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dwayneelizondo

Advice on storage/cache for new build

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Hello all, first timer here. 

I wanted to have a single machine where to consolidate all of mine and my gf's media files, instead of having them disseminated on 8+ external hdd as of now - so I downloaded the trial vers of unraid and started messing with it for the past week or so, to get accustomed to it before purchasing anything.

I've been running a simple array with some spare hardware I had around/managed to get for cheap - basically my setup right now is:

 

Z270 Itx motherboard

i5-7400t

4 gb ddr4 ram

Corsair cx450m psu

1x 640gb WD Caviar (from 2008)

 

Right now I only have Plex + deluge set up on the array, and probably won't use anything else - basically I'm trying to make a set-and-forget media server + occasional torrenting.

 

I would like to keep as much of the hardware I already have (except for the hdd, which is basically more than ancient), so I was thinking of going with 1x 4TB WD Red for parity and 2x 4TB WD Red for data.

 

Question is, do you really think that for this kind of use I would need a cache drive? Or I can just go ahead with my purchase, and have deluge work directly on the array (I don't expect to do heavy torrenting, just around a dozen gigs of downloads a week). I've seen also topics about having a drive outside the array with unassigned devs. to be used as storage for torrents, but I don't want to overcomplicate things too much.

Thanks

 

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I recommend a cache SSD for your applications. Having the applications working storage on cache SSD gives better performance and will allow the HDDs in the array to spin down. If you use the array for the applications they may keep the array disks spun up and parity updating.

 

You can still configure your downloads to go straight to the array, and of course your media would be stored on the array. If you don't cache any user share writes and only use it for applications working storage you don't need a very large SSD.

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I would also recommend a cache drive, it is the defacto application drive for unRAID.  And trurl's recommendation to use an SSD is excellent.  That said, you can use one of your HDs for the cache drive if you're not ready to make the jump to an SSD.

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15 hours ago, tdallen said:

I would also recommend a cache drive, it is the defacto application drive for unRAID.  And trurl's recommendation to use an SSD is excellent.  That said, you can use one of your HDs for the cache drive if you're not ready to make the jump to an SSD.

 

Thanks for the reply -  I'll probaly use the old hdd as cache for the first weeks till I can upgrade to an ssd. btw do you think that 120gb could be enough, or should I get something bigger? Also, I was thinking about buying an m.2 sata, so not to clog up all my sata ports (I should be ok with 8tb of data disks for the foreseeable future, but with a free sata port I could upgrade easily with another 4tb wd red).

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8 minutes ago, dwayneelizondo said:

Also, I was thinking about buying an m.2 sata, so not to clog up all my sata ports

Make sure you are actually able to use all your ports at once. Some boards steal a sata port if you use a M.2 Sata card.

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10 hours ago, dwayneelizondo said:

btw do you think that 120gb could be enough

My cache drive is about 70GB used right now.  It's got a 20GB docker image file, and ~50GB of random stuff - files to be uploaded, recently downloaded, the data files for various Dockers including Plex and several others, etc.  So 120GB would be fine as a starting point since you have the drive already but I'd advise anyone buying a drive to start at 250GB.

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