Looking for a second opinion

BoredSysadmin

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Current situation:
Storage: DIY Whitebox Freenas with 6x 2TB internal drives and x12 2TB in External SAS DAS - used only for media storage. Compute - 3x old HP workstations (i7-2600/32gb/10gig/4x cheap 250gb SSDs) running vSAN.
Problems:
a) Drives are ancient, especially WD RE4 Blacks in the DAS - I only have 1 old spare left. Most of them have failures.
b) Electrical power usage
c) Overly complex
d) Not enough capacity
Usage: 4-5 Containers (some heavy memory users). VMs: Unifi Controller VM, Pi-hole, HaProxy, HomeAssistant, NVR for 4-5 IP cameras (currently iVideon)

My proposed solution is to consolidate it all in one box:
QNAP TS-873A NAS - 8 bay with 8x 14TB Toshiba Enterprise 7200 rpm drives. 64GB memory, 2x Micron 7300 MAX 800GB m.2 NVMe drives for caching and/or data tiering.
If my existing home 10gig nics won't work, I'd get and reflash Mellanox Connect-3 nic (which Qnap sells rebranded)
Qnap NAS could run either QTS (regular Linux MDRAID/EXT4) or QuTS Hero (ie ZFS) OS - I ofcourse more interested in ZFS, BUT one massive show stopper is natively QTS support QVR Pro video recording for 8 cameras (more than I'd ever need), where QuTS Hero only Included QVR Elite and comes with only 2 camera licenses and I think requires subscriptions (big thumbs down for that)

Tell me if I'm crazy, would I need much more cpu for all that?
 

BoredSysadmin

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I'm biased as hell but go with at least 8 cores. Quadcores are pretty anemic in 202x.
My original DIY Freenas is still running on an i3-3220T dual CPU with an under 2k PassMark score. I used to run half a dozen jails on it including plex fairly successfully. The only reason I moved Plex away is I wanted to use Hardware acceleration with Freenas doesn't support.
V1500B is twice as fast according to PassMark, I think considering its typical TPD I should be alright with performance.

I'm also aware that V15000B and AMD, in general, are poor choices for video encoding in hardware (to put mildly) but the step-up model with Intel i3 is TVS-872X is a) $700 more expensive and b) not as power efficient. My current Plex is running on ApolloLake NUC and it's ultra power efficient.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Regarding NVR, some folks recommend me to look at Frigate/Viseron projects - both support Google's Coral TPU for much more efficient motion/object detection. Coral TPU is both available as M2 and USB3 - the latter is much more likely since I'd need m2 slots for SSD caching.
 

T_Minus

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Current situation:
Storage: DIY Whitebox Freenas with 6x 2TB internal drives and x12 2TB in External SAS DAS - used only for media storage. Compute - 3x old HP workstations (i7-2600/32gb/10gig/4x cheap 250gb SSDs) running vSAN.
Problems:
a) Drives are ancient, especially WD RE4 Blacks in the DAS - I only have 1 old spare left. Most of them have failures.
b) Electrical power usage
c) Overly complex
d) Not enough capacity
Usage: 4-5 Containers (some heavy memory users). VMs: Unifi Controller VM, Pi-hole, HaProxy, HomeAssistant, NVR for 4-5 IP cameras (currently iVideon)

My proposed solution is to consolidate it all in one box:
QNAP TS-873A NAS - 8 bay with 8x 14TB Toshiba Enterprise 7200 rpm drives. 64GB memory, 2x Micron 7300 MAX 800GB m.2 NVMe drives for caching and/or data tiering.
If my existing home 10gig nics won't work, I'd get and reflash Mellanox Connect-3 nic (which Qnap sells rebranded)
Qnap NAS could run either QTS (regular Linux MDRAID/EXT4) or QuTS Hero (ie ZFS) OS - I ofcourse more interested in ZFS, BUT one massive show stopper is natively QTS support QVR Pro video recording for 8 cameras (more than I'd ever need), where QuTS Hero only Included QVR Elite and comes with only 2 camera licenses and I think requires subscriptions (big thumbs down for that)

Tell me if I'm crazy, would I need much more cpu for all that?

I have had big AIO to low power (4C) AIO to even lower power (and similar CPU\Perf) and foot print NAS with 10TB drives, cloud key gen2+ w\enterprise intel SSD for my cameras and another low power system for VMs. This way in my situation I can run my security cameras when power is out and not need to run 10TB spinners or VMs that aren't needed, etc...

I used Intel 9100F for my ITX NAS you could probably build one with that and 32GB RAM SM motherboard + DS380B for less than that synology.
I went back and forth between Syngoloy\QNAP or another DIY DS380B.
 
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BoredSysadmin

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@T_Minus - Cloud Key g2+ - Is it limited to only working with UniFi cameras? if not - does it has a usable mobile client?

I also know that the DIY route would be cheaper and even more powerful, BUT I puzzled which software/OS should I used - Go 100% bare Linux and manually configure each and every service? UnRaid ? ESXi with FreeNAS VM? or beta TrueNAS Scale?
My gut feeling tells me the latter to be the best option, but the development cycle seems slow and covid didn't help much.

Big TB spinners could be powered down then idle I assume. with the planned 800GB in SSD cache (raid1) I won't think that spinning up time would that big of an issue.
 

T_Minus

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@T_Minus - Cloud Key g2+ - Is it limited to only working with UniFi cameras? if not - does it has a usable mobile client?

I also know that the DIY route would be cheaper and even more powerful, BUT I puzzled which software/OS should I used - Go 100% bare Linux and manually configure each and every service? UnRaid ? ESXi with FreeNAS VM? or beta TrueNAS Scale?
My gut feeling tells me the latter to be the best option, but the development cycle seems slow and covid didn't help much.

Big TB spinners could be powered down then idle I assume. with the planned 800GB in SSD cache (raid1) I won't think that spinning up time would that big of an issue.
I use uniFi cameras so unsure if it works with others, and I don't use a mobile app but there is one.

Why do you want a rapid development cycle for your home storage? I'd prefer slow and stable :)
You can fit 4x SSD + 8x Spinners in the itx case it seems great for your purpose if you can nail down what to use ;)
 

BoredSysadmin

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I use uniFi cameras so unsure if it works with others, and I don't use a mobile app but there is one.

Why do you want a rapid development cycle for your home storage? I'd prefer slow and stable :)
You can fit 4x SSD + 8x Spinners in the itx case it seems great for your purpose if you can nail down what to use ;)
I'm 99% sure that UniFi Video NVR only works with UniFi video cameras so that would be a no-go for me.

I also prefer slow and stable releases, but the issue is I need software to manage storage, VMs, and containers all in one and I know only very few.
As mentioned Unraid (still not off the table, but I have doubts about it), Maybe XPEnology, and TrueNAS Scale, once it's, gets released from its current beta state.

Again, I went with the DIY route before (many times) but some features like I said would be near impossible to get on DIY NAS like enclosure management (stuff, like lit up, LED on failed drive caddy)
 
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BoredSysadmin

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Question: How good of a deal would you call if I had an opportunity to purchase 2nd hand Qnap TVS-872XT (i5-8400T based) NAS in fully working condition with minor cosmetic issues for $950 shipped?
Compared to 873A, 872XT has about 75% faster processor (PassMark based), has Quicksync, Thunderbold, and 2x M.2 slots (vs 1x on 873A), and one of PCIe expansion ports is x16 (vs x4)

Cons: it is slightly less power efficient (noise isn't a concern) and has no warranty (qnap only gives 2 years)

I think it's a no-brainer. Any thoughts?
 

BoredSysadmin

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@ipocnveg i think you’re missing the point of not wanting to do yet another DIY or missing out on backplane management.
 
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Markess

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Question: How good of a deal would you call if I had an opportunity to purchase 2nd hand Qnap TVS-872XT (i5-8400T based) NAS in fully working condition with minor cosmetic issues for $950 shipped?
Compared to 873A, 872XT has about 75% faster processor (PassMark based), has Quicksync, Thunderbold, and 2x M.2 slots (vs 1x on 873A), and one of PCIe expansion ports is x16 (vs x4)

Cons: it is slightly less power efficient (noise isn't a concern) and has no warranty (qnap only gives 2 years)

I think it's a no-brainer. Any thoughts?
Usage: 4-5 Containers (some heavy memory users).
I'll start by saying that I know next to nothing about Qnap in general, and even less about these two models in particular. But I did note in your first post that you'd said you had some heavy memory usage on some of the containers. In Qnap's documentation, it appears that the 873A can go up to 64GB of RAM, while the otherwise more capable 872XT can only go to 32GB. If you anticipate not needing more than 32GB RAM in the foreseeable future, then its not an issue. Otherwise, the difference maximum RAM might be something to take into consideration.

Also, the 873A can apparently support ECC (although it doesn't seem to come with it), while the i5 in the 872XT can't use ECC. Not sure how that would factor into your decision vis-a-vis ZFS? I know you mentioned being more interested in running ZFS than other FS options. If you did want to go with ZFS and you were a more traditional "ZFS means ECC Required" person, then I suppose that would tend to rule out the 872XT, even if its great deal.
 
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BoredSysadmin

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@Markess Not sure where did you see 32gb on 872XT, the Qnap page shows 64GB, and Intel says max memory for CPU is 128GB. Agreed with ECC, but I'm currently running my DIY FreeNAS without ECC and without any issues.
 

Markess

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@Markess Not sure where did you see 32gb on 872XT, the Qnap page shows 64GB, and Intel says max memory for CPU is 128GB. Agreed with ECC, but I'm currently running my DIY FreeNAS without ECC and without any issues.
I'd not looked at these before, so I downloaded the User Guide to look through (https://download.qnap.com/Storage/TechnicalDocument/TVS-x72XT/TVS-x72XT-UG-02-en.pdf ). In there, it lists 32GB (page 4)...unless I grabbed the wrong document somehow? Honestly, I didn't even look at the specs page on the website in any detail first, so missed the entry there.
 

BoredSysadmin

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no. problem. I think originally the model came with a more conservative 32GB, but after some time they tested, confirmed, and started selling QNAP branded 32GB modules they made it part of spec (w/o updating the manual). There is also this unofficial and unnecessary long video that confirms that a pair of CT32G4SFD8266 SO-DIMMs successfully enables 64GB on qnap 872xt

In any case, I ordered the qnap already. will order the 64GB memory above, m2 NVMe cache drives (pair of 800GB 7300 MAX m2. 2280 - due to 5 years/4.5 PBW endurance), and 8x Toshiba 14TB Enterprise capacity drives. I know generally Toshiba wouldn't be 1st choice, but a) these are enterprise drives meant to work 24/7 and b) these come with a 5-year warranty from an authorized dealer.
 

BoredSysadmin

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For the sake of posterity, here's the update:

Qnap TVS-872XT received from eBay seller in great condition at 1/2 current market price.
64GB memory were successfully installed on it using above mentioned CT32G4SFD8266 SO-DIMMs
The same goes for 800GB 7300 MAX m2. 2280 drives. I also ordered heatsinks for 2280 drives from amazon. I'm not listing which ones since they are kinda a) expensive for that they are and not the greatest quality.

My Qnap TVS-872XT doesn't seem to boot up if the Thunderbolt card is removed. Originally it was installed in the x16 slot. Moved it to the x4 slot without issues.

In the PCIe x16 slot, I've installed Emulex OCE14102 2xSFP+ dual 10gig network card. (bought on eBay for $25)

All devices successfully recognized by qnap (running latest QTS os)
 
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UhClem

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... and 8x Toshiba 14TB Enterprise capacity drives. I know generally Toshiba wouldn't be 1st choice, but a) these are enterprise drives meant to >> work 24/7 << ...
From theToshiba MG08 "manual":
=;=;=;=;
Key Features
...
• 550 Total TB Transferred per Year Workload Rating [5]
...
[5] Workload is defined as the amount of data written, read or verified by commands from host system.
=;=;=;=;
Hope there's no devil in that detail ...
 
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Markess

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From theToshiba MG08 "manual":
=;=;=;=;
Key Features
...
• 550 Total TB Transferred per Year Workload Rating [5]
...
[5] Workload is defined as the amount of data written, read or verified by commands from host system.
=;=;=;=;
Hope there's no devil in that detail ...
Okay, so after reading that, I went looking to see what Toshiba said about my recently purchased 4TB MG04 drives. And the weird thing is, they gave the same 550TB figure, with the same definition in the footnotes. In fact, that number is the rating for each of the MG04 capacities (1, 2 & 4TB) as well as the lower capacity MG08 drives (4,6 & 8TB). Also, MG07 and MG09, which goes up to 18TB. Same language and same definition down in the footnotes.

Are they trying to say all these drives are rated for 550TB combined reads/writes per year regardless of capacity? SAS or SATA, makes no difference? If so, then I guess the 1TB drive is reasonably heavy duty/reliable, and the 18TB drive sucks mightily, with all the other capacities spread out in between? Makes no sense to me.
 

BoredSysadmin

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I recent BackBlaze tests they've published show decent short-term reliability of 14TB and more so 16TB Toshiba drives.
550TB combined reads/writes per year regardless of capacity makes zero sense on a 14TB drive so I will ignore this bit given I've already bought and currently using the drives. Only the future will tell how reliable they are or how "friendly" their warranty service is. I've confirmed that Provantage is Toshiba authorized reseller.