Finally replacing WHS11

Hello Im in the market to upgrade my aging Windows server.

My current system is as follows:

OS Windows Home Server 2011
Case - Fractal Design Define R5 ATX Midtower
HDD-4 drives, totaling 27tb
SSD - OS drive

The server is primarily a file and media server, running Plex and sharing media office files on my network (plus for backups).

I’m thinking Proxmox to complement two small NUC based servers that run various home automation services. So, this ProxmoX on this will make a cluster of 3 proxmox servers in total.

Im looking to upgrade the Motherboard, CPU, memory and ssd drive. For the mobo - ideally 6x SATA and 2 Nics. But these can be added through PCI.

I plan to move this server to proxmox running plex in docker on linux VM or as container. Keen to use IGPU passthrough for transcoding (so, prob Intel based). And, keen to keep the power/ heat low if possible as the machine sits in a cupboard (with fans). will reuse the case, Psu, and drives.

As this will run few VMs would need a few Cores / Threads (4 to 6 Cores?) i guess and prob 32gb Ram. want to keep some capacity for future proofing.

What would be a tried and tested and cost effective mobo / cpu combination for such a setup?

I can’t believe you are still running WHS! Wow. I migrated to unRaid over 10 years ago when Microsoft announced they were killing it off. I run a AMD Ryzen system with 4 14TB drives (1 is parity). I have lots of dockers (Plex is one) and a few VMs and it runs great and is less than 80 watts and it is in a mid size tower case. unRaid just keeps getting better and better every year.

I know re WHS. Bet there are notany machines running this now. 1 less soon hopefully.

Regarding the use of Parity - do you put parity over everything? Even DVD / CD rips, recorded TV and things you have in a 3:2:1 backup?

Is it Jist safer to put everything in a big parity array?

Almost everything is covered by parity and what is not is covered by mirrored cache drives. Now unRaid supports ZFS zpools also, but I have not set that up yet.

The way Unraid is set up you have one “Main” Array where typically all or most of your data lives. You can configure the Array with 0, 1, or 2 Parity drives with the requirement that the Parity drive is as large or larger than the largest data drive in the array. The recommendation is to use 1 drive for parity and that is how most folks set it up.

Everything revolves around the Main Array and there is not support for additional Arrays. This is a design choice that the Unraid folks made I assume mostly to optimize for efficient use of parity; A single disk dedicated to parity can protect all your data at once. It also keeps things more streamlined and manageable in the UI. While you can’t have more than 1 Array you can have as many Cache Pools as you like.

You then set up “Shares” to segment the data on the Array. This lets you keep things organized, control what users and apps have access to what data, and implement different caching strategies for different data.

If you like you could set up the main array without parity and create a share for data that you want to protect. You can then create a cache pool using 2 or more disks in a BTRFS raid or ZFS zpool and keep your most important data there.

I would recommend just parity protecting the main array though and additionally backing up the important data elsewhere. True if a disk fails in the array you can restore from backup / re-download the replaceable data, but if the main array is parity protected and a disk fails you can continue to use the server without any downtime and then just replace the disk and rebuild parity without having to go through the hassle of restoring from backup / re-downloading a ton of stuff. I prefer to have a first line of defense for my data and also have a backup for the important stuff in case things go south in a catastrophic way.

You can go the other way if there is a lot of data that you specifically don’t care about. You can create a cache pool with a single drive and attach it to a share to save space / wear and tear on your main array drives. I use a 1TB SSD as an unprotected cache pool for my download folders, and just move stuff to the main array from there as necessary for data I want to keep.