[SOLVED] Advice for my first NAS build

Hi all,

I'm a professional photo/video editor. I've been using 4TB HDDs as storage and would just swap them out when full and store them away in a cupboard somewhere. The issue is that I've increasingly needed to go back to these HDDs and needed to quickly access them, do a quick edit on them, and then put them back onto the cupboard.
It's getting quite time consuming for such little work-results as I'm doing this several times a week. Especially when you have to wait for someone else as there's a few of us here at the studio.

I live in Indonesia so prices have been converted to USD for reference. We're still a small-time studio so we are on the budget side.

Build
CPU : Ryzen 3 2300X or Ryzen 5 1400 - 79$
Mobo : ASRock A320M-HDV - 45$
RAM : Patriot Blackout Edition 2x8GB 3000MHz - 64$
SSD : Crucial MX500 256GB - 46$ (for caching - I've heard this helps a lot)
PSU : Corsair CV450 - 43$
Case : Cooler Master N400 - 42$
Sub-Total: 319$

NAS Drives
For the 4TB NAS Drives themselves, what do you think of these?
Toshiba N300 - 112$
WD Red - 117$
Seagate Ironwolf - 129$

Our Requirements
I think will only use 1 drive for parity/failure.
We do not require the drives to be constantly active.
We would like it if possible to be able to edit directly on the NAS directly (if not possible at least the Photoshop pictures).
We very rarely deal with 4K videos but a lot of 4K pictures.


My Questions
  1. How's the build?
  2. Do you suggest unRAID or FreeNAS?
  3. How do I boot/setup the system without any graphics?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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I appreciate you looking it up. I had limited myself to Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee and BliBli for my online purchases but couldn't find anything in stock within this price range.

Do these require any additional installation or components to work (appart from the HDD themselves)?
Totally self contained.
All it needs is an ethernet cable to connect to your LAN.


For performance, I did a small test last year in my LAN:
Playing 2 streams of 1080p video out one system
Music and 1x 1080p to 1 system
3x 1080p vids to a 3rd system
Accepting a full drive backup (~500GB) from a 4th system
Editing RAW pics from my Fuji X-T1 with Adobe Lightroom
Running its own internal backup to the USB connected TR-004 enclosure (3-4TB data)

Simultaneously.

Nary a burp. No pauses, no hesitation.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi all,

I'm a professional photo/video editor. I've been using 4TB HDDs as storage and would just swap them out when full and store them away in a cupboard somewhere. The issue is that I've increasingly needed to go back to these HDDs and needed to quickly access them, do a quick edit on them, and then put them back onto the cupboard.
It's getting quite time consuming for such little work-results as I'm doing this several times a week. Especially when you have to wait for someone else as there's a few of us here at the studio.

I live in Indonesia so prices have been converted to USD for reference. We're still a small-time studio so we are on the budget side.

Build
CPU : Ryzen 3 2300X or Ryzen 5 1400 - 79$
Mobo : ASRock A320M-HDV - 45$
RAM : Patriot Blackout Edition 2x8GB 3000MHz - 64$
SSD : Crucial MX500 256GB - 46$ (for caching - I've heard this helps a lot)
PSU : Corsair CV450 - 43$
Case : Cooler Master N400 - 42$
Sub-Total: 319$

NAS Drives
For the 4TB NAS Drives themselves, what do you think of these?
Toshiba N300 - 112$
WD Red - 117$
Seagate Ironwolf - 129$

Our Requirements
I think will only use 1 drive for parity/failure.
We do not require the drives to be constantly active.
We would like it if possible to be able to edit directly on the NAS directly (if not possible at least the Photoshop pictures).
We very rarely deal with 4K videos but a lot of 4K pictures.


My Questions
  1. How's the build?
  2. Do you suggest unRAID or FreeNAS?
  3. How do I boot/setup the system without any graphics?
IF you choose to do RAID 1 (the parity drive) then you can't just "swap them out when full and store them away" . You could swap the PAIR of drives, but not a single drive. RAID systems are not intended for frequent swaps.
I am also not a fan of build-your-own NAS. The small commercial NAS units are so much simpler to use. Many of the newest commercial NAS units support NVMe for caching to improve performance.
I think you should re-evaluate your system. Perhaps having "active" drives and USB archive drives. Migrate data from your active drives to archive drives overnight. Then eject the USB drive first thing in the morning.
 
Sorry if my original post was unclear but I would like to build a NAS system so that I do not need to swap them out anymore as I would be able to access them through the network instead.

The commercial NAS units are incredibly expensive here though. Since they're not very popular, the cheapest unit for a 6-bay is over 10-12 million, which is $700-900$.

Regarding your archiving USB drive solution; are you referring to building a dedicated PC for storage and then use USB sticks to transfer files between our active PCs and the dedicated storage PC?
I feel like this is not much different from our current system and doesn't solve our two issues:
  1. Several people requiring to access our archives simultaneously;
  2. Having to wait to transfer files on a USB stick, and then waiting again to retransfer it to our active PC.
The idea of being able to access the drives remotely through the network and especially being able to directly work on those drives without having to transfer anything to our active PC would be a big plus for us.

What do you reckon?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,436
4,743
159,940
19,833
Sorry if my original post was unclear but I would like to build a NAS system so that I do not need to swap them out anymore as I would be able to access them through the network instead.

The commercial NAS units are incredibly expensive here though. Since they're not very popular, the cheapest unit for a 6-bay is over 10-12 million, which is $700-900$.
"I'm a professional photo/video editor. "

This speaks to not cheaping out.

I'm also not a fan of roll your own NAS.
I have a QNAP TS-453a, and a USB connected TR-004, and a 4 bay MediaSonic enclosure. 51TB total.
Multiple users working on it at the same time is ZERO issue. All accessed through the LAN.
No transferring by USB, no plugging/unplugging.

It is its own server.

Stable, solid, feature rich.
 
"I'm a professional photo/video editor."
I'm offended.

Now I'm sure you both know your stuff but there's a reason I asked for advice regarding the build and which NAS-software solution to utilise.

Spending more than twice our budget is out of the question for us right now. So if I can redirect your attention to the original question instead.
 

Flayed

Honorable
My Questions
  1. How's the build?
  2. Do you suggest unRAID or FreeNAS?
  3. How do I boot/setup the system without any graphics?
I don't know much about unRAID or FreeNAS. Maybe try posting on a forum dedicated to these things.
You can't boot or setup the system without a graphics card. You would need a CPU with integrated display adaptor such as 3000G, 2200G, 2400G, 3200G, 3400G or buy a cheap graphics card gtx 750ti or similar.
 
Reactions: julienruc
I imagine either of those OS's would work.
FreeNAS or UnRAID

Both Seagate Ironwolf or WD Red are good choices.
(I have 4x 4TB Ironwolf)

But....
https://iprice.co.id/qnap/?page=2

4 bay NAS boxes

TS-431P
Rp 7.070.000
$480

TS-431
Rp 5.290.000
$358

TS-431+
Rp 6.910.000
$468

Bump up the RAM (I have 16GB in mine), add your 4 desired drives.
I appreciate you looking it up. I had limited myself to Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee and BliBli for my online purchases but couldn't find anything in stock within this price range.

Do these require any additional installation or components to work (appart from the HDD themselves)?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,436
4,743
159,940
19,833
I appreciate you looking it up. I had limited myself to Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee and BliBli for my online purchases but couldn't find anything in stock within this price range.

Do these require any additional installation or components to work (appart from the HDD themselves)?
Totally self contained.
All it needs is an ethernet cable to connect to your LAN.


For performance, I did a small test last year in my LAN:
Playing 2 streams of 1080p video out one system
Music and 1x 1080p to 1 system
3x 1080p vids to a 3rd system
Accepting a full drive backup (~500GB) from a 4th system
Editing RAW pics from my Fuji X-T1 with Adobe Lightroom
Running its own internal backup to the USB connected TR-004 enclosure (3-4TB data)

Simultaneously.

Nary a burp. No pauses, no hesitation.
 
Thank you very much.

Totally self contained.
All it needs is an ethernet cable to connect to your LAN.


For performance, I did a small test last year in my LAN:
Playing 2 streams of 1080p video out one system
Music and 1x 1080p to 1 system
3x 1080p vids to a 3rd system
Accepting a full drive backup (~500GB) from a 4th system
Editing RAW pics from my Fuji X-T1 with Adobe Lightroom
Running its own internal backup to the USB connected TR-004 enclosure (3-4TB data)

Simultaneously.

Nary a burp. No pauses, no hesitation.
 

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