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Tech Refresh – July 2018 Edition

After our successful yet far too noisy hyper converged “experiment”, we went back to the drawing board and circled back around to commercially available SMB network attached storage solutions.  The initial reversion to the combination of a dedicated ESXi host and a Synology DS1817+ didn’t quite fit the bill for simplicity and optimization for power use, cabling, and management.  By changing the weighting of  our scoring matrix related to the protections offered by btrfs or ZFS, our storage solution of choice transitioned to QNAP.  The Intel Atom CPU in the Synology DS1817+ would not keep up with heavy PLEX utilization, which is where the use of a dedicated ESXi host came into play.  The fact that the sole expansion slot on the Synology involved an either-or decision tree (10Gb Ethernet or cache module) effectively eliminated it from contention.

In the QNAP portfolio, the model we selected is the TS-1277.  This fantastic NAS comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 1700 and 16 GB of memory in its most basic form.  In an effort to make this a “one and done” type of affair, we upgraded the NAS with the following components before putting it to work:

  • 4x16GB RAM upgrade
  • QNAP 10Gb NIC/dual M.2 NVMe expansion card

In addition to the NAS refresh, we’ve also replaced our Ubiquiti Networks access point with the top-of-the-line UAP-AC-SHD model.  This 802.11ac Wave 2 access point offers more bandwidth and a dedicated security radio.  The overall installation effort was truly plug and play which is a testament to the design of the Unifi product lineup.

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