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Kenmore1981

Hardware page? Will mine work? Is UNRAID for me?

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I was hoping I would be able to come across a list of recommended hardware for unraid.  I didn't find one, so I will ask here.

I currently am using FreeNAS and I am so far out of my league it is crazy.  I am looking for a more simple solution. Basically I want to use this for Data storage and maybe one day setup a Plex server.  I currently have an i3 4370 3.8ghz cpu on a supermicro board, 16gb ECC ddr3 ram and 6 - 2TB WD Red drives running in raid6.  Will this work for what I am looking for or is my hardware not strong enough? OS is currently running on a USB drive and the rig is hooked to a battery backup.

Does this support any type of "shadow copy" or auto backup for PCs? I guess what I am looking for in the end is something to use as storage, Plex server (eventually) and backup for all the computers in the house.

If it can do all of the more simply than FreeNAS then I am all in and will wipe the drives and start all over. I just don't want tog et in over my head again and barely get the thing running due to complexity. If there is a more simple solution, please let me know. Thank you for the help everyone, I am hoping this will work and am excited to give it a shot.

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16 minutes ago, Kenmore1981 said:

I was hoping I would be able to come across a list of recommended hardware for unraid.  I didn't find one, so I will ask here.

I currently am using FreeNAS and I am so far out of my league it is crazy.  I am looking for a more simple solution. Basically I want to use this for Data storage and maybe one day setup a Plex server.  I currently have an i3 4370 3.8ghz cpu on a supermicro board, 16gb ECC ddr3 ram and 6 - 2TB WD Red drives running in raid6.  Will this work for what I am looking for or is my hardware not strong enough? OS is currently running on a USB drive and the rig is hooked to a battery backup.

Does this support any type of "shadow copy" or auto backup for PCs? I guess what I am looking for in the end is something to use as storage, Plex server (eventually) and backup for all the computers in the house.

If it can do all of the more simply than FreeNAS then I am all in and will wipe the drives and start all over. I just don't want tog et in over my head again and barely get the thing running due to complexity. If there is a more simple solution, please let me know. Thank you for the help everyone, I am hoping this will work and am excited to give it a shot.

unRAID will do what you want it to do on your current hardware.  It is more than adequate to get you started.

 

unRAID, as it's name suggests is not RAID.  Each disk in the array has an independent file system and protection against hardware failure comes from one or two parity disks.  You could start simply by using one of your disks as a parity disk and the other for data.  Actually, if I had your hardware and wanted to move to unRAID, I would use the two 2TB disks as data disks and get a much larger parity drive.  The parity drive(s) must be equal to or larger in size than the largest data disk.  For example if you got a 10TB (or any size that makes sense to you like 4, 6 or 8TB) parity drive, you could add many data disks of any size up to 10TB in size as your storage needs grow.  You can't do that with RAID.

 

Your current hardware would make a great data storage and basic Plex server.  You could get a couple of simultaneous transcodes from that CPU with Plex.  If your media can be direct played, no transcoding is needed.

 

As for using the unRAID array for backing up your other PCs, I do this with two PCs and a laptop in my home network.  You can use most backup software to do that and just point it to a backup share on your unRAID array.  I use Acronis True Image on the three machines and they backup automatically every couple of days to my unRAID array. 

 

unRAID does not have anything built into it that will automatically back up your other machines; however there is an extensive selection of Docker applications that run on unRAID and there are backup solutions that allow you to backup your array to many different cloud storage locations.  Parity is not a backup strategy, it protects against hardware failures, you should still back up any important data you have on your unRAID array to the cloud, an external drive (through the Unassigned Devices plugin is the easiest way), etc.

 

You will likely find unRAID to be simpler than FreeNAS for your needs.

 

The best thing about unRAID is this community.  If you get stuck on something, there are many helpful volunteers here to help you through it.

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Thank you Hoopster, I appreciate you responding so quickly.  Quick question on the parity drive sizes.  I would like to throw a couple more drives into the machine. I currently have 6 drives 2TB each.  I would still like to stick to the 2 parity drive idea just for peace of mind.  That being said, if I were to buy 1 8TB drive now and use it as my parity drive could I add a second 8TB later on as a second parity drive?  Based on all of the videos I have watched and reading I have done in the past, I know they say it can be done but it is something that can be done easily?  Or am I better off just waiting and saving up for 2 drives?

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3 minutes ago, Kenmore1981 said:

could I add a second 8TB later on as a second parity drive?

easy

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22 minutes ago, Kenmore1981 said:

Thank you Hoopster, I appreciate you responding so quickly.  Quick question on the parity drive sizes.  I would like to throw a couple more drives into the machine. I currently have 6 drives 2TB each.  I would still like to stick to the 2 parity drive idea just for peace of mind.  That being said, if I were to buy 1 8TB drive now and use it as my parity drive could I add a second 8TB later on as a second parity drive?  Based on all of the videos I have watched and reading I have done in the past, I know they say it can be done but it is something that can be done easily?  Or am I better off just waiting and saving up for 2 drives?

Yes, you can buy 1 now, add one later. The process is quite simple. It is exactly what I did (started with 1 parity drive, added a second a year or so ago).

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2 hours ago, Kenmore1981 said:

f I were to buy 1 8TB drive now and use it as my parity drive could I add a second 8TB later on as a second parity drive?

I think you have your answer 😀

 

Very easily done later. 

 

As I said, it's a great community and, if things get more complex or you need help troubleshooting a problem, people like @trurl and others are here to help and do a great job.

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