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  #1  
Old 02-16-2017, 03:04 PM
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dealsdyker dealsdyker is offline
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Question Unraid Hardware - What did you do?

Hi, I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with my legacy "self built" WHS v1 environment. It has been rock solid for years running both NAS and SageTV for WHS. The EGP announcement has me deciding to do something.

I've decided I'll probably go with unraid. Did you buy hardware from newegg? Was it a budget desktop build or a server build?

I'm also looking at the Dell T130 as there is a deal on it right now with a xeon processor for $450 plus taxes after coupon server200. But it is limited to 4 drives and it is an actual server which may be deeper or more complicated or "more enterprise" than I really wanted to go since it is a real server with tons of settings, which seems a little daunting. Also I really don't know how to confirm if Unraid would work on that server? It does have an internal USB port.

Advice please? I don't have a spare desktop sitting to try unraid on.

My use will be NAS, SageTV, Crashplan, and probably a minecraft server. I'd like to keep it rather simple and not be tweaking or monkeying with it once it is up. WHS has been that way for me. Will Unraid be like that?
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:12 AM
dgeezer dgeezer is offline
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I went the old desktop route. I am using a 3 to 4 year old lenovo desktop. The only parts that are original is the power supply, motherboard and ram. I took out the original windows harddrive and kept it thinking that I might eventually build a new system and could just put the Hdd back in and return this to being a windows pc.

It's a Lenovo H430 I3-2130 with 6gb ram. I've added a 512gb Sdd as a cache drive and 2 6TB WD Red drives. I don't currently run any vm's just dockers. I have SageTV, Crashplan, emby and plex servers, Sonarr and nzbget. Probably, the only thing that runs on my server that requires much cpu power is comskip and it runs very well. I think that any modern cheap desktop would be fine. Most of the high end commercial Nas units (Qnap, Synology) use celeron motherboards.

Unraid has been truly simple to keep running. The web interface is very well laid out. The unraid community is very good. I ran a self built linux media server for a couple years before unraid. I think that even if I only value my leisure time at $1.00 per hour unraid has already paid for itself.....
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:15 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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I went the old desktop route as well but my hardware was fairly fast as this system has an i5-2500K CPU. The one downside is that my microATX mobo "only" supports 6 drives with 2x6Gbps SATA ports. But mechanical hard drives don't need the faster SATA ports. But if TB sized SSDs become economical in a few years then I might wish it had more - but you can always add them with PCIe boards.

You might want more memory if you plan to run some other stuff on the box such as VMs. I hope to be able to run WHS2011 on this box to do client backups - note that there are people here, like BobPhoenix, running WHSv1 in WMs on unRAID.

unRAID is also useful to run other server types of stuff. I have Unifi networking hardware and it has Controller software that I run on my unRAID box. I also may run a server hardware for IP cameras.

The server hardware you quote may make a lot of sense since the CPU and mobos are better set up for stuff like VMs. Hopefully BobPhoenix will chime in here as he knows this stuff very well. IMHO you are going to want an SSD as a cache driver for fast access for stuff like the SageTV app. Then you are going to want at least three data drives - a parity drive and a could of drives for data. If you are buying new then you can get really big ones as mentioned above. Or if you don't have a ton of files then maybe 3x4TB makes sense as 4TB seems to currently be the sweet spot for $/TB.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:48 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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A couple years ago I had purchased some older Core 2 eara server/workstation parts on eBay. It's a dual quad-core Xeon with an 8 port SAS/SATA card for the drive array.

I've got most things running from docker containers. Just decomissioned one of my vm's yesterday after dockerizing my passion project Node.js web app. Now down two 2 vm's. A Ubuntu Server vm for doing my own SageTV builds and a macOS vm for running an Apple VPN server. I would strictly use OpenVPN but no matter what port I put it on it's somehow being blocked through my employer's network. For whatever reason IPsec VPN's like Apple's work fine.

Anyway, it works really well. If you don't have any spare hardware just lying around I would recommend finding some used server hardware. It can be had for a relatively inexpensive cost.
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Client 2: HD200 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 1080p LCD
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:01 AM
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dealsdyker dealsdyker is offline
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My concern with the Dell T130 is the lack of SATA. It is limited to 4. Everything else about it would be great. And the power supply in the unit is proprietary it powers the motherboard through a proprietary plug then the motherboard further powers up the drives. In other words it is a very non-standard PSU So it would take some hacking for power and an additional SATA PCIe card to get more than 4 drives. And then I wonder if I would be really buying the wrong box and future headaches due to lack of ESATA even though it is a fancy "server" with a nice powerful v5 xeon processor.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:11 AM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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I tend to choose hardware based on the largest load I want to handle. The last time I built a server I wanted it to be able to handle four transcoding streams at once (remote streaming). Passmark scores gave me a rough idea of the CPU requirements. For a motherboard I like to have all (or close to it) the capabilities of the chipset exposed. Memory I just fill up with modules tested to work with the board, (fill them so I don't have to worry about trying to find the same modules later; I've had some not-so-great experiences with non-QVL modules or mixing brands of modules even if they are supposed to have the same timings and voltage requirements). Besides, if you're running a Minecraft server, more memory is a good thing, (and you may need extra CPU power depending on how many players you intend to have on at once).

Don't let a server MB scare you; most of the time I just keep the options on the default.

Most of my stuff was bought a generation or two old. It my not be as efficient, but costs less and probably any compatibility issues have been worked out. After that it's harder to find things and costs can even increase!
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:13 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealsdyker View Post
My concern with the Dell T130 is the lack of SATA. It is limited to 4. Everything else about it would be great. And the power supply in the unit is proprietary it powers the motherboard through a proprietary plug then the motherboard further powers up the drives. In other words it is a very non-standard PSU So it would take some hacking for power and an additional SATA PCIe card to get more than 4 drives. And then I wonder if I would be really buying the wrong box and future headaches due to lack of ESATA even though it is a fancy "server" with a nice powerful v5 xeon processor.
If the 4 drive bays are a concern then you're probably better off with something else. I've not seen the internal layout but because this is a proprietary solution you're probably not going to be able to cram any more drives in there than the 4. If I were you I would try and find a machine with more drive bays.
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Client 2: HD300 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia 65" 1080p LCD and optical SPDIF to a Sony Receiver
Client 2: HD200 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 1080p LCD
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:57 AM
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dealsdyker dealsdyker is offline
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I really appreciate everyone's feedback. A deal (see here) literally just materialized on the T20. There hasn't been a deal on that from Dell since dell discontinued the T20 in December. I just bought it.

Supports 6 drives and I don't need to build it. So 4 drives for storage and 2 SSD for cache eventually.
(four 3.5” SATA hard drives stock two 2.5” SATA hard drives with expansion kit and with additional controller card)

Processor Benchmark here

Read more about the T20 at this Dell link. Here are the Dell Specs at a glance.

Module Description
Embedded Systems Management Intel Active Management Technology
PowerEdge T20 PowerEdge T20 with 3.5" 1TB SATA HDD, 4GB DIMM, Xeon E3-1225 v3 3.2GHz 4C 84W CPU, DVD
Shipping PowerEdge T20 Shipping
Processor Intel Xeon E3-1225 v3 3.2GHz, 8M Cache, Quad Core (84W)
Memory Capacity 4GB (1x4G) 1600Mhz Single Rank x4 Data Width UDIMM LowVolt
RAID Configuration Onboard SATA, HDD connected to onboard SATA Controller - No RAID
Hard Drives 1TB 7.2K RPM SATA Entry 3.5in Cabled Hard Drive
Internal Optical Drive DVD+/-RW, SATA, Internal
Power Cords US Power Cord, 125V, 6 Foot
Operating System No Operating System
Service 1Yr Basic Hardware Warranty Repair: 5x10 HW-Only, 5x10 NBD Parts
Deployment Services No Installation
Remote Consulting Services Declined Remote Consulting Service
TOTAL: $279.00
Free 2nd business day shipping for all Dell Advantage customers

Tax* $16.75

Total Price1 $295.75
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2017, 07:09 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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My VM server was inspired by posts from this thread on the unRAID forums:
https://lime-technology.com/forum/in...?topic=46077.0

Basically I bought 2x E5-2670 CPUs off of eBay for $70each, an ASRock EP2C602-4L/D16 MB for $450 (looks like it's down to about 350 now), 128GB memory off eBay that fits it for about $120-200, 2 Noctua NH-U9DXi4 90mm SSO2 CPU Coolers, Seasonic X-1050 power supply, Norco 4224 case and a 25U rack. The MB has 14 Sata ports although the 4 off the Marvel 9230 really were not usable acceptably because of the Marvel/Virtulization/Linux bug so am only using the remaining 10 since I wanted to use PCI pass through of tuners, Sata controllers and nics to VMs. This one is running 24x7x365.

As a backup I bought MB/CPU/Memory deal from Natex similar to this:
http://www.natex.us/category-s/1885.htm
But with the correct version of the E5 processor. I got the SR0KX not the SR0H8 in the link which I'm almost positive does NOT do PCI pass through.

The other 3 unRAID servers I have are my original ESXi servers on Tyan S5512 MBs and E3-1230 v1 Xeon CPUs. On one I had 32GB of memory as it was my original VM server and that one is where I have another SageTV docker installed and is running 24x7x365. The other 2 only have 16GB of memory and currently spend most (80-90%) of the time turned off completely. I use the IPMI built into the Tyan MBs to power them up when I need to access the videos on them.

As you can tell I have Server grade hardware on my servers. It is usually a little more stable and all support ECC memory. ECC memory can be thought of as RAID for memory. It provides error correcting capabilities for your memory so that if you have some memory bits that flip randomly they can usually be corrected. Memory that changes randomly can cause weird problems including bad recordings and even system crashes.

With that said I know a lot of folks on the unRAID forums use Desktop MBs and processors and have few problems. You can also get lemons with anything you purchase. You could by the best grade server components and still end up with an unworkable system. I've had good luck with my Server hardware (close to 0% failure rate) and not so good luck with some Desktop system components (5% failure rate). I would go with what you feel comfortable with. If you have a desktop that has been running fine and it is possible to convert it to work with unRAID the way you want then go for it.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2017, 06:47 AM
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Tomahawk51 Tomahawk51 is offline
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Largely based on input from experts around here, I also built a Dual Core Xeon setup, buying a refurb CPU+mobo+RAM combo from Natex, a new PSU that has 2 CPU power cords (Corsair 750) and a Norco Case - I forget which but not the one with hotswap drive bays.

It is overkill, but such stability and general solid operation is really nice. Combined with the abstraction for Unraid to Docker or VMs, which I now have a few running, I'm very pleased with this.

My ONLY consideration is whether I can do more tweaking on the power side. I mean, I have 2 CPUs going all the time, etc. I've set the mobo to be most power efficient, but it's on my to-do list to look into this further.

Overall, would do it again the way BobPhoenix outlined. Do make sure you understand the details like ECC, PSU CPU leads x2, CPU Coolers that fit (vs. my cooler master towers that BARELY do). This path required me to do more reading, but I enjoyed the learnings and am happy for the result.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2017, 08:32 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomahawk51 View Post
My ONLY consideration is whether I can do more tweaking on the power side. I mean, I have 2 CPUs going all the time, etc. I've set the mobo to be most power efficient, but it's on my to-do list to look into this further.
As long as you have Speed Step enabled in the BIOS unRAID should automatically be lowering the clock speed of the CPU's when not under high load. This lowers the amount of power required by the CPU's. And I believe the Core i CPU's can do this on a per core basis. Honestly there's not really much else you can do beyond that.
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Client 2: HD300 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia 65" 1080p LCD and optical SPDIF to a Sony Receiver
Client 2: HD200 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 1080p LCD
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:01 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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But do the Xeon processors do this as well or are server class CPUs not really set up for saving power?
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:18 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
But do the Xeon processors do this as well or are server class CPUs not really set up for saving power?
Xeon CPU's have all the features of their desktop counterparts. The difference is that they have a larger cache which is more helpful for server workloads.
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Client 2: HD200 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 1080p LCD
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2017, 07:22 PM
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Tomahawk51 Tomahawk51 is offline
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Thanks for the tip on SpeedStep. Something to look at the next time I restart Unraid (and blissfully I rarely need to do that, so it may be a while).
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