TS-653B Initial Setup

Discussion on setting up QNAP NAS products.
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Tazze
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TS-653B Initial Setup

Post by Tazze » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:25 pm

This is my second NAS, I still have my old NETGEAR ReadyNAS ticking away 2 x WD Green 3TB in RAID 1. Very old (~7 years, no faults, yet…) but has worked quite well.

After much thought and research I purchased a QNAP TS-653B 8GB RAM with 6 x WD Red 8TB NAS HDD, and expansion card with 10GbE and 2 x M.2 PCIe 500GB Samsung SSD. QTS version 4.4.3.1381

What do I plan to use it for? Some (2 to 3) user logins for file storage (max ~1TB each), large area for media (pictures, music, TV, live TV recordings, movies). And finally backups for computers used at home (ie 3 Apple laptops and 2 Apple Mac minis). I extensively use PLEX but still plan to leave the server on the Mac mini to cope with multiple data streams and potential on-the-fly transcoding - I don’t believe the NAS can handle that.

I’ve explored various setups and the more I read the more confused I get… I am a hack but am prepared to read and watch help videos to better learn. I have setup the TS-653B but am not happy with what I have and will attempt to explain here what I have done, my interpretation of the result and for others here to offer their opinion of what I have actually done and also (I hope) offer what might have been done better. I am in no rush - I have no data on this beast yet and am more than happy to toss out my initial setup and start again :)

So. My setup (what I think I did…, I will provide screen shots of the result in case I have not interpreted accurately what I have done):
1. Powered up my NAS with the 2 x M.2 500GB SSDs and 10GbE installed. No HDDs installed at this stage.
2. Used Qtier with 15% over-provisioning (after the test, maybe better to have used 10%, I just chucked on 5% more for no good reason…) and then placed these 2 SSDs in RAID1. This seems to now have been named RAID group 1.
3. NAS shut down.
4. 6 x 8TB HDDs installed.
5. NAS powered up.
6. HDDs placed in RAID 5. This has been named RAID group 2. One storage pool with 2 RAIDS appear.
7. 3 x Thick volumes created: 5TB (system volume [planned user shares], 35TB (planned media), 5TB (planned laptop & desktop [snap-shot?] backups). Note 1.5TB leftover for emergency expansion if I bump into a volume limit. Should I have considered a Thin Volume for the computer backups?

The Qtier aspect was very confusing to me. With the above setup I did not think this would be directly part of the Storage pool. But I guess Qtier IS directly part of the storage pool, that is perhaps the point? In one of my screen shots attached the 2 x 500GB SSDs (in RAID 1) have 73% used of 387.82GB - the SSD raid is almost full before I start… Then I read about “System Reserved Space” https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/faq/arti ... rved-space In one of the screen shots with storage overview the Storage Pool “Circle” shows a 215.9GB “slice” for System Reserved data, is this data on the SSDs? Or hidden on the HDDs? What is on the SSDs, System Reserved data and QTS + Apps? I was trying to ensure QTS and Apps are on the SSDs - but I have no idea where it really is, except on the 1st created volume (System)? In this 1st created Volume 16.23GB is being used and QNAP apps also appear along with the default folders - this would suggest the System Reserved data is not in the 1st Volume… All very confusing - for me…

Maybe I don’t need to do anything? But I am confused about the SSDs already nearly full with data… I had looked at 2 x 1TB M.2 SSDs but they were many $$$!! I was wanting to use the M.2 SSDs for better data “shuffling management” but was not sure whether or not to use Qtier or Cache acceleration for my user case. I am not using the NAS for high speed writing. For the amount of money I have paid I wish to make best use of my M.2 SSDs and HDDs!

Happy to read user suggestions, and am happy to completely reset the NAS to restart the setup process if required! (it’s been good practice - I’ve already done one reset…) Thank you.

<7 screen shots>
Storage Overview.png
Qtier Auto-management Storage 1 Pool Management.png
Storage 1 Pool Management.png
Summary Vol 1 to 3.png
DataVol1 system Managment.png
DataVol2 management.png
DataVol3 management.png
<end>
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P3R
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+01:00)

Re: TS-653B Initial Setup

Post by P3R » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:40 am

Tazze wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:25 pm
The Qtier aspect was very confusing to me.
It's confusing to everyone, including those that actually use it. I don't use Qtier as I don't fancy not not knowing exactly on what RAID group my data is located. It's probably a very good configuration for the less engaged users that just want things to work as well as possible but doesn't care much for what's "under the hood".
I was wanting to use the M.2 SSDs for better data “shuffling management”...
Unless at least one of your users is connected with faster than gigabit networking, then I think the SSDs are probably overkill. Maybe they can be useful for Plex, I don't know as I'm not using it?
6. HDDs placed in RAID 5.
With 6*8 TB I would definitely recommend RAID 6 instead of RAID 5 for best reliability.
7. 3 x Thick volumes created: 5TB (system volume [planned user shares], 35TB (planned media), 5TB (planned laptop & desktop [snap-shot?] backups).
Different from most other systems the standard recommendation with Qnaps is to use as few volumes as possible. More volumes mean more administrative work and more capacity lost to storage overhead. If you don't have a very good reason (there are more but the only good reason that I come to think of now is when also using the NAS for surveillance recordings) there's no need to use more than a single volume. Different data types are very well separated in different shared folders.
Note 1.5TB leftover for emergency expansion if I bump into a volume limit.
Since you don't have much data on the unit yet there's absolutely no need to allocate as much as you did for volumes immediately. Maybe you suddenly want to use snapshots or an iSCSI LUN or begin to do surveillance recordings or something else that neither of us can think of now. I recommend that you allocate 33-50 % more to the volume than you think you will need in the following six months. When you're down to 15-25% free storage capacity in the volume it's time to expand it.

The reasons you're now unsure about your configuration is because you used multiple volumes and that you allocated +90% of your pool immediately. Thereby you painted yourself into a corner. If you follow the above advice you have much more flexibility. It's much easier to move data into a new second volume if you realize there's a real need for it than it is to reverse the choices you've now made.

Life sometimes changes and so may your usage of the NAS do so why decide everything about the future usage now? My experience as a server administrator is to keep doors open for changes as long as possible, without going to any extremes of course.
Should I have considered a Thin Volume for the computer backups?
Thin volumes are good for when you have spare drive bays for future storage expansion and have scheduled to do that expansion before it's needed or some other special applications.
but was not sure whether or not to use Qtier or Cache acceleration for my user case.
I'd say either Qtier or as a very fast storage volume if you can find a use for it. I don't find SSD caching useful at all for your typical home user usage. You will have very large sequential loads. A cache will be too small for them and RAID 5/6 with mechanical drives should handle them great. If your client backups consist of very large files, they will probably be the most demanding you have and the client network connection will be the bottleneck, unless one or more clients are 10 GbE.

If you had asked me before buying I would have said that you should have saved the money for the future instead of buying the SSDs now.
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!

Tazze
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: TS-653B Initial Setup

Post by Tazze » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:13 pm

Thank you for the reply P3R. I’m currently preforming another setup.

So far:
1. Reset & Shutdown & removed the 6 HDDs.
2. Powered up the NAS - Qtier with 10% over-provisioning then RAID 1 with the 2 x M.2 500GB SSDs to create the initial storage pool.
3. Created Thick Volume (system) using the total available storage pool.
4. Shutdown the NAS.
5. Inserted the 6 HDDs.
6. Powered up NAS.
7. Added the 6 HDDs in RAID 6 as per your suggestion to the available storage pool (thereby expanding the storage pool). This RAID 6 array is still being created - about 12 hours to go…

Then the final step (8) for the initial setup will be to expand the 1st Volume (system) that I have already created. But as per your suggestion will only expand to what I think I need plus 30% or so.

My setup is fairly basic so will also stick to your suggestion re one Volume with the multiple Shares creation for the differing data types.

One question: Can each computer backup using Time Machine use its own Share?

I don’t really know if QTS and the apps will stay on the SSDs, maybe for now but perhaps in the end things will move about because of Qtier…

Thanks again for your reply.

P3R
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Posts: 12190
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+01:00)

Re: TS-653B Initial Setup

Post by P3R » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:49 am

Tazze wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:13 pm
One question: Can each computer backup using Time Machine use its own Share?
I'm sorry but I'm not a TM user so I wouldn't know.
I don’t really know if QTS and the apps will stay on the SSDs, maybe for now but perhaps in the end things will move about because of Qtier…
The OS is on hidden partitions so it's the apps that are in the system volume. Look at the settings for Qtier, that will determine how data will be moved between tiers.
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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