Author Topic: 10gbe Synology NAS a good solution for a file server?  (Read 772 times)

2020-08-03, 17:33:55

danio1011

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Hi all,

We are looking at getting a remote worker who has access to our assets drive.  Right now it's just one of our local machines and all the other machines access it either through a mapped drive letter or sometimes UNC.  The downside there is if that machine reboots the others lose the path, etc.  So we're looking at a more professional\permanent solution which we see as being either:

1 - Synology NAS with 10gbe card,  SSD drives and the easy VPN access that comes with it
2 - A dedicated file server built by us running windows 10 with either SSD or NVME, 10gbe and then some kind of extra VPN service for remote access

Right now it seems to me like the NAS is a good solution because of the built in remote access.  We currently use the Drive remote access service with another Synology NAS we have which serves as our project repository and runs 7200rpm physical drives and it's flawless.  It integrates nicely with Windows explorer for home access and we've never had a glitch.  In fact it beats the hell out of onedrive and sharepoint for not having 'weird glitches.'  Coming up with a VPN type solution for option #2 seems fraught with mishap and effort, but I might be overestimating that.

Anyway, feedback would be highly appreciated.  Thanks all!
Daniel

EDIT:  Also, the remote worker (or me, at home in other instances) wouldn't be using this as 'on-demand' assets but more as a reference.  It would be used as on-demand if working locally, so it would need to be quick enough for that in the local setting which basically serves 3-4 desktops.
« Last Edit: 2020-08-03, 17:49:43 by danio1011 »

2020-08-03, 23:13:18
Reply #1

Juraj

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Quote
The downside there is if that machine reboots the others lose the path

I am lost here :- ). Why do they lose paths? Reboot takes few minutes and everything is back. No different to NAS. And you don't need to reboot either one if you get server edition windows. That one lets you run 365 days on per year..installs updates without restarts. But you won't find drivers on it for lot of mainstream hardware..

No difference in how VPN will work either.

It's fundamentally absolutely identical solutions, the NAS is just linux-mini-PC with 3rd party software already installed.

I've recently built fileserver with ebay-24-core Xeon-Gold (true retail for few bucks!), Asus WS-Sage LGA3647 board with 2x10GBit, plenty of PCI-lanes for bifurcared m.2 add-in card, straight-add-in PCI-e SSDs, 10 SATA SSDs... in grand total (without cost of drives!) for 1500 +/- Euros. I can still connect billion HDDs if I want to it with simple enclosures.
NAS is still superior with people who want very easy and conventient hot-swap and RAID setups. But otherwise it's still more of a back-up than fileserver.

The moment you want to use PCI-e drives in NAS (how many are there even models that offer such option?) the performance just isn't there to drive it.
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2020-08-04, 00:43:45
Reply #2

danio1011

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Hi Juraj, thanks for the response :)

Sorry if the 'lose paths' thing was ambiguous.  What I'm trying to convey is that one of our actively used workstations IS our file server.  So when that user (often me) forgets and reboots his machine while other people are working or even just other machines are rendering, things tend to blow up hehe.  It's not the end of the world, but Max throws error after error for the other user(s) and it's not a great permanent solution.

I wonder how much real world difference I'd notice between solid state sata on a NAS vs PCI-E with 10gbe as the limiting factor. 

As for remote access, Synology just has a nice mechanism already built in where you can have easy remote access.  If I did my own file server, I'd have to set up my own VPN I believe.

I have about four old machines sitting around that are intel i7 2600k chips from an old render farm I built in an IKEA Helmer cabinet.  I also have a PCI card from my Aoruos xTreme that allows me to mount nVME drives to it.  So in the end, building a 2600k system with a 10gbe NIC and that nVME PCI card might be my best option and almost zero cost.  I just would need to sort out remote access.

Sorry if that's rambling and\or confusing.  Thanks for any further input, too.

2020-08-04, 14:25:57
Reply #3

Juraj

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Oooh ok, that now makes totally sense :- ). That is really bad setup haha, but I also thought of doing it that way at one time :- ).

Yes, big plus for Synology is ease of use as the whole system is single-oriented (though I found the venerated ecosystem of apps to be user-friendly but slow in performance across any metrics, I used to have one, and particularly back-up real-time sync was just ultra-slow).

I originally built normal file-server when I realized bigger NAS with Add-in 10GBE was 1K investment and was like LOL, I can just repurpose my old PC to 10times the performance.
The best file-server would be the 12-core ThreadripperPro with 128 PCI-lanes, that's just crazy, too bad OEM only and who knows when it comes to market in fall.

The latest Windows Server edition is based on Windows 10, so very easy to use, ultra stable. But the drivers on it are such a hassle I would still install Enterprise and just reboot it every 3 months for that required update installs.
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2020-08-05, 06:17:53
Reply #4

danio1011

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Yes it is a terrible setup, I admit it :-)

Right now I have a DS1819+ with 6 unused bays and 10gbe.  It accepts 2.5" SSD drives, so if I can create a volume that is specific to those SSD drives and keep the other backup volume to the Western Digital Red physical drives, then maybe it can do double duty. Basically fast drives get assets with no RAID, slow drives get office backup data with btrfs based RAID as currently set up.  But I'm not sure if Synology OS allows for that kind of division of drives serving specific volumes, I have yet to find a definitive answer.

Otherwise I'll just build a system.  Do you think a 2600k would be enough?  My guess is yes but let me know if you think that's crazy. 

Anyway, at some point I just need to pull the trigger on one of these because we need a better solution.
« Last Edit: 2020-08-05, 06:44:28 by danio1011 »

2020-08-05, 10:50:37
Reply #5

clemens_at

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Friend of mine is building his own file server atm and told me about https://www.freenas.org/. Maybe worth checking out as an alternative.

2020-08-06, 18:47:40
Reply #6

danio1011

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Friend of mine is building his own file server atm and told me about https://www.freenas.org/. Maybe worth checking out as an alternative.

Cool!  I have seen them around years ago but will check them out again.  Thanks.