Fast NAS for 4K video and collaboration

I’m working mostly at my office 2013 Mac Pro workstation using DAS Thunderbolt 2 boxes from OWC (2x 4 bay each). These boxes only get me at most 350MB/s. I want a fast and expandable NAS that reaches speeds of around 900MB/s. The only fast connection I need is to my workstation (only TB2 available), but I will share files and collaborate over our office 1GBe network and over the internet using client shares.

I’m leaning towards a 10Gbe connection for future-proofing and have found a relatively cheap 10Gbe switch: GS110MX. But I will consider any connection option as budget is a factor. I currently have 4x 6TB WD Red drives in one unit and 4x 6TB Seagate Barracuda dives in the other unit. Since speed is key, I also need advice on which drives to fit into the NAS and am willing to sell these drives to get better ones. I want to add another 12TB to the system in addition to these drives. Expansions are certainly part of the equation.

When speed is an important factor, you need to think of every link in the chain. The slowest thing will determine the total speed. In this case, two hard drives in the RAID will perform around 350MB/s (each drive around 100-200MB/s). So there are two options to increase the speed:

  • Have more drives in the RAID
  • Have faster drives like SSD or NVMe

Just having two SSD drive in RAID0 will give you speed around 800MB/s or more (400-550MB/s each). But SSD are not very cheap especially if you need few terabytes of storage space.

Another option is getting more hard drives and link them together using RAID. This will be cheaper and with RAID5 or RAID6 – safer option. You can also mix hard drives and SSD drives for caching or tiered storage. So you get the best speed only for live projects and HDD for sharing and collaboration.

The next link in the chain is a connection between the storage device and your computer. Thunderbolt throughput will be around 2500MB/s similarly like dual 10GbE network port. But if you have Thunderbolt already – it will be cheaper to get DAS or NAS which has this connection.

In the table below you can find few NAS/DAS options with top speed test results. If you need something faster then this – you can consider Rackmount NAS solution with more then 12 drives.

MB/s TVS-682T-i3-8G TVS-671-i5-8G TVS-673 TVS-882ST3
Write 580 1,002 892 2,302
Read 1,348 1,388 1,312 2,069

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