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Secondary Video Storage for Plex?

diesel_az

4 days ago

I’m putting together a custom build for gaming, but a secondary use will be as a plex media center.

For a secondary storage dedicated to video, music, photos, what option would you recommend for a fast inexpensive and reliable solution? Probably 2-6tb. Also, likely want a raid configuration in case a drive fails.

Thanks

Comments

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 points

A trio of 3-4TB Enterprise Drives in RAID 5 does the trick

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 points

and a cheap ssd for boot.

  • 4 days ago
  • 1 point

Raid 5 is nice, striping with parity. Basically how ever many of the same HDDs that are in the array you have the total capacity of all minus one drive. 3x4 TB HDDs = 8TB and 4x4 TB HDDs = 12TB of storage and that lost space is actually for redundancy. If you lose 1 drive in the array you can replace it and not lose any of your data no matter which HDD it is. Raid 6 is another version where you have 2 drives redundancy instead of 1.

After doing a quick check the cheapest HDD on cost per GB that is designed for use in RAID is the seagate ironwolf 6TB HDD at a cost of 02.3 cents per GB. 3 or 4 of those drives in a RAID will offer a ton of video storage. Using HDDs not designed for RAID can be more of a headache than it is worth.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Q7kj4D/seagate-ironwolf-nas-6-tb-35-7200rpm-internal-hard-drive-st6000vn0033

  • 4 days ago
  • 1 point

Streaming 4K, no issues with speed of these being able to do that?

Appreciate the ideas.

  • 3 days ago
  • 1 point

A 7400rpm HDD should have no issues streaming a video from. You don't need SSD speed for that and the same amount of SSD capacity is super expensive too.

  • 3 days ago
  • 2 points

RAID is not a backup solution. It is a redundancy/resiliency solution.

In cheap consumer applications, RAID usually increases the likelihood of having a catastrophic data loss situation and/or downtime.

My advise is to avoid using any sort of RAID solution provided by a consumer motherboard. Software based RAID is preferred but typically not super well supported or implemented on "consumer" operating systems.

If you want true hardware RAID, consider an enterprise grade, standardized hardware raid controller (like a broadcom based controller).

  • 3 days ago
  • 1 point

I feel like this may be outside of my competency and pocket book. What would you recommend for storage and stream plus a solution to backup that storage in case of failure?

  • 3 days ago
  • 1 point

By far the most reliable local backup solution is to manually copy the data to the second drive same as the first.

For media libraries, this is actually pretty easy to do, since the quantity of files is manageable (fewer large files), and the files don't require any sort of change management or file history be maintained.

If you want to give a raid solution a whirl, a basic software drive mirror using Windows Storage Spaces is going to be the most portable/reliable consumer option with the lowest chance of a raid based corruption loosing data. Also, basic mirrors have the advantage that even if the raid/partition information on the drives is corrupted, basic file recovery tools can typically recovery files with near 100% reliability.

For a 2 drive software raid mirror, the drives don't need to be special. In fact, less special may be desirable to reduce noise. If this is in your personal computer, 5400 RPM drives are nice because they are cheap and quiet.

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
Storage Western Digital Blue 4 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $76.49 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Blue 4 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $76.49 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $152.98
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-09-11 23:35 EDT-0400

$76.49 each? Can't beat that with a stick...

I have a pair of these same drives in my personal computer. Had them for ~4 years now. No issues. Working fine in a 2 drive mirror managed by Windows Storage Spaces. Even migrated the mirror from one build to the next without issue.

Don't use motherboard raid. It's junk.

  • 2 days ago
  • 1 point

True, I would not count on RAID as a form of backup but just as redundancy incase of a drive failure. Never know when the raid controller dies or lose your house to a natural disaster or fire so an offsite backup for anything that cannot be replaced is a good idea. There are online backups too that are really good such as backblaze as they have a small monthly cost but unlimited backup space. Well only really useful for people that don't have bandwidth caps from their ISPs as uploading everything would suck if you have a couple of TB to upload.

I would still suggest to use HDDs designed for raid regardless if it is a software raid or hardware raid. They are essentially built for it and yes they do cost more but you get what you pay for. Though even 5400rpm can provide enough speed for a couple people streaming videos at the same time. I see WD increased their warranty on the WD blue lines of HDDs to 2 years from 1 but the seagate ironwolf drives gets 3 years and ironwolf pro drives gets 5 years of warranty. Similarly the Red drives from WD are also RAID designed drives and also have the same warranties as the seagate ironwolfs. Red = 3y, red pro = 5y.

  • 1 day ago
  • 2 points

The irony of this response, is that you're advising the use of "NAS" drives for use in a basic software based drive mirror config, while suggesting an online backup company that achieves such low pricing by using the cheapest drives they can get their hands on, consumer grade whatever.

It's companies like BlackBlaze that have "blazed" the trail of proving that cheap consumer drives work great in big datacenter applications. By the time they start dropping like flies it's time to do a density/efficiency upgrade anyway.

They no doubt use something like Ceph for software managed data replication rather than traditional RAID to handle the large scale management of the whole works.


If the price difference is small, sure, go for the nicer drives... If you want more density or performance, enterprise drives are great. When Blues are $77 while Reds are $117 for the same size, we have a dilemma... we can get 3 blues for the price of 2 reds. Which would you rather have?

For that price....

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
Storage Toshiba 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $118.99 @ Other World Computing
Storage Toshiba 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $118.99 @ Other World Computing
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $237.98
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-09-13 23:07 EDT-0400

Full on enterprise grade drives on sale ;)

Regarding Ironwolf... Have a look at newegg user reviews. Seems like very high failure/problem rates.

  • 11 hours ago
  • 1 point

WD Red. Great reliable, and quiet drive for RAID. Get the 7200RPM version, slightly better performance.

  • 11 hours ago
  • 1 point

Get three WD red drives. The reason for three drives is for maximum redundancy, some RAID types require 3 drives or more.

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