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Hardware requirements - NAS vs 'real' Server

asked 2013-02-18 23:29:57 +0200

gunnar gravatar image gunnar
510 5 13 27

updated 2013-02-19 00:34:38 +0200

hi everybody,

we are planning of setting up an OpenERP for our company. Actually at the same time we will be upgrading our fileserver. So both, filehosting (normal office documents, some photos) and OpenERP should be running from this machine. I am wondering about the Hardware requirements to do so successfully.

For ease of use we are tempted to purchase an NAS System. Synology seems to be the way to go as their OS officially supports OpenERP. We where considering something like Synolgy DS1512+ or RS812+ (sorry can't paste a link because my 'Karma points] (?) do not allow that yet)

I am considering this issue since a while and have noted a gap between what NAS machines normally offer in terms of RAM (the ones from above 1-3 GB) and what people who are more experiences than I advise me (that such kind of RAM would be way not enough).

What I don't get is ... almost all NAS Systems (not only Synology) in the range of small and medium businesses (which we are with 3-15 potential users) have such 'low' amounts of RAM. It seems that NAS producers and my advisers (who would be professionals in IT administration & hardware setup) have a totally different understanding of how much hardware power you need for running such services.

apart from the RAM the machines mentioned above seems quite powerful to me (2x Gigabit Ethernet for example doesn't look like toying around to me but as if you are serious)

So, who is in the right?

It almost seems as if IT professionals might be generally anti NAS in a way. Would they fear if everybody used NAS instead of a 'real' Server (that is a term I have heard more then once) the need of administrators would become more and more redundant? ... So NAS might be a natural enemy of any admin?

any comments on this are highly welcomed

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answered 2013-02-19 06:06:23 +0200

Mohammad Alhashash gravatar image Mohammad Alhashash flag of Egypt
1729 4 17 27

updated 2013-02-19 07:07:15 +0200

Stay away of NAS devices including this one.

  • Slow processor. This one is using Atom processor. CPU performance is a significant factor in OpenERP performance. It is not about processor clock or core count. a 1.7GHz Core i7 processor would be much faster in python than 2.1Ghz Atom.

  • Very limited memory upgrade option. As any DBA would tell you, memory size is usually the most important factor in database performance followed by disk IO performance.

  • No ECC memory support. You should always use ECC memory for critical server applications.

  • You will never need/use that storage capacity. I would not even run a 100GB database on a server with 3GB ram! Especially for an ERP system.

  • No redundant power supply.

A NAS is just server made for shared storage. If you want simplicity in management, you can install any NAS oriented Linux or FreeBSD distribution on a real server with ECC and expandable memory.

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thanks, I begin to understand the 'real server' fuss

gunnar ( 2013-02-19 07:21:09 +0200 )edit

The idea of deploying the mentioned "NAS oriented distro" as OS on a 'real server' hardware sounds interesting. But I wonder whether you could install and run OpenERP on that .... could you?

gunnar ( 2013-02-20 01:47:45 +0200 )edit

You would be better off buying a refurished PC for less than $500, installing Ubuntu, and following one of the installation guides for openERP. It is spelled out step by step on a number of websites like theopensourcerer dot com - That would get your feet wet.

patently ( 2013-02-20 02:29:10 +0200 )edit

Sure you can install OpenERP on any of those NAS distributions, but not through the web interface. You need to install OpenERP dependencies and download OpenERP source.

Mohammad Alhashash ( 2013-02-20 05:24:41 +0200 )edit

@Mohammad Ali. You are mistaken. Synology has a package center and developed an install package for OpenERP, it is available since October 2011. . You can install via the web interface. You don't need to install OpenERP dependancies and you don't need to download OpenERP source.

ton123 ( 2013-03-02 11:59:11 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-02-19 01:12:30 +0200

SISalp gravatar image SISalp flag of France
51 4


Openerp is available as a package on Synology. You don't size any requirement, so no idea whether the NAS will be enough or not. For a small company with few users, it will probably be enough.

I don't see any advantage to use a NAS for Openerp instead of a regular PC, but in specific markets because it is easy to sell. Personnaly, I don't use NAs because they don't fit my requirements :

  • I need virtualisation instruction set
  • I want to choose my operating system and its version
  • I want to build a replacement as soon as possible in case of failure
  • I want free slots to extend performance
  • I want it cheap

Maybe sys_admins are just reluctant to use a specific operating system for no benefit. By the way, where will you send your backups if you put Openerp on the NAS ?


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answered 2013-02-19 10:24:57 +0200

ton123 gravatar image ton123 flag of Netherlands
1476 12 39 57

updated 2013-07-20 10:15:47 +0200

I have running v6.1.1 on 3 different synology NAS. See my post on this. The DS412+ is powered by a 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700 "Cedarview" (32nm) processor. It is a dual-core chip, it supports four threads thanks to HyperThreading. Standard memory is 1.024GB. It can be expanded through 2.048GB.

I use them for production, development, test and backup. I can work on these servers via internet. For cross platform testing I have also a Linux Ubuntu 12.03 v6.1.1 installation on a small Samsung Notebook.

As far as I know OpenERP has worked together with Synology on these packages.

At this moment v7 is not available as a synology package. I assume it will be available when it is more stable.

Update July 2013 7.0 is available on Synology

It is very easy to start with v6.1.1. on a synology server. Install Python via the package manager. After that Install OpenERP via the package manager. It's all very easy.

Standard pasword for managing databases is admin. At first install there is one database OpenERP. You can access it in your local network via http://iPadressofthesynology:8169. User=admin, Pasword=admin.

For demo use it is fast. For a one user company it is fast. You can always migrate from the NAS to a "real" Linux server. You need to install the same OpenERP version and modules on this Linux server. And you can restore the backup data which you have made from the Synology to the Linux server. In my situation this is the above mentioned Samsung notebook. And I can migrate back also. It is total cross platform.

The version of synology is at this moment based on Linux 2.6.3212. Systems management tools via Putty SSH Telnet and AdminTool from Itari.

The OpenERP 6.1.1 version is in februari 2013 updated with the latest modules.

Keep in mind there are still a lot of things to do to implement OpenERP for a company. Technical and Functional and Organisational. This is the difficult part. Of course backups and restores can be made. Databackup via the OpenERP management screen. Automatic backup and backup of the OpenERP installation need more work.

Update July Also 7.0 is very easy to install. Install Python Install the OpenERP 7.0 package You can login with admin / admin on port 6069

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answered 2013-02-19 05:47:55 +0200

gunnar gravatar image gunnar
510 5 13 27

updated 2013-02-19 05:52:31 +0200

thanks for the feedback. My point actually being ... We don't have a sysad and as long as we don't really need one we would be just happy with that. A NAS just works out of the box (at least for file sharing that should be true). That is a huge plus for a company in a situation like ours.

I am pretty sure whether you are more advanced and have an IT infrastructure (incl. staff (up and running you wouldn't consider NAS just because what you two have stated but until that day we are hoping for something that spares us the need of really administering things on a command line base (and that is what the promise of a NAS actually is).

What I am hoping for would be some first hand experience of people who might be able to say "I did it and it worked great/failed/... because ..." Anybody out there?

I am pretty sure. If I have to setup a 'real server' I will need somebody to take care of administration. We are trying to figure out whether that can be avoided with a NAS yet. For filesharing I am pretty sure it can, regarding OpenERP I am trying to figure that out with this post somehow.

By the way, where will you send your backups if you put Openerp on the NAS ?

not decided yet. maybe just a USB drive for starters

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Of course you will make your own experience, but updating Openerp on Synology is something I hope I'll be never asked to do. If you don't want to administratrate your central business server, consider hosting by people who will do it for you. But this is another topic.

SISalp ( 2013-02-19 11:55:06 +0200 )edit

A NAS doing the job of a server is not going to obviate the need for a sysadmin. That is like buying a 2 door sedan to tow your boat and expecting to never need a mechanic. Eventually things need maintenance

patently ( 2013-02-20 02:14:12 +0200 )edit

A linux operating system can be installed on a PC in less than 30 minutes by using GUI installers and you can install openerp packages very easily. If your hardware is good you would not need any sys admin for such an install and it will work for years without any intervention. Everybody is against NAS here because they think it is overpriced for that performance. So you can just buy a PC and install linux os and forget the machine. You can remove keyboard mouse and screen if you like. You can install Zentyal as it gives a web interface for file sharing settings and can act as a domain server.

Ahmet Altınışık ( 2013-03-02 14:43:33 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-02-19 00:37:35 +0200

patently gravatar image patently flag of United States
1676 3 12 30

I would demo their system and see how you like it.

NAS is network attached storage, it is a network attached hard drive. A NAS is a 'real' server minus just about everything but hard drives. The ram on the NAS is for caching frequently accessed information, not running applications.

Normally you cannot run any applications on the NAS. A server would store data on a NAS and reference that data when an application running on the server calls for it.

It looks like Synology created specialty software to allow their products to do what a normal NAS cannot do.

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not sure whether this is still true. If you check on features listed for many NAS systems it looks as if you can do quite a lot with it. Well it's their advertizing still, butt if you just take half of it for actually workable seems there is more then just HardDrives. ...

gunnar ( 2013-02-19 05:39:04 +0200 )edit

NAS is network attached storage, when you have it start doing other tasks it stops being a NAS.

patently ( 2013-02-20 02:20:39 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2013-02-18 23:29:57 +0200

Seen: 3,142 times

Last updated: Jul 20 '13