Plex server - RAID controller or HBA?

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Gadgetguru, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Gadgetguru

    Gadgetguru New Member

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    I'm putting together a home server, main purpose is for Plex but will probably tinker with some VMs and other stuff as well. I bought an Intel RS3DC040 (with LSI 3108 chip) 12gb SAS/SATA RAID controller. However, after further research, I see a lot of folks using software RAID, ZFS, or Unraid instead of a controller card.

    Should I ditch the controller card and go with a 3008 (9300/9304/M1215)? My motherboard has 6x SATA II ports.

    I have 2x 800GB SAS 12GB SSD's, and SATA HDD's; 2x 10TB, 2x 3TB, 1x 5TB, 1x 2TB. I don't need to use all the drives, the two SSD's and 10TB's are fine. Trying to figure out the best way to configure this system for max performance and storage space with redundancy. Thanks!

    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/newb-build.22940/
     
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  2. IamSpartacus

    IamSpartacus Well-Known Member

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    All RAID is software, it's just a matter of where that software is being executed. Traditional hardware RAID cards do the RAId calculations on the card firmware themselves, "software" RAID OS' just have it built into the OS.

    If the main purpose of this server is for media streaming than I'd recommend a non-stripped array platform such as Unraid, Snapraid, DrivePool, etc. So yes, I'd swap the card if that card can't be flashed to IT mode for drive passthrough.
     
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  3. Gadgetguru

    Gadgetguru New Member

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    Full disclosure, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. LOL Maybe not that bad, but this started as a budget build to play around with "real" server parts and I ended up dropping over a grand on it (I know, not that much in the server world). Figured other than the $300 I spent on the motherboard, RAM, and processors, everything else would be new. If I decided to change things to newer stuff, I would just need to change those.

    I need/want to run Windows (I'm a Windows Insider so I have Server 2019). I'm a geek so I want to extract the most performance I can if nothing more than bragging rights.

    I got the 3108 based controller card for $200 new, which appeared to be a good deal. I could sell it and go for a 3008 HBA which seems to be about $100 on eBay, saving me $100 potentially. I still need to source cables for it. Don't know if I need to dual port the Micron SSD's or not.

    I need to have redundancy/backup of my data as right now I have none. My current "server" backs up the other computers in the house (3x desktops, 2x laptops) as well as all of my media.

    I always thought "hardware" RAID was better for performance but I guess times have changed or with a more powerful CPU(s) it is not needed. I don't think or have confidence that Unraid or the like will provide me with the redundancy I'm looking for.
     
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  4. gregsachs

    gregsachs Member

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    If you are used to windows, especially if you have a whs background, I'd do a hybrid configuration-use hardware raid for your boot drive, and use storage space for everything else. Be aware that storage space has some hidden defaults for column number that can catch you out as a home user with "fewer" disks;
     
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