Fit Roon Core device on my Ethernet topology

Greetings Roon community!
My name’s Gian and I’m writing from Italy.

I’m new to Roon’s world, I have discovered Roon because my bluesound node2 will become Roon Ready with a firmware update in Jenuary 2017.
So I am planning to make my home network Roon Ready, as well! :slight_smile:

Now my network is builted by:

A: (“Floor 1 - Storage”) Netgear 1Gb switch that give cable connection to Home NAS (about 60GB of iTunes Music Library and 40GB of FLAC) and to a Printer.

B: (“Floor 0 - Media”) Netgear 1Gb switch that give cable connection to my media / HiFi area (the Blousound Node2 and an AppleTV).

C: (“The Internet”) a TP Link router / access Point that give 1Gb cable connection to the switchs A and B and Internet access to all devices. Same room of the “B” switch. Physically star center of my network, physically in the center of the house.

At the moment the Bluesound Node manages directly the reproduction of the music using the path A-C-B for normal and HiRes music, or C-B if Tidal is in use.
All connections are made by cable.
The Wi-Fi provided by the point C is used only for remote controller with bluessound app on Phone / Tablet / Notebook.

Now is time for question!

  • Question 1: The data flow. When a roon core is installed, what happens to the communication and to the ethernet flow of the music? Everything have to go to the Roon Core and then is resent to the “end point”, or when the choice is made the communications become direct from “source” to “end point”?

This question because I have to understand where to put a NUC for the Roon Core. My favorite place would be point A of my list (UPS power supply, no problem of noise, near the NAS with music data, my hobbyes room).
But if Roon Core need to be “always at the center of the data flow”, during Tidal use, the streaming became something like C-A-C-B.
In this case the perfect place for the NUC would be “C” point, physically midway between the source A and the end point B (only problem: my lovely wife, that has to understand the real, great need of a new device in the middle of the house).

  • Question 2: Music data. The dimensions of my music libraries are poor (100Gb total) if compared with what I have read on the community.
    I was planning a NUC6 i5 with 16Gb ram, 120GB M.2 SSD for Win10 and Roon Core.
    It could be an interesting choice add a second SSD disk (256 GB for example) to move on local the Music Libraries and use the NAS only for a backup copy of files?

Stop, I have finished to bore all of you with my doubts.
Thank’s a lot to everyone that have wasted his time for reading all my words (real 100% broken school english),
and thanks to everyone that wll spend a little more time to give me some suggestion!

Kind regards


I’d put the NUC near your NAS. The spec you discuss is pretty much what I have and works well. The only thing I would say is 16GB isn’t essential, it will be fine with 4, 8 would be a good enough compromise. Also Windows 10 is ok but if the NUC is going to be dedicated then consider the upcoming Roon OS which will work on gen 5 and above NUCs.

Yes. Thats correct.

Don’t worry. Lots of us feel a bit of ‘library envy’ here.
Size isn’t everything. :grin:

Roon always serves music from the Roon server and send this to the nodes playing the music. When your network is cabled to all endpoints that you will play music from, there is no need to worry where in the network the Roon server is and also no worries for the location of the Roon endpoints. The length of the network cables start to matter when they are longer than 100 meter, not below.

When you really have a lot of endpoints (meaning Roon capable devices) that play music at the same time you may eventually run into bandwidth trouble. Each stream to an Roon capable device takes 1.2MiB/s. So about 650 of them will get you in trouble. This number may actually be less in practice. I have no means to test this.

This is assuming the network is operating normally before you set-up a Roon server.

I have a virtual machine with 2 cores and 4GB of memory in my FreeNAS (which runs on a AMD i350 1.6Ghz Dual Core) that acts as a roonserver. I have successfully played simultaneous to three roon nodes (MacBook Pro over Wifi, a Windows PC over LAN and a Roonbridge on a Raspberry PI over LAN) without any hickups.

So to answer your questions:
1: Music data is read from storage by the roonserver and then sent to all end points
2: 16GB RAM is overkill, so is a second SSD. the music files can remain on the NAS

Last but no least: have fun with Roon!

First of all, great description of your network topo.

I think with the cables you have in place between floors, Tidal streaming within your home network should be very good. Of course, there are other factors outside your network such as your ISP. And inside your network such as the demands of streaming of video, gaming, etc., happening simultaneous to the Roon operation.

Bona fortuna.

Thanks to everyone for the tips and explanations!