I’m looking to buy a NAS solution to store my music and run Roon Server on. Optimal performance is my main concern. Im considering both Syynology and QNAP. What would you recommend?
I have a Synology NAS. I use it for storage (Network Attached Storage) but not to run Roon.
I know that is possible, but looking in these pages it seems to me that people have more trouble with those than on a Windows, MAC or Linux box. It is my suspicion that NAS are not designed to be general purpose servers and that’s not where the vendors’ expertise lies.
Economically, if you want to run Roon on it you have to make sure you spec it adequately. Otherwise, you can get a NUC with minimal SSD storage and get a very basic NAS for storage. Simpler, will likely save you effort.
I have SSD in the NUC for the music content. I use my NAS for backup, plus backup to the cloud in case of catastrophe. If I were starting today, I would just backup to the cloud, and skip the NAS altogether.
My views. I know many disagree.
The Qnap that has 4 bay NAS is excellent. Even two bay.
But you should try to find the most powerful you can afford of cause.
Of cause if you need high performance, a good Qnap will cost a lot. Then you may go for the i7 NUC
And a cheap storage solution.
Roon has recommendation on their web pages for minimum requirements for a QNAP.
You do not have to follow that. But this depends how large your music collection is.
My TS-453-Pro works just fine and have an overkill with 16GB memory.
Installation of Roon is very easy. And is part of the Qnap supported apps.
When you have bought it, you may play a little first before you make it your main server.
Also you have to decide how you like to configure the NAS. That may affect the performance.
In the top end you use a dual small SSD in a stripe as OS and Roon database, and a RAID 5 HDD’s (with or without hot spare) or RAID 6 as storrages. WD Red is normally the best choice.
This is an expensive solution. Min 6 bay NAS.
Jottacloud keeps everything (unlimited) in the sky for around $99 a year.
You can attach quite huge disks via USB to the ROCK NAS.
If you continuous download and rip music, I understand that is not a good solution as you will probably run into a maintenance problem. You would like to automatic sync.
It may depend on how tech savvy you are. I am running Roon core on a QNAP 670, using an SSD for the Roon library (as recommended), and spinning disks for my library. This didn’t work so well with 2GB of RAM, but upgrading the QNAP to 10GB has made it flawless. I was concerned that my QNAP is the non-pro version with a slower CPU, but that really hasn’t been an issue.
So, like @R1200CL, I am very happy with Roon Core running on my NAS.
It might come down to how big your library is and where it is currently if you really need a NAS just for roon storage
Thx for the jottacloud suggestion. Signed up!
This really depends on your library, the number of endpoints you want to serve simultaneously and, of course, the type and amount of DSP you want to run. The answer to those can help you narrow down which NAS would work best, or, if a NAS would work at all as your Roon Server. Generally speaking, the devs have recommended the minimum CPU is an i3.
I’m currently running Roon on my laptop with about 2TB of music on a USB attached hard drive and Tidal. I am only running to a single audio system in my living room but I may add 1-2 more rooms down the line.
For QNAP, is the TS-x451+ or TS-x451A overkill? Could I download Roon Server directly on those devices? Do I need to use at least 1 SSD to make it work well?
Yes. Apply to all Qnap.
Yes. That’s what I did first. Only one 250GB SSD. Less is OK as well.
You could as an example do two small SSD in a stipe (RAID 0) and two other HDD for storage as RAID 1 (mirror)
Maybe consider at least the
QNAP TS-451 + 8 GB
Much better CPU. Enough memory.
Seriously if you want optimal performance then a NAS is not the right solution.
Running Roon on a NAS only makes sense if you already have a NAS or need a very high spec fast and expensive NAS for other stuff.
A NUC will be faster than a NAS. Install ROCK and use a external USB hard drive connected to the NUC for music storage.
Like I said before…if you only want a NAS for roon then it’s the wrong option…NUC and external music drive on usb…one that you can also backup to another drive ideally as and when your library changes.
A NAS these days is only a solution if you need data sharing or multiple user storage and apps to serve that data back like photos and videos etc…maybe as a backup too.
With single hdd capacities in the 10+TB arena a NAS is really not needed to gain large disk space hives.
Most synology NASs have a microprocessor that is too weak to be suitable for roon installation.
I opted for a QNAP TS-251 that I upgraded to 8gb of RAM, the whole works perfectly even by applying a convolution filter.
Only the first indexation was a little long due to the absence of SSD.
Now, whether it’s via the QNAP’s USB or the sound and/or airplay streaming, it works impeccably.
NUC devices seem to be just as expensive as the powerful NAS devices. Are there affordable ones?
That’s what I’m doing—Synology DS215j NAS, and an Intel NUC with:
(1) 240 MB SSD
(2) 1.1 gHz Celeron processor,
(3) 4 GB RAM.
Roon Server runs on the NUC, and about 800 GB of music files are on the NAS, which also serves as backup for general purpose computers elsewhere in the house. There’s a USB drive connected to the Synology for backup.
Larger music libraries might require a more powerful computer to run Roon Server. I did it this way because the equipment was already on hand when I was using JRiver Music Center. Starting from scratch I’d probably run it all on a high-powered NAS, but I don’t have any problems with this setup.
My point is that it is ill suited for the purpose.
A NAS is a storage device, hence the name.
It has a chip in it, but so does a camera and a car and a toaster.
You want a computer, get a computer.
Your life will be easier.
A NUC running ROCK operates more like an appliance than a pc, I find it the ideal solution.
I disagree in this point.
A NAS is nothing else than a computer with more storage bays and a dedicated OS.
Of course, most NAS devices are equipped with a low performance cpu and might not be suited. But so is a regular computer with an atom cpu.
If the specs for a NAS are equal, I do not see any reason why it should perform worse.
Another advantage of the NAS is the option to run various services simultaniously (compared to ROCK). For example the NAS can create a backup on its own to a different device. Or the music files can be accessed by various music applications (for example DS Audio, QMusic, Plex…).
I also installed a metadata editor (bliss) on it, which curates my file metadata and file structure.
Compared to a NAS, which just stores your media files, you have faster access to the media files in Roon, when it also runs RoonServer and is properly spec’d.
My concern is for the OS and software on the NAS, not the hardware.
I am biased against tweaking a device away from its original purpose.
I agree with @Ratbert; “A NUC running ROCK operates more like an appliance than a pc, I find it the ideal solution.”
The trend to small, single purpose devices is a great improvement.
The general purpose computer was a huge innovation, but as the hardware got cheaper, the management of the complex setups overwhelmed the hardware cost. (I say this with embarrassment as I spent 25 years working on systems management.)
A NUC that does nothing other than Roon is a great appliance. Running ROCK instead of Windows or MacOS simplifies it further.
I’m aware that ROON recommends at least an Intel i3 CPU. I’m running ROON on a Synology DS918+ with 4 drives: 3 drives are configured in a SHR-raid. The last drive is a hot spare. ROON is installed on a 64 gb USB3 pendrive/stick. The size of my music library is approx. 45.000 tracks and I use tidal as well. I have 5 endpoints configured, but I only use one endpoint at a time. My Synology runs other services like mail-server, FTP, backup etc.
My experience with this configuration is that it is snappy: Running the app on my iPad is very smooth, and searching is almost as fast as on my old ROON-server (HP pc Intel i5, SSD-drive, 8 Gb RAM, Ubuntu server). Running ROON on the Synology is very stable.
The DS918+ has power enough to use all the DSP-facilities. Please look at the screen dump.
I can agree on that, as long as you use your music files exclusively with Roon.
Nucleus and ROCK systems seem like a great setup as long as you do not need anything else.
If you do, you always have to find solutions to circumvent the closed model system.