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Questions regarding Gen 8....


amunchy
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Good Afternoon Team,

 

I have a few questions, where I am hoping that the community could help me :)

 

Context, I bought a Gen 8 and 4 x 4TB WD Red Hard Drives and wanted to build my own server to store media files, transcode files to plex and be able to run torrent / nzb clients. I also have a 240gb SSD that I could use from my computer, to install the OS on, if that's the best solution. Outside of these, I don't really have any ambitions to do VM, but would be keen to understand any cool features of having a server.

 

1) OS

I am thinking leaning towards installing Ubuntu Server. I am currently using Ubuntu Desktop and am quite comfortable with configuring this from the terminal. Would this be the best operating system?

 

2) Where to install OS?

Where should I install the OS? I have read that the suggestion is to install these on a fast HD, like SSD. I would also use the SSD to maybe store temporary file data for torrent / nzb and better to support transcoding.

 

3) SSD location

If the above is true, is the best place to store the SSD is in the place of the optical drive? Is there a standard module that I can purchase to make this occur? I have read some of the guides and am not sure which one to pick from.

 

4) How much RAM and which RAM to purchase?

Exactly how the topic states, how much RAM would I need for at most 3 devices connected but only one would be transcoding at any point. Any suggestions on which RAM to purchase?

 

5) How to setup RAID on hard drives?

I am keen to setup RAID 5 on the 4TB hard drives and am wondering which is better, software or hardware RAID? I have read a couple of articles that seem to sway in either direction. If the hardware RAID is the go, which RAID controller should I purchase?

 

I may have more questions and appreciate everyone's help.

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1) OS

I am thinking leaning towards installing Ubuntu Server. I am currently using Ubuntu Desktop and am quite comfortable with configuring this from the terminal. Would this be the best operating system?

"Best" OS is almost always a case of the one you are most comfortable with. Sounds like you are comfortable with Linux, Use that. I am comfortable with Windows Server, I use that. 

 

2) Where to install OS?

Where should I install the OS? I have read that the suggestion is to install these on a fast HD, like SSD. I would also use the SSD to maybe store temporary file data for torrent / nzb and better to support transcoding.

OS is probably the best us of an SSD you can make outside of Video Editting. There shouldnt be a problem with keeping your temp files on it too.

 

3) SSD location

If the above is true, is the best place to store the SSD is in the place of the optical drive? Is there a standard module that I can purchase to make this occur? I have read some of the guides and am not sure which one to pick from.

The ODD is probably the best place for your SSD so that you can put those big mechanical drives in the actual bays. A simple job requiring a SATA cable to go from the ODD port on your Mobo. A Molex Y splitter to branch the power from the cage (there is a connector just under the ODD bay that you can branch from. A Molex to SATA Power conversion cable. This will convert your newly split molex into SATA power for your SSD. 

 

4) How much RAM and which RAM to purchase?

Exactly how the topic states, how much RAM would I need for at most 3 devices connected but only one would be transcoding at any point. Any suggestions on which RAM to purchase?

2GB is bare minimum, Plex isnt really RAM heavy (unless you are running a lot of plugins) so I would say bump it to 4GB minimum but if you can afford the full 16GB that the box can handle its not gong to hurt you any. 

 

5) How to setup RAID on hard drives?

I am keen to setup RAID 5 on the 4TB hard drives and am wondering which is better, software or hardware RAID? I have read a couple of articles that seem to sway in either direction. If the hardware RAID is the go, which RAID controller should I purchase?

The onboard RAID controller does not support RAID 5 (RAID 0, 1, or 10 only) so most people seem to be setting each of their disks up in their own RAID 0 volume and then, if they want some form of redundancy they are using ZFS for Linux or one of the Windows equivalents (if you choose to go that flavour).

As a second point Plex Transcoding is very dependant on CPU, if you got the GT1610 then it should be able to transcode 1x 1080p stream with few problems but not more than that. If you want 3x transcoding streams simultaneously then you will definitlye need to upgrade your processor.

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