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Thread: NAS Advice

  1. #1
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    NAS Advice

    Good evening

    I have been lurking here for many years but have registered now in order to seek some advice

    My current set up is 2 x 8TB external HDDs attached to my Windows 10 desktop PC. LMS points to one tagged directory on each of the HDDs. I then use a Squeezebox Touch connected to the music system. Control is usually using Ipeng on my Ipad. I also have a laptop on the network which can access the HDDs. The disadvantage is that the HDDs contain directories which are tagged and available and directories with music waiting to be tagged. I also have a Vortexbox (3 TB) although that seems to have a power issue but when it worked the contents were integrated into the database. One of the HDDs contains classical music; the other "popular" music. Essentially nearly 5000 CDs ripped plus later purchases.

    While this usually works well it can sometimes be hit and miss and I was considering using a NAS instead which would make available items which are correctly tagged and would operate independently from the desktop. I think the Vortexbox is regarded as a NAS so I have that generally positive experience but am wondering what factors I should be considering. I would like to still be able to use the LMS software, partly because its what I am used to and it appears to work well. I use a number of the third party apps and like the fact that it recognises multiple tags e.g. 2 genres can be shown for one piece of music and it will appear under both.

    What should I be looking for as a minimum specification? Amazon UK currently have a Synology DS220j with 2 x 14TB Seagate Ironwolf drives for £705. Would this NAS be suitable?

    QNAP and Synology if I understand other forum entries correctly had their own LMS packages but have discontinued them - the LMS packages are now "unofficial" - How much of an issue is that?

    I currently backup to similar sized HDDs. NAS drives again from my limited understanding can automate backing up across the drives with RAID 1 producing a mirror image and RAID5 doing something more subtle across all the drives. My preference I think would be to back up to external HDDs - is that possible? If yes, is that controlled from within the NAS or from a desktop/laptop?

    I would be hoping to match or improve on my current experience but dont really want to invest in something which is going to obsolete or need a lot of tweaking

    Thank you for any thoughts or advice

    David

  2. #2
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    A few points first.
    1. Raid is not backup and shouldn’t be considered as making it unnecessary.
    Raid is redundancy meaning that if a disk fails then you can replace it with no loss of data.
    Raid 1 uses 2 disks and the data is written to both (mirrored). 2 x 15tb disks would give you a total of about 13tb of usable space.

    2. How much storage space do you really need? My 3500 albums ripped to FLAC takes up a little over 1TB so I imagine that your 5000 albums would be pushing 2TB in total. Do you really need that much storage?

    3. Yes you can use HDs in USB caddies for backup purposes and yes any decent NAS has inbuilt tools to backup in such a way amongst others.

    4. A NAS is designed primarily as a file storage system. As you say neither QNAP or Synology have official LMS installs any longer. There are third parties who have rebuilt LMS packages for both but there ongoing usability is not certain. Synology have said that support May he withdrawn.

    So. My 2p.
    1. Get a NAS from either manufacturer but consider the storage requirement carefully. You can always upgrade the disks at a later stage.
    2. Get yourself a Pi4. Install piCorePlayer and LMS on the Pi. Point it at the storage on the NAS.

    This is pretty much a future proof method of installing LMS as the Pi is cheap and can be easily replaced / rebuilt. Your files will remain safe and sound on the NAS.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
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  3. #3
    Junior Member fastfwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xebec59 View Post
    The disadvantage is that the HDDs contain directories which are tagged and available and directories with music waiting to be tagged.
    ....
    While this usually works well it can sometimes be hit and miss and I was considering using a NAS instead which would make available items which are correctly tagged
    Moving files to a NAS won't automatically tag them, of course, so I'm not sure that I understand this issue about tagging.

    Quote Originally Posted by xebec59 View Post
    Amazon UK currently have a Synology DS220j with 2 x 14TB Seagate Ironwolf drives for £705. Would this NAS be suitable?
    It's not what I would buy. The capacity/cost ratio seems best at the moment for 4 or 6 TB drives, and if you're going to configure your NAS as a RAID, you'll get better performance and reliability/availability from a larger number of smaller drives than from a few large drives. On Amazon in the USA, I see those 14TB Ironwolf drives for $430 each, and 4TB Ironwolfs for $105 each. So buying 28TB of storage would cost $860 with 14TB drives, but only $735 with 4TB drives.

    More importantly, the RAID1 pair of 14TB drives gives you only 14TB of usable storage and 1-drive redundancy, which works out to $61/TB. But seven 4TB drives in a RAID5 gives you 24TB of usable storage with the same 1-drive redundancy for half the price: $30/TB. Or if you wanted more reliability, RAID6 would provide 20TB of usable storage with 2-drive redundancy for around 60% of the price: $37/TB.

    Quote Originally Posted by xebec59 View Post
    I currently backup to similar sized HDDs. NAS drives again from my limited understanding can automate backing up across the drives with RAID 1 producing a mirror image and RAID5 doing something more subtle across all the drives. My preference I think would be to back up to external HDDs - is that possible? If yes, is that controlled from within the NAS or from a desktop/laptop?
    The NAS will perform its own scheduled backups, although of course you will have to initially configure those backups from a desktop/laptop.

    RAID itself is not a backup. It merely provides file availability: You won't have to lose access to your files while you're restoring a backup after a drive failure. So your idea of backing up to external HDDs is the right one. For more safety you can even backup over the internet to a remote NAS in a distant location.

    Quote Originally Posted by xebec59 View Post
    I would be hoping to match or improve on my current experience but dont really want to invest in something which is going to obsolete or need a lot of tweaking
    What I have is a Netgear ReadyNAS (mine happens to be a very old model, but it's running the newest model's software) with six 4TB drives in RAID6, providing 16TB of usable storage with 2-drive redundancy. The ReadyNAS software is based on Debian Linux, so software packaged for Debian -- like LMS -- is trivially easy to install: You just SSH into the NAS (i.e., open a command-line console), type one command to download the software, and type another to install it.

    There might be other NAS hardware that's better for you, or more easily available in the UK. I haven't done any research lately, so I can't really recommend one over any others. But I've been very happy with my ReadyNAS boxes.
    Touch --> Benchmark DAC3 HGC --> Counterpoint NPS200 MkII + NPS400 --> Meadowlark Heron
    Touch --> Schiit Bifrost 2 --> Eddie Current Aficionado --> HD800 SDR, ZMF Verite Ziricote
    and a third Touch for remote control, and a Radio, and a couple SB3s and a Transporter somewhere

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    So. My 2p.
    1. Get a NAS from either manufacturer but consider the storage requirement carefully. You can always upgrade the disks at a later stage.
    2. Get yourself a Pi4. Install piCorePlayer and LMS on the Pi. Point it at the storage on the NAS.

    This is pretty much a future proof method of installing LMS as the Pi is cheap and can be easily replaced / rebuilt. Your files will remain safe and sound on the NAS.
    Yeah any NAS with Raspi seems like good solution.
    Alternatively NAS which supports docker should be also future proof. Even if/when unofficial LMS packages no longer work, docker most likely will still be supported and can happily run LMS.
    Don't think "j" models from Synology can run docker as those are budget ones..
    3x Squeezebox Touch, 3x Squeezebox Radio, SqueezeCommander, Material Skin Apk, Squeezelite-X, Logitech Media Server Version: 8.0.0 with Material Skin

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tex's Avatar
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    Qnap 453

    I recommend looking at this model since the developer of Qlogitechmediaserver has done such a good job.
    I am using a raspberry pi with a 1 TB external usb drive and find after the initial set up to be very dependable and maintenance free.
    But I recommend reading this thread before you decide. You can get a 4 bay QNAP 453 for about 550 dollars.
    It was a breeze to set up and is extremely stable, particularly this model because that's what the developer has.

    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...6-X86-support-!
    (1) Pi 3 w/ HifiBerry Digi + Pro, piCorePlayer 6.1.0, LMS 8.0.0, WD usb drive for Music files
    (1) Touch, (1) Transporter, (1) Duet
    QLogitechMediaServer on QNAP TS-853a

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    1. Get a NAS from either manufacturer but consider the storage requirement carefully. You can always upgrade the disks at a later stage.
    2. Get yourself a Pi4. Install piCorePlayer and LMS on the Pi. Point it at the storage on the NAS.
    Another advantage to having a Pi in the system is that it can handle the backups. The primary storage can be on fancy NASes, but the Pi can host external USB drives and automatically perform automatic backups using rsync jobs scheduled via crontab. (That's pretty much what I've been doing for years now.)

    I'm curious if the new 8GB Pi 4 models work well with zfs (allegedly the most reliable file system out there). My guess in that case is that having two Pi 4 boxes (a primary and a backup) hosting USB drives would probably be both cheaper and more robust than a commercial NAS, but maybe I'm crazy.

  7. #7
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    Hi xebec59

    Welcome to posting on this forum.

    >Essentially nearly 5000 CDs ripped plus later purchases.

    It sounds like a lot ... like you'll need maybe 4 TB of disk space. At Archimago's Musings he investigated what people actually have:

    http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/0...tal-audio.html
    (Direct link: https://www.poll-maker.com/results29...75a24-87#tab-2 )

    Results (trend):

    46% has less than 1 TB of actual music in their library.
    64% has less than 2 TB
    82% has less than 4 TB

    >Amazon UK currently have a Synology DS220j with 2 x 14TB Seagate Ironwolf drives for £705. Would this NAS be suitable?

    Absolutely, yes.

    >the LMS packages are now "unofficial" - How much of an issue is that?

    Personally this is discouraging me from buying another Synology NAS - I've purchased several since my first in 2008 - but I might still buy Synology ... then it will only be for the file management.

    The direction I am considering is, as also proposed by others here in this thread, to consider a Raspberry Pi, which runs the LMS (with piCorePlayer configured not as a player, but running entirely as a server). This can either pick files from the NAS or (more likely) I'll connect a disk directly to the RPi-LMS server and only say 'mirror' it on the NAS. The NAS in my world may as well be powered off most of the time unless I find other reasons to keep it on.

    Cheers,
    Claus

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