How should I pool my hard drives for media server use?


First poster here so I apologize if this post is categorized incorrectly. I own the following:

1 x 12tb
2 x 4tb
1 x 8tb

1 x 250GB
1 x 1TB

CPU: i5-3570k
RAM: 16GB ddr3

I’m currently running an ubuntu server setup with an obscure encrypted LVM setup to pool my storage for my docker containers, but I’ve had quite a lot of issues with it and I’m considering moving back to unraid. I’m wondering if you guys have any experience on how to deal with a storage setup like mine. Basically I want my data spread across all drives but accessible from one mount point. I know unraid worked for me last time, although with performance issues.

I mainly use my current setup to stream my media with Emby but I’ve noticed a lot of slowness when streaming from an external address even though I have a lot of bandwidth. What are my options for achieving a performant storage pool other than unraid?


Could just mount each drive as a different folder. Example: 12tb as /Movies, 8tb as /TVShows…

Ive never used mismatched drives in a raid, i suspect you’ll have capacity and performance issues.

I doubt the issue is the drives. Unless one is failing you should not be limited by disk Io. Possibly check CPU utilisation during encoding as you may be doing software encoding that a more modern CPU handles in hardware.

On the disks, yeah I wouldn’t try to span critical data across such a jumble of disks. If you must though one option would be to stripe the two 4TiB disks to make an 8TiB vdev then set up RaidZ1 across three ‘drives’, one of which is the striped pair. You would lose 4TiB from the 12TiB drive but worth it for the redundancy and speed. You can replace the pair of 4’s in the future.

The SSDs are irrelevant except for caching.

Depends on how you want to pool them and what OS you’re even on. BTRFS for example does support mismatched HDD sizes out of the box and balances the stripes accordingly.

Similarly, Synology and Qnap support the same.

Unraid as well I think.