Core on nas and raid


Is it possible to have a 4 bays NAS, use one bay with a small SSD (240Go) for the Roon core and the 3 other bays with bigger SSDs in RAID 5 ?

If so, which working and the less expensive NAS would you recommend ?

Sorry to bother you with a beginner question but it seems Roon and NAS heve frequently issues.


If you are looking at the NAS for roon only, the general opinion around is that you may do better with a more powerful solution (NUC for example).
RAID 5 is the worst kind of RAID and you should avoid it. Depending of your infrastructure/needs there are better implementations (you’ll need a backup solution though).

That being said I personally tested the NAS implementation for a short period of time just because i had the toys on hand (for other purposes which they fulfill now). I had roon installed on a Synology DS720+ (2x256GB SSD in RAID 1 for redundancy, 2x512GB M.2 drives for cache) and the music stored on Synology DS920+ (4xHDD in RAID 10, used for a way much larger scope that my music).

Form the power point of view after everything was set and done (library scanning and so on) it proved to be a more than fluid solution for my use case (I do not use DSP, I only have one end-point running at any given moment, and the nas was running roon exclusively). From the user experience point of view, sometimes I had delays between operations (3 to 10s depending on whatever else roon related the nas was doing in the background). There was whatever a bigger issue with roon accessing the storage continuously (the storage NAS was never going to sleep) and also the monitoring of the music folder for new files is a common problem on the linux based roon (as far as i understand).

Bottom line, given my years long experience with roon:

  • I’ll never invest in anything based on roon only (just saying, a NAS is not in this category);
  • I won’t go on the NAS way as a roon core;
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Why do you want to use a NAS as the hardware base for Roon, especially if you think that you may run into issues with it? Not that I would know of any issues regarding Roon on NAS hardware. Issues related to OS upgrades can happen, and happened in the past, on any supported platform (maybe besides ROCK).

One that fulfills the requirements for a Roon Core.

QNAP recommends the models listed in the link below:

But IMO don’t use a NAS just for Roon. It might be okay if combined with other needs besides Roon, but you didn’t tell us anything about it. So for Roon only there are more powerful options for roughly the same price or options that are cheaper than a NAS with the same power.

AFAIK these issues apply to use cases where the NAS is used as library (music) storage only, accessed by a Roon Core over the network.

Anyway IMO. No RAID level is the same as a backup.

RAID level 0 (striping) provides no redundancy at all. You need RAID level 1 or above for redundancy.

I stand corrected, it was RAID 1 what I was talking about.

I really don’t want to go there, in my opinion it’s just a bad architecture/implementation.

Absolutely, but once you have a backup solution in place, you can play with different RAID implementation in order to achieve other goals (speed, redundancy and so on). Regardless, I’m still 100% against RAID 5.

@blackjack @occasionallyhere

Thanx for your answers.

I have one of the worst equpment available (my fault) : ARIES G2.1
My DAC is the soon discontinued PS AUDIO Directstream DAC
I don’t know how many CDs I have, let’s say 2000 “normal” ones and 2000 downloaded ones (including Hi-Rez)
Being disabled, I would help me to have all my music on SSDs

Why would I want to use a NAS as the hardware ?

Because I can’t see anything else :

  • The Roon Nucleus are awfully expensive for wat they are and I’d like to be able to swap between Roon and Lightning DS (Aries)
  • I don’t know which NUC to choose (I’m in France). They are also very expensive, must haven’t M2 buffers. They have no RAID possible.
  • I’ve never had problem with RAID 5, you loose 1/3rd or 1/4th of space but with a backup everyweek or two (unless adding hundreds of CDs), it is OK.

Now I’m a newcomer, any advice is welcome and valuated.

To cut short a long story, what would be the smooth spot and what should I choose as server between the Aries G2.1 and my DAC.

The NAS has another advantage : it can be recycled if I give up roon. Not a NUC or the Roon Nucleus

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The same goes for NUC which is basically the same as any other Intel based PC. But if the storage is what you have in mind by recycling, then yes, you may be better with a NAS.

I do not understand why you care about RAID? What is it that you think it offers you?

Also, I am surprised that you would consider an intel NUC spec similar to as suggested in the Roon KBs as expensive compared to a NAS (QNAP or Synology) with similar CPU/RAM/SSD capability. I would have expected an equivalent NAS to be easily double the cost. I dont recall prices changing much here in the UK since brexit (maybe I havnt looked hard enough), have they changed that drastically in France? I cant see why…

Personally, I dont really see the point any more of RAID at home. In the past, sure (performance was my main reason with striping across drives).

RAID is no substitute for proper backups.

Modern SSDs (at least those I use) are both very fast and seem thus far more reliable on average than equivalently respectable mechanical drives, so I don’t fear drive failures. Anyways rebuilding RAID after a failure can be easy (stuff in the replacement) or sometimes it can be a pain. One hopes for the former :slight_smile:

As for recycling a NAS vs recycling a NUC - a NUC can run Linux or Windows either of which would be the likely platform for whatever other media system you may choose. There are plenty of reasons that a typical home/SOHO NAS can be very useful, but few of them have much to do with storage and are more to do with the always on appliance like nature of the device. There are linux distro specifically for building a home NAS-like device.

The advantage of QNAP and Synology devices to my mind are they they already have quite mature collection of suitably packaged and easy to setup software adapted/configured for them along with a very rich web based management UI that is orientated towards mostly hands off administration of an always on computing device to provide you with a bunch of services. I used to used my QNAP NAS for running all sort of services, but recently I dont really have so much need of them and could probably live without them. Roon meant none of the media services were needed any more. Security issues have meant I am less inclined to allow these things more then the minimum internet access especially access from the internet and most services I run at home these days are now running as docker images on a Raspberry PI instead of as native installs on my NAS.

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RAID is no substitude for proper backup. Well, I’ve been on Raid 5, one disk crashed, I could rebuild everything easily. RAID is permenantely up to date. With over 4 To of Data, how long will it takes to backup every day.
If RAID has no interest, why is it used in all companies ?

Synology is a nightmare (software), QNAP I don’t know, Ive heard about them when I was looking for a server for Roon. QNAP addicts lol.

All what Roon says has only one goal : pushing people to buy their roon Nucleus.£1549 the small model : no kidding.

But if you have a advise for a NUC (will be used as Roon server only), please let me know.


Well, I cant agree with that, otherwise why put the effort into making ROCK freely available and supported. I wonder how much income they get from Nucleus vs their primary business of the Roon software? I cant imagine it being very much and I should think the the existence of Nucleus is more about filling a need for a simple to install physical HiFi like appliance to make Roon as a whole more acceptable to many of their higher end customers. For the rest of us, well I for one am really pleased they put the effort into releasing and supporting ROCK on the NUC devices.

The only reserved feature I am aware of for Nucleus is the control 4 integration and that I should think would be more a matter of software licensing issue and licensing around access to the global cache control tower IR codes database for home automation integration.

If you have need of typical NAS features, then get a NAS by all means and by prepared to pay the extra to get one weith the CPU power to run Roon according to your needs. OTOH, I believe you will get a much better result for Roon (and probbaly any other media software that needs x64 hardware) for the cost by getting a suggested spec NUC.

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I have never said (and never will) that RAID is a backup.
With any decent backup software, backing up 4TB of data is happening only once (first time), then only the new/modified files are considered for the backup. In the case of a more or less static media library (one on which files are not so often added, and in roon’s case never modified) you can backup every 5 minutes if you want.

I believe you are asking from a home user perspective (not as a company) in which case i was just suggesting that you may get a better price/utility/reliability fraction using some other implementation in which case you at least won’t sacrifice space for redundancy’s seek.

I’m sorry i can’t be more useful by giving you a specific NUC model recommendation since I’ve never used one, but personally I’ll go with the most powerful one I can afford from the roon recommended hardware list. Also (very personally too) I’ll go with windows on that specific NUC, not with ROCK (linux).

It fits some user cases, it doesn’t others. Regardless i agree, it’s way overpriced.

I would strongly disagree with that, but to be fair, it is a couple of decades (almost) since I last trried to use windows in an appliance like scenario - remember media center or media server or whatever its was called?).

There is a little bit of a fiddle around getting the codecs on initially, but once setup, then you can pretty much forget about it. In all the time I have had mine running ROCK (cant remember - its a 7 series NUC), I have never needed to manually interfere with it for reasons that have anything to do with ROCK or Roon. I am not an anti windows person either (15 years in MS means I have long had that brainwashed out of me ;))

There are some good reasons for not running ROCK (you want monitoring, or want to host other services or maybe docker etc), but for a solid Roon host that does nothing else and is hands off, I think it is the best solution.

I purposely purchased a QNAP TVS-672XT NAS with all SSDs for Roon only use. The Roon core is on the NAS along with my entire library (15,000 tracks). It has an i3 core, 8GB of RAM, two 500GB M.2s for the cache, RAID 0 and six 480GB drives using RAID 5. It has been up and running for three years with no Roon issues, just a couple of drive failures, which has made it pretty much maintenance free for me. I love maintenance free IT stuff because I am not good with IT issues!

When I set up the NAS, I believe everything is based off the smallest drive, so with one small drive stuck in the mix, you are unable to use all of the space of the larger drives.

For a backup, I use QNAP’s Qsync Client mapped to an 8TB HDD.

Other than my short timed NAS experience I do not have anything else from the technically point of view to backup my statement on, hence the “personally” label on my preference.

Anyway, judging by the issues reported over the years here, I came to believe (it may not necessarily be technically acurate) that roon does the windows implementation OK, the linux one (ROCK/Nucleus) more or less OK too, but on the MAC and NAS it just looks like a continuous pain somewhere…

Yes, that should work just fine. I use a Synology 918+ (four bays) and run Roon Core on the NAS. I don’t really stress it much; usually only one endpoint is playing, and not much DSP. Not sure about RAID5; more experienced sysops of my acquaintance seem to dislike it.

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I was going for the NUC when I saw there price…
Then I thought that NAS could do the work and save space (RAID 5 : people don’t like it because it is slower and it takes longer to reconstruct : those are problems for professionnal. It has the same performances than the RAID 0 but if you loose a disk,you can still recover everything in raid 5, in raid 0 you have to back up).

Incremental back up is great but can’t find the right softare.

My choice would go to a NUC with an internal SSD and un external HDD for incremental back up if available somewhere. It would be safer and much less expensive.
But which NUC would be the sweet point ?

If I can’t find a NUC with incremental backup possible, what ?

I forgot, only one end point.

Than for your kind help.


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I just hope you meant Italy, otherwise your roon dilema will pale under another kind of disappointment !

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What’s the issue with incremental backup? If I rip a CD or download music from a shop, I do this from my PC and then send a copy to the Roon watched folder and move the files from my PC’s HDD to the external backup HDD on next occasion. I don’t need a special software to do that. For the Roon DB backups you can create a share on the PC where Roon can write the backups to and then additionally also copy them to the external backup HDD if you wish.

Much bigger disppointment. I wish I could have gone to England in a pub and live with people the final. On the other end, I come in 4 years for the victory (I leave my place for Qatar).
BTW, do you know the difference between a nuc and what some people call “mini PC” such as :

They seem to fit Roon core requirements.

I like better automated backups.