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Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X

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Scott Thomas
Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Aug 28, 2017 at 1:17:47 am

Saw a QNAP TS-531X 2MB on sale the other day and went ahead and got it. I've filled it with some old 500GB Seagate drives and it's currently hooked up through a Mac Pro's 1Gb Ethernet. Because I'm wanting direct attached storage, I have the drives in a RAID 5 and I just set it up as a iSCSI volume. I'm playing back some ProRes through FCPX without any serious issues that I can see. I did try a SMB volume but the throughput was about half of what I'm getting with iSCSI and FCPX wasn't happy after I tried to open a library that I had created on the SMB share just moments before.

So, in the future I may fill it with some better drives and go to 10GbE, but for now I'm learning how to configure one of these things and see how it works. I figure, if it doesn't perform well as DAS I can use it as near-line storage and backup. Is it worth upgrading the RAM in this model?

Does this get the Zelin Stamp of Approval? :)


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alex gardiner
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:39:59 am

Did you disable SMB signing on your Mac?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205926

Storage Engineer
alex@indiestor.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Aug 28, 2017 at 5:43:24 pm

I haven't attempted it yet, but I may.


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Scott Thomas
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Sep 3, 2017 at 2:26:16 am

I finally got SMB signaling turned off and it made a huge difference.

I purchased a Solarflare 10gE card, some fiber optic transceivers, and a set of Seagate Barracuda 4TB drives.

This is what I'm getting now with SMB:


Is there something intrinsically wrong with iSCSI with a single user?


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alex gardiner
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Sep 3, 2017 at 9:44:38 am

In my view there is nothing fundamentally "wrong" with iSCSI, but it may limit what you can do with that particular storage product.

...I mean it's not like macOS is a perfect customer with SMB. lol

Another thing you could try is setting Jumbo frames on server/client and any switches.

Finally, take the AJA and Blackmagic Disk Speed Test results with a pinch of salt. These are a guide and far from an accurate way to evaluate what your storage can do. They do not account for the minutiae of agonisingly stupid issues Mac's encounter working over a network, regardless of who's product you use!!

Storage Engineer
alex@indiestor.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Sep 3, 2017 at 11:41:48 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

I've messed around with the frame sizes, but I haven't done enough testing to see if it makes a difference.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Sep 3, 2017 at 2:05:55 pm

so Scott -
is this 531X for your personal use, or for WINK ? Is your intention to simply use this as a single drive, or will you
have multiple people sharing this ? Even for a small workgroup, you can shove the QNAP SFP+ port into a cheap
Netgear XS708T with a Twinax cable, and then have easy Cat 6 connections to 7 computers. No need to mess around with LC Fiber cable and transceivers. And are you using this with Media Composer or something else.
Because if you get Indiestor Mimiq, you can have multiple AVID users on your little system.

Bob Zelin

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


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Scott Thomas
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Sep 3, 2017 at 11:52:02 pm

Hi Bob,

This is just my personal tinkering. It doesn't have to be shared, but that's something I'll probably experiment with.

I went with the LC fiber because the parts were relatively cheap on Ebay. I needed a transceiver for the TS-531x anyway, so Cat 6 wasn't a requirement.

Where I work, we have a 12 bay QNAP that my room is connected to with SmallTree 10Ge cards. It's always seemed a bit funky to me over the 4 years we've had it. Maybe with what I'm learning with mine, I can work with our IT department to sort things out.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Aug 28, 2017 at 3:50:42 pm

what can I say Scott - you bought the absolute cheapest QNAP you could find. The TS-831X and TS-531X are the bottom of the barrel products that QNAP offers with a 10G port. Even when configured correctly, you will not get more than 200 MB/sec write speed on the 10G ports.

You did not state how you are connecting your computers . Do you have 10G NIC's or thunderbolt to 10G adaptors on them.? Are you going into a Netgear 10G switch ? Which switch ?

There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to be using iSCSI. You simply create a single static Volume, and use SMB. And like Alex said, disable SMB signing. 5 drives will give you slower speeds than 8 drives. And you said you have 2M of memory - you mean 2 Gig of RAM - correct ? You need 16 Gig of RAM to have a reliable system. Did you buy this as a toy to screw around with, or as a professional product. I personally own a TS-531X (With 3 drives in it), just so I can play with all the features, learn the product, and test new firmware releases from QNAP. I would never use this model as a professional system.

The least expensive system that I would recommend for professional use is the TVS-871T, which is about $2600.
And you are using old crappy Seagate drives - if you had newer WD RED, or HGST NAS drives, you would get increased performance.

No matter what you purchased, without a 10G adaptor on your Mac, and using the 10G ports on the QNAP (or any other manufacturer like Synology, etc.), you will never get more than 100 MB/sec per client.

Bob Zelin

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


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Scott Thomas
Re: Tinkering With a QNAP TS-531X
on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:16:57 pm

[Bob Zelin] "You did not state how you are connecting your computers"

I'm currently just using just one Mac Pro's 1Gb ethernet port. I'm looking into 10GbE.

I did know this was the "bottom-of-the-barrel" going in. Like I said, i'm just learning how to set one up. If it replaces the eSATA RAID I currently use, that will be great. Otherwise it will just be NAS storage, and that's good too.

With Blackmagic's Speed Test, I'm getting 105MB/s Write and 95MB/s Read. Seems pretty much in line with what can be expected.

[Bob Zelin] "You need 16 Gig of RAM to have a reliable system"

Noted, thanks.

I do appreciate you taking the time to indulge my curiosity.


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