Summing up the dispute…
Sadly, but my friend was right: I can proudly say that I have VMware Workstation 15 installed on my working computer, whose images of VMs are stored on the iSCSI disk on the NAS. Yes, there is a 10-Gigabit network, and SSD caching give such a boost in speed that the Workstation 15 just flies, and some VMs are loaded as quickly as with a local SATA SSD. Actually for the sake of this, I stretched a thick CAT-7 cable through the skirting board, bought 10 USD RJ45 connectors and configured the routing and size of the network package, but Photoshop did not work faster, and all other programs that are associated with media processing - too. I thought it was the processor, but after running all the same tests on the 64-threads AMD EPYC 7551p, I can’t imagine any chart that would show that I was right.
Recommendations for video studios to choose NAS
However, now in the yard 2019 year, and we must look at the device in modern realities: today TVS-951X is about as much as a year ago cost 4-disk TS-453BT3 (though it has two thunderbolt 3 ports), but today you get for the money is already 9 bays for drives. Just like a year ago, you get a ready ecosystem of applications with which you can configure any backup scheme of your office, and in this regard, the QTS operating system continues to evolve, making your NAS more functional with each update.
Answering a direct question: do I need a fast NAS for a multimedia Studio, I will say this - only to speed up the operations of transferring mediafiles to and from the NAS, but do not need to run to order the NAS in the maximum configuration. If you already have an old network infrastructure or an old NAS, the first thing to think about when upgrading is the transition to 10-Gigabit networks. Where high speed is needed, namely in recording operations on NAS video from cameras or external SSDs with USB 3.1 interface, you will get a performance comparable to that given by NVME SSD in your computer or laptop. It is not necessary to buy server network cards for this: motherboards with Broadcom and Aquantia chips give themselves speeds of up to 1 Gigabyte per second.
Then - HDD
It is better to put 3 disks of a huge volume to subsequently expand the storage capacity without stopping (fortunately, QNAP is able to do this since the first models) than to fill all the compartments with small disks for 4-6 Terabytes, compensating for their speed with SSD drives. All SOHO/SMB models of QNAP feature extension functions/storage migration, so choose the largest drives that are in the compatibility list with the device.
Last but not least - SSD
Of course, in the field of SSD preparation, QNAP is clearly the leader, offering customers caching, multi-level storage and even disk profiling, but do not rush to buy solid state drives. First, as our tests show, modern SSDS for business users do not need profiling, and you can use all their capacity without dropping the write speed. Secondly, the only area of work with multimedia data, where SSD is a good thing - it is multithreaded processing or some rare software, or a large number of employees.
Roughly speaking, for one workstation connected to QNAP TVS-951x for video or photo editing tasks, an SSD in the NAS is not needed at all. For three or four machines, perhaps, too, but for ten or twenty computers, already - yes. Given that TVS-951X allows you to install SSDs without compromising the HDD and combine them into RAID 5/6, choose at least two drives to implement read/write caching. The effect of SSD cache will be only one: high-speed recording of large files on the NAS and copying from it in the middle of the working day, when the machine serves dozens of designers in your company. Neither Photoshop nor Premiere or Blender or SketchUP, the presence of SSD in your NAS-e will not notice.