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These two PCs need top make one epic RAID and Home Automation server

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone! I could use your help. I have some hardware and some dreams. Help me figure out the best way to do this.

I have two older units, one I bought off New Egg some time ago, one I bought of ebay, again some time ago. 


Here is what I need:




Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 Tower Server System Intel Core i3-4130 3.4 GHz 4GB 70A4000HUX

Link: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859106529


This is the unit I plan to add hard drive caddies to and a whole bunch of 10TB drives. What is in question is how exactly I will RAID these drives and by what means they will be accessed by the application server which runs Plex and NextCloud. The plan is ideal to have 40TB of storage (four 10TB drives) with 2 drives of redundancy. That totals 6 drives and 60TB total. I do not want to use ZFS because I can not even fit that much RAM in the server let alone afford it. I considered UnRAID simply for their Raid solution. The ability to potentially easily expand in the future is appealing (though this server probably can't handle or fit it).



HP COMPAQ ELITE SFF 8200 CORE i7-2600 @3.40GHz, 8GB, 500GB HDD, DMS-59 T6-F1


This slimline HP I bought off Ebay I thought would be perfect for the application server. This is most likely going to run straight Ubuntu with Docker containers for NextCloud, Plex, and Home Assistant.



The Questions:


1. What is the best RAID system for the STORAGE server given the requirements.

2. How am I going to attach this storage to the application server in the fastest possible way? Over gigabit LAN via a SAMBA share?

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1 minute ago, Ampix0 said:

. I do not want to use ZFS because I can not even fit that much RAM in the server let alone afford it.

ZFS doesn't need all that ram, you cna run 60tb of drives with zfs on 4gb of ram just fine. The ram is just used as a read cache.


Why that server though. Id go something like a dell c2100 instead. Cheaper and 2x the drive bays.


Id just get a single server and use vms, no reason to use 2 boxes. Look at r710's and c2100 on ebay.


For a share you probably want NFS here.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I already have these two boxes so I am looking to use them. The Lenovo only has an i3, so I figured that's fine for a dedicated NAS. 

The smaller box has an i7 though, capable of running pretty much all of my apps. But it doesn't have the size for all the drives.


That said, I would love to switch to a Rack server but they are too big and loud for my apartment. These two PCs ill be able to hide inside of the TV entertainment center. There IS a closet I could get a rack into maybe but unfortunately no power


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Without an expansion card the Thinkserver will only  host 4 SATA devices. If you are not going to use something like ZFS, consider getting a RAID card to run the drives. You will want to use RAID 1+0, maybe 6. RAID 5 is actually quite fragile with large drives.


The Thinkserver has four memory slots, you should be able to pick up a couple of compatible relatively inexpensive ecc memory modules.



80+ ratings certify electrical efficiency. Not quality.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am planning on getting an expansion card for the Lenovo box (not a raid card). I could throw in I think up to 32 GB of RAM if I had to. Then I could run FreeNAS or something. Though that kind seems redundant as I plan to run NextCloud. I'm not familiar with the different ZFS options. Im sure manual raid setups are possible but I'd rather avoid it for now. I'm considering UnRAID just for the RAID function though.

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