Bit of a chronicle–started 6 months ago as a complete noob looking to set up Plex for myself + a few family members. Up until last week I ran Unraid on an HP-290 with one 4TB HDD. On a whim I bought this deal for an HP ML310e Gen 8 Proliant server and migrated to the recommended two-box system with the ML310e running Unraid and the HP 290 as a dedicated transcoder running Plex on baremetal.
Some thoughts on the ML310e: this thing is insanely user-friendly. It is essentially a NAS–completely plug-and-play, literally no cabling or assembly required. There are essentially four steps required from the box to get it up and running with Unraid:
- Place hard drives into drive caddies and insert them into the drive cage. You need to order the caddies separately; the server comes with blanks.
- Plug in Unraid flash drive (there’s an internal slot for it right on the motherboard)
- Add an SSD for cache (all you need is one SATA data cable)
- Change boot order in BIOS to launch from USB
There’s some additional BIOS stuff that I didn’t mess with that runs during boot–I’m sure more experienced users will have use for that functionality. I ignore it and it launches Unraid after about a minute.
Front with all drives mounted (removing bezel requires key):
Drive caddy (empty):
Drive caddy (with drive):
Drive blank (server came with 3 of these):
Access panel (turn thumb screw and key to remove):
Internals (with the air baffle):
Internals (no air baffle):
Motherboard Closeup (note the convenient USB port for Unraid drive):
Back of drive cage:
SSD (note the power cable coming off the optical drive already had a spare ending; all I needed to add was the yellow SATA data cable):
Don’t talk to me or my son ever again:
|Prebuilt||HP ML310e Gen 8||$170|
|SSD||Samsung EVO 850 - 250GB||Already had|
|Drive Caddies||HP 3.5" LFF SAS & SATA HDD/SSD Smart Carrier Hard Drive Caddy/Tray||$30|
|SATA Cable||Relper-Lineso 6 Pack 18 Inches SATA III 6.0 Gbps Data Cable with Locking Latch||$8|
|RAM||Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2666 MT/s (PC4-21300) SR x8 DIMM 288-Pin Memory - CT8G4DFS8266||$34|
|SSD||Samsung PM981 M.2 PCIE 256GB||$40|
|SSD Heat Sink||MHQJRH M.2 2280 SSD heatsink, Double-Sided Heat Sink||$10|
Drives: 4x HGST 4TB HDDs @$50 each: $200
Thanks again JDM for all of your help!!