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NAS consolidation upgrade / local storage help


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I’m needing to retire my current NAS and have a couple avenues to pursue. Currently I have a mixed storage setup and use HQP on a high end HP wkst (headless, located in network closet) upsampling to DSD > NAA (mini in audio rack) > Lampi. I’m also looking to replace the mini as a NAA with a sonic orbiter or NUC/linux or something equiv as an NAA since the mini is way overkill for this purpose.

 

I have a 4TB RED (full) inside the HP wkst (music only) and a separate 1TB NAS (almost full) in closet. I don’t really need or haven’t used any of the NAS built in functionality anymore (ftp, dlna, media server etc..) I really just need a “file server/share” on the network with security……I think.

So a couple options:

 

  • Get a Synology DS216j (something along those lines) and add my current 4TB RED and purchase another 2TB or 4TB (for second bay) which would give me plenty of space to expand for a while. I wouldn’t use any RAID, and just set it up as JOBD.
  • Purchase an external USB drive (WD 6TB My Book for example) to use for backups from the HP wkst. I use Beyond Compare for “differentials” and would like to continue to do so as it works great.
     
    OR
  • Purchase a two bay large capacity USB ext drive/enclosure. Hook it up to the HP wkst, share it out and pull my music from this.

The downside to #3 is should I ever want to use some of the NAS functionality, like media server functions or move away from HQP two PC setup I would be at a disadvantage. Although at the rate everything is moving, the NAS would be obsolete in no time anyway.

 

Not that my situation is really unique but I’m sure I’m missing something and before I plunk down $$ it would be nice to get some feedback or alternatives/gotcha’s I’m not seeing.

 

*FWIW I use a dedicated router/firewall, L2 switch with SFP ports for use with media converter to NAA and one AP on the network as well.

*MAC LAN performance and performance to current NAS (copying/browsing) is so horrible compared to Win I have pretty much given up on MAC's but I’m wondering if some NAS’s work better with MAC’s. Win networking is fine.

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FWIW I use a Synology and that gets my vote. But it's not the only option.

 

Purchase a two bay large capacity USB ext drive/enclosure. Hook it up to the HP wkst, share it out and pull my music from this.

 

The downside to #3 is should I ever want to use some of the NAS functionality, like media server functions or move away from HQP two PC setup I would be at a disadvantage. Although at the rate everything is moving, the NAS would be obsolete in no time anyway.

 

You can add a Raspberry Pi and convert the external HDDs into a media server, takes all of 5 mins. The Pi is 10/100 so don't expect NAS functionality for moving gigabits of data, but for all things media it rocks the world and at $35 will even put a smile on your face. I'm using a Pi with external HDDs plugged into a network switch doing duty as a media server and streamer. Works perfect! However, if you need more power then lots of other options like ODROID, BeagleBone, Orange Pi, Banana Pi, etc.

 

Apart from that you can consider...

1. NAS adapter. Not my ideal solution since a Pi does so much more, but its a simple solution.

2. USB 3.0 to ethernet/LAN adapter. This can even be plugged into the Pi, won't do gigabit speeds, but will do 200 or more Mbps.

3. Get external HDDs with some limited NAS functionality like WD My Book, My Book Duo, My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, etc.

 

Lots more solutions, but these are off the top of my head. If you have the $$$ then Synology gets my vote and pick something with more headroom for future upgradeability, but the Pi is also an excellent solution and one I continue to use despite having a NAS. This gives you the freedom to play with different distros and also plug in external HDDs and use them as network storage.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Never thought of using the Pi and you bring up some other good ideas.

 

Probably a NAS is the way to go. I assume the ds216 or an equivalent qnap has no issues with configuring two drives as individual drives/volumes (jbod)

 

Just seems like kind of a waste $ to get a NAS and use it for a file share only, nothing wrong with that though. I'll probably use some of the music media functionality for other areas of the house (general listening).

 

As long as network perf is good (for backups, copying large data around, file browsing) I'm good.

 

Sent from CA app

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You can get the Free Hyper-V 2012r2 server and since it supports the file server role and storage spaces use that for your back end storage.

 

 

I thought about building my own as I have a couple old towers lying around, but its a Pentium D something, so pretty old. I would think those use a lot of power and probably should be thrown away. With Hyper-V are you thinking to put this on a NAS that supports VM? I don't have any spare hardware to put this on.

 

I think there was a thread from Jud as he was looking at building his own - I'll have to look at that, but I'm not looking for anything high end

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This is turning out to be more difficult than I initially thought. More to the point, expensive! Since whatever solution one goes with, you need the exact same capacity for backups (I guess that's obvious). Then consider the RAID options and it really gets expensive (double the $), that's why I'm leaning towards JBOD (with my backup method).

 

I understand the RAID functionality, but if you have your backups in check, why care about disk failures? It seems JBOD threads from many yrs ago kind of poo poo'd JBOD, but Dr Google turns up several recent threads that say different.

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I thought about building my own as I have a couple old towers lying around, but its a Pentium D something, so pretty old. I would think those use a lot of power and probably should be thrown away. With Hyper-V are you thinking to put this on a NAS that supports VM? I don't have any spare hardware to put this on.

 

I think there was a thread from Jud as he was looking at building his own - I'll have to look at that, but I'm not looking for anything high end

 

 

My thinking is along the lines of using a low TDP system with a ton of SATA ports and using the free Hyper-V server since it runs as Core only and needs minimal CPU to run.

 

The ASRock Mini ITX N3700-ITX. PCI-E Sata Card with anywhere from 2 to 10 ports ($20-$90).

 

120GB SSD for the boot drive ~$40 and the rest is build how you want.

 

The N3700 is 6 Watt's.

 

If you want to not bother with a SATA card it has 8 USB 3.0

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My thinking is along the lines of using a low TDP system with a ton of SATA ports and using the free Hyper-V server since it runs as Core only and needs minimal CPU to run.

 

The ASRock Mini ITX N3700-ITX. PCI-E Sata Card with anywhere from 2 to 10 ports ($20-$90).

 

120GB SSD for the boot drive ~$40 and the rest is build how you want.

 

The N3700 is 6 Watt's.

 

If you want to not bother with a SATA card it has 8 USB 3.0

 

Or just run Ubuntu 16.04 and simply share the drives ... that's all a NAS is.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Or just run Ubuntu 16.04 and simply share the drives ... that's all a NAS is.

 

The thing with MS's storage spaces is the ability to setup a storage pool as a parity space and have some resiliency built in. I include an SSD and setup tiered storage with storage spaces using the SSD as a high speed disk cache of sorts.

 

The thing with SMB 3.0 is automatic link bandwidth aggregation. You don't need to get into more complex LAG configurations both at the NIC and the Switch. This not only provides redundancy and but more bandwidth. This lets you use commodity unmanaged switches. I get 360MB on the wire. Using $40 Dlink 24 port GB switches and some 4 port Intel NICs.

 

It's one area where I have switched from Linux to Windows.

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The thing with MS's storage spaces is the ability to setup a storage pool as a parity space and have some resiliency built in. I include an SSD and setup tiered storage with storage spaces using the SSD as a high speed disk cache of sorts.

 

The thing with SMB 3.0 is automatic link bandwidth aggregation. You don't need to get into more complex LAG configurations both at the NIC and the Switch. This not only provides redundancy and but more bandwidth. This lets you use commodity unmanaged switches. I get 360MB on the wire. Using $40 Dlink 24 port GB switches and some 4 port Intel NICs.

 

It's one area where I have switched from Linux to Windows.

 

Ubuntu 16.04 has ZFS built in. I have migrated storage ZFS pools from OS X to Solaris to Linux. It handles cache including RAM, SSD and hard disc. Both read and write. SMB is great. Ubuntu is easy to set up as well as free:)

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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The thing with MS's storage spaces is the ability to setup a storage pool as a parity space and have some resiliency built in. I include an SSD and setup tiered storage with storage spaces using the SSD as a high speed disk cache of sorts.

To followup on the ZFS L2ARC and ZIL (these writeups are from 2008 and 2010;)

Explanation of ARC and L2ARC » ZFS Build

https://blogs.oracle.com/brendan/entry/test

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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What is the behaviour in a power interruption?

 

A good amount written. Basically sync writes don't return unless data on disk. async may cache data in RAM so there can be data loss on power outage. SSD speeds sync write performance. Sun used this in their commercial storage products.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Thanks. The only issue with MS's storage pools is that it's really 1.0 and they are playing catch up in the write performance department if you aren't using tiered storage. ReFS is basically very vertical usage.

 

It works well for my use case scenario in that I'm SMB focused with my setup vs going with a media streaming protocol.

 

Lots of good options.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@plissken + jabbr - thanks for the responses. After considering several avenues and that spare time is well, non-existant, I figured an off the shelf nas will have to suffice for the time being. The two bay TS-251 for a little over $200 with 6TB is up and running. Also purcahsed a 6TB My Book (for backups) and will format that ext4 from the nas shortly.

 

Pretty slick thus far, but in reality it has a lot stuff I'll prob never use. The QTS OS/interface is very nice (at least from what I'm used to)

 

Copying the music lib from my workstation to this nas, I was easily sustaining 115 MB/sec. Not a big deal, but compared to my previous nas, it's significant.

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