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Salvador Garza
QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 15, 2017 at 9:56:55 pm

Hi there,

I'm considering investing in a QNAP 531x for on-set "offline" (proxy/dailies) editing. One editor + one assistant editor/loader.

Haven't been able to find much information about the functionality of USB3 ports on this unit, does anyone have any experience with this model? Do the USB ports provide directly attached storage functionality (i.e. Mount storage directly on a client)? Or do they simply function as peripheral ports for the QNAP server?

Editor and loader/assistant editor will be most likely working on MacBook Pros. Initially editor will connect over GigE which is more than plenty for 1080p ProRes LTs. However would like the transferring or copying of the assets to be faster than ~110MB/s (where/when possible), that's why I'm thinking of USB3 to assistant editor station. I realize 10G would be ideal, and would eventually purchase 10G to thunderbolt adapters (once we upgrade our equipment and standardize/settle on TB3) . Any thoughts or experiences you can share on using USB3 on these units?

Thanks!

Thanks!

Salvador Garza
http://www.salvadorgarza.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:51:38 pm

Hi -
I own the TS-531X. It is my test system. The QNAP and Synology and Netgear ReadyNAS boxes are designed as shared storage products, that connect via 1G Ethernet, 10G Ethernet, and occationally Thunderbolt (depending on the model, and the TS-531X is not that model). The performance of the TS-531X and TS-831X is half that of the more expensive
TVS-871T and TVS-1282T. Will it handle 1080i editing over 1G connections (you get two 1G ports and two 10G SFP+ ports). Yes it will. You cannot connect a computer via the USB3 ports. These ports are for expander QNAP chassis, or for an external drive that you can format in EXT4 format (and now exFAT for a $4.00 license fee). What is important to remember is that even when used in "DAS" mode (Direct attached storage) - even with thunderbolt, these are not plug and play systems. They have to be assigned a static IP address, both on the client computer (Mac or PC) and on the QNAP. Things just don't plug in and work like they do on a G-Tech drive or Lacie or Promise drive - even with Thunderbolt.

If you are looking at this model, because you can get it for $500, and think that its just cheaper than a G-Tech Studio XL or Promise R8, then you are making a mistake. As always, if you want the right toys, you have to spend the money to get them. And in 2017, it's cheaper than ever to get these types of products, but as I so often observe, nothing is cheap enough.

As you already know, the TS-531X (and any of the models I mentioned) are not Thunderbolt 3, so this product is not upgradable in the future to Thunderbolt 3, if that is what you are looking for. And you did not mention what editing software you are using. For use with FCP X, Resolve, and Premiere, this will work fine. IT will NOT work fine for AVID Media Composer - even for 2 users, unless you purchase Indiestor Mimiq for each of your client computers.

Let me be clear - you cannot take a Mac based USB3 drive, plug it into the QNAP USB 3 port, and it just "mounts".

Bob Zelin

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


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Salvador Garza
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 16, 2017 at 3:39:39 pm
Last Edited By Salvador Garza on Jul 16, 2017 at 3:45:22 pm

Thanks for your insights Bob, very much appreciated.

We're not looking for directly attached storage, in the market for mobile/portable shared storage solution for 2-3 users on FCP X, Premiere and Resolve.

Footprint and performance are the main factors driving our QNAP model selection. Need something that will comfortably and safely fit within a Pelican 1510 (carry on). Would like to avoid investing in TB2 to 10GbE adapters at this point as we'll most likely move to new MacBook Pros in the next 4mo (at that point we'd probably add a 10GBaseT card and TB3 to 10GBaseT adapters). Also need to keep the footprint as small as posible on set. Unfortunately real estate for editors on set is an after thought and most times end up working in a small corner.

For the time being looks like we will need a TB2 to SFP+ for the ingest station in order to avoid any bottle necks while copying footage onto the unit. Hoping to get ~300MB/s write (RAID5 on 5x 7200rpm WD RED Drives) speed over 10G SFP+ on the 531X, based on your experience does that sound reasonable?

Thanks again!

Salvador Garza
http://www.salvadorgarza.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 16, 2017 at 11:29:49 pm

It's always easy for me to respond, when it's not my money.
I am telling you, that this is my strong advice for the least expensive product that will work for your application.
Get the QNAP TVS-871T. 8 bays, expandable via the Thunderbolt ports. Small footprint, very powerful. You can do 4K and 6K editing on it from multiple workstations. It has two built in 10Gbase-T (Cat6) ports, and four 1G ports, so you can avoid a switch for a while. Plenty for 2 - 3 editors. When you get new MacBook Pro's with Thunderbolt 3, (these are expensive computers), you will certainly have the budget for the new Promise SanLink3 thunderbolt to 10GbE adaptors (tiny, and $299 retail each). These are buss powered, and will give you over 800 MB/sec performance.

The TVS-871T is under $2700, but of course, you need 8 drives to run it. It is the right purchase for you. If you say "well, we don't have $2700, we only have $500 for the TS-531". Well, what can I say. It's not the right box. If you then say "well, what can we get for $500" - I have no answer for you. I want to recommend something that you won't be sorry with later on.

Bob Zelin

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


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Salvador Garza
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 17, 2017 at 2:19:42 am

Thanks for the recco.

B&H sells a fully loaded 871T (48TB) for $4,700, not bad.

The TB3 to 10GBaseT from Promise looks very nice, bus power is a big plus for our type of setup.

My initial selection of the 531x was based on it already having a 10G port (albeit SFP+) and small footprint, not price point. Fully loaded 871T weighs approximately 30lbs, the 531x comes in at about 20lbs. But if it can't perform, this is a mute point. I'm still trying to get familiarized with QNAP's offering.

Salvador Garza
http://www.salvadorgarza.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Jul 17, 2017 at 12:54:29 pm

the QNAP offerings are very confusing (so is Synology) because there are SO many products. A perfect example is the
TS-1685 and the TS-1635. These products look absolutely identical, with almost identical features, and the 1635 is half the price of the 1685. It was from the "school of hard knocks" that I learned that the TS-1635 is an inferior product, and barely functional for professional video work, but the TS-1685 is an absolutely incredible powerhouse, that can edit 6K for multiple people all day long. You don't learn anything unless you make mistakes. Sometimes that costs money.

Bob Zelin

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


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Victor Carbonneau
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 7, 2017 at 7:24:36 pm

Another option for you to take a look at is the TVS-882ST. It's a nice little box, fits 8 2.5" drives, has two 10G ports and two Thunderbolt ports. They even have an option of choosing Thunderbolt 2 or 3. We just finished a job with multiple editors connected to the box and were very happy with it's performance.

Victor Carbonneau
Director of Post-Production
Hey Guy Media
Dallas | Los Angeles | New England


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Salvador Garza
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 7, 2017 at 7:29:13 pm

Thanks Victor!

Have you had any problems with the "silent" data corruption issue on certain QNAP models?
I was about to pull the trigger on the model Bob recommended, however news broke out on the issue and have put the purchase on hold.

http://www.sbsfaq.com/?p=4277

Salvador Garza
http://www.salvadorgarza.com


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Victor Carbonneau
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 8, 2017 at 1:32:14 pm

Hi Salvador,

I haven't experienced the Silent Data Corruption issue fortunately. We have a TVS-1282T and the TVS-882ST and both units have been fine. QNAP did release a patch to fix this issue:

https://www.qnap.com/en/technical-advisory/tec-201707-01

I followed the steps on our units when the technical advisory was released and we have been good so far. I have found that QNAP has been helpful with issues I have had, even when some of the things we are trying to do are "unusual" by their terms. For instance we installed a virtual PC on the QNAP with Adobe Media Encoder, set up some watch folders and use the QNAP to transcode files for us. It's been nice offloading the workload to the QNAP and freeing up the workstations. I'm getting off topic though.

Vic

Victor Carbonneau
Head of Post-Production
Hey Guy Media
Dallas | Los Angeles | New England


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 8, 2017 at 5:24:59 pm

thank you for posting this link. As you can clearly see by the QNAP post, none of the newer professional models are affected by any of this - this is only for the OLD units. I have not seen one client with QNAPs having this issue (I stated doing QNAPs in May 2015).

When you buy a QNAP (or a Synology, or a Thecus, or a Netgear ReadyNAS, or an Asustor), it needs to be setup. It does not just plug in and work. Part of the setup is to do a firmware upgrade, for all of these models. Many people feel that if they get one of these products with the drives, they will take it out of the box, plug it in, and the NAS will miraculously mount on their desktop. It does not work this way. These are not Promise Pegasus or G-Tech Studio XL thunderbolt RAID arrays that come preconfigured. You can either get someone to help you in setting one of these units up, or you can purchase a more expensive product with wonderful support (that you are ultimately paying for) from EditShare, AVID, Facilis, ProMax, Studio Network Solutions, etc.

There ain't no free lunch.

Bob Zelin

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


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Bob Zelin
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 8, 2017 at 8:49:45 pm

Hi -
I would like to add an additional comment to Salvador's observation.
If the QNAP was a disaster, and corrupted everyone's data, and no one could recover from drive failure, you will see countless posts on all kinds of forums - particularly on Creative Cow and the QNAP forum stating -
"oh my God - what a piece of crap this QNAP is - I lost all my data" -
but obviously, with thousands of units on the market, this has not happened, nor do you see any complaints (other than the stray article) that there is even an issue.

The QNAP works fine, and is perfect for video editing.

Bob Zelin

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


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Salvador Garza
Re: QNAP DAS USB3 Functionality/Performance
on Aug 8, 2017 at 8:54:23 pm

Definitely reassuring to know you haven't had any issues with this bug. I actually had no knowledge of it until I suggested to someone in a DIT forum to look at QNAP as a potential shared storage solution. About 4-5 people immediately brought up this issue.

Salvador Garza
http://www.salvadorgarza.com


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