I am a photographer, and I want to move to editing files directly on my NAS

I am looking for a new NAS solution. I have two older NetGear ReadyNASes, both equipped with 6x4TB HGST disks, and it is getting to slow for me and I am running out of space – both are running X-Raid w. single disk redundancy. I am a photographer, and I want to move to editing files directly on my NAS, as supposed to keeping the files on my NAS, moving them to my Mac Pro when working on them. I shoot RAW and my files are around 75MB a piece, and I often create stitched images using 10-15 files. I am also moving into 4K video editing and would like to edit these files directly on my (future) NAS.

My setup is an 8-core/64GB/D700 2013 Mac Pro, an i7/16GB 2014 Mac Mini, and an i7/16GB 2016 MacBook Pro. As for working storage I use a Sonnet Echo Express III TB2, with a Mercury Accelsior E2 SSD card and a Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus card. My network is an HP Gigabit Router, connecting to my NASes, the Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro, as well as a LinkSys Velop Mesh system for WiFi.

So, I am thinking;

A. The TVS-882T-i5-16G or the TVS-882BRT3-i5-16G, equipped with HDDs and SSDs. I’d replace the 10GbE card in the NAS with the QM2-2P card with 2 NVMe SSDs for caching and run 3-layered QTIER. I’d connect my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro to the NAS using Thunderbolt, and otherwise use the Gigabit Ethernet connection to my existing network.
B. The TVS-882-i5-16G or the TVS-882BR-i5-16G, equipped with HDDs and SSDs. In this configuration, I’d buy the QM2-2P10G1T card, with 2 NVMe SSDs for caching and have 10GbE. I’d have to upgrade my Router, as well as buy a Thunderbolt2 -> 10GbE adapter, to equip my Mac Pro with 10GbE. The rest of my units would have to settle on using Gigabit Ethernet to connect to the NAS.

My questions are;

1) Which option would you suggest? I need more storage and will move to 10TB HDDs, and of course Raid6. I need speed, and I need fast connectivity from at least my Mac Pro.
2) If I go the way of 10GbE, and I connect my Mac Pro to the NAS via a Thunderbolt2 -> 10GbE adapter, will that be the only network connection the Mac Pro utilizes, or will I need to use an Ethernet connection to the Router also?
a. If the answer is yes, do I even need to upgrade my Router, or can I connect my Mac Pro to the NAS via 10GbE, and the NAS to the network using Gigabit Ethernet?
3) Is Thunderbolt or 10GbE Ethernet the way to go?
4) If you suggest 10GbE, as supposed to Thunderbolt, are there other NAS manufactures, or other QNAP models, I should look at?

Most of the video editors choose TVS-1282T3. The SSD can be set up as a cache or tiered storage. Or you can even create a separate volume of SSDs for editing and HDD would serve for storage and distribution. Having a Thunderbolt port on a NAS is very beneficial because you don’t need to think how to upgrade your mac (unless you get a new mac with 10gbe port).

Qnap allows you to create a virtual switch. So you can connect your NAS to the internet and connect other devices including your MAC to the NAS as a switch.

If you have Thunderbolt 2 MAC you can get an Apple adapter. This should not worsen NAS performance, because TB2 still has a decent bandwidth speed. My choice from your select NASes would be TVS-882BRT3.


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