QNAP TS-877 Truenas Journal

as you can see from my predicament, you would wish you had bought a nas with a IGPU (most intel based nas i guess that come with a hdmi for graphics ) solution so you wouldn’t be in this situation. Graphics card prices are bonkers. And i imagine most people wouldn’t want to pay a lot for graphics just for a nas with limited usage vs your main desktop pc. Not to say there isn’t a good use case for more higher performance graphics cards for it, but i don’t fall under that use case :sweat_smile:

i did originally buy one for experimentation with nas at the time.

this youtuber also makes the same point

if you do need a graphics card for your nas, go for it. but if you are like me for a similar use case (nas just for storing stuff and not much else that would require pricey graphics card), then just do what i recommended (prevention better than the cure). you get that graphics i/o to help with accessing bios if ever you want to convert to truenas from qts.

just to recap on accessing bios for qnap qts during bootup.

this is what that may look like, and explained by this youtuber

he even covers how to disable booting the DOM from the boot option in bios, like what i recommended doing if you plan to setup truenas on a QNAP.

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Saw an interesting qnap truenas experiment for a TS-453 Pro that went wrong

i never encountered that for the TS-253D and TS-653A :thinking:

Good news. Found the graphics card. Will have to go collect it :sweat_smile: ETA tomorrow.

was reading this

wondering if this was relevant to my project or not, for getting sfp+ fiber optic to work. There is an explanation here

https://www.genuinemodules.com/what-is-the-difference-between-fiber-channel-and-sfp_a1550

Fiber Channel is a high-speed network technology that is primarily used for storage area networks (SANs). It provides a dedicated and reliable connection for transmitting large amounts of data between servers and storage devices. On the other hand, SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver module that is used to connect networking devices, such as switches and routers, to fiber optic or copper cables. SFP modules support various types of network protocols, including Fiber Channel, Ethernet, and SONET/SDH. In summary, Fiber Channel is a network technology, while SFP is a type of transceiver module used for connecting devices in various networking environments.

Fiber Channel: High-speed data transfer protocol for storage networks.

Fiber Channel and SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) are both technologies used in data communication, but they serve different purposes.

Fiber Channel is a high-speed data transfer protocol specifically designed for storage networks. It is commonly used in enterprise storage area networks (SANs) to connect servers and storage devices. Fiber Channel offers high bandwidth and low latency, making it ideal for applications that require fast and reliable data transfers, such as data backup and recovery, database transactions, and video streaming. It supports long-distance connections, allowing for the expansion of storage networks over large areas.

On the other hand, SFP is a type of transceiver module that is used to connect networking devices, such as switches and routers, to fiber optic or copper cables. It is a compact and interchangeable module that provides a standardized interface for transmitting and receiving data. SFP modules support various data rates and communication protocols, including Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and SONET/SDH. They are hot-swappable, meaning they can be easily inserted or removed from a device without powering it down.

While both Fiber Channel and SFP involve the use of fiber optic cables, they serve different purposes. Fiber Channel focuses on high-speed data transfer within storage networks, while SFP is a versatile module used for connecting various networking devices. However, it’s worth noting that SFP modules can support Fiber Channel protocols, allowing for the integration of Fiber Channel technology into networking devices.

From a recent perspective, the demand for high-speed data transfer and storage capacity has continued to grow rapidly. As a result, there has been an increasing adoption of technologies like Fiber Channel and SFP to meet these requirements. Additionally, advancements in SFP technology have led to the development of faster and more efficient modules, such as SFP+ and QSFP, which provide even higher data rates and greater flexibility in network design.

but the gist is, core simply worked for fiber channel, while scale you might have to do something extra to get it to work. adding to the complexity. maybe something to be mindful of.

So i finished the discussion with 10gtek, seems they sent me the generic firmware for the transceivers.

I asked if mellanox encoded firmware and another with my switch brand firmware would work? but 10gtek’s answer was different to fs dot com. They said it won’t work.

instead they recommend

generic firmware - qnap

generic firmware - switch

Whereas fs dot com says it will and even assured a refund policy, so they seemed confident.

melanox firmware - install into qnap

switch brand firmware - install into switch

So who is telling the truth? :thinking:

The plan right now is

  1. check if dac works *hasn’t arrived yet. might have to wait a few more days

  2. check if the fiber optic transceivers work after switching to truenas scale (confirmed not working in qnap qts )

  3. if neither option 1 or 2 work, maybe either consider trying fs dot com since they said they will refund it if doesn’t work, OR i simply go back to using 2.5gbe pcie addon that worked :sob:


*deep breaths

watch funny videos to destress while waiting for dac to arrive :sweat_smile:

update from fs dot com

so recap

  1. Intel E10GSFPSR Compatible SFP+ 10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m DOM Duplex LC/UPC MMF Optical Transceiver Module #71385 (install in QNAP ts-877)

  2. X520-10G-1S-X8 NIC 10GTEK (install in QNAP ts-877)

  3. NETGEAR AXM761 Compatible SFP+ 10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m DOM Duplex LC/UPC MMF Optical Transceiver Module #12345. (install in switch)

  4. LC to LC om3 fiber optic cable (to connect from qnap to switch)

this is after i asked if i can use the 10g sfp+ pcie card by 10gtek i installed already on the ts-877.

So why then did they suggest mellanox? maybe they thought i bought the qnap sfp+ pcie card perhaps? :thinking:

Anyway i did reclarify, and this is their new suggested recommendation. Don’t know if it will really work or not. Hashing out the price estimate first and will see.

Dac arrived and should be delivered soon

*update

If you already have the X520-10G-1S-X8 NIC, then just need to purchase:

  1. Intel E10GSFPSR Compatible SFP+ 10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m DOM Duplex LC/UPC MMF Optical Transceiver Module #71385. (use on X520-10G-1S-X8 NIC) https://www.fs.com/sg/products/71385.html

  2. NETGEAR AXM761 Compatible SFP+ 10GBASE-SR 850nm 300m DOM Duplex LC/UPC MMF Optical Transceiver Module #12345. (use on your switch)https://www.fs.com/sg/products/12345.html

The two modules #71385 and #12345 enjoy a 30-day return and exchange policy. If they are not compatible, you can just return the product and we will take a refund for you, but you need to bear the return shipping costs yourself. Please click on the link to view the specific return policy: https://www.fs.com/sg/policies/day_return_policy.html.

Was testing setting up the backup and restore jobs for my nas.

TS-253D connect to the TL-D400S (this nas uses QTS to access the TL box and HBS app to perform backup and restores)

For connectivity, the TL is connected to 253D via SFF. And the 253D is connected to switch via 2.5gbe And the TS-877 will hopefully be connected to the switch via 10g (though the bottleneck will be 2.5g for the obvious reasons)

TS-877 (this will be the main nas and will be using truenas scale)

Note: before getting started, it’s best if you add all the nas devices in the hbs storage spaces, so when you are creating your sync back/restore jobs, you can then easily select them from the list of servers you added earlier.

So how this works is,

In HBS under SYNC, setup an active sync job


What this does is, pull the data from the TS-877 to the TL-D400S. Whereas before, i had a regular one way sync. But after making these changes, we have to do it this way instead. Either way it achieves the goal, backing up from TS-877 (truenas) to the TL-D400S.

Because i had yet to switch to truenas, for placeholder i had to use the RTRR option for the TS-877 (RTRR is a option only available to QTS/quts hero OS only as native solution. Supposedly it’s superior to rsync). Later after changing to truenas, you need to change it to RSYNC. This are the settings to set for truenas rsync to work with QNAP (i’ve tested this before and it was working with this setting)

Note: i disabled restore jobs to prevent any accidental restores which would overwrite valid data. I use that with caution and only enable it when needed. Rest of the time it’s disabled for safety precautions. I also disabled backup jobs though normally i don’t do that, simply because i have yet to transition the main nas to truenas, and i already did my backup already. So i will wait till that is all done, before i re-enable the backup job (which is an active sync)

I know what you are thinking. All this bending over backwards just to setup the backup and restore just to get that to work. Agreed, but it is what it is, we make do with what we have and mcgyver a solution that works :wink:

The alternative to doing this, would be having 2 nas both setup as truenas, then using the truenas rsync module. Much simpler.

This guy elaborates how that works

Anyway point here is, now we have the backup and restore setup, making the transition to truenas for the ts-877 that much easier.

I strongly recommend before using any sort of backup or recovery solution you test it thoroughly to properly understand how that works (use an unimportant small data sample in a source/destination you can delete later when you are done testing), before deploying it to production. I did, so i am confident in my settings :wink:

TIPS: when backing up/restoring, it’s probably best to disable ssl encryption. This only applies to lan since you are doing this from the safety of your own private network. If however you are doing this remotely over the internet, be sure to enable it definitely. But the reason why for lan we disable, is because it slows down transfer speed performance. Don’t use when not needed.

Another thing that may impact performance is the enable checksum verification in HBS. This slows down performance a lot. If you uncheck this option, it does basic level checksum comparison (file name and file date i think? don’t quote me on that). It’s much faster. that said i don’t mind the wait time so i left it enabled. But you can disable that setting if you prefer. I just thought i’d mention this because it affects performance a lot when doing backup/restoring

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Actually, if you had a zfs destination, preferably truenas you’d use zfs replication not rsync….
Generally.

So where are we up to? You’re working out how to backup? Haven’t got 10g working and don’t have TrueNAS installed yet?

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graphics card arriving tomorrow so should be able to go truenas assuming can get into bios (should work)

sfp+ stuff waiting for dac, couple of days wait. separate problem to figure out. can use 1gbe till then just to get the basic truenas stuff working first

what else :thinking:

yeah recovering data from tl-d400s to the ts-877 that will take a day or 2 to complete.

longer term project is restoring docker apps. no rush here :smiling_face_with_tear:

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5 hours till i can edit that… :scream:

Hm that sounds interesting. I wasn’t aware of that since zfs is not really my main daily usage so that is why i didn’t know that was what was being used. I’ll try look into that ty :saluting_face:

hm :thinking:

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Few things why i like and want to move to truenas. The future is bright

And this is barely scratching the surface.

But one thing i will add, is when look at the truenas interface, it’s very concise in it’s design in the sense that it has little to no bloat at all. Everything serves a clear purpose and doesn’t steer into bloatware. Compare that to say QTS.

I’ve used QTS for years, i know how to navigate that maze. But when you switch to truenas, it’s like suddenly all that bloat is gone, it’s very refreshing :smiling_face_with_tear:

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ok seems like his issue was related to his qnap using a very old bios, so truenas didn’t like that. so his fix was to reflash the truenas iso, but this time in rufus, select the fix in rufus settings advance to add a fix for old bios support. after that it worked.

solved :saluting_face:

in terms of power consumption for my setup,

i don’t do automation for backup because i power off backup and air gap when not doing any backups manually. saves on power.

to save on power i also like Christian think 4 hard drives (not including the 2-4 ssds) would be ideal number of drives to have and configured in raid Z1 in truenas. If you need more space, just replace them for higher capacity drives rather than additional drives.

Reason being, more drives = more power consumption.

Hm a follow up video

This is another youtuber i follow, he is also power conscious when designing his homelab servers

that said my setup does not spin down drives since i run a homelab server so hard to keep things asleep.

sleep/spindown is great for saving power, but to get it setup right depends on your circumstance whether you can do it or not without triggering spin ups. if you are too often triggering spin ups, it may not be worth doing. you wear out the drives with the constant spin ups and downs. if your usage pattern is very infrequent access, and you aren’t self hosting a homelab server for apps, then it might be worth trying. myself i do 24/7 spinning for availability. it’s not particular power friendly, but i try where possible, this is just an example of one of those concessions depending the situation as required :sweat_smile:

if you want to go power savings, ssds are great for that. Capacity sizes have come a long way :exploding_head:

price wise 2tb is affordable for most. 4tb is still considered premium pricing last i check. But spinning rust drives still win in terms of price per gig.

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I’ve been so busy with this project that i have been missing out on my diablo 4 gaming. guess i’ll play some while waiting for the graphics card to arrive today :sweat_smile:

i did go through my checklist but nothing much else i can do at this point but wait.

I haven’t setup truenas in a while, so if someone had some tips how i should go about setting up the raidz1 (raid5 equivalent) on zfs for 4 drives, that would be helpful. If i were to do this myself, afraid i might choose a less than optimal setting :sweat_smile:

deduplication - disabled (i don’t have ecc ram, so i probably won’t be using this unfortunately)

other features of zfs, not really sure tbh, but i’d probably be using snapshots so need that enabled.

What is the truenas equivalent for encryption lock for shares? i don’t want to encrypt all the drives, just certain shares i can lock/unlock at any time. How do you set that up for truenas? :thinking:

Watch this video you linked

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not sure i understand this correctly.

he was explaining the snapshots, it only backups the changes in blockfiles only for the purpose of faster backups.

But, isn’t it not a full file backup? meaning like if your source nas died, how do you recover if the backup uses snapshots that didn’t make a full copy of the entire thing, just only pieces of what changed only?

Sorry not sure i understand this well. I do use snapshots on QTS, but never as a full backup replacement. I don’t regularly use it for that, so not too familiar :sweat_smile:

There is a full copy on the backup destination. Each replication copies a blast of data from one snapshot to the next.

No time is spent figuring out what files to send or what’s changed, so essentially a blast of data can be sent.

Depending on how long you keep snapshots for you can retrieve any file from any snapshot whenever you want.

You can also clone the snapshot into a new dataset.

Or rollback a dataset to a given snapshot

Snapshots are taken virtually instantly.

And a dataset can be encrypted, as demonstrated in that video.

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