Best NAS for Capture One/Photo Editing

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Best NAS for Capture One/Photo Editing

LAG mode in Syno NAS has 4 different setup modes, based on Linux Bounding driver. For mentioned case is best solution based on IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation. But each other have important role for different scenarios.

this is the right wording for your mentioned scenario:
- any client will benefit from LAG when you will arrange End to End LAG environment based on IEEE 802.3ad with Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) between the Client and Switch.
- client is desktop client or NAS

An example:
Your NAS with BOND 3x1Gbps for LAN, LAG mode 802.3ad
Your switch with specific ports connected from the NAS configured to 802.3ad, also for each clients (deskstop PC with more than single NIC)
Then you will get "aggregated" 3x1Gbps link between NAS and the switch
In mentioned case you will send packets from 5Gbps interface (Ethernet/TB adapter from your MAC) to the switch = single NIC.
Thanks so much for your advice @jeyare . Any advice on a good switch?!
Sending 5GBE is possible, but receiving 2/3gbe is nog if I understand correct with only one cable and one NIC.
Thanks so much for your advice @jeyare . Any advice on a good switch?!
Sending 5GBE is possible, but receiving 2/3gbe is nog if I understand correct with only one cable and one NIC.
there is still one possible problem, up to vendor of the 5Gbps Ethernet/TB adapter you can reach problem with LAG (client side) to 10Gbps SFP+ (switch side).There is know such troubles based on Realtek RTL8125.
And OFC basic limitation of 10Gbps over SFP is between 20-30m of wire Cat 6.
Hi Syno-Users!

I am brand new at this forum, so please forgive me for any mistakes I've made in finding the right place to start this post.
I have been using the search function, but I have not found any answer nor question that gives me the right info.


I can related to your question. My home setup has been a mess over the years of multiple drives and not the best management practices. I guess that goes with having to do just that at work for the past 20 years. I just retired as COVID19 hit, and my work setup was a RAID on my desk (Pegasus R6) and a 10 gigabit connection to servers in IT to store my files. They were just getting ready to transition to AWS for mass storage. I also had Extensis Portfolio and OpenText TEAMS DAMs for my department and company wide respectively. My Portfolio license was for up to 500,000 images.

Anyway, when I retired I determined to get my files in order. And my DS418 is not up to editing over my network. My main computer is a recent i9 MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3. So I decided I would use an OWC Express 4M2 Thunderbolt 3 enclosure that uses four NVMe drives in a RAID 10 configuration (SoftRAID). Best speed and security for a RAID. That way I can keep the Capture One 2020 catalog(s) on my Mac and have my working files on the M42 in projects. Then I have the ability to move the projects onto the NAS when I'm done with them, but I can import my best images into the catalog and can edit them even when not connected to the 4M2, needing to be connected only for outputting recipes (C1 lingo for exports).

For me this is a good solution. I pull files off the NAS and do a long-needed cleanup of duplicates and culling bad images. If I was still a working photographer it would be a good start for the short-term as I plot a more viable solution for editing on a Thunderbolt 3 or 2.5/10 GBe NAS long-term. I wish Synology would have more options like that and put a little more emphasis on fast connections on smaller (4-6 drive) NAS enclosures.
Welcome in this forum
more important question in this thread than
utilise 10Gbps network is - do I need explicitly the 10G network?
As was written for photo editing you need fast catalog (internal disk), for the Storage service only (NAS) you need availability more than speed of light. Reason is based on how much photos you will edit in same time (real time) in the editing station. Even when you merge 100 files into single panorama, it’s just about (mentioned above) 30MB x 100 = 3000MB. When you have just 2x1Gbps LAG you can get these files from NAS into computer about 12 seconds. 12 seconds for 100 such RAW pictures is really near speed of light.
In comparison with 10Gbps LAN (for huge investment) you will get just for few seconds less. Is it worth? This is just answer for each of you.
For the 2048Mbps disk read operation you need really fast combo in RAID0. Fro write operation you need count with RAID type penalty, then you need even more disks.

Here you have an answer, why is run for speed of LAN light in Photo editing business really pointless.
Don’t mention about speed of light for WAN to AWS.
PS: different situation is in data mining or video editing business. But we speak about Photo.
I took a look at the Q's! Their line is much more "future proof" when I look at hardware.
I'm just not sure, perhaps because of lack of experience with hem, Qnap is the system of my choice.
Perhaps I'd better wait for a 1620+. Not because I think that this one is going to be a much better
version that the 1618+,but because I think it is just better for my inner peace ;).

At the moment I can keep working the way I do: just have to have patience I think ;).
@Furbz85 don't forget for important things in such comparison (QNAP and all other NASes):
- for the photo editing environment or expectations mentioned above you don't need Intel i7 core CPU, you can't utilize such CPU with this workflow. OFC, only when you need Thunderbolt 3.0, then you need such power from this CPU.
- then such CPU is a tax for the Thunderbolt 3.0 availability.
- when you need max. utilized Thunderbolt 3.0 you need count with limitation of max. cable length between your NAS and your desktop:
- Active cable up to 2m
- Passive cable less than 1m (up to vendor, frequently just 0.5m)
Otherwise your speed will drop down. Useful for those who have the NAS really literally next to the desktop station. Thing about this limitation.

Finally look for this official (laboratory) QNAP test for the Thunderbolt 3.0 and their NAS TVS-1282T3 (i7-7700 CPU inside + 32GB RAM) operated with 12x SSD in RAID5 (Intel SSDSC2BB240G4). For such beast configuration this isn't a sped of light. Yes but still enough for mentioned operation model. And perfect for everyone, who need it. No doubt.

1 437 MB/s for write or 1 171 MB/s for read (MacBook Pro) .... but I can't find there if the speed is:
- max speed achieved
- average speed achieved (mathematically calculated =amount of data / achieved time)
- other.
But for the Thunderbolt 3.0 it's just 29% of possible utilization.

Btw, no details there about the tested environment has been provided from Qnap:
- single large file (better for the laboratory test and for fastest speed)
- mixed files, different sizes, ...
- NAS File system
- what was utilization of the NAS during the test (another tasks).
They like use numbers as each others (also Syno) :cool:

This is one of useful cases, why I don't like such laboratory test. Better is community result, based on real operation.

Why not?! If I remember correctly, Photoshop and the likes will take any power you can throw at them and devour it.
My i7 note was about the NAS CPU, not about computer CPU. Check it pls.

Maybe more explanation is needed, because you need split the operation for these stages:

1. import of the data (RAW or jpeg, ...) from SD card into NAS. From a security (data lose) practice is better to save such data directly from SD to your safe storage place = in this case it's NAS. For copy of 64GB or higher capacity of SD card is USB 3.0 card reader connected into NAS sufficient. And you can use Atom based CPU as is in the DS1618+ or in DS1813/1815/1817/1819+ what have also 4 cores but slowest operation frequency, same RAM. Finally you will reach same speed of Copy = what is more important in this stage = securely copy data to safe place. Then Thunderbolt 3.0 will not improve your speed dramatically, because you have bottleneck in speed of SD card.
Here you don't need your desktop performance.
OK, you can use copy from SD card into computer then into NAS. Or from computer SD card reader into NAS directly. But this is pointless.

2. Catalog update (desktop) from new imported data (NAS). Here you need fast NAS storage group, fast LAN or fast Thunderbolt 3.0. Because you need read data from your NAS to your desktop for your catalog update, sorting, deleting, ... Here you can get next bottlenecks:
- speed of your Mainboard (forget for vendor specified promotions)
- speed of your connection (Ethernet or Thunderbolt 3.0) by used environment (cables, ..)
- speed of your system and/or target disk in desktop computer which is always less than CPU Tx speed
When you have 2000 new photos (mentioned above) you need transfer approx. 39GB between NAS and desktop. When you achieve 1000MB/s with Thunderbolt 3.0 its about 40 seconds just for net transport between NAS and computer. Then you need count with mentioned bottlenecks.
You can also achieve 1000MB/s with Ethernet also but why, when you can achieve 500MB/s with RAID5 and less than 12xSSD (as was in the Qnap case). And for 80 seconds. Still don't need utilize i7 in the NAS. No useful case for Photo editing operation with 2000 new photos per import.
i7 is better for Virtualization, not for this case (it's just simple storage). No doubt.

3. Editing. For such part of your job you don't need Thunderbolt 3.0 connected into NAS. You need really fast balanced environment in your computer more than fast speed lane to NAS. Then 1Gbps LAN is sufficient also for 100 images to single Panorama. Here is the importance of your computer setup, CPU, your RAM, your chipset in your mainboard, your disk controller, ... here you don't need a beast NAS.

4. Saving your job to NAS. When you will finish with editing of single finished picture, e.g. 300MB multi layered, you need few seconds for save (or just second) based on 2xGbps LAN.

What is more important - you don't have the limitation of 0.5m-2m (NAS -computer) based on Thunderbolt 3.0.
Then, we need take into consideration entire operation stages and evaluate if we need 5.6HEMI or just 3.2Turbo into our car.

I'm not from Syno R&D, but follow such description is better to use new Atom server lines CPU, than create custom boards with i7 just for the Thunderbolt 3.0 advantage. No advantage there. But this is my point only. Each of you can open another.
Sorry, I overlooked that you were talking about the NAS’ processor.

The way I see it is that to work on a photo in Lightroom or Photoshop, there will be constant reading and writing to the disk (scratch disk). So to me, a NAS with a faster transfer medium like Thunderbolt will be much better than a 1Gb LAN link. So if we have something as small as a 920+ with a Thunderbolt interface (maybe not the higher spec 1618+ as I stated above to keep the price relatively low) I think that would be great. That’s what QNAP did, and added a 10Gb LAN port too.

I think that’s why Drobo (DAS) is very popular with photographers and videographers. However, we’re trying to have it all– a DAS and a NAS in one unit :)

My logic is based on how photo editing software works and not on any practical numbers so I could be wrong :)
A DAS is great, but it makes your workenviroment static: no room for movement other than carrying the DAS
with you. Thats why I use (at the moment) a T5 ssd. Really great.
But when finished there has to be a transfer:
SSD to DAS. DAS TO NAS. NAS to client. A lot of moments where things can go wrong.
But that can be my own fault of course, because I use this method.

At the moment I find myself have a lot of duplicates and that takes a lot of space because
I am too afraid to delete files. "was that my last edit?" etc. A NAS with sufficient speed
could fix these problems for me.

I agree with you both: 1GBE should theoratically suffice. But using a Scratchdisk in apps like
Photoshop is really giving a speed boost to the workflow.

I think @WST16 is right about wishing a DAS in a NAS. It is possible, but one has to
weigh the costs for convenience. And I think 10GBe is just not at the price point a single
user will benefit both speed wise and investment wise. In my case at least.

I just don't understand the i7 point in your conversation. In fact: I don't mind what kind of
CPU the NAS has. As long as it does what it has to do ;)
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The way I see it is that to work on a photo in Lightroom or Photoshop, there will be constant reading and writing to the disk (scratch disk). So to me, a NAS with a faster transfer medium like Thunderbolt will be much better than a 1Gb LAN link.
reason what I use for the scratch disk purpose internal NVMe connected and Z3xx chipset in MB (PCIe v3) = no need extra work for CPU as for Thunderbolt. Clean, faster and useful.
Scratch disk constant I/O is OK - it's part of the Editing stage (mentioned above) = here you don't need remote connection, because it will slows your editing.

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