unRAID on QNAP 9-bay.


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Just a quick note that I've had zero problems running unRAID on my QNAP TS-963X 9-bay NAS.  The machine has an AMD GX-420MC CPU (Quad core 2GHz), 9 bays (4x2.5" and 5x3.5"), an i210 1GBe and a Aquantia AQC107 1/2.5/5/10GBe NIC.  I'm running 16GB DDR3L RAM (2x8GB sticks).  

 

All I did was plug my unRAID stick in the back, turned it on, and unRAID was up and running.  I did later, however remove the internal DOM so it can't boot QNAP's OS again - it's just a little board that fits on a normal PC-like USB2 header.  I'm going to use an internal-to-A adaptor to move my unRAID boot stick inside.

 

For fan control, I'm just using the usual AutoFAN plugin from community apps, as the BIOS fan curve is a little aggressive as it's controlled by the warm CPU temp.  

 

There is NO video output on this machine, and indeed no GPU of any sort, so if you need to troubleshoot via console you're SOL.  Thankfully I've never had to as "It Just Works(tm)".

 

I'm getting great performance from the machine, and run a few light VMs on it, as well as Emby which transcodes one stream just fine.  It's also happy to run Emby DVR from a HDHomeRun Quatro - it'll record 4 HD channels at a time no problems to a 2.5" WD Blue.

 

Idle power consumption is low, too, at a little over 20W - happy with that for a relatively old SOC, 9 bays in a tiny form factor, with 10GBe and 16GB RAM.

 

Details of the machine here: https://www.qnap.com/en-uk/product/ts-963x - they're around £600 in the UK which is pretty good value for a solidly built 9-bay.

Edited by HellDiverUK
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Now that is a qnap that sounds suitable to run unraid- only the higher end ones really make sense to run it on.  Out of curiosity, why did you decide to run unraid on it?  It seems like most functionality you are using would be available through the qnap os.  I could understand if there were limitations that you were trying to overcome- but can't really see any benefit since dockers are already available with qnap units.

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QNAP OS is fine, but having all the drives spinning all the time isn't what I wanted.  Most of my data is pretty much stangnant, only getting accessed on rare occasions, so why have drives burning electricity for no reason? My NAS is lightly used during the evening, and does a little downloading overnight, but most of the time sits idle.  

 

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I guess I am not understanding why they all have to be spun up all the time.  Usually, they spin down if not in use actively.  With that many bays, couldn't you just break up your array to "hot" and "cold" storage to prevent those from being spun up unless accessing?  There is an article on their site to troubleshoot that issue here:

https://www.qnap.com/en-us/how-to/faq/article/why-are-my-nas-hard-drives-not-entering-standby-mode/

 

You could even have a cache setup that would allow your hot data to reside on ssds so drive spin would only happen when cache needs new data.

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6 hours ago, Benson said:

QNAP OS just will all up or all down, no matter put them in different pool.

Not true.  The model he has- has "qtier" which is exactly what I am talking about.  And if you look at the linked article in my previous post, it tells you exactly what to do to find what things are spinning your disks. If you use that, and qtier to create your hot/cold storage pools, you could effectively prevent disks from spinning for specific things.

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On 4/23/2019 at 8:27 AM, Benson said:

When doing parity check, how much total read bandwidth reach ? no. of disk ?

I want to estimate this model have how many PCIe lane allocate to the storage controller.

"Last checked on Tue 23 Apr 2019 03:11:16 PM BST (yesterday), finding 0 errors.
Duration: 21 hours, 45 minutes, 16 seconds. Average speed: 127.7 MB/sec"

 

That's a 10TB Red as parity drive, data drives are 2TB 2.5" Blues (slow), a 8TB Gold (fast).  The second 10TB Red hasn't been added yet.  The NAS was in use, so a normal parity check should take a little less time.

 

Each pair of 3.5" drives has an AsMedia PCIe to 2x SATA controller chip, I assume the 2.5" bays run off the SOC's SATA controller as I don't see an AsMedia on those:

SYSTEM DEVICES
PCI Devices and IOMMU Groups

IOMMU group 0:	[1022:1566] 00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1566
IOMMU group 1:	[1022:156b] 00:02.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 156b
[1022:1439] 00:02.1 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 16h Processor Functions 5:1
[1022:1439] 00:02.2 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 16h Processor Functions 5:1
[1022:1439] 00:02.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 16h Processor Functions 5:1
[1022:1439] 00:02.5 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 16h Processor Functions 5:1
[111d:8063] 01:00.0 PCI bridge: Microsemi / PMC / IDT Device 8063 (rev 01)
[111d:8063] 02:02.0 PCI bridge: Microsemi / PMC / IDT Device 8063 (rev 01)
[111d:8063] 02:04.0 PCI bridge: Microsemi / PMC / IDT Device 8063 (rev 01)
[111d:8063] 02:06.0 PCI bridge: Microsemi / PMC / IDT Device 8063 (rev 01)
[1d6a:0001] 03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Aquantia Corp. AQC107 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet Controller [AQtion] (rev 02)
[1b21:0625] 04:00.0 SATA controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. Device 0625 (rev 01)
[1b21:0625] 05:00.0 SATA controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. Device 0625 (rev 01)
[1b21:0625] 06:00.0 SATA controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. Device 0625 (rev 01)
[1b21:0625] 07:00.0 SATA controller: ASMedia Technology Inc. Device 0625 (rev 01)
[8086:1539] 08:00.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation I211 Gigabit Network Connection (rev 03)
IOMMU group 2:	[1022:1537] 00:08.0 Encryption controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1537
IOMMU group 3:	[1022:7814] 00:10.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB XHCI Controller (rev 11)
IOMMU group 4:	[1022:7801] 00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
IOMMU group 5:	[1022:7808] 00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB EHCI Controller (rev 39)
IOMMU group 6:	[1022:7808] 00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB EHCI Controller (rev 39)
IOMMU group 7:	[1022:780b] 00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH SMBus Controller (rev 42)
[1022:780d] 00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH Azalia Controller (rev 02)
[1022:780e] 00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH LPC Bridge (rev 11)
[1022:7813] 00:14.7 SD Host controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH SD Flash Controller (rev 01)
IOMMU group 8:	[1022:1580] 00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1580
[1022:1581] 00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1581
[1022:1582] 00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1582
[1022:1583] 00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1583
[1022:1584] 00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1584
[1022:1585] 00:18.5 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Device 1585

 

Edited by HellDiverUK
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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Sorry if this is a dumb question but how are you able to configure/install UnRaid if you can't see the BIOS screen? If you have the install medium on a USB stick plugged into the NAS, won't it just ignore the USB stick and boot from QNAP's proprietary software that comes in the box? Even if you remove the DOM with the QNAP software, how can you do the rest of the setup without a display? If the system uses the USB as it's boot disk permanently, aren't there concerns with using a USB flash drive non-stop for many months (like durability or heat or whatnot)?

 

I tried plugging in a USB-C to HDMI adapter but it's an AMD chip without integrated graphics so I don't know why I thought that would work. 

 

I guess I could temporarily install a GPU in the PCIe slot while I do the install but you all seem to have done something else. 

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24 minutes ago, joshua.harms said:

Even if you remove the DOM with the QNAP software, how can you do the rest of the setup without a display?

Once you remove DOM ( actually it is USB device ), then Unraid will be the only bootable device.

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Thanks for the quick reply!

 

So the bootable USB would need to remain plugged into the NAS for the entirety of it's operation then, correct? 

 

I have a very old USB adapter which holds a micro SD card. Would this work as the USB bootable drive?

 

Is there a risk of a USB boot drive failing under this use case? It seems rather harsh; constant reads for months/years of continuous use.

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7 minutes ago, joshua.harms said:

So the bootable USB would need to remain plugged into the NAS for the entirety of it's operation then, correct? 

Yes.

 

7 minutes ago, joshua.harms said:

I have a very old USB adapter which holds a micro SD card. Would this work as the USB bootable drive?

Maybe but not certain. Does it provide a unique Identification number that can be used for licensing ?

 

8 minutes ago, joshua.harms said:

It seems rather harsh; constant reads for months/years of continuous use.

The system is only loaded in RAM at startup. After that, only configuration changes should be written to the flashdrive.

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There are regular file reads from the USB drive, but linux caches file content in RAM, which means the actual file on the USB drive is hardly accessed. The USB drive must be present at all times though.

 

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20 minutes ago, ChatNoir said:

Maybe but not certain. Does it provide a unique Identification number that can be used for licensing ?

 

image.thumb.png.fed112c978086c95bd553ec79b04759a.png

 

I downloaded USBDevew and checked the drive. It's calling it a serial number. Will this work as a unique identifier for UnRaid?

 

Thank you all again for your quick and helpful replies!

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