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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.?


David


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Bob Zelin
Re: How to get the most from a 40GbE NAS in a Mac (Win10 Parallels) environment.?
on Dec 23, 2017 at 6:32:26 pm

Hi Dave -
Merry Christmas. Many of my posts get deleted because of my rude aggressive responses. This will probably be one of those posts.

Exactly what are you trying to accomplish here. Build the worlds most complex system, that will accomplish nothing that can't be done in a similar way ?

You write -
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).

REPLY - so to summarize, you have 20 iMac's and/or MacBook Pro's with thunderbolt 3. You are working for a corporate video department that has a bunch of historical footage (which translates to this forum as Standard Def video or Hi Def Video - not 4K, 6K or 8K). You are not working with feature film footage that is being shot in 6K and 8K.


You write -
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.

REPLY - so you have a bunch of small crappy performance drives, and you want to consolidate your media onto a large shared storage system. Yes, you need a NAS, no you don't need iSCSI. We will get back to your 40GbE requirements.



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.

REPLY - While I mostly use QNAP, at least you have purchased the correct Synology. the RS18017xs+ is one of the few Synology products that can be expanded via miniSAS with multiple 12 bay expander chassis, so this is the right choice. I am not sure of where the Samsung SSD's are going to go, but you will quickly find that SSD Caching does little for huge video files, and your search times will not be affected by SSD caching (even though it sounds good).
I assume you purchased Samsung Pro 850 series SSD's.
As for the 40G ConnectX-3 Pro cards - really ? Your Synology (or QNAP or anything else) will max out at about 1600 - 1800 MB/sec. A 40G connection from your client will get you 2200 MB/sec. Exactly how do you intend to realistically use 40G with multiple clients. You will saturate the bandwidth of your system. Had you chosen simple 10G interface (you could still put this 40G card into the Synology, and get a 40G uplink switch with 10G client connections), this would have been a much more realistic workflow. 6K video (as per red.com/tools) requires about 146 MB/sec, so 800 MB/sec is MORE than enough to edit with. But 2200 MB/sec to the client ? All you will do is saturate the RAID array. A single client will choke the Synology. The only advantage of having the 40 in the client is for doing fast data transfer. Once that process is over, it's the wrong solution - especially with SATA drives like Seagate Ironwolf drives (or any other SATA drive for that matter).



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 . . .

REPLY - just stop this nonsense. Got Thunderbolt 3 Apple computers. Send this 40 Gig crap back (keep your 40G card in your Synology). Get a 40G to 10G switch (Mellanox makes it) and get simple Promise SanLink3 boxes.
You will get 350 MB/sec write and 1100 MB/sec READ. When you say "told by sales they would" - Sales ? Who at Sales ?
The bandwidth on the Mac is not like what you can get on a PC. And even if you were to switch to a PC (like an Asus X99 motherboard system, or HP Z840) - a 2200 MB/sec client is going to saturate your Synology. Even with a 16 Bay QNAP TVS-EC1680U, and 16 Samsung 4TB SSD's - you get 3800 MB/sec. Two clients working at 2200 MB/sec is going to saturate this with ALL SSD's. 40 G is a fantasy today - go back to 10G. This is all you need.
You got 20 Macs ? get 20 Promise SanLink3's at $299 a piece and you are done.



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.!

REPLY - I just answered this question. Don't do it. Go to 10G



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.


REPLY - now you are thinking like a total crazy person. "If I have unlimited budget, what kind of killer system can I build". There is NOTHING wrong with the Synology that you purchased. The problem is you. You want to build a KILLER system - you are in an industrial corporate video environment, and you want to build a system that
ILM and Pixar would have. YOU DO NOT NEED THIS. You need to CALM DOWN, and get the right equipment.
Your editors want Mac's. They want to work with Adobe software, Davinci Resolve, perhaps FCP X, perhaps AVID Media Composer. You don't need 40G for anything. You purchased a very nice Synology which is expandable.
You can easily purchase thunderbolt 3 to 10G adaptors from Promise or Sonnet to accomplish exactly what you need to accomplish, and then your Synology will work wonderfully, and everyone will have enough bandwidth for their SD, HD and 4K Media. And you will be the hero. The minute that you consider an EMC Isilon, is the day that you should be shot.


You write -
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.

REPLY - who cares. This is crazy. Is your only concern, to make sure that no one else will ever be able to administrate the system except you ?

You have a good start. Now finish the job. This is not rocket science. This is corporate video.

Bob Zelin

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: How to get the most from a 40GbE NAS in a Mac (Win10 Parallels) environment.?
on Dec 24, 2017 at 4:57:42 pm

Hi -
this is part 2 of my comments -
in your last paragraph, you write -
"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. "

REPLY - your Synology RS18017xs+ will outperform an AVID ISIS or AVID Nexis Pro, and is dramatically more expandable. The AVID Nexis Pro uses a single Myricom 10G SFP+ card inside it to connect to a switch like a Dell N2404 (which is a 10G uplink but a 1G switch to client) or a cheap Netgear 10G switch.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1153058-REG/avid_7080_30085_00_dell_...
But since you have the 40G bug up your butt, and AVID does not support 40G, your most realistic bet is a
Mellanox XS1012, which is a "TOR" (top of rack) 40 gig uplink that you can have 48 SFP+ breakouts (kind of sloppy but it will work).
http://www.mellanox.com/page/products_dyn?product_family=163
this is really designed to "break out" into the SFP+ ports of 10G switches like the Netgear 10G series, to allow for a 40G connection on the server, but 10 G out to multiple clients (you have 20 Mac clients).
In my opinion, Mellanox really owns this market right now. Certainly you can go with a deadly expensive
Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switch, but this will cost a fortune. If you really don't want Mellanox, you can certainly look at Arista Networks, that is a much more friendly company to work with than Cisco.

Bob Zelin

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: How to get the most from a 40GbE NAS in a Mac (Win10 Parallels) environment.?
on Dec 24, 2017 at 5:04:11 pm

oops -
and this switch - 40G uplink with 48 10G SFP+ outputs -
http://dcomcomputers.com/dell-s4048-on-sfp-10gbe-open-networking-switch/?gc...

it's the Dell S4048-ON

Bob

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


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