What is your external "working drive"? NAS? Big single disk?

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,345
337
Hi all,

With all the coming work with larger files (stills and video), I'm curious what everyone is using for their external work drives.

I currently have an older thunderbolt to SATA drive with a 3TB disk in it..t.hat is thunderbolt daisy chained to a tb->SATA drive with a Sandisk SSD.

I use the SSD for my cache for my applications, I use the 3TB drive for my work drive (images and videos unloaded to and worked on here)....I have a 3 disk NAS that is 2x 3TB drives mirrored, that I "back up" my work drive to....

I've had this for a few years now. And with working on much larger stills and video now and coming more in the near future, I'm thinking about what to do to upgrade this.

I need MUCH more space.

I have been trying to clean out my current working drive, but so far, still not enough.

SO, I was thinking perhaps a nice NAS for my working drive(s)? I like synology, and like that you can expand with larger drives as you afford them and it will incorporate that into the mix fairly seamlessly. I was thinking a 4 or more bay one....

Ideally I would like to get a NAS with all SSD's in it...but that's still a bit pricey...and concerned about the lifetime of read/write/deletes on the SSD....and which SSDs are best for a NAS set up. For spinning disks, I"ve always looked to the reports from BackBlaze Drive Report. and other sources.....to see what are the best rated drives.

Anyway...curious what set up ya'll have, and what you may be planning for upgrades.

I believe the best performance comes from having your apps on your computers main drive...and having your content and cache off on separate drives (whether external or internal) from the one your OS and apps are stored on.

Do many/any of ya'll have your images/videos on the same drive as your OS and applications?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne
 

Bert63

EOS RP
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
759
1,536
512 NVMe Gammix OS/apps

2TB NVMe Sabrent work/installed games

10TB internal archive

2 X 10TB external backups

Plus other random stuff.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,592
1,438
I have a NAS, an IxSystems one though Synology has advantages over it.

It's stuffed full of WD Red 4 and 6TB drives, the two sixes are each their own independent file system (two internal backups) the 4s are set up as the equivalent of a Raid 6 with a hot spare, making 12 TB of capacity. I've got maybe 1.5 TB of data (rapidly expanding) so this will hold me. For external backups, I copy to a WD 4TB usb drive; I have three of them for rotating backups and keep one always at an external location (one of the others might be in transit from home to the location or back again, or it might be physically under the one connected to the NAS, waiting to take over for it).

Even with IxSystems one can expand by replacing all the drives with bigger ones, one by one, though Synology is better at letting you add drives to a pre-existing Raid. (Attempting to do that on IxSystems ZFS system will give you something you weren't looking for--a system that will now go down the tubes if the new drive fails.)
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,255
1,294
I don't use my external 8 TB drive as a working drive, I use a internal 3 TB hard drive. I want to upgrade it to a 4 TB SSD, but thats not happening soon. I just ordered five 8TB Seagate exos drives for a new NAS, that includes a spare. Two days later, one of my 4TB Nas drives developed a bad sector. I had a spare that is now up and running. I want to upgrade all of my drives in my NAS units. I just bought a 3rd NAS when one died. Its repaired now, so I have way more capacity than needed and have to figure out what to do with them.
 

koenkooi

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,309
1,089
I use a 2TB external SSD for all my photos, backed up to a Raid 6 array. JPEG exports go to both flickr and icloud as well. Since my desktop is thunderbolt2 I went with a USB 3.2 gen2 enclosure instead of a thunderbolt3 one. Blackmagic speedtest gives the 1GB/s read and write speeds on that. My laptop does has thunderbolt3, but LR on that screen feels cramped and it's my work laptop, not my personal laptop. Annoyingly enough it (2020 MBP) is about twice as fast in DPP4 as my desktop (2015 iMac 5k).
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,345
337
I don't use my external 8 TB drive as a working drive, I use a internal 3 TB hard drive. I want to upgrade it to a 4 TB SSD, but thats not happening soon. I just ordered five 8TB Seagate exos drives for a new NAS, that includes a spare. Two days later, one of my 4TB Nas drives developed a bad sector. I had a spare that is now up and running. I want to upgrade all of my drives in my NAS units. I just bought a 3rd NAS when one died. Its repaired now, so I have way more capacity than needed and have to figure out what to do with them.
What brand NAS units are you using?

C
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,345
337
I use a 2TB external SSD for all my photos, backed up to a Raid 6 array. JPEG exports go to both flickr and icloud as well. Since my desktop is thunderbolt2 I went with a USB 3.2 gen2 enclosure instead of a thunderbolt3 one. Blackmagic speedtest gives the 1GB/s read and write speeds on that. My laptop does has thunderbolt3, but LR on that screen feels cramped and it's my work laptop, not my personal laptop. Annoyingly enough it (2020 MBP) is about twice as fast in DPP4 as my desktop (2015 iMac 5k).
Are you using a NAS for your RAID 6 portion?

If so, what brand/model ?

TIA,

cayenne
 

Halfrack

EOS RP
Sep 14, 2011
668
1
Using a NAS as your Active Work Drive means you're plugged in via faster than 1gbps activity. You're much better off using the NAS as the Archive & backup destination & use a USB attached SSD (if you can't do an internal drive). If your machine supports going to TB3, it's even faster, but a USB-C connected SATA SSD is going to give you 400-560MBps of speed, when a NAS will only give you ~100MBps on a 1gbps LAN.

For NAS units, use the vendors software implementation of RAID - SHR/SHR2 for Synology, not sure of the phrasing for QNAP. The hybrid RAID is what allows for growth & better performance than old school RAID5/6.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,255
1,294
What brand NAS units are you using?

C
I use Qnap. They have a snapshot feature that uses a secure area of the NAS so it is not affected by ransomware. It also backs up to other Qnap Nas units. Both Qnap and Synology are good choices.

Qnap just repaired my 6 year old NAS with a new motherboard. Some manufacturers drop support quickly. It cost me $200, about half the price of a similar new one. I install additional memory, 8GB costs just $40 and speeds up some functions. The cost for one with more memory jumps $100.

When that NAS failed, I decided to buy another similar one and just moved the disks to it, disk holders and all. It was up and running in 15 minutes or less. Then, when the repaired one came back, I moved the disks back to it. That's when one of them failed with a sector error message. I haven't tried to double check yet, I had a spare 4TB drive that rebuilt automatically, so the NAS kept on working just fine on 3 drives when I pulled and replaced the bad one. That's how its supposed to work, its the first time I've had a disk failure in a NAS in close to 15 years. The drives usually get replaced with bigger ones before they fail.
 
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