Home Virtual Server Advice Request

andragoras

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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Hello STH Forums,

I'm in the market for a home (virtualization) server and in need of advice. If this isn't the right sub forum, please let me know and I'll repost. Using the guidelines I've filled out what I think will meet my needs. My main concern is I'm overbuying or perhaps missing some more common hardware that would be comparable. This is a pre-built bundle, but I haven't been able to find something comparable that is powerful while being low powered and small. Below is a list of my intended uses, etc.

Build’s Name:
Operating System/ Storage Platform: TBD - Ubuntu with KVM?
CPU: Xeon-D 1541
Motherboard: Super X10SDV-TLN4F
Chassis:
Super Micro Mini Tower
Drives: 1x NVME driver for OS, 6 HGST 3TB Refurbs (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0738FC6NY/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2P07IV77VSBVN&colid=2K0AUPD6DH5M3)

RAM:
2 x 32 GB ECC
Add-in Cards: TBD - What raid card should I get?
Power Supply: 250W Flex ATX
Other Bits:
Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T-BUNDLE2 Embedded Processor

Usage Profile:
24/7 on, so the goal is to keep power consumption to a minimum. I don't have a use for 10gb at the moment, so I would most likely disable this at the hardware level to reduce power consumption.

For starters, here is what I would like to consolidate into one piece of hardware.
  • Blue Iris - 4 cores, 8GB, 500GB (Dedicated disk) - Windows
  • PRTG - 2 cores, 4GB, 50GB (Dedicated disk) - VM appliance
  • NAS - 2 cores, 8GB, 9TB (Raid 6) - OS TBD
  • Plex - 4 cores, 4GB, 20GB

Other information… I intend to slice up the available storage for the VMs, but I'm not sure I can do that with the NAS. I'm also concerned I'll run into performance issues putting it all in raid 6. I'd love suggestions on this. The intent is to offload most of my data to this server, hence the raid6. Should the NAS and Hypervisor be on different boxes? I know people use ESX at home, but isn't it super expensive?

As for the bundle build, I am very open to building something or buying used, but the power consumption seems to be so high for older used systems. Is there a way to manage VMs on and off states for power savings? I do not have room for a rack mount server, but I could tolerate another tower. My budget is around the $2k range.

Sorry for the rambling, and thanks for reading!
 

StammesOpfer

Active Member
Mar 15, 2016
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Blue Iris and Plex you might want to look for something in the consumer line with QuickSync (Integrated Graphics). Since they both take advantage of hardware offload for video. If your requirements are small or you only direct stream for Plex then this may not matter.

I run BlueIris on a dedicated machine and pass a nVidia Quadro P400 gpu into a VM on my server for hardware transcode in Plex.
 
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Blinky 42

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Aug 6, 2015
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The little cube chassis for the sys-5028D has only 4x 3.5" hot-swap bays so you won't be able to do 6x 3T drives in it. there is space to add 2 SSD's (one on the side and one on top of the drive cage) but no extra space for 3.5" drives in that chassis.
 

andragoras

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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Blue Iris and Plex you might want to look for something in the consumer line with QuickSync (Integrated Graphics). Since they both take advantage of hardware offload for video. If your requirements are small or you only direct stream for Plex then this may not matter.

I run BlueIris on a dedicated machine and pass a nVidia Quadro P400 gpu into a VM on my server for hardware transcode in Plex.
Thanks for the feedback. I thought I read on STH that the new Xeon-D's (2017) would have quicksync. If they will ever make it to us layfolk, should I wait? It also appears there is a supported low form factor card, VisonTek 7750 3M 2GB DDR3 4K.

I expect 2 streams top. By direct stream you mean across the LAN?
 

andragoras

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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The little cube chassis for the sys-5028D has only 4x 3.5" hot-swap bays so you won't be able to do 6x 3T drives in it. there is space to add 2 SSD's (one on the side and one on top of the drive cage) but no extra space for 3.5" drives in that chassis.
Good catch. This may push me to buy it piecemeal and get a larger case. I really like the accessible drive trays. Any suggestions on something with 6 front loading drive bays?
 

StammesOpfer

Active Member
Mar 15, 2016
382
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Thanks for the feedback. I thought I read on STH that the new Xeon-D's (2017) would have quicksync. If they will ever make it to us layfolk, should I wait? It also appears there is a supported low form factor card, VisonTek 7750 3M 2GB DDR3 4K.

I expect 2 streams top. By direct stream you mean across the LAN?
I believe the new Xeon-D will have QuickAssist not QuickSync (thanks for those names Intel)
As far as I am aware BlueIris will only use Intel iGPU to offload.
Plex will use Intel and nVidia (2 stream limit for nVidia) maybe AMD card too haven't tried that.

Issue with using an older graphics card it what they have hardware decode support for. Do you need support for h.265 HEVC or VP9 or 4k?

By Direct stream I mean Plex doesn't have to transcode. The end device handles decoding the raw video. Bitrate, File type and the end device all play into if it Direct Streams or Transcodes.
 

andragoras

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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I believe the new Xeon-D will have QuickAssist not QuickSync (thanks for those names Intel)
As far as I am aware BlueIris will only use Intel iGPU to offload.
Plex will use Intel and nVidia (2 stream limit for nVidia) maybe AMD card too haven't tried that.

Issue with using an older graphics card it what they have hardware decode support for. Do you need support for h.265 HEVC or VP9 or 4k?

By Direct stream I mean Plex doesn't have to transcode. The end device handles decoding the raw video. Bitrate, File type and the end device all play into if it Direct Streams or Transcodes.
Wow, thanks for the terminology clarification. Would the Xeon-D be able to handle blue iris without an igpu? 3 - 4, 3MP cams with ~15fps.

As for Blue Iris, it appears you are correct regarding video card offload. Totally explains why my current box wasn't affected by the spare gpu I put in. I just read this, almost sounds like I need to keep a discrete blue iris system. Bummer.

As for Plex, I don't have any h.265, etc., yet. I intend for the system to be useful in 5 years, so long term I would like 4k playback. I would expect to need to transcode.
 

StammesOpfer

Active Member
Mar 15, 2016
382
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Wow, thanks for the terminology clarification. Would the Xeon-D be able to handle blue iris without an igpu? 3 - 4, 3MP cams with ~15fps.

As for Blue Iris, it appears you are correct regarding video card offload. Totally explains why my current box wasn't affected by the spare gpu I put in. I just read this, almost sounds like I need to keep a discrete blue iris system. Bummer.

As for Plex, I don't have any h.265, etc., yet. I intend for the system to be useful in 5 years, so long term I would like 4k playback. I would expect to need to transcode.
Looks like a discrete box for Blue Iris is best. The Xeon-D might handle it but you would be burning a lot of the CPU cycles on that not leaving you much for all the other tasks you want to use it for.

I like the Quadro p400 for plex since is it cheap and can handle 4k h265 10bit media. You could use a GTX1050 too (both are limited to 2 transcode streams). If you want to use them in ESXi there is a setting you have to change to make them work virtualized but it isn't a big deal.
 

andragoras

New Member
Mar 29, 2017
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Looks like a discrete box for Blue Iris is best. The Xeon-D might handle it but you would be burning a lot of the CPU cycles on that not leaving you much for all the other tasks you want to use it for.

I like the Quadro p400 for plex since is it cheap and can handle 4k h265 10bit media. You could use a GTX1050 too (both are limited to 2 transcode streams). If you want to use them in ESXi there is a setting you have to change to make them work virtualized but it isn't a big deal.
Thanks for the feedback, this prevented me from buyers remorse =p. I'll have to do some more research before I purchase. Cheers.
 
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