Setting up new QNAP nas - static, thick, or thin volumes?

Hi guys, I am finally making the upgrade from an old Thecus to a QNAP TS-473 nas. When setting up the QNAP I am able to create static, thick, or thin volumes. While I understand the differences conceptually, I am not sure which would be best in my situation. This nas will be used in my home primarily as storage for my music, photos, movies, etc. I am the only one that regularly streams music from it. My intention is to set it up as a RAID 5 and install Roon on the m2 SSD. In my case (single user, mainly music streaming) wouldn’t a static volume make the most sense? I am not interested in using the QNAP snapshot feature since I will be backing up this nas with another nas.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Much like my setup. I used thin volumes because of the added flexibility compared to thick volumes. The data bits themselves aren’t interested in the underlying (or is it overlaying?) data structure. Use what you feel most comfortable with.
The snapshots are incremental (they only store differences since last run) and therefor shouldn’t take up that much space in your usage scenario. But they are not a back-up! Just sort of a better paper bin/trash can.
Since lately I use Syncthing as a flexible way to sync/back-up data between desktop attached USB disk and NAS. A qpkg is available from the Qnapclub Store or you can use a docker image instead if you’re interested in.

Thank you so much for the reply. May I ask why you chose thin over static? Since I am the only one using the NAS I dont think I have the need to worry about space allocation for different volumes.

I am not familiar with snapshot as I have never used a QNAP before. I assume the QNAP will have a traditional trashcan that I can use to recover anything I have deleted by mistake? As for backup of the QNAP, I will be using rsync with two other older nas that I have.

As I wrote, because of the added flexibility over the other two options. Why should I give away an advantage if I don’t have to?

static = the good old disk based partitions (IMHO absolutely unflexible in a RAID 5 situation)
thick = a volume under the control of the Logical Volume Manager (short LVM); can grow and maybe shrink depending on FS support; supports snapshots; allocates the complete space in the size of the volume
thin = same as above but allocates only the space that’s actually needed to hold the data; over provisioning is possible (but not advised for the common user)

Not for non-shares (eg. the system volume). For shares, check your configuration:

But it only works reliably for files you delete over the network via smb/nfs/afp. If a process thats runing on the NAS deletes a file then it can or can not go into the Network Recyle Bin. I regularly delete movies in PLEX and they are just gone. I’m sure that also the Roon process deletes files (eg. old backups) but never saw something in the Network Recyle Bin.


I use qnap 473e and confirm what my colleague is writing

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Thank you and I apologize if I am being a bit thick but is the flexibility you refer really beneficial in my home, single user environment? In what scenarios would I use the features of a thick or thin volume? I understand that the QNAP has many many advanced features that may appeal to demanding loads, multiple users, etc but does it really matter for my application? Also I understand that I may be trading some outright performance for the benefits off thick or thin volumes? Sorry for the questions but coming from a 7 year old, POS Thecus NAS I perhaps dont know what I’ve been missing! Like they say, you dont know what you dont know.

I’m a single user too and I appreciate the flexibility as I don’t know what the future might bring to me.
If you do not want that flexibility, that’s fine, but you might learn to appreciate its value if you do not have it when you need it. Flexibility is an investment in the future and therefore independent of your current situation.

As I already wrote, snapshots are sorts of a recycle bin. You can use them to e.g. restore files that where otherwise lost or to revert problematic updates if needed. With thin volumes you have the possibility to create a new share at any time should you need one – as long as there is free space available of course – without the need to fiddle with your existing shares first.

Any modern NAS has ‘advanced features’ regardless of the brand. Your NAS has this features by design, they don’t go away just because you can’t use some of them at the moment.
So what’s the point of your question?

Do you refer to this?

  1. ‘up to’ is a broad definition
  2. you don’t have much random file access in your proposed usage scenario

You don’t lose anything here.

If you need a speed boost, disable/uninstall all the standard QNAP apps you don’t need/use. In my case for example, I use third party apps (Roon, PLEX, Calibre) for media serving and thus don’t need Photo Station, Music Station, Video Station and the Media Streaming add-on. So I uninstalled all these apps and made sure that QNAP’s streaming server and media indexing functions are turned off in the settings.

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When setting up the new NAS I also followed your recommendation and went with Thin Volume for System and Roon Volume.
Now I would like to disable as you mentioned all “overhead demand” like snapshots, unnecessary background tasks etc.
Do you know where I can disable this?

  • Open the App Center and disable all the un-needed/wanted apps and then reboot your NAS and check if all is still working o.k. - is so, then you can go ahead and delete the disabled apps if desired.
  • Open the Control Panel and disable all the applications you don’t need
  • Do not use the predefined multimedia share if you don’t have a really good reason for using it.
    Note: If you use Roon and Plex, I don’t see a really good reason for using it. :wink:
  • Open Storage & Snapshots and use the cogwheel (top right) to set suitable global settings for your storage configuration. Click on grafik to get some explanation about the options. Use the Help Center app or the online manual to get even more explanations. If in doubt, leave the settings on default.

Note: I never advised to disable snapshots. Having them might allow you to undo unwanted changes or erroneous deletes - but they aren’t a substitute for real backups of important data.

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