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Network Storage

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Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Dunno if this should go here or in the networking subforum, but at some point I'm going to need to upgrade the little WD Elements drive I have on my desktop right now. Might as well kill two birds with one stone and get something that can double as a network/shared drive.

I had a FreeNAS box back in college so I'm debating if I should go that route again or pick up one of these dedicated boxes - QNAp, Terra master, and the like.

Hoping for 20TB useable minimum, hopefully with some kind of RAIDed redundancy. Doesn't *need* 2.5gb Ethernet since I don't have any networking gear that has it, but if it does I'll grab a switch and maybe hardwire in my desktop. Will be streaming media with it but it doesn't need to do any on-the-fly transcoding.

Any suggestions?
 

notarat

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
I was in the same situation a feew years ago and picked up a QNAP TVS-951X, threw in 32GB RAM, five 8TB Drives, and a pair of 500GB SSDs for cache, and I've been very happy with the results.

So much that I've now picked up a QNAP TS-h973AX to upgrade the capacity. I put in 32GB of RAM, installed five 18TB drives, threw a couple nvme drives into IcyDock nvme to U.2 SATA adapters, and I'm currently copying over 35TB of data from the old NAS to the new one (I do it in ~250GB batches of files at a time)

Been very pleased with the performance of both since both come with 10GB NICs. Copy speeds are very nice...~800MB/Sec with older CAT 5 cables
 
OP
freakdiablo
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Yeah I was looking at some of the lower end QNAPs.

Using any RAID? Been kind of curious about the benefits of extra RAM as many of these units have SSD caching - does the RAM help with the more intensive RAIDs or is it used for caching as well?
 

notarat

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Yeah I was looking at some of the lower end QNAPs.

Using any RAID? Been kind of curious about the benefits of extra RAM as many of these units have SSD caching - does the RAM help with the more intensive RAIDs or is it used for caching as well?
I run raid 5 on both. The newest unit had a failure in the first week so I bought a new 18tb, threw it in, and it took only about 5.5hrs to rebuild the array. No problems since.

Interestingly, the bad drive works great in my other system as a stand alone drive.

Ram for these is relatively cheap so I just do it for peace of mind. I do, however, see a greater performance impact with the nvme drives as u.2 cache drives in the new NAS than just adding ram...
 

notarat

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Yeah I was looking at some of the lower end QNAPs.

Using any RAID? Been kind of curious about the benefits of extra RAM as many of these units have SSD caching - does the RAM help with the more intensive RAIDs or is it used for caching as well?
I didn't really answer your question last night about the RAM...sorry.

I find that with the background processes running while I'm using the NAS to store or stream that it's a little smoother to do either of those operations since the background processes have enough RAM to run without impacting my activities.

Hope that helps a bit.

Alternatively, you could pick up something like a 5600G or the Intel equivalent and build a FreeNAS unit (though I haven't done that so I can't comment on how well it works) or you could use an old copy of Win10 and just share the drives across your network to access the space that way...

I used to do something similar a couple decades ago using Kubuntu to set up a simple Samba Share. For what I needed at the time, that worked really well and was MUCH cheaper than purchasing a dedicated NAS. That let me use the money I would have spent on the "system" part of a NAS to purchase larger drives.
 
OP
freakdiablo
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
I didn't really answer your question last night about the RAM...sorry.

I find that with the background processes running while I'm using the NAS to store or stream that it's a little smoother to do either of those operations since the background processes have enough RAM to run without impacting my activities.

Hope that helps a bit.

Alternatively, you could pick up something like a 5600G or the Intel equivalent and build a FreeNAS unit (though I haven't done that so I can't comment on how well it works) or you could use an old copy of Win10 and just share the drives across your network to access the space that way...

I used to do something similar a couple decades ago using Kubuntu to set up a simple Samba Share. For what I needed at the time, that worked really well and was MUCH cheaper than purchasing a dedicated NAS. That let me use the money I would have spent on the "system" part of a NAS to purchase larger drives.
Thanks.

I did look at some of the QNAP units and yeah, realized I could build a FreeNAS box for a similar price to one of the mid range QNAPs. Was just wondering if a dedicated unit would be more PnP (while handling some of the more intensive RAIDs better without the pain of setting up a hardware RAID card).
 
OP
freakdiablo
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
I currently have both a freenas and unraid system running at my house if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them as well.

Sorry, didn't see your post when I replied. Thanks, I'll do a bit more digging but I'll ask if anything comes up.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
For what it's worth, for FreeNAS/TrueNAS and unRAID you wouldn't be setting up the hardware RAID card per-say, you would want one in IT-mode (either purchased as-such or if a firmware exists for one that you would purchase to change it to that), which is basically just pass-through/JBOD as FreeNAS+unRAID use a software RAID method and do all parity/etc in the OS versus on the RAID card. Or just using the ports on an existing motherboard is also an option depending on the number of drives desired to be used.
 

The_Jizzler

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Never used Qnap but had a few Synology disk stations at old job and they were sweet. As far as the ssd tiering and ram goes, that's for more if you're going to use these things as mini servers. Some of them can even run virtual machines and other workloads. They aren't just for SMB shares these days and can do so much more. That said, I've heard some horror stories of failed ssd tiered arrays where all data gets lost for some stupid unforseen reason
 
OP
freakdiablo
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
For what it's worth, for FreeNAS/TrueNAS and unRAID you wouldn't be setting up the hardware RAID card per-say, you would want one in IT-mode (either purchased as-such or if a firmware exists for one that you would purchase to change it to that), which is basically just pass-through/JBOD as FreeNAS+unRAID use a software RAID method and do all parity/etc in the OS versus on the RAID card. Or just using the ports on an existing motherboard is also an option depending on the number of drives desired to be used.

Thanks. The reason I brought up the RAID card was I tried the onboard route with my last FreeNAS box and the thing slowed to a crawl after a while. But it was rocking a Sempron 140, so a bottom of the barrel CPU from 12 years ago. Might be better with something mid-range and newer.

Never used Qnap but had a few Synology disk stations at old job and they were sweet. As far as the ssd tiering and ram goes, that's for more if you're going to use these things as mini servers. Some of them can even run virtual machines and other workloads. They aren't just for SMB shares these days and can do so much more. That said, I've heard some horror stories of failed ssd tiered arrays where all data gets lost for some stupid unforseen reason

Thanks, kinda figured that at least as far as the added ram.

And I've been bitten by data loss before, anything important gets backed up and the backups get backed up. This is purely for media, meaning if it's lost I spend a few weeks breaking videos back down to MKVs and swallow the $400 power bill :D