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How to get the most from a 40GbE NAS in a Mac (Win10 Parallels) environment.?

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David Harris
How to get the most from a 40GbE NAS in a Mac (Win10 Parallels) environment.?
on Dec 23, 2017 at 5:02:42 pm

OK hi all, new to this forum but been in the IT game for close on 30yrs running a number of integration companies, excuse the long winded explanation but I've read enough of the forum blogs to think there's a bunch of people here who understand my issue, please allow me . . . .

Have about 20 late model Macs mostly all now Thunderbolt 3, and too much data for a burgeoning media/video business, plus a bunch of historical 'big data' approx. 60m files, a stack of large 600-1Tb VM's and their grandfather son backups, some large data stores and code developments, and a bunch more Parallels VM's from another automotive company that I need to active 'warm' archive (to spinners not tapes).

Stage one is to consolidate the data from a number of Lacie Thunderbolt 5big units (~250Tb all up) onto a new 40GbE NAS main box w/2x expanders, stage two will be three all flash expanders, and stage three duplication and replication. Stage one am hoping to get max throughput reading and writing mostly sequential, stage two VM's so probably iSCSI - but I really would prefer not to have to worry about the management of it all. And I'm wanting NAS not SAN (they're very different but closely converging nowadays), and 40GbE not FC - plus 'consumer' friendly interface and apps. Will be mixing RAID 10 and RAID 6 volumes.

So I recently purchased the Synology RS18017xs+ with couple of expanders and some Samsung SSD's for caching plus for now 38x Seagate 12Tb IronWolf Pro drives. Added a Mellanox 12x 40GbE switch and bunch of their Connect 3x cards, one into the NAS (works fine), and a bunch of the Akitio Node Lite Thunderbolt 3 interfaces to install the C3x cards for the Macs.

On their own the Akitio's work fine on the Macs, but plugging in the Mellanox cards, they don't work. Yep, was told by sales they would, as they do, and the cards don't have a Mac driver (which I knew from the outset), but now apparently after many escalations I'm told they only work 'natively' on Win10 - not with Win10 via Parallels as I was wanting, AND not even with Win10 on BootCamp. Agggghhh . . .

So now the issue I have, is that to get Thunderbolt working in a full 40GbE environment I'll likely have to shell out a further $1.5k per client to get the ATTO TB3/40GbE adapters which I'm told are plug and play. Yep, sure.! However frankly speaking, this is probably just the 'Apple' tax - LOL.!

So digging round the forums I'm now second guessing myself whether I'm over capitalising the Synology 'consumer gear' by wanting 40GbE speeds out of a non FC and non PCIe solution, and whether I should in fact be looking at a some of the hardcore media streaming stuff like Avid, or maybe even a small enterprise box like the EMC Isilon's for example, or despite my earlier comments, a small SAN.

I see some of the EMC speeds quoted are over 15GB/s but not sure how real world and achievable these are on my budget - I'd think not.

Any simple suggestions without starting over.?


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