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vernavideo
2010-04-07, 08:21
Hi,
Been reading various posts on vortexbox and SBS on NAS but it is still not too clear to me which would be the best set-up for my own needs.

So far, the sbs is running on a sysnology ds 107+ (package not ssods), feeding 2 sb v3 and a boom. performance from the players is ok, I guess, except some rare glitches and the occasional slow responsiveness of the units (especially with the boom), but something I can live with.
Where it becomes really annoyng is when I need to work on the server. the web page takes ages to load and every action takes 5-10 seconds before the web page is refreshed. took me almost a whole afternoon to set up the display on the boom the way I wanted....
Another big disavantage is that synology takes its time before releasing new packages, and you cannot update to the latest stable build via the sbs interface. the same applies to plug-ins.

So I started looking around for alternatives like the vortexbox or the sbs on the sheevaplug. Vortexbox seems the ideal candidate, thanks to the ripping facilities, and the fact that I already have a spare shuttle XPc which seems to be a good candidate for such a solution.

However, I really like the NAS idea of a central repository of all family files, and in that respect, the 107+ works really well, so (if it is possible), I would like to keep the actual music files in the NAS which I am able to access from anywhere, even on my iphone, thanks to the recent DS iphone apps, and I would not like the idea of fidling with the vb to have the same kind of functionalities, not to mention the hassle of reconfiguring all PCs (lost count I many we have in the house).

-Is it difficult to configure both the vb and the nas to read and stores files on the nas as opposed to the vb itself?
-Is it possible to keep the double saving mp3/flac when music is saved in the nas as opposed to the vb internal hd?
-any performance issues when using the vb as a player as well? is it going to congestionate the (100mb/sec) lan with the large files having to go back and forward the lan?

In fact, will I see any performance increase over my current set-up? the vb will be installed on an "old" 2GHz athlon shuttle pc.

Many thanks in advance,

Stefano

vernavideo
2010-04-09, 02:37
Hi,
I did few more researches and found out that the web interface performance is more down to the sbs architecture than the platform, therefore I am not so sure I will see any real performance increase over the Synology NAS 107+

I have a fairly big house, so I am expecting the number of SBs to increase in the future, as well as my (sigh!) mp3 collection which at the moment "only" lists 300 something albums with 3800 or so songs.

I am sure that soon enaugh I will reach the usability limit of my current configuration (especially with the kids approaching the "critical" age). will see by then what the options will be (a super efficient sbs which can run out of my router, who knows?).
I will still try out the vortexbox solution just for the fun of it and to have an extra playre free. Any idea what would be the typical boot time on a 2 ghz athlon machine?

Many thanks,

Stefano

aubuti
2010-04-09, 04:49
I did few more researches and found out that the web interface performance is more down to the sbs architecture than the platform, therefore I am not so sure I will see any real performance increase over the Synology NAS 107+
I don't know what research led you to that conclusion. Obviously it depends on both the software design and the power of the machine running SBS. Yes, the SBS web ui is slower than a purpose-built platform dependent compiled executable program would be. But even so, it can be pretty snappy and responsive on a suitably powered machine, or dog slow on an underpowered machine. And most consumer-grade NASs are underpowered. It appears that the DS107+ only has 128MB RAM and a 500MHz processor -- those are your binding constraints, especially the RAM.

I've run SBS on a comparable NAS (LinkStation Pro) and on an Atom-based small pc that is almost identical to the Vortexbox appliance, and the difference in web ui performance is enormous. Of course, both do a fine job of streaming music to multiple SBs.

vernavideo
2010-04-09, 05:33
Hi Aubuti,



I don't know what research led you to that conclusion

This tread:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=76823


- Pippin


Quote:
Originally Posted by mherger
> OPENING the Web UI on my Mac needs >30s.

What client and server hardware is this?!? Even my poor C3/1GHz would serve it up in way less than 15 seconds.
----------------------------
Server: Via C7 1GHz, 1GB RAM
Client: any. Typically a recent 2-core Mac Mini (biggest model).

I _do_ admit some of the plugins I use, especially CustomBrowse may play a role in this. Yet this should not be for just bringing up the main menu.


and 15/20 secs is comparable with the 107+ (256 mb, not 128 btw).


I've run SBS on a comparable NAS (LinkStation Pro) and on an Atom-based small pc that is almost identical to the Vortexbox appliance, and the difference in web ui performance is enormous.

I like the adjective "enormous".I guess the only way to find out it to try it myself...

Would you know if it is possible to configure the vb to read and save from a share on my nas as opposed to its internal hd? and in case it can, at what costs, performance wise?


cheers,

Stefano

vernavideo
2010-04-09, 06:26
Hi Aubuti,



I don't know what research led you to that conclusion

This tread:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=76823


- Pippin


Quote:
Originally Posted by mherger
> OPENING the Web UI on my Mac needs >30s.

What client and server hardware is this?!? Even my poor C3/1GHz would serve it up in way less than 15 seconds.
----------------------------
Server: Via C7 1GHz, 1GB RAM
Client: any. Typically a recent 2-core Mac Mini (biggest model).

I _do_ admit some of the plugins I use, especially CustomBrowse may play a role in this. Yet this should not be for just bringing up the main menu.


and 15/20 secs is comparable with the 107+ (256 mb, not 128 btw).


I've run SBS on a comparable NAS (LinkStation Pro) and on an Atom-based small pc that is almost identical to the Vortexbox appliance, and the difference in web ui performance is enormous.

I like the adjective "enormous".I guess the only way to find out it to try it myself...

Would you know if it is possible to configure the vb to read and save from a share on my nas as opposed to its internal hd? and in case it can, at what costs, performance wise?


cheers,

Stefano

Kiwi
2010-04-09, 06:56
There are a number of threads that cover using a WHS system for a NAS/SBS server. I have been using this setup for over two years and it is an excellent solution with great support and extensibility.

tcutting
2010-04-09, 08:46
If you were going to go with something like Vortexbox, or other purpose-built server, I don't know why you'd also want to keep a separate NAS... the VB or SBS server should also be a very affective NAS. I looked at the NAS route, and ended up building a Linux-based server from a barebone Atom PC and large HD, and that is both my SBS server and my file server (NAS, if you will). Setup a dedicated server with the power to effectively run SBS, move everything over from you current NAS, and then sell the NAS on eBay or Craigslist... just a thought :-)

aubuti
2010-04-09, 09:00
Hmm, I've read that thread and there is no way I read that as saying that the hardware or platform doesn't matter. While the web-based ui does place limits on how fast the ui can go, if you put it on sufficiently low-powered hardware there is no limit to how _slow_ it will respond. But I guess everyone has his/her own interpretation.

Yes, you can set up Vortexbox to read from the NAS instead of the internal HDD. That's what I did for my first few weeks of running my MSI Wind server (ie, Vortexbox appliance equivalent) while I figured out which internal HDD to buy. Scanning is slower because it's doing everything over the network, but it won't slow down web ui performance because that will all be on the VB machine.

However, like tcutting says, it's not clear at all what you would gain from keeping the music files on the NAS instead of on a local hard drive on the VB. You could resell or re-purpose the NAS, or depending on the NAS and the computer you use, you could even re-use the HDD in the NAS (I tried that, but wanted a quieter, more efficient drive).

agillis
2010-04-09, 11:26
You much better of storing all you music on the VortexBox. You can use Subsonic (built in) to get to your file remotely.

pski
2010-04-09, 14:37
Hi Aubuti,



This tread:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=76823



and 15/20 secs is comparable with the 107+ (256 mb, not 128 btw).



I like the adjective "enormous".I guess the only way to find out it to try it myself...

Would you know if it is possible to configure the vb to read and save from a share on my nas as opposed to its internal hd? and in case it can, at what costs, performance wise?


cheers,

Stefano

I have a few VB virtual machines running that point to my NAS' (Buffalo TeraStation II's.)

The streaming performance is not affected. The webUI is noticeably faster than a winders implementation.

The only drawback is that you have to use the text console of the VB to add a mount point (directory) and edit /etc/fstab to add the mount statement. You only have to do this once. You will also have to issue a

yum install samba-client

to enable pointing to a winders-like drive (I use NFS rather than SMB.)

P

vernavideo
2010-04-10, 02:02
Hi and thanks to you all

it's not clear at all what you would gain from keeping the music files on the NAS instead of on a local hard drive on the VB

I have 5 pc connected to the NAS, each with a music library pointing to the nas
Synos and qnap have made excellent products which even a computer dumb like me can easily configure. That includes explorer like access facilities for your files from anywhere in world, automatic back up to amazon s3, shot and post from my iphone and much more.
I am sure I could achieve all this on a linux box, but I am also sure that I would never be able to do it myself (double posting above says it all).

On the other hand,

You can use Subsonic (built in) to get to your file remotely
well, that is in fact reason #1 to keep the music files in the NAS. Thanks agillis, I will investigate subsonic or if there is a way to automatically mirrow the mp3s to the nas (flacs can stay in the vb)

cheers,
Stefano