Lightroom and network storage

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keisar Junior Member • Posts: 32
Lightroom and network storage

Hello,

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,

dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Re: Lightroom and network storage

keisar wrote:

Hello,

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,

Do you mean Lightroom Classic?

If so, many people use a networked drive to store photos for Lightroom Classic. You will not notice the trivial speed difference between photos stored on a network drive and photos stored on an internal drive. There should not be a problem unless the network is not configured properly or the network is malfunctioning.

Backups of your photos and catalog file are mandatory.

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Paige Miller

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LongTimeNikonUser Senior Member • Posts: 1,356
Re: Lightroom and network storage

dj_paige wrote:

keisar wrote:

Hello,

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,

Do you mean Lightroom Classic?

If so, many people use a networked drive to store photos for Lightroom Classic. You will not notice the trivial speed difference between photos stored on a network drive and photos stored on an internal drive. There should not be a problem unless the network is not configured properly or the network is malfunctioning.

Backups of your photos and catalog file are mandatory.

But DO NOT store your catalog on a NAS.  The sqlite3 database does not have the necessary features to properly maintain a networked or remote database.

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LongTimeNikonUser

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 8,028
Re: Lightroom and network storage

I store all 250,000 of my images on external hard drives.  I used to put the images I was currently editing on my internal drive, but discovered that there was an insignificant difference in viewing/culling/editing time so I now put them all on my external drives.

Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 23,321
Re: Lightroom and network storage

CameraCarl wrote:

I store all 250,000 of my images on external hard drives. I used to put the images I was currently editing on my internal drive, but discovered that there was an insignificant difference in viewing/culling/editing time so I now put them all on my external drives.

So do I and unless you have a huge drive fast drive storing on an external drive is good. I would have loved a 2TB SSD but ouch. I got a 500GB SSD with my new iMac. I have 275GB free space.

Adobe recommends 20% of free hard drive space. Unofficial rule of thumb is 100B.

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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,760
Re: Lightroom and network storage

keisar wrote:

Hello,

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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