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Discussion on setting up QNAP NAS products.
webm8
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New user

Postby webm8 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:16 pm

Hi there, I have just taken delivery of my QNAP TS-251A-4G 8TB. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but it seems like there is a steep learning curve ahead of me, maybe a lot of the options and settings I won't need. The reason for buying, just to use as a media server so I can share my videos and music around the house and while abroad.

So the unit is hooked up to the tv via HDMI. I tried linking it to the first PC at home this morning, but ran out of time. Had to search for VPN numbers and the like! not straightforward like i hoped.

Probably this question asked a million times, but could not see it in FAQs. I have 8tb, but only 3.something is showing. Having built PCs for myself, I understand that one never gets the full amount and that is fine. I can see the 2 drives, but wondered why i am not getting the 8tb storage. I've not dealt with RAID drives or anything before, but I guessed that the 2 drives would be linked together to give one lump of storage.

Any hints and tips on how to use and get the best out of it are most welcome. Thanks

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:38 pm

How are you connected to the PC, do you have the NAS connected to the router via an ethernet cable which is how it's supposed to be?? The PC can use wifi or ethernet.

Once connected, you can download and launch the Qfinder windows program to find the IP address of your NAS. You can even hit setup or admin(I can't remember) to enter the correct web page for your NAS. Login as an administrator. You can download the program here: https://www.qnap.com/en-us/utilities

From there, go into the settings and create some share folders like Movies, Documents, etc....

After that, create some users and user groups, check the read/write permissions you want each user to have and set a username and password for each.

After that, sign up for QNAP cloud which is in the settings somewhere. Then you can login to myqnapcloud.com to get to your files.

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Re: New user

Postby schumaku » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:40 pm

QNAP does not sell NAS with storage blocks, the "QNAP TS-251A-4G 8TB" design action does read like a bundle of TS-251A NAS and two 4TB storage blocks. So in a RAID1 we talk of a capacity of 4 GB (50% overhead due to shadowing). An a 4TB isn't a binary 4TB anymore, these are 3725 GB. Away goes some system space, reserved space for snapshot, and the file system overhead which is preallocated - the 3.something TB is the effectively available storage space.

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:45 pm

In simple terms, the disks are in Raid 1 which means that 1 drive is there to mirror the other. That way if 1 drive fails, then you still have the other drive with all the same data. The NAS will alert you when there is a problem, so you replace the broken drive and it will mirror the information back to the new drive. This offers protection from drive failure.

However, if you want the full 8TB(7450GB) you can set the drives as JBOD. However, keep in mind that if either drive fails, you lose all your data.

webm8
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Re: New user

Postby webm8 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:03 pm

Hi there, thanks for your messages. I am connected to my PC by using myQNAPcloud (i think, at work at the moment so unable to check.) I did manage this morning to get that partly working, in that I can see control the NAS home screens from the PC. A few login problems are still ongoing though which I can only clearly comment on from home.

I also have to work out next, how to get media on to the device. The NAS is currently connected to the router by Ethernet yes. Qfinder , yep i think it is that i could be having problems with, but i ran out of time this morning to keep going at it.

Sounds straight forward from your description!

I guess the QNAP is a bundle yes, came with 2x4TB Seagate IronWolf Drives. It is in Raid1 yes, which i read it means that the data is mirrored across both drives which means you’ll lose the capacity of one disk. God knows why this is helpful apart from having a backup if one drive goes down. I would rather have both drives giving me 8tbs. As I said, i know that you don't get a full 4tb on a drive.

Thanks

webm8
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Re: New user

Postby webm8 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:05 pm

gggplaya wrote:In simple terms, the disks are in Raid 1 which means that 1 drive is there to mirror the other. That way if 1 drive fails, then you still have the other drive with all the same data. The NAS will alert you when there is a problem, so you replace the broken drive and it will mirror the information back to the new drive. This offers protection from drive failure.

However, if you want the full 8TB(7450GB) you can set the drives as JBOD. However, keep in mind that if either drive fails, you lose all your data.


hi there, you replied as i was replying lol.
yep totally understand. Most, if not all the data will be a back up from my PC and Mac anyway, so if there is a way of making it a JBOD now, that would be fab.

Thanks :)

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:21 pm

Like I said, you can disable the Raid 1 configuration, then set up both drives as JBOD. You'll get the full capacity of both drives, but if either drive dies, you'll lose all your data. If the data loss isn't that important to you depending on what kind of data it is, then it's totally up to you.

To make it JBOD(Just a Buch Of Disks) you want to go to Control Panel-->Storage&snapshots. Then click on Storage/Snapshots and you want to delete whatever volume is there(Manage-->Remove). After that, you want to follow these steps to creating your new storage setup: http://docs.qnap.com/nas/QTS4.3.4/en/GU ... 5A32D.html You want to select your disks and JBOD and set it up as a static single volume.

Once you set up your shares and users. You can go into windows file explorer and navigate to the "network" icon on the left tree. Click on the QNAP NAS, it'll ask you for your username and login. Then you can right-click on any of the folders and select "map network drive". This will place the share folders under my computer in windows explorer. After which, you can copy/paste or drag and drop files just like you would with any hard drive or a usb thumb drive.

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:48 pm

I guess you were also typing at the same time, I updated my response above to add JBOD steps. I can't be certain of the steps without deleting my own raid configuration. But that should get you in the right ballpark.

Also, I forgot to mention you could also do RAID 0 instead of JBOD. I generally don't use Raid 0 but it is twice as fast since it stripes data across both drives. You still get the full volume of both disks, but with twice the speed. I simply prefer JBOD because you can still recover some data from the non-broken disks, also with JBOD you can mismatch different sizes of disks. However, in your case, Raid 0 might be better since you have the same size disks and your using the NAS for duplication of data that's still on your PC's.

webm8
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Re: New user

Postby webm8 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:01 am

wow gggplaya , thnks for all that info! lots to think about. Yeah with JBOD I could stick it through one of my retrieval software packages if one goes down. Speed is probably more useful to me (although not sure how much i would gain and if it will make much difference to the low usage the QNAP will get.) I didn't know you could mismatch different size drives either, before buying I was searching and couldn't find any info on that. I really need a clear day to get it all set up properly. So many things to configure, but looks like a lot of the options i prob wont need or use. Cheers

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:10 am

Yea, JBOD is nice because I set up my sister with a QNAP NAS to use as an offsite backup for me but also as a movie server for her and she bought a single 6TB drive, I gave her a couple of my old drives 2TB Reds to add to it with JBOD. Works great!!!

webm8
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Re: New user

Postby webm8 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:40 am

coolio!

I was looking at Kodi app too, but not sure if that is something which is allowed to be mentioned or not? plus where to get films from. also need to try and get things off my Virgin box too.

Main thing is to be able to share my music, photos and vids with the house, then to be able to listen/watch on portable devices anywhere we are. I think all this is possible. By doing this it will even be a back backup :)

Are there any issues you have encountered which I should look out for?

thanks

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Re: New user

Postby gggplaya » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:58 am

I think Kodi used to be included in the app store, but was taking down due to licensing or something. Personally I don't like Kodi so I'm not the person to ask for that.

For watching movies globally, you could host a Plex Server on the NAS. Pretty much everything has a plex client app(Android, iOS, Roku, FireTV, Xbox etc..). The only problem is the N3060 processor in your NAS requires hardware transcoding for plex. So you'll need to be a Plex Plass subscriber to enable that feature, it's $5 per month or $120 for a lifetime license. Personally I would pay the $5 for 1-2 months to see if you like it, then get the lifetime license if you feel it's something you want to use forever. You can follow the steps in the tutorial on how to install it, but plex gives you a nice *.qpkg to upload to the NAS and it's all automatic: https://www.qnap.com/solution/plex-best-nas/en-us/

I don't use my NAS for music, but Plex does support it, however I've never used it so I can't say how good it is: https://www.plex.tv/your-media/music/

For photo's, I use QNAP's built in Photo Station app which is either preinstalled or you can download from the app store. You have to go into Control Panel--->Applications-->Multimedia Management. Set up the Media Library, add the folder with your photos in it, and check "photos" for what's in the folder. Then go to the Photo Station app in the qnap app manager and finish the setup. Users can install the Android or iOS Qnap photo station apps to view photos.

However, PLEX also supports photos, I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like it'll work as well: https://www.plex.tv/your-media/photos-videos/

To be honest, I think Plex will be the 1 app that does exactly what you want.
Last edited by gggplaya on Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

webm8
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Re: New user

Postby webm8 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:08 am

Fab, great to have this info! I will check all those things out over the coming days :) your a star

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Re: New user

Postby P3R » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:26 pm

webm8 wrote:I guess the QNAP is a bundle yes, came with 2x4TB Seagate IronWolf Drives.
So bundled by the retailer. There's nothing wrong with that, but good to know that it wasn't done by Qnap.
It is in Raid1 yes, which i read it means that the data is mirrored across both drives which means you’ll lose the capacity of one disk. God knows why this is helpful apart from having a backup if one drive goes down.
No that's a widespread misunderstanding about RAID. RAID doesn't give you a backup, it never did and it never will. Backups on separate systems is the only thing that really protects any data.

  • RAID (real RAID, not RAID 0) is used on the NAS to:
  • Incease NAS and service availability (it's still available if one disk fails)
  • Increase system reliability (disks are by far the component most likely to fail in a NAS)
  • Simplify future storage expansion (storage capacity can easily be expanded while retaining the data on the NAS)
  • Avoid painful reinstallation on every disk failure (can be a terrible pain if it means losing a media server, that have been perfectly setup for personal use over many months)
  • Allow RAID migration when adding disks (obviously not available in a NAS already filled with the maximum number of disks)
  • Give the administrator peace of mind
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!


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