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Need some advice on how to set up my Gen8


john_who
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Hi everyone,

 

thank you for supporting this incredible forum with really valuable information!

 

I recently bought my first microserver - it's the G1610T Gen8. Currently it is waiting for me to configure it and that's why I would like to request some help and advice.

 

Currently I am using WD MyBook Live 2TB Nas. It serves me well, although it is not very powerful. I use it to store my audio files collection and to stream audio and video files directly to my network media player via Twonky DLNA server. I also use it for seedbox with Transmission and it is seeding torrents 24/7.

 

The problem is that I don't have any form of backup and that's why I decided that it was a time for upgrade. I am not in a hurry and will wait until I have all the parts needed for that upgrade, but the Gen8 itself is a good start. Currently I am setting aside money for hdd's and more ram.

 

I don't have any experience in RAID configurations, but I am eager to learn. I have some knowledge in linux systems, especially Debian, which I want to install on the microserver as main OS. I read about Esxi 5.5 and it's capabilities but the problem is that I don't have any experience with virtualization. I mean, I have used virtual box on my Mac to install linux & windows on it, but aside from that I am a total newbie.

 

Please, give me some advice about what configuration should I set up. I like the idea of learning more about virtualization. For example, I think it would be a nice idea to set up one VM for heavy torrenting, and maybe another for file backups and media streaming. When I am in the mood I could also experiment with new OSes, in the safe net of the VM.

 

Basically, I would like to install 2x3TB WD Red's in RAID 1 configuration and when I run out of space I will buy hdds for slots 3&4. As I said, I will use the Gen8 for the following:

 

-heavy torrenting

-file backups(pictures, audio and video files)

-streaming media at home and on the go. Maybe some transcoding.

-Learn more about VM.

 

Could you please tell what kind of setup you think is best suited for me? Should I stay away from EXSi and only install debian as main os? Should I use the integrated raid controller or rely on the debian's software? Any help and tips will be appreciated.

 

 

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Hi John_who,

 

I was some weeks ago nearly on the same point as you are.

 

First of all, I am not an expert i just learned by doing it.

 

Backup:

What is your plan there? Will you keep the WD MyBook and want to back it up to the 2 server drives? What you should keep in mind with Raid 1 it is no backup strategy. I am using 2 drives but not in a raid. and once a day it will be mirrored by allway sync. The difference is that deleted files will be moved in a special folder and stay there for additional 30 days. In a raid 1 your file is deleted on both drives immediately ...

For hard core backupers ;) it is still a risky setup because if any lightning exident or fire comes to your home, all drives could be killed and your backup is gone ...

So maybe it should be reconsidered.

 

VMs:

I installed Hyper-V on mine and it is running some VMs. It was fun to set it up and it is running now quite smoothly but I learned a lot of new bad words while doing it.

The may question is, do you really need it or do you just want to try it.

For me it would make sense due to the torrent reason. You could assign one of the two NICs directly to your Torrent machine. This would make you sure to have no issues while streaming with the other NIC.

Additionally it will be a difficulty setup for your amount of drives. I have one small but fast one for the Hyper-V and another small but fast one for the VMs. All data are on 2 big ones backuped as I wrote before

 

Would it be an idea to use the MyBooks drives in the Gen8 too or you spend some money for a SDD system drive?

 

 

I hope it was a little help for you.

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Hi there,

my two cents: 

If i were in your position i would probably simply dismantle the NAS, get another 2x2TB drives as you plan already and do a RAIDZ1 with Freenas. (total 3x2tb drives, usable space 4tb)

Would basically solve all your problems.

 

I see no reason at all for you to install an ESXi, especially since you have no knowledge of what you do in that regard, you would probably encounter extremely slow throughput and other problems; a 'change' down the road from ESXi to another system is kinda complex (going back from VM to physical isnt for a beginner) and the tests that you want to do you might as well do them on your own workstation with a vmware desktop product. 

 

I suggest freenas with plugins, for torrenting you have transmission, for backups you have crashplan, for streaming media you've got plex (transcoding included) and for virtualization you've got jails.

Whole package with direct access to disks (RAIDZ1). 

 

Whatever road you decide to take, enjoy! its a nice little system.

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