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paradox

Where to go from the Gen8?

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paradox

I love the Gen8, it's my first dedicated server unit and I've really enjoyed playing with it and modding it, learnt a lot of stuff from it etc - not like I'm new to building PC's or anything, my main PC is watercooled and everything, but I'd never dabbled with server hardware before. To this day it runs my Plex server with 58TB of storage on FreeNAS (although since I'm using ZFS I don't get that full capacity, but that's the total HDD capacity anyway.)

 

I'm actually running out of space! And I don't think FreeNAS can handle more space with the 16gig of RAM I have in the Gen8, and because it only has two slots I can't add more - so, back to the main question, where do I go from here? All I know is blade / rack servers look intimidating and scary compared to my Gen8 - also much more expensive. What are my options? 

 

When I was recently purchasing a new Gen8, I noticed the 'Gen10' and almost went for that, until I read some pretty terrible things about it, most importantly, to quote from another topic on here, "Processor soldered to motherboard, so you can forget upgrading down the line. (This also means that a Gen 8 upgraded with a Xeon is going to completely smoke even the top-end Gen 10)." And my Gen8 has a Xeon, so I guess the Gen10 is out? 

 

Am I looking at getting into rack/blade servers? Should I buy a huge tower case with 20 internal drive bays or something and build my own, is that possible? Can you buy 'server' motherboards to do just that, or do you just use 'regular' PC motherboards? Some advice on where to go from here would be great. I don't have a lot of money to spend, and these blade/rack servers I've seen seem to go into the thousands! why are they so expensive? They don't even come with hard drives! My Gen8 has about £2,000 worth of drives in it, and the unit itself only cost about £100!

 

Thanks in advance for any help guys.

Edited by paradox

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depillow

There are several choices for you out there. For Plex you need plenty of processing cores and memory not to mention the speed of the hard drive. That said if you go with a server platform from HP you might just find something that would fit this.

 

Blade servers are not for Plex

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paradox
7 minutes ago, depillow said:

There are several choices for you out there. For Plex you need plenty of processing cores and memory not to mention the speed of the hard drive. That said if you go with a server platform from HP you might just find something that would fit this.

 

Blade servers are not for Plex

 

And I'm asking for some specific suggestions here really, 'more cpu, ram' isn't really very helpful, but thanks.

 

I use WD Red 6TB drives, and I've got 4x M9T 2TB ones internally in the Gen8. Just took some pics of my Gen8 setup here: https://imgur.com/a/bM3bm

 

5SbBXgy.jpg

 

V59V6Om.jpg

 

cVyWtMf.jpg

 

And some shots of the 'new' model (just some cosmetic changes it seems, minor, can't see any difference on the board at a glance but I didn't pull it out and compare.

 

https://imgur.com/a/A5KHX

 

Edited by paradox
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paradox
2 minutes ago, depillow said:

Where are you located?

 

England

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depillow

Give me a little while and I will get you a picture of something that might give you an idea.

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schoondoggy

How fast is your data growing? If you have 58TB raw disk today, how much do you think you will need 3-5 years from now? Do you want to migrate all of your existing disks or start with all new disks?

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paradox
55 minutes ago, schoondoggy said:

How fast is your data growing? If you have 58TB raw disk today, how much do you think you will need 3-5 years from now? Do you want to migrate all of your existing disks or start with all new disks?

 

Not as fast now that I've got nearly every movie/tv show currently out for my Plex that I want, (1065 movies, 142 tv shows).

 

On the ibm m1015 card I've got as you can see from the images a cable going externally to 4x 6TB drives in an icydock cage, and the other port goes to 4x 2TB M9Ts internally mounted on your bracket (:D!), I was thinking of ditching the internal drives / bracket and getting another external cage and switching out those M9Ts for another 4x 6TB WD Reds, which should give me enough additional storage for at least 5 years I would imagine. 

 

I'd want to migrate the existing disks, it would take too long / be too costly to transfer all that data to new drives, even if I just bought a ton of drives from amazon to do the transfer, then returned them for a refund, far too much hassle. But like I say with regards to FreeNAS, I think I'm already maxed out on the reccommended drive space for the amount of RAM I have, or maybe close, this is what the site has to say on the matter:

 

Quote

How Much RAM is needed?

FreeNAS requires 8 GB of RAM for the base configuration. If you are using plugins and/or jails, 12 GB is a better starting point. There’s a lot of advice about how RAM hungry ZFS is, how it requires massive amounts of RAM, an oft quoted number is 1GB RAM per TB of storage. The reality is, it’s complicated. ZFS does require a base level of RAM to be stable, and the amount of RAM it needs to be stable does grow with the size of the storage. 8GB of RAM will get you through the 24TB range. Beyond that 16GB is a safer minimum, and once you get past 100TB of storage, 32GB is recommended. However, that’s just to satisfy the stability side of things. ZFS performance lives and dies by its caching. There are no good guidelines for how much cache a given storage size with a given number of simultaneous users will need. You can have a 2TB array with 3 users that needs 1GB of cache, and a 500TB array with 50 users that need 8GB of cache. Neither of those scenarios are likely, but they are possible. The optimal cache size for an array tends to increase with the size of the array, but outside of that guidance, the only thing we can recommend is to measure and observe as you go. FreeNAS includes tools in the GUI and the command line to see cache utilization. If your cache hit ratio is below 90%, you will see performance improvements by adding cache to the system in the form of RAM or SSD L2ARC (dedicated read cache devices in the pool).

 

Edited by paradox

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paradox
32 minutes ago, schoondoggy said:

If you are considering building a server, you should look at some of the new Intel Atom C3000 based boards:

http://b2b.gigabyte.com/Server-Motherboard/MA10-ST0-rev-11#ov

 

Oh this looks great, 4x SAS ports and a PCIe slot for another 2x on my Servraid card, 4 RAM slots, perfect - I take it the SoC isn't replaceable? How does it compare to my Xeon E3-1230 v2?

 

I'd just need to find a suitably huge tower with 16 internal drive bays, do those exist? *googles*

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