Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

QNAP NAS solution for server virtualization and clustering/HA/FT
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Missing_Link
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Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by Missing_Link » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:35 pm

Hi,

I'm looking at the TVS-472XT-PT-64G-C (spec below) to run approximately 4 x VMs:

2 x Windows Servers (I already have these built on my old TS-453A NAS)
- one with an "all-in one" config of SCCM and DC - to be used as a test lab
- one other server for testing

2 x Windows 10 Clients
- one for Power BI development
- one for use as an everyday "replacement" for my Windows 7 laptop (so, MS Office suite, etc.)

The solution I've come up with is as follows:

NAS: TVS-472XT-PT-64G-C (64gb RAM, Intel Pentium G5400T 3.1GHz 2-core processor) - 4-Bay RAID (64GB Compatible RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3
SSD Storage: 2 x 1TB SSD (Samsung SSD 970 EVO PLUS MZ-V7S1T0BW M.2 2280 NVMe SSD)
HD Storage: 2 x 3TB Western Digital WD Red Plus (CMR) WD30EFRX 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s 5400rpm

I'm thinking:
1. Build the SSD's out for the QNAP OS and install all the VM's on it (so, 1 x 2TB storage partition) to maximise VM performance. My current VM's have allocated c.1TB space allocated, with a lot of unused space in each IMG file)
2. Use the HD's as 1 x flat 6TB storage in prep for various migration/reconfig activities (same drives as in my in existing TS-453A)

The questions I need help with are:
1. Will this give me the stellar VM performance I am looking for ?. The TS-453A runs a couple of VMs simultaneously ok, but it's slower than I'd like - really even with ony 1 x Windows 10 VM
2. Are there any alternative configurations arrangements I should consider ?
3. Are there any other QNAP NAS's I should be looking at ?

Thanks in advance for your help :-)
===========================
System: QNAP TS-453A (8GB)
Drive config: 12TB (4 x 3TB WD RED) - RAID 5
Backup: Seagate 8 TB Backup Plus Hub (3.5" external, USB 3.0)
UPS: APC Back-UPS BX - 700VA, BX700U-GR (AVR, 4 Schuko outputs, USB)

P3R
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Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by P3R » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:47 am

Missing_Link wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:35 pm
1. Will this give me the stellar VM performance I am looking for ?
No. A dual core CPU (4 threads) with a passmark of 3530 by far don't have enough performance from 4 Windows 10 VMs. It may be able to do 2 decently but not stellar.
2. Are there any alternative configurations arrangements I should consider ?
You need a much more powerful CPU. More threads and much higher passmark.
3. Are there any other QNAP NAS's I should be looking at ?
AMD Ryzen CPUs offer the best performance currently but unfortunately there probably aren't any Desktop/tower models available currently. :cry:
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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jaysona
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Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by jaysona » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:48 am

Missing_Link wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:35 pm
....
NAS: TVS-472XT-PT-64G-C (64gb RAM, Intel Pentium G5400T 3.1GHz 2-core processor) - 4-Bay RAID (64GB Compatible RAM, Pentium) + 10GbE + Thunderbolt 3
SSD Storage: 2 x 1TB SSD (Samsung SSD 970 EVO PLUS MZ-V7S1T0BW M.2 2280 NVMe SSD)
HD Storage: 2 x 3TB Western Digital WD Red Plus (CMR) WD30EFRX 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s 5400rpm
....
Your NAS and storage choices are adequate for what you looking to do, with one caveat. If you plan on running all four VMs at the same time, performance will be chunky due to the under powered CPU.

If you are comfortable with opening the unit, voiding the warranty and swapping out the CPU,then you can install a Core i7-8700T or Core i7-8700. If you use the 8700, you will need to make sure the NAS has good circulation for ventilation and that the ambient room temperature at NAS level is 25 degrees Celsius or lower to keep CPU and unit temps in check.

Here's a thread about some that have performed the CPU upgrade on the TVS-472xt.
viewtopic.php?f=182&t=146110&start=15
H/W: TS-219 Pro / TS-269 Pro / TS-253 Pro (8Gig)
H/W: TS-509 Pro x2 / TS-569 Pro / TS-670 Pro (i7-3770S 16Gig) x2 / TS-853 Pro (8Gig)
O/S: Slackware 14.2 / MS Windows 7-64 (x5)
Router1: Asus RT-AC86U - Asuswrt-Merlin - 384.18
Router2: Asus RT-AC68U - DD-WRT v3.0-r39960M kongac
Router3: Linksys WRT1900AC - DD-WRT v3.0-r43028 std
Router4: Asus RT-AC66U - FreshTomato v2020.3
Misc: Popcorn Hour A-110/WN-100, Pinnacle Show Center 250HD, Roku SoundBridge Radio (all retired)

Missing_Link
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Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by Missing_Link » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:06 am

Hi P3R and jaysona,

Thank you both for your valued input. The mistake I made (in some ways) was to economise on the CPU with my currrent NAS, but it has served my needs to run individual VM's, albeit with less-then-stellar performance it has to be said. But, I had to balance the ROI, and in this respect it has been a worthwhile project. Now I'm looking to take things up a gear I want to buy a NAS that would last me 5+ years.

The CPU Passmark is a really useful steer - thank you. I have to say I was a little concerned about the CPU only being 2-core. It seems like you can't get a really,really good CPU in a desktop NAS form by default. The "replacement CPU" thread was also very informative. Decisions....decisions...! :-D

I think I would run 2, max 3 VMs at the same time. Ideally, all 4 would be great - but not essential for my needs. Clearly, more research is needed!.

If there are other recommneded QNAP models to look at or any thoughts on what kind of budget I'm going to need for this, please let me know your thoughts.

Thank again - I'm really happy to get a view from people who have been around the QNAP scene a lot longer than me!.
===========================
System: QNAP TS-453A (8GB)
Drive config: 12TB (4 x 3TB WD RED) - RAID 5
Backup: Seagate 8 TB Backup Plus Hub (3.5" external, USB 3.0)
UPS: APC Back-UPS BX - 700VA, BX700U-GR (AVR, 4 Schuko outputs, USB)

dolbyman
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Location: Vancouver BC , Canada

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by dolbyman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:15 am

For some snappy VM performance and costs savings .. you could always go with a tiny device like a NUC (in addition to the QNAP)

The NUC 10 with Intel Core i7-10710U has a passmark of over 10k (6C/12T) and could rest on top of a NAS

Missing_Link
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:19 pm

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by Missing_Link » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:37 am

Hi dolbyman,

Thanks for that - it is an interesting idea, but I really want the benefits and convenience of a consolidated solution.
I have looked at these previously though and did use an android media stick as a bubble upnp server for a few years until I got my NAS 🙂. Being able to get rid of all those cables and external drives was great!
===========================
System: QNAP TS-453A (8GB)
Drive config: 12TB (4 x 3TB WD RED) - RAID 5
Backup: Seagate 8 TB Backup Plus Hub (3.5" external, USB 3.0)
UPS: APC Back-UPS BX - 700VA, BX700U-GR (AVR, 4 Schuko outputs, USB)

dolbyman
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Posts: 19095
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:11 am
Location: Vancouver BC , Canada

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by dolbyman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:42 am

to get that much power in a QNAP NAS, you need to invest 10x the cash

a RAM and disk loaded NUC is around 700USD, a passmark comparable QNAP is 6k+ USD

Missing_Link
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Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:19 pm

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by Missing_Link » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:57 am

Thanks dolbyman,

That certainly gives me something to think about!.
I'm certainly not up for spending that much cash. It would make me consider changing the hypervisor first...


Thank you 🙂
===========================
System: QNAP TS-453A (8GB)
Drive config: 12TB (4 x 3TB WD RED) - RAID 5
Backup: Seagate 8 TB Backup Plus Hub (3.5" external, USB 3.0)
UPS: APC Back-UPS BX - 700VA, BX700U-GR (AVR, 4 Schuko outputs, USB)

P3R
Guru
Posts: 12201
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+01:00)

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by P3R » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:09 am

dolbyman wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:42 am
a RAM and disk loaded NUC is around 700USD, a passmark comparable QNAP is 6k+ USD
You can't get anything close to the same storage in a NUC and one need the NAS anyway for the bulk storage so it's not really a fair comparison. A TS-677 was around $2000 base price (calculated from pricing on my market, probably less in USD) and it had at least a 20% better Passmark.

@Missing_Link,
The request was for stellar performance with 4*Windows and TS-X77 models can have that with the stock CPU. There are rack mounted Ryzen models available but they're much more expensive and one need a sound-isolated computer room so it's usually not anything for home and SMB users. A 2nd generation TS-X77 desktop/tower line announcement is expected but customer deliveries will probably be at least several months away and could take longer...

The high performance in relation to the very low TDP of the Intel CPU is impressive and a separate VM server is not a bad idea. It have several advantages, freedom of choice in OS/VM engine is one. A NAS is first and foremost a NAS to me and I don't see them as perfect VM servers. VMware ESXi and VirtualBox are very good (maybe better?) virtualization alternatives and for those those that like MS, there's always Hyper-V. A separate VM server (requiring only a power cable and a network cable) could be a very good complement while using the existing Qnap for bulk storage...

Otherwise the CPU upgrade, also suggested in the thread, is necessary.
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!

dolbyman
Guru
Posts: 19095
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:11 am
Location: Vancouver BC , Canada

Re: Looking to estimate VM performance & alternatives - potential new purchase...

Post by dolbyman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:28 am

P3R wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:09 am
You can't get anything close to the same storage in a NUC and one need the NAS anyway for the bulk storage so it's not really a fair comparison.
Just talking about compute, not storage, you can still leave the storage (ISCSI) on the NAS (I wrote further up that the NUC would be in addition to the NAS)
P3R wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:09 am
A TS-677 was around $2000 base price (calculated from pricing on my market, probably less in USD) and it had at least a 20% better Passmark.
I know it was a great performer for the price .. sadly discontinued and no follow up model announced so far (in the same cost category)

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