Oct 11, 2019
Hello, all. I am looking for suggestions on which way to go relative to setting up a NAS on a small network.

We have our Internet router which provides all stations (4-8) with wi-fi and also connects to a 4-port switch via RJ-45. This switch provides connectivity to a particular large format printer for a couple of the stations only - It is needed. The internet in this area (and the provided hardware by the ISP), leaves a lot to be desired (Sagecom HomeHub 2000 for 25/10) and wi-fi speeds hover around the 15/2 area.

We have a few key folders that we need shared across our workstations and right now, we do this over the network as shared folders. Because these transfers go through our router, data transfer speeds (as well as internet speeds) slow down considerably. We often require R/W access to files of a few GBs from these shared folders, but the current set-up makes it almost unbearable.

We want to leverage a NAS, preferably 4Bays, and 4 SSDs, on an entirely internet-free network. The plan is:
  1. connect the NAS to an 8-port switch
  2. install Gigabit NICs in all workstations
2b. 2 of the stations currently have NICs connected to a 4-port switch for a large-format printer; these stations would require a 2nd NIC
3. have 2 bays x 256GB SSDs containing data and 2 bays x 256GB SSDs backing up the ones containing data (SSDs are Samsung 860 EVO)

  1. What would be the best NAS for this?
  2. Can a 4bay NAS be split like this (drives 1 & 2 data, drives 3 & 4 backing up drives 1 & 2)? Is that RAID 10?
  3. Can the switch alone be used or do we have to go through a router?
    1. Can a separate router from the one currently used for the internet be used?
    2. Do you have any suggestions for this switch and/or router?
The current set-up sees 2 stations connecting to a switch that enables them to print to a large format printer, also connected to said switch via RJ45. While the current station's NICs are Gigabit, the printer's Ethernet connection is 10/100. Because of this, I want to segregate the printer from the NAS, so as to not bring Gigabit devices down to 100mbs.
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You have a couple of misconceptions. The router will not slow the traffic down. From what I see there are 4gbit ports on the router. That is the same as a 4 port switch. The traffic goes directly from lan port to lan port and does not go through the router chip. Next hooking a 10/100 printer to a port on switch/router does not have any impact on the other devices. A switch can run all ports at 1gbit up and 1gbit down all at the same time. So a 4 port switch can poss 8gbit of data continuously. Not that there is any realistic way you can accomplish this.

You are going to have all kinds of trouble if you attempt to dual nic machines. It will help to use ethernet instead of wifi if you can do that.

I would just put the nas on the router or on a big switch. You do not have a large enough network to be concerned about exceeding 1gbit of data. You would need a switch with 10g ports and a nas that has 10g ports and fast enough disk system to run over 1gbti.
Oct 11, 2019
So, if I connect an 8 port switch to the existing HH2000, then port all Gigabit stations as well as the 10/100 printer and NAS into said switch, I can take advantage of steadier 25/10 connections for internet, print to the printers and access the NAS with considerably more speed - all while abandoning wireless and/or dual NIC options (we dont really need wifi for workstations). Am I understanding your suggestions correctly? If that is the case, do I go with assigned IPs or use DHCP?

Our biggest priority is to make the NAS accessible with as much stability and transfer speeds as possible.

Thanks in advance!
If you buy a new switch and hook everything to it you could turn off the router and the devices would continue to talk to each other. The only time traffic would go between the switch and the router would be if it was going to the internet. This connection to the router is still 1gbit so if for example you left some wifi on the router and it needed to talk to the NAS or the printer there still would be more than enough bandwidth to not affect your 25mbps of internet.

The router would still assign DHCP addresses. The router is pretty stupid it just gets requests and really doesn't care if where the actual device is hooked up.