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QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration

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Kevin Patrick
QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 3, 2018 at 5:44:30 pm

I’m moving from a direct attached, Thunderbolt RAID array to an QNAP NAS.

QNAP TS-873U-RP, 10 GB connection
8 Hitachi 8 TB Drives (HUH728080ALE600)
iMac Pro, 10 GB connection
Unify 10 GB switch

I have some questions about setting this NAS up. I’m trying to figure out the best balance of performance, security and future growth.

This NAS will be used for editing, along with providing a source for viewing finished projects (via Apple TV) and backup both Time Machine for Macs and boot clones for various users.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Create one RAID Group, one Storage Pool, all 8 drives.
RAID 6 (as opposed to RAID 5 and a hot spare?)

One Static Volume for all Master Media and Projects (for best performance)
One Thick Volume for finished projects (for future growth)
Multiple Thick Volumes for various computers needing backup (for future growth)
- Time Machine for each computer
- Clone for each computer’s drive
- Shared space for all users to share files

I’m not sure if I should create individual volumes for each users (7-8 in total, for now). I like the idea of keeping them on separate volumes. But I’m not sure what the trade-offs would be having separate volumes for each, or having one volume with multiple (not really shared) folders.

Does this configuration make sense?
Is there anything I should do differently?

Also, is it worth erasing/writing out the entirety of each drive? As opposed to just plugging them in and using the out of the box?

Thanks.

Kevin


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 3, 2018 at 9:14:05 pm

Hi -
I will do my best to help you here. Good luck with the setup -


QNAP TS-873U-RP, 10 GB connection

REPLY - I never installed a TS-873U - I have only installed TVS-873e with 10G adaptors.
The 873U comes with a dual port SFP+ 10G ports. I know nothing about them. I would have recommended a
QNAP LAN-10G2T-X550, or the $89 QXG-10G1T 10G card, but you chose not to do this - but we have not gotten to your switch yet !


8 Hitachi 8 TB Drives (HUH728080ALE600)
REPLY - 8 TB 7200 RPM drives - good choice


iMac Pro, 10 GB connection

REPLY - so you spend $6400 on the computer, but are trying to "budget" your storage" - ok . Maybe you spent more on the Mac than this.


Unify 10 GB switch

REPLY - are you kidding me ? Really ? You just could not go out and get a normal 10G switch like a Netgear, QNAP or Buffalo ? I HOPE TO GOD that you are not planning on having your internet access and shared storage network be the same network. You need TWO NETWORKS - one for internet (and Ubiquiti Unifi works great for internet) and a SECOND NETWORK WITH STATIC IP ADDRESSES AND MTU 9000 for your video editing shared storage network.


I have some questions about setting this NAS up. I’m trying to figure out the best balance of performance, security and future growth.

REPLY - security ? When you have a dedicated network with static IP addresses that is not on the internet, you don't need to worry about security.



This NAS will be used for editing, along with providing a source for viewing finished projects (via Apple TV) and backup both Time Machine for Macs and boot clones for various users.

REPLY - your QNAP has multiple ethernet ports. You can put your 1G network connection from your Ubiquiti switch on Ethernet port 1 for WiFi access and Apple TV. Your 10G network is your private shared storage network for high speed video editing.




Here’s what I’m thinking:
Create one RAID Group, one Storage Pool, all 8 drives.
RAID 6 (as opposed to RAID 5 and a hot spare?)

REPLY - Static Volume, RAID 6, no hot spare. When you get your pop ups, beeping, email notifications, and possibly the speaker in the QNAP that says "drive 5 has failed" - if you don't have anyone on staff to change the bad drive (you did buy a spare drive - didn't you) - well, what an I say. I hate HOT spares. I want to know when a drive failed and I do something about it - I don't let the HOT SPARE auto rebuild, and then everyone forgets that a drive failure has occurred.



One Static Volume for all Master Media and Projects (for best performance)
One Thick Volume for finished projects (for future growth)
Multiple Thick Volumes for various computers needing backup (for future growth)

REPLY - what? One static Volume - when you add your expander, it becomes another volume. If you have a THICK volume, you can have one massive drive array, and then when you have a power supply failure, you lose everything. I am not a fan of storage pools.


- Time Machine for each computer

REPLY - who cares. You should have nothing on your computers, except the operating system, and your editing and graphics softweare.

- Clone for each computer’s drive

REPLY - why ?


- Shared space for all users to share files

REPLY - that's why you bought a shared storage system.


I’m not sure if I should create individual volumes for each users (7-8 in total, for now). I like the idea of keeping them on separate volumes. But I’m not sure what the trade-offs would be having separate volumes for each, or having one volume with multiple (not really shared) folders.

REPLY - that's up to you. These are simply "shared folders" with QNAP or Synology. You can have 8 separate shared folders, and assigned permissions for R/W access to each folder, or you can just have one mount and trust your staff.



Does this configuration make sense?
Is there anything I should do differently?

REPLY - yes. You should.



Also, is it worth erasing/writing out the entirety of each drive? As opposed to just plugging them in and using the out of the box?

REPLY - what ? Plug in the damn drives, create your RAID array (RAID 6) , create your users, create your shared folders, and go to work.

Bob Zelin

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


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Kevin Patrick
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 3, 2018 at 11:06:27 pm

Bob,

Thanks for responding.

[Bob Zelin] "so you spend $6400 on the computer, but are trying to "budget" your storage""

I'm not sure what you meant by this. I thought that the TS-873U and the TVS-873e were similar, at least in terms of the internal architecture. (same processing power) The TS-873U-RP is, what I thought, a rack mount version that also has dual power supplies and does cost more than the TVS-873e. So I didn't think I went the budget route. Then again, I wouldn't be here asking questions if I knew the difference. Not that it matters, as I've already aquired the TS-873, just wondering what I missed in the differences.

[Bob Zelin] "You just could not go out and get a normal 10G switch like a Netgear, QNAP or Buffalo ? "

I've never had any issues with Netgear, they seem to make good products. Though I'm actually using Ubiquiti for the entire network. Their Gateway, managed switch and CloudKey dedicated to run their network management app. I've had no issues with their products. Their technical support has been great. So when we needed a 10GB switch, I simply went with Ubiquiti.

Moving from direct attached RAID to a network based RAID, I had not thought about running two networks, so that's probably a good idea. I guess I'll have to wonder over to the network forum to figure out how to do that. Thanks.

[Bob Zelin] "REPLY - Static Volume, RAID 6, no hot spare. "

[Bob Zelin] "REPLY - what? One static Volume - when you add your expander, it becomes another volume. If you have a THICK volume, you can have one massive drive array, and then when you have a power supply failure, you lose everything. I am not a fan of storage pools. "

Here's the part I'm trying to understand.

At first, it sounds like you're suggesting a Static Volume, RAID 6. But when I read farther on, it sounds like you're suggesting a Thick Volume.

I thought the QNAP hierarchy was:
Physical Drives
RAID Group(s)
Storage Pool (which I thought was required, before volumes and folders)
Volumes
Shared Folders

I also thought that the options of Static, Thick or Thin applied to Volumes. Not to Storage Pools. (then agian, if I understood things correctly, I wouldn't be here)

Static Volume:
Fastest Read/Write
Fixed Size? Of the RAID Group?
Can only be expanded by adding Drives to the Group. (RAID enclosure exapansion?)

Thick Volume:
Read/Write not as fast
But flexible in terms of size and expansion

So, I thought:
Create a Static Volume to hold all the Master Media. (for performance)
Create Thick Volumes for basically everyhting else. (for flexibility)

But it doesn't sound like that's what you're suggestiong. Or (more likely) I'm not understanding your correctly.

Again, thanks for taking the time to reply.


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 4, 2018 at 1:52:30 pm

Happy to see you diligent on a weekend.
I will reply below -

on the TVS-873 and TS-873U, I meant that you chose a budget storage solution, but a very expensive computer.
For a few hundred more, you could have purchased the powerhouse TS-1685, TS1677X or TVS-1282T.
But your storage will certainly work, for a small workgroup.

Running two networks, is exactly that. Two switches, 2 ports per computer. So on your iMac Pro, for internet access, you either run WiFi (with your excellent Ubiquiti system) or you get a USB-C to 1G adaptor from Apple or Belkin ($29 bucks) for your wired internet, and use your native 10G port on the iMac Pro to go to a dedicated 10G switch.
Run on separate subnets - so if your WiFi or wired internet is 10.1.10.xxx, make your 10G network static at 192.168.2.xxx. Nice, safe, isolated system, that will never cause you any issues.

As for Static Volume, Thick Volume, and Thin volume - Thick Volumes (the default for QNAP, and the requirement for Synology) allow you to create a storage pool (all your drives) and then expand this to an external volume (or multiple external volumes) so that you can create smaller logical volumes (or even a single large logical volume) that will mount on your desktop. This also allows for Snapshots. I never do this. I want performance and safety, so I always create a single static volume (RAID 6 so that 2 drives can fail). In either configuration (Thick Volume or Static Volume) - I always use ALL THE DRIVES that you have in the chassis. I don't make several drives one type, and then several other drives another type. This will affect your performance. Use ALL the drives in a single RAID group.

And yes - either way - Shared Folders is the last thing in the hierarchy - the Shared Folders are actually what get mounted on your desktop.

And DONT FORGET to disable SMB signing on your Macs, or you will get crappy speeds.

Please let me know exactly what Ubiquity switch you are using. They make multiple models, and different series switches.

Bob Zelin

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 4, 2018 at 6:25:01 pm

Hi -
I am interested in your Ubiquiti 10G switch.
I have to assume that it's the Ubiquiti 16 XG. It only has four 10Gbase-T RJ45 ports.
So I assume that you will use a Twinax cable from your QNAP SFP+ port to one of the SFP+ ports on the Ubiquiti.
Is that your intention ?

Bob Zelin

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


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Kevin Patrick
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:18:04 pm

The US-16-XG 10 GB has:
12 SFP+ Ports
4 10 GB RJ-45 Ports

I connected the QNAP to one of the SFP+ ports via a 10 G SFP+ Direct Attache Copper cable.
I iMac Pro to one of the 10 GBit RJ-45 ports.
I then connected the 16-XG 10G switch to the UniFi 48 port switch via another 10 G SFP+ Direct Attache Copper cable.

So, currenlty things are on one network. But then again, the QNAP has not been configured yet either.

Kevin


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Kevin Patrick
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:11:43 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I always create a single static volume"

It's my understanding that this is the simplist solution that provides the best performance.

Though I was concerned about not being able to configure individual volumes for certain backups. Like cloning (CCC) a boot drive to a single volume. Or having a volume for just Time Machine backups.

I suppose I could do this with Shared Folders. Though I'm not sure if that would be an issue for some of those backup apps.

You don't think have one Static Volume for Media and then several Thick Volumes for all the rest is a good idea? That's not like have the best of both? Simplicity/speed and flexibility?

[Bob Zelin] "Two switches, 2 ports per computer. "

Not sure how I would have 2 ports on the laptops.


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 5, 2018 at 1:17:08 pm

You don't think have one Static Volume for Media and then several Thick Volumes for all the rest is a good idea? That's not like have the best of both? Simplicity/speed and flexibility?

REPLY - absolutely not. The only way to create "one static volume" is to pick some drives (let's say drives 1 - 4)
and make that a dedicated static volume. You will get terrible performance, and you can't add that to a storage pool (which is what a thick volume is). So no.

I think you are over thinking this.

And I really don't get (and never got) Time Machine backups. The ONLY thing that should be on a professional Mac is your operating systems, your editing or graphics or audio software, and your plug in's. THATS IT - no media, no project data, no personal information. Even on home computers - you keep your operating system and programs on the boot drive, and data on a second drive (even if it's an internal drive on a Win PC). This way, when you get data corruption, or Malware, or whatever - who cares - you just create a new boot, reload your software and go back to work.

I am not exactly sure what your application is - but if it's editing - you will want all your space on the network attached storage system for your video media. Not time machine backups of edit 1, edit 2, edit 3, and edit 4.

Bob Zelin

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


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Kevin Patrick
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 5, 2018 at 2:04:18 pm

You're suggestions works great for our edit station. iMac Pro, running FCPX. All media, projects and data is kept on the server. This was previously all on a direct attached Promise 8 drive thunderbolt device.

Now we're moving to a QNAP device, I'm going to use it to make life easier for the various laptops users. They keep data on their laptops and need it backed up. They like Time Machine (I like Carbon Copy Cloner, bootable backups). Either way, using the server will be much better (for everyone) rather than external drives for random backups.

Also, we're going to use the QNAP Apple TV app to view finished projects. As well as a shared folder for everyone to pass/share any files they need. (assuming that works as well as the marketing material says it does)

Reading QNAP's material, it's easy to head down a path of Storeage Pools and multiple Static and/or Thick Volumes. Which is why I'm here, because I don't want to over think this. I don't want to create something that's more complicated, lower performance and/or difficult to expand.

I'm going to take your advice and go with one Static Volume with Shared Folders/Users.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I actually had the opportunity to meet (and briefly talk) with you at NAB a few years ago. I think it was at OWC/Mac Sales booth? Again, thanks. Let me know if you have any other questions about our UniFi products. Which for the past year have been working great. (famous last words)


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 5, 2018 at 3:23:21 pm

Well, I would have chosen a different switch (too many SFP+ ports on yours !) - but Ubiquiti is a well known, well established company, run by an ex Apple guy that is doing now for WiFi what Apple should have done with their Airport products. I have been using Netgear 10G products since the beginning of their introduction, and have had great success with them. Now that QNAP and Buffalo are getting into the low end entry level 10G game, I just think of those brands, because of all the 10Gbase-T ports that they offer, which is more limited on the switch that you own. But I am sure it will work perfectly fine.

I am here for questions, if you need anything else. And you can always contact me privately as well.

Bob Zelin

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


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Kevin Patrick
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 6, 2018 at 1:42:12 pm

I created a single Static Volmume.
I created a shared folder.
I mounted the folder to my iMac Pro, using Qfinder Pro

I then ran AJA speed test and got the following results.

Speed Test - Write/Read MB/sec
iMac HD - 2,747/2,415
Promise T2 463/423
QNAP - 499/372

I ran Blackmagic's speed test as well and I got similar results.

Then I realized I had not turned off SMB siging.

I followed Apple's link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205926

Though when I looked at the contents of nsmb.conf, is was already set to "no".
[default]
signing_required=no

Just to be sure, I rebooted my iMac Pro, but I got the same results.

QNAP does state that the throughput of the TS-873U is 1353/1567. But, that's with using both (2 x 10GBe, 64KB) ports.

So, I'm not really getting half of that speed, which is their theoretical speed.

Still, I want to make sure I'm getting the performace I should, for the setup I have. And, that I haven't missed something in the setup.


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 6, 2018 at 3:28:41 pm

it's very difficult to do detailed troubleshooting via a forum back and forth.

Bob Zelin

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP Initial Setup and Configuration
on Nov 6, 2018 at 3:30:47 pm

I would normally tell you to plug the iMac Pro directly into the QNAP, but I don't think you have the 10Gbase-T card for the QNAP. Your switch is the variable. I always tell people to get the QXG-10G1T (89 bucks) for the TVS-873.

Bob Zelin

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


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