Unraid edition

In this episode of How Did I Do, I continue with the theme of diy home automation and home networking by building unraid server using professional, high grade server parts.

Please take a look at the episode on YouTube or on V-TIP.COM right here:

In this video I mention the parity drive and how it works.


Below is YouTube guru Spaceinvader One, discussing both the parity drive and the cache drive.

Spaceinvader One’s video series on Unraid are a must watch for understanding how to configure the system.

If you’ve read this and even checked the link on the show YouTube channel, to see the motherboard and its specs, it means you must be curious about what you need to buy in order to have your own professional server.

Now just to get some of formalities out of the way, this is technically a work station, which is somewhere between a desktop computer and a server.

But in ether case, here are the items below that I used to build my server.

These are the major parts I am using (note: all items are used except the ones with * and ebay store links are affiliate links** ):

Motherboard –  Remember everything else – from ram to cpu is built around the motherboard.  I bought my motherboard at Amazon. This is the motherboard** featured in the video, but you could very well use any xeon supported motherboard if you wanted/needed the kinda horsepower I have in my unit.

Ram (ebay store affiliate link)* ** Again, the ram is based on the motherboard you purchase.  The motherboard I have can support up to 512 gigs of ram.  For now I settled with only 40 gigs.  The ram is a factor especially when running virtual machines. 

CPU (Ebay store affiliate link to E5 1620 v3) * **  note: the 1600’s are for single cpu motherboards.  Do not expect to purchase and use in a dual cpu motherboard.  Won’t work (trust me – I tried). Ofcourse, the cpu is dependent on the motherboard:

CPU (Ebay store affiliate link to E5-2648L V3)* **  the 2600’s are for dual cpu motherboards.  I used two of these bad boys to power my system. Again, the cpu is dependent on the motherboard (see above):

Heatsink (Ebay link**).  If you buy from any of the links above, the cpu may not come with a heat sink.  Hence the ebay link.  Again, the heatsink is based on the cpu you purchase and the motherboard.

Power Supply

The server OS will be UNRAID


For those interested in 10 gig networking – see my video here: https://v-tip.com/view/album/10-gigabit-networking-success.html 

In addition all credit goes to craft computing and his excellent video here: https://youtu.be/MDiiHN0MPdA

I used the NC5525FP 10 gigabit nic on my unraid server.  You can find similar cards on Ebay here (note: the seller I used is out of stock so the link provided is not a link to his/her store)**.

Also, I used a Mikrotik Cloud Smart Switch CSS326-24G-2S+RM router (note: I could not find the router referenced in Cloud Computing’s video).

Also note, I first had a Mellonix card (as referenced in the craft computing video) but would not talk to the Mikrotik router for whatever reason using Unraid and the adapters).  

This router has two sfp ports and 24 1 gigabit ports and worked well for me.    Here is a link to the ebay store **:

Finally, for 10 gigabit networking my way, I had to get two other devices a multimode cable and the fiber adapters.   Believe it or not doing this was cheaper for me given the cost of the LC LC cable and the fiber adapters.

Again compatibility is important so I would get the same brand make and model.    Here is a list on ebay **:

You will need two of these finstars, one for each end.

I got mine from here (which was a little more expensive than the others):  In either case for two you are looking at 20 bucks at the most.

Finally, the fiber LC LC cable.  I got mine from Monoprice.  Here are the listing from their ebay store:

Note: due to the proximity of my server to my router, I got a freakishly long 15m cable (which I am glad I did).   

As you can see even at that length it’s only around 20 bucks.   Remember you want LC to LC.  I think all of the cords are aqua colored are LC to LC.  Avoid the LC to SC and other iterations.

The cable should not be more than about 20 bucks.  So 40 bucks at the most with the adapters for a 15m cable.

FYI, I have seen cables that include the adapters for very reasonable costs but you will have to search for those.

Again, you could go with a normal sfp cable I suppose (I went the above route because I needed a long cable). 

Just a quick search for the normal sfp cable on ebay here**.

Again, I went with the multi mode cable due to the cost of the longer cables, but sfp cables should work just fine.

Leave a comment below for comments or questions.

** Disclaimer: this link is an affiliate link to help support the show.  If clicked and purchased, a small commission will go to me.  I try my best to link to store that I have either purchased directly from or that I believe are legitimate (i.e. the manufacture’s store page).

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