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Old 06-14-2019, 01:41 PM   #41
Dannyx
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Mapping the drive is how it's done. It would normally happen automatically when a user logs on.
There's a dedicated tab under my computer on Windows, pick your drive and share and that's it, only needs to be done once
It's a little more work on Linux but not much.
Yeah, I was aware of that but would need to be done on every machine that wants to use the list, plus like I said: not ideal in terms of functionality - more clicking to be done than just navigating to the file manually, so we'll drop the idea.

If I type the address of the music folder in a web browser, I get to see all the stuff that's on it, just like in explorer, so if I open a sound file here, the browser treats it as a stream and seeks instantly. Like we've previously discussed, it takes a while for a local media player to seek deep into a very long track that's on a network share due to speed. As expected though, the browser's player is the bare minimum of a webplayer: just play/pause and a seek bar. Doesn't remember the volume settings, no shortcut keys, no skipping to the next file, none of that. By contrast MPC is a joy to use, but doesn't support streaming....
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:40 PM   #42
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

How many machines do you have? You can write/find a script to save a few clicks.
Winamp does streaming.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:10 AM   #43
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

I have a poweredge 1800 i've been using for a nas/dlna server. Dual 1tb drives in front hooked to a perc 5ir and some long-ass sata cables (one is still a stretch)

but the dual PSU's eventually went out. I now have a 750w EPS PSU with the dell wire hack

It's dual netburst xeons are using a fair bit of power. I was thinking just getting a synology 2 bay and new WD RE4's that are like 4tb or so. This way I can get a UPS as well cause that PSU is PFC and I don't want to pay for a pure sine wave UPS.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:06 AM   #44
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Talking Re: Looking for a NAS

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
I was thinking just getting a synology 2 bay and new WD RE4's that are like 4tb or so.
I'm definitely going with WD too, though I believe you meant to say RED Will probably kick it up a notch with 4 drives, or.....NAS SSDs anyone ?
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:02 AM   #45
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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I have a poweredge 1800 i've been using for a nas/dlna server. Dual 1tb drives in front hooked to a perc 5ir and some long-ass sata cables (one is still a stretch)
Have you measured the peak network throughput that you need (presumably, the media tank role is the more demanding; one can usually wait for "files")?

I've found that (unless you're transcoding) you usually don't need much horsepower to serve up audio/video -- even in HD. E.g., my PE840 (similar to the 1800) can easily saturate a pair of Gbe links AND still spend time cloning a drive at 100+MB/s.

I can almost saturate a Gbe link using an HP t610 (diskless workstation) and external USB3 "consumer grade" disk. (t610 has two USB3's; plus you can cram a 2.5" inside with a bit of thought)



(The t610 draws about 20W when it's "thinking"; external drive draws about 15? when it's not sleeping)

Surplus t610's are dirt cheap ($10-20).
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:11 PM   #46
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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(The t610 draws about 20W when it's "thinking"; external drive draws about 15? when it's not sleeping)

Surplus t610's are dirt cheap ($10-20).
Not bad. Pull me a pair of those off the next pallet you get.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:14 PM   #47
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

Did a little practical test today, out of curiosity: I dragged a 2 hour long MP3 file from the NAS to the torrent "server" running Windows. I opened it on my laptop client from both the NAS share and the Win machine share successively, seeked to 1h:00m and counted how long it takes for playback to actually resume: as expected, it took the same 8-9 seconds on both sources, so it doesn't come down to the remote platform - the bottleneck is likely the wi-fi link...just an uneducated guess...

Funny thing is that VIDEO files seek MUCH more rapidly - almost instantly ! The torrent machine keeps all sorts of anime I download (yeah, I'm an otaku geek, sue me ), so that's what gave me the idea that perhaps it's the remote machine that does something differently and I should try loading an audio file from it as well, but sadly it didn't change anything....it's silly now that you think about it, because it's the same file, same network, same "topology" so it should come as no surprise...

Last edited by Dannyx; 06-15-2019 at 02:18 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 AM   #48
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Not bad. Pull me a pair of those off the next pallet you get.
Unless I happen to be there when stuff like this arrives, it tends to get torn down almost immediately. The t610 is barely more than a single board (a pair of SODIMMs on the underside) in a plastic case. You can tear it apart in less than a minute (power supply is a brick so no effort required to "process" that!).

If you're ambitious, you can pull the heatsink plumbing off and recycle that separately.

Always a different flavor of thin client/zero client showing up. Last batch was a bunch of Dell Wyse 5030s -- too hard to repurpose as standalone boxes.

I try to keep my "watch list" relatively short as I don't want folks pissing and moaning about having to watch for lots of different things to set aside for my next visit. Presently, it's:
  • servers (any/all)
  • Z800s
Relatively easy (and recognizable!) for folks to keep in mind.
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Old Yesterday, 01:46 AM   #49
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
Did a little practical test today, out of curiosity: I dragged a 2 hour long MP3 file from the NAS to the torrent "server" running Windows. I opened it on my laptop client from both the NAS share and the Win machine share successively, seeked to 1h:00m and counted how long it takes for playback to actually resume: as expected, it took the same 8-9 seconds on both sources, so it doesn't come down to the remote platform - the bottleneck is likely the wi-fi link...just an uneducated guess...
Is it VBR? If so, try recoding as CBR and see what sort of time you get.
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Old Yesterday, 02:06 AM   #50
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Thumbs up Re: Looking for a NAS

Yes, it is VBR - see the stats attached This is just a random one I opened today, so not sure if all are like this...

Not sure if I have a CBR around, but I did find one where the "Overall bit rate mode" entry doesn't appear at all in those stats...

Last edited by Dannyx; Yesterday at 02:08 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 AM   #51
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

Another thing that just crossed my mind when thinking about making a PC into a file server is the SATA interface the motherboard's got: all MBs I have available at the moment are SATA 2. I'm not sure how much this affects throughput of if it's relevant at all, since it probably hits the network bottleneck first and then the interface's limit...
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Old Yesterday, 08:51 AM   #52
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Another thing that just crossed my mind when thinking about making a PC into a file server is the SATA interface the motherboard's got: all MBs I have available at the moment are SATA 2. I'm not sure how much this affects throughput of if it's relevant at all, since it probably hits the network bottleneck first and then the interface's limit...
Depends on how the "files" are being accessed. As I transfer entire files-at-a-time, FTP gives me the highest throughput (least protocol overhead). With it, a single drive can consume all of the network bandwidth (Gbe).

SMB supports more flexible access patterns (FTP is essentially sequential) which can be beneficial for RANDOMLY accessing a mounted share -- but, can be more costly when wanting to access its contents in a streaming fashion.

And, the choice of server can have a big impact on performance.

Bottom line, you'll need to measure before you can optimize (and, there are lots of tweeks to tune an SMB service). Be sure you measure the performance (access patterns) that are important to your application. I.e., don't measure random access performance if you're going to be more interested in sequential, in practice. Also, compare serving two different files (to two different, simultaneous clients) off the same spindle vs. different spindles -- chances are, your clients won't be able to make that choice!
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Old Yesterday, 12:11 PM   #53
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Red face Re: Looking for a NAS

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
And, the choice of server can have a big impact on performance.

Bottom line, you'll need to measure before you can optimize (and, there are lots of tweeks to tune an SMB service). Be sure you measure the performance (access patterns) that are important to your application. I.e., don't measure random access performance if you're going to be more interested in sequential, in practice. Also, compare serving two different files (to two different, simultaneous clients) off the same spindle vs. different spindles -- chances are, your clients won't be able to make that choice!
Let's talk practical: what do you call "sequential" access vs. random access ? I can kinda guess that "random" means this
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serving two different files (to two different, simultaneous clients)
I didn't quite catch the last part about the spindles (which I believe is another term for physical HDD).

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Old Yesterday, 01:02 PM   #54
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Let's talk practical: what do you call "sequential" access vs. random access ? I can kinda guess that "random" means this
With SMB (or NFS or local file system, etc.), the "client" can access any part of the file that it wants. E.g., I can open a file and immediately look at the very END of the file -- I can skip over the rest of it. Or, I can jump to the exact middle of the file, etc. I can "seek" to any point in the file, "do something" (read or write), then seek to any OTHER point and do something else.

With a sequential access protocol (e.g., FTP), you start at the beginning and chug along through the entire file until you reach the end.

So, if your goal is to copy the entire file onto the client (as mine is), then FTP has no downside. If, instead, I wanted to poke around at arbitrary points in the file, then FTP is "less than optimal".

In a like way, if your goal is to access the entire content of a file ("song") sequentially, then SMB has more overhead -- because it supports more versatile access methods THAT YOU AREN'T USING.

(SMB is also a PITA to "tune" to optimize performance)

Quote:
I didn't quite catch the last part about the spindles (which I believe is another term for physical HDD).
You might only be able to get 70MB/s (< Gbe) from a particular disk drive. But, you may be able to get ANOTHER 70MB/s from a second drive attached to the same controller (70+70 > Gbe).

Or, you might find your hardware/software causes access to the second file (on a second spindle) to REDUCE the effective transfer rate of the first file. (and, if the second file is on the same spindle as the first, you might get a THIRD perfformance figure).

The point is to measure the performance that you'll get before deciding if the hardware/software implementation is appropriate for your needs. A lot of (older) NASs didn't consider performance to be an issue and could easily fall short of expectations when used in real world situations. (e.g., a NAS serving one user at a time might perform very differently when accessed by THREE users simultaneously)

Also, NASs tend to encourage actions in which you might not normally engage with local media. E.g., it's far more likely that you'll try to copy an entire DISK's contents onto a NAS (or, one disk on a NAS to another disk on the same -- or different -- NAS). In the past, this has tickled Windows bugs that would drop SMB performance to ridiculously poor levels (e.g., 1MB/s). When you're moving big volumes (e.g., 4TB) chock full of little files, this can be really annoying!

[I had this issue some years back and my MS guru's response was "it's a known issue" -- which led me to abandon SMB as the means of access from Windows]
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Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM   #55
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Red face Re: Looking for a NAS

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
With a sequential access protocol (e.g., FTP), you start at the beginning and chug along through the entire file until you reach the end.

So, if your goal is to copy the entire file onto the client (as mine is), then FTP has no downside. If, instead, I wanted to poke around at arbitrary points in the file, then FTP is "less than optimal".
Well I believe this is the case with my music junk: FTP, in my own little way of explaining it, though this might be wrong, would imply downloading the file I want to listen to to the local machine and then playing it locally, which would make seeking instant, granted, but I'd have to wait for it to actually "download" in the first place, so it's the same as just opening it from the share...maybe.

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(SMB is also a PITA to "tune" to optimize performance)
I have no idea how to do that or what it actually involves, so yes - it probably IS I don't know sh!t about programming and software and stuff like that, so it's probably annoying for someone who DOES know this stuff, the same way I sometimes struggle to explain something which seems plainly obvious to me but it's pretty hard in reality....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
You might only be able to get 70MB/s (< Gbe) from a particular disk drive. But, you may be able to get ANOTHER 70MB/s from a second drive attached to the same controller (70+70 > Gbe).
Isn't this describing a RAID 0 setup ? Resources spanning across multiple drives like that ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
The point is to measure the performance that you'll get before deciding if the hardware/software implementation is appropriate for your needs.
Not sure how I'd do that, hence why I launched the thread seeking for other opinions before I spend a lot of money on something that may under perform because, as you put it, wasn't tailored to my needs and was either "too much" or "not enough". Not being at all knowledgeable in this field and not knowing my numbers, the only quantifier I have for "performance" is the same as every average-joe's out there and that is purely practical stuff, such as how long it takes to generate the thumbnails and rearrange them by *whatever* in a folder of pictures, or how long it takes for an audio file to seek...crud like that...stuff which I use on a day to day basis pretty much.
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Old Yesterday, 03:03 PM   #56
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

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Well I believe this is the case with my music junk: FTP, in my own little way of explaining it, though this might be wrong, would imply downloading the file I want to listen to to the local machine and then playing it locally, which would make seeking instant, granted, but I'd have to wait for it to actually "download" in the first place, so it's the same as just opening it from the share...maybe.
EXACTLY! In my case, I want a local copy of the file -- because I'm installing it on an iPod or playing it off a local file system. The "archive" is just a convenient place where I can store EVERYTHING, long term.

Even files that I may only want to "use" once are easier to copy and access locally. E.g., I store ISOs of all my optical media in the archive. When I need to (re)install some software (e.g., Windows) off of a CD/DVD, I just FTP the ISO to a local machine, put a blank medium in the drive and burn the ISO onto the blank medium. Then, verify the medium against the ISO image and, finally, delete the ISO. If I need to do this again, next week, I'll just burn another copy of the ISO (easier than keeping track of CDs/DVDs)

Quote:
[tuning CIFS]

I have no idea how to do that or what it actually involves, so yes - it probably IS I don't know sh!t about programming and software and stuff like that, so it's probably annoying for someone who DOES know this stuff, the same way I sometimes struggle to explain something which seems plainly obvious to me but it's pretty hard in reality....
Because CIFS/SMB has so much more capability/flexibility than simpler protocols (like FTP), it has to accommodate a greater variety of use patterns. The user may want to just peek at the beginning of lots of files or may want to quickly access the ENDs of files or... If you tweek (tune) the service for one type of access, it usually comes at the expense of other types of access.

FTP, by contrast, really is intended to just march through the entire file, in order, from start to finish. So, very little flexibility in how it will be used so very little need to tune its performance for different types of use! :>

In STREAM mode, client and server just build a connection and then the server pushes the data down the connection at whatever rate the underlying TCP protocol (yeah, that's redundapetative) can support. So, the data just moves up (down) the TCP stack ONCE -- instead of having to pass control messages up and down, as well.

Quote:
[two files open]

Isn't this describing a RAID 0 setup ? Resources spanning across multiple drives like that ?
No. Imagine you're listening to music -- so, there's one file that's being accessed off the NAS. (the file will be accessed for as long as the music takes to play!) Now, imagine you want to browse the photos that you've ALSO stored on that NAS -- that's a second file that you have now opened. Imagine someone else ALSO wants to play music -- there's a third!

Where these files reside on the NAS can't be predicted "today". (Or, alternatively, which files you might eventually WANT to access!) So, you have to consider the use cases where you're accessing one file (which will reside on a single spindle -- unless you're running RAID); two files on the same disk; two files on DIFFERENT disks; etc. All of this access has to be funneled through one "NAS implementation" (one NIC, one disk controller, one protocol stack, one CPU, ...)

Quote:
[performance measurement]

Not sure how I'd do that, hence why I launched the thread seeking for other opinions before I spend a lot of money on something that may under perform because, as you put it, wasn't tailored to my needs and was either "too much" or "not enough". Not being at all knowledgeable in this field and not knowing my numbers, the only quantifier I have for "performance" is the same as every average-joe's out there and that is purely practical stuff, such as how long it takes to generate the thumbnails and rearrange them by *whatever* in a folder of pictures, or how long it takes for an audio file to seek...crud like that...stuff which I use on a day to day basis pretty much.
Numbers are largely meaningless -- except as a portable way of explaining to someone WHO ALREADY HAS A HANDLE ON THOSE NUMBERS. You need to look at it from a practical standpoint: is this "fast ENOUGH" for you, now -- and your likely future needs?

25 years ago, I ran 10base2 and it was delightfully fast -- compared to the PLIP/SLIP/SneakerNet alternatives! But, the files I was moving were small and infrequent. Trying to copy a multi-TB disk over such a network would be incredibly painful, nowadays. (but, there were no TB drives available, at the time!)

E.g., I wired the house for 100Mb with Gbe in just the office. Because clients in the rest of the house don't hammer on the network as hard as the office clients (worst case, they handle a single video stream per network drop -- plenty of margin for that in a 100Mb link!)

Yeah, if little Timmy wants to transfer a DVD ISO to cousin Betsy in the next bedroom, he'll have to wait a bit. So what?
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Old Yesterday, 03:12 PM   #57
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

There's not that much disk "congestion" going on in MY particular environment - 2 clients at a time MAX - since I have a small number of them. I imagine in a corporate environment, this would call for either some sort of "LACP" (if I remember correctly) and very "powerful" hardware and, most likely, separate NASs entirely to deal with all that traffic...clearly.

Funny thing is that my shop is also an ISP of sorts and has a datacenter, which I'm sure is by no means impressive, but it would still be interesting to see what hardware they've got going on.

Let's not forget that if I deploy another NAS, I'll still have the current one available to play with for other stuff...I was considering selling it, but I probably won't...
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Old Yesterday, 11:24 PM   #58
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Default Re: Looking for a NAS

I don't transcode. But I did want server grade stuff for a while years ago but it's grown pointless.

However a Synology NAS DOES transcode, and i'm looking forward to that
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