I was wondering if anyone had any real-life experience with the new QNAP Thunderbolt NAS. It's designed to operate as a NAS/DAS hybrid over Thunderbolt to (2!) connected workstations, and advertised as a FCPX solution. For my small but growing operation, it seems like an interesting choice, but I haven't been able to find any real user experiences with it in a Final Cut editing environment. Before dropping the $6K with drives, I wanted to ask around to see if anyone else had comments, or if I should just be the guinea pig and try it out. I'd want to keep my libraries on the external storage and have it accessible by 2 or 3 workstations intermittently. Thanks for any thoughts on the subject.
The box seems to be working well so far, I'm in the process of migrating (and organizing) from my old drives this week. Have the box set up with RAID6, so about 36TB usable. The speed "hit" from RAID6 seems manageable for me right now, getting 400MB/S uploads and 600MB/S downloads over thunderbolt. About 80MB/S over regular 1GBe Ethernet, so that's not terrible either for the people in the office who need just occasional access. I would like to eventually add a 10GBe adapter to a third computer, but I'm not sure if things would work the same as the Thunderbolt connection, as Thunderbolt seems to be the only way to connect via the special NFS "Final Cut Pro" method. I will research this further.
Edited a project (200GB) straight off the drive today via self-contained FCPX library and there didn't seem to be any issues to speak of. Plenty fast. I still need to do some testing to see what happens when someone opens a library that is already in use. That's the only scary part. Hooking up the second iMac via Thunderbolt port #2 tomorrow.
There are a LOT of services that the QNAP offers, though I haven't figured all of them out yet. There's a neat "COPY" button on the front that lets you hook up a SSD or USB reader and copies to a directory. Not sure if that's easier than just hooking up to the computer itself, but seems to work fairly well.
Smooth sailing, just let me know if anyone has questions, I'd be happy to share what I know.
Hi Nate. I am really interested in knowing your Final Cut Pro X editing experience with the TVS-871T NAS. Have you tried to work two people with FCP X at the same time? Is it fast and confortable? Any issue? (I understand both users canNOT open the same library at the same time). It is difficult to find clear opinions about this specific subject and that's suspicious...
Hi Nate! Did you try to edit (with FCP X) with two computers at the same time?
Did you experienced any problem working within the same library?
The QNAP TVS-871T NAS seems to be a good solution for small production companies that need speed in collaborative editing and postproduction processes. At the QNAP website says specifically that it is possible to edit from two different work stations via thunderbolt within the SAN at the same time and in real time (even in 4K). It seems impossible for that price! But I am interested in knowing a real user experience and opinion. I would like to know if the workflow is fluent, fast, stable and comfortable. I am working on a tv show project and the editing part will last about 6 months. I have all material imported and the libraries created in an common external hard drive and from now on we need to begin editing 2 o 3 people with the same material and I am searching for a solution. The other doubt is if you can just copy a library from an external drive and paste it in the TV2-871T or you have to create the library to the NAS directly to work properly.
I will aprecciate your comments. Thanks in advance
So far it's working as expected, but I haven't tried it with two computers just yet. It's the holidays so I haven't been in the office for a few days. Right now I'm in the process of transferring over all of my files from my other hard drives and for the most part drag-and-drop seems work fine. Think it should be up and running next week sometime, so I'll be sure to report back my findings.
Glad to hear that the single user experience with the TVS-871T works fine! That's a good reason to be optimistic Anyway, I will be waiting for your feedback. Since then, enjoy the holidays! Thanks in advance!
I will receive a test unit next week, so I will test it.
My "environment" will be :
- 2 macpro (via Thunderbolt) : not clear if they are in "DAS" mode, or in IP over Thunderbolt mode... What did you do ?
- 2 other stations via Ethernet Gigabit (so I plan to get around 80 MB/s over IP and SMB or AFP
I don't have any 10Ge / TB adapter so no chance to get real life performance on it.
I pretty sure taht editing a same FCPX library/project from 2 computer will corrupt data (because it's the kind of things a SAN manage, but this is a NAS), but I very confuse by what you said : it seems to work (or maybe I don't understand correctly your english (i'm french
I will also try to run a Keyflow Pro DAM system on a mac and point the storage volume on the NAS, just to see how it works.
Glad to find a thread about it's real life performance, so we just have to keep this thread alive
Hi all, sorry I've been a little quiet about my experiences with the TVS-871T, I just didn't want to speak too soon and give misinformation. Please be aware I haven't done truly extensive testing yet, and I'm still learning about the box daily, so please take my comments with a grain of salt. Here goes:
Right now I've got two iMacs running off Thunderbolt. They're working great and I'm getting speeds of 650MB/s Write and 850MB/s Read in RAID 6. It's pretty incredible. They are connected via IP through Thunderbolt bridge and use the NFS FCPX connection option.
I also have the QNAP connected via Gigabit Ethernet to my Apple Airport Extreme router, and a separate Gigabit Ethernet cable connects directly from the QNAP to a (Third) iMac in another room. I can use the QFinder software to connect via Ethernet (≈108 Read/Write) or from any of our laptops via Wifi (≈35 Read/Write).
I gave the Thunderbolt and Ethernet connections on the QNAP fixed IP addresses as it seemed to be jumping around a bit and losing connection. After setting it up with sequential fixed addresses, things work better.
Another thing I had to do was make sure all my folders (and the files within) that I copied onto the QNAP had permissions set for "Staff" so that everyone could access and modify them. Fairly straightforward, but otherwise Final Cut doesn't open the library files. After I changed the permissions, everything works great and we've been bouncing around libraries for a couple of days now. This also answers another question asked earlier - no you do not need to make new libraries on the QNAP, copied over libraries seem to work just fine.
That brings me to the corruption issue - and well, there really haven't been any issues. I created a test library with the two iMacs and tried to break it. I had the same library open on both computers, and made changes to both libraries at the same time. After closing both libraries and opening them again, the changes made on either computer showed up on both computers after restarting FCPX without any overlap as far as I could tell. Once, the first computer gave me the "Cannot save file, Final Cut will close" warning. This makes me think that perhaps if there was an issue that could possibly cause corruption, Final Cut locks the part of the file that is currently being saved. Again, I haven't done extensive testing, but there haven't really been any major issues with the files "reverting" back to earlier versions if an original got left open by accident. It's hard to say what is happening exactly, and I want to be clear that I don't really understand the technical side of things, but so far, so good. I should also note that this test was done with both computers connected via NFS FCPX option over Thunderbolt. I haven't tested the same situation with one computer on NFS FCPX and the other over regular NFS.
That last paragraph is a mess, but hopefully it answers a few questions about what's happening with the libraries as I currently am experiencing it. One other note is that FCPX doesn't seem to save quite AS often as with a DAS, but I've never lost more than a minute or two of work when a random crash happened as they sometimes do.
So far I've edited a few new 4K projects and opened a bunch of older FCPX libraries, all while my other editor was working on his own projects as well, and it's been pretty darn solid. The box just hums along and does it's job. I've got about 28TB on it right now and I'm liking it quite a bit - I'm glad I bought the WD Red Pro drives too, they're fast, smooth and fairly quiet.
Anyways, that's the latest. While the Thunderbolt computers have been up and running for about a week now, I just got the Ethernet connected computer hooked up today, so more to come on that end of the puzzle. But for two users via Thunderbolt, I'm pretty happy. Again, the corruption issue is what worries me the most, even if a problem hasn't reared it's ugly head just yet. Remember, YMMV.
Hello there i also have bought a Qnap Tvs 871 TVS Nas, and i have some questions and need help on others.
The first questions are: How did you test your Qnap for Speed, because you claim to have 850 MB/s on read speed! I tested mine with either black magic speed test, and copping files via finder. And i get a lot of fluctuation speeds from 400 MB/s to 750 MB/s . I never have a constant speed. I´m connected via thunderbolt ( with two iMac )with OS X el capitan with SMB 3. And a mac Pro with ethernet.
I have a 64 TB unit RAID 5 with hard disks Seagate ST8000AS0002-1NA17Z (SATA). with 128 MB cache do you think the disks are slow?
You also said that:
"I gave the Thunderbolt and Ethernet connections on the QNAP fixed IP addresses as it seemed to be jumping around a bit and losing connection. After setting it up with sequential fixed addresses, things work better."
Can you tell how do you gave the fixed IP ( i know where are the setting on the qnap and on the OS X ) i just needed to know which ip addresses to give on the qnap and on the OS X ( i don't know much about networks).
I ask this because i have lag issues, the timeline does not scrub very well like a local disk, and some times when i change timelines and click a clip it takes a while for the clip to show.
Lees wrote: Hello there i also have bought a Qnap Tvs 871 TVS Nas, and i have some questions and need help on others.
It's still been mostly good so far. Had a little issue yesterday where I updated to the QTS 4.2.1 beta and it messed up the NFS share permissions. Rolled back the firmware to 4.2.0 and had to create a new share folder and move all my content over before it would connect again. Lesson learned: no more betas!
Testing right now (at 80% full) I'm getting about 800 Read. I'm not sure if the SMB connection is causing you issues with speed - I use NFS via Thunderbolt and Ethernet. It also may be your disks. I was reading that the Seagates you have use a different structure: SMR vs PMR or something like that. Also, are they 5900rpm disks? That could definitely cause some slower speeds.
I think I set the QNAP ethernet to be something like 10.0.1.31 and the thunderbolt to be something like 169.254.10.51 I wish I knew more about it, but basically I just looked at what the QNAP did automatically, then put those same numbers (or something similar) into the fixed boxes, so they didn't change.
I don't have lag issues through the thunderbolt ports, but my editor using it over ethernet said something about lag the other day. Then again, it could just be that editing 4K over ethernet isn't quite quick enough...
We have quite some experience with using FCP X on shared storage, so I find this an interesting thread.
As it is now, an FCP X Library can only be opened by one editor at a time, no matter what kind of storage you work with (SAN or NAS). That's the way FCP X is conceived. OTOH, multiple editors can always access the same media on a shared storage network at the same time without any issues. The key to this is to always keep all your media outside of the Library, on the Sharepoint. If you also want to create and open your Libraries on the Sharepoint, you need to work with NFS.
But, no matter what, two editors can never open the same library at the same time, nor do they need to do this.
Regarding speed and performance, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Speed tests don't mean a lot. I have seen systems with very high read and write speeds that started bogging down as soon as more than two editors started working on the shared storage. And I have seen beachballs on systems that showed read speeds of +600 MB/s on each connected client.
The most important factor you need to consider to know how well your shared storage will perform without lags, is constant bandwidth. If you get speed tests that fluctuate a lot, there is a big chance that you will get latency and beachballs. You also should know that single gigabit ethernet does not offer sufficient constant bandwidth for anything else than single or dual-stream regular HD media, no matter if your speed test tells you that you could run multiple streams. On shared storage systems, there is a huge difference between linear speed tests and real-world performance.
Can you tell me how much you have paid for your Qnap Tvs 871 with 48TB, and how many clients you can connect over Thunderbolt and gigabit ethernet?
I think your experience with a shared FCPX environment exceeds mine. That's a great article I'm going to dive into when i have some free time.
I'm editing with two systems buttery smooth via Thunderbolt, and usually one more over the ethernet. I do think I'm going to eventually upgrade the 1Gigabit to 10Gibabit for that third station, but for simpler HD projects it has been working. Sometimes I'm even doing a backup or data transfer at the same time. Remarkably, no issues.
Cost for the whole thing was about $5600, and drives were about $2400 of that. I don't think that this little box will serve my needs forever, but right now with my 5-person operation, it's doing a pretty good job.
Thank you for the information, very useful. Please keep us updated if you decide to add another 10GigE connection, I would be interested to see how this will work out. Systems like Qnap/Synology etc... seem to hit a wall when bandwidth requirements become more significant. What worries me, especially for more demanding workflows, is the throughput inconsistency. This seems to indicate poor bandwidth management inside the box. Permission issues are another worry. But for 2 or 3 editors with moderate bandwidth requirements, this seems to be a working solution. Happy to finally see someone post an objective, real-world evaluation for such a system.
Thanks for posting Nate. I think we're about to pull the trigger ourselves on the QNAP. We're similarly setup with 4 edit stations, typically only 2-3 active at a time. Any major issues with the QNAP four months in? Alternatively we're looking at a solution from a video vendor but it is at least three times as expensive and for a setup our size I'm hesitant to drop that much money as our budgets are small. The QNAP looks perfect but near as I can tell you're the only person I've been able to find that's posted about your experience.
In two weeks we are going to do a comparative test between the QNap and the Lumaforge Jellyfish. The Jellyfish is a little more expensive, but it has 2x10GigE + 4 Gigabit users out of the box and it is fully optimized for FCP X. We received a Jellyfish system a few days ago, and we got it up and running with 6 clients in less than 5 minutes. The speed of this thing is amazing. I will post our findings as soon as we have done the tests.
QNAP is still working fine for me with 3 guys pulling simultaneously. I edit with compressed codecs (25/50/100mbps) most of the time, so if you're into higher bit-rate ProRes or stuff like that (200/400/800mbps), I'm not sure if I can give an educated opinion on the simultaneous throughput. The Jellyfish looks really great - and it's made/optimized for video work so that's a huge plus. Is it worth double the price? I'm looking forward to Ronny's report. I think that the Jellyfish is the type of thing many of us have been looking for over the last couple of years - a small, dedicated video server offering reasonable storage space without the expensive infrastructure and purchase cost. If nothing else, the Thunderbolt QNAP has stirred the pot a bit to get more options out there.
There are still some oddities that bother me a bit about the QNAP (mentioned above), but for now I think I can live with them. It's been running continuously now for about 55 days, no problems. Backup has become a challenge though, I'm thinking about buying another cheaper 8-bay QNAP to use as a direct-connected backup disk. I lost one of the WD Red's a couple months ago to an error of some sort, but that's to be expected with new drives and the Western Digital RMA was quick and painless, taking just 2 days to get a new advance replacement. Nice.
You seem to be the expert on this - We have got a TVS871T but having migrated folders (stills and video) from another qnap (same firmware) I'm being denied access to most of the folders when accessing vis NFS.
Any clues on how to fix this?
Also, we are currently using a netgear switch and netgear prosumer router to run all the Gigabit ethernet connections. Are you doing similar or have you got a higher spec network? I'm not finding access super fast via ethernet.
Cheers for any help, it's hard to find help out there on such a new product.