About 2 years ago I provided a solution for a company that shoots and edits video. Back then they had a DS918+ and mostly a lot of external SSD an HDD’s. Obviously there’s a lot wrong with that, so I provided them with a bigger NAS (the DS1821+) with a 10Gig network card and a Mikrotik 10Gig switch. The DS918+ was moved to the owners house for offsite backups.
Back then the setup was designed for quick transfers to/from the NAS, but it was intended for working from local storage on the editing machines. As it turns out it was very possible to edit 4K footage from the NAS itself. But as the number of editors grew, so did the situation change from ocassional multiple users hitting the NAS to it being the norm. They usually have 3 or more editors working, and even though we expanded the RAID5 array from 4 to 8 disks, they are really noticing the delays caused by spinning up all that rust.
Back then the decission to go for the intended workflow was because of reducing costs. Obviously it would’ve been way more expensive to get a system that would be able to handle multiple editors, actually editing live from the network storage itself.
Long story short, this is the current situation:
DS1821+ with 8 Exos X16 drives (12TB or more each) in a RAID5 setup.
(Upgraded with a 1 port 10Gbit network card and a 1TB read cache SSD)
Mikrotik 12 port 10Gig switch
Offsite: DS918+ with 4 Ironwolf 12TB drives and an expansion unit with 4 12TB Exos drives (RAID5 over the e-sata, I know not recommended but it’s backup and would run into space issues with 2 separate volumes).
I’ve done a lot of research, and I’m aware a Truenas server would probably be a better fit for an upgrade. There’s actually 3 reasons that made me more or less rule that out:
- No really easy and solid way to back it up to the Synology’s in place (nothing like snapshot replication)
- Good hardware for Truenas would either be enterprise gear, so very expensive (or I’d have to build myself, I see a lot of people not recommending this for production and it ties well into the last reason:)
- I have 0 experience running Truenas, and I’m not really comfortable with running such experimental setups in production.
Now I’ve come up with a different strategy: adding a second NAS, with only SSD’s. So less, but faster storage to work on current projects. And keep the current NAS for storing older projects. All while backing them both up offsite to another Synology box (may be replaced by a rackstation and moved to a datacenter). Maybe even 3-2-1, with a local and remote backup for the SSD equiped server.
To wrap it up, this i what I’m considering:
DS1821+ (because of price and drive compatibility)
3 or more 2.5 inch Ironwolf SSD’s (2 or 4TB each), to have room for expanding.
Dual 10Gig ethernet or SFP (using link agreggation)
RAM upgrade to 32GB.
Would this be sufficient for, let’s say 5 or 6 editors? Any tips, comments or recommendations?