Is it a crazy idea to run a Plex Server on Xserve + Xserve RAID?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by adamjackson, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. adamjackson macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    I have a small 25U Rack going in my place. I use a Synology now (2-bay) for Plex content but with 100GB free, I was going to go 4-bay Synology and go 8TB WD Drives (4 of them) in RAID1

    Looks like Xserves are $100 on eBay right now and the RAID is $500.

    RAID 5 would be 6.5 Terabytes of data


    The biggest thing would be power usage. I imagine a Synology 4-bay with four 8 terabyte drives would use WAY less powe3r than a maxed out storage Xserve + Xserve RAID. It wouldn't look as cool but that's all, right?

    How do I go about configuring one of those and can I run Plex on a machine that old and do transcoding on it to the AppleTV Plex App? All of my files are M4A
  2. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2015
    Central Michigan
    I you have a working setup now, I don't see much reason to get Xserves. But it's not a crazy idea. Sounds cool, really. Xserves as Plex servers! :)
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Power consumption is one thing, but you're also extremely limited as to which disks will work in an Xserve RAID. They don't natively support SATA disks, but might work with 2.5" drives and an Ultra ATA to SATA adapter in each tray.
    Xserves and the RAID boxes are also extremely loud.
  4. abundantmussel macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2014
    Cork, Ireland
    I have an EMC SAN with 25 600gb FC drives and the thing is noisy as hell the xserve is going to be similar. I swapped it out for a synology 12 bay NAS with 12 x 6TB disks and it's silent.
  5. adamjackson thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    The Xserve and RAID idea are simply for aesthetics. I was going to buy an empty box and do it myself or just go to a rack-mount Synology unit but I thought the Xserves are so beautiful. The case I'll be using is semi-closed and will live in the utility room (where hot water, hot air and water filtration occur) so noise isn't an issue maybe some thermal issues but that's TBD for now.

    another issue would be power usage. These aren't modern systems. I think a Synology uses 110 watts at full load. these use more like 400.

    Ideally, I want an OS X Server that's rack-mounted that can also run a Plex installation along with caching Apple Updates and managing Time Machine backups.

    I want that server to connect to a RAID Array that is at least 18-24 terabytes. the Xserve RAID is limited to 6.5 terabytes in RAID5 and that company that makes those IDE to SATA connectors appears to be out of business.

    The Xserve RAID would just look beautiful and I think connect up nicely to the last generation Xserve Xeon that can run OS X Server Sierra.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 27, 2016 ---
    It looks like Synology doesn't offer anything rack-mount that has a 4K Transcoding capabilities. What I buy needs to be future-proof and last at least 5 years.
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The Xserve is very far from future proof; in 5 years the newest Xserve would be more than 10 years old. There are countless options that would be a smarter buy.
  7. adamjackson thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    But the 10 year old Xserve would likely still be running Sierra and doing its job and at least having no issue with Plex?

    any NAS units out there with Apple's industrial design look?
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    ...if it doesn't have a hardware failure.
    If the computer is in a closet, why does the appearance matter?
  9. adamjackson thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    I'm just an aesthetic kind of guy. I like stuff to look nice and I do like Apple hardware. I guess I could rack-mount an old Mac Pro (before the design changed) and run that instead. Would be Intel and not use as much power as a G5 Xserve.
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Mac Pros aren't particularly power efficient either, so you'd have the same thermal issues with a Mac Pro as with an Intel Xserve:
  11. adamjackson thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    So a current-Gen Mac Mini w/ a DIY RAID Box is probably my best bet?

    Or just stay in the Synology ecosystem.
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    I would think so. Any Mini is going to have more than enough CPU power to handle Plex, and run at 10% of the power demands of a Mac Pro or Xserve.

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11 September 26, 2016