My first Unraid Built


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Hi,

 

As the title subjects, this is going to be my very first unraid built. Last time I built a machine was 10 years ago for my gaming tower.

 

I have been looking around the forum for quite some time now and I think I am close to have sorted out the components I need based on my usage.

 

Speaking of usage my current setup is composed of:

 

  • Surface Go as primary machine, hooked up to a USB-C dock for screen, mouse and keyboard. This allows me to switch from my personal device (surface go) and my working PC provided by my company that is also usb-c capable
  • DS 209II+ with 1 TB storage capacity. This is one of the main reason for my built, the NAS is full and not supported anymore by Synology thus I do not have access to the new cool features such as Docker. Based on this, long term support is a big criteria for me. I also use it to backup the photos of the smartphones of the household.
  • Raspberry pi acting as DNS server with Pi Hole and VPN server with open VPN
  • Shadow PC subscription for gaming, obviously I cannot game on my surface go thus Shadow PC is handy. If I can (may be a bit later) have room for a gaming VM and cancel this subscription is would be great.

 

At this point I have narrowed down my part list to:

 

  • X11SCA-F motherboard: I choose this one for the PCi x16 port (for futur GPU), dual M2 slots for cache drives, 8 Sata ports and IPMI since the NAS will be stored in the garage
  • Xeon E-2176G CPU: the idea is to use the onboard iGPU for plex transcoding
  • Dual M2 for cache drives but no idea at this point for the brand, likely 1TB drives
  • RAM: ECC of course but not sure if I can start with 32GB (2x 16) and then upgrade to 64 (4x 16) not sure if it is enough

 

I also plan to run Next Cloud to backup the smartphones.

 

Any, feedback is welcome, I will update this thread with my progress.

 

Regards

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Thanks for your feedback.

 

In the mean time, I have red the motherboard manual and found out that one of the M.2 slots share it PCIe lanes with the PCIe x4 slot that I was planning to use for LSI extension card to add more drives in the (distant) future. Thus I might need to fallback to two sata SSDs for cache drives. Still looking into this, any thoughts are welcome.

 

I also looked into the cases. I was planning to use a "nas friendly" case, but since this built will be into the garage I do not really care about the esthetic. The supermicro GS5A-753B is growing on me. It lacks the "hot swap" feature that would be very handy for a NAS build but will accomodate a full size GPU card and is compatible with the motherboard. The price is not that bad neither. I wonder if i could repurpose the dual 5.25" bay to hot swap 3.5" drives bay.

 

Regards

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Update on the part list thus far with prices:

 

  • Motherboard: Supermicro X11SCA-F - 320
  • CPU: Intel Xeon E-2176G - 470€ (the 2288G and 2278G are way to much expensive for two additional cores)
  • RAM: I know I want to go for 2x 32GB but since the recommended SKU on the supermicro site is nowhere to be found I wonder if I case go for anything (let me know if someone has a clue)
  • Case: Supermicro GS5A-753B - 240€ , I figure that it is as good as any case and will not have any "bad surprise" with the compatibility with the motherboard. Since the MB "only" has 8 SATA ports, there is more than enough room in this case
  • Cache drives: as for the RAM, I wonder if I should stick to supermicro recommendation since the Intel M.2 SSD is almost twice the price compared to other brands. Again, if anyone has an advice.
  • Hard drives: I plan to start with 2x 8TB or 10TB drives (one for parity and one for data) and add more disks when required.

 

For the sake of comparison, my initial plan was to purchase a Synology 1019+ that has 5 bays and can also host cache SSDs. It can run docker and (in theory) VMs. It costs around 800€. 

My build (missing the RAM) is 320+470+240=1030€, I think it will go up to 1300€ with the RAM. So around 60% more expensive but it does not compare in terms of horse power.

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49 minutes ago, AL_Fonce said:

RAM: I know I want to go for 2x 32GB but since the recommended SKU on the supermicro site is nowhere to be found I wonder if I case go for anything (let me know if someone has a clue)

I don't know what Supermicro has on their QVL, but I am using the Samsung M391A4G43MB1-CTD 32GB ECC modules on an ASRock E3C246D4U MB with the Xeon E-2288G.

 

They work great and have dropped $50 in price in the last month here in the U.S.

 

https://memory.net/product/m391a4g43mb1-ctd-samsung-1x-32gb-ddr4-2666-ecc-udimm-pc4-21300v-e-dual-rank-x8-module/

 

There is also the Nemix "replacement" for the Samsung modules that some were using when it was cheaper, but, it now costs more than the Samsung modules.

 

https://www.amazon.com/NEMIX-Replacement-Samsung-M391A4G43MB1-CTD-DDR4-2666/dp/B07YXBHXN7

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Hi,

 

The more I read the forum, the more it is complicated to fix my BOM, so many possibilities with Unraid 🙂

 

I have dug a bit the storage options and came to the following conclusion. Well before conclusions, first my findings.

 

According to what I have read in several threats, it seems that the performance gain is quite minimum between a SATA SSD and NVMe SSD when it comes to cache.

 

With this in mind, I ran some tests in my home. My synology NAS is currently seating in the  garage and even though is it connected by RJ45 cables, the cabling is a far from perfect. When using the "LAN Speed Test" tool, I've got around 55Mbps in writing and reading speeds over wifi and around 250Mbps in writing and reading speed over Ethernet.

 

With this in mind and the fact that the motherboard I chooses has 8 sata ports my conclusion is:

 

  • 5 HDD for the array, might start with "only" 3x 8TB HDD (one for parity and two for data), I'll upgrade with additional HDD when needed
  • 2x SATA SSD for Cache

This leaves me room for future upgrades:

  • 1x M.2 NVMe SSD for the windows Virtual Machine
  • 1x SATA SSD for Plex data if i want to use Plex one day

By using only one M.2 slot, it frees up the PCIe 4X slot to I would be able to use it in the future for a LSI card.

 

Regards

 

PS: I use this thread both for keeping track of the build process and in the (unlikely) even that someone else would consider a similar built. 

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3 hours ago, AL_Fonce said:

According to what I have read in several threats, it seems that the performance gain is quite minimum between a SATA SSD and NVMe SSD when it comes to cache.

What? Who says that? I started last year with two SATA SSDs building the cache pool. Later I changed that to two M.2 NVMe connected to PCIe x4 slots. If I remember correctly read performance changed from 500 MB/s to 2700 MB/s.

 

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24 minutes ago, hawihoney said:

What? Who says that? I started last year with two SATA SSDs building the cache pool. Later I changed that to two M.2 NVMe connected to PCIe x4 slots. If I remember correctly read performance changed from 500 MB/s to 2700 MB/s.

 

Thanks for the feedback, I might have misread, will look into it again. This beging said, for NAS usage my crappy home network will never deliver this kind of creasy speeds. My last test in the garage with the pc hooked to the same switch as the NAS picked at 270Mbps.

 

I am sure that it would be great for thinks happening inside the NAS itself, this is why I want to have the option of using the 4x M.2 slot for a NVMe SSD for a windows VM.

 

What kind of other applications would benefit of such high speeds for cache drives.

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17 hours ago, AL_Fonce said:

What kind of other applications would benefit of such high speeds for cache drives.

Plex, Plex, Plex and MariaDB for Nextcloud ;-)

 

It was a HUGE difference between running the Plex docker on a SATA SSD or on a NVMe M.2 on a PCIe x4. Can't write HUGE big enough.

 

In Nextcloud I'm using External Storage that points to the array. I can't make that faster. But the search performance is way better now.

 

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2 hours ago, hawihoney said:

Plex, Plex, Plex and MariaDB for Nextcloud ;-)

 

It was a HUGE difference between running the Plex docker on a SATA SSD or on a NVMe M.2 on a PCIe x4. Can't write HUGE big enough.

 

In Nextcloud I'm using External Storage that points to the array. I can't make that faster. But the search performance is way better now.

 

Do you mean that Plex and MariaDB (somehow) share the NVMe drive or do you have one drive for each?

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19 minutes ago, AL_Fonce said:

Do you mean that Plex and MariaDB (somehow) share the NVMe drive

If your appdata share is on the cache drive (as it should be if you have an SSD), all the docker containers will have their configuration files and db on the same cache drive (whether it is SATA for NVMe).  You can even make any shares you wish 'cache only' which means the files in those share will also be only on the cache drive.  

 

For users heavily into multiple VMs, there are instances where each VM has its own unassigned devices SSD.

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On 4/28/2020 at 4:36 PM, AL_Fonce said:

Do you mean that Plex and MariaDB (somehow) share the NVMe drive or do you have one drive for each?

Both are Docker containers and are running on my cache pool. My cache pool (BTRFS RAID1) is build from two NVMe M.2 devices.

 

 

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Update on the BOM:

 

  • Motherboard: Supermicro X11SCA-F 320€

  • CPU: Intel Xeon E-2278G 650€

  • RAM: MicronMTA18ADF2G72AZ-2G6E1 200€*2 = 400€

  • Case: SupermicroGS5A-753B 240€

  • HDD: Ironwolf 8TBST8000VN004 255€*3 = 765€

  • SSD: CrucialCrucial MX500 2.5" 1To 133€*2 = 266€

  • USB: keySandiskSDCZ33-032G-G35 17€

  • CPU Cooler : no idea at this point, I might have to order everything in order to measure the clearance since I was not able to find any details

Total: 2770€

 

This is way more than I planed to spend on this project, but if I compare it a o close pre-built competitor, the Synology SA3400 cost above 6000€ so the DIY price is not that bad.

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  • 1 month later...

Quick update.

 

I have put together the motherboard, the CPU and the RAM on made so measurements inside and outside the case to try to find a compatible CPU cooler.

 

I have settled of a Noctua NH-D15S even if I am not 100% it will work.

 

Did not foreseen that the CPU cooler choice would be such a pain.

20200702_195654.jpg

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At long last, the beast is up and running. Turns out I was overthinking the CPU cooler choice way to much.

 

For now I did not do any cable management, just power it up and start the Pre Clear of the 2 8TB drives. This will take the better part of the day.

 

Once done, I plan to use Krusader to move my date from the old Synology to Unraid.

20200705_150300.jpg

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3 hours ago, jonathanm said:

and tomorrow.

I was hopping that the night would be enough but I just checked and after 7 hours I am only at 70% of the Pre-Read phase. On the bright side, both 8TB drives are being pre cleared at the same time so I "should" be able to move data around tomorrow evening.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, my server has been up and running for about a week now.

 

Since I have installed it in my attic, the IPMI feature of the Supermicro motherboard comes in handy. Quick tip, the password for the IPMI is on a sticker on the motherboard.

 

Thus far thanks to @SpaceInvaderOne tutorials I have able to configure various dockers:

 

  • DuckDNS
  • Krusader
  • Sonarr / Radarr / Jacket / Deluge VPN

I am working now on installing and configuring:

  • Plex (I want to use my CPU iGPU for transcoding, I have tested a software transcode but it eats up all the CPU)
  • Nexcloud
  • Minecraft server for the kids (turns out it is way more complicated than I anticipated because they are playing on a Nintendo switch)

All in all, I have very happy with my setup. I have ordered a third drive and will migrate my data out of my Synology once it will be installed.

 

I have not tried the French interface yet, I stick to English for now but might give it a try later on.

 

I also plan to install a GPU and run a gaming VM on the server, but I might be a project for after the vacations.

Edited by AL_Fonce
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