10Gigabit NAS and a Gigabit Router?
Ok, I am trying to set up a home media server so I am currently looking at NAS's. I have been reading up on link aggregation and want to have this option on my NAS, as it is already a feature of my Linksys AC2200 router. Now if the router only has Gigabit ports does it make any sense to buy a NAS with 10Gbe ports or am I literally just wasting my money???
Depends on your likelihood to change other parts in the next couple of years.
Performance depends on the slowest device(s) in the chain.
Here, your NAS would be the only thing at 10GBe.
Your PC and the router are still at 1GBe. But, when you DO change the router and PC to support 10GBe in the future, your NAS will be ready.
I have a NAS that supports link aggregation. It has 2 gigabyte network ports. 10GBe doesn't make sense to me and neither does using port aggregation in a home environment (at least in my case). BUT... it all depends on how much money you have to throw at this. My setup is a good quality router, QNAP 451+ NAS with 4 2TB NAS Drives in a raid 5 configuration, this supports both redundancy and striping (this is a must that your drives are designed for a NAS). I stream movies to my TV from my NAS and the quality is very good. Let me just try to list some of my observations since I have had this for about 1 1/2 years. Also note, I would love to use port aggregation but didn't want to throw that much money at this toy.
1. Port aggregation does not make sense unless you are in a multi user environment. After all your PC typically only has one network card.
2. I can easily transfer a 6 gig file in about 90 seconds with the through put 112.5 Megabytes per second (not megabits).
3. Streaming movies is wonderful works great.
4. My Roku box and my old TV worked fine but reacted a little slow. I have a new smart TV and it is almost instantaneous in streaming and responding to commands. My point being, the receiving end of the stream is important also.
Just some thoughts to consider. What ever you get you will be happy with. Have you considered what software you will use on your NAS to stream with? In the end I would like to know what you decide on out of curiosity.
If you want to use 10Gbps in your home you will need computers with 10Gbps cards which cost $200 each or a $600 motherboard with 10Gbps connection. A 10Gbps switch which is crazy expensive over $700. Then you need very good Cat6 cabling for short distances or Cat6A for longer distances. It just isn't feasable at this point in time for home use.
Next you have to consider what you will use to stream movies to your TV. A PS4 or XBox or smart TV is only 1000Mbps. A Roku is the same. An Android box is the same.
Here are my tips for getting full use out of a NAS. Keep in mind my experience is with Synology NAS' which I have had great experiences with over the past 10+ years and highly recommend. I do not have experience with other brands.
1. In my experience with a NAS, 1000Mbps connections is enough to stream 4k movies.
2. Gigabit ethernet is 1000Mbps or 125MB/sec. 1000 Megabits per second is actually 1000/8 or 125 Megabytes/sec. Do not assume just because your computer, router, switch, cables and NAS are all gigabit that you will transfer at 125MB/sec in windows. You may be surprised to only get 10MB/sec or even less. The speed a NAS transfers at is related to it's CPU and RAM and overall hardware power.
3. Synology advertises the upload and download transfer speeds of each of it's NAS'. The more expensive and powerful ones are faster.
4. Let's say you are downloading a 15Gb HD movie. Do not download it to your computers hard drive. Instead set your software to download the movie directly to the NAS. That saves you the hassle of having to transfer the movie from your PC to the NAS afterwards which can take over 30 minutes.
5. If you want to move files between locations on the NAS do not use windows to copy or move and paste on the NAS. This can take a long time as it has to move the file to your PC then back to the NAS in the proper location. Instead use the NAS' built in GUI interface software and move the files that way instead of using windows explorer.
So to conclude gigabit is enough for a home network running 4k movies of 20GB+. Make sure your streaming devices (Roku, android box, smart TV, etc....) are all gigabit and not just 100MB/sec. Check the upload/download speeds advertised for the NAS' and consider spending a bit more for a more powerful version that is faster. And finally learn your NAS inside out and use it properly. For example Synology's software is called diskstation so you need to learn to use that. One last thing I can recommend is to get a 2 or 4 hard drive NAS and set up a mirrored RAID so that if one drive crashes you don't loose your info. Then get 2 NAS rated hard drives such as western digital REDs. They are designed for high traffic NAS specific workloads and are more reliable and last longer. 2 x 6TB drives in a mirrored RAID would give you 6TB of space which is pretty good for a movie/music server.
In my particular household I have 2 PCs each with a 256GB SSD only. I do not need storage drives in the computers since they both use the NAS. The money saved on hard drives in the computers is used to buy hard drives for the NAS. Cell phones, tablets, XBox, Android media players, Grace digital alarm clocks all access the NAS. My alarm clock wakes me up by streaming music off the NAS. My computers can all be turned off and the MyGica Android boxes can stream movies off the NAS in the living room. I wouldn't have it any other way. I personally own an 8 year old Synology with 2 Western Digital Reds. It's still rock solid so I'm confident in the reliability of both. The only downfall is the performance of my NAS but it's 8 years old so that's a given. My next purchase will be another Synology but a more powerful one with more RAM and a better CPU to increase speeds. I never wish I had 10Gigabit speeds since I cannot even max out 1 Gigabit yet I can stream 4k no problem.
Ok, I decided against 10Gbe. I bought a motherboard that has two NICs on it already. The reason I want to use link aggregation is I want to maximize the speed between the router and the server. I will just be ripping and storing Blu-rays on the server and when I stream away from home I just want to know that the information is being moved as swiftly as possible with the equipment I have, hence the questions about link aggregation and 10GBe
Vesuvius803 said:Ok, I decided against 10Gbe. I bought a motherboard that has two NICs on it already. The reason I want to use link aggregation is I want to maximize the speed between the router and the server. I will just be ripping and storing Blu-rays on the server and when I stream away from home I just want to know that the information is being moved as swiftly as possible with the equipment I have, hence the questions about link aggregation and 10GBe
Plex will be the software I use to watch. To rip I will use MakeMKV and then possibly Handbrake to make the files smaller....I may not though - because I want as close to original quality as possible. I am building my own media server instead of buying a NAS. These are the stats: i5 8400, ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac, 8gb ddr4-2666, Seagate NAS HDD 8TB 7200RPM IronWolf. The router is a Linksys MaxStream AC2200
Vesuvius803 said:Plex will be the software I use to watch. To rip I will use MakeMKV and then possibly Handbrake to make the files smaller....I may not though - because I want as close to original quality as possible. I am building my own media server instead of buying a NAS. These are the stats: i5 8400, ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac, 8gb ddr4-2666, Seagate NAS HDD 8TB 7200RPM IronWolf. The router is a Linksys MaxStream AC2200
That will more than adequately stream movies. I also use plex and makemkv. The one thing I like about my NAS is Raid 5. That provides for redundancy, striping and hot swap-able drives if one fails. It is not only my media server but I use it for data storage and system backups. You will be happy with your new system!
Do you plan on using FreeNAS operating system, or just windows. Also why did you decide to build your own NAS as opposed to a commercial product? Doing your own is way more powerful and probably cheaper for the specs, although way less efficient. A real NAS hardly uses any electricity and can stay on 24/7.
I like a Raid as well. For a home NAS I like a simple Raid 1 with 2 hard drives. With the large capacity of drives today it's easy to get away with just 2 drives. 2 8TB drives in Raid 1 mirrored. 1 fails, swap it out.
I doubt I will keep the server on all the time. I watch a lot of movies but I doubt I'll watch the old ones all that much. Maybe once or twice a month. When I go away on vacation or something I imagine I will keep it on just so I have the option. I will also most likely acquire some 4k content at some point like, Planet Earth, Blade Runner, etc. I am not sure what OS I am going to use yet. I just want to make sure link aggregation is supported. I chose to build because I could produce a cheaper server that is much more powerful for the same price. Finally, I plan on having a RAID array also soon.
If your computer is also your router, you can bridge all your outgoing ports and connect the 10Gb directly into another 10Gb computer and then connect the 1Gb to a 1Gb switch. You don't need a 10Gb switch if you don't need the extra ports. This will allow you to have one fast link between your main computer and your nas. Use your wifi device as a WAP. This would be easy to setup in proxmox, using pfsense as the router, zfs for storage, and turnkey file server. You could run windows server as a separate vm.