Queenie v4.0 - Proliant ML10

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Hey Folks


Following the abdication of the latest Queen (Queenie v3.0 - USB HDD from a raspberry pi) I needed to get some network storage back up and running. Im hoping that Ill be able to get things up and running by the end of the week, and thought Id document things here for giggles :)


A little about me, I spend my day working in the strange and wonderful world of 'Business Intelligence', a heady mix of graphs, colour combinations and user experience design choices. Outside of work I'd like to think im at least as practically minded as the average bear, but I know next to nothing about networks or any OS that isn't Windows. (Perhaps this is what went wrong for Queenie v1.0 through to v3.0). What could possibly go wrong, right?


The first stage of this process was for me to decide what I wanted the new server to be able to do, vs what I was willing to spend, could I make it fit into the available space at home and would it pass the 'wife test'. I ended up with the following parts ordered

  • HP Proliant ML10 - Xeon 1225 powered microserver with 8GB or ram and 6 SATA ports for me to use up
  • 3x Segate Iromwolf 6TB drives - 1 parity and 2 for the pool
  • 1x Corsair 250GB SSD - cache drive
  • 16GB Sandisk usb 2.0 stick for unRaid
  • 1x unraid 6 disk license


All of the above will hopefully give me 12TB of easily managed and reliable and expandable storage on my network which will be a lot faster than my previous USB HDD. I can use it to run a plex server so that the boss can watch transcoded films in bed on her phone. The CPU is really overkill for the tasks I have in store for it at the moment but who knows what next month / year will bring.


So to some actual progress, with my hardware arriving tomorrow the first job that had to be done today was to organise my network gubbins and try to make some room for the Queenie. My network is a coax cable in from the street that I routed under the floor and into a store cupboard under the stairs. From here I have ethernet to a router and then ethernet to the TV via a switch, a couple of Pis and wireless to my main PC upstairs. Before the good lady got home this evening all of that little lot became this.




The plan here was to mount a sheet of plywood / hardwood onto standoffs and mount those to the wall. This way I could get behind the board if I needed to zip tie things and it wouldnt be the end of the world if screws or nails went all the way through. All of the electrical hardware would be mounted to the board with double sided sticky velcro tape (amazing) and the cable routing secured with P clips (shamelessly stolen from a Linus Tech Tips video).




Here is where I got to with everything secured in place, but no coax coming in to the router, much tidier! Positioning might look a little odd right now but Im considering running some external ethernet cable in the summer so have left some room for an extra switch. Might want to wire in an access point upstairs.




And with it all in place and screwed to the external wall. I misjudged (ie forgot) the length of the ethernet cable going through the wall and into the living room, so Ill need a mount a switch on the far side of the board to get it to route flat against the wall. Having said that I have now created a lot of room for the tower to go into tomorrow and its a bit easier for me to see now what is going where.


Right now Im just creating my boot stick and tomorrow ill update with the tower in place and booted, maybe even running a pre clear?! Long live Queenie v4.0!!!




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You might want to consider adding a UPS to the mix.


Also, the preclear plugin isn’t necessary and isn’t compatible with current stable release of unRAID. UnRAID will clear your data drives when you create your new array. If you really feel that you need to run preclears on the drives you can still use the original process via a screen session and SSH. Many people recommend an extended SMART test instead though.

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Queenie v4.0 - Day 2


tl;dr There is a new woman on the throne!


wgstarks mentions above that I should consider a UPS to protect my assortment of home network stuff.  He (?) is completely right and this is absolutely my plan. This weekend I need to knock up a frame to allow the server to sit off of the floor to avoid the worst of the dust etc, this will also allow for some storage space underneath. Once I have the frame built I will know how much space I have for the UPS and can choose accordingly. (forum link for good advice). Thats the plan anyways.


So anyways, I had to get the computer stuff delivered to my parents house as I was at work, which meant a quick dash across town to pick everything up. Then home to cook the boss some tea. My plan for tonight was to get the box built and try to get the thing to post and boot into unRaid. Its actually been a very noob friendly evening.




The ML10 box is, I would say, about as large as I can get away with space wise. There is plenty of room inside for 6 HDDs and an SSD without any case mods (5 SATA ports). One of the slots is occluded by the CPU cooler, you will need to remove it if you want to use that slot, assuming you are using a fat (6TB+) hard drive. As is the case comes with all of the required SATA cables which was a nice surprise and the power cables are just long enough to reach the furthest drive bay without leaving loads of spare cable flapping about all over.




Cooling looks like it will be just about sufficient with 1 80mm exhaust and the PSU fan pulling hot air out, and the CPU fan circulating. Ill be adding a fan in angled at the HDDs soon for peace of mind. The USB 2.0 slot is actually internal which is great as I was sweating about knocking an external one. For any fellow noobs reading, I used the unRaid USB creator to make my USB drive which worked perfectly. I did then run the boot file to make the drive bootable as per the text guide here.


Once built there were a couple of tasks to complete before unRaid would boot that were specific to the HPE Proliant ML10 Gen9 1225. This box defaults to a UFEI boot process, you need to turn that off which I did by following this guidance. In the same bios boot screen there was one further 'boot option' to switch the machine to Legacy boot which I also needed to choose. Once these were done it booted into unRaid with no problems at all.


So thats where I am for now. Ive not assigned drives yet as Im double checking the start guides for things that I want to do. Once Im happy Ill get the array started (skipping a separate pre-clear step as wgstarks said) and give you all my first impressions of the system asap. This will include the wife acid test of watching transcoded content in bed! (more of a network stress test than my ability to follow simple guides but Im sure that Ill have fun!)

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Hey folks, just a quick post to bring you up to date on the last jobs done now that this build is completed and my thoughts on server performance etc.


First, a throne for the new queen!




Perhaps a bit silly but I wanted to get the server off of the ground to help with dust / insect ingress




So thats about it as far as the hardware goes. Only outstanding hardware jobs are to fit a switch to my network board for future projects and to choose a UPS to feed Queenie.


I suspect of more interest to everyone will be server performance and experience etc. Im using 3 x 6TB Ironwolf drives and a 250GB SSD, none of which have thrown any errors in the initial build and data copy. Populating the array with an initial 2.5TB drive temps got up to 26C which I was really happy with, I had been concerned that the case would not push enough airflow with just an 80mm exhaust and the PSU but so far no problems. There is a spare fan header so I might fit a 120mm on the base of the case angled up at the drives when I fit the switch and UPS.


Just a quick tip for any other noobs like me. If you let your share default to 'Allocation Method: High Water' which as far as I can tell you should, dont panic when the array only writes to one of your drives. It will start using the other ones when the first gets a bit fuller. Google is our friend! (Dont do what I did, which is to panic, delete the data and re-build the array and shares...)


Noise wise it sounds like a hair dryer when first booted but idles back soon after and during a large copy its not much nosier than a quiet desktop pc. If I were using it in a living room / bedroom etc I would want to swap out the cpu cooler and system fan for quieter items (there is plenty of room to do so and the cpu cooler is attached with screws and not soldered on or anything annoying)


Currently the server is sitting at 14% memory usage (from 8GB) with the following plugins installed

  • CA Auto Update
  • CA Cleanup
  • CA
  • Dynamix Cache Directories
  • Dynamix SSD Trim
  • Fix Commen Problems
  • Nerd Tools (no packs installed form here yet)

Im getting copy speeds to the server of 40-60 Mb/s but these are over wireless through 2 brick walls and a floor so Im rather happy with those. At some point in the future I may run some cat5e up to my main pc but as that involves drilling holes in external walls and chopping out bits of plaster for an access point ill leave it for another day :) Streaming over ethernet to a Kodi box works as flawlessly as you would expect and the drives spin up to play the media more quickly than my last solution.


Overall Im very impressed with unRaid and glad I took the time to do the above work. I have a couple of things left to do hardware wise and I need to get a plex server working (tried once, was beyond me will ask for help in a different thread). Ive also got a couple more Spaceinvader videos to watch so will probably find a few more cool plugins to grab as well.


Cheers for reading if you got this far. Id like to apologise in advance for all of the Docker / Plex Server help threads it looks like Im going to have to make! 

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Queenie looks fantastic so far. 


Might I add a small addition of constructive criticism?


Your hotspot is now turned in its side, in a non optimal configuration. -However, you are using small (3-5db im guessing) omni directional antennas. 


Three of these bad girls (link below) would greatly improve signal, as well as coverage area, and as an added benefit, they are magnetic. I use 4 placed in roughly a 10x10ft square and I get wireless (from my basement) on the next road over. In the house, im getting well over 300mbps in just about any room.

On 2/7/2018 at 10:11 AM, wgstarks said:

You might want to consider adding a UPS to the mix.

 +1 this. Even if you get a small 100$ special from bestbuy/staples/whatever at least get the network protected, and ideally, the computer as well. If not for the UPS/battery backup at the very least you get surge protection.

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8 hours ago, tbonedude420 said:

Your hotspot is now turned in its side, in a non optimal configuration. -However, you are using small (3-5db im guessing) omni directional antennas. 


Three of these bad girls (link below) would greatly improve signal, as well as coverage area, and as an added benefit, they are magnetic. I use 4 placed in roughly a 10x10ft square and I get wireless (from my basement) on the next road over. In the house, im getting well over 300mbps in just about any room.


[Also, get a UPS!]


Cheers for the comment mate. Ill be honest I had no Idea that wifi boost antennas were a thing so I will buy some to test them out. It sure would be a lot less hassle than drilling through the external wall a couple of times to run cable upstairs and chopping out plaster for an ethernet face plate. Thats brilliant!


As far as the UPS goes, yes I will be adding a 'not crap' one (with USB communication to the server to get things turned off in case of power cuts). Ill probably do a final network type update once I have gotten all of these little jobs finished, as I also need to mod the case slightly for an extra fan aimed in the direction of the HDDs (just for fun).

Edited by Cakey
english was wrong

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