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External Storage or NAS Recommendations


JsinFate
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Hi guys, I was wondering how you all have your Emby servers set up?

Do you have any recommendations for external storage bays or NAS devices?

Right now mine is on a 12TB drive inside my new computer and it works great, but I have been looking into Non RAID drive bays to upgrade to and I found a small NAS enclosure but I'm not sure if it will be powerful enough to stream my movies and make them look good.

 

Here is the NAS: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PWDTBJ6?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_1ZYBTVGAJ9TP4S265J7D
Specs:
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ARM v8 quad-core 1.4GHz CPU
1GB RAM DDR4

This is the Non RAID enclosure I'm looking at: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08CN4Z4PC?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_VY60SJFJ0KTJGBNBTDMT

My concern is that the specs are too low for the NAS even though it has it's own Ethernet connection.

For reference here are the specs of my PC:
Ryzen  9 5900x 12 core
32GB RAM
Nvidea 10GB Geforce RTX 3080

I also have a friend in England that I gave access to my server. I don't know if this little NAS is powerful enough to stream to multiple devices.

 

Thank you for the help guys!

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FrostByte

Are you planning on running Emby server on the NAS then?  Do you need to transcode?  If you do then you will want something with a gpu. 

Edited by FrostByte
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FrostByte

Here is what I would recommend.

Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS720+ (Diskless) : Electronics (amazon.com)

Emby server runs very well on the DS720+, has a 4K UHD GPU which will help when transcoding, and is expandable if you ever need more drives.  Or, the DS920+ if you want to start with 4 bays.

Processor specs:

Intel Celeron Processor J4125 4M Cache up to 2.70 GHz Product Specifications

Cons are they cost 2X that of the TM.

 

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58 minutes ago, Luke said:

Hi Synology is a great choice. @FrostByteI'm sure will have good things to say about his.

Thank you I will look into that.

 

27 minutes ago, FrostByte said:

Are you planning on running Emby server on the NAS then?  Do you need to transcode?  If you do then you will want something with a gpu. 

I'm not really sure. I wanted to get a drive bay and additional drives so I can expand.

I really don't know if I need to transcode. I'm pretty new to Emby and I just assumed that if it was needed it would do it automatically. That's why I'm hesitant to get a low end NAS. I don't know if it's transcoding when I'm wathing a movie, I should test. But, I was thinking that if I just had a drive bay with swappable drives my computer would still be able to push up the video just fine. Am I wrong in this?

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FrostByte
Just now, JsinFate said:

Thank you I will look into that.

 

I'm not really sure. I wanted to get a drive bay and additional drives so I can expand.

I really don't know if I need to transcode. I'm pretty new to Emby and I just assumed that if it was needed it would do it automatically. That's why I'm hesitant to get a low end NAS. I don't know if it's transcoding when I'm wathing a movie, I should test. But, I was thinking that if I just had a drive bay with swappable drives my computer would still be able to push up the video just fine. Am I wrong in this?

Emby will transcode automatically but will struggle without a GPU, especially when you start adding higher bitrate and resolution video.  My NAS doesn't have a GPU but I do absolutely no transcoding.  My clients can play everything I have without converting.

You can check SFN when playing, or check to see if you have any transcode logs on the server to find out what's happening.

If you don't want to run Emby server on the NAS, then the TM will probably be just fine.  Your computer and your nVidia card will be doing all the heavy work.

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19 minutes ago, FrostByte said:

Emby will transcode automatically but will struggle without a GPU, especially when you start adding higher bitrate and resolution video.  My NAS doesn't have a GPU but I do absolutely no transcoding.  My clients can play everything I have without converting.

You can check SFN when playing, or check to see if you have any transcode logs on the server to find out what's happening.

If you don't want to run Emby server on the NAS, then the TM will probably be just fine.  Your computer and your nVidia card will be doing all the heavy work.

When you say you don't do any transcoding, is that because you have it disabled or you just have the bandwidth to push video without needing to?

Curious about that clients part. Haha

I wouldn't mind running it on a NAS but I don't want to lose quality or speed and performance.

What is TM?

In your opinion, would there be any benefit to using a lower end NAS like the one I linked earlier or should I save up for a big boy version?

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FrostByte

I never transcode not only because my TV, NAS, and Shield are all sitting next to each other hard wired into the same switch, but also because my Shield supports every audio, video, and subtitle format I have so nothing needs converting.  I have transcoding turned off because it shouldn't be needed and if an unsupported format error pops up I want to know why right away.

TM = TerraMaster. 

My opinion.  As long as you're running Emby on your computer I don't think it will matter.  You can point an Emby server library to a network location.  However, if you got an itch and decided one day to run Emby server from your TM then I think you may regret it, especially if you have anything 4K.

The benefit of running everything off the NAS vs using the NAS for media storage only is you only need one box up and running.  However, even a high-end Synology with a 4K GPU won't be able to compete with your PC as far as transcoding goes.

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Unless you have a reason not to run Emby on your PC I wouldn't consider a NAS for that purpose.
Your PC is a PERFECT media server with a 12 core/24 thread Ryzen  9 5900x and plenty of memory at 32GB RAM.

You should be able to use that computer with Emby running in the back and not even know it's there even when people are transcoding since you have a 10GB RTX 3080 GPU!

I've got a Synology 920+ which these specs:
image.png.57657a912baf6c7e496a223068e27f2b.png

Here's the performance difference of just the CPU
image.png.3d5dced9e0922cca3f8e877f2901b34d.png

image.png.841bc75cade36d516698c5d3d52d5907.png

image.png.721014925a543f737d21616caa568c27.png

It takes about 2K passmark score to do a 1080 to 720 transcode in software.  Luckily that NAS has Intel QuickSync built it that can do maybe 2 or 3 transcode streams but there is noticeably latency waiting for it to start.

On the other hand your RTX 3080 can do 24 fully offload 1080/10Mb to 720/4Mb transcodes
and should be able to do 12 4K/68Mb to 1080/8Mb transcodes

Other people dream of having your system to run Emby on and your thinking about running it on a NAS. :)

You can still purchase a NAS and use it for storage which works out even better because the CPU used in it really doesn't matter too much, giving a lot more choices then just the Synology + line (ie 920+) as you don't care about needing QuickSync.

Depending on what you have in mind you can actually do twice as much storage for 1/2 the price as well.  For example the 920+ is $550 on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Synology-DiskStation-DS920-Diskless-4-bay and that's for 4 drive bays.  To get my 920+ how I wanted made me add 4 GB additional RAM plus 2 1 TB NVMe Memory sticks.  Figure $200 more for that.

An alternative is something like an 8 bay hard drive enclosure for $245 https://www.amazon.com/Syba-Swappable-Drive-External-Enclosure
or 4 bay version for $120

image.png.576ecc6df2fdaee32d2689a5a1cdc5a6.png

This attaches to any PC using a single USB connection with about 3.5Gb throughput.  Before thinking that's low consider the 920+ has 2 1Gb LAN ports with no ability to expand so even "bonded" together you would have about 1.6Gb throughput.

You could use something like this for RAID 5 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IOLBT2 TERRAMASTER D5-300 which is 5 Bay with many RAID levels to choice from giving the data protection would have had with the 920+ but only $259 cost.  A 5 Yottamaster 5 Bay Type-C RAID Enclosure is only $161 and work really well.

You can also get USB 3.2 versions connecting at 10Gb as well such as Yottamaster Type-C 10Gbps 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Daisy Chain for $269
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DLTTDTV

Or one of many people's favorites for 8 bays at $369 and Type C  https://www.amazon.com/ORICO-External-Enclosure-Enterprise-Expansion/dp/B08LN1ZXF3?th=1
cool video on the left menu.

Of course if you want serious storage you can get some good deals on eBay for used Enterprise SAS equipment.  Here's a few of mine:
HP 3PAR 2U 24 Bay 2.5"
image.png.1c16475af4442524b38c2b91d22773f9.png

Dell EMC KTN-STL3 2U 15 Bay
image.png.5b215bd9d65a519212053c35801789b5.png

Symantec Promise JX30 3U 16-Bay

image.png.444da6b41779c13bdcc3a515ffd3052d.png

NetApp DS4246 4U 24 Bay

image.png.7725640ffa4f88a1dadf3cb28380060b.png

Dell Compellent SC220 2U 12 Drive Bay
image.png.9a4eeba5f72db591d26bd09cae89647c.png2 shown 1 with bezel (cover) one without.

Can't help but like how these looked stacked:
image.png.2c52dae373fb244b968d7b09de4b29e9.png

Which are all connected to one of these as the host
Dell R720DX2 Dual ZEON Gold CPUs 40 cores x2
image.png.9f61450f07d74a9f891eeafbca46c0a7.png
That does the coolest thing:
image.png.b46bd47d2ecc30ec8c6d6c803a9c7901.png

4 more bays around back
image.png.8d08b47d59e43452d71fe7d26721450b.png

 

I do not have this one but wanted to show you what's available if you look for it. This is cheaper than the Synology 920+ until you add in shipping (depends where you live).

Or if you prefer dense:
image.png.1fcf2dd407538d56836cbf3f1e5f7c8b.png

60 top loading drive bays

image.png.899ff6d53d5ba008af2b266230758b27.png

Figure half a day putting caddies on your drives

image.png.c78956c46168130fddde05ce6635b1ca.png

https://www.ebay.com/itm/224768468844

Freight is high but you can arrange your own and save a lot.  This is in George which shows $350 shipping but through GoFreight I had this picked up in Texas being delivered on Monday for $217 after my discount.. Probably 30 to 40 cheaper for me from Georgia. They will be the same pallet weight or class 55. But for "roughly" the same price there's a wee bit of difference in storage. :)
image.png.eb7d3ae9acc67f027915fa178c0503b5.pngimage.png.bb0cb6c94bb5aad4af2ad96936f1ec7c.png

Anyway, I would most certainly think long and hard about wanting to run Emby Server anywhere but on your 5900x/RTX 3080 as that's a perfect place.  And as you can see have tons of options, new or used for storage if you actually need it. The Yottamaster mentioned earlier on Amazon and nice and small if you don't want to give up space and don't have loud fans which is important if plugged directly into your computer.  My setup sounds like you're in a data center. :)

Grabbed coffee and saw this I forgot to mention.  If you would prefer not to use USB connections you can get a 4 or 8 bay SAS tower:
image.png.19da4f9a79cfee58a449d9938b7194c0.png

Last but not least if you prefer to have a NAS style computer for your media server and don't need a lot of space. You could build your own as well using a case like this or similar:

image.png.f55aa64b6063082a3222ba36bf1f8a43.pngimage.png.8cc6ba08259d59b10d6116d1e7331718.pngSilverstone CS280

image.png.2f2eb781737791bd446fc5c2381d8882.pngimage.png.48b994ba89df936e271cd4d4f8b9b259.pngSilverstone CS381B

i3 or i5 would be plenty if you moved the RTX 3080 over to it. :) A much lower cost Geforce 1650 Turing would work real well too and much cheaper.
https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-GeForce-Overclocked-Graphics-PH-GTX1650-O4G/ $199 and would be good for about 18 1080/10Mb to 720/4Mb transcodes or 4 of the 4K to 1080 transcodes. Just make real sure it's got the Turing 116 chip and not the Volta 117 (old tech) which would do 14 & 3 transcodes.

Hopefully you get some ideas for this. I'm obviously trying to persuade you from going the NAS route. You're used to speed and it will seem slow plus cost double or more than something else a bit more creative.

Carlo
 

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arrbee99

In need of a laugh ? - you should try getting some of those boxes in non-America and you should check out the postage for some of those from America to non-America.

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JsinFate

Holy crap! Did you say that was just a few of your racks? Sir, are  you backing up the entire internet?!

Thank you so much for the links and advice. I think I will keep Emby on my PC. I just received my new 16TB drive so I'll be copying everything over to it today.

To be honest, the last time I built a PC was many many moons ago and when that died I just used cheap laptops. I'm now 46 and finally landed a good job that allowed me to save money for a new pc and that's what I did. It took me 2 months and several 1.5 hour long trips but I finally got it. It was prebuilt which is good because the technology in today's computers absolutely floored me!

I really appreciate all the help from you guys, thank yo so much!

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