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Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs

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Randall Packer
Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:38:56 pm

I have a multimedia studio for video and music production, where I have accumulated several Thunderbolt 2 DAS and external hard drives as file workspace for my iMac. Each DAS or single drive is dedicated to one aspect of my work: video, music, and images, each with with its own database (Lightroom, CatDV, and Audiofinder) tagged with metadata. Currently I use a rather crude, but cheap system of backup: loose HDD's and a drive dock connected via USB 3. I would like to now purchase an NAS for backups with about 12 TB of data and growing.

Here is my conundrum: I have a lot of money invested in my DAS/HDD's, I don't want to risk changing the directory paths, and the DAS units provide very fast workspace with Raid 0. I just want to use the NAS with rundundancy formatting in Raid 5 for backup only. Since I am the only one working in my studio, there is no need to share files.

However, after doing a great deal of research on NAS systems from QNAP and Synology, I can see that integrating DAS/External drives as workspace and NAS RAID as backup space is unorthodox. I can't find any examples of anyone who is doing this. Plus, I was told by a rep at Synology that I would have to rely on third party software for backups in this direction. This is not such a problem though because I currently use Econ Chronosync for my dock backups, and could use it for scheduled backups to from DAS/HDDs to NAS.

Has anyone tried integrating DAS and NAS systems in this way? Or is there perhaps a better solution given my workflow?

Many thanks in advance for advice.

Randall Packer

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Bob Zelin
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 29, 2016 at 3:55:31 pm

Hi Randall -
once you transfer your media onto your Synology or QNAP, you already have your backup - it's your original drives !
There is nothing wrong with running Chronosync, or Carbon Copy Cloner, or Super Duper, or Shot Put Pro.
These are great programs for doing backups, and they allow scheduling as well.

Your path will not be affected, and you will not have to relink your media to your editing software, because your computer will mount only the shared folder name that you create in the NAS system. Use the same name as the single drive for the shared folder, and your client computers will think they still have the single drive connected to them, so there will be no relinking issues.

If you need help in setting this up, let me know.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Randall Packer
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 29, 2016 at 4:29:00 pm
Last Edited By Randall Packer on Aug 29, 2016 at 4:40:21 pm

Bob, brilliant... so you are suggesting that I reverse the flow: use the NAS as workspace and the external drives as backup. I didn't realize that I could partition the NAS in such a way as to replicate the volumes that I currently use for music and video production in order to preserve the directory paths.

I think the million dollar question is whether a NAS on a 1 Gb network can compete with the speed of a DAS. The Synology DS1815+ for example, has about 450 MB read/write with Raid 5, whereas the Caldigit T4 has about 750 MB read/write using Raid 0. I am currently editing primarily in 1080p but plan on incorporating 4K soon.

I had considered a QNAP TVS-871T for its Thunderbolt interface (albeit more expensive), but would like to avoid the added expense and complexity of setting up a 10Gb network. I suppose though if I had a TVS-871T, I could connect my IMac directly to the unit via Thunderbolt, and then chain my external Thunderbolt drives directly to the NAS in order to gain speed both for production and backup.

One more question: I want to put my NAS system in my network closet, which would require an approximately 25 foot Thunderbolt run. Is that going to deteriorate the signal?

Many, many thanks for your excellent advice.

Best, Randall

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Bob Zelin
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 30, 2016 at 4:14:24 pm

Randall:
I didn't realize that I could partition the NAS in such a way as to replicate the volumes that I currently use for music and video production in order to preserve the directory paths.

REPLY - you do not need to create partitions. You simply create a shared folder with that exact name of your drive, and when you mount, it will appear with that name, and the path that you have used before. Your software will not know the difference - it will think that it's the same local drive.

I think the million dollar question is whether a NAS on a 1 Gb network can compete with the speed of a DAS. The Synology DS1815+ for example, has about 450 MB read/write with Raid 5, whereas the Caldigit T4 has about 750 MB read/write using Raid 0. I am currently editing primarily in 1080p but plan on incorporating 4K soon.

REPLY - a 1G connection will give you 100 MB/sec. To get 600 MB/sec, you use a thunderbolt to 10G Ethernet adaptor like a Sonnet Twin 10G or Promise SanLink2. Then you get over 600 MB/sec.

I had considered a QNAP TVS-871T for its Thunderbolt interface (albeit more expensive), but would like to avoid the added expense and complexity of setting up a 10Gb network. I suppose though if I had a TVS-871T, I could connect my IMac directly to the unit via Thunderbolt, and then chain my external Thunderbolt drives directly to the NAS in order to gain speed both for production and backup.

REPLY - it is not complex to set up a 10G network. Even if you use Synology, and want these speeds, you need 10G in the Sinology, and 10G on your client computer. Same with the QNAP, or any other product on the market.
If it's too "complex", you hire someone to assist you. This can all be done over the internet.
While you can plug in the 871T into your iMac, you are best off using a 10G connection with the Sonnet 10G box, allowing for other computers to connect as well. This way, you can just keep your Tbolt drives on the thunderbolt buss of your iMac, and you will get the crazy speeds. The 871T is cheap.


One more question: I want to put my NAS system in my network closet, which would require an approximately 25 foot Thunderbolt run. Is that going to deteriorate the signal?

REPLY - You can run the ethernet cable up to 300' away. Specifically, 55 meters with Cat6, and 100 meters with Cat6A.
If you want a DAS connection with thunderbolt, you use a Corning Optical Thunderbolt 2 cable, and you can go as far as you want without issue.

You know how to contact me if you need help
Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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