NAS recommendations for installing Roon Server on a NAS?

Hi,

I’d like to know if there are any recommendations for specs that a NAS has to have in order to run a Roon server (in a Docker container) on the NAS. I’m guessing at least 8GB or RAM – would that be sufficient or would more RAM be recommended?
What other recommendations beyond are there that?

Thanks for any purchasing advice!

Edit for clarification:

I need to buy a NAS anyway, for photo storage. Having it run Roon will be a bonus, saving me an extra box.
I do not have an existing NAS setup to take into account but would prefer something that is mostly ready-to-go and silent running so that I don’t need to build a full server box myself and figure out all the Linux details for proper operation. :grin:

First off, are you tied to Synology, QNAP or any other brand? Are you building one from scratch?

I run perfectly happily off a Synology DS918+ with 12gb of RAM and an added SSD for cache. I host my Roon DB on the primary spinning disks along with music files (different volumes, same disk), though others have certainly heeded Roon’s strong advice to put the db on an SSD, some internal and some external. My remotes are slightly less responsive than when I ran ROCK on a separate i7 NUC, but for me the pleasure of not having to restart the NUC (power management / UPS behavior / auto restart is better on my Synology) and backup monitoring are way better than having the snappiest remote.

If you do go the Synology / docker route, this how-to thread is invaluable, and there are many others who have different configurations than mine you can read about. Good luck!

Hi Johnny,

Thanks for your quick reply!

I’m starting from scratch, so I’m not tied to any particular brand. I’d like to buy from either Synology or QNAP rather than build my own server from scratch :wink: but my understanding is that both support Docker, either out of the box or through an app that can be installed.

However I don’t know what minimum hardware requirements / recommended hardware requirements for the NAS servers would be in terms of RAM, CPU, etc. Many of the QNAP and Synology NASes that I see have an Intel Celeron CPU for instance, and I don’t know if this is sufficient?

Asustor NASes are a lot cheaper, but I don’t know how well they work and if they offer an internal SSD option. Since adding an internal (M.2) SSD will probably boost performance noticeably, I’m considering adding that.

So my general advice is to pick a family / brand, find the community for that brand on these forms, and then go ask them. Because running on docker / NAS is undocumented / community supported, you won’t find Roon telling you what specs to get. And because each brand has its own community that supports it, I don’t think anyone will give you general requirements. I could be wrong here, but that’s my perception and general guess. If you choose to go do that research for each brand and generalize and post about it, you’ll be doing the community a favor, but I think most people follow them path of “hmm, I like Roon, and I happen to have a NAS so let’s see if we can get my core running there” vs “hmm, I’d like to get a NAS to run my core on”.

You may find others more willing to generalize than me.

Again, good luck!

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Go NUC or whatever else is closer to a PC in your price range. It will save you a lot of troubles on the long run.

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Yeah, actually I have to agree here.

While I do cite a couple of reasons why I went from NUC10 to running on a docker container above, that’s just because I tried it out on hardware I had, & it’s stable now and has been for a year. If I wanted to prioritize stability and performance (and really who doesn’t?) I’d be back on a NUC. I just haven’t had the nudge to move back. If you’re buying new gear, I’d suggest you get a NUC10, or wait until ROCK2.0 comes out and get a NUC11.

I know that’s not the advice you asked for. But there is a reason that Roon has a preferred set up. I and many others make the NAS solution work, and some of us are quite happy with it. I’m not putting it down. But if you are going to invest in hardware anyways specifically for Roon, and you don’t mind a bit of tinkering anyways (which clearly you don’t or you wouldn’t be asking), go with the “typical” solution. NUC+internal SSD. Your peace of mind on music backups will be so much greater if you do offsite via glacier or sneakernet in any case (RAID doesn’t do much for fire or flood or silly kids with network access).

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Have a read of this article. It will probably answer most of your questions:

A NAS is an expensive way to set up a Roon core, though the right hardware can offer certain advantages over a NUC/Nucleus.

You want the database on a SSD. Music files can be on HDDs.

I wrote a response to someone having issues with a NAS, expanding on the pros and cons of using a NAS to host a Roon core. It may give some additional insight:

BTW, I’ve subsequently upgraded to DSM 7 with no real issues.

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I need a NAS anyway, as a general and reliable storage, for photos mostly. And I need some hardware to run my Roon server on.

So I’ll be buying a NAS no matter what and then if it can run Roon server comfortably, that will be great, as I’ll need to get only 1 box instead of 2, hopefully saving myself some money in the process. :slight_smile:

I think I may not have made that clear in my original post. :grimacing:

The hardware specification you need will depend on the size of your roon library. The larger the library gets the more processor and memory you need.

If you get a Nas to run Roon it will have to be higher spec to not have Roon crawling (more expensive)
Might be a better option to get a cheaper nas for storage and a nuc to run Roon ending up around the same expenditure overall.

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My local file library is not very large, but contains a number of albums not available from any streaming services online… Mostly I use Tidal and Qobuz, and want Roon for unified streaming over both subscriptions and that local library.

If you’re set on a NAS, then something like the QNAP TS-473A-8G is a good bet. 4 bay, 8GB RAM (upgradeable to 64GB max), quad core AMD Ryzen processor, 2 x PCIe slots for M.2 caching or 10Gb network.

It’s not cheap though - by the time you add in some HDDs and an SSD for the database, you’ll be > €1000.

As for drive configuration, I’d avoid RAID 5 and RAID 6. They both incur heavy resource overheads and rebuilding from a failed drive is painful, if it even works at all…

EDIT: Also backup regularly to an off-site location. I can highly recommend Backblaze B2. Works seamlessly with a NAS and it’s cheap!

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Thanks. I was looking at QNAP TS-673A8G and TS-453D-8G but the latter has only a Celeron J4125 CPU and that seemed very doubtful to me.

With any NAS there currently seems to be an issue with having available stock! :sweat_smile:

The TS-673A8G is an even better bet! 6 bays gives you a much wider choice regarding storage options. The Celeron J4125 is some way short of what’s recommended for Roon. Some users seem to get a way with it, but I wouldn’t recommend it…

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Like others, I would try to talk you down from the ledge of jumping into the Core on NAS world. In the long run, coming from those of us who have run Core on all sorts of crazy things, you’ll be happier with a ROCK build on supported hardware.

However, for now, it seems that you are determined to run Core on a NAS. The best advice I can offer is to choose a NAS with at least an Intel Core i3 or a Xeon processor. Avoid units with low-end processors like Celeron, Atom, etc. You’ll need an SSD for Roon’s database. It’s best if you can dedicate one of the internal drive slots vs attaching an an external SSD drive via USB. Most manufacturers offer an M.2 SSD option for caching, but I’m not aware of any that will allow you to dedicate an NVMe SSD for use with Roon. You’ll want at least 16 GB of RAM to ensure that you have plenty for Roon plus caching.

I’ll close by saying that a NAS like this won’t be cheap. You’ll get better Roon performance at a lower cost by purchasing an Intel NUC and a more sensible NAS. For example, I have a Synology DS1821+ that I use only for storage. It is about $1k new. If I had wanted to run Core on it, I would have gone with the DS1621xs+ instead. It’s $600 more (closer to $1k more after the memory upgrade) and has two fewer drive bays. But, that’s what it would take to approach the performance of a separate NAS and NUC running Roon OS.

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Hi, I have an tvs 873 12G and running roon without problems. Ssd´s are essential for a good roon experience.

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I ran Roon on a Qnap TS-453 pro which has a dual core (4 thread) Intel CPU running at 2ghz.

It could do the DSP I wanted (convolution and/or PEQ) and would usually report a processing speed of something between 15 and 25x

I moved over to a NUC which is loads faster and now I can also run HQPlayer, but in all honesty I really needn’t have as far as I can tell yet as it was plenty good enough on the NAS - that said, the NAS is now doing less and I like that.

It’s easy to move from a NAS to a NUC if you change your mind just be sure to get a reasonably good cpu.

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This is where I startet many many years ago; as others have already pointed out: Purchasing a NAS which is able to run the Roon Core performant costs more money, needs more administration effort and is less stable than buying a NAS just to store the music (and photo) files and run Roon core separately on a NUC

my journey with a QNAP TVS 671, i5 and 16 GByte of RAM can be found here: Roon stopping randomly (and here: Export hangs with spinning circle but no error message)

3 weeks ago I moved to a Intel NUC10i7FNK with ROCK (internal SSD for ROCK and Roon DB, 32 GByte RAM, library still on QNAP), much more stable, bettter performance (with a large library of appr. 440.000 tracks) and - after setting it up - zero maintenance needed … strongly recommended!

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While I would recommend a NAS for the media storage, I’ll also chime in to consider a NUC for the ROON server (a.k.a. ROCK)

Here’s my experience with it that may be of some use.

Good luck on whatever route you choose!

Plenty of other threads on the subject as well in their respective forums.

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I’m not sure I’d recommend a NAS for media storage (it also seems to be a configuration Roon doesn’t really recommend anymore), though how it would perform in practice depends on your network connection to the NAS and its storage configuration. When running the core on a NAS, the media is local to the core (via SATA). When running the core on a NUC and storage on a NAS, the media is remote to the core over network and subject to the limitations of network bandwidth and latency.