Making Roon Industrial Strength

What is this???

So it is more-likely an issue with the extension’s code than Roon itself?
For example, I can remember that there where issues in the past with the Roon Extension Manager whenever a Windows remote got started/stopped because Roon on windows can also act as Core. Somewhat similar issues might exist in other extensions. Extensions are provided by community members after all. They may have limited skills as programmers and testing, especially for edge cases, may completely rely on the (probably small) user base of any given extension and the feedback they give.

As a general rule for a stable Roon Core, I would try to run it on a platform that supports ECC RAM. AFAIK Roon’s database is held in memory (RAM) during runtime as much as possible to achieve the goal of a snappy UX. The reason is, my current Windows PC is the first one that runs day by day for months without issues – previous PCs I owned, based on consumer platforms without ECC support usually showed issues (BSOD, spontaneous reboots, …) even when left running without interaction for days. So I currently use a workstation platform with ECC support and workstation/professional grade components (including their drivers) and do not wish to go back to consumer platforms/components (to much time wasted with troubleshooting without being able to pinpoint a core reason, lost data and reinstalls because of damaged data/filesystems, …).

PS: As much as I like the idea of ROCK, to my knowledge the NUC platform it is intended for is a consumer-grade platform that was never intended for professional (reliable, 24/7) scenarios, and all the various reported failures only reinforce my opinion.

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Have you looked at the network traffic going to a remote / display? It’s constant as it’s updating every remote with the timestamp of where the track is currently playing. Any hiccup on the network will cause little “locks” and back pressure on this traffic at Core. So, people tax their Core all the time but normally with DSP. Not normally trying to keep handfuls of displays in sync. I think its cool but that’s a lot of network traffic most Roon users are not generating.

How Windows and Linux handle network is different so I’m making a huge assumption that just moving to Linux will give you a significantly better experience. I assume some of your remotes are wireless? You may want to try putting a wireless interface on your Core. That way hiccups and issues in the wifi won’t propagate into the wired network for your displays.

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I also just thought of this…
If Roon would implement multicasting the “Now Playing” information it would significantly reduce the network traffic in your situation and you could run as many remotes as you want (they would all just “listen” for the multicast traffic). Maybe a feature request but you may be the only one benefiting from it. Or, possibly, this could be done with an extension to take the Now Playing and replicate it as multicast.

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There are plenty of “industrial” NuC builds. I’m not sure if any NuC sized MB chipset supports ECC RAM however. Intel has, traditionally, not seen value in ECC. However, after Linus just recently called them out and AMD is kind of causing them concern… (AMD supports ECC) they may be slowing coming around to the benefits.

I like to use it because it has a larger album cover and complements the artist images that dominate the chromecast/web browser display (albeit there is a different bug in Roon that doesn’t display a lot of the artist images on the chromecast/browser display).

I’m sure there are multiple issues piling on. My use of the web controller extension is relatively recent and I had many of these problems before that, but it’s definitely exacerbated the situation.

If Roon would just offer up a static display with album cover art that doesn’t require use of the main Roon interface (i.e. only the main Roon software displays album cover art at any reasonable scale and that updates with track progress etc.) then I’d use that and it would have far less network impact. I know - feature request - but it won’t get built or if it did it would be years in the making. I don’t really understand how Roon makes a big deal out of the look and feel of the product but really is very light on the visual appeal of the album covers. You have to use your main Roon interface for that but of course then you cannot access playlist etc. Hence my desire to use a bunch of Roon remotes for that purpose even though they are much heavier and tax the core more than necessary.

Only 2 mobile devices that are not even always on. EVERY other device is hard wired.

I have lost my faith that feature requests are fulfilled with any regularity. Or even really considered by Roon. Look at Roon 2.0, which functions identically to 1.8 as far as I can tell other than ARC. And Roon is clearly looking more at streamers and mobile users these days. Plus I do understand that Roon isn’t building this software just for my music room, albeit I Danny saw this room I think he might consider it.

Once again, thank you all for your input. Especially the options regarding linux builds, since that seems like the logical next step to try.

Heck I’d even license 2 cores if they could somehow work together. I know that isn’t in the cards.

I think you could build this as an extension with Roon API. In fact, you may be able to modify the web extension to drop the not needed data. I’ll have to pull the web extension code and take a look how much work that would be for my non-programmer brain. I know there is an API specifically for pulling just the image across. You still need to subscribe to the zone to get updates on what that zone is doing. The bit I have no understanding of is if you can subscribe to a zone but not get the seek_position.

I use the Web Controller extension too but don’t have issues with extension authorizations.
But while looking into this, I noticed that with Roon 2.0 while I have (Windows 64-bit) Roon open as remote, the Roon Extension Manager is constantly crashing and restarting (was not the case with Roon 1.8 AFAIK). So it looks like Roon Labs may have introduced changes with Roon 2.0 that can lead to issues with extensions.

YES! My use of the web controller at the location where I really push Roon coincides with the upgrade to 2.0.

My assumption was that adding screens - and more chromecast/web browser displays and more remotes – was what pushed Roon beyond its limits. It may be that the extension manager is also involved.

(That is not to say that problems weren’t seen before that. But what caused me to start this thread was that now problems happen within minutes of getting all the peripherals up and running their various Roon functions versus the problems taking hours to creep in.)

The symptom I see with this is music stops - usually with the message that audio is loading too slowly (it’s local music collection on a hard drive in the core - the music is 3 inches away Roon!) and sometimes the Remotes flash the “can’t find core” for a second, then when I go back to the core the extension is de-authorized. So that is the extension manager crashing and affecting the core with it.

My take is there are multiple contributions to this instability but the Roon Web Controller may be an exacerbating cause or the canary in the coalmine.

I’d love to. It’s beyond my current capabilities. I suppose if the extension controller is crashing whenever a Windows remote is open, I wouldn’t be solving my problem anyway, albeit perhaps less taxing if the progress bar is omitted.

The only time I had an extension crash was a faulty disk. Either at Core or the SD card I was using to run the extension on from Raspberry Pi.

Putting consumer-grade Intel NUC boards into industrial all-metal cases with ground (earth) connector sadly doesn’t transform the board into a workstation/pro platform (chipset) with Intel Xeon and ECC RAM support (including pro drivers).

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I’m not sure that Roon was intended as the core for the mad scientist system but as a first approach I’d dump windows and try either OS X or Unix (Rock). I’d put Rock on a workstation grade server for mad scientist application.

I find NUCs aren’t really that crash hot hardware (I have 3 of them, one is used for my Roon core) and windows is not, and never has been great server software, it’s a hot mess of backward compatible crap with ever mounting patches.

As an aside, I think you’re nuts.

Have built different versions of core. I have had the best success with linux based systems - without all the bloatware the commercial OS’s love to include.
You want industrial? I now run my core on ROCK running on a Dell R220 with 32GB ram. It just runs all day every day. My endpoints are Sonos of which I run 3 without issue plus various phones ipads and laptops for controllers or even endpoints. Not a huge installation by any stretch but it it just works all day every day.
Something I have done over the last few years is spend some time and money on my network. Working from home means I needed something stable and able to handle two of us doing video calls etc without buffering or any of those silly dropouts that occur. Running pro grade routers and switches paying attention to the layout of the network. What is the backbone of your network?
You also mention a lot of different boxes running all different NICs etc. That is a lot of “Windows sticking its bit in” to break things - suspect drivers, firewalls etc. As soon as there is an update something breaks - that’s just Windows in general from experience.
What happens when you simplify it for testing? Add one device at a time and check. How much other traffic have you got on the network? Can you split off some other/iot stuff on VLANs to clean up the Roon network?
Just some thoughts as to where the issues may be - that may not actually be Roon.

I host Roon on a small Linux server. I switched to this from Windows, which has a few conveniences but is basically a resource hog. I run a real-time version of Debian Linux, and the machine is a Lenovo M910q. I chose Debian because it’s easy to do a minimal install and simple to administer using Cockpit or Webmin and a web browser. Also, Debian emphasizes rock-solid stability and reliability. Ubuntu server is popular, too, but it comes with some stuff I don’t want or care about. If you can deal with a command line interface, installing Roon isn’t too difficult. The toughest part (not that tough) is setting up an FTP server so you can load new music. Support here in the Roon community is first rate.

From a performance point of view, Roon uses so little of the available resources that the server is practically unaware it’s even on the machine. I’ve had three concurrent users streaming from the server without a single issue and little burden on the CPU.

The only wrinkle is that there’s a bug–I mean feature–in Roon where you sometimes get a “Metadata Improver Paused” message after a restart. Restarting Roon (not the whole machine) clears it instantly.

If this looks like a worthy experiment, almost any old computer will do for a test bed.

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Time for a move to Linux. Windows is the worst of the available core options. If you don’t have a Mac go straight to Linux. Your networking setup is massive overkill and has some issues unrelated to speed. Most likely latency.

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Well ,like this its rock solid stable here …I have a costum build small Intel Core I5 fanless NUC pc cabel connected to the internet , with Roon Rock and Roon Core installed on that , and an SSD in there for my modest bitperfect ripped CD collection . I listen to all that in combination with my Qobuz subscription ! (Playing over ECI 6DX MKII in combination with 2 Dynaudio Focus 340 speakers :slight_smile:

grtz

People on this forum argue over vertical versus horizontal scrolling. And I’m nuts.

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You make it sound like a bad thing…