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Our new NAS has four network ports that are linkable and I would like to utilise that extra potential capacity.

Should I;

1 - create an iSCSI volume, with its lower overhead, connect the main file sharing server to that volume then reshare via SMB and group policy to mapped drives for the users? Issue I see with this is I wont be able to utilise the extra network capacity of the linked lan ports on the nas as all the sharing is going through the one file server which will create a bottle neck with its own single lan port. As its a local drive to the server I can more easily do various operations like backup/moving/searching etc etc

2 - create the SMB shares directly on the NAS and point the user mapped drives there which will theoretically allow all users to go through the 4 linked ports increasing potential bandwidth.

Thanks

  • 2
    The answer is 2. but how do you plan on connecting the ports to your switches and ensuring the load is balanced equally - LACP presumably but you need to clarify, it doesn't just magically happen. – Chopper3 Apr 24 '15 at 18:59
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This is the kind of question I don't understand the logic behind.

Regarding this statement about option 1: Issue I see with this is I wont be able to utilize the extra network capacity of the linked lan ports on the nas as all the sharing is going through the one file server which will create a bottle neck with its own single lan port - That's an assumption. Have you determined whether or not a bottleneck actually exists? How do you know that using only a single port would create a bottleneck? What kind of data/metrics do you have to validate that statement?

And this statement about option 2: create the SMB shares directly on the NAS and point the user mapped drives there which will theoretically allow all users to go through the 4 linked ports increasing potential bandwidth - If you're pushing 100Mbps of traffic through a single port then adding 3 additional ports isn't going to make things any faster. How have you determined that you need the additional bandwidth that link aggregation would provide? How much traffic are you pushing with whatever you're currently using?

It seems to me that you're trying to justify a use for all 4 ports because you think you have to, otherwise they're wasted, which in my opinion isn't a good reason for implementing any particular technical solution or design.

  • Not to mention, with LACP a single connection will still max out at the speed of a single link. – Hyppy Apr 24 '15 at 19:20
  • ...trying to justify a use for all 4 ports because you think you have to, otherwise they're wasted.. agreed, instead, think of them as upgrade potential. – MDMoore313 Apr 24 '15 at 19:24
  • Thanks for the response. I was looking to increase bandwidth not speed I realise the maximum per port speed is the same. There are 5-10 concurrent users moving some large PDF and CAD documents about with some video. When I do a quick and dirty test and hit 7 concurrent users the transfer speeds do drop so there is a bottle neck. We currently use an iSCSI volume with our old NAS and unless I am ignorant of something if I replicate this with the new NAS I definitely wont get any extra bandwidth out of the LACP setup. – Rolf Herbert Apr 24 '15 at 20:59
  • What I mean is that if the existing connection is only 10 or 25 or 50% utilized then having a 4x connection isn't going to gain you any performance improvement. Have you determined that the network connection is the bottleneck? Have you looked at disk performance, CPU, memory, etc,? A drop in transfer speed could very well be a disk issue, unless you're specifically seeing the existing connection being saturated. – joeqwerty Apr 24 '15 at 21:59
  • I havent had time to test that, this was I realise now to vague a question it should I guess have been something like will using LACP and SMB shares outweigh the positives of using a ISCSI without LACP. It looks pretty easy to achieve with the 1515+ so I'll set it up using LACP first and run some tests then try the other way. Thanks – Rolf Herbert Apr 25 '15 at 6:56
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This depends on what type of NAS you have (brand and model, please). If you had something that wasn't particularly tuned to Windows integration (e.g. Isilon or a Linux-based NAS), I would recommend against using it as a file share directly.

Also, storage isn't always about throughput... It rarely is. Again, the specific type of device you have will dictate the best strategy.

Can you provide more information?

  • Thanks..Synology 1515+. Windows 2008 Domain. 5-10 concurrent users on the shares. Accessing large design PDFs, CAD stuff and some video. When concurrent users hit 7 or so right now with our existing NAS we get a drop in average speed. Hoping to utilise extra ports to increase overall bandwidth so more users can get better speeds. – Rolf Herbert Apr 24 '15 at 21:10
  • help.synology.com/dsm/… according to this I do not require a LACP switch I can use their adaptive load balancing option – Rolf Herbert Apr 24 '15 at 21:13

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