Home Lab Update

2. July 2019 16:11 by Cameron in Plex  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments

Initially, I had thought I would transcode 4K to 1080p using my lab server, but I couldn't get great results with the Quadro P400. I fear it is a limitation of the processors and available bandwidth as well as the P400's GPU pipeline. Maybe I would get better results with a P2000, but instead, I will be hosting 1080p rips of all my 4K movies for viewing on the go.

My long term goal is to have my ripping PC be connected to my server with a 10Gbe connection and copy to an SSD cache on my server, but this will require patience as each 10Gbe NIC is ~$50 and the SFP+ cables aren't cheap either. I will likely get an SFP+ switch at some point too so I can enable 10Gbe on other devices as needed. To better saturate 10Gbe, I have since removed the GPU and replaced with a PCIe x16 NVMe adapter for a network cache drive. SATA, when paired with this server and the SAS backplane, is limited to SATA II speeds.

I had a spare older 256GB NVMe SSD from another computer, but it maxed out at 300MB/s write speeds and this isn't enough for 10Gbe. Therefore, I got an Inland 512GB NVMe SSD that maxes out at about 850-900MB/s or ~7Gb/s with the HP Proliant DL380 G7's PCIe gen 2 x16 slot. This gets me slightly better than SATA III speeds on a 10 year old server, of which I am happy. I am going to work on some sort of file watcher to move files from the cached location to my long-term Plex library. The idea will be to have a mirror of the folders present on my general Plex library and just copy the files over and remove the cached version when complete.

To support more expansion and redundancy, I bought a secondary RAID controller, the HP P812. This card is interesting because of RAID 6 support since the onboard RAID controller only supports up to RAID 5 without a license. Licenses are hard to find and likely expensive. The new RAID card was about $16. Transferring to the new controller was easy enough since the RAID information is stored on disk. The key is that these are all HP OEM RAID controllers and it was as simple as swapping cables for each backplane from the motherboard to the new RAID card.

When installing the new RAID card, I was given the option to change the RAID configuration to RAID 6. Note, this will take a while when you have a large array as the parity has to be redistributed. After a grueling week and a half of transitioning my RAID 5 to RAID 6, I now have about 30TB of usable space in RAID 6 on my lab server. Funnily enough, I am currently in the process of expanding my array to support 10TB more space, totaling in at 40TB of space. This will be worth the time investment as it will take a long time to fill up (hopefully).

Home Network Update

18. June 2019 23:22 by Cameron in Home Network  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments

After moving into our house, I had decided to get our Internet routed through the basement. This means no wires through the main floor and I had to think of a way to get coverage to my home theater PC in the living room. In my basement, I have a 24 port 1Gbe switch which I connect my HP Proliant DL380 G7, my office setup, and my Ethernet over power network. With Ethernet over power, I can get wired Ethernet on the main floor. The speed coming to the house is 400-600Mb/s and Ethernet over power provides around 130Mb/s which is ample for surfing and streaming.

I plan to move my home theater PC to my basement and give it a direct 10Gbe connection to my server. This is mainly for faster file transfers when I rip a new 4K HDR Blu-Ray. For this, I will need to copy files to a cache SSD and then to my RAID 6 array. The RAID 6 array provides 2 drive fault tolerance, but it does suffer in speed a little. I fear that I will not be able to fully saturate 10Gb so the cache will be a temporary storage location until the files are on the server. I will then have a job that will move the files from the cached location to the RAID array.

I still need a good rack mountable power delivery system and a decent rack mountable UPS. Hopefully I can invest in some of these soon.

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