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Media storage on NAS or Local

ZavoqZavoq Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Option 1: Store media files on a RAID 5 NAS drive
Option 2: Add a bunch on internal drives and build a RAID 5 on the PC running PMC.

Thoughts? Pros/Cons of each?

Best Answers

  • cayarscayars Posts: 4,341Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    Lets say you have 8 drives. The first 4 drives contain movies files and the last 4 drives contain TV shows.
    You would have to setup Plex with 4 drive entries for the movies and 4 drive entries for the tv shows.
    So for Example Movies could be:
    F:\Movies
    G:\Movies
    H:\Movies
    I:\Movies

    You scan in everything and it's working fine. You decide to move some files from H to G or vice versa because you like to keep A -G on the first drive, H-M on the second drive, etc So now Plex sees the location of the file has changed. Not a big deal but it just gets to be more info to keep track of and to update. Lets say you want to access your movie collection over the network from your desktop. Which drive is the movie on? What if you run an FTP Server? You have to create 4 FTP folders matching the 4 movie drives. Now in order to find anything you need to more or less keep them alphabatized. A on first drive, Z movies on last drive, etc..

    What drive pool does is combine all your drive into one big drive. So you create an E or Z drive or something like that. Now you point your ftp or Plex server to E:\movies and your done.

    Need to copy new files to the disk subsystem? Which drive do you copy it to? Well if using the pool you just copy your new movies to E:\Movies.

    It just makes life easier. Is it needed? No, does it make life a lot easier? ABSOLUTELY. The more drives you have the more the pool helps. With the pool you can shift or move any movie from the 1st drive to the 4th drive and files from the 3 drive to the 2nd drive and nothing cares because it's still all E:\Movies to the apps.

    From the standpoint of SnapRAID you completely ignore the pool and setup each of the 8 drives as separate entries to create parity against, much like you would do without the pool. Snapraid cares about each drive.

    Pooling software allow you the user and the apps to forget about the individual drives.

    Make sense?
    Carlo

    10K+ Movies, 400+ Shows - 33.4K+ TV Episodes, 450 Christmas Movies, 425 Documentary, 290 3D Movies, 1300 NFL Games, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 775 GB Plex Meta-Data. 6 Network Cable Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1

Answers

  • astrofisherastrofisher Plex Dwarf Star Posts: 5,514Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    NAS capable of transoding can get spendy. I went with a purpose built server capable of a couple of 1080p transcodes if necessary. Can hold 6 internal data drives plus 2 SSDs (OS on 1 and Plex data on 2), simple back-up to hot swap drive.

    Plex Server Specifications
    OS - Windows 10 Professional 
    Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Black Window High-Airflow MATX Mini Tower Computer Case
    GIGABYTE GA-H87M-HD3 LGA 1150 Intel H87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel MB 
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4150 CPU @ 3.50GHz (stock cpu cooler)
    CORSAIR RM Series RM450 450W ATX12V v2.31
    CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
    Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive
    Vantec 4-Channel 6-Port SATA 6Gb/s PCIe Card (added for future hd's)
    Icy Dock Trayless Tray less hot swappable drive cage (back-up drive)
    Noctua NF-F12 PWM Cooling Fan (extra case fan)
    
    Disk (B:) (2794 GB Total) (Hot Swap Drive)
    Disk (C:) (120GB Samsung SSD - OS) 
    Disk (D:) (120GB Samsung SSD - Plex Data) 
    Disk (G:) (2794 GB WD Red - Media) 
    Disk (H:) (2794 GB WD Red - Media) 
    Disk (I:) (5589 GB WD Red - Media)
    Disk (U:) (3726 GB WD MyBook - Misc Back-Up)
    

    Jim

    "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"
    Rule #32 "Enjoy the little things"
  • nigelpbnigelpb Posts: 701Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Zavoq said:
    Option 1: Store media files on a RAID 5 NAS drive
    Option 2: Add a bunch on internal drives and build a RAID 5 on the PC running PMC.

    Thoughts? Pros/Cons of each?

    Option 3: Use Plex Cloud

    The big advantage of Plex Cloud is that you don't need to sink a load of money into buying hardware. Along with Plex Pass you need a subscription to G Suite for Business to give you unlimited storage on Google Drive (the published 1TB limit for a single user is not enforced). https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/226825168-FAQ-Plex-Cloud

  • cayarscayars Posts: 4,341Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    Assuming you want a local server and storage I'd suggest NOT running RAID 5. If you must use RAID then use at least version 6 but not 5.

    However with that said I'd recommend not using any RAID at all as it boxes you in. With Plex you'll find you will constantly want to add new media and drives. You'll want to go with bigger drives over time and won't want to get trapped into having to use the same small size you start with today. You also don't want to get trapped into having to add 4 drives at a time or having to "rebuild" your RAID.

    Stick with JBOD disks. Setup and use SnapRAID for parity. Use a pooling software such as StableBit DrivePool on Windows or MergerFS on Linux. You really can't get more simple than this or get more flexibility.

    Carlo

    10K+ Movies, 400+ Shows - 33.4K+ TV Episodes, 450 Christmas Movies, 425 Documentary, 290 3D Movies, 1300 NFL Games, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 775 GB Plex Meta-Data. 6 Network Cable Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • sremicksremick Posts: 1,149Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Do not use RAID5 in 2017 with modern drive sizes. You will be giving yourself a false sense of security and in for a rude and unpleasant awakening should you need to actually resilver (now that you have ZERO redundancy) after replacing your failed drive.

    My server (35W idle, silent):

    Software: PMS 1.7.1.3856 running in a jail on FreeNAS 9.10.2
    Motherboard: ASRock E3C226D2I Mini-ITX Server Motherboard
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1271 v3 Quad-Core 3.6GHz 8MB LGA1150 (Passmark: 10204)
    CPU cooler: Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M(BW) Rev.A
    RAM: Crucial 16GB kit (8GBx2) DDR3 PC3-12800 Unbuffered ECC 1.35V CT2KIT102472BD160B
    HDDs: 6x WD Red NAS 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" WD30EFRX (RAIDZ2)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic Platinum Series SS-400FL2 Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS Platinum Certified
    Case: Fractal Design Node 304 (8.27"x9.84"x14.72")






  • ZavoqZavoq Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I suppose I should have specified. I'm not interested in running Plex on a NAS for all the standard transcoding related reasons. I am only asking about best practices for storage of the media files.

  • ZavoqZavoq Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @sremick said:
    Do not use RAID5 in 2017 with modern drive sizes. You will be giving yourself a false sense of security and in for a rude and unpleasant awakening should you need to actually resilver (now that you have ZERO redundancy) after replacing your failed drive.

    @cayars said:

    Stick with JBOD disks. Setup and use SnapRAID for parity. Use a pooling software such as StableBit DrivePool on Windows or MergerFS on Linux. You really can't get more simple than this or get more flexibility.

    Thanks for the advice. Ill look into that.

    Question remains, would you store Media on a NAS or Locally (on the same machine as the Server)?

  • ZavoqZavoq Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @cayars said:

    Stick with JBOD disks. Setup and use SnapRAID for parity. Use a pooling software such as StableBit DrivePool on Windows or MergerFS on Linux. You really can't get more simple than this or get more flexibility.

    Looking into SnapRAID and DrivePool. If I set up SnapRAID for Parity, What added benefit would DrivePool grant?

  • cayarscayars Posts: 4,341Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    Lets say you have 8 drives. The first 4 drives contain movies files and the last 4 drives contain TV shows.
    You would have to setup Plex with 4 drive entries for the movies and 4 drive entries for the tv shows.
    So for Example Movies could be:
    F:\Movies
    G:\Movies
    H:\Movies
    I:\Movies

    You scan in everything and it's working fine. You decide to move some files from H to G or vice versa because you like to keep A -G on the first drive, H-M on the second drive, etc So now Plex sees the location of the file has changed. Not a big deal but it just gets to be more info to keep track of and to update. Lets say you want to access your movie collection over the network from your desktop. Which drive is the movie on? What if you run an FTP Server? You have to create 4 FTP folders matching the 4 movie drives. Now in order to find anything you need to more or less keep them alphabatized. A on first drive, Z movies on last drive, etc..

    What drive pool does is combine all your drive into one big drive. So you create an E or Z drive or something like that. Now you point your ftp or Plex server to E:\movies and your done.

    Need to copy new files to the disk subsystem? Which drive do you copy it to? Well if using the pool you just copy your new movies to E:\Movies.

    It just makes life easier. Is it needed? No, does it make life a lot easier? ABSOLUTELY. The more drives you have the more the pool helps. With the pool you can shift or move any movie from the 1st drive to the 4th drive and files from the 3 drive to the 2nd drive and nothing cares because it's still all E:\Movies to the apps.

    From the standpoint of SnapRAID you completely ignore the pool and setup each of the 8 drives as separate entries to create parity against, much like you would do without the pool. Snapraid cares about each drive.

    Pooling software allow you the user and the apps to forget about the individual drives.

    Make sense?
    Carlo

    10K+ Movies, 400+ Shows - 33.4K+ TV Episodes, 450 Christmas Movies, 425 Documentary, 290 3D Movies, 1300 NFL Games, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 775 GB Plex Meta-Data. 6 Network Cable Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • phillid2phillid2 Posts: 124Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Personally, I use a NAS. Only box that needs to run 24/7, and in addition to the Plex app running, I also have iDrive running. I use mirroring so if I lose a HD, I replace it. It is a little 4TB, 2 disk NAS but I only store music, pictures, software images, and business files.

    If I need more space, I would probably get a new NAS. My old one from 2008 lasted until Feb 2017. It was 1 TB RAID 5 (4 disks plus a spare) and was getting kinda close to 1TB. At my pace, if I exceed 4TB, it will be 2026 and time for a new NAS anyway if it lives that long.

    Plex Pass on a QNAP TS-251+, 1GB RAM, 1.10.1.4561

  • ZavoqZavoq Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @cayars said:
    ...Pooling software allow you the user and the apps to forget about the individual drives.

    Make sense?

    Absolutely! Thanks for the detailed and well worded explanation.

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