Roon on NAS Experience Index: 2024

Welcome to what I hope is the first in a series of threads on the Roon Forums, which was inspired by a nudge from @arindal. Many of us on the forums use Roon on a NAS with great success (last year, I started a long thread about my own experience). Despite much of what you might read online (even in these forums), Roon works incredibly well on a well-spec’d NAS, and is officially supported, so long as one is not using Roon in a Docker container.

Per @arindal’s suggestion, this is the beginning of a discussion about people’s shared experiences running Roon on a NAS. In the spirit of other volunteer-generated threads on here like “What are you listening to” and “What’s rocking you tonight,” I propose that this thread be re-created once a year with fresh details to make thread-reading more manageable. Please note that this is not geared toward those interested in using a NAS merely for music storage, whether primary or backup. It is for those running their entire Roon “stack” on a NAS.

What I propose is that people copy/paste the following template to share what I think are all the relevant details that contribute to one’s overall experience. Here it is, and thank you in advance to those of you who are willing to share your experiences! I will endeavor to make my next post the first example if I can get the timing right… :smiley:

Summary: Brand - Model - Experience Rating

Brand

Model

NAS OS Version

Total Installed RAM

Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)

Main Drives: Brand

Main Drives: Model

Main Drives: Quantity

Main Drives: RAID Configuration

Roon DB Drive: Brand

Roon DB Drive: Model

Roon DB Drive: Size

Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)

Local Area Network Connection Method

Number of Local Tracks

Total Size of Locally Stored Music

Number of Streaming Service Tracks

Geography

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)

Using ARC? (Yes/No)

Using DSP? (Yes/No)

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones

Overall Rating

(****: Everything flawless)

(***: A few flaws, but mostly OK)

(**: Just about worth it, but could be better)

(*: Unacceptable)

Any Notes People Should Know

3 Likes

Summary: Synology - DS1522+ - ****

Brand

Synology

Model

DS1522+

NAS OS Version

DSM 7.2.1

Total Installed RAM

16GB

Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)

@crieke Roon on NAS for Synology DSM 7

Main Drives: Brand

Western Digital

Main Drives: Model

WD20EFRX-68EUZN0

Main Drives: Quantity

4

Main Drives: RAID Configuration

Synology Hybrid RAID 2

Roon DB Drive: Brand

SanDisk

Roon DB Drive: Model

SDSSH3

Roon DB Drive: Size

256GB

Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)

Main Board

Local Area Network Connection Method

2 gbps ethernet bond (802.3ad LACP using a managed switch)

Number of Local Tracks

50,427

Total Size of Locally Stored Music

2.3TB

Number of Streaming Service Tracks

0

Geography

Eastern United States

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)

Yes

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)

Yes

Using ARC? (Yes/No)

Yes

Using DSP? (Yes/No)

Sometimes, but usually not.

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones

1-3

Overall Rating

(****: Everything flawless)

Any Notes People Should Know

More info, see A Roon on (Synology) NAS Primer

2 Likes

Brand
Synology
Model
DS1522+
NAS OS Version
DSM 7.2.1-69057 Update 5
Total Installed RAM
24GB
Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)
Roon on NAS
Main Drives: Brand
Mixed
Main Drives: Model
Mixed
Main Drives: Quantity
4
Main Drives: RAID Configuration
SHR
Roon DB Drive: Brand
On main drives
Roon DB Drive: Model
On main drives
Roon DB Drive: Size
n/a
Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)
main board
Local Area Network Connection Method
1GB Ethernet
Number of Local Tracks
~55K
Total Size of Locally Stored Music
1.16TB
Number of Streaming Service Tracks
1, just for fun
Geography
Central US
Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)
No
Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)
No
Using ARC? (Yes/No)
Yes
Overall Rating
(****: Everything flawless)
Any Notes People Should Know
I do not bother with dedicating a separate SSD drive for the Roon DB. It sits on the main volume (in a separate share) and instead I have an oversized R/W SSD cache. End result is the same – all of Roon’s DB is on solid stater storage (cache hit rate is 99%+) but that way other applications are also accelerated.

1 Like

This has been working great for over a year now. If I had it to do over again I would probably get the 922+ with 4 drive bays and use 4TB SSD drives. The NAS sits in the closet in the room where I listen to music and I can hear the faint noise of the hard drives when it’s quiet. Not a problem when music is playing though.

2 Likes

Excellent idea! Will try to give some recommendations for different QNAP models over time as I have been trying several or setting them up for other people.

Summary: Brand - Model - Experience Rating

Brand
QNAP

Model
HS-264 SilentNas

NAS OS Version
QTS 5.1.5

Total Installed RAM
8GB

Roon on NAS Method
Early Access download

Main Drives: Brand
WD

Main Drives: Model
WD140EFGX Red Plus

Main Drives: Quantity
2

Main Drives: RAID Configuration
RAID1 mirrored

Roon DB Drive: Brand
SanDisc

Roon DB Drive: Model
Extreme Pro

Roon DB Drive: Size
128GB

Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)
USB3.2

Local Area Network Connection Method
1GbE wired Ethernet

Number of Local Tracks
approx. 122,000 (almost half of this number I keep disabled most of the time)

Total Size of Locally Stored Music
15.5TB (of which 4TB are usually inactive external drives)

Number of Streaming Service Tracks
0

Geography
Central Europe

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)
No

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)
No

Using ARC? (Yes/No)
Yes

Overall Rating
(****: Everything flawless)

Any Notes People Should Know
I opted for this SilentNas unit as it was the only fanless Qnap model hosting my existing 3.5" HDD while delivering decent CPU performance for roon. Was positivily surprised by its build quality and how rigid aluminum frames and enclosure are damping the two 14TB spinning discs so they are considerably quieter than in other NAS models (although head repositioning is distantly audible). Only downside: Lack of M.2 slots or additional bays for an SSD if you run spinning discs in both bays.

2 Likes

Per an offline suggestion from @CrystalGipsy I added a couple of other fields to my original template and my answer:

Using DSP? (Yes/No)

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones

Can’t edit mine anymore, but:

DP - yes (only convolution filters and bitrate conversion if playing to 24/192 limited BluSound devices, as necessary).

Zones – one or two simultaneous.

Sample performance:
image

Certainly can handle a few more zones with any reasonable resolution…

1 Like

I think if you’re planning on using the DSP functions fairly heavily or you have lots of zones then the NAS may not be the best solution.

Why not? Of course the NAS should be equipped accordingly in terms of CPU and RAM…

1 Like

That’s true. If the NAS has sufficient CPU power and RAM it should be no problem. Most NAS systems I’ve seen use a fairly light-weight CPU though.

1 Like

The latest models are increasingly up to the task, in my experience. Music processing is not all that terribly difficult compared to, say, 4K or 8K video or videogaming…

1 Like

I would agree if we were talking about either really entry-level or very outdated models. A majority of these is not meant for an application like roon or the CPU does not support it.

If we define ´light-weight CPU´ as what you typically get in an average consumer-grade model in last 5 years, situation is different. If you would be willing to pay 300 or 400 bucks in recent years, you would typically end up with a dualcore-equipped 2-bay-NAS from one of the big 3 manufacturers. Have seen CPUs like Intel’s Celeron J4025, N4505 and alike. If your library is not super big, let us say 30,000 tracks, and you do not expect complex multi-zone streaming, one can be pretty happy with such a ´light-weight´ CPU. Was using one of these for years. Maybe not super snappy but fine.

Add 100 bucks to the budget and you get a NAS which is CPU-wise on par with a Nucleus One or better (AMD R1600, Celeron N5095 and similar). Really do not understand which limitations in terms of DSP, crosscoding and multi-zone people prescribe to these devices. Mine runs just fine:

Or DSD-upsampling:

You can do this from a modern NAS on 3 zones simultaneously with the processing speed factor not even moving. And DSD-to-DSD256 upsampling including several PEQs is a pretty complex and computing-intense operation.

What else would you expect in a home environment?

1 Like

Summary: Brand - Model - Experience Rating

Brand: Synology

Model: RS1221+ (network-depth, rackmounted)

NAS OS Version: 7.2.1

Total Installed RAM: 32GB

Roon on NAS Method: Docker using Synology’s Container Manager.

Main Drives: Brand: Seagate

Main Drives: Model: IronWolf 12TB

Main Drives: Quantity: 4. Two spares on hand, not installed - don’t need them spinning unused.

Main Drives: RAID Configuration: SHR with two-drive tolerance

Roon DB Drive: Brand: Runs on the primary storage pool.

Cache: 2 x Synology SAT5200-480G as RAID 1 (Read-Write)

Local Area Network Connection Method: Wired. 3 of 4 Synology network interfaces in use - each for a vlan.

Number of Local Tracks: 7,100 local FLAC tracks

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No): No. Does duty as file server (Syncthing in a container, SMB), and runs a number of other containers for Roon duties (DeepHarmony, udp-proxy-2020) and non-Roon (homepage, scrypted, etc.) duties

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No): No

Using ARC? (Yes/No): Yes

Using DSP? (Yes/No): Yes. Limited (e.g., convolution)

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones: Typically no more than 2 or 3

Overall Rating: Highly recommend the NAS device and the Docker approach to those with the necessary skills

Any Notes People Should Know: RoonOnNAS broke for quite a while when DSM 7 was released. That’s when I moved to Docker and I haven’t looked back. RoonOnNAS requires the accounts and permissions to be set on the NAS - using Docker eliminates the need for that.

2 Likes

Summary: Brand - Model - Experience Rating

Brand
QNAP

Model
TS-453D 4-Bays Celeron J4125 CPU 4-core/4-thread

NAS OS Version
QTS 5.1.7.2770

Total Installed RAM
8GB

Roon on NAS Method
Roon on NAS by crieke (Bless you, Christopher)

Main Drives: Brand
WD Ultrastar

Main Drives: Model
WUH721414ALE6L4 - 14TB drives

Main Drives: Quantity
4 (using 3, 4th is spare, ready when a drive fails)

Main Drives: RAID Configuration
RAID5

Roon DB Drive: Brand
Dual 1TB SSDs: Samsung, Crucial

Roon DB Drive: Model
Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus, Crucial P3 1TB SSD

Roon DB Drive: Size
1TB

Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)
SSDs installed on PCIe adapter on M.2 slot on main board

Local Area Network Connection Method
1GbE wired Ethernet

Number of Local Tracks
165,000 (140k FLAC and 25k MP3)

Total Size of Locally Stored Music
15.5TB (of which 4TB are usually inactive external drives)

Number of Streaming Service Tracks
0

Geography
United States, West Coast

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)
No

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)
No

Using ARC? (Yes/No)
No

Using DSP? (Yes/No)
No

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones
Usually just 1 but don’t notice any issues with 2

Overall Rating
(****: Everything flawless)

Any Notes People Should Know
Keep this 4-bay unit in the adjoining doorless closet and hardly notice any sound. Store music and movies on the NAS. Use Roon as my primary music player and Plex as my movie player. Very happy with the Roon performance particularly after 2024 updates which have improved searching across my music library. So everything on the QNAP – Roon & Roon DB on the SSDs and the music on the hard drives. Accessed through remotes on PC’s, iPads and Android phones and tablets.

Been running everything for almost 3 years. No NAS or Hard Disk issues. Have had two Samsung SSD drives fail so am trying Crucial SSD. With the dual SSDs, Roon keeps running unless both SSDs were to fail at the same time.

1 Like

That’s astonishing as your library is pretty huge at 165k tracks and the single-thread performance of your machine is rather on the light-weight side (not saying it is a bad one but many people usually describe these as below the minimum specs).

Would you describe the performance as snappy, reactive, immediate when clicking on an album or artist view or starting a stream please? If yes, I would be interested in finding the reason it works so well. Maybe structure of the local library or fast SSD access for the database get more important with growing number of tracks.

Summary: QNAP - TS-h886 - Experience Rating

Brand
QNAP

Model
TS-h886
NAS OS Version
QuTS hero h5.1.7.2770
Total Installed RAM
16GB
Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)
Roon on NAS for QNAP
Main Drives: Brand
Samsung
Main Drives: Model
SSD 870 EVO 2TB
Main Drives: Quantity
2
Main Drives: RAID Configuration
Mirror
Roon DB Drive: Brand
Samsung
Roon DB Drive: Model
SSD 870 EVO 2TB
Roon DB Drive: Size
20GB
Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)
Main Board
Local Area Network Connection Method
3 gbps ethernet bond (802.3ad LACP using managed switch)
Number of Local Tracks
4000
Total Size of Locally Stored Music
1.8TB
Number of Streaming Service Tracks
0
Geography
Northern UK
Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)
No
Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)
No
Using ARC? (Yes/No)
Yes
Using DSP? (Yes/No)
Rarely
Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones
1-3
Overall Rating
(****: Everything flawless)
Any Notes People Should Know
It’s a great option that lives in the cellar out of site of my lovely wife

1 Like

Guess I am underpowered when I look at the Nucleus specs (i3, i7 vs my Celeron)
but it is plenty quick. Again I’m exclusively playing from my library - had Tidal for awhile
and streamed from it but no longer. When I execute a search (not sure whether its
working from Internet or my local DB) it generally is back within 5 seconds or less.
An example, searching for Coleman in 5 seconds brought back all the artists - Hawkins,
Ornette, George, Ira, Brandon, Steve and their albums. Selecting an obscure Ornette
Coleman album had it ready to go in say two seconds and clicking play on the first track
started playing it in one second. The NAS is not juggling other tasks, it’s primarily playing
music so maybe that and the SSD for the DB is responsible.
Not doing anything fancy in structuring my library:
- Defined my hard disks as a storage pool with 2 volumes, one of which is devoted to media
- Within that are two shared folders, one for FLAC and one for MP3.
- Within those are a folder for each artist
- Within that are the albums of that artist
- Within each album are the tracks of that album, each which are tagged with the metadata for the track.
All runs smoothly and snappy enough whether playing through Sonos speakers, PC speakers or stereo speakers. Thanks

If it is plenty quick, it is by definition not underpowered. If your library is bigger, as you have been writing, but not overly complicated in terms of references and meta texts to search even a lightweight or fairly outdated Celeron should do the job.

I personally would maybe not perceive it as quick if search results on a regular base take 5 seconds. I like snappy UI and most of searches are appearing instantly or within 0.5secs. My experience is that compiling compositions lists and portraits of composers who are having a lot of references is one of the tasks really putting stress on the CPU.

You are mentioning lots of Jazz artists in your library. Maybe that’s a key to running a big library on a machine which is not particularly meant for that. The number of different references per artist or per album in Jazz is just not as high and many artists contribute either a lot of albums and compositions or primary artist and composer are the same in a lot of cases. So in any case for a roon core there is simply not such a mass of metatexts, references and files to search compared to classical music or pop with a zillion of different artists and texts behind them.

My folder structure, storage pool management and total memory consumption is pretty much the same as yours but a slightly less powerful Celeron was running out of capacity before I reached 100,000 tracks. I wonder if that mainly has to do with the number of internal references (lots of classical music as well as rock, pop, Jazz, soundtracks) or the music files themselves. I noticed that every time I migrate track- or reference-heavy albums such as operas and multi-disc boxsets as well as DSD files away from roon´s watched folders, it gets instantly quicker and more reactive.

Summary: QNAP - TS-451A - ****

Brand

QNAP

Model

TS-451A

NAS OS Version

QTS 5.1.7

Total Installed RAM

8 GB

Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)

@crieke Roon on NAS for QNAP

Main Drives: Brand

SAmsung

Main Drives: Model

SSD 870 EVO 2TB

Main Drives: Quantity

4

Main Drives: RAID Configuration

RAID5

Roon DB Drive: Brand

same volume as data

Roon DB Drive: Model

see above

Roon DB Drive: Size

6TB

Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)

SATA

Local Area Network Connection Method

1 GBit Ethernet wired

Number of Local Tracks

40.000

Total Size of Locally Stored Music

1.6TB

Number of Streaming Service Tracks

1 (Qobuz)

Geography

Central Europe

Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)

Yes

Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)

Yes

Using ARC? (Yes/No)

Yes, but rarely

Using DSP? (Yes/No)

No

Typical Number of Simultaneously Used Playback Zones

2

Overall Rating

(****: Everything flawless)

Any Notes People Should Know

The performance is smooth without any problems

1 Like

Brand
Synology
Model
DS920+
NAS OS Version
DSM 7.2.1-69057 Update 5
Total Installed RAM
20GB
Roon on NAS Method (e.g., Roon on NAS {@crieke} | Docker Container (Unsupported) | Other)
Roon on NAS
Main Drives: Brand
Mixed
Main Drives: Model
Mixed
Main Drives: Quantity
4
Main Drives: RAID Configuration
SHR
Roon DB Drive: Brand
On main drives
Roon DB Drive: Model
On main drives
Roon DB Drive: Size
8T
Roon DB Drive: Connection Method (e.g., Main Board, USB3, eSATA)
main board
Local Area Network Connection Method
1GB Ethernet
Number of Local Tracks
~55K
Total Size of Locally Stored Music
2TB
Number of Streaming Service Tracks
1, just for fun
Geography
china Beijing
Dedicated to music use? (Yes/No)
No
Using in Parallel with NAS Vendor Music Solution (e.g., Synology Audio Station, QNAP Music Station, etc.?) (Yes/No)
No
Using ARC? (Yes/No)
Yes
Overall Rating
(****: Everything flawless)
Any Notes People Should Know
I do not bother with dedicating a separate SSD drive for the Roon DB. It sits on the main volume (in a separate share) and instead I have an oversized R/W SSD cache. End result is the same – all of Roon’s DB is on solid stater storage (cache hit rate is 99%+) but that way other applications are also accelerated.

1 Like