Lightroom and network storage

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,760
Re: Lightroom and network storage

keisar wrote:


I am wondering if some of you are runnning lightroom with all the photos stored on NAS (Gigabites) and how fast is that working ?

Indeed I am about to replace my desktop computer (Apple M1) and I have to choose between storage space and it may be wiser to store all photos on my NAS (3 Tb) rather than on the mac SSD.

I am not a pro and i don't mind to wait a bit during big import session.

I am intersted in any experiences with lightroom and network storage.

Thank you,

Yes I am - have been for >10 years. GigE wired NAS - without jumbo frames - for my source image archives loaded into LrC with the LrC library database itself (and therefore previews) and LrC/ACR cache stored on local SSD. My NAS is in RAID5, but delays I get are really the connection rather than the RAID redundancy reading/writing.

With larger files on the NAS there is a noticeable delay loading in LrC Develop. By large files I mean TIFF, psd, and especially psb (as psb can hold over 4GB). My raws are c. 24MB and those are not an issue and they load as fast as I can want to see them. However I do composites and they are multi-layer high-res images stored as psd and psb. Those can be many many GB and take a long time to load in Develop. I don't think it really affects my overall LrC workflow as such though as I may well perfect a (e.g.) 6GB composite on my local SSD before moving it to the NAS and importing into LrC (I use LrC for final crop and export only, all the real creative work is done in PS).

LrC Library is using the stored (JPEG) previews made by LrC itself so Library is fast to scroll. It therefore really is in Develop (and also Print and Slideshow) where I see the loading spinner for what could be several seconds (even minutes with those 4GB or more psb).

Importing and generating previews for a big shoot - let's say 1000 raw images - means perhaps 30mins of coffee time.

I think it does not matter speedwise if you mount the NAS as SMB or AFP on a Mac (and this gets more complex dependent on which macOS version as combination of both Apple and Adobe behaviours means some exact saves do not seem to work with later/latest macOS versions).

In general I run my NAS now as SMB (running Catalina on my MBP). I also do not use LrC sidecar XMP as that would both mean much more file writes to the NAS (just takes time and network activity) and also would give me a much more intense incremental back-up regime for the NAS.

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