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Plex / NAS

2020-09-11 by: Eric Wolf
From: Eric Wolf 
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Several years ago I got frustrated enough with the poor quality of videos
(TV shows and movies) I was grabbing off Usenet that i started migrating
away from watching everything on Plex to paying to stream. Now I'm paying
for quite a few services and still can't get everything I want to watch
without paying for more (I'm looking at you, BBC and the Great British
Baking Show). My Linux based Plex Server (CouchPotato + SickBeard) and file
server went into disrepair and hasn't been powered up in a few years. I am
exploring options:

1. Refresh the old server with a new Linux install. It's a Core i7=2700K
with 32GB RAM.
   a. What distro?
   b. Is FreeSAN worth doing?
   c. Containerize everything?

2. Build a new server and put Linux on it. The old case is very fancy but
only has room for 2x2.5" and 2x3.5" drives. I have a new Asus motherboard
that supports 8th Gen Intel chips and a power supply and drives. I'd need
to buy a case (or reuse the old one), CPU, and RAM. About $400 worth of
stuff.

3. Buy a turnkey NAS that supports Plex Server (Recommendations? Synology
DS720+ is $400 on NewEgg without drives).

-Eric


-=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=-
Eric B. Wolf                           720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ Use what you got and use FreeNAS or Unraid. Personally, I support FreeNAS, and FreeNAS is super expandable and supports hosting VMs and Containers internally through the GUI.

=============================================================== From: Matt Heffelfinger ------------------------------------------------------ I recently moved my plex off my homeserver onto a Synology 1019+, and it rocks. I currently run Sonarr/Radarr instead of sickbeard/couch potato on a windows box, but I'm looking to move it to the nas as well, as there is a way to run them in docker on the nas as well. https://www.reddit.com/r/synology/comments/eahndo/synology_media_advanced_setup_guide/ - Matt

=============================================================== From: Jason Griffey ------------------------------------------------------ I=E2=80=99m running the same Synology model, and it=E2=80=99s pretty amaz= ing. I=E2=80=99m running sonarr and mylarr in docker on the NAS, and the = only complication is drive and directory mapping...it can get a little we= ird, imnsho, to get things mapped properly. I still don=E2=80=99t have ev= erything quite smooth, but it=E2=80=99s all solid and functional. Jason t rocks. I currently run Sonarr/Radarr instead of sickbeard/couch potato = on a windows box, but I'm looking to move it to the nas as well, as there= is a way to run them in docker on the nas as well. vanced=5Fsetup=5Fguide/ e: y of videos (TV shows and movies) I was grabbing off Usenet that i starte= d migrating away from watching everything on Plex to paying to stream. No= w I'm paying for quite a few services and still can't get everything=C2=A0= I want to watch without paying for more (I'm looking at you, BBC and the = Great British Baking Show). My Linux based Plex Server (CouchPotato=C2=A0= + SickBeard) and file server went into disrepair and hasn't been powered = up in a few years. I am exploring options: 2700K with 32GB RAM. cy but only has room for 2x2.5=22 and 2x3.5=22 drives. I have a new Asus = motherboard that supports 8th Gen Intel chips and a power supply and driv= es. I'd need to buy a case (or reuse the old one), CPU, and RAM. About =24= 400 worth of stuff. Synology DS720+ is =24400 on NewEgg without drives). --=3D-=3D- =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ To be honest: The reason I run FreeNAS is so I can run 10GB Fiber and 2 x Direct Attached SAS Storage Arrays. ing. I=E2=80=99m running e it=E2=80=99s all a _setup_guide/ s g ile am 0K t d d y =3D-=3D-

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ Two solid votes for Synology. And I'm definitely not going to run fiber channel network at home... zing. I=E2=80=99m running ve it=E2=80=99s all , n a a d_setup_guide/ w nt rd) 00K out =3D-=3D-

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ I started with Plex on Synology, but it couldn't keep up with 4+ HD streams. So files still live on the Synology, and Plex is still installed there, but there is a beefier VM (8 Xeon cores) running Ubuntu and Plex that everyone interfaces with now, which accesses the Synology share via CIFS. Cheers, -Dave

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ One advantage of building a Linux box is that I have a half dozen different drives from old machines that I could stuff into it. The other is I have a bunch of media on some of the old drives that I would like to transfer over. But I think I can do the same with a 4-5 drive QNAP or Synology NAS. One challenge I find with the NAS boxen is figuring out how current they are. I'm not certain how much it matters but many of the NAS boxes are using 5-6 year old Intel CPUs. And... I just figured out the Synology model numbering scheme... Right now the top candidate is the Synology DS1520+. It's a 5-bay NAS with support for 2 M.2 Drives. The equivalent QNAP box requires a $150 add-in card to support M.2 drives. I'm going to do some more research and I may try to fire up the old Linux based Plex/NAS box that's been offline for a while. The old Plex/NAS box has 2 7200RPM 6TB drives and 1 512GB SSD. I have a third matching 6TB drive which would go into the NAS box. Although I may need to stick one in an external chassis to migrate data. -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ I'm largely trying to build an all flash array, and Microcenter has super cheap 240GB SSDs, so I'm using some SAS DAS arrays to do so cheaply. https://twitter.com/freenas/status/1299396652445253634?s=19 Plus a bunch of second hand 900GB SAS disks.

=============================================================== From: Dean Warren ------------------------------------------------------ I am running a 4 tb Synology DS216+II that I upgraded to 8gigs of ram services my house pretty well. Stephen, I am VERY interested in how the all-flash array works out. Hope you will do an instructional on your build! Hope you have a great day, Dean Warren On Sun, Sep 13, 2020 at 5:10 PM Stephen Kraus wrote:

=============================================================== From: David White ------------------------------------------------------ I have a DS1618+ as well as a DS216+ Both of them work great! But I've never used Plex before. I'm running rsync on my DS1618+ on 12+ VMs every night to backup data. Eventually, I'm planning on running some CAT5e through the house and setting up some PoE security cameras outside. -- David White

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ I asked the same question via my community email list at work (Netapp... we know a thing or two about NAS). From that I learned a few things: 1. QNAP sucks. About 75% of respondents have Synology boxes at home. But the drives I have on hand are all desktop drives and not NAS drives, so Synology might not like them. 2. unRAID looks better than FreeNAS (I had one more vote for FreeNAS but that was on an old Solidfire storage node). unRAID will let me consume all my drives and provide a platform for VMs and Containers. For $500, I can build a new box that can provide some serious virtualization horsepower. 3. NetApp sells nothing in this price range. -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Aaron welch ------------------------------------------------------ Correcting #3: NetApp will NEVER sell anything in this range. -- Aaron Welch Chief Mechanic @ Geek Ventures 423-505-9999 n2nightfall@gmail.com "Enabling people to do great things with their own ideas."

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ Aaron & Dave, As a Netapp employee, I do occasionally have access to inside deals. And we just had a big re-org to focus on "core values" i.e., enterprise storage. And Netapp has enough cash in the bank to buy a NAS maker like Synology. It was interesting to see that FreeNAS was preferred by people who wanted to really muck with the hardware (an old Solidfire storage node or a home FC setup). unRAID definitely appears to be the lazy-man's FreeNAS (except it's not free, just not terribly expensive). Synology appears to be King of the NAS right now. -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Dean Warren ------------------------------------------------------ Hey Eric, Would agree that Synology seems to have a firm foothold. When doing field networking work the majority of small to midsize businesses seem to go Synology, but that could just be biased to the tech service providers in my area. Hope you have a great day, Dean Warren

=============================================================== From: Aaron welch ------------------------------------------------------ I have worked with Drobos, QNap, Synology, and custom builds over the last few years. Most of the installs I did for wealthy folks have the highend QNap devices (12x 3.5" drives with 4x 2.5" SSDs). The people that really know what they are doing go with Synology or roll their own using Dell servers. -Aaron -- Aaron Welch Chief Mechanic @ Geek Ventures 423-505-9999 n2nightfall@gmail.com "Enabling people to do great things with their own ideas."

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ the ll Some of us even roll with Synology for iSCSI storage and Dell servers :) Cheers, -Dave

=============================================================== From: "Alex Smith (K4RNT)" ------------------------------------------------------ OpenIndiana does iSCSI targets. Check out COMSTAR. " 'With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.' Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning... The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we=E2=80=99re al= l damaged." - Jean-Luc Picard, quoting Judge Aaron Satie, Star Trek: TNG episode "The Drumhead" - Alex Smith - Kent, Washington (metropolitan Seattle area)

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ Linux and FreeBSD do iSCSI as well. Synology has a GUI that I can walk Fred the Janitor through over the phone. Guess which one I use and why! Cheers, -Dave

=============================================================== From: Billy ------------------------------------------------------ So I looked at unRaid. Interesting. But, part of the reason I went with ZFS on fedora, was if I needed to use an= other Linux, I could. I=E2=80=99ve even troubleshot my ZFS array by booting i= nto FreeBSD from usb. I went with fedora, as I have existing relationships that I could bring to b= ear if I had issues. I=E2=80=99m not sure I would have that ability if unRaid went away as a comp= any, or if I wanted to easily migrate that storage to something else. --b e just had a big re-org to focus on "core values" i.e., enterprise storage. A= nd Netapp has enough cash in the bank to buy a NAS maker like Synology. o really muck with the hardware (an old Solidfire storage node or a home FC s= etup). unRAID definitely appears to be the lazy-man's FreeNAS (except it's n= ot free, just not terribly expensive). =3D- : we know a thing or two about NAS). >=46rom that I learned a few things: the drives I have on hand are all desktop drives and not NAS drives, so Syn= ology might not like them. that was on an old Solidfire storage node). unRAID will let me consume all m= y drives and provide a platform for VMs and Containers. For $500, I can buil= d a new box that can provide some serious virtualization horsepower. -=3D- e: tting up some PoE security cameras outside. ervices my house pretty well. pe you will do an instructional on your build! uper cheap 240GB SSDs, so I'm using some SAS DAS arrays to do so cheaply. fferent drives from old machines that I could stuff into it. The other is I h= ave a bunch of media on some of the old drives that I would like to transfer= over. But I think I can do the same with a 4-5 drive QNAP or Synology NAS. O= ne challenge I find with the NAS boxen is figuring out how current they are.= I'm not certain how much it matters but many of the NAS boxes are using 5-6= year old Intel CPUs. And... I just figured out the Synology model numbering= scheme... S with support for 2 M.2 Drives. The equivalent QNAP box requires a $150 add= -in card to support M.2 drives. I'm going to do some more research and I may= try to fire up the old Linux based Plex/NAS box that's been offline for a w= hile. The old Plex/NAS box has 2 7200RPM 6TB drives and 1 512GB SSD. I have a= third matching 6TB drive which would go into the NAS box. Although I may ne= ed to stick one in an external chassis to migrate data. --=3D-=3D- rote: fiber buntu logy

=============================================================== From: DaWorm ------------------------------------------------------ I build my media server around Synology, of a sort. The basic code is open source, but their bootloaders are proprietary, meaning it is hard to make it work on non Synology hardware. Hard, but not impossible, via xpenology. Unfortunately, I made some poor choices (for me) as part of my build. Instead of the normal "boot off read only USB stick" method 99.9% of the world seems to use, I had to throw ESXI onto an SSD and then run the xpenology server there (had dreams of a MythTV server and several other VMs that never came to be). The version I put on two years ago still works great as a NAS, but it will no longer run Plex server (they quit supporting that version), and there is no way to upgrade to the latest. I'm going to have to basically rebuild from scratch, but hopefully that can be done without changing anything on the drives. Been dreading doing that for weeks, but I'm going to need to do it soon. Jeff

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ I bit the bullet and ordered a Synology DS920+ from Amazon. It was a Prime Day special at $439. 4-Core Celeron. I ordered a RAM upgrade, two NVMe drives, and two 10TB WD Red NAS drives. Almost everything was Prime Day specials. The DS920+ has 4 bays. I'll populate two with the 10GB WD drives and test my non-NAS drives in the other bays. -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: DaWorm ------------------------------------------------------ Nice, and supports the five bay expansion as well. Jeff