NAS for photo editing, simplify digital life

NAS for photo editing, simplify digital life

Been looking for a NAS for a long time, but nothing seemed ready for my needs. I have Win10 personal built 6800K 6core PC with 2X SSD R0 for cache, 6TB WD Black x2 one for photo one for media, other drives for less important storage. I use copy backup one offsite. Don’t trust RAID in PC for primary storage. My primary use for production is photography, Lightroom, Photoshop. Lightroom browsing performance is the most important aspect, and drove R0 SSD storage for LR preview performance. Again, primary storage is single disk for simplicity and easy of backup architecture. SSD R0 is giving me >500 MB/s with obviously low seek times which is the most important consideration for Lightroom Preview performance (small, sparse files as you might know).

My PC is upgraded and migrated motherboard, but in place upgrade each time, to maintain the storage architecture. Too painful to rebuild from scratch. But, Storage complexity is getting in the way.

Do you expect this QNAP TVS-872XT NAS, TB3 connected to my current ASUS X99 Deluxe II motherboards USB3.1 Gen2 (there are 4) ports, will give me performance similar or better than my current storate?

The other consideration is I live in the boonies in the mountains of California, and Internet isn’t great. 7Mbps down, 1 up. So cloud storage simply isn’t an option unless/until I move. I live with cloud storage for backup of small files (documents, etc), but obviously not photo/video. This will give me cloud type access to my data on all my devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, desktop TB3, laptop (wireless in hose is Netgear R7000 AC 1900 currently. It seems this will give my access to data when at home that is far better/easier than I have today. I’ll probbably invest in a smaller NAS I can snap copies of things and locate that at another location I have (but don’t live at) with 15Mbps uplink speeds, which would then serve data when outside my home, but hard to keep in sync.

I currently run Plex on my home computer, which is powerful enough to transcode but don’t need to given I’m really just serving to the Apple TV and 19x1k plasma TV. But down the road I can see wanting to transcode, and this device will do that w/o issue I’m guessing, other than possibly from 4K media.

Finally, I would use it for VMs, several, Windows Server AD, 2xLInux VM for email/web gateway (I sell those for Cisco so would be like a lab), Squeezebox/LMS server would be very nice (that runs as an app or in a VM?). I’m a techie so would probably do a lot with this, assuming it can handle it. I’m assuming I’d need to spring for 32GB RAM for that use, and that means throwing the 16GB in the box away, right? No way to avoid that?

So, will this do what I need well enough? Or am I still buying too soon or expecting too much? Alternative is to keep using my home computer for all storage, but I REALLY want to simply my life in that regard.

As I said, I work for Cisco, and can certainly upgrade the network in the house LAN or Wifi if necessary, just never seemed needed with my current archaic storage architecture.

This is a bit more expensive than I was thinking (was thinking $500 NAS and 4x drives so $1300 to $1500. This is >2x that with drives). Although I have SSDs available for cache that I can repurpose, and probably a few other drives that can be used. But RAID I’d need to buy WD Red or Seagate IW drives.

On that, it seems R10 4x 10TB WD Red pro or IW Pro drives would be best for read and write performance? But hard to expand with QNAP right so shoudl I populate with my down the road storage needs so 6x 10TB? I understand RAID well, but have not practically used it. Know that R5 is slow to write due to parity, R6 is worse in that regard. R10 is best for read and write with single redundancy. But that would leave only 2 slots for other storage, if I wanted something else. So shoudl VMs over iSCSI or whatever be hosted on a different LUN or can one big drive be OK since it’s basically single user situation?


I am afraid you will not be able to connect Thunderbolt NAS via USB. Series like TVS-873 will do that, but transfer speed will be slow.
The best option for you is working over 10GbE. You can get a switch or connect it to your editing PC directly.
With all this functionality TVS-872xt is an excellent choice even though you would not use Thunderbolt ports. But maybe in the future you will find them useful.
The other option would be TVS-1282-i7 series without Thunderbolt but with 10GbE connectivity. An i7 and 16GB RAM (or more) will be required to run virtual machines smoothly. Also more apps you install and run in the background mean more demand for the RAM.
Why I particularly like TVS-872xt is internal NVMe SSD slots. This means insane data transfer speeds. You can set up tiered storage system which will automatically move data to this extremely fast media. Or simply use NVMe to edit and regular HDD RAID for raw storage and finished project distribution.
USB3.1 gen2 will allow you to create fast eternal backups. If you have a NAS in the other location you can copy the backed up data there or set up direct synchronisation between two NAS automatically. The third layer of protection then also could be a cloud backup from the location with a faster internet speed.
Talking about drives and RAID types. WD or Seagate Pro drives will indeed have quicker access times. But as you mentioned in a single user environment you would probably not notice a difference even if you chose regular NAS drives. Also the data transfer speed will be limited by the connectivity not the NAS itself.

​​​​​​​I hope this helps.

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