Synology server vs PC running Windows 10

Continuing the discussion from Synology SPK-Package: Development:

I am running Roon with the core on a Windows 10 PC in a larger home network. The Roon library files are resident on the PC, but the actual media (roughly 1TB) reside on a Synology NAS (2X6TB in RAID configuration). Now that there is a Synology server version of Roon, is there any reason to locate the server on the Synology NAS? The PC is connected via Ethernet (cat 6) to the router.

Plan is to use ROON on current PC it is installed, and 1 or 2 remote SonicOrbiter-to-DAC end points.

There is no easy answer to your question.
I assume your Windows PC has more processor power compared to the synology. Especially with large libraries you might notice that your windows pc will perform faster and more responsive.
But if you decide to use Roon Server on the synology, you won’t need any other computer running to play music directly to the SonicOrbiter (and control this for example by your smartphone or tablet).

When you decide to use Roon Server on your synology you can increase the performance by using an SSD to store Roon’s database. But if that performance is sufficient will depend on the size of your library and your personal aspiration.

I posted instructions about the installation process and how to migrate Roon’s database in my blog.

Maybe the knowledge base article might help, too. It also covers the advantages and disatvantes about Roon Server on NAS devices.

Hi Chris, great work and great news!

Currently I am running the Roon Core and Output on an Intel NUC with a 512G M.2 Drive.

I am a Synology 916+ user and however, my configuration is running 3x 4T HDD in Raid 5 and using a 256G SSD as cache.

In this configuration, can I still install the Roon Server on the SSD while it is acting as a cache buffer? OR I need to add an external SSD?

And then shall I use the Intel as the Roon Bridge?

Thanks for your advice.

Hi William,
As far as I know, you can’t use a SSD as a cache buffer and use it as a storage for a shared folder at the same time. I have no experience about the performance on a RAID5+SSD cache setup. Roon will run on it, but I am unaware about the achieved performance with this setup.
You can of course connect a SSD over USB3. You won’t need a lot of capacity. 32-64 GB should already be sufficient for quite large libraries.

I would just try it. If the performance on the Synology suits your needs you can use the NUC as a Roon Bridge.

Thanks Chris for the quick reply. So, I believe if the directory is being accessed frequent enough, the caching may already be saving it in the SSD. So, in order for me to try, I simply download your package and install in the Synology?

I believe the 916+ should have enough CPU power for it?

You can install it and keep a copy of your current Roon database somewhere safe. I have instructions how to install it on the download website. There is also information regarding the migration process and how to point Roon to your music directory (if your music files are hosted on the Synology as well).
My Roon library is quite small and it performed very well on a DS716+ and DS1511+.

Hi Chris,

Picking on this topic again. I am thinking will it make more sense if I get a USB Flash Drive and plug into the 916+ given that only 32/64G is needed. Flash is even faster than SSD and is really affordable now.

What is your view on that?

I am planning on setting up Roon on a newly acquired (used) DS716+II with 8GB Ram and a Sandisk Extreme pro USB drive. Will 64 GB suffice in this case? I have less than a 1TB of music at the moment.

I think you should be totally fine with 64 GB. When you use it with your Synology, I’d recommend to initialise it in the DSM with ext4 filesystem. That should give you the best performance as it is the best implemented filesystem for most linux devices (like your DiskStation).
Mac and Windows computers are not able (without 3rd party software) to read/write volumes with ext4 filesystems.