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Building First rack mounted server, need help utilizing existing server hardware and buying new stuff

Budget (including currency): 3,500-5,000 USD

Country: USA

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: TrueNAS SCALE, Plex, Network Shares, Device Backups, Minecraft Server and other game servers, iSCSI for holding all my video game downloads

Other details (existing parts lists, whether any peripherals are needed, what you're upgrading from, when you're going to buy, what resolution and refresh rate you want to play at, etc): 

Current Parts list:

 

HP Drive Shelf M6710 Including:

  • x4 1TB SAS drives
  • x2 1TB SATA SSDs

 

IBM System x3650 M3 Including:

  • Hardware
    • x2 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5645 @ 2.40GHz
    • 72GB ECC memory
    • SAS card? Or whatever card is required to connect to the Drive shelf
  • Software
    • TrueNAS SCALE
    • VM
      • Running Ubuntu for my minecraft server
    • Various other services

Misc Parts that aren't being utilized:

  • MSI GT 1030 (I want to use this for video encoding. As of right now my server cannot encode video as the only graphics processor is onboard and truenas scale doesnt like me trying to us the only gpu for anything.)

Description of desires and intent:

 

I inherited all of the above hardware from my school I recently graduated from and it has taught me a lot. It runs the services I need very fast and extremely well, but with some major downsides that are forcing me to think of an upgrade. The onboard graphics on the IBM system tells me that I shouldn't use it for anything because the system needs it for tasks. This means I cannot encode any video from my Emby service. Either that or I am too stupid to figure it out. My second push towards needing to upgrade is the clock speeds on the CPUs. Whilst they handle most of my tasks without skipping, when running a mine craft server the low individual core clocks end up causing performance issues. Finally, there isn't an easy upgrade path from the current chasis I have in the IBM system. I would love to get a chasis and mobo that allows for a clear and easy upgrade path as my homelab expands. I believe the disk shelf will be good for years to come with transfer speeds up to 6 Gb/s. I have spec'd out a few pieces that I would love feedback on. I really just need help making sure I utilize everything I already have in a logical way, and also acquire new hardware that won't leave me wanting to pivot here in a year.

 

In summary, I want help utilizing my old parts in a new build and help making sure my new build will handle the tasks I have outlined above flawlessly. As an extra benefit I want to try and have an upgrade path / ability to future proof.

 

Below is the hardware list I have spec'd out:

Rack

  • Navepoint rack
    • I want a rack that can house all the components I currently have and the 4U chasis I want to add with this build.
    • Bonus points if it makes things slightly more quiet

CPU

MoBo

Memory

Case

Power supply

  • I have a 1000 watt ATX power supply I can rob

 

Please let me know your thoughts and if these are good ideas. I am new to the server world, but experienced in desktops and systems. So a moderate level of technical lingo can be used!

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4 minutes ago, cayubweeums said:

MSI GT 1030 (I want to use this for video encoding. As of right now my server cannot encode video as the only graphics processor is onboard and truenas scale doesnt like me trying to us the only gpu for anything.)

You don't need a GPU to encode, my homelab has no GPU and I can do 10+ plex encodes at once on the CPU alone, and I only give it 10 threads of my 28 thread chip....

 

Do you need lots of cores, or are you more interested in raw speed? You may find a lot more raw speed (and still plenty of cores) by going with a current 12th gen i5 or i7, I think they may even support ECC these days? i3's have basically always supported ECC, but i3 may not provide enough threads for your needs.

 

I went the used server parts route and got 64 GB of DDR4 2133 ECC, supermicro board, and 28 thread Xeon + 512 nvme ssd, the PCIe card needed to run it, and a 90 dollar noctua cooler all for ~550 bucks... The clock speeds may not be enough for you, but I have been pretty happy with this move from my old i3 6100/28 GB ECC homelab. Parts list is in my sig for reference.

 

Also, I would potentially look at virtualizing truenas under something like proxmox - this is what I do. That way you can do WHATEVER you want next to truenas and not have any limitations. Truenas SCALE does provide much better hypervisor support vs what core had, but its still a storage appliance at the end of the day. Running a true hypervisor host and putting your plex/other servers off in their own VM's may be worth while if your going to be making a large migration anyways. Def something to consider. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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20 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

You don't need a GPU to encode, my homelab has no GPU and I can do 10+ plex encodes at once on the CPU alone, and I only give it 10 threads of my 28 thread chip....

Thanks for the reply! The current Xeon I have running truenas SCALE throws a fit when I try to tell it to encode video so I got scared giving it that task. I will just send it and see how performance goes. If this works then I would certainly not need a gpu for this task. Thanks for the nudge to be more confident in my cpu!

 

20 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

Do you need lots of cores, or are you more interested in raw speed? You may find a lot more raw speed (and still plenty of cores) by going with a current 12th gen i5 or i7, I think they may even support ECC these days? i3's have basically always supported ECC, but i3 may not provide enough threads for your needs.

I believe my main need cpu wise is for it to have the same amount of cores and threads as I currently have (12 and 24 respectively) but just push some faster speeds. Mainly in running a minecraft server, it struggles once you start loading too many chunks.

 

20 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

Also, I would potentially look at virtualizing truenas under something like proxmox - this is what I do.

I did this for awhile and it worked fine. I just realized my need for virtualization was so small that a dedicated hypervisor on bare-metal was not really what I needed. I seldom run more than two-three VMs at once. And even then I turn them off once I am done. My main use for my server is storage, and the other add ons are for enabling me to use that storage in a convenient way. So being able to run multiple services on separate VMs with individual IPs was something that was fun for a bit but lacked the ease of use I like from truenas SCALE on its own. I know convenience is a subjective thing, but for me having everything as close to on a single application as possible feels nice!

 

I will certainly look for a desktop level cpu that hits some good clock speeds with 12 cores and 24 threads! I guess I would love some input on my rack and case ideas? Also, will a desktop cpu be able to handle my disk shelf? I know it is connected via a standard pcie card, but I didn't know if there was any extra wizardry going on there?

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1 hour ago, cayubweeums said:

The current Xeon I have running truenas SCALE throws a fit when I try to tell it to encode video so I got scared giving it that task.

Is Plex running in a jail (container), or in an Ubuntu VM? It’s possible it doesn’t like it if it’s a container, but I run Plex in Ubuntu, and my old homelab with its i3 6100 still had no issues transcoding via CPU. The current Xeon in my sig slays it even harder.

 

1 hour ago, cayubweeums said:

I seldom run more than two-three VMs at once. And even then I turn them off once I am done.

I consider Plex and the Minecraft server reason enough to have VM’s. You certainly can do it all under truenas, but Plex I like to have separate so it’s not tied to the storage appliance, and a game server I would definitely want to subnet off for security reasons. But, I suppose that is just me.

 

I don’t have any recommendations for a case; right now it’s hard to find nice used server chassis unfortunately. And no, a consumer grade CPU would work fine. I assume the disc shelf is just running off a SAS PCIe card, nothing inherently magical about server vs desktop parts. 
 

Are your xeons socket 1366? I believe they are….. anything current gen will absolutely smash that thing; a current i3 would run circles around it. Unless you know you need that many cores, may be worth getting something like an i5, or potentially an AMD 5800 or something. I just know AMD can be a little more finicky with “server applications” as typically Intel handled it better due to enterprise support and usage, but they has changed in recent years. I’d give something like an AMD 5800 a solid look, but it not, a current gen i5 or i7 would be literally an order or magnitude faster even at multi threaded applications. The only place lack of many cores can bite you is if you do have lots of VM’s all contenting for resources, that’s when you want many threads. But if you really just have Minecraft and truenas running, 12 threads of a current gen part would be way plenty. 
 

That said, may be worth going Intel 11th gen instead of 12th so you don’t have P and E cores - not sure how truenas would handle that yet.

 

Or you can look at somewhat modern xeons, they just cost a lot more. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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22 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

somewhat modern xeons,

It looks like if these are too expensive I will try an 11th Gen i7!  Thanks for your help.

 

22 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

shelf is just running off a SAS PCIe

This is exactly correct. 

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