use external hard-drives that aren't in the array)  I have considered a Synology box, though the prices seem quite high for the hardware.  I've built several desktop PC's in the past before moving over to the Mac platform when Apple moved to Intel chips from Motorolla, so I decided to resurrect my rusty computer skills to get a NAS running.

 

First I considered FreeNAS, then Openmediavault.  I came upon unRaid by way of a discussion in the FreeNAS forum, I think.  After looking at the unRAID site, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.  One thing that stands out is the vast amount of helpful getting started information, videos, etc., which is arranged in a logical, step-by-step, fashion.  Honestly, the videos on the various topics really make this seem less like work and more like fun.

 

So, here's what I'm looking at for an unRAID NAS build:

 

Start with this server:

HPE Proliant ML10 Gen9 - i3 6100 Processor - 4 GB ECC Ram

 

Transfer the above server into this case:

Fractal Design Node 804 Cube Case

Something to make sure is compatible, this case seems to be a m-atx case (looking on website) make sure that the motherboard in the server your buying is a m-atx otherwise wont fit in  your case.

Add these components:

Seasonic Focus Plus SSR-650FX Power Supply (I wanted a 550w, but this was cheap)

16 GB Kingston DDR4 ECC RAM

Tripp Lite DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

Sandisk Cruzer Fit 16 GB

 

2 SSD Drives For Redundant Cache (Possibly Samsung 860 EVO - 250 GB or 500 GB)

Can confirm that the 860 EVO's are amazing drives for the price/performance/size ratio :) Would recommend to anyone

Add these data/parity drives:

5 WD Red 4 TB NAS Drives (3 data; 2 parity)

You should also look at the Toshiba n300 drives they are very slightly cheaper will save you about £20 over the 5 drives

I plan to add 3 more data drives within a year.

 

Add more fans for cooling:

 

The Node 804 holds 8 fans with both drive trays in their standard position.  The case comes with 3 120 mm fans.  I plan to add 5 more and run them at lower RPM for noise reduction.

8 Fans? Isn't that a little excessive?

Q: Would you use PWM fans run through a PWM splitter connected to the PWM off the main board?  Or different ideas?

 

Conclusion:

 

I've noticed that at least a few unRAID members have used HPE servers.  This seems like a good way to get into a server on a budget with the deals out there from time-to-time, usually in the sub $200 price range, with an Intel i3 processor.  Not getting into a Synology/Qnap with a processor at this level.

Have a look at bargain hardware, they do really good deals on ex-enterprise equipment for fairly reasonable prices

This server will be used to:

 

  • Backup MacBooks through Time Machine
  • Backup DVD's

Will you be backing up DVD's such as movies or home videos? Either way I would recommend getting the Plex Media Server docker as well as it is a superb media management platform. I use it for all of my media now

  • Backup FLAC music files
  • Run OwnCloud via Dockers

 

Thanks in advance for looking at my proposed build.  Any input would be appreciated - suggestions, questions, changes, etc.  After I get this all set-up, I'll post pictures and detailed posts of my trials getting this server running.

 

Hope you find this advice helps, other than that best of luck with this build should be good fun :)

 

 

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On 5/2/2018 at 7:57 AM, Connor Moloney said:

 

I ended up with the 860 Evo's because of a very good deal.  And, though the HPE was a good deal, I decided to go with a Supermicro X8SIL-F with Xeon processor.  When I need more HDD space, I'll be sure to check out those Toshiba's.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

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I have time machine working without issue I did isolate 1 drive just for that and mapped it in time machine on my macbook to use both my airport extreme and my NAS drive as backups seems to work fine I think if I remember correctly you have to make the share/drive private time machine didn't like it without it but it has been awhile so not quite sure on that and if anything has changed

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1 hour ago, mrbilky said:

I have time machine working without issue I did isolate 1 drive just for that and mapped it in time machine on my macbook to use both my airport extreme and my NAS drive as backups seems to work fine I think if I remember correctly you have to make the share/drive private time machine didn't like it without it but it has been awhile so not quite sure on that and if anything has changed

 

I was just thinking about Time Machine.  Thanks for this post.  My last couple drives are finishing Preclear now.  Then I'll be getting the drives assigned and so forth.

 

In my house we have three MacBook Pro's to backup via Time Machine.  Do you know whether I can use one HDD to backup the three devices or are you suggesting that I might be better having three separate HDD's?  I haven't looked much into this part of the set-up yet, so any thoughts you have regarding this would be appreciated.

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10 hours ago, DoItMyselfToo said:

 

I was just thinking about Time Machine.  Thanks for this post.  My last couple drives are finishing Preclear now.  Then I'll be getting the drives assigned and so forth.

 

In my house we have three MacBook Pro's to backup via Time Machine.  Do you know whether I can use one HDD to backup the three devices or are you suggesting that I might be better having three separate HDD's?  I haven't looked much into this part of the set-up yet, so any thoughts you have regarding this would be appreciated.

Although I don't have more than 1 mac pointed to this drive I don't see why you couldn't just point to it individually from each machine but not sure as I did a disk share or just create 3 different shares on a drive i.e. mac 1, mac 2, mac 3 and just select the right share from each pc, when you setup shares under AFP you will have the option to export to time machine as a test I just changed export on one of my shares and it does show up on my mac as a drive option in time machine

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5 hours ago, mrbilky said:

Although I don't have more than 1 mac pointed to this drive I don't see why you couldn't just point to it individually from each machine but not sure as I did a disk share or just create 3 different shares on a drive i.e. mac 1, mac 2, mac 3 and just select the right share from each pc, when you setup shares under AFP you will have the option to export to time machine as a test I just changed export on one of my shares and it does show up on my mac as a drive option in time machine

Helpful.  I appreciate you.  Hopefully I can take some time to get this set-up within the next couple days.  Thanks.

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