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Project Plex Expansion

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custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
So I've had my Plex/home server up and running for a while now and I've been pretty happy with it. Outside of being reliant on wireless (can't figure out a way to run ethernet to my TVs without a ton of work), I really haven't had any issues with it. Having said that, I'm not a huge subscriber to the if it ain't broke don't fix it thought, I love to tinker. Initially I started out with the smallest case I could go with and still having enough storage. My next case was a Fractal Define R5 which held 8 3.5" drives and thanks to a 2x5.25 to 2.5 bay it also held 8 2.5" drives. So out with the old:

20200312_143337.jpg

Well I'm finally hitting the point where I'm going to start needing more hard drives so I figured it would be fun to upgrade to something with some future proofing. Enter the Supermicro 846 4U 24 bay case:

20200312_142811.jpg

I would love to upgrade my hardware with something like a 3900x and 2080ti but I may have to wait a little bit on that. And yes, plex can use the GPU, just have to mod the drivers to remove the 2 stream limit. I was fortunate that my scythe mugen 5 fits in this 4U case! Great cooler for a good price:

20200312_153400.jpg

I wanted to do the test fit first. My next phase will be wire management and sleeving the power distribution cables. I forgot how much I dislike sleeving stuff, my molex tool broke 1/4 of the way through and using a sim tool was a pain. This phase will be on hold for a while. I also had to add a Corsair Commander Pro to control the fan speeds. This thing was super loud at full blast.

Adding the drives:
20200312_153521.jpg

Specs:
Case: Supermicro 846
Backplane: BPN-SAS2-846EL1
Mobo: Asrock x470 taichi
CPU: AMD 2700x
RAM: ADATA 32GB (4x8GB) right now but I ordered some Trident Z Neo 3600mhz for cheap.
GPU: EVGA RTX 2070 Black
Power Supplies: 2x Supermicro PWS-920P-SQ 920W Platinum (much quieter than the stock power supplies)
Fans: stock 80mm San Ace fans in the rear, 3x Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 PWM that I need to create a better mount for
Drives: 1TB SX8200 NVMe for OS, 8x8TB WD/Hitachi shucked drives, 2x6TB Hitachi SAS, 2x400GB SLC drives for cache/journal drives, a couple 256-512GB SSDs for caching/temp drives.
SAS controller: LSI 9400-16i

I'm still running storage spaces in Windows 10 on it, one parity setup and one simple expanded as a backup (I also have a couple of 10TB external drives as backups of the backups). I would love to do a ZFS setup, but I like running windows natively as I also use it as a Steam Stream machine:
Storage Spaces.PNG
 
OP
custom90gt

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Did a little work to the server Saturday, was able to sleeve the cables and install new ram. The cables are far from perfect, but at least they look a little better. I also made a fan wall out of some angled wood I had around the house, again far from perfect but it works.

20200321_123839.jpg
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
Great build with great hardware. You just need a rack to store it in. ;)

I hope you don't run into the same speed issues I had with Storage Spaces after a year or so. It was slowing down to < 30mb/sec writes. Reads were fine.

Could always go with the setup I have: ESXi, pass the disk controller into a CentOS VM for ZFS, then pass the video card into a Windows VM for your streaming. Would be a lot of setup to move the data, now that you have it loaded up, though.
 
OP
custom90gt

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Great build with great hardware. You just need a rack to store it in. ;)

I hope you don't run into the same speed issues I had with Storage Spaces after a year or so. It was slowing down to < 30mb/sec writes. Reads were fine.

I've pondered doing the rack, I just don't have enough stuff to fill a rack (yet)...

Storage Spaces is totally a mixed bag. I've had the same dreaded parity speed issues you had. This setup has been running well for a year or two now though. It uses two SSDs as journal/cache drives (50GB of cache) so it keeps good write speeds for the files I transfer over. I haven't done a test lately where I write over 50GB at once, but I write 10-20GB almost daily to it and the speeds are still 500MB/s write. I really do wish MS would correct the parity issue though. They just always seem to say the same thing - Parity is for archive stuff and read speeds are important, not write... Doesn't make sense because you still have to get data onto the archive right?
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
They just always seem to say the same thing - Parity is for archive stuff and read speeds are important, not write... Doesn't make sense because you still have to get data onto the archive right?
When researching how to fix speed issues, I see this mentioned a lot. As you said, you have to get the data on the disk to be archived somehow. Just because it is an archive, doesn't mean it has to be slow.

When copying over the network, it would fill the memory cache on the server (~2gb) quickly while writing to the disk. Once the cache got full, the server flat out stopped accepting data (copy speeds went to 0) until it freed enough cache. Rinse and repeat. Moving files to the server was painful.
 
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OP
custom90gt

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
When researching how to fix speed issues, I see this mentioned a lot. As you said, you have to get the data on the disk to be archived somehow. Just because it is an archive, doesn't mean it has to be slow.

When copying over the network, it would fill the memory cache on the server (~2gb) quickly while writing to the disk. Once the cache got full, the server flat out stopped accepting data (copy speeds went to 0) until it freed enough cache. Rinse and repeat. Moving files to the server was painful.

That's almost exactly what I was experiencing before. I would go down to KB/s, lol. I also have it on a UPS and the powershell config set to battery backup true which helped a little. MS really should fix their storage spaces stuff and make it a viable option, or figure out how to integrate ZFS (that would be best).
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Great build with great hardware. You just need a rack to store it in. ;)

I hope you don't run into the same speed issues I had with Storage Spaces after a year or so. It was slowing down to < 30mb/sec writes. Reads were fine.

Could always go with the setup I have: ESXi, pass the disk controller into a CentOS VM for ZFS, then pass the video card into a Windows VM for your streaming. Would be a lot of setup to move the data, now that you have it loaded up, though.
I do something similar, although mine is a freenas box hosting my file shares and ended up building a separate Plex box out of old parts (and a 1650 super) for transcoding.