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Basic Setup for Drive+Pool+GDrive+Plex


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Hi there,

I posted this to the Plex build help subreddit, but there wasn't any activity there. I'm hoping some folk here might be able to help point me in the right direction! Please let me know if I'm breaking any rules or etiquette with this post. I'm happy to move or repost.

I should add that I have dug through these forums as initial research. It seems this general configuration comes up often, but questions tend to focus on how to configure the drives and pool themselves. So far I'm planning to use the information provided by srcrist in this thread for that. My initial questions are even more basic, which is why I'm posting here, though feel free to let me know if those instructions are out of date.

I truly appreciate your time!

---

I'm almost full up on storage, so I've been considering a migration to a cloud-based solution (rather than blow a ton of cash up front to swap out all the drives on my Synology NAS).

I'd love to hear some recommendations (or get pointed to a current guide) on the CloudDrive + Google Drive + Plex configuration, or some alternative. I'm still very much a novice to all things hardware and networking, and while I've been doing a bunch of reading in the forums and here on how different folk tackled this, I'm definitely not grokking it yet.

If I go this route, I'd plan to keep backups of my most important files (e.g. home videos, and the rips of my old Lord of the Rings DVDs with special features), and only post things to the cloud I don't mind losing.

Here's my current setup:

  • 1 Gbps down / 40 Mbps up (Xfinity)
  • Plex Server (latest beta) running on Intel NUC
    • Intel Core i7-5557U @3.10GHz
    • 8 GB RAM
    • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • Synology DS414
    • Media folders on: 4x WD 4 TB Drives (10.9 TB usable storage; currently at 90% capacity)
    • Different folders for each media type (Music, TVShows, Movies, Fitness, HomeVideos, AudioBooks, etc)
    • Also running Sonarr & NZBGet
    • Home to personal backups in addition to media
  • NVIDIA Shield TV
    • Currently use this to run Plex Client only

QUESTIONS

  1. I've seen some differing opinions on how to setup drives in the cloud. Ideally I can keep my existing folder structure, but I've seen some folk say that it's better to have several smaller drives (partitions?) rather than a few big ones (i.e. better to have 10 10TB partitions than a single 100TB drive). If that's correct, I'm assuming I'd need to add StableBit's DrivePool to the mix, right?
  2. A few threads have mentioned using a local SSD for "caching." I don't have a spare SSD, and I'm wondering how important this option is to performance and/or longevity.
  3. What's the best way to leverage my existing hardware in this new configuration? Which device is best suited to run the StableBit software(s)? Should my NAS continue to run Sonarr/NZBGet? Right now I'm leaning toward running the Stablebit suite on the Intel NUC, but I wasn't sure if that could overtax the system already running Plex Server.

Thank you so much in advance!

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6 hours ago, davidkain said:

I've seen some differing opinions on how to setup drives in the cloud. Ideally I can keep my existing folder structure, but I've seen some folk say that it's better to have several smaller drives (partitions?) rather than a few big ones (i.e. better to have 10 10TB partitions than a single 100TB drive). If that's correct, I'm assuming I'd need to add StableBit's DrivePool to the mix, right?

The important thing is that each volume (read: partition) should be less than 60TB, so that Volume Shadow Copy and Chkdsk can operate on the volume to fix problems. In light of some of the Google Drive problems in March, some of us switched to using even smaller volumes in the thought that the smaller the volume the less data might be corrupted by an outage. But the changes in the recent beta like the file system data redundancy should, ideally, make this a non-issue today. Just keep each volume under 60TB. There is not, in any case, any significant performance difference between using 25TB volumes or 50TB volumes combined with DrivePool.

6 hours ago, davidkain said:
  • A few threads have mentioned using a local SSD for "caching." I don't have a spare SSD, and I'm wondering how important this option is to performance and/or longevity.

It depends on what you mean by important. CloudDrive can be quite I/O intensive, and you'll notice a significant difference between the cache performance of an SSD vs a spinning rust drive. This will be particularly noticeable if you will be both writing and reading to and from the drive simultaneously. Will it work on an HDD? Probably. Will an SSD be markedly better? Absolutely. SSDs are cheap these days. I would suggest picking one up. It doesn't need to be a fancy Samsung EVO 960 Pro or anything.

6 hours ago, davidkain said:

What's the best way to leverage my existing hardware in this new configuration? Which device is best suited to run the StableBit software(s)? Should my NAS continue to run Sonarr/NZBGet? Right now I'm leaning toward running the Stablebit suite on the Intel NUC, but I wasn't sure if that could overtax the system already running Plex Server.

As long as you're using a processor with AES-NI, the resource impact of the StableBit software should be negligible. DrivePool simply forwards I/O requests to the underlying drives, so its impact is effectively non-existent, and, setting aside the obvious I/O needs of the cache, CloudDrive's actual resource requirements are all around the encryption and decryption--all of which should be offloaded to AES-NI, as long as you have it. I think that using CloudDrive on the NUC is wise. There should be no major issue sharing CloudDrive volumes or DrivePool pools via SMB to the NAS. 

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1 hour ago, davidkain said:

One final question as a follow-up to your answer here: Would it be reasonable to begin with a single 50TB cloud drive, and then expand to a DrivePool managed multi-drive setup if necessary? Or, would I save myself a lot of headache by setting up a pool of 50TB cloud drives from the get-go?

 

Because of the way DrivePool works, you could save yourself a SMALL headache by placing a single volume in a pool and pointing Plex and your other applications at the pool right from the start. But the process to convert a standalone drive to a pool isn't terribly difficult later, either. So it's up to you. If you create a pool from a single volume right from the start, adding additional volumes and drives is as easy as creating them and clicking the add button in DrivePool later. If you don't create the pool until later, you'll simply have to move all of the existing data on the drive to the hidden pool folder when you want to use a pool. 

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49 minutes ago, srcrist said:

The important thing is that each volume (read: partition) should be less than 60TB, so that Volume Shadow Copy and Chkdsk can operate on the volume to fix problems. In light of some of the Google Drive problems in March, some of us switched to using even smaller volumes in the thought that the smaller the volume the less data might be corrupted by an outage. But the changes in the recent beta like the file system data redundancy should, ideally, make this a non-issue today. Just keep each volume under 60TB. There is not, in any case, any significant performance difference between using 25TB volumes or 50TB volumes combined with DrivePool.

It depends on what you mean by important. CloudDrive can be quite I/O intensive, and you'll notice a significant difference between the cache performance of an SSD vs a spinning rust drive. This will be particularly noticeable if you will be both writing and reading to and from the drive simultaneously. Will it work on an HDD? Probably. Will an SSD be markedly better? Absolutely. SSDs are cheap these days. I would suggest picking one up. It doesn't need to be a fancy Samsung EVO 960 Pro or anything.

As long as you're using a processor with AES-NI, the resource impact of the StableBit software should be negligible. DrivePool simply forwards I/O requests to the underlying drives, so its impact is effectively non-existent, and, setting aside the obvious I/O needs of the cache, CloudDrive's actual resource requirements are all around the encryption and decryption--all of which should be offloaded to AES-NI, as long as you have it. I think that using CloudDrive on the NUC is wise. There should be no major issue sharing CloudDrive volumes or DrivePool pools via SMB to the NAS. 

 

Thank you so much! This is absolutely perfect.

One final question as a follow-up to your answer here: Would it be reasonable to begin with a single 50TB cloud drive, and then expand to a DrivePool managed multi-drive setup if necessary? Or, would I save myself a lot of headache by setting up a pool of 50TB cloud drives from the get-go?

Thank you again.

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