So, I had never done any type of networking before (although I did do a Cisco CCNA? or something like that networking certification back in high school about 20 years ago). I’m more tech savvy than the average Joe, so I figured I would dive right in.
You see, my wonderful wife is always wanting me to throw up TV episodes onto our Plex server after they air, but I’m super damn busy. I am a full time RN that works a covid floor and I am in my final semester of graduate school to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I ain’t got time to hunt down all those TV shows. Another reason I wanted to do this was because my damn nVidia Shield TV plex server kinda sucked and would constantly go down. Plus, I only had about 10TB of space. So I wanted something cheap, reliable, and could provide automation. Enter this wonderful community.
After looking through my options, I went with a prebuilt PowerEdge T110 II. It could be found for less than $100 on ebay, had lots of space, and could pretty easily host plex for my house (and the few co-workers than have remote access). I ordered the server on eBay and when the server came in, I noticed it didn’t have the II behind PowerEdge on the front case. I did some digging and the guy advertised the wrong server. He apparently clicked “sell one like this” on another auction without realizing it wasn’t the same. He refunded me and told me to keep the server anyway. I flipped it for $60 locally.
I then ordered 32gb of the Hynix UDIMM RAM. When this came in, I received 64GB instead of 32GB. I don’t know why…but the server only has 4 slots and maxes at 32GB, so, I flipped the other 32GB back on eBay for $100.
So far I had spent $217 on the server and RAM, but made $160 back. So, $57 for a PowerEdge T110 II and 32GB of RAM.
I purchased this LSI card for $25. I had a hell of a time flashing this to IT mode for JBOD. The instructions I found here were not working, it just hung during the flash. Luckily, didn’t brick the card. I ended up having to download a full DOS and flashing it that way.
I purchased a SK Hynix 500gb SSD for a cache drive, it was on sale for $41.
I needed more than 4 slots for hard drives, so I purchased this EverCool 5.25 to 3x 3.5 drive bay adapter. I lost the CD ROM drive and gained 3 slots for 3.5" HDDs. $32
I purchased 4 6TB SAS drives from bitdeals (now out of stock). Totaled $192.
Other costs were SATA breakout cable ($16), SATA splitter ($13), SAS breakout cable ($15), and 8-port unmanaged switch ($9), and UNRAID ($89)
Total build cost: $489 after selling the extra server and RAM.
I had an existing 4TB HDD and a 10TB HDD. I used the 10TB as a parity drive and added the 4TB to the array.
Final build. PowerEdge T110 II with a 1230v2 quad core Xeon, 32gb RAM, 28TB on the array, 500gb SSD cache, 10TB parity for under $500. The only snags I have had are the flashing of the LSI and the fit with the SAS drives and breakout cables is super tight and the server door is a bit hard to close, it definitely puts pressure on the power cables. Otherwise, I could not be happier with the build. I added Jackett, Sonarr, Radarr to automate my video needs. Now my wife doesn’t text me at work to remote into the home PC to get her TV shows, it snags them automagically! That alone was worth the $500.
Thanks for all the information you put on the site, I couldn’t have done it without the vast knowledge base.