Looking to upgrading my Unraid server

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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I'm in the process of updating my Unraid server and looking at one of the options below. My current setup is an X9SCM w/ E3-1280v2 and 32GBs of RAM.

Option 1
CPU: Intel E-2176G (6 cores, 12 threads)
Motherboard: Supermicro X11SCZ-f

Option 2
CPU: 2x Intel E5-2620v3 (12 cores, 24 threads)
Motherboard: Supermicro X10DAi

Option 3
CPU: 2x Intel E5-2696v3 (36 cores, 72 threads)
Motherboard: Supermicro X10DAi

Usage
- Simple file storage and serving files to a bare metal Plex server
- Dockers are Sonarr, Radarr, Nextcloud, Sabnzbd and Unmanic (this is the one that got me thinking about upgrading)
- Currently have 32GBs of RAM and there are a maximum of 16 disk connections (using only one LSI 9211). Would like at least 64GBs of RAM or more.

Besides Unmanic, I've been getting errors on the native FireTV Plex app lately saying that my read rate is too slow to stream and starts buffering whenever the server is doing anything besides being idle. To keep the boss (aka wife) happy I need to fix this before she gets too annoyed.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Whats your use case and/or VM+docker workload?
How much ram and disk connections are you needing?
Updated my initial post to answer your questions. My apologies for not including that information.
 

Spartacus

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May 27, 2019
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Are you sure its the resources and not the disk speed or i/o? (what disks are you using?)
Thats a pretty solid CPU for running just those Dockers since you have Plex offloaded.
Do you have the CPU pinned to leave a couple of cores to ensure quality data delivery?

The 2x 2620v3 is about 50% faster than your current one, the 2x 2696 v3 is 3x faster but probably overkill.
If you're set on upgrading you could go a bit more economical with the E5-2650/60 v3.
I'm running my entire stack on a single E5-2660 v3 currently including Plex (though I don't have unmaniac).
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Are you sure its the resources and not the disk speed or i/o? (what disks are you using?)
My belief is that Plex isn't very optimized as I really shouldn't have any issues with direct playing media in my own home. On the native FireTV Plex app, I get the message saying my server connection is too slow and on the Kodi Plex app it says that my read rate is too low to provide a quality stream. This is why I assumed it was a resource issue since most of the time the CPU is at about 60-70% while Sabnzbd is running which is almost all the time. As for my disks, currently I'm running 8 WD Easystore Reds and a single 500GB M.2 SSD as my cache drive. Since I have a new chassis I'm moving to so I can hold 16 drives, I figured now would be a good time to upgrade to minimize downtime. In the very near future, it will be 16 drives (haven't decided on which ones since I really want something bigger than 8TB) and at least two Oracle F80's to serve as cache drives.
That's a pretty solid CPU for running just those Dockers since you have Plex offloaded.
Do you have the CPU pinned to leave a couple of cores to ensure quality data delivery?
You're saying the E3-1280v2 is a solid CPU for just running Dockers? At this time I don't have any CPUs pinned since I only had 8 vCPUs, I can try that tonight though to see if it helps any.

The 2x 2620v3 is about 50% faster than your current one, the 2x 2696 v3 is 3x faster but probably overkill.
If you're set on upgrading you could go a bit more economical with the E5-2650/60 v3.
I'm running my entire stack on a single E5-2660 v3 currently including Plex (though I don't have unmaniac).
I currently own the E-2176G setup (without RAM) which would be about 50% faster than my current setup and still pretty economical in terms of power and usability IMO. I'll test the CPU pinning and see if it helps or not.
 

Spartacus

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May 27, 2019
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Sounds good, pinning to leave 2 threads available would be where I would start (maybe go to 4) just to see.
If you already have the E-2176G thats a win as well and would be a decent improvement and give you more threads to leave unpinned while still giving you a solid compute for your docker instances. (I would go this over 2x 2620 v3s personally for the lower heat/power)
 
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Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Sounds good, pinning to leave 2 threads available would be where I would start (maybe go to 4) just to see.
If you already have the E-2176G thats a win as well and would be a decent improvement and give you more threads to leave unpinned while still giving you a solid compute for your docker instances. (I would go this over 2x 2620 v3s personally for the lower heat/power)
I'll report back after pinning the threads this evening, I'll start with leaving two available first.

Just for clarification, my drives I/O isn't the issue correct? I assume most people are running the Easystore shucked drives and aren't having issues with read speeds or it would be a bigger issue.
 

Spartacus

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May 27, 2019
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It shouldn't be I'm running the WD white shucks myself, if it was writes that'd be one thing but reading should be able to do multiple streams no issue especially if direct playing.
Its possible its the firestick or your wifi though? Have you tried streaming from a wired computer while it's under load to see if you get the same buffering?
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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It shouldn't be I'm running the WD white shucks myself, if it was writes that'd be one thing but reading should be able to do multiple streams no issue especially if direct playing.
Its possible its the firestick or your wifi though? Have you tried streaming from a wired computer while it's under load to see if you get the same buffering?
I have tried wired on my computer in Chrome which I believe transcodes it regardless and it would buffer sometimes and not as often. I'll start with the pinning and I do have a new wifi AP I need to install instead of using the ISP supplied stuff. I've also considered moving away from the firetv and getting maybe a Shield or something that has gigabit ethernet capability since the FireTV maxes out the wired connection at 100mb.
 
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zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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Sounds like it might be more of a networking issue...is the FireTV connected via crappy wifi?

The 1280v3 is a great processor and should be plenty fast enough, unless you are having to do heavy transcoding on the fly
I'm waiting on a new CPU and have my current UnRaid box running on a lowly E5-1603 and it streams to AppleTV, Shield, and FireTV without any issues at all.

Keep in mind UnRaid cache is on write only, and will not help your read speeds at all, unless you configure the share or docker app to only use the cache drive. Otherwise your read speeds will be as slow as the single disk the data is stored on
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Sounds like it might be more of a networking issue...is the FireTV connected via crappy wifi?
I wouldn't put it past this actually. I'll know more once I get the new AP installed.

The 1280v3 is a great processor and should be plenty fast enough, unless you are having to do heavy transcoding on the fly.
I'm waiting on a new CPU and have my current UnRaid box running on a lowly E5-1603 and it streams to AppleTV, Shield, and FireTV without any issues at all.
What CPU are you upgrading to?

Keep in mind UnRaid cache is on write only, and will not help your read speeds at all, unless you configure the share or docker app to only use the cache drive. Otherwise your read speeds will be as slow as the single disk the data is stored on
Hmm...that I didn't know.
 

zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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I wouldn't put it past this actually. I'll know more once I get the new AP installed.

What CPU are you upgrading to?

Hmm...that I didn't know.
Yeah, it sucks that cache isn't read and write, but, at least you can force things to only run on the cache :)
More details here on the mechanics of it all - Cache disk - unRAID

I'm going for a E5-1660 v2, which has 6 cores / 12 threads @3.7-4Ghz.
I'll be sticking to the older platforms, like the X9SRL-F and v1/v2 CPU's, as I can also find 32gb ram sticks for $25 each :D
 
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Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Yeah, it sucks that cache isn't read and write, but, at least you can force things to only run on the cache :)
More details here on the mechanics of it all - Cache disk - unRAID

I'm going for a E5-1660 v2, which has 6 cores / 12 threads @3.7-4Ghz.
I'll be sticking to the older platforms, like the X9SRL-F and v1/v2 CPU's, as I can also find 32gb ram sticks for $25 each :D
I wish I could get ram sticks for that cheap. All my boards are UDIMM boards so ram is usually the most expensive part for me.

Thank you for the article, I'll read it shortly.
 

zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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I have a 1TB HP 920 NVME drive as my cache array and will add a few more and force shares to stay on those drives :)

When you are configuring a share you can choose the behavior you want within the "use cache disk" section

upload_2019-8-12_10-33-21.png
 

Spartacus

Active Member
May 27, 2019
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Austin, TX
Yeah, it sucks that cache isn't read and write, but, at least you can force things to only run on the cache :)
More details here on the mechanics of it all - Cache disk - unRAID

I'm going for a E5-1660 v2, which has 6 cores / 12 threads @3.7-4Ghz.
I'll be sticking to the older platforms, like the X9SRL-F and v1/v2 CPU's, as I can also find 32gb ram sticks for $25 each :D
I wish I could get ram sticks for that cheap. All my boards are UDIMM boards so ram is usually the most expensive part for me.

Thank you for the article, I'll read it shortly.
Thats the way I have mine setup, I have a 4x SSD btrfs cache in raid 10 and all of the VM/docker folders are set to cache only.
I have alot of ram though and have a ramdisk allocated for the Plex transcode rather than eat up the SSD writes though.
 

Unfadingpyro

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Sep 17, 2016
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What quality are you streaming at? Even a single 4k stream shouldn't saturate what a single disk can read at. It seems like it might be more of a network/FireTV issue.
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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What quality are you streaming at? Even a single 4k stream shouldn't saturate what a single disk can read at. It seems like it might be more of a network/FireTV issue.
All my media is either 1080p or 720p. No 4K media at this time.