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 Post subject: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matter?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Hi, Not looking for a ton of storage space in the near term. I think 2TB should suffice. I'd like to get my feet wet in the NAS world with most probably a Synology, mainly for its name and ability to run as a Plex server for video file serving.

Many here seem to rave about the WD Red series, as they are geared or tweaked for a NAS. I see they have a feature which works well in a RAID environment, but what makes them more suitable specifically for a NAS setup without RAID?

Also, aside from power consumption and noise, would I notice any improvements with a 7200RPM drive, aside from long write speeds? Thanks....


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Using 7200 RPM drives won't make a difference in a NAS like this unless you are mostly using huge numbers of small files or something else similarly I/O intensive. While Synology makes some of the best NASes, in a small unit the NAS itself is going to be the limiting factor in read/write speeds even with 5400 RPM drives. In other words, even 5400 RPM drives are faster than the NAS can use.


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:13 pm 
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washu wrote:
Using 7200 RPM drives won't make a difference in a NAS like this unless you are mostly using huge numbers of small files or something else similarly I/O intensive. While Synology makes some of the best NASes, in a small unit the NAS itself is going to be the limiting factor in read/write speeds even with 5400 RPM drives. In other words, even 5400 RPM drives are faster than the NAS can use.


Not applying to certain gigbit lan NAS. As test with SSDs used have shown HDD speed can be a limiting factor. Synologie does sport modells quick enough to notice the difference. (As a rule of thumb: Any NAS having USB3 onboard might qualify)


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:35 pm 
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Thanks for the replies above. It came to my mind that in addition to serving media files, I anticipate on storing my photos there as well. For editing those photos I use Picasa, and Picasa uses small INI files, one for each folder/album, for its non-destructive edits. Now, I have a LOT of folders, which translates to lots of INI files as well. When Picasa opens, it will occasionally rebuild its database of edits from these small INI files.

So, the question is, is the speed of reading all these little INI files affected more by seek times or by spindle speed, or even both?


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:57 pm 
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floepie wrote:
So, the question is, is the speed of reading all these little INI files affected more by seek times or by spindle speed, or even both?

Seek.
This is where SSDs shine most. For best performance you could get HDD for media and SSD for photos, but SSDs are still relatively expensive. How much do you want to spend and how important is the better performance to you?
If you currently store the photos on a HDD and are already annoyed by Picasa's performance you might want to think about it.
You can always buy a two bay (three,four,..) NAS and test the performance from HDD first.

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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:08 am 
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Yeah, I'm not too terribly bothered by Picasa, but I'd like it if I can squeeze a little more performance out it, but not prepared to spend that much on remote NAS storage, so an SSD is out of the question. And, spindle speed wouldn't help it seems.

One last question, maybe for a new topic?

Is it possible to have one 1 TB (already owned) and one 2 TB drive (WD Red) in a NAS, where the new larger drive is partitioned into 2 halves, one half in a RAID 1 configuration with the other 1 TB drive, and the other partition (1 TB) used as normal drive? Or, am I just asking for trouble?


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:30 am 
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Synology Raid Calculator

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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:41 am 
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Cool, thanks. But, there's nothing I really need to calculate, but good to know it exists. But, still curious if one double-partitioned physical drive can participate in both a RAID config as well as appear as another simple data storage drive.

If the calculator does indeed answer my question, then the language is a bit ambiguous, as it states I would have 1 TB of "unused space". Does "unused space" mean that space that just is not available as a simple storage drive partition, or does it mean simply that the 1 TB would not participate in the RAID?

EDIT: Synology footnote as follows: 3.
Quote:
When using SHR or SHR-2 HDD protection as your RAID type, the Unused space will be automatically reserved for future expansion. On the contrary, Unused space under other RAID types indicates the space that can't be utilized and is thus wasted.


It's hard to imagine, but according to the above footnote, a physical drive, even if partitioned, cannot participate in a RAID-1 config and be visible as a single storage drive simultaneously. The language used for SHR is a bit unclear. Anyone know?


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:34 am 
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Afaik NAS-boxes run some kind of Linux underneath. So in general, you cannot create a raid1 with partitions, only whole drives are suited.

If you just want storage space, then different sized drives will add up capacity with JBOD. But i'm not aware that any Raid1 NAS-config will work with partitions only.


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 Post subject: Re: One (maybe 2?) drives in home NAS (Synology). RPM's matt
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:23 am 
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In Synology Hybrid Raid you probably won't be able to make use of that 1TB extra space.

But it's strange, the Synology software puts a small (~9GB) partition in the beginning of each drive where it stores the system software. Changes to the system are written to all disks concurrently, so it could be a RAID1 volume. In any case, SHR also uses RAID1 and RAID5 in a layered fashion, so apparently it is possible to get a RAID1 that doesn't use the entire disk???

edit: Confirmed, it's a RAID 1 volume according to Synology tech support.

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