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View Full Version : SC on a separate computer from my NAS (music library), bad idea for speed?



LukeS
2009-08-08, 18:18
I own a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo and SqueezeCenter runs painfully slow on it. I can access files off the NAS fast but the ReadyNAS CPU does not have enough horsepower to run SqueezeCenter. RAID backup is a must for my music library and I would rather not buy another set of harddrives, etc.

I was thinking to leave my music library on the NAS and build a small, low power, Intel Atom server with gigabit Ethernet to run the SqueezeCenter, maybe run windows home server on it.

Has anyone done this? Would an atom powered box run SqueezeCenter at a fast enough? I am wondering if I will just be back where I started with the network slowing me down instead of the processor.

Thanks!

Skunk
2009-08-08, 21:43
RAID backup is a must for my music library and I would rather not buy another set of harddrives, etc.

I think a lot of people here would say that a RAID system is not a good substitute for another set of hard drives. My backup is a small USB HD that's never connected during a thunderstorm and could easily be stored in a separate location if backup was a 'must'.

Other than that I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can run multiple squeeze devices with said USB drive attached to an EEEpc running SC, but I've never tried going through ethernet for storage. There are some threads with peoples experiences if you advanced search NAS or Atom for thread titles only:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=31963&highlight=RAID
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=66371&highlight=NAS
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=63607&highlight=atom

JJZolx
2009-08-08, 21:54
I own a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo and SqueezeCenter runs painfully slow on it. I can access files off the NAS fast but the ReadyNAS CPU does not have enough horsepower to run SqueezeCenter. RAID backup is a must for my music library and I would rather not buy another set of harddrives, etc.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll repeat for the 1000th time: RAID is _not_ a backup solution. Somehow it's either being sold as such by manufacturers or else consumers are jumping to conclusions that because a RAID array can survive a disk failure, that makes it a means of "backup".

RAID is designed to ensure continuous operation. This is very much not the same as data backup. Imagine you have a website through which you sell t-shirts. Every hour that website is down, you lose money. Imagine you have an office with 50 workers relying on a database server for their business applications. If that server goes down for an hour you have 50 people standing around with their thumbs up their butts. In either case you need to do whatever you can to be sure you can come as close to 100% uptime as possible and RAID is a part of that. For your home music server, I'd be willing to bet that being without tunes for a couple hours wouldn't be a big deal.

There are still a lot of ways that you can lose all of your data on a server with RAID. Fire, flood, theft, a big fat brain fart that causes you to accidentally delete all of your data, and at least a dozen other ways that could destroy the data. You still need a backup of some kind.


I was thinking to leave my music library on the NAS and build a small, low power, Intel Atom server with gigabit Ethernet to run the SqueezeCenter, maybe run windows home server on it.

Has anyone done this? Would an atom powered box run SqueezeCenter at a fast enough? I am wondering if I will just be back where I started with the network slowing me down instead of the processor.

This should work, but I would avoid running Windows on the Atom machine. Linux will be faster on the same hardware, plus I and others have experienced some extreme slowness when SqueezeCenter running on Windows accesses ReadyNAS files. Nobody has ever really figured out what the problem is - maybe just some kind of Windows networking incompatibility with Linux running on the NAS.

Terabyte disk drives are really cheap these days, under $90, and a terabyte will hold a lot of music in FLAC format, easily 2500-3000 CDs. It would be a much simpler system to just place a large storage drive in the Atom-based server, and have another similar drive in a USB enclosure for backups.

LukeS
2009-08-08, 23:32
I agree with you guys, it is not fail safe and the are still plenty of ways to loose the data. Though it is much better then what I was previously storing my music collection on, a USB hard drive and two redundant hard drives are better then one.

I guess it would be best to build a atom server box with a big harddrive and store my music collection locally. Then I could do daily or weekly backups to the readyNAS and if one fails or I do something stupid and kill all the data on one device I still have the other.

rickwookie
2009-08-09, 01:48
I've been running a ReadyNAS NV for a couple of years now and I ditched Slimslerver on the NAS a long time ago (I needed to get AlienBBC working). I built a server using old parts (AthlonXP 2500+) and it's great. The experience on my SB3s is so much better.

The server runs Ubuntu Server and accesses all music from the NAS over a 100 Mbit connection. Never had a problem, though the most it's ever had to deal with is four simultaneous FLAC streams.

It's sad that I now have to have two boxes running, but unless I upgrade to an NVX I won't try SqueezeCenter on the NAS again (anyone know if it runs any better/has floating foint support on the NVX?).

Regarding the backup thing, RAID is not a backup solution, but it does offer protection against a single drive failure (or two with RAID-6) and let's face it your hard drive WILL fail eventually. A backup is different, but your collection/files are only as good as your last, well, backup! It's usually a manual process that most users forget to or never do. Use the USB port of the ReadyNAS to do scheduled backups to a USB drive and you'll have a very good system. Locate the USB drive off-site betweeen backup jobs and it's even better.

pippin
2009-08-09, 02:25
I agree with you guys, it is not fail safe and the are still plenty of ways to loose the data. Though it is much better then what I was previously storing my music collection on, a USB hard drive and two redundant hard drives are better then one.

I guess it would be best to build a atom server box with a big harddrive and store my music collection locally. Then I could do daily or weekly backups to the readyNAS and if one fails or I do something stupid and kill all the data on one device I still have the other.

Actually my main SC installation runs on a ViaC7 mini-server (today you really should use Atom instead) which is fanless because it has no internal HD (makes thermal management simpler).
It uses an external, eSata connected HD. This is very silent and fast enough, I think with an atom box it would be really fast.
OS is Ubuntu.
I do backups by mirroring data to various other systems and doing additional dedicated backups of essential data.

I've got others that are more silent but this one is pretty close to what you want.
Actually I did run something even closer: before I added the external HD I used a Synology NAS for data storage but that one was more noisy and slower.
The server runs from a Flash disc but you don't really need that with an external HD. If you do that note that using USB sticks is a bad idea, they die after a while, you need more expensive IDE flash dongles or real flash disks.
I've tried that, too :-)

Aurumer
2009-08-09, 03:32
I am using an old Laptop (1,833 GHz Dualcore @ 900MHz) running on Windows XP as a server with my music stored on a Synology DS107+ connected via Gb-LAN.

Everything is working absolutely reliable and fast.

badbob
2009-08-09, 04:03
I've had my music on a NAS with slimserver on the PC. Library building takes hours (hundreds of GB) but playback is fine.

dBerriff
2009-08-09, 04:55
I gave up with my ReadyNAS too. It is now used as backup storage and left switched off most of the time. I agree that it plays back fine but part of the attraction of the SC system is rapid lookup and selection of tracks. I found it frustratingly sluggish, especially with iPeng on my iPod touch.

I am currently using a Dell server which was cheap (quite a bargain actually, direct from Dell) but is big, heavy, fairly noisy and no doubt expensive to run except in winter when it helps with the heating.

Ubuntu Server was free but needed a bit of reading before I could set it up successfully. VortexBox looks like an interesting alternative but I don't want to change a set up that is working well. I have given up with Microsoft and do not want another server running on our iMac.

If I was starting again I would look at something like a Tranquil PC (UK) although I am sure there are many alternatives. This should be quiet enough to sit in the listening room connected by cable to the SB and have the power to run the interface efficiently.

http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk/ [I have no connection with Tranquil - I would just like to try one]

LukeS
2009-08-11, 00:59
Well I deiced to load Ubuntu on a old 1.4Ghz Celeron M 360 laptop with a 100Mbps ethernet connection and 512MB ram. I wanted to see if it would be worth the effort to build an Atom server. I also plan to wait for new low power atom chipset to come out. I left my music collection on the NAS.

Wow the difference is amazing, even on this old slow laptop. The ReadyNAS took 1 hour 20 min to build my music library of over 5000 songs. The ubuntu laptop 6 min 40 sec and that is with the files located on the NAS!!! The ReadyNAS squeezecenter interface is almost unusable due to being so slow, the slow laptop latency is very fast.

It is a total marketing gimmick that they even advertise SqueezeCenter integration on the ReadyNAS's with SPARC processors (duo, NV, NV+, 1100).

Bottom line, don't run squeezecenter on a SPARC processor ReadyNAS, you need one of the faster x86 boxes. Better yet don't buy a ReadyNAS with a sparc processor at all, it is a waste of money because it is only good for file shareing and there are tons of other cheaper products that will do the same thing.