Want to set up a low-power server for a 2nd PG instance within my home network

matt314159

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So now that I've got PGBlitz transporting terabytes of UHD movies per day into my team drive on my Hetzner server, I am looking to set up a second server instance at home. The reason for this is that I get MUCH better throughput when I can mount my google shares locally within my home network than if it first goes through my Hetzner Finland server. To minimize api calls I plan to continue streaming direct from my Hetzner server for my 1080p TV and Movie collections which are growing quite large (3000+ movies, 400+ shows) and instead only mount my 4k TV and Movie libraries locally, which will probably only top out around 1,000 movies and a couple dozen or so TV shows.

I currently have this setup working with my main gaming rig on Windows 10, but it's a power-hungry beast with 9 Hard disks, GPU, etc, and so I'd actually like to set up a 2nd computer, something that sips power, that I can leave running 24/7 at home.

I use an Nvidia Shield TV (2015, but my new 2019 one gets here tomorrow) so I do NOT need it to be able to transcode videos at all. It simply needs to be able to run PG and Plex and direct stream, while occasionally transcoding audio, but never video. It needs to be capable of establishing a quick and reliable stream so needs to be able to handle gigabit ethernet.

Right now I'm leaning toward just taking an old HP Probook 640 G1 from work (I work in IT and they're going on the recycle pile this summer), put an SSD in it, and then load ubuntu 18.04 LTS on it. That'd be a 4th gen Core i5 with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD.

But are there better options? Something with a smaller footprint, completley silent, super power-efficient SOC? Like a Raspberry Pi type project is what I'm thinking, though the RPi itself might not be up to the task.

Thoughts?

Edit - Actually I wonder if I could get away with a raspberri pi 4, rclone, and plex--maybe not even use PG on this particular server instance since that almost seems like overkill.
 
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matt314159

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Actually, I went another route when I realized I could simply use the Google drive add-in for Kodi on my shield. I think this is going to be a great option instead of a lightweight second Plex server inside my home network just for my high bitrate libraries.

So I guess you can either close the thread or we could continue discussing it for the benefit of future readers. I'm a tech nerd so I wouldn't mind seeing what the recommendations are, but I think this is probably the slickest option because it cuts out any kind of middleman and lets my shield Mount the Google drive directly.

Are there any aspects of this that I'm not thinking about, but should consider?
 

Datamonkeh

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Large is a relative term :D

If you want to run PG, then a Pi is out. The Pi also has shared bus issues that mean it's real world network throughput can be affected by other devices on the bus and you're going to get a few hundred Mbit at most (which may or may not be fine).

The laptop option sounds like a reasonable shout, the core hardware is certainly capable of what you want, but at the expense of a little noise and a less than ideal form factor. In the absence of free hardware, i'd normally go NUC or pick up a cheap 6th gen SFF box using something like the 6100T or 6400T (Dell/HP/Lenovo etc.). They are small, quiet, power efficient (intel are masters of power gating) and designed to run 24/7. Oh and they're cheap on ebay. They also pack enough punch and the iGPU is very capable if you do need to transcode video at some point. The only down side is now Ubuntu GPU decoding is a thing, the 7th gen got H265 decode support iirc which may be a thing in future, though not if you direct stream anyway and the price jump over here is more significant.
 
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matt314159

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Very useful info, thanks! Yeah I'm probably a lightweight by some of your standards! I'm up to 70TB as of today but I finally deployed blitz the other day, so I feel like I'm getting more serious.

I think I'm probably going to spend some time tonight getting Kodi set up on my shield (I have it far enough that I can browse my Google drive and my team drive, and play files, but I want to export the strm files and get my libraries set up, get the audio and video settings all exactly how I like them, etc) and then I will test drive this for a while before deciding whether to go with an in-network Plex server for my own needs only.

Since my shield is the only device I really stream on heavily, this might just work out nicely because of how simple it is. I like the idea of mounting the shield right onto the Google drive with no middle man.
 

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