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Thinking About A Nas


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I am thinking about setting up a NAS so I can load all our DVD movies on it so the kids can watch movies from anywhere in the house. I am not sure how to do this, but I need the following things:

 

1) Storage (not sure how much I will need for 200+ DVDs (20 tb? 60 tb?)

2) Wireless (I only have a wired connection in my office.)

3) Ease of use (It has to be so easy to use that Lupe can work it (And that means EASY/BULLETPROOF))

4) Configureable so that I can put Chick-flicks in their own folder, etc.

 

Suggestions guys?

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I found a happy medium between price point and capabilities in the Drobo. I wish it weren't CIFS, but I'm able to subdivide etc. and it is nice and self contained and can sit on a desk or a shelf with no real maintenance (and some nice easy to see status colors to tell you when you need to add or replace a drive).

https://smile.amazon.com/Drobo-5N2-Attached-Ethernet-DRDS5A21/dp/B06XGN6L4S/

 

I started with 3x 2TB hdd's, but am currently running 4x. I have some spares ready to drop in, but I expect to move to 4TB or 8TB rather than 2TB replacements.

 

Synology is another popular NAS in my circle of friends and coworkers, as are the various ZFS solutions. Price point and complexity of these seem higher than what I would consider setting family up with.

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I've got a small, bit old 4-disk Synology model. Works pretty well, but it's getting old. I am thinking about replacing it with this. Plex is a good software for managing a multimedia collection.

 

Media streaming using wireless could be a challenge - you will need at least 802.11ac-capable router and adapters. Putting a small unmanaged gigabit switch linking NAS, main TV, and router could help to alleviate bottlenecks. Alternatively, if your wire only arrives to the office, put there a neutral, 802.11ac-capable router wired to the NAS. As a neutral router I use an ASUS RT-68, and it is going strong still.

 

Bluray movies are quite enjoyable at 5GB per movie, unless you are keen on big-screen 1080p or 4k. If not, then 720p could be fine. That also reduces the need for high speed wireless.

Edited by sunday
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Several peers have said they liked their Synology units. I've been eying a Buffalo Technology unit.

 

Get drives from several different mfgrs and batches. If they all have the same MTBF, they will likely fail close together. A co-worker had that happen with one he had. 2 drives failed in the same week.

 

Wireless may present an issue for total necessary bandwidth with streaming. You may want to look at getting cat 5e or cat 6 laid in as that's still faster than equivalent level wireless. Gigabits vs Megabits. What ever you transfer the DVD content from while ripping to the MPeG file will be substantially slower on the transfer than a wired connection thats 1 gig. You could even go with a unit like the Synology units that allow link aggregation and a 10 gig add on card.

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Several peers have said they liked their Synology units. I've been eying a Buffalo Technology unit.

 

Get drives from several different mfgrs and batches. If they all have the same MTBF, they will likely fail close together. A co-worker had that happen with one he had. 2 drives failed in the same week.

Yes to this. I use a mix of WD blues and reds. Backblaze keeps a database of drive reliability, if you are interested.

 

Wireless may present an issue for total necessary bandwidth with streaming. You may want to look at getting cat 5e or cat 6 laid in as that's still faster than equivalent level wireless. Gigabits vs Megabits. What ever you transfer the DVD content from while ripping to the MPeG file will be substantially slower on the transfer than a wired connection thats 1 gig. You could even go with a unit like the Synology units that allow link aggregation and a 10 gig add on card.

Currently I am getting 30-40MB/s transferring files from NAS to desktop over a wireless link of about 530Mbit/s actual (some bad sightlines in my installation).

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Good luck with it. Figure out a backup program if you can and have an extra drive standing by for replacement in the event of a failed drive.

 

What's your striping setup going to be?

Edited by rmgill
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I am not sure, possibly RAID 1, I’m still trying to learn these things.

 

Good luck with it. Figure out a backup program if you can and have an extra drive standing by for replacement in the event of a failed drive.What's your striping setup going to be?

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Oh, you want to have some level of redundancy.

Raid 5 would give you 3 data drives and a parity drive. Data capacity would be around 30TB with that setup. You'd be able to have 1 drive die and not lose data. Have a spare sitting on the shelf ready to swap in and some method for the system to alert you over and above a light.

Do you get the basics of how data and parity drives work?

https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_what_is_raid

If you could swing the 8 bay unit, but only populate it with 5 drives, you should be able to grow it as needs entail and add drives. Most hardware array systems allow adding drives to an array to make it larger.

https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_expand_add_disk


Edited by rmgill
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I'm planning in building a FreeNAS sometime this spring. More complicated than the standalone devices, but capable.

 

Probably a 6 drive ZFS array, by the time I get around to it I'll probably get 8 TB drives. A MB with enough SATA channels is not easy to find however.

 

Black Friday project is a micro ATX or mini ITX I7 8700k machine I'll setup dual boot as Win 10 and a Hackintosh.

Edited by GregShaw
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Thank you! I like raid 5 now that you mention it. And an 8 bay naps will allow for future expansion.

 

Oh, you want to have some level of redundancy.

Raid 5 would give you 3 data drives and a parity drive. Data capacity would be around 30TB with that setup. You'd be able to have 1 drive die and not lose data. Have a spare sitting on the shelf ready to swap in and some method for the system to alert you over and above a light.

Do you get the basics of how data and parity drives work?https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_what_is_raid

If you could swing the 8 bay unit, but only populate it with 5 drives, you should be able to grow it as needs entail and add drives. Most hardware array systems allow adding drives to an array to make it larger.https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_expand_add_disk

 

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An eventual setup could be:

 

Drives 1-5 Raid 5. (4 data disks, 1 parity disk) - Storage for AV data. Capacity = No disks x 4

 

Drive 6-7, Raid 1, mirrored (2 data disks) - Storage for key files you might want to keep on a separate volume. Capacity 1 drive. You have the added benefit of being able to take one of these drives out and store it somewhere else and replace it with a fresh blank drive. Good for offsite backups. Test it first to be sure you can get the data off the drive separate from the array.

 

Drive 8 Spare.

 

 

Do not do raid 0 for anything used for data storage. The only utility for Raid 0 is if you need fast and cheap temporary storage volumes (say like a video editing system).

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Thank you! I like raid 5 now that you mention it. And an 8 bay naps will allow for future expansion.

 

Oh, you want to have some level of redundancy.

Raid 5 would give you 3 data drives and a parity drive. Data capacity would be around 30TB with that setup. You'd be able to have 1 drive die and not lose data. Have a spare sitting on the shelf ready to swap in and some method for the system to alert you over and above a light.

Do you get the basics of how data and parity drives work?https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_what_is_raid

If you could swing the 8 bay unit, but only populate it with 5 drives, you should be able to grow it as needs entail and add drives. Most hardware array systems allow adding drives to an array to make it larger.https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/help/DSM/StorageManager/storage_pool_expand_add_disk

 

Even deferring to Ryan's knowledge on the matter, I would recommend you my 4-disk setup, RAID10. Previously I had a RAID6 setup, and one disk failed. Rebuilding the array after inserting a new disk took more than a day -a day in which another disk failure would have been fatal- and a IT guy from job heartily recommended RAID10. RAID10 offers 2-disk redundancy in most cases. Especially, having different makes of disks in every RAID1 sub-array of the RAID10 array would make moot that point. Also RAID10 has no parity overhead and better speed.

 

One loses 50% of raw storage, also. But I think you will need quite a long time to accumulate 20TB of data. You could always transition to a 8-disk RAID5 in the future, as RAID5 makes more sense with more than 4 disks.

 

You may also consider having a separate volume that uses the BTRFS filesystem, especially if you are storing pictures that you could not afford to lose. See this reddit conversation on the matter.

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An eventual setup could be:

 

Drives 1-5 Raid 5. (4 data disks, 1 parity disk) - Storage for AV data. Capacity = No disks x 4

 

Drive 6-7, Raid 1, mirrored (2 data disks) - Storage for key files you might want to keep on a separate volume. Capacity 1 drive. You have the added benefit of being able to take one of these drives out and store it somewhere else and replace it with a fresh blank drive. Good for offsite backups. Test it first to be sure you can get the data off the drive separate from the array.

 

Ditto this. It is more work, but tiering your storage into "small but critical" and "large but noncritical" is important IMHO if finances are limited.

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I'm planning in building a FreeNAS sometime this spring. More complicated than the standalone devices, but capable.

 

Probably a 6 drive ZFS array, by the time I get around to it I'll probably get 8 TB drives. A MB with enough SATA channels is not easy to find however.

 

When you get into it, please post up the details. I want to build a really affordable NAS box, didn't like any of the turn-key NAS appliances in my price range.

 

Why ZFS?

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Raid 10 Would be better than 5, sort of, but as your drive count goes up you end up wasting drives.

 

4 Drives at 10GB each

Raid 5 = 30GB usable space. 1 10GB drive is your parity drive.

 

Raid 10 = 20 GB usable space. x2 drives are mirrors of the other two. Drives also have to be added to the array in even numbers.

 

6 Drives at 10GB each

Raid 5 = 50 GB w 1 10GB drive as parity.

Raid 10 = 30 GB usable space.

 

In either case, you have a 5th drive hanging out as a spare, either hot or cold.

 

I also think raid 10 has a bit of a performance hit over Raid 5. A write operation for Raid 5 is split across each of the drives.

 

So with say a file written out, imagine the file is QuikBrownFox

Disk No. and Data Fragment

Raid 5

1. Qui

2. kBr

3. own

4. Fox

5. checksum of the values in the blocks of the above. (remember, the bits for each disk block are numbers, the checksum allows for the system to calculate any of the drives.

 

With Raid 10.

1. QuikBr

2. QuikBr

3. ownFox

4. ownFox

 

Latency of the drives will be an issue as you can see each drive has more to write out. I'm not sure of the numerical calculations as a bottleneck on a given pro-sumer array.

But, the real bottleneck tends to be still down to the physical movement of the disks.

 

Oh, faster spinning drives will have less reliability for a given manufacturer. I also seem to recall seeing something that indicates the 3 and 6 gig drives having really awful reliability. I'm not sure why.

Edited by rmgill
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This site is very informative about small networks: https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

 

Murph, if you are going wireless, use a 5GHz, 802.11ac (or whatever is the latest, even .11ax) router (and some specific adapters) and try to have the heaviest network traffic through the 5GHz band. It is not as far reaching as the usual 802.11n, 2.4GHz, but in shorter distances it plays in the same league that wired Ethernet Gigabit.

 

Ryan, on HDD reliability: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-stats-for-q1-2018/

Edited by sunday
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Yeah, I've had kind of a feel that seagates and toshibas were the more reliable MFGR from our sans. The Western Digitals seemed less so. We have some systems that chew drives thoroughly though.

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I made a SWAG at my storage needs and I would need 2.204 tb to get all the movies on the drives. So a 4 bay NAS with 10 tb drives would be ideal.

Using RAID10 you would have 20TB available. Seems more than enough.

 

The last versions of the ****play models from Synology decode natively H.265 format, and support 4k streaming - that means able to transcode several simultaneous streams at lower resolutions. Could be an option for a future-proof setup.

 

This one, for instance: https://www.synology.com/en-global/products/DS418play

https://nascompares.com/review/synology-ds418play-nas/

 

DS918+ could be another option.

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Actually that is the one I am looking at, with either 10 or 12 tb western digital drives.

 

I made a SWAG at my storage needs and I would need 2.204 tb to get all the movies on the drives. So a 4 bay NAS with 10 tb drives would be ideal.


Using RAID10 you would have 20TB available. Seems more than enough.

 

The last versions of the ****play models from Synology decode natively H.265 format, and support 4k streaming - that means able to transcode several simultaneous streams at lower resolutions. Could be an option for a future-proof setup.

This one, for instance: https://www.synology.com/en-global/products/DS418play

https://nascompares.com/review/synology-ds418play-nas/

 

DS918+ could be another option.

 

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According to this chart, for 10TB disks, Seagates ST10000NM0086 are the most reliable ones. Well, the only ones tested, also. But that kind of failure rate is already quite nice. Western Digitals have bit worse figures.

Q3-2018-Lifetime-Chart-2.png

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/2018-hard-drive-failure-rates/

Edited by sunday
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I noticed that some of the NAS units come with M.2 slots, what is the purpose of those? Also does one need to increase the RAM from 2 gb to a higher number for normal use?

 

Caching, mainly: https://nascompares.com/answer/nas-with-m-2/

 

About extra RAM, I do not know. I guess it would depend of the number of simultaneous tasks you ask the NAS to do.

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