Been researching NAS devices, but am not finding much in the way of experience of NAS users who use the device as a Roon Core. Asked the question on Amazon but have not gotten any useful responses. I would just like to untether my existing Roon Core installation from my iMac so I don’t need to leave the iMac on all the time. Would also like to use as a storage spot for my Lightroom and Photoshop files, but that’s secondary. It will be hardwired by Ethernet to a switch and then accessed by wifi, and fed into a Cambridge Audio CXA 61 via Bluesound Node 2i if that detail matters.
Not asking for free “research” (as one user here complained about) just for experience of folks willing to share it. I’ve done the research and have lots of info provided by manufacturers. According to that universe of resources, every available product is the “only piece of hardware I’ll ever need and how have I lived this long without it.”
And I know that Roon employees can’t do this, so my question is for end users only.
Not quite what you were asking but I put two ssd’s in a thunderbolt caddy attached to my Mac mini and set it to turn off at 23.00 and on at 07.00 and not to sleep. You could set times on your iMac like this.
Depending on how big your library is, you might be better off with a NUC / ROCK (seriously). There’s good reasons not to use NAS’s for anything else but storage.
If you insist, and want something that WILL run Roon Core and pretty much everything else you throw at it, you can have a look at UnRaid as well as the intel-based commercial stuff. Given that it’d imply you custom-building your NAS, the sky is the limit as far as ressource allocation and storage. Want to handle 100Tb of music ? It’ll store it for ya, run on the type of motherboard you’d need to get the processor that’ll handle a few million tracks, and then also the Windows VM to run RoonServer on. Problem solved.
I have a QNAP TS-473 NAS. I have 4 hard drives in it. I also installed 2 M.2 SSDs into it to support SSD cacheing and it just screams fast. Their support is good. I am definitely NOT an IT guy or a network guy. When I cant figure something out I submit a ticket on their support website and have an answer the next day. Tons of youtube helpful videos on QNAP NASs too. The TS-473 has a PCIe slot so I added an SFP+ port on it which allows you to do 10GBE. My NetGear router also has a SFP+ port. My Intel NUC is also hardwired to my router. My SimAudio / Moon 680D DAC is also hardwired to my router. Running ethernet cables through walls and ceilings (attics) is fun!!! Just don’t fall through the ceiling like I almost did!!!
Are you computer savvy? Did you ever built computer yourself? NAS devices used to be just for storage. If it is just for serving files across your network, then they do not need to be powerful all. In fact, older NAS devices were low powered and had modest CPU. This has changed over the year. NAS computers have more functions right now. They run virtual machines, multiple server dockers etc. The power requirements have changed too. If you thinking about NAS just for running Roon core then this is not the way to go. NUC computer running 24/7 is a better solution. However, if you still want to get NAS you should be looking at unit that have Intel Xeon CPU and minimum 32GB or RAM (preferably EEC type). You can built your own server and install unRaid or get one from QNAP or Synology. Either way, do not skimp on CPU, it is not worth it. The system needs to be powerful and stable.
Yes. I have built my own computer myself. About 20 years ago. Dual Xeon processors, blah, blah, blah. It was fun at the time and I never want to do it again. It’s been a long time too, and my energies aren’t interested in relearning what I had to learn then, just for a limited purpose now. I want as close to plug and play as is reasonably possible.
I’ve had three different Synology NAS drives for different physical locations and purposes. They were finicky and noisy. They’re sitting on my desk now and all I want to do is scowl at them with distrust and enmity. I could repurpose them, but I don’t want spinning drives if it can be avoided, and I haven’t read enough good things about the current state of NAS technology to be convinced that my distrust and enmity are no longer fairly directed.
The NUC/ROCK sounds like a good option, but I have a couple of dumb questions:
If it is on my LAN by ethernet to router/switch, and my iMac is in a different room on the LAN by wifi, can the iMac communicate with the NUC for setup, access and maintenance, or do I need to outfit the NUC with monitor, keyboard, etc., or install Parallel/Bootcamp or VMWare? I most definitely do NOT want to learn any more Linux than the bare minimum necessary.
My iMac is also the home of my Apple Music library, and the library that I currently use for a Sonos system. (My family uses these things, and I will have a full scale revolt on my hands if I try to impose Roon onto anyone. They tolerate my tinkering, but there are limits to their good graces.)
So I rip CD’s and download to that iMac folder, which is backed up daily to two USB SSD’s, as well as Backblaze and Dropbox. (I’m a backup evangelist of the most fanatical order, and there’s no such thing as too much redundancy…Unless we’re talking about my crazy Uncle Ed who’s about as redundant as they come. But that’s a different story.)
I assume that with a NUC, the main database would reside on USB drives on the NUC, but can my iMac CD drive communicate DIRECTLY with/rip to that device, or would the NUC drives be synced to the iMac internal, or would Apple Music just keep its own library on the NUC, or…? I also assume that with that database on the NUC, no one using Apple Music Family or Sonos would even know that anything had changed.
It looks like you need NAS. Both iMac and Windows machine can be on the same LAN. You will have to enable on your iMac file sharing for WIndows. NUC can be run headless. You can use Windows Remote Desktop (Windows 10 Pro required) or TeamViewer to connect to it and control it. I have seen someone to install SSDs in his NAS device. Personally, I would use SSD for cache drive only. You can buy Western Digital Red 5400 RPM drive. They are reliable, quiet and draw very little power I know you do not want tinker with it, but might be your best option. You need good CPU with low power requirements (low TDP). Passive cooling is not possible, but noise level will be low. I have unRaid server that is very flexible in terms of what drives can be used. I parity drive for redundancy and what is most important it has variety of docker apps including iTunes server called Daapd. If you are looking for ready made solution, you will have to see if they offer iTunes server. Syncing between different computers if a different issue. You could setup one share drive for all computers, or use tools like robocopy on Windows or cron on Linux machine (NAS or unRaid)
It’d be way easier to just pick up Mac mini, put the Roon Core on that with a couple of 1TB SSD’s, stick it in a closet and forget about it. I can keep a small monitor, keyboard and mouse in a shopping bag nearby, and just plug in for the 3 or 4 occasions in a year when I need to access it for maintenance.
But I’m sure there’s a problem with that otherwise elegant solution that I’m not considering.
Yes. You did. I was overly focused on delinking from ANY computer. But I remembered that I do have a 3 year old Mini sitting around that I could easily repurpose. Is yours on ethernet or wifi? I suppose ethernet would be better for streaming, but otherwise I would think it doesn’t matter. What about RAM? I think this Mini has 8gb, though my iMac has 40
It is 8g ram and has a small ssd internally for Roon core and two external ssd for music. All music is in an iTunes folder and I just point Roon to it.
It’s attached by Ethernet. I use homeplugs even though they are frowned upon they have been brilliant.
Thank you for sharing your details. Going live with a test run today.
This solution allows me to experiment without dropping new $ on something that may or may not be needed. I have all this hardware sitting around already so may as well see what it can do. Not to mention the savings in time and energy.
I’m sure you will find it all works out. There is no point in buying extra in my opinion if you have something that meets the spec. Like I said before I see more problems caused by networking than the bases/computers.