Helios - HC2 - Or Microserver?

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    • Helios - HC2 - Or Microserver?

      Hey guys,

      So I've been experimenting recently with OMV with some spare hardware I had unused (old Macbook and a single USB drive) as I have been wanting to get a NAS setup for a while (was originally looking at off the shelf Synology options).
      I love the community here and the customization available with OMV.

      So I think I am ready to take the plunge and get a proper set up.

      What I'll be using it for:

      - A media server (Plex with automation via SABnzbd, Sonarr, Radarr etc).
      - A file server that I would like to access outside of my network (in my workplace for instance).

      After reading the forums and a few other build threads it seems I have 3 decent choices for what I am thinking of
      Hardware options:
      - A Helios with 2 drives + OS
      - A HC2 (possibly 2 stacked) + OS
      - A second hand microserver - HHD + SSD OS


      Requirements:
      - Best value for money (lower end of the budget scale and needs to be cheaper than an off the shelf Synology option).
      - Low-ish power consumption (likely to have it running 24/7)
      - Quiet as it is likely to be in a room rather than basement or attic/loft space

      - Be able to access outside of my home network

      I'm not massively experienced in Linux but have enjoyed the learning curve so far. I am thinking that having a dedicated media server drive and a dedicated data drive might be the best set up?

      My thoughts so far is either:
      - Helios with 2 drives (data drive and media server)
      - HC2 (2 stacked - 1 data, 1 media server) - Is this possible? Is it easy enough to network them together?
      - Microserver (this may be too noisey, large and use too much power but it is likely to be the system that I'd be most comfortable setting up as I've not worked with ARM setups really other than some RetroPie related fiddling on an old Raspberry Pi).

      Any thoughts, advice or otherwise would be greatly appreciated!


    • I really like the look of the Helios 4... but right now, My systems are all good and I can't really justify the expense. The Cloudshell had such promise.. :(

      If you only want to run 2 drives+OS, have you considered a rockpro64? They've got a decent case for it to attach two SATA drives to a pci card. It's still pretty new, but the specs look decent.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • denny2k2 wrote:

      I am thinking that having a dedicated media server drive and a dedicated data drive might be the best set up?
      Why exactly? If the data is not totally worthless I would always think about backup first (ideally in another location than your data... be it another room, building or city -- rsnapshot and friends also work via a VPN)
    • KM0201 wrote:

      I really like the look of the Helios 4... but right now, My systems are all good and I can't really justify the expense. The Cloudshell had such promise.. :(

      If you only want to run 2 drives+OS, have you considered a rockpro64? They've got a decent case for it to attach two SATA drives to a pci card. It's still pretty new, but the specs look decent.
      I haven't looked into rockpro64! Will investigate, thanks for the heads up. I should say that I only want to run 2 drives just now as it's likely what my budget can stretch to - would be nice to have the option to upgrade later, hence the Helios as an option or HC2 for stackability (granted I need to do a bit more research on that possibility though).

      My main concern with Helios is the RAM (which I assume isn't upgradeable). Would it be enough? Helios certainly doesn't seem underpowered but I'm more thinking for future use.

      tkaiser wrote:

      denny2k2 wrote:

      I am thinking that having a dedicated media server drive and a dedicated data drive might be the best set up?
      Why exactly? If the data is not totally worthless I would always think about backup first (ideally in another location than your data... be it another room, building or city -- rsnapshot and friends also work via a VPN)

      I've read a few times on the boards that going down the RAID option isn't the best of ideas. So I wanted the data drive to be purely for me to access files whenever I need them (I work in video production so being able to access older projects, video files etc would be very handy). I would be backing up also, to a different set of drives elsewhere - likely via rsnapshot or something similar (I still need to explore my options).
    • denny2k2 wrote:

      I've read a few times on the boards that going down the RAID option isn't the best of ideas
      This is true in general. RAID with unreliable hardware is silly and RAID in general isn't a great idea (any more -- last decade it was different). But still I don't get why you think about two separate drives and not simply different sharepoints residing on one single large drive.
    • tkaiser wrote:

      This is true in general. RAID with unreliable hardware is silly and RAID in general isn't a great idea (any more -- last decade it was different). But still I don't get why you think about two separate drives and not simply different sharepoints residing on one single large drive.
      Would you suggest just having one single large drive rather than more than one with a synced backup offsite?
      If I were to go with Helios - how easy is it to add further drives to the set up? Also with the current Helios spec - is the 2GB sufficient for what I will be using my set up for?
    • denny2k2 wrote:

      Would you suggest just having one single large drive rather than more than one with a synced backup offsite?
      I'm not suggesting that much, more asking questions :) And I personally am a fan of data categorization but not necessarily with different physical drives. IMO it's important to backup stuff so if you're on a low budget what about using 2 HC2 with a large disk each and using the 2nd one as a backup target for the first one? At least that's why I love SBC as NAS boxes so much: inexpensive so you can use more than one in different locations.

      denny2k2 wrote:

      If I were to go with Helios - how easy is it to add further drives to the set up? Also with the current Helios spec - is the 2GB sufficient for what I will be using my set up for?
      2GB are more than enough. And most probably I don't understand the question since you can add up to 4 SATA drives to the Helios4 without any problem. If you need more you're entering tinkerer area. Each SATA port on the Helios4 is SATA PM capable and as such you could attach up to 5 disks to each port behind a SATA port multiplier (a really weird but possible setup).
    • I wish I had listened to your posts on the HC2 sooner. After testing it a few days here, I moved it off site Tuesday and it appears to be working as well as I had hoped. Not counting the drive, I'm only into it for about $80 bucks. Well worth it, IMO.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • tkaiser wrote:

      I'm not suggesting that much, more asking questions :) And I personally am a fan of data categorization but not necessarily with different physical drives. IMO it's important to backup stuff so if you're on a low budget what about using 2 HC2 with a large disk each and using the 2nd one as a backup target for the first one? At least that's why I love SBC as NAS boxes so much: inexpensive so you can use more than one in different locations.
      2GB are more than enough. And most probably I don't understand the question since you can add up to 4 SATA drives to the Helios4 without any problem. If you need more you're entering tinkerer area. Each SATA port on the Helios4 is SATA PM capable and as such you could attach up to 5 disks to each port behind a SATA port multiplier (a really weird but possible setup).
      Sorry I should have been more clear, Helios is a 4 drive bay but I would likely only have 2 drives in it just now (for my current set up). So wanted to make sure it was easy enough to add a further 1 or 2 drives down the line. I like to keep things simple so wouldn't be getting involved in any tinkering! I am also a big fan of data categorization, maybe I am over thinking my set up haha.

      KM0201 wrote:

      I wish I had listened to your posts on the HC2 sooner. After testing it a few days here, I moved it off site Tuesday and it appears to be working as well as I had hoped. Not counting the drive, I'm only into it for about $80 bucks. Well worth it, IMO.
      Interesting, how are you finding it? Are the speeds decent? Where do you run the OS from, is it SD card based or do you have it running from USB? (I'll be using OMV for everything pretty much).
      I'm leaning towards getting a HC2 and giving it a bash and then possibly buying a further one for backup. Just slightly worried about how it will handle transcoding for Plex?

      The ROCKPro64 certainly has piqued my interest also, but again will need to research it's use case for Plex etc.
    • denny2k2 wrote:

      tkaiser wrote:

      I'm not suggesting that much, more asking questions :) And I personally am a fan of data categorization but not necessarily with different physical drives. IMO it's important to backup stuff so if you're on a low budget what about using 2 HC2 with a large disk each and using the 2nd one as a backup target for the first one? At least that's why I love SBC as NAS boxes so much: inexpensive so you can use more than one in different locations.
      2GB are more than enough. And most probably I don't understand the question since you can add up to 4 SATA drives to the Helios4 without any problem. If you need more you're entering tinkerer area. Each SATA port on the Helios4 is SATA PM capable and as such you could attach up to 5 disks to each port behind a SATA port multiplier (a really weird but possible setup).
      Sorry I should have been more clear, Helios is a 4 drive bay but I would likely only have 2 drives in it just now (for my current set up). So wanted to make sure it was easy enough to add a further 1 or 2 drives down the line. I like to keep things simple so wouldn't be getting involved in any tinkering! I am also a big fan of data categorization, maybe I am over thinking my set up haha.

      KM0201 wrote:

      I wish I had listened to your posts on the HC2 sooner. After testing it a few days here, I moved it off site Tuesday and it appears to be working as well as I had hoped. Not counting the drive, I'm only into it for about $80 bucks. Well worth it, IMO.
      Interesting, how are you finding it? Are the speeds decent? Where do you run the OS from, is it SD card based or do you have it running from USB? (I'll be using OMV for everything pretty much).I'm leaning towards getting a HC2 and giving it a bash and then possibly buying a further one for backup. Just slightly worried about how it will handle transcoding for Plex?

      The ROCKPro64 certainly has piqued my interest also, but again will need to research it's use case for Plex etc.
      I'm not sure on Transcoding, Plex, etc.. as that goes beyond what I use it for. As for speed... again given what I use it for, I didn't pay it much attention as it's not a serious concern. After I finished putting it together I went to bed while the data sync'd. The data sync's offsite at 3am, so I'm usually at work while it goes. I've not paid much attention to the times, only that it's working.

      I'll look tomorrow as my logs are clear now.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • denny2k2 wrote:

      tkaiser wrote:

      I'm not suggesting that much, more asking questions :) And I personally am a fan of data categorization but not necessarily with different physical drives. IMO it's important to backup stuff so if you're on a low budget what about using 2 HC2 with a large disk each and using the 2nd one as a backup target for the first one? At least that's why I love SBC as NAS boxes so much: inexpensive so you can use more than one in different locations.
      2GB are more than enough. And most probably I don't understand the question since you can add up to 4 SATA drives to the Helios4 without any problem. If you need more you're entering tinkerer area. Each SATA port on the Helios4 is SATA PM capable and as such you could attach up to 5 disks to each port behind a SATA port multiplier (a really weird but possible setup).
      Sorry I should have been more clear, Helios is a 4 drive bay but I would likely only have 2 drives in it just now (for my current set up). So wanted to make sure it was easy enough to add a further 1 or 2 drives down the line. I like to keep things simple so wouldn't be getting involved in any tinkering! I am also a big fan of data categorization, maybe I am over thinking my set up haha.

      KM0201 wrote:

      I wish I had listened to your posts on the HC2 sooner. After testing it a few days here, I moved it off site Tuesday and it appears to be working as well as I had hoped. Not counting the drive, I'm only into it for about $80 bucks. Well worth it, IMO.
      Interesting, how are you finding it? Are the speeds decent? Where do you run the OS from, is it SD card based or do you have it running from USB? (I'll be using OMV for everything pretty much).I'm leaning towards getting a HC2 and giving it a bash and then possibly buying a further one for backup. Just slightly worried about how it will handle transcoding for Plex?

      The ROCKPro64 certainly has piqued my interest also, but again will need to research it's use case for Plex etc.
      I sync'd just under 1gig last night, and it took 3:00.... My internet service says I get 10mbps up, but I think I've hit that number maybe twice (although my download speeds are accurate).. that would mean it was handling about 5.5mbps (this would be in line w/ upload speeds I've had before). I'm using a 4tb Barracuda in the HC2, so it's not the fastest drive, but it doesn't appear to be a bottleneck. I'm using a U1 SDcard for the OS, but I don't think that really enters the equation.. or if it does, it's having a minimum impact.

      Since it's running either while I'm asleep or I'm at work.. it doesn't change my opinion of this setup at all and I'm still happy with it.

      YMMV.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • The HC2 is not very impressive for transcoding. But if you have a decent network and clients it is easy to stream the original file and let the client scale on the fly. That is what I do, using HC2 and Emby, and it works just fine. If you REALLY need to play a 4K video on a small screen over wifi you can have Emby transcode the file in advance. Or have Emby download the file to the device.

      I have found HC2s with OMV to be a fast, compact, easy to setup, robust and efficient way to make huge HDDs available for data or backup storage on a LAN.
      OMV 4, 7 x ODROID HC2, 1 x ODROID HC1, 5 x 12TB, 1 x 8TB, 1 x 2TB SSHD, 1 x 500GB SSD, GbE, WiFi mesh
    • @Adoby do you have emby on you HC2 as a docker? I have OMV on a Raspberry. my OMV has docker and in this docker I have emby. I have read a lot of post about OMV+Rpi and decided to go with HC2. At the moment I'm writing this, I'm starting to set my HC2 with OMV from scratch. I just wanted to know if I should also add emby with docker.

      My plan is using this setup as a backup as well.
    • Sure, I run Emby in Docker. Works fine.

      Three things you might want to consider:

      1. When you install Docker, first create a new shared folder to use for the Docker images. You don't need to actually share it. Then use this shared folder as the Docker base path. Don't use the default /var/lib/docker folder on the SD card. This step is usually skipped in most guides.

      2. Before you actually install a Docker image create a new shared folder for the docker image configs, with separate subfolders for each Dcker image. Just as shown by TechnoDadLife in his video guides.

      3. By default OMV run from the SD card. And the whole HDD is used for shared folders. This works fine, especially if you are using a fast high quality A1 SD card. But if you use a fast HDD, for instance a SSHD or even a SSD, you may want to put the rootfs on that drive. This is possible if you partition and create sda1 (10GB or so) and sda2 (the rest as ext4) on the drive before you install OMV. You can then use the script nand-sata-install (it is installed with OMV) to move the rootfs to sda1. And you can mount sda2 in OMV and use it for shared folders.

      I did this on a HC1 with a 5 year warranty 2GB Firecuda SSHD I gave away as a birthday gift to a relative. It is used for storage/backup of scanned family photos. And Emby. And as a general NAS. Works great! I haven't tested to see if the performance improved. But it might... A little... I'll never have to worry about getting USB sticks back again. And I'll try to put pi-hole on it as well. Perhaps even NextCloud. Need to experiment a little first...

      I backup sda1 by booting from another card and running rsync to update a backup copy of sda1 on a USB thumbdrive. Easy and quick.
      OMV 4, 7 x ODROID HC2, 1 x ODROID HC1, 5 x 12TB, 1 x 8TB, 1 x 2TB SSHD, 1 x 500GB SSD, GbE, WiFi mesh

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Adoby ().

    • Thank you.

      Yes, on my first install on RPi I followed the videos of Technodadlife and everything was working fine. I had OMV + Emby (docker) But it seemed a little slow so that's why I going to move from raspberry to HC2.

      I also want to use a VPN but when I connect my client to this VPN I can't see the OMV server anymore. I'm still trying to figure that out.
    • Adoby wrote:

      I run Emby in Docker
      I mentioned Emby and transcoding before with this in mind: forum.armbian.com/topic/8451-h…u4hc1hc2-armbian-stretch/

      Adoby wrote:

      I haven't tested to see if the performance improved. But it might... A little...
      No, moving the rootfs to a HDD does not improve performance as long as you use the flashmemory plugin which is default on all the OMV ARM images. It only prevents the HDD from sleeping and complicates cloning the rootfs. Using an A1 rated SD card is fine as long as the flashmemory plugin is active.
    • Adoby wrote:

      Sure, I run Emby in Docker. Works fine.

      Three things you might want to consider:

      1. When you install Docker, first create a new shared folder to use for the Docker images. You don't need to actually share it. Then use this shared folder as the Docker base path. Don't use the default /var/lib/docker folder on the SD card. This step is usually skipped in most guides.

      2. Before you actually install a Docker image create a new shared folder for the docker image configs, with separate subfolders for each Dcker image. Just as shown by TechnoDadLife in his video guides.

      3. By default OMV run from the SD card. And the whole HDD is used for shared folders. This works fine, especially if you are using a fast high quality A1 SD card. But if you use a fast HDD, for instance a SSHD or even a SSD, you may want to put the rootfs on that drive. This is possible if you partition and create sda1 (10GB or so) and sda2 (the rest as ext4) on the drive before you install OMV. You can then use the script nand-sata-install (it is installed with OMV) to move the rootfs to sda1. And you can mount sda2 in OMV and use it for shared folders.

      I did this on a HC1 with a 5 year warranty 2GB Firecuda SSHD I gave away as a birthday gift to a relative. It is used for storage/backup of scanned family photos. And Emby. And as a general NAS. Works great! I haven't tested to see if the performance improved. But it might... A little... I'll never have to worry about getting USB sticks back again. And I'll try to put pi-hole on it as well. Perhaps even NextCloud. Need to experiment a little first...

      I backup sda1 by booting from another card and running rsync to update a backup copy of sda1 on a USB thumbdrive. Easy and quick.
      This is almost exactly what I want as my set up. Thanks for the insight. I already keep all of my Docker contrainers within one folder and tidied up - but I didn't think to use a shared folder as the Docker base path which is a great idea.

      Can I ask why Emby instead of Plex?
    • Adoby wrote:



      1. When you install Docker, first create a new shared folder to use for the Docker images. You don't need to actually share it. Then use this shared folder as the Docker base path. Don't use the default /var/lib/docker folder on the SD card. This step is usually skipped in most guides.
      Good tip, had not thought of this when I set up my Dockers. Is it possible to move them without messing up the configs?
    • Morlan wrote:

      Adoby wrote:

      1. When you install Docker, first create a new shared folder to use for the Docker images. You don't need to actually share it. Then use this shared folder as the Docker base path. Don't use the default /var/lib/docker folder on the SD card. This step is usually skipped in most guides.
      Good tip, had not thought of this when I set up my Dockers. Is it possible to move them without messing up the configs?
      I was thinking the exact same, but got the fear haha