Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Discussion about hard drive spin down (standby) feature of NAS.
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storageneeded
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Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by storageneeded » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:44 am

It's been well established for years now Qnap doesn't take the spin down feature seriously. It's been well documented over and over how the drives spin down only to spin right back up 10 minutes later from some internal Qnap process writing to the array. Qnap wants you to jump through so many stupid support hoops you give up trying to ever get any support on this issue. And other users tell you to just give up and wrongly argue it's always better to just leave your drives running 24x7.

I'm curious if anyone has experience with a 4+ bay Qnap NAS and installing a pair of SSDs not as a cache but for Qnap's processes to abuse with the frequent OS writes which is what keeps drives from sleeping. If you then put say a mirrored pair of large mechanical drives in the next 2 bays would they actually stay in standby or would Qnap find a way to needlessly wake them up as well every 10 minutes?

For anyone unaware this is a very real issue I suggest reviewing the thread linked below. It's something many have complained about for years and Qnap has done nothing about and only tried to deflect the issue and not acknowledge they're using the array as the operating system's primary means of non-volatile storage which can include log events and other Qnap processes that are arguably unecessary. If you keep writing to the array it can never stay in standby. It's just common sense but something Qnap refuses to acknowledge.

So can you let Qnap do its frequent write thing on a pair of SSDs and hopefully let the big drives actually stay sleeping? Or will Qnap still wake up every drive in the box every time it needs to write some trivial log entry? viewtopic.php?f=55&t=155665

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dolbyman
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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by dolbyman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:59 am

md9 and md13 are spanning RAID1 across all drives .. that's how it is ..

complain to QNAP via ticket

They should just remove the spindown option altogether .. it's a NAS .. 24/7 operation is a given, if you want to save power, put in on a power schedule for downtime (thermal stress for the drives)

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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by storageneeded » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:06 am

@dolbyman thanks. This is really discouraging. Qnap proudly markets energy savings, low noise, etc, but when it comes to something as simple as letting drives stay spun down, something nearly every other NAS I've encountered can do, Qnap is a total fail. I agree they should just remove the feature if something so simple is beyond the ability of their engineers.

The whole "thermal stress" thing is 95% myth. Nearly all mechanical HDDs fail from media issues and/or mechanical issues. They almost never fail from thermal cycling. People sleep their laptop computers, tablets, and phones, dozens or even hundreds of times a day creating very similar "thermal stress" on the internal components. And it's almost entirely a non-issue.

Reducing mechanical wear and tear is the key to prolonging mechanical hard drive life and it also saves significant energy and results in less annoying noise in the room. But the short answer seems to be if you value any of those things, and wants your drives to last longer, stay far away from Qnap.

I've tried opening service tickets with Qnap multiple times. The result is they want you to jump through so many stupid irrelevant hoops it's less painful to just give up and buy a Synology. Qnap doesn't seem to get it. They want to blame the problem on anything but their own operating system even when you can 100% document their own operating system is to blame.

So there's no satisfaction in opening a service ticket. It's exactly the opposite, completely frustrating, and a giant waste of time as, after trying to do everything they ask, your drives still won't stay spun down. And so you end up coming full circle with Qnap's refusal year after year to address this very real problem.

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dolbyman
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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by dolbyman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:47 am

I had a couple (many) of drives fail over the years .. mostly in devices with lots of on off cycles like laptops or desktop computers , always on workstations actually much less (workstations also used desktop drives), so while it might not be more than anecdotal (maybe they had run ins with gravity/inertia?).. it is true for me
=========
Of course QNAP loves to advertise these units as professional tools (and personal clouds .. that get hacked), but they are mostly aimed at consumers. Just imagine the big outcry if:
User sets up
1 SSD for dedicated system drive
3 HDD for storage

They want to swap the SSD's (with all the system stuff on them to send the HDD to sleep) and that kills the whole system and settings (as they are on the now missing/broken SSD)

You need to take the average user into account that never:
a) has any idea how a NAS works in the background
b) has no backups
c) just wants something that "works"
=========

Anyways
One post I saw recently, was talking about removing spinning drives from the spanning system raid1's (md9 and md13), that caused standby to work, but it is obviously not supported and happens at own risk

So experiment with md and see if it works

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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by storageneeded » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:12 am

Thanks. I have literally LOTS of solid scientific evidence the whole "sleeping your drives degrades reliability" thing is almost entirely pure myth. So, a few anecdotal examples aside, that's no reason for Qnap not to finally address this issue. If you believe leaving your drives spun up 24 hours a day is best, you should also leave your phone, tablet(s), laptop(s), PCs, etc, fully powered on running warm 24 hours a day and burning through energy if you really believe that's best as there's honestly no valid argument for spinning down NAS drives vs letting your laptop sleep, etc.

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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by storageneeded » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:29 am

I should also add that regardless of how much the average user understands, or doesn't understand, how a "NAS works in the background" it's reasonable for any consumer to expect the drives to stay spun down when they select that option. But Qnap can't make even that happen. it doesn't matter how many support tickets you open, they're either unwilling for reasons nobody can explain, or perhaps due to incompetence, to fix a blatantly obvious and easily reproducible problem. it's a good reason to encourage anyone concerned about energy consumption, drive longevity, and noise, to not buy any Qnap NAS.

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jaysona
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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by jaysona » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:55 am

While it is true that QNAP is not what they used to be when it comes to their operating environment and the needless proliferation of featuritis, it is still quite easy to keep electricity use, drive use and noise to a minimum.

NAS_Shutdown.png
NAS_PowerSchedule.png
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Re: Qustion about inability of Qnap drives to remain in standby?

Post by storageneeded » Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:36 am

@Jaysona that's just nonsense. I can have a Synology, or many other brands of, NAS for around the same price with similar performance and features as a Qnap NAS but the Synology can be available 24x7 while the drives are spun down without having to wait to power it back on from a full shut down. So that's not a valid argument. Qnap either needs to fix what's been broken for years or remove the feature and concede their competitors can do what Qnap cannot.

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