1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Suggestions for a Small Business NAS - Minimum Requirements Provided

Discussion in 'NAS Buying Advice' started by Andrew.L, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Andrew.L

    Andrew.L Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    I'm technically savvy, but pretty much a noob to networked storage solutions for small businesses. I'm overwhelmed with the options available. I'm hoping to receive some suggestions that I can investigate further. Below are some details on how the NAS would be used, it's environment, and minimum requirements. Thank you in advance for the guidance.

    General:
    • It will be behind an AT&T router at my home. I have fiber to the premises. I am currently paying for 50 up and 50 down, but can upgrade. I have no problem with upgrading if the NAS supports the higher speeds.
    • 4 TB will generally get me a year's worth of files. After a year, I'll archive off selected files for another year or two to Dropbox or an external drive before they are finally deleted. In short, I need about 4 TB of working space. 8 TB would be better, if affordable.
    • For safety, RAID would be good.
    • We're not really looking for general file storage and file sharing. We have Dropbox for those purposes.
    Required:
    • SFTP server, preferably with SCP, for user upload and download. Multi-user. Multiple directories.
      • Uploads will be mostly hundreds of video files. Most are 0.6 GB each. Some are as large as 15 GB.
    • Stream the MP4 files to the internet.
      • We capture video that then needs review by remote technicians. The files are viewed on a JavaScript powered HTML5 web page.
      Image server.
      • Similar to what we do with the video, we use a web based tool to review multiple JPG files.
    Nice to have, but not required:
    • Our business has an unlimited Dropbox account. I'd like to be able to back up selected directories to Dropbox.
    • Run some Windows and Linux virtual machines.
    • Web server.
    Anything pertinent that I'm not asking?

    Thanks again,
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  2. Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!
  3. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    your welcome to look around the NAS section for my posts on what i run, but i usually run a DIY build instead however if your funds are huge, then there are plenty of choices including one i put together for less using better hardware. What exactly is your budget? Does that budget include/exclude drives?
     
  4. Andrew.L

    Andrew.L Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Thank you. (And I just saw I'd missed there is a sub-forum on buying advice. If I need to move this thread then please let me know.)

    I'd prefer to keep the budget under $1000, with disks. But the closer to $500 the better. I don't know that I'm all that keen on a DIY NAS. I really want a GUI that is reasonably intuitive and has the applications I require built in. My time spent managing the device and applications will be limited.
     
  5. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    unfortunately to have such a device with disk to be less than $1K and be able to run virtualisation, your option is only DIY. I suggest starting with a 2nd hand CPU that contains CPU and IO virtualisation extensions alongside SSL and AES acceleration of a minimum of 4 cores. In my case i ran openSUSE which supports SFTP out of the box (make sure to enable SSH on the install screen). I use x2go for remote desktop (its easy to set up), plex for my video needs and those 4 cores will come in handy when using plex or running virtual machines, probably about 16GB of ram for starters. Plex has a setting that allows direct web viewing of images and videos if one knows the server's address and web address of the plex server running on it, and it can be adjusted up to what level do you allow viewing without authorisation which i set for LAN so that one can view from VPN but mine stores movies rather than security video.

    You will need to put time and effort to setting up the server. I use the linux raid utility and you can use apache/nginx for your webserver (apache good for very dynamic sites, nginx good for static sites). For Virtualisation you can either start with VMware and run your NAS virtually too, or you can use opensuse's built in tools such as KVM or you can just download virtualbox.

    The more you intend to run on it the more processing power you should get it with. If you run a webserver that will be accessed publicly, you should ensure it has the CPU to handle all the clients. Same with SFTP, my phenom ii however can handle over 1Gb/s of SFTP, and you can get 2nd hand NICs to fit your NAS network needs too for LAN. I give my NAS 2nd hand 10Gb/s mellanox cards for LAN.

    To get a similar NAS you'd have to find a x86 based one and they usually start above $1k for diskless just for one with decent CPU power. You can even consider AMD piledrivers and ryzens as well but i think the ryzen will have better virtualisation performance from better memory performance. On intel side you can get some xeons 2nd hand that have hardware CPU and IO virtualisation alongside hardware AES and SSL and if you get a mainstream CPU that fits a regular desktop board, that does give you options but not much with ECC support as you'll need a server board for that.

    Compare around hardware prices and NAS prices that use x86 hardware that supports what you want to do.
     
  6. Andrew.L

    Andrew.L Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Thank you. I'll check. Although I guess I'm confused on what I can get on the pricing. It looks like some of the TerraMaster NAS will do what I need out of the box and for less than $1k. What am I missing? (Also, virtualization is a nice-to-have. I can live without it.)
     
  7. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    use the quote/like as that alerts me when you reply.
    If virtualisation isnt needed, then your options are way bigger as you dont have to worry about virtualisation and memory performance, only CPU performance for video and for 1080p video which one would expect from cams, even an old quad core phenom can encode 3 streams on plex in real time. This really opens up your choices if you take away virtualisation as you would only need less ram.

    I've looked at terramaster, they do have some cheap models with decent specs. If you use IP cams then they will have preencoded the stream so if real time encoding of the videos are important, you may need more CPU, but if you view them as source then CPU power isnt needed, but for the input of video files, CPU is barely needed. Since you plan to run a webserver, you should consider just how processing intensive the website will be and how many users at a time (cant use terramaster's rating for this). Just remember that the prices are without the drives. For instance a seagate 8TB NAS drive should be between $200-$300, even better if you can get it for a lower price. WD has purple drives that are specifically optimised for videos if thats the only thing you're storing but even WD red would work well for that.

    Without virtualisation and real time encoding for viewing of videos, you dont exactly need x86 so you can go with lower end NAS. If you do want them your only choice would be 2nd hand hardware with new drives to get the CPU power and ram needed for virtualisation and real time encoding. If you build your own hardware, you can get 5 inch hot swap 3.5 inch drive bays that can fit towers or you can get a rackmountable case with hot swap bays built in.
     
  8. Andrew.L

    Andrew.L Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Thank you. I'm learning a lot.

    Yes, virtualization isn't needed. It's a nice-to-have. Even if used, it wouldn't be used extensively or often. It would only be used for installing and running some tests with various reporting systems on a Linux or Windows base. Top performance wouldn't be expected. It wouldn't be a production level deployment by any means.

    The video comes from individual dash-cam like cameras recording in MP4 at WVGA resolution and 30 (sometimes 60) fps. We have no need for higher and encoding isn't required. A 15 minute video turns out a small 0.6 GB file. 12 hours of traffic is less than 30 GB, although I have a lot of 30 GB groups. The video will be viewed on an HTML5 JavaScript driven web page by only a couple concurrent remote users. Again, not a high system demand. Right now, I'm on a 50/50 Mbps fiber-to-the premises connection. I'll likely bump up the plan to 100/100. The two other options are 300/300 and 1000/1000, but I'm thinking that won't be needed although the cost increase is minimal.

    As for the web server's use, it would only be for ad hoc testing and a few pages to serve up the video and image files. Again, we're talking less than a handful of concurrent users.

    At some point down the line we might give some file collaboration software a whirl. If it works as well or better than Dropbox then we might be able to let go of Dropbox, but it's not high on the priority list.

    I looked more into the TerraMaster and although I've seen good things apparently they haven't been around all that long. I'm not sure I want to go that route. I have been looking at the Synology DS718+ device with a couple of WD Red Pro drives and bumping up the RAM to 6GB. As much as I like learning and tinkering on this sort of thing for this work task I simply don't have the time. I need something that's as simple to implement as possible and still do the job, plus one that has ready support. (That's not to say I won't be asking more about a DIY project for my own personal use at some point.) The DS718+ seems to fit with what I'm learning here. It's at the top of the budget, but that's okay if it does what's needed. Do you have any thoughts on this device, now that I've provided a little more information?

    Thanks again,
    Andrew
     
  9. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    in that case, even an ARM based NAS can be considered, just get one that supports the speed you need. If you want some future proofing, go with a low powered x86 one with a few slots, if not pick one of the decent 64 bit ARM based ones that come with 4 cores at least at a decent clock speed. If the drives arent included, pick the best price/GB you can get between WD red, WD purple and seagate ironwolf.

    Consider the Network bandwidth you want (LAN wise if multiple Gbe ports combined or 10Gbe is something you will need) or even a single gigabit ethernet port. If you plan to get a better NAS in the future then simply get one of the lower end ones that come with a couple of gigabit ethernet ports as encoded video streams only take up a few Mb/s.
     
  10. Andrew.L

    Andrew.L Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Thank you!
     
Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!