Roon and its networking primer around server, client, bridge uses


Following layout shows the current Roon network components in 10.0.0.x subnet GbE cabled (all wired) to a single GbE switch, NETGEAR ProSAFE GS116NA 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch,

a) Roon server ( – windows 7 box HP Z800 workstation (Intel Xeon X5677 3.47 GHz, 3.46 GHz, 2 processors) 96 GB, more or less dedicated Roon server machine,

a.1) Same machine also runs the HQPlayer, CUDA offload enabled with Nvidia GeForce GTX 960,

a.2) The C: drive running on SSD, Samsung SSD 850 PRO 1TB on 6 Gbps SATA interface,

b) Roon client ( – windows 7 box HP Z800 workstation (Intel Xeon X5677 3.47 GHz, 3.46 GHz, 2 processors) 96 GB, shares with other tasks,

c) Roon bridge ( – Mac OS X 10.0.5, Mac mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB

d) NAS ( – Western Digital WD EX2 NAS

e) NAA ( – Sonore microRendu/LPS-1

                  (c)  ----------- USB DAC's (Meridian Explorer2, Chord Mojo)
  (e) ----------- (a) ------------ (d)
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |              (b)
  USB DAC (OPPO HA-1, Mytek Brooklyn DAC)

As a starter, how does the Roon Bridge get its music to output to its local DAC? Does the Roon Bridge get the music over the network directly from NAS? Or, from Roon server? Hence, once the playback has started from the Roon Client then between Roon Server and Roon Bridge are the main network traffic? And how does the traffic with NAS fit into this?

Thanks much.

Does Roon Server has some “unusual” networking pattern?

I ask this because after few days of leaving Roon Server running in the machine, the Internet connection in that box drops out, where Internet can no longer be accessed, although my local 10.0.0.x addresses are reachable.

Soon as i quit the Roon Server, the Internet access is restored.


I don’t know if there’s some sort of resource leak(s) is/are going on with Roon Server continuously running, where Internet networking outage is eventual.

Anyone experienced this symptom?

There is no jumbo frame or networking setup in neither Roon server nor Roon client Windows boxes.

In your example the Roon server pulls music data from the NAS (or from tidal via the internet), buffers it, and then supplies a stream of that data to the bridge or micro rendu.

The only thing that talks to the NAS is the Roon sever.

The client (or remote) talks to the server and renders the various views that you see in the Roon interface. All of the heavy lifting (searching / database queries) is handled by the server. For all intents and purposes the remote is a fairly “dumb” client.

The server is also responsible for communicating with Roon’s cloud database to determine the proper metadata that applies to the files in your library.

Okay, thank you.

I’m also currently triaging in few occasions, “drop outs” during playback, mainly the DSD256 contents, but this cutouts does not always happen.

Initially i thought was something with the microRendu, but as i start to isolate, taking microRendu networking out of the picture, the same drop outs from the Roon Remote also occurs.

Perhaps something to do with Mac Mini running the Roon Remote.

When playing back locally from Mac Mini using Audirvana Plus from same NAS, more or less, no drop outs during playback to the same output DAC.

This will probably take some time to diagnose fully, and it’s not like these drop outs are regular. More or less, playback is solid, but few times gets annoying.

Hence, trying to understand better where would the culprit mostly reside with, for contributing to such drop outs…

And Roon Server is also the one that sends DSD content using DoP to the Roon Bridge’s local DAC?

Andrew described the basic flow, but that is not the only flow in your case because you are using HQPlayer. In your setup, when you are using HQPlayer and sending audio to the MicroRendu via NAA, RoonServer is pulling the file from the NAS and then just sending the stream to HQPlayer. At that point Roon is out of the picture and HQPlayer is totally responsible for handling the network transfer to the microrendu.

Researching around performance optimizations and such around Roon, came across few good practices.

Over the coming days will be experimenting with some of these,

a) Current Roon server runs in c:\ drive that is on spinning media, which means Roon database is running on spinning media. I don’t know if during playback, having database on spinning media can lead to music playback dropouts. But certainly sounds reasonable to have database in SSD. I’m going to reimage the c:\ to install on SSD.

b) As i understand it, Roon supports full memory playback, but in case there is some sort of bottleneck between Roon Server and NAS, will copy few songs that have shown dropouts to local directory in Roon Server to playback.

Where do you get your understanding in b) from?

See this.

Okay, thanks for that clarification.

I’ll forge ahead with the experiment with SSDs.

Quick update:

Past weekend removed spindle HDD’s with all SSD’s, two SSD’s one spare, the other running the C: drive, ensured SSD alignment is optimal with Windows partition at 4 KB. Both SSD’s running on 6 Gbps SATA interface, PCIe 2.0 x2 Controller,

Updated original post, in the topology to include MyTek Brooklyn DAC.

Results so far: Thumb up,

But …

(stay tune)