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DavidInDE

Looking to consolidate new build

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(Relatively) new here, so that's my excuse. Following advice from a contributor to the forums to consolidate a build that I intend starting soon, I would appreciate any advice as to how exactly to proceed; I am looking to run UnRAID (I have approximately 20TB of data to stream) and also to run Proxmox VE as an overarching environment (we use ESXi at work, and I am looking to acquire as much experience with virtualization as I can). Obviously I don't want to spend any more than necessary, but should I go the refurbished IT h/w route and go for a machine that holds 12 3.5" drives and 2 2.5" drives, and has 24GB of ECC RAM, or should I buy new, in which case I DEFINITELY want to save where possible!

 

Thanks in advance for any help/advice that is offered, and congrats on a very informative forum (speaking of which, I hope that I have opened this thread in the correct place, apologies if not)

 

 

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I should say that the streaming will be mostly 4k movies (some music) via Emby. I was thinking of running Emby server in a container with a Kodi front-end running on an Nvidia TV and the Emby plug in for Kodi. The confusion arises when I am told that I should have hardware RAID for Proxmox VE, whereas UnRAID is a software solution. Maybe it will take two separate servers...

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Just curious, why would you want to combine Proxmox and unRAID?  unRAID ships with a hypervisor, KVM...

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It's for learning purposes really, and hence is lower priority than the functionality of the whole. In a perfect world, I would also 'inherit' a Dell Poweredge R620 and install ESXi on it. I'd also read (rightly, or perhaps more likely, wrongly) that UnRAID is software RAID with virtualization tagged on, as opposed to an OS built with virtualization solely in mind. As I said, I read that on one of the forums, so don't shoot the messenger! I would be more than happy if you told me I was talking nonsense... :)

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I appreciate any and all advice though - in fact, I'd be delighted to be told that I was wrong in my assumption, as this would mean less work AND less expense!

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Trying to get unRaid running as a VM on another hypervisor is certainly going to be educational. If you are up for the challenge, go for it.

 

Most folks are perfectly happy running unRaid bare metal, and utilizing the "tacked on" KVM hypervisor to run their VM's. In fact, there is a rapidly growing percentage of folks using unRaid as a very functional frontend for KVM and largely ignoring the NAS part. KVM is a mature hypervisor, and it is solidly implemented in unRaid.

 

unRaid does not run any traditional type of RAID in the main array, hence the name unRaid. You can utilitize BTRFS RAID volumes in the cache pool if you like though.

 

Your post is in the right place for your original intended purpose of posting, but I suggest you read more about what unRaid is and does, and perhaps you can find much of what you asked has already been answered, or you will find that you really needed to ask different questions. The forum search is broken for most purposes, I suggest you use google search with unRaid as a search term accompanying what you wish to find.

 

You asked how to proceed, my advice would be to download and set up a bare metal trial on whatever hardware you have around, and explore the options and limitations that you encounter. That way you will be able to ask better questions, like "My test rig does X, but I need it to do Y. Is there a way to accomplish that with different hardware?"

 

Spending money on a rig that doesn't and can't do what you want is dumb, and right now I don't think you know enough about what you actually want to end up with to know the right questions to ask.

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I appreciate the advice - even the 'dumb' part - I'm finishing up the existing build for a client anyway, but I'll hold off putting any money into my own system over and above what is invested in the parts I already have. It's interesting what you said about UnRAID as a hypervisor though, and kinda comforting too. I'll use it for both purposes, there seem to be enough videos out there; Oh, and the Proxmox server will be separate now because I've convinced a client to go that route (although bearing in mind what you say, maybe they'll want UnRAID too!)

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I think that's a good idea.  It isn't that unRAID can't operate under a Hypervisor - it can.  But in trying to get a hypervisor enabled OS running under another hypervisor you'd be forwarding the last page of the book without having read everything before that...  

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2 hours ago, DavidInDE said:

I appreciate the advice - even the 'dumb' part

I apologize if it came across as calling you dumb. Far from it, you expressed an interest in a parts list to spend money on, and I was trying to convey that that approach was putting the cart before the horse. You are smart to ask about it before spending your money, and I was trying to help you find what you need to know to be able to spend your money wisely.

 

You can spend very little on an unraid system, you probably could run it on something that was being thrown away in a normal business setting. It may only be capable of the NAS portion of the software, but it will run. You can also spend $$$$$ on it, and if you get the wrong parts, you still won't be happy.

 

Poke around the forum, find people who are doing the kinds of things you are interested in accomplishing with unraid, and see what their hardware list is. If it's not in their signature, ask. Most if not all of the folks around here will be happy to tell you what they are currently running.

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I was just kidding....it was my "I'm at work and so I sound really miserable" voice. I am very grateful to anybody who takes the time to offer advice. Thanks again!

 

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One other thing to consider.  If you plan to transcode in the future using something like PLEX then you probably don't want to buy a refurbished Supermicro server from the bay.  Those systems usually have older versions of  the Xeon CPU.  Buy new  using the Xeon Kaby Lake CPUs - they support iGPU transcoding.

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Thanks - that is a good point. I don't intend that, but it's when you don't intend doing something that you usually end up doing it anyway (if that makes sense), so that's useful to bear in mind.

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