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Media Server Performance Issues

I use a homebuilt UnRaid server as a file storage and media streaming server. I have around 14TB of Blu Rays and DVDs stored on a JBOD with 1 drive of parity (made up of 4TB and 8TB HDDs [I think they're WD Reds], about 24TB total capacity). The 4TB drives are all 2-3TB full.

 

Lately, I've noticed that the Finder window takes about 10-15 seconds to load all of the icons when I open the Movie folder. Similarly, playback is stuttering when both playing the file directly via VLC (Plex not functional due to Comcast modem IP passthrough issues). Similarly, 1-2 threads/cores show higher loads during playback, but the eth0 connection doesn't appear to saturate the 1 Gbps ethernet connection I use. I attempted to add a 2TB NVME cache drive, but it doesn't appear to do anything. I do rip using Make MKV at full quality (~40GB for Blu Ray, ~24GB for the main movie file) instead of pulling a compressed version. I did also build it about 6 years ago (May 2018) and have not touched it since apart from adding 2 more HDDs and the NVME drive so it's not exactly new.

 

Looking for a potential solution to upgrade the server to make playback smoother/Finder display faster if anyone has a solution. Not sure if it could be processor related, drive fill or speed related, OS related, etc.

 

Specs (not currently IVO the server, so from memory):

CPU: i5-8400

RAM: 16GB DDR4

GPU: N/A

Storage: WD Reds or Red Pros at 4TB and 6 or 8TB, 2TB Samsung 900 something cache drive

OS: UnRaid

Ethernet: 1 Gbps

 

Should I upgrade to a more recent processor, swap to SSDs, use a different OS, add a GPU? Not sure where to go next and looking for any assistance that can be provided.

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uhhh JBOD doesn't do parity, unless you're running something really weird with it.

 

Anyways:

assuming a 24gb 90 minute movie:
That's 267 MB/Minute you're pulling off the NAS.
1gbit networking can move 6,000 MB/Minute.  So, no, you're not going to saturate your ethernet with movie watching.  
 

If you're just playing the video on a PC, and not transcoding on the NAS, there should be very little CPU Load from streaming the file to your PC/MAC.  

 

I'd check to see if all your drives in the NAS are healthy first.

 

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About plex issue you're talking.

There's alternative you can use jellyfin.

 

As @tkitch says check health of your disks to see if they are tip top shape.

 

Does you server have reboot cycle? Sometimes rebooting would clear ram and start fresh because of long period time it will become sluggish.

I'm jank tinkerer if it works then it works.

Regardless of compatibility 🐧🖖

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31 minutes ago, tkitch said:

uhhh JBOD doesn't do parity, unless you're running something really weird with it.

May be using the wrong term. Z1 perhaps? It's the UnRaid option where there's 1 drive of parity with a group of different sized drives (if memory serves, the storage drives at all 4TB and the parity drive is either 6 or 8TB).

 

Last I checked (while having these issues), the drives were reporting good, but they have also been shut down for several months. I'll check them again when I get back.

 

@BoomerDutchThanks, I'll take a look into Jellyfin.

 

I found another thread talking about putting the Plex database on an SSD and the media files on HDDs. Part of the reason I installed the 2TB NVMe drive was to move the lookup take there to hopefully speed up the Finder display of files, but quickly couldn't figure out how to do that. Could there be a way to shift some files to the NVME drive to speed up reads?

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6 minutes ago, Melfox01 said:

I found another thread talking about putting the Plex database on an SSD and the media files on HDDs. Part of the reason I installed the 2TB NVMe drive was to move the lookup take there to hopefully speed up the Finder display of files, but quickly couldn't figure out how to do that. Could there be a way to shift some files to the NVME drive to speed up reads?

Byte my bits and Space Invader have some great unraid videos on these sort of things. You will definitely want all the plex metadata on your cache drive and I use ram for transcoding. The Way you do this is by changing the share permissions for the appdata. I have mine locked to only use the cache drives rather then the array.

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What is the CPU/RAM usage when plex is stuttering?

5950X/3080Ti primary rig  |  1920X/1070Ti Unraid for dockers  |  200TB TrueNAS w/ 1:1 backup

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A few things:

 

  • Make sure Unraid is up to date (i.e 6.12.10); there are SMB issues with 6.12.8-6.12.9. 
  • You mention an NVMe drive; make sure your Docker Plex AppData is on here; as this contains thumbnails, posters, intro detection, etc...
  • Preferably since you have 16GB of Ram and this is *just* a Plex Server; in your Plex Docker settings in UnRAID map /dev/shm to /transcode; and in Plex set /transcode as your transcoding path. 
  • If you're a PlexPass subscriber; enable hardware transcoding and offload transcodes to the iGPU; the i5-8400 uses UHD-630 graphics and is an excellent Plex Server CPU choice. 

If you're still getting stuttering, gather the diagnostic logs from your UnRAID (Tools > Diagnostics) and your Plex (Manage > Troubleshooting)

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