QNAP Systems, Inc. - Network Attached Storage (NAS)



Best Practices for Deploying Q’center

How many NAS can Q’center manage?

There is no fixed limit for the number of NAS that Q’center can manage, but hardware specifications may affect Q'center's ability to function normally when monitoring a large number of NAS. The below table provides recommended hardware specifications for the number of NAS being monitored:

Number of Managed NAS Recommendation
Same subnet Different subnets or connection logs enabled CPU
(or equivalent)
Memory Disk Space SSD cache
1–50   4 virtual CPUs 1GB 108GB No
50–100   Intel® Celeron® quad-core 4GB 200GB No
100–500   Intel® i5 quad-core 8GB 500GB Yes
500–1000   Intel® Xeon® E3 quad-core 16GB 1TB Yes
  500–1000 Intel® Xeon® E5 quad-core 64GB 2TB Yes

Note: More powerful hardware is recommended when managed NAS:

  • Are on different networks or subnets.
  • Have connection logging enabled at “QTS” > “Control Panel” > “System Logs” > “System Connection Logs” > “Start Logging”.

For the best practice of deploy Q’center to manage multiple NAS, there are 2 major factors which define the hardware requirements for Q’center: 

1. How many NAS will Q’center need to monitor?

On average, a NAS will transfer 200KB of data per minute to Q’center for processing, and managing more NAS increases bandwidth demands, CPU usage, memory cache, and disk performance of the Q’center server. However, if the managed NAS are all in the same subnet, the Q’center Agents on those NAS can form a cluster to handle the data on different NAS before sending the data to Q’center, decreasing the hardware requirements.

The below table shows the usage difference when monitoring 10, 50, and 100 NAS that are in different subnets on a NAS with an Intel i7-6700 3.4GHz Quad-core CPU.

No. of NAS 10 50 100
CPU Usage (%) 1% 1.68% 4.84%
Memory Usage (GB) 0.9 1.02 2.47
Network Throughput (KB/s) 8.6 36.64 126.73
Disk IOPS 25 99 233

Based on the above table, the network configuration should be double-checked when Q’center is required to manage multiple NAS. If all the NAS are in the same subnet, hardware requirements can be reduced. If all the NAS are grouped by different subnets, consider deploying multiple Q’centers to decrease server load if the recommended hardware specifications cannot be met.

2. How many logs should Q’center record? How long should they be retained?

NAS settings can also affect Q’center performance. More complex storage settings require additional data transfer between the managed NAS and Q’center. For example, enabling “Record Connection Log” in each managed NAS allows the NAS to record every user’s connection via SMB/AFP/NFS and iSCSI, and therefore increases the data to be sent to Q’center. These configurations not only increase CPU requirements but also increase the disk IOPS requirement of the Q’center server.

Q’center records all the logs and usage records on the managed NAS. The default log retention period is 6 months, and increasing this period will also increase the storage space requirements of Q’center.

The below table shows the comparison of managing 100 NAS with connection logs disabled and enabled:

Connection Log on 100 NAS Disabled Enabled
CPU Usage (%) 4.84% 19%
Memory Usage (GB) 2.47 4
Network Throughput (KB/s) 126.73 307.11
Disk IOPS 233 350

When setting up the managed NAS and Q’center, double check if the managed NAS requires a complex storage configuration or for connection logs to be enabled. SSD caching and 10GbE connectivity are recommended to help manage increasing bandwidth requirements. Also, if additional NAS will be monitored by Q’center, consider expanding the volume/virtual disk where Q’center is installed or reduce the log retention time on the Q’center server.

Release date: 2017-09-27
Was it helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Thank you for your feedback. If you have any question, please contact support@qnap.com
71% of people think it helps.