Another server noob

Hey new to the forums, didn’t know where to put this so I figured here would be appropriate.

I’m looking at building a server for home use primary uses would be plex nas and steam cache

With exception to the nas part would I be fairly safe to run non nas drives to save some $?

Losing my plex library wouldn’t really be a big deal just irritating so if I could save money by running say WD greens that’d be great
For my nas portion ill fork out for red or gold drives as that’ll be mostly full of irreplaceable pictures
Assuming the drives shut off when not in use even greens should last along time if their not being constantly accessed correct?

Welcome! NK4 w/LSI HBA. If needing more than a couple simultaneous transcodes, add an HP290 for QuickSync.

WD shucks if density matters (8-12TB), or used SAS if $/TB matters more (3TB for ~$20, 4TB for ~$35). All drives fail; run Unraid with parity, automate 3-2-1 backups, and don’t worry about it. Let the drives spin; harshest time is spin-up.

Post your parts list to the Discord in the #buy-curious channel, in the form of a link to a Google Sheets, before you pull the trigger, and we can give you feedback.

All the best!

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Even if it’s days or weeks between accessing them? Things like my steam cache would only be accessed when my desktop is on and there can be weeks where I don’t touch it

I will once I’ve finished picking out a initial parts list much harder to do that I thought considering I still don’t know how I want my software set up to be

If you’re running unRAID as your NAS/server OS, then you have the benefit of running a variety of different drives, just adding them as you need them. unRAID is designed to use regular consumer drives. I wouldn’t worry about buying drives that are labeled as “NAS” drives. Better to buy, as seanho posted, used enterprise grade SAS drives from eBay, or shuck the drives out of EasyStore, WD My Book, or WD Elements in sizes 8TB or larger. There are many, many posts on Reddit and elsewhere that the drives in these three brands in 8TB or larger sizes are either WD Reds or white label red equivalent or enterprise/data center drives. JDM has a video about shucking on his Youtube channel. There are also a bunch of other such videos a search on Youtube will find.

As for continuous spinning or spinning your drives down. There are two camps: 1. spinning drives 100% is better to save wear and limit drive failure; 2. spinning drives down will not adversely affect the drive within it’s working lifetime. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that. But that’s the gist. I used to leave my drives spinning 100% but as my array grew, I have adopted drive settings that tend to have my drives spinning up about 1x per day. I believe the key is avoiding drives spinning up and down often throughout the day.

seanho makes a great point about being sure to run parity and to have backups of important data. These things are far more important than what color the drive is. Also, keep in mind some of the info from drive companies is marketing and doesn’t matter. For example, WD Reds have TLER. I used to see a lot of stuff about buying WD Reds because of TLER. Then I read this post from the inventor of unRAID.

And if you are concerned about energy consumption, better to focus on running fewer, larger drives (greater density) and running drives that spin at lower rpm (5400 rpm). More drives equals greater power consumption; faster spinning drives equals greater power consumption.

If you follow seanho’s info about backing up and buy used enterprise SAS drives, or shuck 8TB or larger EasyStore, WD My Book, or WD Elements, you’ll be fine.

Thanks for the info

I did find a listing on eBay for used seagate enterprise sas drives at a reasonable price but other than narrowing down exactly what I want I haven’t moved forward with anything yet so more time to learn

I would probably do a combination of all of them honestly spin down drives that are rarely assessed used slower drives for non speed essential and fewer larger drives for my paridy

Power savings is a partial concern since I would be running multiple arrays for multiple use cases I will end up with allot of drives but the main concern is more for heat/noise

My server will be going in the closet attached to my office so confined space with limited air flow, so I’m trying to do what I can to avoid heat soaking my office or having it be so loud it can be heard across the house

The more I learn about what home servers can be used for the more I keep changing what I want in parts stepping up to more powerful parts and adding more parts increasing the uses of my server

As of right now my servers planned use is
NAS x2
PLEX (with hardware transcoding)
Steam cache
Network Rom storage

And more will be added as I learn more

Keep in mind that your NAS/server will give off heat. The heat must be allowed to escape from the closet or mechanically exhausted. Heat is the death of mechanical hard drives and electronics generally.

I understand you don’t want your office turning into an oven. I was in the same situation. Have you considered putting the server farther away from living spaces? Maybe you have a basement or attached garage?

Whatever you decide to do, you’re embarking on a very fun hobby. Enjoy it all.

Unfortunately no I don’t, before I filled the closet full server hardware I had planned on installing a vent into the ceiling crawl space maybe with a small low speed fan, our home is “energy efficient” so there’s vents throughout the roof to allow heat to escape and the space around the closet door should be sufficient to allow fresh air in, if not I could always add a vent to the door

Be sure to monitor your hard drive temps, although other things could also heat up during intensive operations like ram, so those things might throw alerts. Probably a good idea to set up some text/email alerts, or some kind of push notification.

I had planned on having some fo form of monitoring, on both my car and my gaming pc I have monitoring set up to watch temps, I don’t have allot of money so the things that I have I want to last and heat is a killer of allot of things