Need advice on Massive New Plex server

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by QuantumPrime, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. QuantumPrime

    QuantumPrime New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello forum members!

    So my little hobby has gotten the best of me and my current aging Plex server has run out of space and can't keep up with the demands of my family and friends. I originally built it as a Windows Media Center PC but once Microsoft dropped support I went full steam ahead with Plex. The current specs are below...

    Build’s Name: Citadel
    Chassis: HP DL380 Generation 6 2U Server
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: Windows 7 64Bit with Media Center
    CPU: Intel Xeon L5520 Quad Core Low Power
    Network Card: 1GB on-Board
    Drives: 6x Western Digital Enterprise 3TB 7200rpm drives in Raid5 (13.6TB and less then 300GB left)
    Storage Controller: HP Smart Array P420i Controller
    RAM: 16GB DDR3
    Add-in Cards: AMD Radeon HD 7700, USB 5.1 Sound Blaster X-Fi Go (For MCE Hardware requirements), 3 Tuner HDHomerun Prime.
    Power Supply: Dual 450Watt Gold power supplies

    Other Bits: Sits in a HP 46U 10000 series G2 rack with a 3000va Eaton rack mount battery backup
    Usage Profile: Full time private Plex server, serving family and friends.
    • So my main goal is to build a new server with enough storage and performance that will last at least another 5 years. I'd like to build a new server that can transcode up to 10 streams with a mimimum of two 4k transcoding streams. I may have an Nvidia Shield or Samsung TV locally playing but everything else is remote trans-coding. I'm leaning towards getting a Nvidia Quad P2000 but I saw a couple of people recommending the Intel Quick Sync Support for GPU trancoding. Can anyone enlighten me on that? It seems to be only lower level Xeons have the integrated GPU but is it that much better then the Nvidia Quatro?
    • So far I've purchased two 1.92TB HP Enterprise SAS SSDs to serve as the C Drive for all of Plexs image cache and OS. I'm planning on purchasing a refurb HP DL380 Gen9 server with 12 Bays and possibly the optional two bays in the back for a total of 14LLF bays. I have a spare Norco rpc-4020 case that I've never used with everything needed to turn it into a jbod case. I was thinking about shucking 8tb western digital drives but will they work in a norco SATA\SAS backplane? My Norco case is probably 5-6 years old... should I be looking at 1 or 2 new JBOD cases that will support 12Gb SAS?
    • If I use the shucked Western Digital drives will I see a big performance drop between 5400rpm and 7200rpm drives? Should I be looking at other enterprise drives?
    • I was thinking about using a PCIe m.2 adapter card with 2x M.2 1TB SSDs to be used as Plexs cache drive and I am pretty sure that the HP DL380 Gen 9 server supports bifurcation so it should work. But am I crazy to want to use M.2 for cache in RAID1?
    • So far I purchased MCEbuddy to get rid of my old MCE recordings but what other software is out there for Plex?

    So far my new proposed build in progress...
    Build’s Name: Citadel 2.0
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016?? Any issues with going with a Server OS?
    Chassis: HP DL380p Gen 9 2U Server
    CPU: Intel Xeon lower power 10, 12 or 14 core (Low power or just rake that electric bill high?) Kabylake or newer?
    Server: HP DL380 Gen 9
    Network Card: 10Gb or 40Gb card (I need speed for transferring files)
    Optional Chassis: Norco RPC-4020
    OS Drives: 2x 1.92TB HP Enterprise SAS SSDs
    Cache Drives: 2x M.2 SSDs on a PCIe adapter card
    Storage Drives: 12x 8TB Drives in RAID10 (I don't feel like loosing any data so I'm thinking one big RAID10) Possibly more drives?
    Storage Controller: HP Smart Array Controller?
    RAM: 32GB DDR4??
    GPU: NVidia Quadro P2000 (For hardware transcoding)???
    Add-in Cards: SAS Expander Card?
    Power Supply: Dual 500watt or dual 700watt?
    Other Bits:
     
    #1
  2. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    113
    -Go with the Quadro it will handle more streams than intel quick sync. Quick sync is usually just cheaper and can do what most people need and you get it with consumer CPUs.

    -Those SSDs are way overkill but hey if money is no object.

    -The shucked WDs should be just fine. I would actually look at a dual parity RAID-6/Z2 instead of RAID-10 give you more capacity and still plenty of performance. Video streams even big BL rips actually aren't that hard on drive speed. It may be 50GB but that is over 1.5-2+ hrs. These drives individually will hit 200MB/s sequential reads that is 720GB/hr or 14x Blu Rays in a single hour. Now subtract a little for real world conditions but add back you RAID performance... No problems

    -CPU get something decent but it doesn't have to be crazy. Remember for the most part you GPU should be doing the heavy lifting but look at what codecs the GPU can handle because anything outside of that is going to hit the CPU hard.
     
    #2
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    gigatexal likes this.
  3. am4593

    am4593 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    26
    I think the real question here is how do you want to run plex media server.

    I used to run it out of the PMS plugin for freenas. I came to dislike this setup because freenas gave me problems getting the plex media server onto a seperate network subnet that i use for media streaming only. Had to do with only being able to define 1 gateway which could only be on the primary nicport used for the whole box.

    Now I run a kvm windows virtual machine off my threadripper server running windows 10 with plex media server on it and could not be happier. 4 cpus, 8gb ram and an optane 900p 280gb local disk in which the VM is stored on. The Media itself is stored on my freenas server, a Xeon E5 1650 V2 with 128GB RAM connected via Mellanox connectx-3 40gb nic.

    So you see my plex media server is really decided between 2 machines. basically a front end setup and then a storage setup.

    I also actually use WD shucked drives. They're great. 10x 4tb WD40emaz.
     
    #3
    StammesOpfer likes this.
  4. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    113
    I too have mine separate because network storage is useful for things other than plex. I prefer linux as the os for the plex server but I have done it many different ways over time. Right now I am just using an i3-8xxx for the 4k h.265 10bit quick sync support but my primary device is a Shield so most of the time I direct stream but when I am away from home that little i3 has no problems at all for a couple transcodes.
     
    #4
    gigatexal likes this.
  5. halfelite

    halfelite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    12
    Before you go crazy as you mentioned 4k streams. Remember tone mapping on HW transcode is not supported. So if you stream 4k HDR material it has to be direct stream otherwise the colors are washed out. You might see CPU transcode support as I think FFMPEG added support recently.
     
    #5
  6. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    281
    I would give serious consideration to configuring your spinner drives in an NSA (non-striped array) with something like SnapRAID, FlexRAID, UnRAID, Drivepool, etc. It's a much more efficient way to store media for a home media streaming server.
     
    #6
    QuantumPrime likes this.
  7. kapone

    kapone Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    146
    Assuming you really want some "protection" on your media storage, RAID6 is certainly an option. RAID10 is a bit of an overkill for that.
     
    #7
  8. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    286
    I second this too. Recently moved to Unraid and there is almost a 150w power consumption difference between my Freenas box and unraid box at idle with drives.
     
    #8
  9. Continuum

    Continuum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    24
    I third this. I use snapraid with mergerfs in front of all my drives on my home media/data server. Snapraid with some union file system is a great combination.
     
    #9
    blood likes this.
  10. QuantumPrime

    QuantumPrime New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the performance like with Snapraid and does it support throwing SSDs in front as cache drives?
     
    #10
  11. QuantumPrime

    QuantumPrime New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    What scares me about Raid5 and Raid6 is that the fuller the drive get the slower it gets because its that much longer of parity calculations the controller has to make. I haven't messed with RaidZ but at my job we have HP Lefthand SAN which afaik is just RaidZ and the performance is absolutely terrible and we have node issues left and right. What are you using for your storage?
     
    #11
  12. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,675
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    For media, without hesitation - Unraid or an equivalent "non-striped" solution. You'll have parity overhead rather than replication (which means you could do it with 8x 8TB drives instead of 12). And you only spin the drives you need, when you need them.
     
    #12
  13. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    281
    Possible but not natively, it's not easy. With Unraid it's super easy.
     
    #13
  14. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    46

    I don't believe this is a thing. For read/write on a given block of data, exactly how would volume free space affect the parity calculations?
     
    #14
  15. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,309
    Likes Received:
    322
    I think you just find the disks using the more inner tracks, the raid parity calculation does not use the whole disk just the blocks in question, even most compression and online real-time de-duplication uses only small datasets no matter the disk size. (Non real-time de-dupe sometimes is a bit different)
     
    #15
  16. StammesOpfer

    StammesOpfer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    113
    I am running 12x WD Red 8TB (not Pro) in RAIDz2 (FreeNAS) and performance for sequential writes at least is more than enough. I don't know about the HP SAN but it could be the workload or something else too. My FreeNAS has been rock solid for a few years now. The 12x8TB replaced a 8x3TB freenas setup. But as others have mentioned if it is strictly Media usage and you don't find yourself limited by disk speed (which you shouldn't) unraid might be the better choice. The other upside to unraid is that you don't have to add all the disks right away you can grow the pool over time.
     
    #16
    QuantumPrime likes this.
  17. Continuum

    Continuum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    24
    Snapraid is not a filesystem. It is a snapshot system that calculates parity across a series of drives and stores that calculation on another drive. To have the drives presented as a single drive, like a jbod, you will need a union file system like mergerfs. (I don't know what is the Windows equivalent.)

    As @IamSpartacus notes, placing an SSD cache in front of the union filesystem is not trivial. @trapexit and @IamSpartacus discussed this possibility sometime ago. see this thread. @trapexit (the author of mergerfs) provides some information about caching at the mergerfs github.
     
    #17
    QuantumPrime likes this.
  18. Geran

    Geran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    14
    Check out these about GPU transcoding:



     
    #18
    QuantumPrime likes this.
  19. QuantumPrime

    QuantumPrime New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I stated that wrong, but the way I always understood it with striping calculations, the larger the raid in storage size the harder it is on the controller for calculations and keeping up with performance.
     
    #19
  20. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    281
    That may or may not have been the case with older traditional hardware RAID cards. However, just about every single "RAID" configuration that's been recommended in this thread is not traditional RAID and thus those calculations are handled by the server CPU, not some onboard RAID card chip.
     
    #20
Similar Threads: Need advice
Forum Title Date
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Need some advice on finalizing my massive NAS upgrade Oct 9, 2018
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Newbie needs to buy a high-end server - advice please! Feb 10, 2018
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Planning DIY NAS for 2-node vsphere cluster - advice needed Dec 9, 2017
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Advice needed on home server Nov 17, 2017
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Need advice on Personal workstation build(newbies) Oct 4, 2017

Share This Page