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Small Studio Storage Advice
posted by Martin Aufinger  on Nov. 15, 2017, 8:20 a.m. (2 years, 7 months, 29 days ago)
10 Responses     0 Plus One's     0 Comments  

Hi,

 

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

 

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

 

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000€

- Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900€ each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

 

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS,  I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)  Any thoughts in general to my setup.

 

Any help highly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Martin

 

 


Thread Tags:
  storage 

Response from Jean-Francois Panisset @ Nov. 15, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
One thing I'll add is that if you are going to use a tiered approach (SSDs + mechanical drives), which is probably what you'll want to do anyway, you'll never be able to afford enough SSDs to store all those Houdini caches :-), the performance of your NAS will be much better with more drives, so I would personally fully populate whatever enclosure I'm buying, even if that means getting 12 x 4TB drives instead of 6 x 8TB drives (for instance). Plus upgrading a NAS is a often a traumatic experience, depending on the software you are using: not every NAS system allows adding new drives dynamically, non-destructively rebalancing the RAID groups... So when you run out of room or performance, which typically happens in the middle of a production, you end up getting another NAS anyway...

JF


On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM, Martin Aufinger <content@studiosysadmins.com> wrote:

Thanks for all the advice. Very much appreciated. Some more reading for me to do.

@William

Thanks, great to know.

@Todd

Client nodes primarily run Scientific Linux 7 and connect via NFS (although could be changed to another protocol ?).


Thanks for the suggestion using Entreprise HDDs and a SSD cache instead of full SSD raid. I get that this is a more robust solution but was initally concered about speed. Ideally I would like to get same speed as with an internal SSD. I guess that is possible as long as the relevant data is in cache. Not sure what speed I can I get for data not in cache. You obviously have a point though, especially about cost.

@Drew

Synology vs. Qnap

Yeah, interesting topic. I have a synology consumer model that works fine so at least I know the OS butI couldnt find any Synology with 10gbe preinstalled and there is only one with a Xeon processor which seems overall less interesting than the QNAP I mentioned. However, I have zero experience with Qnap which is a bit worrying. What was the experience you have had regarding Qnap/Synology. Reliabiilty? OS features? In terms of hardware "features" Qnap is definitely ahead.

@Julian

Freenas vs. Qnap/Synology

I have looked into freenas a bit and like the idea but it feels like it might be a step too far for me right now. I guess I can probably get it running but apart from the link you just sent me I would struggle to know/look into what I should buy. Let alone do when things break. I guess this also a bit more expensive than what I am looking at now, even when getting used ones. Or am I missing something obvious in terms of hardware selection for my type of use/price?

@Saker

Coper vs Fibre

I hear you and I am sure you are right about this but I might deal with that at a later point and keep things simple for now.

@Brian

Yes, definitely looking at good pipeline setup for my Houdini caches. Thanks.

Thanks for all your help.

I am one of those Houdini artists tanking storage in a heartbeat so I appreciate your thoughts.


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Response from Martin Aufinger @ Nov. 15, 2017, 2:08 p.m.

Thanks for all the advice. Very much appreciated. Some more reading for me to do.

@William

Thanks, great to know.

@Todd

Client nodes primarily run Scientific Linux 7 and connect via NFS (although could be changed to another protocol ?).


Thanks for the suggestion using Entreprise HDDs and a SSD cache instead of full SSD raid. I get that this is a more robust solution but was initally concered about speed. Ideally I would like to get same speed as with an internal SSD. I guess that is possible as long as the relevant data is in cache. Not sure what speed I can I get for data not in cache. You obviously have a point though, especially about cost.

 

@Drew

Synology vs. Qnap

Yeah, interesting topic. I have a synology consumer model that works fine so at least I know the OS but I couldnt find any Synology with 10gbe preinstalled and there is only one with a Xeon processor which seems overall less interesting than the QNAP I mentioned. However, I have zero experience with Qnap which is a bit worrying. What was the experience you have had regarding Qnap/Synology. Reliabiilty? OS features? In terms of hardware "features" Qnap is definitely ahead.

 

@Julian

Freenas vs. Qnap/Synology

I have looked into freenas a bit and like the idea but it feels like it might be a step too far for me right now. I guess I can probably get it running but apart from the link you just sent me I would struggle to know/look into what I should buy. Let alone do when things break. I guess this also a bit more expensive than what I am looking at now, even when getting used ones. Or am I missing something obvious in terms of hardware selection for my type of use/price?

 

@Saker

Coper vs Fibre

I hear you and I am sure you are right about this but I might deal with that at a later point and keep things simple for now. 

 

@Brian

Yes, definitely looking at good pipeline setup for my Houdini caches. Thanks.

 

Thanks for all your help.

I am one of those Houdini artists tanking storage in a heartbeat so I appreciate your thoughts.


0 Plus One's     0 Comments  
   

Response from Julian Firminger @ Nov. 15, 2017, 1:20 p.m.
+1 Saker's coments. I got my start in the caper buying 2nd hand kit from enterprise EOL discards back in the 90s. You'll learn real gear and get real kit. Just no support. Which is a zero sum game. Qnap support is non existent.
On 15 Nov. 2017 18:49, "Dan Young" <dan.robert.young@gmail.com> wrote:
Because 10g copper is very inflexible, literally and figuratively, and it's expensive trash that would likely require a more annoying, less-than-standard switching configuration to hook it up?

Just a handful of bits. I hate 10g copper.
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM, Greg Dickie <greg@justaguy.ca> wrote:
Why all the hating on 10G copper?
Aside from that I agree though and we really like the Dell N4xxx switches for the money.
Greg
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:39 AM, Brian Krusic <brian@krusic.com> wrote:
Hi,
Sakers advise is excellent and I agree in terms of sticking with 10Gb fiber over 10Gb copper.
This sounds your first foray in storage so keep it simple.
I designed my own storage using ZFS but then again Ive been messing with storage for as long as Ive been messing in VFX.
Id like to add looking into SolarFlare 10Gb as I found them a tad faster then any one else around.
If youve pipeline programmers around, split your Houdini cache storage and have them integrate that into the pipeline code so that its transparent.
Ensure your eBay purchases have 30 day returns as eBay can be such a huge asset.
Also, no better way to reduce your footprint on this Earth of ours then to re use some ones junk.
- Brian
Every day is a gift Thats why they call it the present"
On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:27 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm going to make the case that you go on eBay .and buy 4 nodes (1 being a spare for parts:drives) . For a start up this limits cost and gets you better tech and performance for the price.
Do not overlook the Houdini artists which will tank your storage in a heart beat. Especially when you start to render the cached sims with those 10-15 render nodes which quickly turn into more like 50. Typical rule is 5 render nodes per artist but for Houdini is usually double.
StorageEMC / Isilon S200 Storage Node 22 x 600GB 10K & 2 x 200GB SSD, 96GB Ram, 10Gbe

Not a fan of 10baseT anything. Stick with fiber.

SwitchDell Networking S4048-ON 48 Port 10 GbE SFP+ 6x 40GbE QSFP+ D P/N:TF3V9 Tested AOptics10Gbe 10GB SFP+ transceiver for Dell Networking N4032 N4032F N4064 switch w/60da
We have 30 plus+ of these switches
Network cards for workstations
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10GbE Single-Port SFP+ Network Interface Card

Local Artist Storage
Stick with the SSD for the artist boxes and cache locally from the Isilon via robocopy etc or nukes built in cache tools. We use those drives. We have 1000 plus. And I can count on 3 fingers how many have gone bad. They are 2 years old now.

Monoprice.com for your fiber
-S
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:10 AM, Drew Rosen <drew@compunirvana.com> wrote:

ive also seen better success with synology over qnap for entry level gear of this nature.
------------Drew Rosen

On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:05 AM, julian firminger <justdigitalfilm@gmail.com> wrote:
I think you're basic idea is fine. I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience. Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale. I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start>>>Cue Brian :)
Others have had good experience with Synology. I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint.


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives. Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs. These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model. My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar. For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk. No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road. This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS. This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx|40 HannaAve. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K0C3
office:(416) 516-7863fax:(416) 516-9682web:sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,


Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)


Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.


I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

-Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation


Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS, I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)Any thoughts in general to my setup.


Any help highly appreciated.


Thanks

Martin




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just a guy514-983-5400

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Response from Dan Young @ Nov. 15, 2017, 12:50 p.m.
Because 10g copper is very inflexible, literally and figuratively, and it's expensive trash that would likely require a more annoying, less-than-standard switching configuration to hook it up?

Just a handful of bits. I hate 10g copper.
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM, Greg Dickie <greg@justaguy.ca> wrote:
Why all the hating on 10G copper?
Aside from that I agree though and we really like the Dell N4xxx switches for the money.
Greg
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:39 AM, Brian Krusic <brian@krusic.com> wrote:
Hi,
Sakers advise is excellent and I agree in terms of sticking with 10Gb fiber over 10Gb copper.
This sounds your first foray in storage so keep it simple.
I designed my own storage using ZFS but then again Ive been messing with storage for as long as Ive been messing in VFX.
Id like to add looking into SolarFlare 10Gb as I found them a tad faster then any one else around.
If youve pipeline programmers around, split your Houdini cache storage and have them integrate that into the pipeline code so that its transparent.
Ensure your eBay purchases have 30 day returns as eBay can be such a huge asset.
Also, no better way to reduce your footprint on this Earth of ours then to re use some ones junk.
- Brian
Every day is a gift Thats why they call it the present"
On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:27 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm going to make the case that you go on eBay .and buy 4 nodes (1 being a spare for parts:drives) . For a start up this limits cost and gets you better tech and performance for the price.
Do not overlook the Houdini artists which will tank your storage in a heart beat. Especially when you start to render the cached sims with those 10-15 render nodes which quickly turn into more like 50. Typical rule is 5 render nodes per artist but for Houdini is usually double.
StorageEMC / Isilon S200 Storage Node 22 x 600GB 10K & 2 x 200GB SSD, 96GB Ram, 10Gbe

Not a fan of 10baseT anything. Stick with fiber.

SwitchDell Networking S4048-ON 48 Port 10 GbE SFP+ 6x 40GbE QSFP+ D P/N:TF3V9 Tested AOptics10Gbe 10GB SFP+ transceiver for Dell Networking N4032 N4032F N4064 switch w/60da
We have 30 plus+ of these switches
Network cards for workstations
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10GbE Single-Port SFP+ Network Interface Card

Local Artist Storage
Stick with the SSD for the artist boxes and cache locally from the Isilon via robocopy etc or nukes built in cache tools. We use those drives. We have 1000 plus. And I can count on 3 fingers how many have gone bad. They are 2 years old now.

Monoprice.com for your fiber
-S
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:10 AM, Drew Rosen <drew@compunirvana.com> wrote:

ive also seen better success with synology over qnap for entry level gear of this nature.
------------Drew Rosen

On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:05 AM, julian firminger <justdigitalfilm@gmail.com> wrote:
I think you're basic idea is fine. I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience. Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale. I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start>>>Cue Brian :)
Others have had good experience with Synology. I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint.


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives. Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs. These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model. My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar. For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk. No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road. This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS. This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx|40 HannaAve. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K0C3
office:(416) 516-7863fax:(416) 516-9682web:sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,


Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)


Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.


I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

-Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation


Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS, I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)Any thoughts in general to my setup.


Any help highly appreciated.


Thanks

Martin




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--


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0 Plus One's     0 Comments  
   

Response from Brian Krusic @ Nov. 15, 2017, 11:45 a.m.
Hi,
Sakers advise is excellent and I agree in terms of sticking with 10Gb fiber over 10Gb copper.
This sounds your first foray in storage so keep it simple.
I designed my own storage using ZFS but then again Ive been messing with storage for as long as Ive been messing in VFX.
Id like to add looking into SolarFlare 10Gb as I found them a tad faster then any one else around.
If youve pipeline programmers around, split your Houdini cache storage and have them integrate that into the pipeline code so that its transparent.
Ensure your eBay purchases have 30 day returns as eBay can be such a huge asset.
Also, no better way to reduce your footprint on this Earth of ours then to re use some ones junk.
- Brian
Every day is a gift Thats why they call it the present"
On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:27 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm going to make the case that you go on eBay .and buy 4 nodes (1 being a spare for parts:drives) . For a start up this limits cost and gets you better tech and performance for the price. 
Do not overlook the Houdini artists which will tank your storage in a heart beat.  Especially when you start to render the cached sims with those 10-15 render nodes which quickly turn into more like 50. Typical rule is 5 render nodes per artist but for Houdini is usually double.
Storage EMC / Isilon S200 Storage Node 22 x 600GB 10K & 2 x 200GB SSD, 96GB Ram, 10Gbe

Not a fan of 10baseT anything. Stick with fiber.

SwitchDell Networking S4048-ON 48 Port 10 GbE SFP+ 6x 40GbE QSFP+ D P/N:TF3V9 Tested AOptics 10Gbe 10GB SFP+ transceiver for Dell Networking N4032 N4032F N4064 switch w/60da
We have 30 plus+ of these switches 
Network cards for workstations
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10GbE Single-Port SFP+ Network Interface Card

Local Artist Storage
Stick with the SSD for the artist boxes and cache locally from the Isilon via robocopy etc or nukes built in cache tools. We use those drives. We have 1000 plus. And I can count on 3 fingers how many have gone bad. They are 2 years old now. 

Monoprice.com for your fiber
-S
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:10 AM, Drew Rosen <drew@compunirvana.com> wrote:

ive also seen better success with synology over qnap for entry level gear of this nature.
------------Drew Rosen

On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:05 AM, julian firminger <justdigitalfilm@gmail.com> wrote:
I think you're basic idea is fine.  I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience.  Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale.  I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start >>>Cue Brian  :)
Others have had good experience with Synology.  I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.  
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint. 


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives.  Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs.  These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model.  My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar.  For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk.  No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road.    This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS.  This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx | 40 Hanna Ave. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K 0C3
office: (416) 516-7863 fax: (416) 516-9682 web: sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,

 

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

 

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

 

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

- Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

 

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS,  I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)  Any thoughts in general to my setup.

 

Any help highly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Martin

 
 

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Response from Greg Dickie @ Nov. 15, 2017, 11:45 a.m.
Why all the hating on 10G copper?
Aside from that I agree though and we really like the Dell N4xxx switches for the money.
Greg
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 11:39 AM, Brian Krusic <brian@krusic.com> wrote:
Hi,
Sakers advise is excellent and I agree in terms of sticking with 10Gb fiber over 10Gb copper.
This sounds your first foray in storage so keep it simple.
I designed my own storage using ZFS but then again Ive been messing with storage for as long as Ive been messing in VFX.
Id like to add looking into SolarFlare 10Gb as I found them a tad faster then any one else around.
If youve pipeline programmers around, split your Houdini cache storage and have them integrate that into the pipeline code so that its transparent.
Ensure your eBay purchases have 30 day returns as eBay can be such a huge asset.
Also, no better way to reduce your footprint on this Earth of ours then to re use some ones junk.
- Brian
Every day is a gift Thats why they call it the present"
On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:27 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm going to make the case that you go on eBay .and buy 4 nodes (1 being a spare for parts:drives) . For a start up this limits cost and gets you better tech and performance for the price.
Do not overlook the Houdini artists which will tank your storage in a heart beat. Especially when you start to render the cached sims with those 10-15 render nodes which quickly turn into more like 50. Typical rule is 5 render nodes per artist but for Houdini is usually double.
StorageEMC / Isilon S200 Storage Node 22 x 600GB 10K & 2 x 200GB SSD, 96GB Ram, 10Gbe

Not a fan of 10baseT anything. Stick with fiber.

SwitchDell Networking S4048-ON 48 Port 10 GbE SFP+ 6x 40GbE QSFP+ D P/N:TF3V9 Tested AOptics10Gbe 10GB SFP+ transceiver for Dell Networking N4032 N4032F N4064 switch w/60da
We have 30 plus+ of these switches
Network cards for workstations
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10GbE Single-Port SFP+ Network Interface Card

Local Artist Storage
Stick with the SSD for the artist boxes and cache locally from the Isilon via robocopy etc or nukes built in cache tools. We use those drives. We have 1000 plus. And I can count on 3 fingers how many have gone bad. They are 2 years old now.

Monoprice.com for your fiber
-S
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:10 AM, Drew Rosen <drew@compunirvana.com> wrote:

ive also seen better success with synology over qnap for entry level gear of this nature.
------------Drew Rosen

On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:05 AM, julian firminger <justdigitalfilm@gmail.com> wrote:
I think you're basic idea is fine. I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience. Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale. I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start>>>Cue Brian :)
Others have had good experience with Synology. I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint.


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives. Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs. These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model. My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar. For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk. No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road. This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS. This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx|40 HannaAve. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K0C3
office:(416) 516-7863fax:(416) 516-9682web:sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,


Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)


Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.


I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

-Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation


Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS, I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)Any thoughts in general to my setup.


Any help highly appreciated.


Thanks

Martin




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--


Greg Dickie
just a guy514-983-5400

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Response from Saker Klippsten @ Nov. 15, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
I'm going to make the case that you go on eBay .and buy 4 nodes (1 being a spare for parts:drives) . For a start up this limits cost and gets you better tech and performance for the price. 
Do not overlook the Houdini artists which will tank your storage in a heart beat.  Especially when you start to render the cached sims with those 10-15 render nodes which quickly turn into more like 50. Typical rule is 5 render nodes per artist but for Houdini is usually double.
Storage EMC / Isilon S200 Storage Node 22 x 600GB 10K & 2 x 200GB SSD, 96GB Ram, 10Gbe

Not a fan of 10baseT anything. Stick with fiber.

SwitchDell Networking S4048-ON 48 Port 10 GbE SFP+ 6x 40GbE QSFP+ D P/N:TF3V9 Tested AOptics 10Gbe 10GB SFP+ transceiver for Dell Networking N4032 N4032F N4064 switch w/60da
We have 30 plus+ of these switches 
Network cards for workstations
Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN 10GbE Single-Port SFP+ Network Interface Card

Local Artist Storage
Stick with the SSD for the artist boxes and cache locally from the Isilon via robocopy etc or nukes built in cache tools. We use those drives. We have 1000 plus. And I can count on 3 fingers how many have gone bad. They are 2 years old now. 

Monoprice.com for your fiber
-S
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:10 AM, Drew Rosen <drew@compunirvana.com> wrote:

ive also seen better success with synology over qnap for entry level gear of this nature.
------------Drew Rosen

On Nov 15, 2017, at 7:05 AM, julian firminger <justdigitalfilm@gmail.com> wrote:
I think you're basic idea is fine.  I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience.  Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale.  I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start >>>Cue Brian  :)
Others have had good experience with Synology.  I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.  
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint. 


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives.  Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs.  These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model.  My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar.  For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk.  No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road.    This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS.  This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx | 40 Hanna Ave. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K 0C3
office: (416) 516-7863 fax: (416) 516-9682 web: sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,

 

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

 

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

 

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

- Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

 

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS,  I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)  Any thoughts in general to my setup.

 

Any help highly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Martin

 
 

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Response from Julian Firminger @ Nov. 15, 2017, 10:10 a.m.
I think you're basic idea is fine. I also agree with Todd on tweaking your price points on size.
However, Qnap are glorified home movie boxes in my experience. Even the higher end gear is quite plasticy, prone to firmware failures and does not scale. I can see a time in your future where you'll end up trying to manage 10 Qnaps non-centrally and be pulling your hair out.
You might want to look at some other solutions, FreeNAS>ZFS might be a good place to start>>>Cue Brian :)
Others have had good experience with Synology. I think Seagate (formerly Xyrtex) also have a product in this area.
The point is, even if your # artists doesnt scale, your data will and you dont want to be stuck with a bunch of consumer NAS stations with data scattered all over the joint.


Julian Firminger

Senior Systems AdministratorUnited Broadcast FacilitiesAmsterdam, The Netherlands

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives. Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs. These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model. My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar. For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk. No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road. This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS. This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx|40 HannaAve. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K0C3
office:(416) 516-7863fax:(416) 516-9682web:sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

-Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS, I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)Any thoughts in general to my setup.

Any help highly appreciated.

Thanks

Martin


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Response from Todd Smith @ Nov. 15, 2017, 9:10 a.m.
Hi Martin,
A few quick points.
- I would recommend reworking the budget for the drives.  Right now you are spending 4500 on 2TB SSDs.  These SSDs are overpriced and your money could be spent more wisely given the QNAP model.  My recommendation would be to invest in four 512GB SSDs to be used in the SSD cache slots on the QNAP (approximately 600), then take the other 3000, and buy yourself a good number of HGST Ultrastar drives, or equivalent drive that has a high mean time to failure (MTTF) - currently we recommend HGST Ultrastar.  For the money you were about to spend on 8TB of SSD, you can get 2TB of SSD cache and probably close to 40TB of decent quality spinning disk.  No need to fully populate the array right away, but buying a couple disks to have on hand in case of failures will save your hide down the road.    This will give you much better performance, robustness and capacity per dollar spent.
- If there is money to spare from the reconfiguration of the drive budget I would recommend using it to get a better processor and more RAM in the NAS.  This will increase the longevity of the NAS before upheaval.
- When talking about NAS, please indicate, the OS the client machines will be using as well as the protocol over which you will be passing the data (ie. Windows 7, SMB2.1 etc.), this will help as many studios use vastly different configurations.
Thank you,Todd Smith
Head of Information Technology
soho vfx | 40 Hanna Ave. Suite 403, Toronto, Ontario M6K 0C3
office: (416) 516-7863 fax: (416) 516-9682 web: sohovfx.com

From: "Martin Aufinger" <content@studiosysadmins.com>
To: "studiosysadmins-discuss" <studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:20:40 AM
Subject: [SSA-Discuss] Small Studio Storage Advice

Hi,

 

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

 

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

 

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

- Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

 

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS,  I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)  Any thoughts in general to my setup.

 

Any help highly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Martin

 

 


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Response from William Sandler @ Nov. 15, 2017, 9 a.m.
I see no issue using consumer Samsung SSDs for a small shop like this as long as you have backups.
You do not need a router that supports link aggregation.

William Sandler
All Things Media, LLC
william.sandler@allthingsmedia.com
On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 8:20 AM, Martin Aufinger <content@studiosysadmins.com> wrote:

Hi,

Appologies for my beginner question but maybe someone is nice enough to have a look at my setup considerations and share some advice.

I am trying to equip a small studio with network storage. Main use is for visual effects work (Houdini, Nuke).

1-5 artists working on it

10-20 renderboxes accessing it (rendering and houdini simulations)

Currently it is more like 1-2 artists and 5 renderboxes but I want to leave a little headroom.

I am considering purchasing the following:

- Qnap Turbo Station TS-1685-D1521-32G (Xeon D-1521 2.4GHz QC, 32GB non-ECC RAM, built-in 2 10GBASE-T) ~3000

-Samsung SSD 850 PRO 2TB, SATA (starting with 5 disks for now but with the plan to expand when needed) - ~900 each

- a 10gbe switch (tbd) that supports link aggregation

Some questions:

1) I realzie that the SSDs are consumer SSDs but at least they are MLC and not TLC. Would you still consider this a big problem?

2) I am currently opting to the slightly cheaper 4 core NAS over the 6 core option and also starting with 32gb which I could upgrade if needed.

3) In order to use link aggregation on the Qnap NAS but also on my backup NAS, I need a switch (managed?) that supports link aggregation. But do I also need a router that supports link aggregation?

4)Any thoughts in general to my setup.

Any help highly appreciated.

Thanks

Martin


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