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YetiTech

New NAS recommendations

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YetiTech

Greetings all,

 

I'm looking to replace my current NAS, which is under-performing for my needs. I've narrowed it down to something from Synology or QNAP; I have utilized the pre-sales chat for both companies but neither have me convinced. I am hoping there is someone out there who can help steer me...

 

I'm looking for performance here, and was thinking about using all 2.5" WD RED disks. I have to do iSCSI, and have 1 ESX server to hook it up to which currently runs 12 VMs. I've been told the Synology DS414slim will not be good for iSCSI, and I've also been told the QNAP TS-435S isn't good in iSCSI. Anybody have either model and using it for iSCSI? This is at home, non-production lab, but I hate to spend all that money and have about the same performance as my current box (which only produces about 25 MB/sec write and 50 MB/sec read within guest VM when using ATTO benchmark tool). I really like the small form factor of both units, but would I also get better performance with 3.5" disks? SSDs are a little too pricey for me...

 

Thanks!

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HellDiverUK

I've got a brand new QNAP sitting here, it's the TVS-663.  I'm planning on running a single SSD for VMs and iSCSI.  I'll do some performance testing tomorrow hopefully.  

 

The 2.5" Reds are basically a relabeled WD Blue.  They're not a fast drive.  To be fair, even the 3.5" Red isn't a great drive for iSCSI stuff, you'd be better off with a WD RE.

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kylejwx

I am wondering if there is a way to implement an SSD for caching. I think Drobo did this, but not sure about synology or qnap. Maybe this would allow for 1 SSD purchase and the rest HDD to help balance performance and cost.

 

Not to hijack your thread, but I would be interested in any software or hardware platform that used SSD or even RAM to speed up HDDs. The only one I know of now is Storage Spaces.

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ikon

To me, putting "performance" and "2.5 inch Red disks" in the same sentence is an oxymoron. AFAIK, unless we're talking about enterprise SAS drives, any 2.5 inch drive will have less performance than a 3.5 inch.

 

If you're after performance, I'm not sure that Synology or QNAP is going to satisfy your needs.

 

I'm a bit confused about the VMs. Are you wanting to run VMs on the Syno or QNAP, or are you just wanting to use them to connect to another computer via iSCSI?

 

If you want to run VMs on the Syno or QNAP, then I don't think they have enough power to run 12 VMs. If you want to link to another computer via iSCSI then I think you have to isolate just where the real performance issue is.

 

Is the problem the VMs on the other computer? Is it an issue of the VMs not having enough CPU or memory? Since you're using iSCSI, is there a performance issue with your network?

 

I think there are just too many open questions about your setup to give good advice.

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yodafett

Go the the qnap 451. Moving up to a Celeron processor and 8gb ram. I use the ts212 as a iscsi target for ESXi without issue but do use 2 host enterprise drives.

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HellDiverUK

QNAP can assign a SSD as a cache, but you lose a bay.  It'd be nice if they did it the way Drobo do, with a mSATA on the board.  That'd be ideal.

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YetiTech

To me, putting "performance" and "2.5 inch Red disks" in the same sentence is an oxymoron. AFAIK, unless we're talking about enterprise SAS drives, any 2.5 inch drive will have less performance than a 3.5 inch.

 

If you're after performance, I'm not sure that Synology or QNAP is going to satisfy your needs.

 

I'm a bit confused about the VMs. Are you wanting to run VMs on the Syno or QNAP, or are you just wanting to use them to connect to another computer via iSCSI?

 

If you want to run VMs on the Syno or QNAP, then I don't think they have enough power to run 12 VMs. If you want to link to another computer via iSCSI then I think you have to isolate just where the real performance issue is.

 

Is the problem the VMs on the other computer? Is it an issue of the VMs not having enough CPU or memory? Since you're using iSCSI, is there a performance issue with your network?

 

I think there are just too many open questions about your setup to give good advice.

 

To clarify, I'm wanting to store all the VMs on the new NAS. Right now, they're on a homebrew box running starwind iSCSI which communicates to my ESX server. Everything is connected with a gigabit switch, I am running a 192.168.x.x storage network and a 10.10.x.x LAN network on the same switch, no VLAN. Just different the different IP schemes. I tried a dedicated gigabit switch for the storage network and got the same speed results. 

 

Over the weekend I also read up on the Drobo d800i. I read a review stating they got about 80MB/sec write and 100MB/sec read but it wasnt clear if that was a VM, or if both NICs were used, etc. In my current guest VMs I'm getting ATTO benchmark speeds around 20MB/sec read and 40 MB/sec write...I just think that's slow, the systems "feel" slow (windows updates take a while for example). If the 3.5" disks yield better performance than 2.5", then I'm not opposed to going that route. In fact, the more I look at this drobo, the more I like that one. I don't need all the stuff qnap and synology bundle into their systems. I just need iSCSI storage, and need it to be speedy. ATA-100 RAID 5 is just too freakin slow! 

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YetiTech
current benchmark results

pisspoor

 

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ikon

I don't quite understand your statement "they got about 80MB/sec write and 100MB/sec read but it wasnt clear if that was a VM, or if both NICs were used, etc.". Are you thinking you can run VMs on the Drobo, because I don't think you can. AFAIK, it's strictly storage.

 

If you are not thinking you can run VMs on the Drobo, then I don't understand how a VM will affect the Drobo's performance. I mean, if you're running VMs on a computer (not the Drobo) that writes data to the Drobo, surely the performance level has more to do with the VM host, and the LAN, than it does with the Drobo.

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YetiTech

I want to store all the VMDK files on the NAS, which is connected via iscsi, and vmware is providing the CPU and RAM. Its exactly how I have it setup now with my current NAS, which is a homebrew, and my esx server is an HP 1U rackmount without any disks in it (it boots ESX from a USB key). 

 

In my testing using windows server 2012 R2 acting as a NAS, I was getting about 50 MB/sec read and write natively. That is, running from the operating system's C drive. A large part of that big C drive is consumed by a .img file; within this .img file (which is a starwind iscsi target file that gets presented to vmware), are all my vmdk files, one for each virtual server that I have running. When I run the benchmark on a virtual server, which is really like a file nested within another file, I get about half the performance numbers as I do natively on the NAS. So I was wondering if the nas benchmarks were done on the NAS itself through some built in diagnostic tool, or on a VM whose disks were living on the NAS and talking through iscsi.

 

It seems a different day brings a different winner in my mind; I'm now leaning towards the Synology 1515+ since it will speak iscsi and the reviews seems to be positive. I'm thinking of using WD enterprise disks too. Its gotta be better than what I'm running now!

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