SSDs in NAS? Tips needed ...

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by 386SX, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    Hi there.

    I own a 4 bay NAS with 2 slots free, so I thought about adding some sata ssds in raid1 and use the space as iscsi target.
    The NAS has 2x gbit lan (Zyxel Nas542), so no massive speeds are necessary, you will agree.

    So I searched for drives between 2 and 4tb and found the Samsung 870 EVO QLC.
    While I always turned away from QLC drives because of their slow speeds after the cache is full, those may just be the right drives for my intended usage (pure QLC is specified with 160MB/s, which would be greater than the ~ 120MB/s through LAN). Sandisk X600 is another model almost as cheap as the Samsung (10 euros more expensive currently for 2tb version: 155 euros for Samsung and about 165 euros for Sandisk). It's a TLC drive without any cache and shows steady numbers around the 500MB/s marker (specs).

    So my questions:
    - Would you recommend a QLC drive for my use case?
    - Would I benefit from the (Samsung) SSD's SLC cache or DDR4 cache or would they get disabled with setting up RAID?
    - Do you have other tips, considerations or warnings regarding my project?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. insp1re2600

    insp1re2600 Ancient Guru

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    depends on what you are using the NAS for? media, backups etc?
     
  3. cucaulay malkin

    cucaulay malkin Ancient Guru

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    x600 is a 3d tlc drive (can't find info but probably bics) and it does support slc caching.it might be dramless tho.
    imo both are overkill for NAS

    i'd take the x600 money permitting,but you're good either way.
     
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  4. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    As I said, the ssd space is planned as iSCSI target / "drive" for my current Hyper-V > planned VMware host.
     

  5. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Can you set up those two 1 Gbit LAN in Link Agregation?
    It wouldn't sum those up, but it'll give that NAS an edge. Two way highway.

    Now, on the SSDS.
    There are a lots of - depends.
    First and foremost, the budget. Knowing how much is allowed to spend, it's a the first filter to apply.
    Second, each NAS OS is tuned differently. Example, Synolog's DSM has a hybrid RAID but highly option optimized. Does it take advantage of SSD caching? Absolutely, and one can add NVME SSD just for caching.

    Now, there is a higher chance that every OS will take advantage of hardware detected features. Saying that, I just don't think that it will be disabled just for setting two drives in RAID 1. I could be wrong, though.

    Third, even the low end SSD will be faster in a NAS. How I would like to replace my 2x6 TB HDDs with SSDs. Not to mention noise and power.

    And finally, as always buy the best you can afford, it will be worth it.
     
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  6. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    @anticupidon thank you, that really helps.
    But I disagree at some point with your last sentence.
    I guess I would be able to get Samsung 870 non qlc evos instead, but regarding both LAN ports it wouldn't show any big difference I guess, as the LAN definitely is the most limiting factor, therefore paying a hefty price premium for even more headroom I cannot use would make no sense.

    Here are my prices, what would you buy then?:
    https://geizhals.de/?cat=hdssd&xf=252_1920~4832_1&sort=p&hloc=at&hloc=de&v=e

    I for myself would either choose the both aforementioned ones or probably the MX500 which is 179 euros right now. 870 EVO non QLC is 225 euros. I cannot see any sense in buying those ...
     
  7. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Those MX500 are good performers overall on their own price range.
     
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  8. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    *bump*

    I RMA'ed a bunch of used Samsung SSDs which didnt work at all in any of my rigs.

    Now I see this:
    https://geizhals.de/verico-phantom-ssd-2tb-a2600559.html

    I mean ... 2TB for 129 euros instead of 220? :O

    Does anyone of you have any experience with this brand? Deal or no deal?
     
  9. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    That e-tailer offers returns of bought items within a time window?
    If so, buy one, have your way with it, if you can open it and see what memory cells it has and what model and type of controller has inside.
    Maybe it's just a rebranded SSD from a bigger manufacturer. Of sold under this name for OEMs or something.
    But yes, 2TB SSD for that price, it's tempting.
     
  10. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis Master Guru

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    Be aware when it comes to VM hosting, virtual drives etc. snapshots and other VM type filesystem features can cause a lot of write amplification, in some cases it can be huge, for that reason I wouldnt be comfortable using a QLC SSD for that purpose unless it was an enterprise class SSD.

    If its a direct storage device to be used inside the VM, and its main purpose is archival then consumer QLC will probably be fine.
     
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  11. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    QLC is a very bad idea for NAS from my experience...
    Better get a chinese low cost TLC than a QLC for that use if you are low on money.

    For NAS you have some reference specialised in all major brand, that are fine for your use.
     
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  12. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    As always, money are a deciding factor. Almost every hobby that involves hardware has this "dark side" where money play a big role. And this is where the "wife acceptance factor" comes into play.

    Or name it as you please, it's the same.
    I am saying this because I managed to sum up the bills I've spent on my home lab in 2020-2021. Luckily, I always hunt for the lowest price, I am patient when it comes to spending and some things aren't worth to get new, like server hardware. Just HDDs and SSDs.

    Now, QLC in a NAS is something controversial. Even that one doesn't store sensitive data and if a SSD fails, it will get replaced, it's better to spend once and spend smart. Cheap is always "expensive" in the long run.

    I hate when money is the decision factor, but isn't that the same in almost all decisions in life?
    Just wait and save more, it's what I do. Every single piece of hardware I've bought in the last last 14 years are from money I've earned aside my salary.

    And for me it's just the way I upgrade. I like hardware and computers, but I would never touch main monthly income for buying hardware parts. Even if my wife will not argue and let me buy whatever, I wouldn't. Call it "taming the impulse buy addiction".

    @386SX Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to show empathy and understanding of the situation.
     
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  13. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    65.7 TBW is what still bugs me. I havent seen an SSD with TBW this low for a long time ... especially for 2TB. This should be higher, right? Still unsure about that ... I guess I will save a bit and get me MX500's then (about 175 euros instead of those 129 euros). Reliable and cheap.
     
  14. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    The TBW is dependent of the nand used, the more you stack the more the TBW get better, as an exemple a 8Tb QLC will have a better TBW than a 2Tb wich is the minimum in QLC if i remember...
    MX500 are nice one, the BX500 is less expensive but won't fit your use as anticupidon said "less expensive sometime cost more in time".
     
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  15. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    Okay, but 65.7 TB?? Others have values around the petabyte marker ...
     

  16. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. MX500 was always on sales.Could be priced at a very attractive price.
    It's just a month wait, fill your time with family and whatever, save and wait. The waiting game has its rewards.
     
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  17. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    The more you go down in price the more the quality per price % go down.
    Don't forget that chinese factories can do the best top quality, but also the worse depending on what the client ask for ...
    Sadly for us, EU and US clients generaly ask the less expensive to do the max benefit.
     
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  18. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis Master Guru

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    I got bad news about the MX500 as well, sorry guys.

    There appears to be an issue in the firmware that causes massively accelerated erase cycles, from what I can tell from my own experience it still functions fine, but will just have an accelerated ageing process (for normal consumer use still will outlast warranty).

    I have the 500gig model in my laptop, and its so fast I had 2 erase cycles on one day, compared to a samsung TLC ssd which might have a few erase cycles over the course of a whole year. There is some hits on the internet about this, the most technical discussion is a thread on toms hardware, I can link to it later if its requested.

    The bug seems to surface if you dont power cycle often, I tend to keep my systems on 24/7 with long uptime hence it affecting me.
     
  19. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    we're not sure if the 30 and 40 firmware versions are affected, as these use the newer nand controller.
     
  20. 386SX

    386SX Maha Guru

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    So MX500 is a no-no? Or is it possible a firmware update fixes the issue? From what I read and heard those are "cheap" but solid drives.

    What model would you recommend for nas usage in raid5? I thought about going all in and invest in 4x 2TB ...
     

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