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Author Topic: NAS Recommendations Please  (Read 1265 times)

Peter McLennan

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NAS Recommendations Please
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:50:22 pm »

Windows 10.  Adobe CC. Approx 8TB of data currently distributed over several drives and becoming difficult to manage.  Mostly image data manipulation and storage but some video editing.  NAS will be backed up to USB3 devices. 

Require easy to use, fault-tolerant, quiet, responsive. I hate waiting for my various dives to spin up when they've not been accessed frequently. My first NAS.

Your experience in this area greatly appreciated.
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BobShaw

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 08:20:18 pm »

None. There is an ongoing joke that NAS means "Not A Server". Fine for video and music, but if you want a File Server then get a File server.
My experience with a Drobo NAS was that it is far too slow. Ethernet has a maximum utilisation of 50% so even 10G is not that fast compared to direct attached.

For a start I recommend think about getting all of your data on one drive that you can grow like a Drobo and then manage that.
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dpirazzi

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 01:35:36 am »

Been very happy with a Synology 415+ for the last 4 years, easy to use and quiet (though mine is not close to where I'm working). I loaded it with (4) 3TB WD red drives (would go for 6TB or 8TB drives if was doing it now) for a usable capacity of between 8 and 9 TB, and get up to 110MB/s transfer speeds when accessing it through a pair of managed switches using link aggregation. I have all the PCs in the house backing up to the unit, and we use it for sharing files.

Setup required a bit of learning on my part, which was mostly fun, but since then it just works. I like that Synology still actively supports these units with regular OS and package updates. It runs packages (apps) that perform various tasks, such as backing itself up to a local USB 3 drive daily in case of simultaneous drive failures, and synchronizing my folders to the cloud (Backblaze) in near realtime, both without any user involvement. Also running a TV recording app that lets me record OTA TV for viewing later.

I have it set to spin the disks down after a period no access, so I occasionally have to wait for the array to spin up if I have not accessed it recently.
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degrub

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 09:48:03 am »

What transfer rate do you get when you do a folder to/from folder copy from your PC to the 415+ ?

The reason i ask is NASPT tests usually indicate 10-20 MB/s transfer rates even with Gbit LAG set up on the unit and network hardware for folder copy tasks.
LAG was originally for multi-user bandwidth improvement (aka file server access) rather than single process throughput so i was wondering if Windows/MacOS and Synology had changes something in the SMB access software.

This has held me back from upgrading my 10+ year old units.
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 01:13:40 pm »

I don't recommend this to anyone who is not an expert in these things, but personally I keep my storage on a FreeBSD server, backed by redundant ZFS. Most of the data is accessed through the SMB protocol, but I also run a Fibre Channel target on my server (backed by a SSD-only ZFS zvol) and my photos and other stuff that requires high performance I/O lives there and is accessed through Fibre Channel from my mac (which acts as the FC initiator). My FC hardware is pretty old (partly by choice, I wanted something for the mac that works with the built-in drivers), "only" 8Gbps, and yeah, it works pretty well at ~750MB/s.

The data is then periodically backed up on magnetic tape (LTO-5), which I keep both onsite and offsite.

Unfortunately you need Unix system administration knowledge to do this, but if you happen to know it, it works far better than commercial-grade NAS boxes. I am very happy with it.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 01:18:12 pm by Aram Hăvărneanu »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 01:38:14 pm »

Require easy to use, fault-tolerant, quiet, responsive.

Thanks for the advice so far.   However, I'm not encouraged.  Anyone running into serious bandwidth problems using a NAS for video editing?  Larry Jordan seems to think it's fine, except for 4K. 

https://larryjordan.com/articles/server-based-video-editing-with-adobe-premiere-pro-cc/

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dpirazzi

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2019, 02:10:38 pm »

What transfer rate do you get when you do a folder to/from folder copy from your PC to the 415+ ?

Using Windows Explorer and copy paste, copying a 7.5GB folder from the NAS to my local laptop NVME SSD, speed varied from less than 1 MB/s to 112MB/s (lots of small files seemed to slow it down). The flatter part towards the end showed sustained 70-80MB/s. This is copying a folder with subfolders containing a variety of size/type files including music, images and misc docs.

I honestly don't know how accurate the displayed speed is in explorer, but not sure how to measure otherwise.

You're right about LAG, it can't increase a single transfer's speed, but it can keep other activity from slowing that transfer.

BTW, the bar in the graph below represents instantaneous xfer speed, not a running average.
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Joe Towner

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2019, 02:45:46 pm »

Desktop or laptop?  Will you be working wirelessly or sitting at a desk next to it for major data transfers?

You're going to want something that does caching, and ideally 10gbps.  I'm pissed off at Synology right now - even as I propose their solutions in most cases - due to the lack of 10gbps support in the mid-line NAS models, thus requiring a caching card OR 10gb card debate.

I'm going to flip things a bit and make the recommendation backwards - based on disks and performance.  You've got 8tb of data now, so I'm thinking that 16-20tb is the range to be in - plenty of space, since NASes don't like to be full.  I'm going off of NewEgg.CA for pricing - damn, this hurts.  The Seagate IronWolf's are $310 for 8tb, and the 10tb's are $410.  The SkyHawks are a few bucks cheaper each, but I'm not sure the tradeoff is worth it.  So to do a RAID5/SHR1 of 3 disks gets you 14-18.x tb of usable space (and you purchase 4 disks so there's a cold spare in the event of a disk issue).  So you are quickly $1,300 into spinning rust (hard drives).

If performance is big, I highly recommend the ability to leverage SSD's for speed.  QNAP does Q-Tier, while Synology does caching.  Both improve things when doing lots of disk I/O - if nothing else allowing writes to the SSDs while doing a whole lot of reading from the hard drives, eventually writing the data to hard drives as performance allows.  Figure you'll add 2 250/256gb SSD or NVMe drives to work in tandem with the hard drives above. Add $150 to $200 to the cost for the NVMe/M.2 SATA/2.5" SATA drives (depending on what model).

Next is the network speed - I really like 10gbps ports on NASes since it prevents you from having to purchase a switch that can do link aggression to 10gbps for your computer.  I've got a Netgear GS110EMX for the DS1817+ and DS716+ units to do link aggregation, and 10gbps from a TB3 adapter (Sonnet) or PCIe cards (Asus).  Only issue is I have a second switch stacked with it that does PoE for my wifi and other gear, so it's a trade off between options.  Some units only have SFP+ for the builtin 10gb adapters - there are a few options like a 10gbps switch QNAP qsw-804-4c or Netgear XS708Ev2.  I'm more a fan of a direct connect with a $30 eBay Mellanox MNPA19-XTR cards with cable - yes, $30 with cable for 10gbps networking.  QNAP has a new TB3 adapter that's either SFP+ or RJ45, so it's another option for direct connections https://www.qnap.com/en/product/qna-tb-10gbe

With that said here are some models to consider:

QNAP
TS-332X - https://www.qnap.com/en-us/product/ts-332x/specs/hardware  (It's on my to play with list)
This unit is a fill it & done recommendation - there isn't much expansion with only holding 3 disks, but it has 3x M.2 slots for caching, and 10gbps via SFP+

TS-673
6 bays, 2 M.2 slots and 2 PCIe slots for either more M.2 drives or 10gb cards.  More expansion & growth options.

Synology
DS1817 - 8 bays, use 2 for SSDs and put in that 4th drive and run SHR2.  Gives you 14-18tb of space, with double disk redundancy, 2 SSD drives for read & write caching, plus 2 drives for expansion.  Builtin 10gbps RJ45 so plug and done.

DS918+ - 4 bays with 2 NVMe slots on the bottom.  No 10gb option, but with a switch you can aggregate and get a bit faster.

DS1817+/DS1819+ - 8 bays and a 10gb/SSD debate.  Can aggregate 4x 1gb ethernet jacks, but for the same price just do the 10gb card and use 2 of the drive slots for SSD's.  More powerful than the DS1817, but not sure it's worth the $

-Joe

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Peter McLennan

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2019, 08:21:26 pm »

Excellent, Joe.  Exhaustive and informative.  Thank you!

Desktop, wired situation here.  1gbps network.

I think I'm closing in on four 4TB drives in RAID 5. I have two good NAS qualified 4TB drives on hand already.

I'm not sure how important the 10gbps ethernet speed is for my use case.  Nor am I sure how much the Synology cache IO via SSDs strategy will help responsiveness.

I have zero experience with network attached storage and I'm unsure what performance I'll need. The use case future is cloudy.

So far, the Synology 918+ is leading the pack based on upgradability.

Again, thanks, Joe. 
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Joe Towner

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2019, 09:38:50 pm »

There's a separate thread on 10gbps stuff, and it's actually pretty easy for desktops when you have an open slot.  One thing I didn't put in was your biggest issue was playing which drives has what I want.  One thing to consider would be to consolidate down your multiple drives into a single 8tb one, or even a pair of them.

If you wanted to go the route of a cleaner, Windows 10 setup, you could do a USB3.1 PCIe card and an external 4 bay case.  Slide in whichever drives and setup a Windows Storage Space (WSS, aka the builtin RAID setup).

For a single machine these two options may be easier and cheaper.  Only catch is that making a change later on will involve a whole new set of hard drives, as both a NAS setup or WSS wipe all data off the drive before it starts.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 02:30:01 pm »

One thing to consider would be to consolidate down your multiple drives into a single 8tb one, or even a pair of them.

If you wanted to go the route of a cleaner, Windows 10 setup, you could do a USB3.1 PCIe card and an external 4 bay case.  Slide in whichever drives and setup a Windows Storage Space (WSS, aka the builtin RAID setup).

That's what I have now, Joe.  I have a USB3.1 PCIe card with four ports.  Two of the ports have 5TB consumer grade "My Book" drives attached.  Those are my long-term archive.  Nearly full, both of them.  The other two ports have USB 3 drive docks, each with two drives installed.  These in addition to the boot SSD and two more internal drives.  You can see how it's gotten out of hand as it's grown ad hoc.

The current problem that's prompting me to make changes arose when I installed a new 8TB WD Red drive in one of the docks.  It's frequently (ie near constantly) reading and writing, sometimes to the extent that it's affecting the mouse pointing.  Resource Monitor tells me that it's mainly both Chrome or the Windows Page File that's causing the reads/writes.  No other disk on the system exhibits this behaviour.

I'm about to reconfigure Chrome to see if that's the bottleneck.  No idea why this should all be happening on this one external drive.

I've not heard of WSS.  I'll go away and read up on it. :)

Thanks again for your suggestions and help.


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andyptak

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 05:49:13 pm »

A number of years ago I decided that I'd had it with NAS and various RAID systems and went simple DAS and JBOD, with synch to a second unit.

Works like a charm except for except the fact that I'm now running out of space! Who'd have thought that 24TB wouldn't be enough?

I went through various NAS systems with Drobo being the worst. Being held hostage to proprietary software holding my data hostage was too much for me. The number of times I said, "it's all there, I just can't get at it" , when there was a glitch, was too much for me. I like the idea of just being able to pull a disk out and pop it in anywhere and be able to read it, if I needed to. Simple and fast works well for me.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 07:43:50 pm »

Being held hostage to proprietary software holding my data hostage was too much for me. The number of times I said, "it's all there, I just can't get at it" , when there was a glitch, was too much for me. I like the idea of just being able to pull a disk out and pop it in anywhere and be able to read it, if I needed to. Simple and fast works well for me.

That's pretty well where I am right now, Andy. All the drives are just bog standard NTFS. I also love the fact that I'm not hostage to proprietary software.  Let alone Unix, of which I know nothing.  Maybe this is all just a dumb idea - that a NAS will get me organized. 

Thanks for making me re-think priorities.
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budjames

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 08:06:46 pm »

I have been running 8-bay Synology DiskStation 1815 and 1817 units. One is connected to my iMacPro via 10GB LAN. This unit backs up, real time, the OWC ThunderBay4 RAID0 connected to my iMacPro via Thunderbolt2. The read/write speed to the Synology NAS averages about 350-450 mb/sec.

The second DiskStation is installed at my office about 10 miles away. This unit receives the backups, automatically, from the DiskStation in my LAN using the Synology software.

This set up has been working great since installation about 18 months ago.

The same Synology units also run video surveillance software for security cameras at my home and at the office. For this application, the remote Synology unit acts as a one way back up to the other and visa versa.

Regards,
Bud James

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Joe Towner

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 02:32:07 pm »

I think you may be held back by the USB-SATA adapter in the external units you're using.  The 5tb MyBooks, are they 5tb data + 5tb backup, or 10tb of data?  Yes, 6 external disks, plus 3 inside makes for a mess of management - especially when trying to eek out those final gigs of space.

Take a peak at https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MEQCTJBT00/ and https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAH2M8698697 - either one is just an external JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) that holds 4 drives, but are USB3.1 speed controllers.  Add 3 more WD RED 8tb drives, and configure it as a WSS.  Relegate the MyBooks to backups and leave them disconnected.  Only thing I'd add is a small UPS that can do a controlled shutdown of your desktop.

Would you be able to retire all the other docks?
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andyptak

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 03:26:56 pm »

Joe. Showing my lack of knowledge here, what's a WSS?
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Joe Towner

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2019, 06:31:46 pm »

Sorry Andy, WSS has meant a lot of things over the last decade (thanks Microsoft), but for this case we're referring to Windows Storage Spaces - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12438/windows-10-storage-spaces

It's the updated software RAID-like feature built into Windows 10/2016.  It can do some cool things, and for a Windows centric setup it may offer an easier space than a NAS or using a cheap/bad "RAID" setup on external devices that will never be recoverable on another device.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2019, 08:28:15 pm »

I think you may be held back by the USB-SATA adapter in the external units you're using.

It's possible.  The frequent paging to disk behaviour began when I plugged a new 8TB drive into the Innateck drive dock.  I should try moving that drive elsewhere on the system. 

 
Quote
The 5tb MyBooks, are they 5tb data + 5tb backup, or 10tb of data?

They are backup only.  Separate, unrelated data on each drive.  Seldom accessed, except to update the backup.



Quote
Take a peak at https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MEQCTJBT00/ and https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAH2M8698697 - either one is just an external JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) that holds 4 drives, but are USB3.1 speed controllers.  Add 3 more WD RED 8tb drives, and configure it as a WSS.  Relegate the MyBooks to backups and leave them disconnected.  Only thing I'd add is a small UPS that can do a controlled shutdown of your desktop.

That enclosure idea sounds good.  Nothing proprietary.  I like that.  I'll have to check my USB card.  I'm not sure if it's USB3.0 or USB3.1  Some complaints about heat from that box if it's fully populated.

Quote
Would you be able to retire all the other docks?

That would be nice.  Too many wires on my desk.  :)

Thanks, Joe.
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Christopher

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 05:47:22 pm »

I personally would go with Synology or QNAP for easy solutions. I have personal experience with Synology as Iím running two as backups to my FreeNAS server.

Honestly, as much as I like FreeNAS, itís complicated compared to the other options.


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mdelrossi

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Re: NAS Recommendations Please
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2019, 10:20:21 am »

My solution is 2 drives in a raid 0 config, for speedy access, backed up to a Synology NAS every night, then backed up to 2 single drives, one lives off site.

I gave up multiple drives decade ago, too much confusion.
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