Plex Media Server Database Best Practices?

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    • Plex Media Server Database Best Practices?

      Hey folks,

      I'm currently running the setup in my signature. I originally placed the Plex database on my storage pool, figuring the ZFS genie would automatically keep a backup copy for me. For reasons I don't completely understand, Plex seems sensitive to changes in the storage pool and I've had to follow this procedure when simply upgrading pool drives to get Plex to connect to its database. It recently started acting strangely and when I used Clonezilla to restore to a saved, good configuration less than a month old, Plex refused to connect to the database even though a pool scrub returned 0 errors. The database size is somewhere between 10GB - 11GB.

      I tried moving the database to a separate 64GB SSD and following the same process. No joy. So at this point I'm just rebuilding the database in this new location, which is extremely painful considering that I have a little over 2TB of material and live in the sticks and have 59 KBps DSL. I REALLY want to avoid doing this again if possible. When finished, I'll set up an rsync job to keep a backup copy of the database. My main concern with this setup is that the database is mounted as /media/UUID/plexmediaserver and I may have to go through this again if when this drive fails.

      I'm also completely comfortable using this idea to create a separate partition on the system drive and placing the database on the same physical drive. The advantage would seem to be that a cloned image would automatically include the database, and should eliminate any problems with Plex not communicating with its database, unless I expand the pool and the drive letters change which might upset Plex.

      I'm interested in any ideas or suggestions about which would be the best course to follow - separate drive or separate partition? SSD drive for read speed or platter drive due to the numerous writes?

      My DIY NAS: CPU - Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2, Mobo - Supermicro MBD-X9CL-F-O, RAM - 32 GB ECC DDR3, HD - Sandisk 64GB SSD, HBA - LSI 9211, Case - Fractal Design R4 with SeaSonic 650W Gold PSU, ZFS Pool - 6 X 3TB WD Reds in mirrored pairs, 4X Noctua NF-A14 fans & Aerocool Touch1000 Fan Controller.
    • The only comment I have is you should be planning for a much, much larger future Plex database, unless you are done growing your media collection.

      If you manage to move the Plex database to the system drive (OMV will not allow you to do this in the GUI, but it can be done manually by hand) many things will break all at once if the database grows to consume all available system partition space.

      My OMV runs from a 16GB SSD and it is less than half full.

      I currently have 3X3TB WD Red media drives in my system that hold the following media collection:

      ~6,600 movies, some with external subtitle files.
      ~2,500 Music CD RIPs, containing over 30,000 MP3 tracks, and ~20,000 par2 parity files.
      ~75 multi-season TV series containing ~950 mkv/mp4 episode files.

      My Plex database folder is over 200GB.

      Placing the Plex database on an SSD sounds like a good idea because the interface to Plex might be more responsive, but I don't find it at all sluggish even given mine's size and its location on one of the 3TB media drives. I wouldn't waste a large SSD on it.
      OMV 4.x - ASRock Rack C2550D4I - 16GB ECC - Silverstone DS380
    • @gderf thank you very much for your input! how do you fit all of your media on just 3x3TB WD Reds? Were your MP3s and MKVs highly compressed when you transcoded them? Or are you running some sort of compression on the disks?
      3.0.56 (Erasmus) - OMV Extras 3 (Stable)
      AsRock Rack C72504DI
      64GB Crucial ECC Ram
      8x4TB WD40EFRX
      4X4TB HMS5C4040x
      Crucial 525GB SSD
    • @ferchizzle

      The MP3s are almost all 320k bitrate. The movies and TV episodes are mostly x264 mp4 encodes, but I try to pick up new TV episodes in x265/mkv as they are so much smaller. All of this stuff is the way I find it on the net and I don't run any additional disk compression.

      Currently my 3 WD Reds are filled to these degrees:

      d1 93% filled 196GB free - this is where the Plex database is, so I do not add any new media there. The free space is where Plex database will grow into.
      d2 97% filled 98GB free - I occasionally add new media there, but will stop when the drive is 99% full.
      d3 79% filled 600GB free - plenty of room there, but at the rate I collect this stuff it won't be long before I will be in the market for another disk, probably a 6TB.
      OMV 4.x - ASRock Rack C2550D4I - 16GB ECC - Silverstone DS380