After ten years of almost continuous opperation, the Disk Pool of my Windows Server 2021 was showing a "degraded" ⚠ sign. Much happened since then: Docker and containerization became popular, my data amount grew due too 4k video editing, and building a new PC is generally always a lot of fun. Was running 5x4TB HDDs.

Design considerations

  • ECC support was a must to ensure long time operation without errors.

What you need

  • Harddrives, I went for WD Reds (worked fine in the last NAS). If your data is secured by some level of parity, super-reliant HDDs are not needed IMHO and just drive up cost. I went for 4GB version since that was the best in Terms of GB/€
  • https://amzn.to/3nU11Me Adapter that slots right on the pinheader of the Motherboard and offers USB connectors
  • usb https://amzn.to/3145Dqz as recommended in the forums https://forums.unraid.net/topic/61303-best-usb-stick-to-use/
  • CPU cooler, I went for the Dark Rock Pro 4. It's 6 times the price of the stock cooler (AMD Wraith Spire) but I had good experiences (silent, continuous operation, without too much dust accumulating) in my workstation, It has plenty of reserve for the 35TDP Ryzen AND I thought the more consistent the temperatures the better for long term stability of my system. It's a 400€ CPU after all, you don't take your Lambo to a Dacia dealership, right?
  • Mainboard: ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus as it had full ECC support, 8xSATA and two NVMe slots, included WiFi, etc.
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 5750GE a low TDP of 35W (nice for continuous operation), 8 cores and 16 threads (nice for containerization and VMs, you have so many cores, you can even pin them), ECC support, support for 128GB of RAM.


Ram is no easy feat. ECC, unbuffered. https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/lf3i6b/overclocked_ecc_memory_with_a_5900x_my_results/

I've used [this one]() but as this is no longer available I'm pretty sure this one is the replacement.

Future Expansions

If you should ever need more SATA ports, an HBA is here to help. It's like a RAID controller without RAID. Since our OS will take care of creating parity bits to secure our data, we don't need RAID. A good HBA is the Adaptec HBA 1100 which offer 8x SATA for 315€ https://geizhals.de/adaptec-hba-1100-1100-8i-2293200-r-a1830311.html It does not support TRIM, so don't use it for SSD. For the latter prefer the SATA ports on your Mainboard.

Setting up Unraid

Although BTRFS is heavily advertised, I received multiple reports of the filesystem becoming corrupted after a bunch of years. ZFS is very heavy on RAM consumption to speed up disc access (which can also be solved by popping in some SSDs). On the Other hand: XFS has the upside of it's files being readable on any other machine when you plug in the drive. So I went for XFS.

Stuff you should do

  • change the default ssh port /Settings/ManagementAccess
  • setup vm https://forums.unraid.net/topic/112374-windows-1011-vm-installationsanleitung/ - don't forget to backup your vannila vm image cp -a "/mnt/user/domains/Windows 10/vdisk1.img" "/mnt/user/isos/win10_vanilla.iso", debloat with PowerShell Admin call to iwr -useb https://git.io/debloat|iex

Cool extensions

  • plugin: Unbalance if you want to swap out a drive
  • GUI Search: Small searchbar to search through gui
  • Plugin WireGuard
  • Unraid.net: Backup the USB drive, remote acces, certificates
  • ich777 gpu driver for iGPU
  • dynmaix plugins plugins, i.e. for fans
  • endless ssh: to spam default ssh 22 port with endless logins to piss off attackers
  • Plugin: nerdPack GUI, i.e. iperf3 for network benchmark
  • parity check plugin
  • user scripts plugin: i.e. for cron jobs
  • setup > notifications, i.e. using telegram
  • gui tunes, i.e. dynamix
  • syncthing: binhex syncthing