Moving Over From Windows 10 / Drivepool, How to Setup Unraid for Similar Functionality


DrivePool9015

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So I'm planning to move over from a ~50TB Windows 10 / Stablebits DrivePool solution to full Unraid system as my general / media server. I was first thinking of just running a Win10 VM inside Unraid to keep things working perfectly with DrivePool but figured I might as well switch to a full docker system given many others seem to have done that to great fanfare, and just occasionally run a Win10 VM for random odd programs I use. I found a guide / Youtube video to walk me through transferring my gigantic Plex library metadata without rebuilding it from scratch which was honestly my biggest obstacle given the hundreds of hours I've spent customizing art work / collections / metadata / false matches, as well as Reddit guide to transfer over all the various Plex-related database programs like Radarr/Sonarr/Tautulli etc.

 

My new server I'm building is a small ITX 8-bay system and I'm limited by 9 total SATA ports (8 for 3.5" Reds and 1 extra for a 2.5" SSD) + one NVMe 3.0 M.2 slot.

My current Windows / DrivePool setup is as follows:

  • The master DrivePool disk has four folders: Movies, TV Shows, Music and Downloads
    • Movies and TV Shows are the root folders that feed into Plex library and entirely managed by Radarr/Sonarr naming / import rules
    • Music is the root folder that contains the master iTunes install which Plex reads for source music. I entirely manage my music library by formatting the metadata using a Windows tag editor then automatically dropping those files into the iTunes import watch folder ("Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Automatically Add to iTunes") which renames and imports it into iTunes' own folder structure ("Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music", which is the source Plex directory as well)
    • Downloads is my seeding folder for all perma-seed activity on private trackers as well as random files I have yet to import into Radarr / Sonarr (i.e. "Downloads/Sonarr/TO IMPORT" is generally my manual import location)
  • I have folder-based rules setup in DrivePool to allocate similar files to specific disks (Disk #1-6 are 8TB Reds, Disk #7-8 are 4TB Reds)
    • TV Shows first fill up #1-3 so that seasons generally install on the same physical drive with ability to spillover to Drives #4-6 if 1-3 are filled
    • "Movies" similarly fill up Drive #4-6 but if those drives are full, it can spillover to Drives #1-3. Music is <1TB and also sits on Drive #6 exclusively.
    • Disk #7-8 serve as my exclusive torrent / pre-Radarr/Sonarr import folder where ~2-3TB of torrents in QbitTorrent perma-seed, a bunch of unfinished downloads and random media files I need to transcode to HEVC before getting imported into Sonarr
  • I use Stablebits Scanner alongside Drivepool to check the sector health of all my drives, and historically it has evacuated any drives on major errors into the other pools allowing me to remove the drive / RMA it and insert a new drive in

 

As I move over to Unraid, my end goal is to just replicate DrivePool functionality while also taking advantage of Unraid features like "cache drive", docker containers etc. My goal would be to have the least amount of disks always spinning to conserve power / HDD disk usage (i.e. setup a cache drive in the 2.5" SATA slot that captures all the writes and then moves them over to the spinner array nightly/weekly). My questions are below:

 

  1. Given I only have 1 NVMe slot, what should that drive be setup for? I was thinking the ~200-300GB Plex metadata location, all the Docker containers and the Windows 10 VM could all sit on this ~1TB drive but let me know if this is the wrong way to think about Unraid
  2. How do I setup a "cache drive" (presumably with the spare 2.5" SSD SATA slot) to prevent HDDs from spinning? Can I set it up so that all Radarr/Sonarr imports first write to this cache drive, then at 5am it moves them off the SSD to "Disk #1-#6" in my array? Otherwise all new Downloads should reside on just Disk #7-8 (2*4TB Reds) until I delete them / import them etc.
  3. How do I setup my 8-HDD array for Plex media so that it obeys generic grouping rules (i.e. TV seasons mostly install on one physical disk instead of spreading across the array)
  4. How do I setup my "Downloads" folder (previously using my 2*4TB Reds) so that if I'm seeding on qBitTorrent, it only spins up that drive? I'm unfamiliar with permissions between "Shares" and how Docker containers interact with all the various moving pieces
  5. I can't seem to think of a good alternative to my existing Windows-based music workflow, which is managed solely by iTunes. Does anyone have a good idea of how to manage my music management without just running a Windows 10 VM 24/7? Should I have Lidarr look at my entire root directory of Plex Music and then allow Lidarr to rename files moving forward?
  6. I'm very used to be able to copy and paste files between folders across my DrivePool array using Windows Explorer. Does this same functionality exist within Unraid's web access? Is there a docker container for file management in the webOS itself?
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First and foremost I highly recommend you check out the "Guides" Section of the forums if you havent already. Especially the videos by @SpaceInvaderOne 

There are guides for most of this setup stuff that are far better than I could give. I will try to point you in the right direction on a couple of these points.

On 11/28/2020 at 5:45 PM, DrivePool9015 said:
  1. How do I setup a "cache drive" (presumably with the spare 2.5" SSD SATA slot) to prevent HDDs from spinning? Can I set it up so that all Radarr/Sonarr imports first write to this cache drive, then at 5am it moves them off the SSD to "Disk #1-#6" in my array? Otherwise all new Downloads should reside on just Disk #7-8 (2*4TB Reds) until I delete them / import them etc.

What you are describing here is more or less the main purpose of the Cache drive. You should find a wealth of guides on how to do this but the basics are, you can have a User share that includes only Disks 1-6 and is set to use cache. Anything written into that share will go first to the Cache drive then be moved to the array whenever you schedule the mover to run. 

On 11/28/2020 at 5:45 PM, DrivePool9015 said:
  1. How do I setup my 8-HDD array for Plex media so that it obeys generic grouping rules (i.e. TV seasons mostly install on one physical disk instead of spreading across the array)

The feature your are looking for is use share "split level", the specifics can be a little complicated sounding but again there are plenty of guilds.

On 11/28/2020 at 5:45 PM, DrivePool9015 said:
  1. How do I setup my "Downloads" folder (previously using my 2*4TB Reds) so that if I'm seeding on qBitTorrent, it only spins up that drive? I'm unfamiliar with permissions between "Shares" and how Docker containers interact with all the various moving pieces

Generically speaking you map individual folders in the system into the docker container. The folders can be at any level in the user share system and the user share drive spanning is transparent to the application within the container. The disks in your array can be setup to only spin up when actively being accessed (read or write). Again there should be plenty of guides with specifics.

On 11/28/2020 at 5:45 PM, DrivePool9015 said:
  1. I'm very used to be able to copy and paste files between folders across my DrivePool array using Windows Explorer. Does this same functionality exist within Unraid's web access? Is there a docker container for file management in the webOS itself?

Unraid has no built in webbased file browser. There are a number of docker containers that can serve a web based file browser (dolphin is one i think) but they do not integrate with the unRAID GUI. There is the midnight commandeer tool on the command line. And you can also move files remotely via windows explorer to the SMB shares. Depending on the source and target directories/Disks for the copy or move operations via SMB your performance may vary. 

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