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unraid vs raid 5/6

post #1 of 3
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I am planning out the makings for a new file server which will be used for home backups, and media. however my media server is running two separate versions of plex in hyper-v. one outgoing - providing up to 3 1080 threads simultaneously to remote devices. and he other providing up to 4 1080 streams through my lan. So the question is this. will unraids slower performance be adequate to provide for my 7 streams at once. or should i go with file services in 2008r2 and go the raid 5/6 route.

here are the specs that matter on this

case - http://www.Newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=11-219-033

hard drives (20) - http://www.Newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=22-236-344

raid card - http://www.Newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=16-118-129

expander - http://www.Newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=16-117-207

let the debate begin!
    
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post #2 of 3
Here are a few key points that stick out in my mind. UnRAID is definitely a top choice if you are using drives that vary in size and manufacture. This is a bad idea when considering hardware RAID.

You talk of running two Plex instances in two different Hyper-V VMs. If you went with UnRAID, your storage box would be separate from your hypervisor (Hyper-V box in your case), unless you attempted putting UnRAID in a VM which I don't think is supported (I wouldn't recommend it). In short, if you went with UnRAID your transcoding performance is mainly affected by the hardware Hyper-V is running on and what kind of resources you allocate to those VMs. Network wise, you want gigabit. Each stream will probably 4-8Mbps bandwidth, but lets assume 10 just to have plenty. 7 Streams at once would consume about up to 100Mbps, which is less than a single gigabit link, by a 10th. So a single gigabit link between your UnRAID box and your hypervisor will be plenty to provide the video feed to Plex, and if you have good hardware on your VM host, transcoding won't be a problem (I'd expect at least a quad core with HT, or an 8 core AMD for 7 1080p streams at a time).

Performance wise, UnRAID will do just fine for what you are asking. Hardware RAID would probably perform a little better, which you don't exactly need but I doubt you will justify the cost of a RAID controller and some sort of Expander ($200 up to 600+).
post #3 of 3
The throughput requirements here hinge on the drives, not network.

1080p video on average is ~7Mb/s. Which for 7 concurrent streams equals out to 49 Mb/s needed throughput. A single drive, which is what the speed of unRAID would be limited to, should be around 90-100 MB/s for a quality drive.

Meaning either setup would be adequate. What really determines which to use here is the total storage requirements and how many drives you'd be using. Since you say you'd be using 20 hard drives I would personally say go for unRAID. You'll have throughput of one drive, but you get the redundancy of RAID 6 and if further drives fail only the data on those drives is lost, not the entire RAID.

If you don't want to use unRAID for the lower performance, I'd suggest running a BSD/Linux server with ZFS as the RAID solution.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
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Corsair 300R 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
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