Server Noob attempting first TrueNas-ProxMox-AutoRipping Machine Server Builds


New Member
Jul 5, 2021

I need some help on a project that I am working on. I apologize for the length, but I wanted to be thorough.


I am a CCNA guy, server noob, who works in IT and through my job, I was able to acquire a lot of free decommissioned equipment from various data centers and server closet cleanouts when I was building up my CCNA homelab. While I was able to make use of the routers/switches, I had no idea what to do with any of the servers. It was essentially like giving an F-16 to someone with a couple of hours of Flight Simulator.

So I started watching Chris Titus Tech, Techno Tim, Level 1 Techs, Craft Computing, Art of the Server, and others on YouTube. I also have lurked on r/DataHoarder, r/HomeServer, r/Homelabs, r/TrueNas, ServeTheHome, iXSystems, and other forums for almost a year and finally feel I can at least ask intelligent questions.

Hardware List:

  • Just Retired PC: iBuyPower Pre-Built
    • Intel(R) Pentium® CPU G3220 @ 3.00 GHz (2 cores)
      LGA1150 (HASWELL)
  • Installed RAM 8.00 GB (2 X 4.00) GB DDR3 [max 16 GB]
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 GPU
  • Memory: 5052 MB Dedicated Video Memory: 1024 MB Shared System Memory: 4028 MB
  • ASRock H81M-HDS Mobo (Micro ATX Form Factor)
  • New Workstation: 1st Home-Build
    • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Vermeer 3.7 GHz 6-core AM4 CPU
      • Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 TiOC 4GB GV-N105TOC-4GD Rev 1.2
      • OLOy WarHawk RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3200
      • Inland Platinum 2TB SSD 3D QLC NAND M.2 2280
      • CoolerMaster NR600 Case
      • Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 650 Watts 80 Plus Gold ATX Fully Modular Power Supply
      • (2) Acer 32" Curved 1920x1080 165hz 1ms Freesync HD LED Monitors - ED320QR Sbiipx
  • (2) WD 10TB Easystore External Hard Drives
  • WD 4TB My Passport External Hard Drive
  • Seagate 4TB BackUpPlus external Hard Drive
  • Raspberry Pi3B+
  • (2)* OptiPlex 380 *(One PC is Parts Only)
  • (2) Dell Precision T7500 Workstation
  • BUFFALO Terastation-TS-RX4.0TL/R5
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Pro 4 - (RNDP4000)
    • (4) Seagate Constellation ES 500GB 3.5”HDD

  • Dell PowerEdge R910
    • (2) DELL Savvio 6Gb/S SAS 10k 300GB 2.5”HDD
    • DELL MBF2300RC 6Gb/S SAS 10k 300GB 2.5”HDD
    • DELL Enterprise Plus 6Gb/S SAS 15k 300GB 2.5”HDD
  • Dell PowerEdge R310
    • DELL Enterprise Class SATA 7.2k 1TB 3.5”HDD
  • Dell PowerEdge R410
    • DELL Enterprise Class SATA 7.2K 1TB 3.5”HDD
  • (7) Dell Powervault SAS Storage Array [Reg Type: E03J001] (MD1200? MD3200?)
      • (2) Dell 770D8 /D162J / VFX1G Powervault MD3200i/MD3220i ISCSI Four-Port Controller Module
      • (2) DELL Enterprise Class 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 4TB 3.5”HDD
      • (10) Seagate Constellation ES.3 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 4TB 3.5”HDD
    • x2 POWERVAULT:
      • (2) Dell Single Host 6Gb/S EMM Controller Module W307K / 3DJRJ
      • (12) DELL Enterprise Class 12Gb/S SAS 7.2k 8TB 3.5”HDD
    • x2 POWERVAULT:
      • (2) Dell Single Host 6Gb/S EMM Controller Module W307K / 3DJRJ
      • (12) Seagate Constellation ES.3 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 4TB 3.5”HDD
    • x1 POWERVAULT:
      • (2) Dell Single Host 6Gb/S EMM Controller Module W307K / 3DJRJ
      • (12) Seagate Constellation ES.3 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 3TB 3.5”HDD
    • x1 POWERVAULT:
      • (2) Dell Single Host 6Gb/S EMM Controller Module W307K / 3DJRJ
      • (11) Seagate Constellation ES.3 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 3TB 3.5”HDD
      • Seagate Constellation ES.3 6Gb/S SAS 7.2k 4TB 3.5”HDD

What I Want To Do:

My primary need is a secure centralized storage solution for all of my Data hoarding and to back up the data on all wired and wireless network devices, servers, etc.
  1. Dedicated Onsite and Offsite TrueNas bare-metal? Storage servers with ZFS
  2. ProxMox VE bare-metal server w/ Docker/Portainer
  3. Automated Ripping Machine PC for digitizing media collection [dual use as HA Plex/Jellyfin Server?]
  • My plan was to have a dedicated TrueNas (bare-metal?) storage server with ZFS to manage the onsite “MAIN” Powervault w/ 12x4TB (48TB) as my primary storage, daisy-chained and mirrored to the Powervault w/ 12x8TB (96TB) as my onsite cold storage.
  • I am assuming that I will also need another TrueNas server (physical box?, container?) to manage the other Powervault w/ 12x8TB (96TB) as my off-site cold storage.
  • I also need a ProxMox VE bare-metal server for which I figured the obvious choice was to use the Dell R910. Was planning to use Docker/Portainer and containerize everything: Plex/Jellyfin; PiHole, PiVPN, Nzbget, Son-Rad-Lidarr, Grafana, Paperless_ng, etc. Not sure if it makes more sense to host this off-site with the second Powervault. Planning to start with something like this:
  • Finally, I need an Automated Ripping Machine Automatic Ripping Machine | Headless | Blu-Ray/DVD/CD for digitizing my CD/DVD movie collection to add to the TrueNas storage box. Could I also use this as a High-Availability Plex/Jellyfin Server?

Immediate Needs-
  • Securely backup all network file changes from all network-connected devices to one central on-site (home) location with scheduled incremental backups to off-site storage mirror
  • Stream movies/music from my home library to all network-connected devices
  • Securely access network devices, files and services remotely from off-site.
  • Convert/Backup media collection to digital HD format

Future Goals-
  • Make use of Torrent/Usenet downloading services
  • Securely backup my parent’s and two brothers's home networks and be able to share files between all networks.
  • Host private website/streaming service (Private Plex User Group?)


  1. With my available hardware, is the R410, my best option for my dedicated onsite TrueNas storage server?
    1. Should I use/upgrade my old rig or one of the other PCs and use that instead?
    2. If the R410, is iDRAC my best option for installing TrueNas on it?
  2. With my available hardware, is the R310, my best option for my dedicated off-site TrueNas storage server?
    1. Should I use/upgrade my old rig or one of the other PCs and use that instead?
    2. Can I use TrueNas in a container or VM to manage the off-site Powervault storage?
    3. If the R310, is iDRAC my best option for installing TrueNas on it?
  3. Can I use a RaspPi? Maybe running Docker with a TrueNas Container to manage the Powervault?
  4. Not currently using the two external 4TB drives, can I use them to practice a TrueNas build? Maybe with the Pi3B+?
  5. How do I clear off the current data [factory default] on the Dell R910, R410, R310 servers and repurpose them for my use case? Decommissioned from working environments.
  6. What is the best way to set up my zpools? Most read/writes will be on media (FLAC, MP3, MP4, various phototypes) files and PDF files.
  7. The Dell 770D8 /D162J / VFX1G Powervault ISCSI Four-Port Controller Module: How do I physically and logically connect this to a TrueNas server?
    1. Will I need one of these in my MAIN Powervault and one in my off-site Powervault to manage them? [See also Q.3]
    2. Am I correct in thinking both the MAIN and off-site Powervaults will need both the 4-port Controller Module and Single Host EMM Controller Module?
    3. Do I need to flash this to “IT mode” and if so, how do I do that?
  8. Do I have all of the necessary hardware to accomplish my objectives or is there something else that I need to purchase? I plan to sell any hardware that I don’t need to purchase anything else that I do, such as an enterprise UPS. Planning to sell:
    1. (2)* OptiPlex 380 *(One PC is Parts Only)
    2. (2) Dell Precision T7500 Workstation
    3. BUFFALO Terastation-TS-RX4.0TL/R5
    4. Netgear ReadyNAS Pro 4 - (RNDP4000)
    5. (2) Powervaults with 3TB HDDs included
    6. (1) Powervault with 4TB HDDs not included
Will keep (1) extra Powervault with 4TB HDDs as a full replacement unit and plan to save all 4TB HDDs for hot-swap spares
  1. Is there anything (financially sound) I can do with the extra storage? Even a Datahoarder like me will have trouble using more than 40 TB. Would it be worth it to get into Chia Coin farming?
  2. Is this an effective plan to securely backup my data? Do I have enough redundancy?
  3. Any ideas on how to repurpose either the Buffalo Terastation NAS or ReadyGear NAS for use as a TrueNas, Proxmox, or even Plex/Jellyfin server? I have found minimal documentation on them and zero in reference to non-standard usage.
  4. Critiques? Suggestions? What would you do with the hardware listed? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2015
Welcome to the madhouse!

I would suggest that one of the staff relocate this to somewhere in the forums better suited for discussion.

I completely understand your excitement, but there is a lot to digest in your post. Can I suggest that you break it down into digestible "chunks" of what you would hope to achieve, with what hardware you would like to use for that purpose, then frame focused questions around each "chunk". That way you will gain a better understanding and perspective from each response. I would also suggest just concentrating on your main storage solution initially, gain some traction with that and the rest will flow much easier for you. It's easy to get bogged down in the details when what you really need is the building blocks :)

I'll kick you off with this:

While you can install remotely over the iDRAC interface, if you have direct hardware access, that would be the way to go. Of course, by all means play with doing it both ways and that way you at least learn to use your iDRAC for remote troubleshooting etc.

ZFS likes to be as close to the storage medium as possible, in terms of hardware and software layers. You definitely don't want to be using RAID cards for that purpose or anything else that adds layered complexity between your controller card and your disks. HBA's or as you already mentioned, a RAID card flashed into IT mode, is the way to proceed. For a basic filer, you will likely want capacity over performance, so probably looking at setting up RAIDZ2 pools, with between 6-8 disks per. For VM storage you'll likely want faster storage than spinning disks, so mirrored SSD's would be in order if you like snappy performance. Really low latency disks should be your choice for a slog device. For a filer, you will get away with running without sync writes on, providing you have good power backup, think a solid UPS, but for running live OS's you'll really want a slog device with power loss protection in the pool and run with sync writes on. ZFS loves RAM, so you'll want a decent amount of it, preferably ECC, in whatever hardware platform you choose to build with.

There's no reason why you cannot create your storage solution in a VM, in fact it's something that lots of us do. You can then share that out as required to other VM's etc. For example. My storage needs at home are pretty simple, so I run a basic filer in a VM with several pools and then carve up and share some of that capacity out as ZVOLS to other VM's as needed, all on one box. I also have some offsite storage that I keep copies of critical stuff on.

I would sell the small NAS's unless you want to dedicate some storage to them and use them as torrent clients/ media servers etc.
Getting into any kind of farming is really only worthwhile if you have both the hardware and electricity budget to make a profit from it. Personally, it's not my thing, so I'm not really the one to advise you on whether it would be a good use of your hardware or not, but I would doubt it.
Using the powervaults could potentially turn out to be a headache. These are often vendor locked, as are the disks supplied with them, so upgrading what you have in future might prove painful. Changing firmware and tweaking stuff to get my storage going again, after something unforeseen happens, is not where I would want to be when my most precious data was sitting there on disks that I have no access to. In saying that, I have limited experience of them, so someone else might have a much less gloomy answer for you regarding using them :)

Whatever else you do, have fun with it ;)
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