How to build a quiet 117TB Plex media server (Pt 1)
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How to build a quiet 117TB Plex media server (Pt 1)


Yes this is audio of the ACTUAL server

72 Comments

  • AskBruzz DotCom

    Hi, just a question. Why unraid instead of omv? I plan to install omv on my new server. But now…. i have some doubt xD

  • TikleMyN1ps

    Great vid! I love seeing these kind of stories since I literally did the same thing. Went from a small gaming computer with external drives, to a dedicated desktop with 6 drives, to a 24 bay Supermicro server running 10X10TB HDD's. I personally run Proxmox and pass-through the HDD's to a OpenMediaVault VM and use that as my SMB/Docker VM and run other VM's to handle everything else on my network.

  • El Bachir

    wow! can't wait for the next video. Make it as long as you want lol. I almost filled my 4x4To Red with no raid. The whole used part and new OS is a little intimidated lol.

  • Felix R

    My Plex Media Server:
    AMD Athlon 5150
    Arctic Alpine Passive
    2x 2GB DDR3-1333
    120GB Kingston SSD
    4000GB Seagate HDD
    350W be quiet! PSU
    Windows 10 Home

    I use this Server alone and all my Clients do not need Transcoding.
    The Loudest thing is the 5400 RPM HDD so i can have it in my room 🙂
    And since i have a 30MBit/s Upload i can even watch BluRay Rips without any Transcoding

  • Plex'n Brown

    I probably don’t acquire as much media as you. but I found it more painless to upgrade to larger 4 drives every 2-3 years. I’m gone from 2tb -10tb drives over last 10
    Years. Then retire the old drives as back up to a 16 bay super-micro blade server for cold back up.

  • Rare Solid

    Thanks!! Would love to know more about disk shelf and how to get that working. Possibly using disk shelf in unraid too? Look forward to the second part!

  • asmcriminaL

    I have been planning a build like this. Unraid and run windows virtual machine. But supposedly unraid does not support quick sync(intel feature). You need to go with AMD and a p2000 if you want to stream.

  • Tony Johansson

    My Plexserver was built from random junk I had at work. Core i5 with 8GB RAM, tower case with capacity for 12×3,5 drives and 4x120mm front fans, raid0 4x500GB=2TB + 4 cold spares + 2TB internal drive for local backup, 500/500mbits internet. Currently I have about 5 users (me, gf, family) and its working fine, but want to give some friends access, so gonna need that p2000.

    The plexserver runs Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit. I configured remote desktop via ddns, power on when detecting AC. So far its only shut down once due to power outage, but it turned when power came back.

    My future plans are getting a Quadro P2000, UPS, and raid10 6x8TB=24TB + 2 cold spares.

  • ProphetBeal

    I also started on a Windows based server, although that was using Raid 5 and 6 for my drives. These days I'm on Freenas and I'm currently in the process of doubling my storage from 30TB to 60TB.

  • IcemanFPV

    I use a 2u server for my plex server. except I use a 4u case stacked on top of it that holds all the disks, and all the disks going to it with a lsi sas hba. All the 2.5 drives inside my dell r710 are filled with 2x500gb vnand and 6x 146gb 15k sas. But the primary role of my machine is as a processing node, with plex being a secondary role. Serves me well.

  • Andrew Bobulsky

    Oh man. Migrating all of the custom scripts from Powershell to Bash was what held me back for a while too as I just didn't want to rebuild something that already worked. I eventually leveraged a hardware upgrade to do it, much like you did.

    Your current server looks GREAT, but I gotta ask, where the heck are the disks?!

  • Dylan Kempker

    Part of me wants to get one of these because it is easy lots of room and already has 10Gbe I have a dellr900 with 4 six core processors 128GB of RAM but only 5 bays so I was going to try proxmox to link to my existing plex server. I have a 42U in a closet in my house so I was thinking a storinator or build a more up to date server. If you had a server rack in a quite place would you build a desktop in a server case or buy a storinator I'm trying to get a minimal of 12-15 3.5" bays but future proof maybe 30. I'm in between OS right now I have use freenas forever until I actually found out how outdated plex and also minesOS were then went to openmediavault until issues with C drive filling up with metadata so I couldn't log in anymore so I guess time for unraid…
    https://www.45drives.com/products/storinator-q30-configurations.php

  • Brandon Goswick

    I'm looking at getting a SuperMicro 45/60 Top Mounted Server, I've used up my 2 24 Bays for another project, Plex will have to wait, but for now once I get everything I need I'll be happy when I build it. 45Drives does sell their chassis without drives and the 30/45 bay's are not to terribly priced.

  • Murphy deffa

    FreeNAS, grazy thing. NAS OS that is unable do delete existing partitions 😀 , Yea hered right os that is desinged to manage drives can't manage drives. Ofcource always can dive into BSD command line maddness if UI is buggy 😉 But why. I ended up with ubuntu cos allready had to dig into command line all of these "NAS OS" . So why the hell allready install ubuntu+webmin.

  • Firespyer

    I want that server in my living room, I'd spend more time looking at that then my TV. It is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to see the video on that.

  • Evan S

    I've been looking to invest in a R720. Maybe I'll wait until your second video before pulling out the wallet…

  • Isaac Aymerich

    I currently Have a build with 24 disks on a 4U rack server its not so noisy because I auto regulate the fans depending which disks are hot, indead I can stop the fans on winter,anyway it seems so cool your setup but I dont see where you have the disks.

  • Dennis D

    i love how you can get enterprise equipment for dirt cheap. I'm not into the lights and looks but i completely agree about the noise. my MD1200 and 24 day supermicro sound like jets racing against eachother. my r720 is near whisper and low power. In the future, if you are only looking for cheap storage, try SAS drives on ebay. i got 10 2tb sas drives for $200 and low hours. for me they have been working perfectly for 8 months.

  • Phil McCracken

    Thought about going the route of rackmount plex servers, but instead got a synology nas with two expansion units. Use my gaming pc as the plex server with network share on NAS. Plenty of space to upgrade storage, more than I’ll ever need or use. When more powerful chips come out I can easily upgrade and enjoy having a powerful gaming pc as well as a beast of a plex server.

  • Shawn Tempesta

    This is the video I've been waiting for. Waiting on that next one. Ready to chuck this Drobo out the window.

  • Tom Edwards

    Running a Dell Poweredge T610, its quiet and powerful and i used it a home server for VMS and plex. Running Server 2019 no issues, Even DVB-T Works a treat. Dual LAN + IDrac and i have enterprise drives running in RAID 5

  • Kieran Williams

    I run Plex on a virtual machine with storage on my NAS with a iscsi . My second plex is run on a QNAP NAS which can run plex as a app on its Linux core very simple point and click. My home data center servers are quantity 3 Dell R710’s with dual Xeon 16 core processors. The units are super quiet as long as you have decent control of the ambient temperature for the room. In my case I have my data center in the basement where the basement stays cool naturally.

  • Jon Donnelly

    Ryzen 1600 for 100 dollars, a couple of 14TB drives raid 1. Not rocket science. An hours work Job done. If you fill 14TB then add another pair of drives. In 5 years get new drives and mothball the old ones.

  • The MainEvent

    I know how you fell about them fans I’m trying to see what I can do about mine so far I’m thinking about changing the fans and buying a close rack with a fan built in so it won’t over heat I love that rack you have might roll with that if I can I have the 24bay I need to rebuild that also starting to get more 4k content for plex can’t wait to see part2

  • Captain-Slow

    Did I understand this right? You have plex running in a VM? Why not use a docker, so it can use only the memory it need, instead of having to assign memory to it?

  • Adam Zawadzki

    why plex, emby has less limits and also for open source free look into JellyFin its a fork of emby but open source and free so you dont need to pay nothing to run it and there is no limit on devices or users. Also why did you buy the gtx 1070 i guess you can use it for trans coding but someone who is on a budget and wants a server like this really don't need it

    My Server
    Emby & JellyFin
    Windows Server 2016 x64
    2x Intel Xeon X5670 2.93GHz 6-Core
    64GB DDR3 Memory
    1TB SSD For OS & Server Software
    24TB Hard Drive All In RAID For Movies & TV Shows

  • Justin

    Unraid is trash, I had a pro key and used it for 6 months. Lost data that had been safe for over a decade.
    Freenas is a much safer option

  • Trooper_Ish

    Nice Journey, and great new setup. I'm also glad your audience hasn't flooded the comments with "FreeNAS is BSD based"

  • Jeremy Ford

    This is literally the video every Plex user should watch to save a ton of Money on upgrade paths. Thanks for helping me see a better future for my Plex Server.

  • IAN DUCAO

    i like the loud noisy kind vibe with my servers in fact, i moved my servers from our make shift server room to our bed room with my roommate, you should see the look on his face hahaha

  • Key Jay HD

    Here is my setup:
    Case: Rosewill 1.0 mm Thickness 4U Rackmount Chasis (8 fans built in, Stock is VERY QUIET!)

    Motherboard: ASRock H87WS-DL ATX Motherboard

    HDD: WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive (x6) in RAIDZ2 = 7TB Usable Storage + WD Red 4 TB NAS Hard Drive (x7) in RAIDZ2 = 19TB Usable Storage. Total space = 26TB

    NIC: Intel Ethernet Server Adapter I340-T4 PCI 2.0 Compatible Version, 4 Port NIC (in LACP)

    RAM: Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600

    CPU: Xeon E3-1271 v3 Quad-Core Haswell Processor 3.6GHz (Passmark 10142)

    Cooling: Noctua NH-D15 6 heatpipe with Dual NF-A15 140mm fans

    PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 PSU

    Currently running FreeNAS on it and have so for years without too many issues. I more than likely will be upgrading to a Norco 24 bay probably next year to make drive replacements easier. Thing to note though that if you require Docker, you may have some trouble with FreeNAS, however I'm running everything I need without it and I'm not using VM's at all (iocages pretty much work fine).

  • Drake Gould

    Honestly if I was you, I would have ran VMWare's ESXI OS. Then Run FreeNAS for your Storage Pool. Problem with Unraid is the bitrot, unraid will not protect you from bitrot over time. And your media will end up with tiny errors over time. Honestly I would consider swapping over to Freenas when you get a chance. Then when you do need to upgrade storage, you swap entire zdev's out for larger pairs and even add more vdevs to your entire storage pool.

    You can passthrough SAS Cards that are in passive mode directly to a VM, which is what Freenas wants. My Server at home runs on Ryzen for low power usage, and my tower case has 11 hot swap bays. My Plex runs on its own VM inside esxi with a Nvidia GPU passed through to the VM, running ubuntu as the OS. I have a handful other other VM's on the machine, and rebooting one doesn't take the rest down.

    The plus to my method is the complete ability to move the setup to new hardware without reconfiguring. The VM Images are easily backed up, and the whole ESXI config can be backed up as well. Freenas also isn't tied to hardware, so a sas card failure isn't going to stop it from recovering with another card.

    I used to go from server setup to server setup for years, I just got fed up with the pain of migrating.

    ESXI isn't for everyone though. And if you do want to use a few of your motherboard's sata ports for HDD's, and want to passthrough the entire drive to the VM. You have to do it via the console, as there is no way to do it in the GUI. And it also requires manual driver install for Realtek Ethernet adapters, and just will refuse to use them. But they do work after going through the trouble to make them work. The network stack works great, and ESXI is super stable. Honestly it is the way to go for VM Management.

    Unraid is a bad choice for a large NAS setup, I honestly wish Linus would stop pushing it.

  • No_Name

    I have two servers (just shipped my third server to a friend who wanted my old Dell PowerEdge R710). Ones a T710 and the other is a T620. Both tower servers (That’s what the ‘T’ is for who don’t know). My T710 is pretty loud. The T620 however, is the quietest enterprise server I’ve ever had. Its on 24/7 and I use it for a lot of things if not everything.

  • Aurora The Otter

    I currently i have a i7 2600 with a 4 port sata pcie card and 3 port on mobo so i have 5x 8tb hdd 2 for parity and 2x 1tb in raid 1 cashe disk running on unraid. Im not gonna run out of space anytime soon

  • Ludvig Lindell

    How did you fit 120TB in a Thermaltake Tower 900? I would love to see the inside of that.

    I have a Lian Li PC 343 case. Its a bad case.. But it fits >30 3.5" drives..

  • shadow dragonsky

    I used windows server for years and it was so slow I'm on Ubuntu now so i can still run stuff like minecraft servers. Also have 3 5TB drives in a zpool so a get about 8tb's. just using some old hp z300 workstation.

  • Robert Hollar

    IMHO I think the best is to separate your storage and your transcoding "plex" server. I run a Jellyfin server and I have the remote "drive" mounted on the jelly server. The only drawback is that you really need a high speed network. You could also do like I did and use an infiniband dedicated storage network, if your aiming for scale that is. I use Supermicro servers for the storage arrays with noctua fans at a little over 330TB with one cascaded drive box. For transcoding I suggest touring cards with hacked drivers so you have unlimited sessions.

  • Christian Maaß

    Why you use a VM and not a Docker? You can also passtrough the GPU for Trancoding. In my opinion it makes no sense.. A Windows VM is written on other Paper

  • Next Level Code

    What are you using the windows vm for? Also have you learned about containers yet? Much more efficient then a VM. You could run Plex in a container.

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