QNAP NAS advice

Hi, I’d like advice on TS 473A-8G configuration for a max 3TB music collection.

2x 2TB SSD RAID 0
1x 4TB HDD (periodic back up)
2x 125GB M.2 SSD RAID 0 (for Roon Core)

Don’t want spinning disc noise so thought the HDD would only spin when backing up library. Am I using the M.2 slots wrong?

Appreciate everyone’s time!

The M.2 RAID 0 is just a disaster waiting to happen and when it will happen you’ll lose your ROON server until you’ll install a replacement. I’ll personally go with RAID 1 for CORE which will give you redundancy (you already have the HDD for backup), without impacting the performance. I believe that 125GB will be more than enough for your library size, though i do not know that for sure.

If you don’t already have the SSD’s (or if it’s not a money issue), I’ll consider one of 4TB instead (50% less failure chance compared with two disks in RAID 0, same price). Or just create two volumes instead of one aggregated by the RAID 0, it will be harder to manage, but again, if the RAID 0 fails you loose everything until you’ll replace the disk(s).

Just my M.2 cents! :grinning:

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Ok, terrific. Great advice!

So, RAID 1 for the M.2 and I’ll simply get 2x 250GB. Roon Core will do great I expect.

And, yeah, if a single 4TB SSD is best for my music files, then I’ll got that route.

Anyone else? Hoping to work out the most informed configuration choices without too high cost. Does anyone from QNAP post? Or someone from Roon who works with them?

I am personally in favor of not using a NAS at all for anything other than pure storage and the related tasks (backups and so on). There is a reason for which the S stands for Storage, not for Server! The general (more or less) consens, Roon wise, it’s that a NUC is a much better approach.

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I concur with @occasionallyhere

I started with Roon Core as well as 4TB media library on a very good Synology unit. But with high-res 24-bit music files it was problematic playing hardwired or wi-fi when using Roon. Other methods (Sonos, Bluesound, CXN) were fine. So a few months ago I put Roon Rock onto a NUC with the music still on the NAS. 110% improvement.

It comes down to the generally mediocre CPU capabilities of the NAS. In the TS 473A-8G it’s AMD Ryzen CPU so maybe it can handle it although I’m skeptical.

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You’ll find some people being sceptical to running Roon on a NAS here. I’m not one of them, having run Roon Server on my QNAP TS-470 Pro since 2016. (First in a VM, then the native QNAP package)

Anyways, i think you are overdoing it, both with the solid state drives for media and the RAID0 config. I store media on 3*6Tb WD Red in RAID5 and in the fourth slot i have a plain vanilla 240Gb SSD for applications and Roon DB. This just works and works, and the user experience is pretty much identical to a ROCK machine. (My QNAP has an old Intel Core i5 3470T and 16Gb RAM)
So, if you don’t see a use for more than 4Tb of media i’d recommend two spinning 6Tb WD Reds for media in your preferred RAID1, and just a single 120/240 m.2 for Roon db and applications. (Your library will always be 1.5x the size you calculate!)
The QNAPs are kinda noisy anyway so i doubt very much you’ll hear any difference between solid state or spinning drives. I’m tal king sound quality, but if you are concerned over mechanical noise the NAS should not be considered at all. they produce fan noise (and spinning disk noise).

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I’m one of them. A NAS can be a solution, but it is not always the right one.

It just costs a lot of money to use a NAS only for Roon. A NUC solution running ROCK or even a basic Server PC offer from Dell or the likes could come in around the same price with comparable storage but with more punch or even cheaper if you choose a NAS with comparable punch.
If someone has a real need to buy a NAS, means he wants to use other services and software run from it than just Roon, then a NAS might the right thing to choose – especially if setting up and maintaining all these services and software by himself is undesired*. But this IMO leaves the cheap NASes for starters off the table – one usually has to invest in at least an upper end SOHO NAS to get good performance for all the needs and wants. Also most NASes are not designed to be silent or go to deep-sleep/hibernation states when not in use (and the software that typically runs on it {a.k.a. server software} often also too not).

* Any solution one might choose needs some attention and knowledge to maintain proper functionality and security over time - it’s only a question of the amounts needed.

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Hi @jh901 Josh,
I’m also interested in such a NAS. Do you own one already? I know they are brand new.
It would be nice to get some feedback if It’s running.
Here are my thoughts and I see some things a little bit different.
I guess you cannot compare older NAS to the TS-473A (some are mentioned here have a 90mm fan) and the volume level of the TS-473 is about 21,4dBA with HDD running (low level)! This is in general quite good.
Of course the HDDs are itself at 29 (low level) -36dBA and an SSD is a different topic. I would try the HDD for music storage if you are not too picky.
M.2 SSDs: I would say 1 SSD is enough because most people also do not have a mirrored Roon core and if it breaks down you just have to install a new one and take the Roon DB from backup. So it’s not a big deal. Have you looked if a RAID 1 is even possible for the M.2 SSDs because these are no typical drives.
Another thing might be important too: Watch at the speed from the M.2 SSDs - there are huge differences and performance matters for the core.
The next thing are TBW figures - TBW figures grow with the size of the SSD - for example a 500GB SSD has double the figures from a 250GB one.
So I would go for a bigger M.2 SSD (just a few U$) because of TBW and just one because of the backups.
I would go for 3x 4TB HDD (2x 4TB in RAID 1 for music and whatever) and the one for weekly backup.
The 1 backup is a must have because its not the same like the mirrored drives. And 2 HDD with RAID 1 is just something for a better sleep (I guess the music also has a value).

I forgot to mention - a friend of mine has a TS-673 and is highly satisfied. He only struggled with the 4GB RAM and installed 16GB (only available module he could get fast). The NEW TS-473A CPU is estimated between 50% and 100% faster than the x73 CPU. Should be fine.
But as I wrote a feedback would be great.

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just stay away from QNAP x72XT models which seems to be regularly dying:

https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=153097

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I’m all for running Roon core on NAS. I’ve had mine for ~6 months now running on QNAP TS-253D which is (according to Roon) seriously underspecced but still runs Roon core perfectly. I just added 4gb of RAM (total of 8gb now), installed core on 128gb SSD and other slot runs 4TB storage HDD. Backups go elsewhere. I have ~3500 albums in FLAC format, some hi-res but most of it redbook. Both stream with zero hiccups over LAN. Only DSP I use is crossfade for occasional listening with headphones on PC. No problems with that one either. This setup has actually worked better than my high power gaming PC I used before to run Roon core.

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Hm. I think I am trying to fit a NAS with NUC/ROCK functionality.

Would it be unwise to install a 4TB SSD in a NUC/ROCK for just over 2TB music files (WAVE, DSF)? Could I access that drive over my network?

I know you are responding to BlackJack, but yes, a ROCK NUC with a 4Tb internal storage is an excellent network storage also. Make sure you put the Roon OS install on an m.2 NVMe though, then the SSD can be initialized and used for media (and other storage should you desire, even though i don’t recommend it)

Make sure your choice of NUC is the “higher” one with a slot for an SSD drive.

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Perfect. I think I’ll figure out which NUC model, 16GB RAM, M.2 NVMe, 4TB SSD.

Any suggestions?

Will it be easy to direct dbPoweramp, for example, to save on the SSD on a NUC/ROCK?

I guess this has become a ROCK thread but some NAS folks may be interested.

This is not recommended. A slow ripping process might lead to difficulties with Roons identification process (incomplete, wrongly identified, … albums). It’s better to prepare rips somewhere else and copy the complete album(s) afterwards or at least rip to a folder on the share that is outside of Roons watched folder(s) (if possible) and then move it inside when finished - even the built-in basic CD ripping feature of the Roon OS (Nucleus, ROCK) does it like this AFAIK.

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Read the Help article? - it lists the supported NUC models.

I’ll have to think about NUC internal and external storage options. If I can get up to 3TB using a 1 TB internal SSD and hang 2TB USB external without any drawbacks, then I should be set.

Thoughts?

Appreciated!

Be aware that the M.2 SSD cannot be used for music storage - it holds the Roon OS and Roon only.

If you want to store music internally on a NUC, then you need to buy an “H” model which has space for a 2.5" drive (HDD or SSD). Because of physical size constraints, an HDD can be up to 2TB max, but an SSD can be up to 8TB…

Why are you keep trying to complicate things? For the music library (assuming you’ll put the core on the internal M.2) internal vs. external doesn’t make to much of a difference (performance wise) assuming that you are using at least an USB 3, but having the storage split in two will make it hard to manage (and don’t say RAID0 again please :grinning:).

You should keep things really simple:

For the NUC way:

  • get the best one that you can afford from the roon recommended list.
  • ugrade to the maximum (affordable and hardware possible) memory, this will generally improve the performance of any computer system.
  • put the core on a M.2 internal, and the music on a SSD internal.
  • enjoy the music.
  • don’t forget about the back-up, both core and music, on a NAS or on a direct attached (USB) disk.
  • safely enjoy the music (even more now that you have a backup too)

For the NAS way:

  • go the NUC way (see above);
  • use the NAS for backup (2 x 4TB HDD in RAID1 :grinning: will do);

And, if you really want to complicate things (but in a more elegant way) keep in mind that files in a music library are 100% static (you add files, but you don’t modify them, well, assuming that you are not using Audirvana Studio), so one neat thig that you can do is to treat the music files backup in reverse: your main music files storage should be the NAS, from which you’ll update the NUC when you add new files, and not the other way. This way what you’ll have on the NUC it’s just an active copy of your library and whatever happens there (files corruption, accidental and/or drunk related modification, ransomware, stuff like that) won’t transfer to your main storage. And this also will give you a nice and clean dbPoweramp flow: rip/tag on your computer, move (or copy) to the main storage (NAS), copy to the active (playable) library (NUC). From here the sky is the limit (literally if you want to also keep a backup in the cloud!)

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Appreciated. I do understand that M.2 SSD will hold Roon OS only.

I did not realize that there was a larger capacity main storage internal SSD that would fit in an ‘H’ model NUC.

Available, but not cheap (yet). For example, the Samsung 870 QVO 8TB costs around €700.