Unraid Build Suggestions

eppa

New Member
Jul 31, 2016
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So i am upgrading my storage solution from a 4bay Synology to something a lot bigger based on hardware i have laying around. The storage box will be used for mostly file storage and backing up virtual machines in my environment.

OS: Unraid, my controllers dont work well with BSD so FreeBSD is not an option.
Chassis: Supermicro Super Chasis 36 LFF Bays
M/B: Supermicro X8DTH
CPU: Intel Xeon CPU X5550 @ 2.67GHz (might add another one)
RAM: 48GB ECC DDR3
NIC: Intel 10Gbit SFP+
Cache: Corsair 1TB MP600 NVMe / Kingston 256GB SSD (might stick with just the NVMe and use the SSD for other projects).

Hard drives are a mix of older disks that i have laying around but its enough to get me started. The plan is to purchase new disks (replacing these older ones) over time, considering Seagate Ironwolf drives. As there are plenty of bays i might not go for the larger disks considering their price. Any vendor or model suggestions and why that particular model/vendor is best.

Some of my older drives have a sector size of 512 and some 4K. I have heard that mixing these might not be the best idea at least from a RAID point of view (yes i know Unraid is not the same as RAID). Would there be any down side to mixing sector sizes in unraid?

As far as i know Unraid writes files to a single disk, what happens if a file is larger than the targeted drive? Probably wont happen but interesting from a theoretical point.

I will probably be going for a two parity disk setup with a 1TB NVMe cache unless people here convince me otherwise ;)

Would love to get some feedback on my plan/setup. Anything else i should consider?
 
Last edited:

Beer_Engineer

Member
Mar 15, 2018
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I considered Freenas and Unraid when making the decision myself. I landed on using Unraid like others in this community and for the most part I'm pleased with it.

The main advantage of Unraid is for the simplicity and combination of the great support for plugins/dockers along with a highly flexible storage solution.

If those don't appeal to you, there may be better solutions.

1. Use at least 1TB cache if you will be copying more than 500GB to the Array in a Day. When the mover runs to write to the array, that isn't very fast, so you will want that to run during off hours. If the mover runs during normal operation, performance is degraded.
2. If you are just serving up files, unraid doesn't need much ram.
3. 10GB is a nice to have, but you won't come anywhere close to saturating that from the array because it only reads from 1 disk at a time. There is an unassigned devices plugin that allows you to mount other disk options. If you need more speed for certain files, you may need to consider a PCIE- NVME solution that does a backup to the array instead of a parity protected option.

Good luck!
 

IamSpartacus

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2016
2,292
551
113
Some of my older drives have a sector size of 512 and some 4K. I have heard that mixing these might not be the best idea at least from a RAID point of view (yes i know Unraid is not the same as RAID). Would there be any down side to mixing sector sizes in unraid?

As far as i know Unraid writes files to a single disk, what happens if a file is larger than the targeted drive? Probably wont happen but interesting from a theoretical point.

I will probably be going for a two parity disk setup with a 1TB NVMe cache unless people here convince me otherwise ;)

Would love to get some feedback on my plan/setup. Anything else i should consider?
I've been running Unraid on a multitude of hardware configurations for almost 8 years and have never seen any issues with mixing sector sizes. Since the data is not striped across disks it shouldn't be an issue.

You would not be able to store a file that is larger than your largest data drive. Given the size of current HDDs it shouldn't be an issue. I just added 14TB drives to my backup unraid server per example.

If you want to speed up writes to your shares you'll just set those shares to use cache and schedule the cache to move to the array at whatever interval you'dl ike.