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The QNAP TS-233 – A New Value Series 2-Bay NAS Drive for 2022

14 février 2022 à 01:43

QNAP TS-233 2-Bay NAS Drive Revealed, Coming Soon!


UPDATE – The QNAP TS-233 NAS is now released and my FULL Review is now published and can be found HERE



If you are someone who has been looking at buying their first NAS drive, but targeting something a little more ‘affordable’ or ‘value’ in scope, then it’s been a bit of a tough choice lately. There ARE most cost-effective solutions available right now from the big name brands, but many are coming up on 2 years since release and this can easily lead buyers to wonder ‘is something better about to arrive?’ New releases in the world of network-attached storage (NAS) were a little thin in the closing stages of 2021 compared with previous years. Whether it is the manufacturers switching focus from the hardware to the software, relying more and more on existing models to support their NAS operating system and GUI, or because 2020/2021 had been rather complicated years to track consumer trends and existing units in the field because the pandemic has massively effected consumer priorities. Whatever the reason, news on new releases from the big NAS brands have started to arrive a lot later than we expected and with many users sitting on their money, waiting for something new and shiny to buy, it is only now at the start of 2022 that we are seeing some new kit start to emerge. Step forward to a new affordable 2-Bay NAS solution from QNAP, the TS-233 NAS Drive. Featuring a modified take on an existing chassis, the arrival of a new efficient yet capable CPU (that I expect we will see cropping up a lot more as the year goes on) and a few hardware factors that are very ‘QNAP’ in design, the newly announced TS-233 sounds like it will be the perfect budget NAS for those making their first steps into a home or small business server.


What are the Hardware Specifications of the QNAP TS-233 NAS?



The hardware of the TS-233 NAS is not exactly going to blow you away, it has to be said. QNAP, along with many other brands, has been in the market for producing these affordable solutions in desktop form for a while (in the last 5-6 years we have seen the TAS-268, the TS-228A and the TS-230) and although each one is an improvement over the one before it, it is generally very small improvements. This is because these solutions are all too often produced to be extremely ‘budget aware’ and with the rising cost of components generally outpacing how much growth in their ability can be stretched between generations (not without increasing the cost fo the device significantly), the hardware specifications of the TS-233 are pretty modest.

TS-233">
  • TS-233 active spec_value" data-sku-name="TS-233">ARM 4-core Cortex-A55 2.0GHz processor
  • TS-233">2GB DDR4 (Max)
  • TS-233">2x SATA HDD/SSD Bay
  • TS-233">Top Loaded Drive Injection
  • TS-233">1x RJ45 1GbE
  • TS-233">1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • TS-233">2x USB 2.0
  • TS-233">Support of the USB-to-5GbE Adapter
  • TS-233">Compact 188.6 × 90.1 × 156.2mm White Closed Chassis
  • TS-233">Low Noise single 80mm Fan
  • TS-233">65W External PSU and Reported 3.43/10.81W Power Use (Idle/Active)

Now, although I am pleased by that CPU as an upgrade over the current ‘Value’ devices from ALL brands having the same Realtek RTD1296 processor, the rest of the system seems remarkably similar to the current TS-230 NAS from QNAP in their value series. The lack of 25GbE on this system is particularly surprising in 2022. Especially given the brands big, BIG push towards 2.5GbE on the rest of their hardware in the last two years.

How Does the QNAP TS-233 compare with the TS-230 NAS?


The new TS-233 from QNAP looks set to serve as a follow up to the now almost 2 years old TS-230. On the face of it, these two NAS are incredibly similar and for the most part it really comes down to one core difference between them – the CPU. Though both the new and old system uses a 64bit ARM chip, this newer generation ARM A55 Cortex 4-Core processor is more efficient AND  arrives at a higher clock speed per core (2.0Ghz vs 1.4Ghz), which means that it is going to use less resources than it’s predecessor in most tasks. Here is how the two NAS drives compare:

MODEL QNAP TS-233

QNAP TS-230

CPU

ARM 4-core Cortex-A55

Realtek RTD1296
CORES 4 4
CLOCK SPEED 2.0GHz processor 1.4GHz processor
MEMORY 2GB DDR4 (Max) 2GB DDR4 (Max)
BAYS x2 SATA x2 SATA
PORTS
LAN 1x 1GbE 1x 1GbE
USB 2.0 x2 x1
USB 3.2 Gen 1 x1 x2
PSU 65W External 65W External
IDLE POWER USE 3.43W 4.48W
ACTIVE POWER USE 10.81W 12.27W
SIZE (mm) 188.64 × 90.18 × 156.26 188.64 × 90.18 × 156.26
WARRANTY 2yrs 2yrs

That Realtek RTD1296 was certainly a popular chip in the more affordable NAS ranges in the last two years (appearing across pretty much ALL the NAS brands). This was largely down to it being modest in power/price, yet supporting 4K transcoding, snapshots, container applications, multiple tiers of backup operations with full Hybrid Backup 3 support and can even support Plex Media Server in 2020 and 2021 (though transcoding will not be possible). However, with a newer refresh of affordable NAS ranges, it should not come as a surprise that a more capable processor will arrive and the A55 Cortex in the TS-230 NAS can seemingly do everything the older Realtek A53 processor can do, just doing it quicker and utilizing fewer resources. Though I will highlight that I am not a big fan of this system still arriving with 1GbE AND the fact that it only has a single USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (the older TS-230 NAS had 2x).

What Are the Software Specifications of the QNAP TS-233 NAS?


It is a valid question! With such modest hardware under the bonnet, how much of the QNAP software can this system hope to run? If it can run things as well/better than the TS-230, then that would indicate that it should be able to run a good 50-60% of the QNAP applications. However, the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the TS-233 arrives with (which cannot be upgraded) will likely use a significant chunk of that just to run a small handful of applications at once. The QNAP TS-233 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. This software is included in the price of the TS-233 and is a great user interface and operating system for those users in both home and business circles. it is important to understand that when you buy the TS-233 server (or indeed any QNAP NAS), it arrives with the QTS software platform, with constant updates and hundreds of applications included. These are all tested and maintained 1st party QNAP apps and 3rd party applications. This is further improved with desktop client programs for PC/Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android – ALL INCLUDED and downloadable at any time. The TS-233 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS, such as:

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-233

  • QSync for Backing up multiple Devices to the NAS on a schedule/as needed
  • Hyper Backup Sync 3
  • QuMagie for photo collections and AI-enabled face/thing recognition
  • Multimedia Console for managing media sharing, streaming, transcoding and indexing
  • File Station for File Management, sharing and permission allocation
  • Download Station for managing HTTP/FTP/NZB/BT downloads, as well as RSS feeds for podcasts and updates
  • QFiling and QSirch to better organize files and remove duplicates/waste
  • Cloud Drive for Migrating and Synchronizing between Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc
  • Photo Station to organize and catalogue photo collections
  • Music Station to organize, playback and stream music media to network/internet devices
  • Video Station to playback media over the network/internet
  • Container Station for management micro/compact virtual environments
  • QVR Elite for Surveillance/CCTV/NVR use with IP Cameras
  • MANY more QNAP Apps

Third-Party Applications for the TS-233

  • Plex Media Server(no transcoding natively)
  • Emby
  • iTunes Server
  • Acronis True Image Backup
  • Malware Remover
  • SugarCRM
  • TVMosaic

Desktop Client Applications from QNAP

  • QSync for Mac and Windows
  • QVR Elite Client for PC/Mac
  • QFinder Pro for Mac/PC

Mobile Applications for iOS and Android

  • Qfile – File manager
  • QPhoto – Photo Manager
  • QVideo – Video Manager
  • QMusic – Music Manager
  • QRemote – Remote Control App over the Network
  • QNotes – Central note-taking app, for collaboration between users

It is a pretty widespread range of applications and services to choose from. However until I have one in the studio, we will have to wait and see how far this system can be pushed. A common factor that gets overlooked when people buy these more affordable systems, is that they are good for running 1,2 or 3 things at once – but 2GB of memory being spread across users and processes all at once can quickly lead to a bottleneck that more powerful x86 64bit processors (such as Intel or AMD CPUs in more expensive Prosumer/SMB systems) can easily deal with. So, yes, the QNAP TS-233 can likely do all of these services and functions listed, but you have to keep your expectations realistic when trying to do many things at once!


When Will the QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive Be Released and the Price?



Despite its remarkable similarity to the QNAP TS-230, I think this newer TS-233 will arrive at a higher price point – this is largely due to it arriving with the hardware architecture a pinch earlier than most brands, as well as hardware shortages making components at the point of manufacturer hardware to get and most costly. This is not exclusive to the TS-233 but something we are going to see a lot more in 2022 as the knock-on effects of these shortages over 2020-2021 (when hardware/components were acquired for 2022 hardware) need to be levelled against the RRP on these newer systems launching. It’s a sad but annoying truth! However, this is still going to be a NAS aimed at the Home and small business owner, so a price around the £160-180 price point (without your local TAX) is fairly likely. Details on the QNAP TS-233 NAS are still so thin that as an estimation of a release date is just too thin on the ground. The TS-233 NAS is already listed on the QNAP Taiwanese pages, so it is likely that if it is going to be released in the rest of the world (almost certainly!), that it will be added shortly and released some time in Feb/March of 2022.


 


 

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Synology NAS and Hard Drive Compatibility in 2022 – Should I Be Worried?

18 février 2022 à 00:00

Synology NAS and Hard Drive Compatibility in 2022


If you have been a long-running advocate of Synology NAS over the years, or have been elbow deep in the Synology eco-system for a long time, then there is every chance that you have heard that the biggest brand in the world of network-attached storage has been changing a few of the guidelines on their higher profile devices these like 18-24 months.

Synology Media – How This all Started?


Synology has been in the business of network-attached storage solutions (in software, services and hardware) for well over 20 years now and in that time have established a largely unblemished record of providing high-end hardware+software combination solutions that allow home and business users to have their own private servers. This hardware that arrived in a wide spectrum of configurations of scale, pricing and utility were provided with the understanding that the media needed (HDDs and SSDs) to store your data inside was to be sourced by popular third party brands such as Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba. All this started to change back in 2019/2020 when Synology started offering its own range of branded hard drives and solid-state drives (the HAT5300, SNV3400/3500 and SAT5200). These drives, though engineered and built by Hard Drive and SSD manufacturing veterans, also feature Synology optimized firmware and allowed system-specific advantages that otherwise might have been unavailable using “3rd party” hard drives. Now, when this range of media was initially launched, most were perfectly positive about this move!



Those who already had a number of their figurative eggs in Synology baskets could see the logic – the brand produces the hardware, released their branded memory, branded PCIe upgrade cards, branded routers and therefore the move to produce their own branded media to further bolster this in-house eco-system made sense (side note – Where is the Synology Switch? Not the SG1000, but an actual Synology managed switch?). Moreover, these HDDs and SSDs were quite enterprise in design (high workloads and endurance, architecture that very much lived in the postcode of the data center user in most cases). It was only a few lone voices that raised concerns that the brand might start changing how they approached compatibility and support on their growing range of solutions.

How Support on the Synology Drive Media Changed in 2021/2022?


Therefore it came as something sharp gear change for many when Synology announced that a number of their enterprise solutions that were released in 2021 (and featured in the 2022 series) would arrive with much stricter compatibility in terms of storage media. Solutions that were very much outside the budget of home users in the XS and above ranges would now only be designed for use with the Synology branded range of media HDDs and SSDs. Utilizing the bulk of non-Synology media (such as Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red, Ultrastar DC and more) would not be formally supported by the Synology software, with the brand highlighting that this would be using the system in a means that they did not design and limiting the support they could provide to the end-user. Now, this limited media compatibility on their hardware had been somewhat foreshadowed, with the release of their 2020 generation PCIe upgrade cards, the M2D20 SSD caching card and E10M20-T1 SSD+10G combination upgrade card, both of which were rather strictly limited to Synology media. The utility of non-Synology branded HDD/SSD media at the start of 2022 is still available by the brand, but in a handful of circumstances that range from migration of media from an existing Synology NAS system to a new enterprise series device or there have been a few reports online of exceptions to this rule when media types (such as SAS SSD) were not available in the Synology media portfolio, yet supported on the system. Even then, this is not a watertight ruling and is something that comes from mixed reports online. Right now, there are give or take around 10 solutions in the Synology NAS portfolio that have this Synology-only media compatibility policy in place and although there is an argument that enterprise solutions such as these are targetted at buyers who will likely be keen on an ‘all in-house’ solution (such as those on offer from the likes of NetApp and EMC), there are those that are less keen on the brand shunning the use of WD/Seagate drive media that they may have been using for the better part of two decades at least.



Utilizing non-Synology media in these enterprise solutions at the start of 2022 will not entirely restrict the end-user(s) from forming a storage pool, volumes and more with this drive media installed, but the results can not really be thought of as tremendously compelling. Aside from numerous notifications from the system informing the user that they are using media that does not feature on the official compatibility list of their device and stability and support may well be undermined, there is also a persistent message on the notifications panel and in the storage manager that this area of storage is classed in ‘Critical’ status – i.e Danger! Many were concerned/unsure whether this would mean that ignoring this warning by the system would result in the Synology support being invalid and to clarify this, I raised this with a senior Synology manager and will touch on that shortly in the (‘what happens next’ section).



Further to this, there is the extent to which this policy and recent change in position by Synology extends. As mentioned, there is a certain degree of understanding of this being a move by the brand on the enterprise level of solutions. These are high-end business-class servers that are designed to be used practically indefinitely until their retirement for the next server after and stability, accessibility and reliability are the order of the day! Therefore the brand offering these solutions to end-users with this expectation and recommending specific media to achieve this is understood, if not fully appreciated by everyone. However, when the DS2422+ 12-Bay diskstation NAS featured this same position on compatibility, despite it being a part of the ‘PLUS’ series of devices and arriving with a 3-year warranty, gave many certain pauses for thought. Yes, a 12-Bay desktop solution is quite far removed from a home system for many, as well as featuring a number of hardware similarities for the beefier DS3622xs+, but it did seem like the tiniest bit of a stretch in the eyes of many and added a little bit of grey to the black and white support position of non-Synolgoy media in the 2021/2022 range of solutions from Synology.

The Logic of Synology and Their Place in the Market


Now, stepping back slightly from these changes and looking at the moves from Synology over the last 5 years, it has become increasingly clear that Synology is making considerable moves towards challenging SaaS and PaaS (Software and Platform ‘as a service) hybrid users at the very top end. Before this, Synology was almost exclusively a software+bare metal provider and it was only when they released, promoted and rapidly evolved their C2 cloud platform that this ambition and long term plan became evident. Having a single in house ecosystem that manages your business data that covered your company data, client data and increased native connectivity with Google/Microsoft SaaS components is great for smaller operations, but what about multi-site ops? International setups and in situations where backups, synchronization and access need to be complex enough to ensure security, yet fluid enough to ensure that the user base can use it in their day to day operations. It was/is a bold strategy that requires them to spread themselves perhaps a little thinner than they might like (as they have a tremendously large Home/SMB user base that has little-to-no interest in these lofty services, they need to continue to support) but definitely a road they are proceeding down and it is this mixed clientele of users that has led to the friction by many of the recent moves by the brand.



Now, if Synology is attempting to fully migrate/transform their enterprise business model into this highest of hybrid service solutions, as it stands they are still missing a few key components that the current providers offer (albeit behind further subscription services in some cases) such as 24×7 support lines, Next day replacements media, gaps in their media portfolio in interfaces and capacities to name a few). There are options to migrate existing setups in remarkably intuative and seamless ways, as well as premium-level services in some regions that close the gaps somewhat (though unfortunately are not globally available) and their C2 platform is a great deal more than just a cloud space. But if indeed Synology is making these moves to enter this market as a significant player (as all the evidence would suggest), then I do not think we are at the end of the road yet.

Synology NAS, & Drive Media in 2022 – What Happens Next?



There has been noticeable discontent amoung Synology user community on this policy by the brand, which can be broken down into two key areas of focus. The first is that the brand might be shifting its gears too heavily towards the upper tears of Enterprise Hybrid storage and devices and potentially neglecting/limiting the other user groups who have chosen Synology NAS solutions because of the brand’s reputation to support. The other area of discontent is the way in which the media recommended compatibility changes in these most recent generation releases has been related to the end-user. Referring to perfectly operating hard disks and SSDs as ‘critical’ or ‘unstable’ in red warning text appears somewhat of an overreaction. I reached out to a senior member of the Synology product team and they provided this reply:


We have always recommended only using the drives tested and verified by our engineers to ensure long-term system reliability many many years ago. While non-verified drives can still be used on all devices, the updated policy is being introduced on new products primarily purchased by our business and enterprise clients in an effort to highlight the potential issues with using them. The policy still allows for the use of non-verified drives but with certain restrictions, such as status indicators and alerts indicating the system is not in an officially supported configuration and certain drive metrics not being supported. At the same time we understand that there is room for improvements to the user experience while still ensuring our customers are aware of the issue. In an upcoming DSM update, we are adjusting the alert level shown and also adding drive S.M.A.R.T. monitoring for unverified drives.


So, it would look like the comments on multiple social message boards (Facebook, Reddit, Syno Forums, etc are at the very least being read), However, for many this message does not fully cover the question of detailing the level of support that the brand will indeed provide in the event of perfectly reasonable failure. I raised this matter with Synology with the following examples for guidance (as I felt they covered a cluster of existing scenarios posed by users online):


Example #1, a Synology DS3622xs+ or DS2422+ owner purchases their unit and 12 Seagate EXOs HDDs, then 36 months down the line they suffer an unexpected (but perfectly reasonable) PSU failure. Will the brand support this user and provide a replacement PSU?


Alternatively, Example #2, if the hardware failure (still within perfectly reasonable parameters of hardware that is mass-produced of course) is controller board based? Where will the utility of non-Synology media stand?


A senior Synology manager provided the following response and clarification:


When a customer makes a technical support request, our engineers will work with them in troubleshooting the cause of the issue and to find a solution to resolve it. If it is determined that a failure is directly attributable to a 3rd-party component that has not been validated by Synology, our engineers may make the decision to reject continuing the diagnostics process. This is carried out because in many cases, there is little that our engineers can do without having those exact components on hand to replicate the problem and then determine a way to workaround or mitigate them.


This clears the muddy waters a little and seems to indicate that failures that are not related to the use of 3rd party media will be handled ‘as usual’. Still, the fact that some features of the storage manager might be unavailable with the use of non-Synology drive’s in these recently released enterprise systems will still be a tough pill to swallow for many.

Where do I stand on Synology Hard Drive Media and Compatibility in 2022?


I have been following and publishing videos and articles on the development of Synology Hard Drive & SSD media now for a little over two years and despite the newer releases in this part of the brand’s portfolio, I have largely remained the same in my thoughts and feelings on it. The HAT5300 are good quality drives which (if the price point in relation to the rest of the market, i.e. comparable to Seagate EXOS and WD Ultrastar, but arriving more at the WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Price per TB etc) and certainly should be in the lineup. When it comes to stricter system compatibility, as long as it is reserved for the enterprise tier, I can see the reasoning – though I am not convinced it should be the ONLY option and if Synology could loosen their tighter hold on this (or at least detail where unsupported HDD/SSD use could potentially impact how/where their support the end-user – Software? Hardware? Just at the Storage Pool and above?), that would be the best option for all. When the compatibility list for the DS2422+ was made available, I highlighted my reservations on this in my original initial coverage of the device (and referenced it in a few later videos around the subject) that although the Diskstation 12-Bay was still largely a business user focus device (12 bays of expandable storage is rarely something for the day-to-day user), it is still a PLUS series device. I have not got any qualms with Synology aimed their sites at the highest tiers of hybrid storage, it makes a lot of sense and although the brand is still not quite as established of have the wider resources available to the end-users to rival the top tier contenders, they DO provide the best alternative to these right now and year on year, the brand improves upon their C2 Cloud to Metal on-site synchronization with improved results.



Like many, I am awaiting confirmed details on the newer DSx22+ series of devices (if a refresh is to make it this year) and I very much doubt that Synology would limit these system’s media compatibility, taking a similar position to their current one of SHR and RAID. That is to say, that they feel SHR is suitable for the Home, Prosumer and SMB tier, but the higher-end business and Enterprise user tier demand the performance of the more mature standard RAID configurations. Additionally, the HAT5300 media would be tremendous overkill in a much more modest 2-Bay or 4-Bay (DS922+, DS722+, DS222j, blah, blah, blah) both in the drive’s workload/durability and just power consumption and ambient noise. However, if Synology announces a value series HDD alternative that is also based on the Toshiba NAS N300 NAS tier and compatibility on the value tier begins to emulate what we have seen so far, that is something I will have more trouble supporting. As this would place their products into a near ‘pre-populated’ style of solution for home users that many who have invested in the Synology ecosystem would find tremendously restrictive.


For more information on how me and Eddie the web guy feel about the Synology Hard Drive position, the brand’s moves over the last few years towards the enterprise tier, brand support and more, we published a big piece on this below and although its a long video (chapters underneath), it covers EVERYTHING.



Video Chapters


00:00 – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!


01:00 – Synology Hard Drives, An Introduction to the Media


02:25 – Why People are angry about Synology NAS and Hard Drive Compatibility?


05:30 – How Synology Hard Drive and SSD Begun


08:50 – Pros and Cons of the Synology HAT5300 and HAS5300 Hard Drives


13:10 – Business and Enterprise NAS User’s Point of View


14:40 – Why Has Synology Changed their Hard Drive Compatibility on Enterprise Servers in 2022?


15:00 – WHY does Eddie thinks Synology Are Changing Elements of its Enterprise Business Model?


18:25 – WHY Robbie thinks Synology Are Changing Elements of their Enterprise Business Model?


22:10 – The XS series and SHR, An Example of Synology Choice and Priority


23:55 – Synology NAS in 2022 and the Future of the brand?


29:45 – What does Eddie think Synology will do regarding Hard Drive Compatibility on the 2022 J, Value, Play and Prosumer Plus in the future?


32:15 – What does Robbie think Synology will do regarding Hard Drive Compatibility on the 2022 J, Value, Play and Prosumer Plus in the future?


37:00 – Expectations from the end-user when someone buys a Synology NAS?


37:50 – Synology Support/Warranty on a NAS with 3rd Party HDDs if the PSU, CPU or Controller Board Fails?


40:35 – How Could Synology have pleased Everyone and STILL have it their way?


 


This is not something that has been concluded or resolved at the time of writing, but I will follow up on this as things change. Thanks for reading my ‘standing on a soap box’ article and I look forward to hearing your thoughts too in the comments below.


 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

New Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay For 2022 – Something VERY Different!

21 février 2022 à 01:22

TerraMaster Introduces 9-Bay T9-423 High-Performance NAS

In the last few years, it would be fair to say that I have seen ALOT of NAS drives. However, the latest release from Terramaster is quite a unique piece of kit and although it brings a bunch of ‘brand firsts’ to the desktop buyer’s market, it does so in that particularly ‘Terramaster’ way and ends up standing out in a few notable ways. The Terramaster T9-423 NAS is their first 9-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other 9-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T9-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T9-423 FRONT T9-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T9-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T9-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster have only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this NINE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T9-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T9-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T9-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T9-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 9 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105/N5095
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 9
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 180TB (20TB x 9) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size 334 x 135 x 295 mm
Packaging Size 467 x 225 x 390 mm
Weight Net Weight: 6.9 Kg  Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A)
Power Supply 250W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption 115W (read & write)
W  (hard drive dormancy)
Limited warranty 2 years

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T9-423 9-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 3×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis at 33.4cm x 13.5cm x 29.5cm, a narrow form and although this much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is an 8-Bay chassis, with an internal 250W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T9-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T9-423 will be available at $999 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Asustor NAS Drives getting hit by Deadbolt Ransomware

21 février 2022 à 18:30

If you own an Asustor NAS and are reading this – CHECK IT NOW


Original Article – As of around 1 hour ago, multiple users online are reporting that their Asustor NAS systems have been attacked by ransomware known as Deadbolt. Much like the ransomware attack of QNAP NAS systems of the same name, this is a remote-command-pu#sh encryption attack that takes advantage of a vulnerability in the system software to command the system to encrypt the data on the NAS system, but with the added twist in this recent update of adding a new login GUI style space screen asking for 0.03BTC.


Updated 24/02 09:45 GMT


Asustor has just released a firmware update for their ADM 4 systems (HERE) for users who have not been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware attack, who are keeping their systems offline and/or powered down until the security issue/vulnerability was identified and neutralized. Here are the Asustor details on this:


An emergency update to ADM is provided in response to Deadbolt ransomware affecting ASUSTOR devices. ASUSTOR urges all users to install the latest version of ADM as soon as possible to protect themselves and minimize the risk of a Deadbolt infection. ASUSTOR also recommends taking measures to guard against the potential harms of Deadbolt in accordance with the previously announced protective measures. Please review the measures below to help increase the security of your data on your ASUSTOR NAS.

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

In response to increasing numbers of ransomware attacks, ASUSTOR has committed to an internal review of company policies to regain customer trust. This includes, but is not limited to increased monitoring of potential security risks and strengthening software and network defenses. ASUSTOR takes security very seriously and apologizes for any inconvenience caused.


Updated 23/02 21:03 GMT


Much like the deadbolt attack on QNAP devices earlier in 2022, in the changed index GUI on affected NAS’, the deadbolt team are offering to provide information to ASUSTOR about the zero-day vulnerability used to breach NAS devices and the master decryption for all affected users to get their data back. The DeadBolt link includes a link titled “important message for ASUSTOR,” which displays a message from DeadBolt for the attention of ASUSTOR. DeadBolt orchestrators are offering to details of the vulnerability if ASUSTOR pays them 7.5 BTC, worth $290,000. DeadBolt is also offering ASUSTOR the master decryption key for all victims and the zero-day breakdown explained for 50 BTC, worth $1.9 million. The ransomware operation states that there is no way to contact them other than making the bitcoin payment. However, once payment is made, they say they will send the information to the [email protected] email address.



Updated 06:50 GMT



Asustor has issued the following statement and recommendation for those who are (or believe they have been affected by the Deadbolt ransomware):


In response to Deadbolt ransomware attacks affecting ASUSTOR devices, ASUSTOR EZ-Connect, ASUSTOR EZ Sync, and ezconnect.to will be disabled as the issue is investigated. For your protection, we recommend the following measures:


Change default ports, including the default NAS web access ports of 8000 and 8001 as well as remote web access ports of 80 and 443.
Disable EZ Connect.
Make an immediate backup.
Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services.


For more detailed security measures, please refer to the following link below:
https://www.asustor.com/en-gb/online/College_topic?topic=353


If you find that your NAS has been affected by Deadbolt ransomware, please follow the steps listed below.
1. Unplug the Ethernet network cable
2. Safely shut down your NAS by pressing and holding the power button for three seconds.
3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data.
4. Fill out the form listed below. Our technicians will contact you as soon as possible.


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScOwZCEitHGhiAeqNAbCPysxZS43bHOqGUK-bGX_mTfW_lG3A/viewform


Regarding filling out the technical support form, this is likeLy to help the brand identify the scale of the issue, but also allow a faster sharing (to those affected) of any recovery tools that might be possible. However, the culprit is looking increasingly like the EZ Connect Asustor Remote service. This has been further backed up by the fact that the official Asustor ADM demo page has also been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware (now taken offline). Additionally, many users who powered down their device during the deadbolt attack, upon rebooting their NAS system have been greeted with the message in the Asustor Control Center application that their system needs to be ‘re-initialized’. The most likely reason for this is that during the encryption processes, the core system files are the first files that get targeted and if the system was powered down/powered off immediately during this process, it may have corrupted system files. We are currently investigating if a recovery via mounting a drive in a Linux machine is possible (in conjunction with roll-back software such as PhotoRec).



If your Asustor NAS is in the process of being hit (even if you simply suspect it) as your HDDs are buzzing away unusually (and the HDD LEDs are flickering at an unusual hour), then it is recommended that you head into the process manager and see if the encryption process has been actioned by Deadbolt. The following suggestion of action was suggested by NAScompares commenter ‘Clinton Hall’ :


My solution so far, login vis ssh as root user


cd /volume0/usr/builtin
ls


you will see a 5 digit binary executable file For me it was 22491. I use that in the following command to get the process ID


ps | grep 22491


from this I got the Process id 25624. I kill that process


kill 25624


I then remove the binary file


chattr -i 22491
rm -f 22491


Now, restore the index as above


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


Now for the fun part…. a LOT of file had been renamed (not encrypted) to have .deadbolt appended to the end of the filename… So rename them back


(note, you may want to do this folder by folder and check it is working). The following will do for the entire /volume1


cd /volume1
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


After these are all renamed, everything should work. Probably a good idea to reboot to restart the services etc.


Also, I’m not sure if the above will definitely traverse the [email protected] etc… so I did this manually


cd /volume1/[email protected]
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


If you have not been hit, I would recommend you action the following from within your Asustor NAS (or better yet, where possible) power the device down until an official statement and a possible firmware patch is issued.

  • Disable EZ Connect
  • Turn off automatic updates
  • Disable SSH (if you do not need it for other services)
  • Block all NAS ports of the router, and only allow connections from inside the network

Updated 19:30 GMT


More details are coming up and it looks like (at least looking at the messages on the official Asustor  Forum and Reddit) the vulnerability stems from a vulnerability in EZConnect that has been exploited (still TBC). User billsargent on the official Asustor forums has posted some useful insights into how to get around the login screen and also details on the processes:


Take your NAS OFF of ezconnect. Block its traffic incoming from outside.
This overwrites the index.cgi with their own. In /usr/webman/portal there is a backup copy of your index there.
To remove theirs, you need to chattr -i index.cgi and replace it with the backup.
But you’ll also have to kill the process. Mine had a process that was just numbers running. I killed it, then deleted it. In /tmp there was another binary that was just numbers.
This is probably not possible to fix without a reset but you can get back into your portal with the above info. Right now though mine is still immediately replacing the index.cgi. 


And:


I am assuming you have ssh capabilities? If so you just need to ssh in and login as root and run these commands. This should help you get back into the portal.


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


If you look at the index.cgi they created before you delete it, its a text script.
I am still in the investigative stages but nothing in my shares have been locked up with this yet. Just things in /root so far.
I’ve pulled out a ton of LTO tapes to backup my data. I think this is going to require a full reset. I hope asustor releases a fix for this but I will never again allow my NAS to have outside access again.


For clarification. This is what my /usr/webman/portal directories looked like. the .bak file is the original index.cgi.
I apologize if my posts seem jumbled up a bit. I’m trying to help and also figure this out as well. So I’m relaying things as I find them in hopes that others will be able to at least get back to their work.


Thank you to Asustor user billsargent for the above and full credit to him on this of course.


(Continuing with the Original Article from 21/02 17:30 GMT)


Although it is still very early in the actioning of this encryption attack, these attacks are slowly starting to emerge on forums right now, as well as twitter, see below:

やばい!!家のASUSTOR製NASがDEADBOLTとか言うランサムウェアに攻撃された!QNAP製のNASに最近入るってのは見たけど、まさか自分のNASもやられるとは…
そこまで大事なデータ入れてなかったのが不幸中の幸いだけど700GBくらいのデータ死んだのショックASUSTOR NAS使ってる人すぐネット切断した方がいい pic.twitter.com/gBFu8yx4hG


— sudara (@sudara_hodara) February 21, 2022



Additionally, this splash message contains a call-out to Asustor themselves (much like the QNAP NAS deadbolt attack) that states a message and a link for the brand to open a discussion (i.e pay) towards a master key and details of the vulnerability they have exploited:


“All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:”


Details are still emerging, so I will keep this article short and sweet for now (and add more later as details emerge), if you own an Asustor NAS drive, check it immediately! Regardless of whether you have enabled remote access via EZConnect or not (as that is not necessarily the key to the attack vector and possible remote DLNA port changes by your system, for example), check it now and ideally disconnect it from the internet. Currently, there is not enough information to ascertain if this relates to a case of ‘out of date firmware’ having an existing vulnerability or something inherent in the current firmware. Regardless, check your system and where possible, disconnect it from the internet until further details are confirmed here, on reputable sites such as Bleeping Computer or via direction from Asustor themselves.



Once you log into your NAS, check your logs and check your processes. If you have the means to backup to a NEW location, do so. DO NOT overwrite your existing backups with this backup unless you are 100% certain you have not been hit by deadbolt ransomware.

What to Do if you have been hit by the Deadbolt Ransomware


If you have been hit by the vulnerability, you will likely be unable to connect remotely with your NAS files/folders. Even if you can, you need to check whether you can open them or they have been encrypted to a new format (the extension/ .type or file will have changed). The following users commented onreddit and there are similar threads that we can see on their setup and how they got hit.


IF you still have access to your files, get your backups in order!!!!!


Otherwise, if you have been hit by this, then you need to disconnect your system from the internet. Killing any processes in the task manager is an option HOWEVER do bear in mind that doing so might corrupt currently encrypting files and therefore stop any kind of recovery. I am checking with a couple of affected users (as well as reaching out to Asustor as we speak to see if a suitable course of action can be recommended. Some users who have restarted their system or immediately pulled the power and rebooted have found that their system now states that it needs to be reinitialized.


One big factor to keep in mind right now is that not is still unclear if a) the deadbolt ransomware can be killed as a system process in the Asustor control center (I do not have an Asustor NAS that is affected in my possession right now) and b) if switching your system off DURING the deadbolt attack can lead to the data being unsalvagable as the encryption is partway through. So, disconnect from the internet (physically and via EZConnect for now) and if you can see youR CPU usage spiking and/or your HDD LEDs going nuts, you are likely being hit.

My Asustor NAS is Saying it is Uninitialized


DO NOT RE-INITIALIZE YOUR NAS. At least not yet, if you have already powered your NAS as a reaction to the attack (understandable, if not the best choice without knowing the full attack vectors or how this affects the encryption) and you are being greeted by the option to reinitialize in the Asusto Control Center application, then power the device down again. But again, I only recommend this action right now for those that already reacted to the attack by shutting down their system/restarting already post-attack

If I am not hit by Deadbolt, Should I disconnect my Asustor NAS from the internet?


For now, YES. As the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit, there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Asustor NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order.


I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 



 


 

Synology DSM 7.1 Beta Now Available to Download

23 février 2022 à 01:50

The Synology NAS DSM 7.1 Beta Software is Now Available to Download


Good news for anyone that wants to see how Synology DSM will improve in the coming months, with Synology today announcing the Beta release of DiskStation Manager 7.1, giving system admins a chance to test out the expanded functionality. DSM 7.1 builds further on the massive platform upgrade introduced with DSM 7.0 and introduces many innovative enhancements designed to address IT challenges.  “DSM 7.1 is an important evolution for one of the most widely used data management platforms in the industry,” System Product Management team manager Shamrock Ko said. “Building on the solid foundation we set with 7.0, we can now focus on addressing the more specific challenges that our customers identify during their day-to-day use of the platform.”


Highlights of Synology DSM 7.1 Available in the Beta

NAS Protection – Efficiently back up and restore all your configurations, applications, and data in DSM

Enhanced Storage – Improvements to our SSD cache implementation and new options to simplify SMB file server access

Flexible deployment – Solutions for heavy VM use, multi-site data protection, and domain management in non-trusted environments

Monitoring & Management – Gain better oversight of processes and statuses throughout your deployment with more information aggregated to your preferred DSM account

Package Refreshes – Be the first to benefit from the latest improvements in IT management, user experience, and security with new versions of our most-used applications

Improvements in Synology DSM 7.1


DSM 7.1 brings key improvements to the storage management experience. Starting with the introduction of file aggregation portals, it adds SMB DFS capability to enable administrators to link together multiple Synology systems, providing more convenient file access for end users by removing the need to remember separate addresses. The new user interface introduced in 7.0 has been further optimized by consolidating background tasks into an administrator-friendly overview that provides greater transparency into what is happening on the system, even across different user accounts. For Synology High Availability clusters, users can now view and manage drives on both systems from a single instance of Storage Manager for easier maintenance and management. On the performance side, DSM has long supported flash caching to boost random I/O performance cost-effectively. This new version will further economize SSD caching with the ability to speed up multiple storage volumes at the same time.


Full Synology NAS Backup in DSM 7.1

Back up not just the data on your Synology NAS, but all of your DSM settings, applications, and user details to another NAS with a powerful new feature in your favorite backup suite.

Improved Deployment Options in Synology DSM 7.1

New options help power users conquer complex scenarios, such as heavy VM use, multi-site data protection, and domain management in non-trusted environments.


Synology DSM 7.1 NAS System Protection


DSM 7.1 introduces complete, bare-metal level backups of the entire system. Powered by Synology Active Backup for Business, the ability to clone and replicate the entire Synology system greatly accelerates recovery time objectives (RTO) in the event of a total site failure. Full system restoration capability also introduces a quick and convenient way to deploy identically configured systems. 


Improvements in DSM 7.1 towards the Synology NAS Ecosystem


In tandem with DSM 7.1, Synology is launching several major enhancements to applications and services.

  • Active Backup for Business: bandwidth control, expanded monitoring and reporting capabilities, and support for DSM backups
  • Active Insight: centralized login activity monitoring and Hyper Backup task statuses
  • Synology C2 Hybrid Share: server-side snapshots for better file protection
  • Directory Server: support for read-only domain controllers to improve deployment security and flexibility
  • Synology Drive: revamped mobile user experience and improved monitoring/auditing capabilities
  • MailPlus: Virtual DSM support, expanded management options, importing and migration improvements
  • Virtual Machine Manager: storage I/O performance improvements and QoS capabilities

“Our constantly evolving DSM platform keeps adding capabilities to both new and existing deployments,” said Weili Lu, product manager for DSM. “The pre-release program provides a chance for us to work closely with our customers, providing early access to new features and obtaining valuable feedback in return.”


How to Access the Synology DSM 7.1 Beta Software?


DSM 7.1 Beta and companion applications and services will be available starting today as part of Synology’s pre-release program. Interested users are invited to install the pre-release software on non-production or virtualized systems. You can download the Synology DSM 7.1 Beta by clicking the button below to take you to the Synology download centre:



 

Limitations and Considerations of Testing the Synology DSM 7.1 Beta on your NAS


It is worth remembering that the Synology NAS DSM 7.1 Beta is exactly that, a beta. You should not consider installing this pre-release version of the software on your NAS it contains mission critical or personal irreplaceable data that is not backed up to at least two other locations. Below is a much more precise breakdown of what the DSM 7.1 beta includes, considerations you should factor in before utilizing it and which features have been added/changed in this new release:

  1. This beta software is for evaluation purposes only and should not be installed in production environments. Synology cannot be held responsible for any damage, such as accidental data loss, caused by this beta software.
  2. After installing this update, you will not be able to downgrade to a previous DSM version.
  3. This update will restart your Synology NAS.
  4. For the following models, DSM 7.1 will be the last upgradable version.
    • XS Series: RS3413xs+, RS10613xs+, RS3614xs+, RS3614xs, RS3614RPxs, RC18015xs+, DS3615xs, DS2015xs
    • Plus Series: DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, RS2414RP+, RS2414+, RS814RP+, RS814+, DS214+, RS815RP+, RS815+, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS415+, DS215+
    • Value Series: RS814, RS214, DS414, DS214, DS214play, DS114, RS815, DS1515, DS715, DS415play, DS115
    • J Series: DS213j, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214se, DS215j, DS115j, DS216se
  5. Adjusted the LED indicator for drives’ health status. When a drive’s health status is critical or failing, the indicator will show static orange.
  6. Windows 2000 domains are no longer supported.
  7. Removed the “Synchronize with an NTP server every time a domain user signs in” option for Domain/LDAP advanced settings. Users can configure the “Synchronize with NTP server” option at Regional Options > Time instead.
  8. Added support for the UPS power-off function at Control Panel > Hardware & Power > UPS.
  9. Synology Storage Replication Adapter can only be used with DSM 7.0.1 or earlier versions. If you are using or plan to use Synology Storage Replication Adapter, please continue to use the current DSM version.

What’s New in the Synology DSM 7.1 Beta:

  1. SSD Cache Groups can be allocated to multiple volumes, allowing for more flexible management of SSD cache capacity.
  2. Storage Manager now supports the management of the drives and storage of both active server and passive server in a Synology High Availability cluster.
  3. If there is a file system error, DSM will unmount the volume to run file system checks without interrupting the services on other volumes.
  4. Reduced the minimum threshold for low capacity notification from 5% to 3%.
  5. Added support for custom OIDC (OpenID Connect) settings to integrate DSM with external SSO servers.
  6. Added support for the RTF editor to allow users to preview notification message content and style in real-time when editing.
  7. Added support for bypass traverse checking at Control Panel > File Services > Advanced to allow users to traverse folders and access permitted files or subfolders.
  8. Supports specifying domains from the list of trusted domains to synchronize domain data.
  9. Added the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+00:00) time zone option at Control Panel > Regional Options > Time.
  10. Added the synchronization status between DSM and NTP servers at Control Panel > Regional Options > Time.
  11. Added icons on the taskbar to indicate ongoing background tasks that might affect system performance.
  12. Users can now open tabs directly from search results in Control Panel.
  13. Supports automatically updating the domain database and syncing domain data regularly. For Synology NAS that are used to create domains, the “Update User Groups/Lists” option in Control Panel > Domains/LDAP will be disabled by default after updating to DSM 7.1 Beta.

 


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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Asustor NAS Uninitialized Repair After Deadbolt Ransomware – Getting Back to ADM, Avoiding the Black Threat Screen & Seeing What Remains of your Data

25 février 2022 à 10:05

Getting Your Asustor NAS System Up and Running Again After Ransomware Attack


It has now been a few days since the initial attack of Asustor NAS systems by the deadbolt ransomware attack and although full recovery is still not a complete option for a lot of users (without having to take the agonizing step of paying the group for an encryption key – gah!), there have been steps by users, the linux community and Asustor to mitigate some of the damage for some and for those unaffected, allow them to use their systems with a little more confidence and comfort. Below are some instructions that will be of use to users who are currently in the following situations with their Asustor NAS:

  • When the encryption/attack first started (or you first noticed the NAS activity) you powered down your system abruptly and your NAS now shows as Uninitialized’
  • You Have the Asustor NAS working, but are being greeted by the black deadbolt threat screen that you want to navigate around WITHOUT using SSH/Command line
  • You are in either of the above two positions AND you have snapshots or a MyArchive routine setup on your NAS

If any of those three setups are how you would describe the position that you/your Asustor NAS is currently in, then you may well find this guide useful. However, DO remember that you are still dealing with your data and although this guide has been provided for the most part by the band themselves (with additions by myself – Robbie), you should immediately have a backup of your data (even if it’s encrypted in case of a system failure etc) and/or an external drive ready to move any/all data over too. If you caught the ransomware encryption early, then you might still have a  good % of your data still ok. Observing numerous affected machines have shown us that the encryption/changes begin at the system level (ie so it can change the index screen and renaming, etc), so in some cases, some people have reported that they caught it in time for some data to have been RENAMED (i.e the .deadbolt prefix that is affecting access or older structure in some cases) but not actually encrypted. So, this guide is about getting you into a position to access your Asustor NAS GUI and whatever the state of your data is. After that, you may still have no option but to format your system, wait for any kind of brand/community recovery method or (and I do not say this lightly, as the thought of continuing this kind of behaviour is disgusting) pay the ransom to get your data back. I appreciate that this is S&!T but some business users might have little choice. Let’s discuss access recovery options. If you are unaware of everything that has occurred to asustor and the deadbolt ransomware, you can use the attached video below:


Asustor NAS – How to Get Your NAS Running Again If It Is Saying Uninitialized


If you powered down your NAS abruptly when you saw the black threat screen OR unusual activity on your NAS (either by pulling the power cord or holding the power button for 5-10 seconds), then chances are that as the encryption hits the system files first and was in progress, that your NAS is not showing as ‘uninitialized’. This is because the system software is no corrupted. Yesterday Asustor released a new firmware update that closed the vulnerability (they claim, I have not verified personally yet). So, the following steps in the guide using the client desktop software Control Center and an internet connection (can be just on your PC/Mac and you directly connect with your Asustor if you choose) will allow you to access your NAS login GUI.



If you have shut down before, please connect to a network. If you enter the initialization page, please follow the instructions below to update your NAS:


Step 1

  • If you enter the initialization page and have an Internet connection, please press Next.

  • Please click Live update and then click Next.


Step 2

  • If you’re on the initialization screen and not connected to the Internet, please download ADM from ASUSTOR Downloads to your computer.
  • Once done, manually update ADM by uploading the ADM image file from your computer as shown below.
  • Please press Next.


Step 3

  • Update.
  • After the update has completed, you’ll be able to return to ADM.

Asustor NAS – If You Are Still Seeing the Black Threat Deadbolt Ransomware Screen


If you have access to your NAS drive BUT are faced with the black threat login screen replacement that replaced the previous one AND have followed the previous steps to install the latest firmware, the next three steps should allow your to navigate AROUND this and remove it entirely.


If the ransomware page remains after you connect to a network:

  • Please turn off your NAS, remove all hard drives and reboot.
  • When the initialization page appears, reinsert the hard drives.
  • Please follow the instructions above to update your NAS.

Asustor NAS – How to Restore Data with Snapshots, MyArchive Backups or Mirrored Volumes


Now, the next step is not going to be an option for everyone. Once you have logged in and accessed the extent of the file damage by encryption (eg, % of files affected, are they encrypted completely OR just renamed? etc). The following steps will be of use to those of you who are running a BTRFS setup and setup snapshots and/or the MyArchive backup/sync storage service. This part of the guide also includes the means to install a ransomware tool that (I know, ANNOYINGLY) gain access BACK to the black encryption entry screen. So if you have no choice (I am not judging you, the importance of your data is your call) and are going to choose to pay the ransom as it is going to cost you less than not retrieving your data, then you can use this ‘ransomware status’ tool to gain access back to the payment screen, encryption key window and ultimately allows you to pay the hackers. Again, it’s your call.


If you want to restore data and you have more than one volume installed on your NAS, use MyArchive drives, or have previously made Btrfs snapshots, please refer to the following instructions below. Restore all backups that you may have. Alternatively, if you have Btrfs snapshots, use Snapshot Center to restore previous versions of files and erase changes done by ransomware.



If regular backups were not kept and you want to enter the decryption key to retrieve lost data:


  • Confirm details and press Install.

  • Wait for installation to complete.

  • Reload the webpage to enter the ransomware screen again. You’ll be able to enter the decryption key.

  • If you want to return to ADM, you can do this in one of three ways. You can add backup.cgi after/portal/ in the address bar of your browser, you can hold the power button for three seconds to shut your NAS down and turn it on again or you may use ASUSTOR Control Center or AiMaster to restart your NAS.


 


  • Afterwards, it is imperative to uninstall Ransomware Status from App Central.


 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive Released

1 mars 2022 à 01:00

WD Red 20TB NAS Hard Drives Now Available


Good news for anyone looking at buying a new NAS system and wanting to max out their storage on day one, or users looking up increasing their existing storage, with the release of the new WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive. Arriving with the same level of robust and high workloads of the previous Red Pro HDDs, this new 20 Terabyte model arrives with NAS specific engineering and larger scale rackmount servers in mind. As this is a new, professional series hard drive at the 20TB capacity level, you can fully expect the WD Red Pro WD201KFGX to cost a pretty penny! So, let’s discuss the hardware of the new hard drive and see if it should be your next storage purchase in 2022?

WD Red 20TB WD201KFGX Full Hardware Specifications


The hardware inside the WD Red Pro 20TB WD201KFGX is centred around heavy-duty storage use, in a 24×7 server environment. Although arriving at a slight pinch lower in workload and durability than WD Gold or Ultrastar drives, this 20TB is still going to result in some solid performance that only data-center/hyper scale users are ever really going to exceed. Let’s go through the hardware specifications


  • Model ID – WD201KFGX
  • Storage Capacity – 20TB
  • Interface – SATA
  • Recording Technology – Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)
  • Form Factor – 3.5″
  • RPM – 7200
  • On-board Cache – 512MB
  • Transfer Speed – 268MB/s Reported Maximum
  • Load/Unload Cycles – 600K
  • Annual Workload Rating – 300TB
  • Active Power Use – 6.9W
  • Idle Power Use – 3.8W
  • Standby/Sleep Power Use –  1.6W
  • Warranty – 5 Years
Although the performance of the new WD Red Pro 20TB is a pinch lower than the 18TB (272MB/s vs 268MB/s), this is still a very small differences and the 20TB WD201KFGX is still higher in sequential Read/Write than the rest of the WD Red and WD Red Pro series.

What WD Say the New Red Pro 20TB WD201KFGX Features


Western Digital have always been remarkably proud of their WD Red NAS series of hard drive (and SSD in recent years) Media.   The WD Red Pro 20TB is no exception and they detail exactly what sets it apart from other Pro and Non-Pro class media.



Control Rapid Data Growth – Engineered specifically for NAS systems with up to 24 bays, WD Red™ Pro hard drives are optimized for multi-user NAS environments and are designed to handle high-intensity workloads in 24×7 environments. WD Red™ Pro is ideal for protecting, archiving, and sharing rapidly growing data with many users or multiple data-hungry applications.


Exclusive NASware™ 3.0 Technology – Our exclusive advanced firmware technology, NASware™ 3.0, enables seamless integration, robust data protection, and optimal performance for NAS systems operating under heavy demand. Built into every WD Red™ Pro hard drive, NASware™3.0’s advanced technology improves storage performance by increasing compatibility, integration, upgradeability, and reliability.


Built for Optimum NAS Compatibility – WD Red™ Pro drives with NASware™ technology take the guesswork out of selecting a drive. Optimized for NAS systems, our unique algorithm balances performance and reliability in NAS and RAID environments. Simply put, a WD Red™ Pro drive is one of the most compatible drives available for NAS enclosures. But don’t take our word for it. WD Red™ Pro drives are a reflection of extensive NAS partner technology engagement and compatibility-testing.


Larger NAS Bay Shock Protection – WD Red™ Pro drives are equipped with a multi-axis shock sensor that automatically detects subtle shock events and dynamic fly height technology which adjusts each read/write function to compensate and protect the data. This combination of technology further protects the drives in larger NAS systems with up to 24 bays and helps increase hard drive reliability.


3D Active Balance Plus – Our enhanced dual-plane balance control technology significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multi-drive system, reduce the hard drive life span, and degrade the performance over time.


Error Recovery Prevention – Built specifically for RAID and NAS environments, WD Red™ Pro drives come equipped with error recovery controls as part of NASware™ 3.0 technology to help reduce drive fallout in RAID applications.


Western Digital has been using OptiNAND technology to increase the capacity of new drives. To support OptiNAND, the WD Red Pro 20TB comes with an iNAND UFS flash drive (EFD). There has been no formal confirmation of the NAND memory capacity of the disk. According to Heise Medien, a German news site, a Western Digital management said that the disk contained 64GB of NAND.



WD Has always prioritized the use of their WD Red Pro series of Hard drives when deploying NAS systems with larger numbers of individual drives bays, as well as in recent years ensuring that larger capacity HDDs arrived either on the Pro tier first or exclusively in the long run (as these larger drives are considerably more industrious in design and architecture. But what is the Difference between a WD Red and WD Red Pro NAS hard drive?

When will the WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive Be Released?

Although the pricing on the WD Red 20TB NAS Hard Drive is still going to be very much based on your region, the drive has already appeared available for sale in a number of online retailers (with several listing 1x unit of this drive at $760 (though you would need to factor tax, profit margin, etc), as well as the drive appearing on the brands’ official product pages HERE, so the release is pretty much immediate. That said, stock on these larger drives at initial launch is always a little thin on the ground and we can expect global availability on this drive to be quite low at the start.

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Terramaster NAS Devices Being Attacked By Deadbolt Ransomware

1 mars 2022 à 11:49

Deadbolt Ransomware Attacking NAS Drives Again – This time it is Terramaster


It pains me to make this post, but yes, Deadbolt ransomware has once again attacked NAS drives and this time the target is Terramaster devices. Although exact details on the attack vector of this ransomware are yet to be confirmed (though I will be updating this article as more information arrives), it looks like a very similar attack to those that affected Asustor last week, using very similar display methods of highlighting the means of paying the ransom, as well as similar ways that people have been alerted to it on their individual systems. Likely candidates at the time of writing point to this either being based around a UPnP weakness (similar to a previous ransomware exploit that was used) or weak network management (either in the ports used or in 3rd party applications poking holes in your firewall etc in order to facilitate remote access). As mentioned, the details are still rather murky and the first reported hit by users online was around 10 hours ago, so similarities in how people have arranged their network/system services are slowly getting pieced together. If you DO own a Terramaster NAS drive right now, I would make the following recommendations:

  • Run a Backup! But check you have not been already hit by the deadbolt ransomware and inadvertently overwrite your ‘god’ backups. I would STRONGLY recommend where possible (space/budget) running a completely new and independent backup of the whole system or at the very least your irreplaceable/mission-critical data
  • Disconnect your system from ANY internet connection unless you are 100% confident that your network security is secure (even a VPN doesn’t avoid the fact some apps and services open router ports as a necessity)
  • Check your system logs for any large number of IP login attempts. Not strictly necessary in this case as the attack vector is still unconfirmed at the time of writing, but check nonetheless
  • Power Down your device unless you are 100% confident that you are untouchable. Although deadbolt is actioned INITIALLY over the internet to push command to the system to conduct a large scale encryption command, delete the encryption key and amend the login screen to their own payment window and key entry. So, if you are BEING attacked by deadbolt ransomware, disconnecting the system from the network internet is not enough (as from THAT point, all operations are being conducted locally (ie inside the system). So power down your device until Terramaster issue a patch to close whatever this exploit is that deadbolt is utilizing
  • At the time of writing, we are still awaiting further information on the deadbolt Active Process (i.e in the task/resource monitor). When that is established, you can use SSH and a suitable command client to patch in and kill the process, HOWEVER, you should disable SSH for now if you HAVE NOT been hit, as this manner of control is how the bulk of ransomware attacks are conducted automatically
  • Change credentials for the admin account. Although TOS 5 (previewed last month here on YouTube) has the option to disable the admin account (as well as a kill switch for all remote access), the current version of TOS 4 does not have this functionality
  • Change your local network and remote access ports from the default 8000, 8080, 8001 etc to something randomized

IF your Terramaster NAS is COMPLETELY isolated from the internet (and you are 100% certain of this, eg you directly PC-to-NAS interface your system OR you run the NAS on an isolated vLAN in your network behind a bunch of layers), then you can largely ignore the above.



 


UPDATED 02/03 08:00 GMT


Since the deadbolt ransomware’s first targetted attacks yesterday, Terramaster has rolled out a new firmware update (TOS version 4.2.30) and they strongly recommend users who have not yet been affected to upgrade now. The update will be available from the usual system settings, software update menu from within the TOS web browser GUI in the window below:



Also, you can choose to manually download the TOS 4.2.30 update directly on TerraMaster official website->SUPPORT->DOWNLOAD page (see image below) here – https://support.terra-master.com/download/



It is VERY IMPORTANT that users understand the following details before they update their Terramaster NAS to this latest firmware updated version:

  • If you install this update, it WILL NOT recover/unencrypt files that have been hit by deadbolt (i.e. files that now carry the ‘.deadbolt’ encryption in their name/format. This update closes the vulnerability that allowed the deadbolt group to inject a command towards your terramaster NAS and carry out the attack.
  • If you install this update, it will remove the black deadbolt entry screen to your Terramaster NAS when accessing it via the web browser. However, in doing this, you will also lose the (arguably crap) option to recover your files by paying the ransom group, getting an encryption key and decrypting your data. Although unaffected users and those who have zero intention of engaging with the deadbolt group will be happy with this, some users who have lost mission-critical /irreplaceable data that might consider this option might want to think about this update a little further. When Deadbolt hit Asustor NAS devices last week, when Asustor issued a firmware update, they also added a small add on in the app center that allowed the end-user to still access this screen in an isolated fashion to still keep the option of getting an (arguably illegally) paid for solution to recovery.
  • Right now, users are attempting to perform recovery with deadbolt files via linux mounted drive setups. It is a painfully slow and low success % operation (as in user base) but if your data is important to you and/or/if you want to resume access to your NAS whilst keeping the encrypted data to one side, I recommend removing the HDD/SSD media (keep track of which drive in which bay) and replace the drives in the Terramaster NAS and re-initialize. Then you can reintroduce those drives to the NAS or to a linux machine in the event of a recovery method becoming possible.

Back to the Original Article.

What Do We Know About the Terramaster NAS Deadbolt Ransomware Attack?


The bulk of the details even at this early stage of the terramaster NAS deadbolt ransomware attack bear alot of similarities to those of the Asustor attack last week (Read the article on that plus all the updates and MOST IMPORTANTLY the comments of that article as there is alot of information on how people have responded/adapted to when this hit them). Most users understood that their Terramaster NAS system was in the process of being hit by deadbolt Ransomware in two very clear ways, one arguably worse than the other. The first was that many of the more value series Terramster NAS systems (2/4 Bay systems at the Dual-Core level) had a sharp and very noticeable rise in system fan activity (and HDD LED lights kicking off incessantly) as the encryption command pushed the system very hard indeed. If you were fortunate enough to spot this early, then there is a reasonable chance that the % of files encrypted would be very low. However, a larger proportion of users found their NAS system was mostly/completely encrypted overnight (or whilst they were out of sight/earshot of the NAS) and their first knowledge of the attack was to be greeted by this (now depressingly familiar in 2022) deadbolt login screen:


Important Message for TERRAMASTER
All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:


1) Make a bitcoin payment of 5 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive all details about this zero-day vulnerability so it can be patched. A detailed report will be sent to [email protected].


2) Make a bitcoin payment of 15 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients their files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected].


Upon receipt of payment for either option, all information will be sent to you in a timely fashion.


There is no way to contact us.
These are our only offers.
Thanks for your consideration.


Greetings,
DEADBOLT team.


If you are unsure if you have been hit by the deadbolt ransomware attack (i.e. you can still login fine and the login screen has not changed) but want to do a quick checklist on things to monitor. Here is a brief to-do list:

  • Your Remote mounted storage is suffering delayed responses/file opening (eg mapped drives, SMB mounts, etc) as this could mean that these are in use by the system and being encrypted. The same goes if you have a recently accessible remote mount that is now inaccessible
  • Search for .deadbolt in the file manager search bar. It is not the quickest, but any file hit by this will have the .deadbolt file extension
  • Your regular overnight backup(s) failed or took way, WAY too long, as this indicates a large amount of HDD activity taking place at the same time as your regular backups and even 3-4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will struggle to maintain even marginally good input/output actions when these larger volume activities are run simultaneously
  • Your system fans are increasing as drive activity has increased notably (encryption is a hefty task for any system to conduct, especially on the entire storage pool/volumes/etc
  • Your HDD/SSD LEDs are going NUTS! This also applies if you are using larger than 8TB drives or larger Seagate Ironwolfs NAS drives, Ultrastar, Red Pros, EXOs, etc as these Pro/Ent class drives make some real noise in heavy crunch activity such as large scale encryption

Currently (01/03/22 930AM GMT) Terramaster has yet to issue a formal statement on this or a firmware update, but the attack is around 12 hours old at most. Still, this is now the 3rd Deadbolt attack to hit NAS brands in the last 6 months (Asustor and QNAP previously) and alongside the earlier attack of a vulnerability in TOS at the start of the year. There are hopes that the current TOS 5.0 update (still in Beta) will feature improvements in it’s network security and how much access installed apps have to the core system administration.

What Does Terramaster Advise to Prevent the Deadbolt Ransomware?


Terramaster has responded to this recent Deadbolt ransomware attack of their NAS systems with the following statement:


Recently, we have received reports of some TNAS devices being attacked by Deadbolt Ransomware. Based on the case analysis, we initially concluded that this was an external attack against TNAS devices. To protect your data from Deadbolt, please take action now!


If your NAS works normally, we suggest you take the following countermeasures:


1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;


2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;


3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.


4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.


For more detailed measures, please refer to the following link:


https://www.terra-master.com/global/press/index/view/id/1143/


 


If you find that your NAS has unfortunately been affected by Deadbolt Ransomware, please follow the steps as below:


  1. Remove the LAN network cable from your TNAS device immediately.


  2. Power off your TNAS; x.86 models: short press the power button; ARM models: long-press the power button 3 seconds.


  3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data. 


  4. Please contact the online support on our official website or email to [email protected] directly.


Additionally, there is a great deal of activity in the last 12 hours on the official support forums on this, with a Terramaster Customer Representative issuing the following response to an initial enquiry on deadbolt ransomware attacks:



Right now, Asustor has yet to issue further information on recovery on this (unless I have updated this article above with further information), but I would recommend following the steps provided by other NAS brands in the wake of a ransomware attack such as this:

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

Until the attack vector is established, I would recommend going ‘all in’ on updating your security settings. Although a lot of the changes relating to password changes seem unrelated to this, without having a complete throughline on similarities between users, it is best to dot every i and cross every t!

Is There A Solution, Restoration or Recovery Method Currently Available to Deadbolt Affected Terramaster NAS?


As it stands, there is no resolution available from Terramaster NAS if your files have been encrypted by Deadbolt ransomware. other than paying the ransom (which would suck!) many are looking at methods of recovery using linux based mounting of the drives and accessing any snapshots in a BTRFS volume (or using PhotoRec/TeskDisk in the hope of reverting the files), but even then, there is little currently possible to recover affected files. That may not always be the case and I would still recommend keeping the encrypted files (in a 2nd location if you need to format your terramaster for continued use) as recovery methods might become available in weeks/months from now. Terramaster issued an updated press release on this with further instructions on disabling specific services, We suggest you take the following countermeasures:

  1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;
  2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;
  3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.
  4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.

  1. Disable RDP, SSH and Telnet when not in use;


Additional Changes Here:


  1. Change the default port of FTP. When you use the FTP protocol to access, please pay attention to bringing the port, such as ftp://192.168.0.1:1990.

  1. Set a high security level password for all users;

  2. Disable the system default admin account, re-create a new admin account, and set an advanced password;
    Note: For versions after TOS 4.2.09, you can set the administrator account without using the default admin username when installing the system. If it was upgraded from a version before TOS 4.2.09, you need to reset the system configuration, then you can customize the user name.

  3. Enable firewall and only allow trusted IP addresses and ports to access your device;
    a. Go to Control Panel > General Settings > Security > Firewall.
    b. Create a firewall rule and choose the operation of allow or deny.
    c. Fill in the IP range you allow or deny access to. If you fill in the network you want to deny access to, please fill in the subnet address correctly, otherwise it may cause your existing devices to be unable to access TNAS.

  1. Avoid using default port numbers 5443 for https and 8181 for http. After changing, please enter IP:Port in the browser address bar, such as 192.168.0.1:8186.
  2. Enable automatic IP block in TOS Control Panel to block IP addresses with too many failed login attempts;

  1. Backing up data is the best way to deal with malicious attacks; always back up data, at least one backup to another device. It is strongly recommended to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy.

 


If your Terramaster NAS was NOT affected, I would still recommend disabling remote/internet access., as the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit. Therefore right now there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Terramaster NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order. I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Is Size Everything?

4 mars 2022 à 01:23

The QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive Review


The QNAP TS-133 is a new NAS, sure, but there have been ALOT of these systems for a while now and why should you care about this one? It’s a valid question. Although network-attached storage (NAS) has been around for quite a number of years, the average buyer has diversified quite dramatically. NAS systems once started life as mini servers for professionals and small/medium business (SMB) users to allow them to have their very own alternative to smaller subscription business cloud systems. However, when NAS first started becoming more home-user-friendly, a huge range of solutions quickly developed that were tailored to different user requirements, budgets and scales. One area of NAS that still continues to have a moderate (if slightly entry-level) following is that of single bay (AKA 1-Bay) NAS drives that serve as the first step for many into owning their own private server. Arriving at a considerably more affordable price point than their larger, RAID enabled brothers and sisters, 1-Bay NAS drives such as the QNAP TS-133 provide a base level introduction to the software and services available in a NAS, whilst streamlining the hardware for efficiency. Many might argue that you can just buy a bigger and more powerful NAS, then just install a single HDD, but those users would be rather missing the point. Today I want to review the QNAP TS-133 NAS drive, Discuss design, hardware, what it can do and what it can’t do. Right now, at the start of 2022, the QNAP TS-133 is the most powerful 1-Bay NAS that you can buy commercially (again, in the context of 1 HDD NAS systems) but arrives a pinch more expensive than most. So, let’s review the TS-133 NAS and decide whether it deserves your data in 2022/2023.


Hardware Highlights:


  • ARM 4-core Cortex-A55 1.8GHz processor
  • 2GB DDR4 (Max)
  • 2x SATA HDD/SSD Bay
  • Top Loaded Drive Injection
  • 1x RJ45 1GbE
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • Support of the USB-to-5GbE Adapter
  • Low Noise single 80mm Fan
  • 36W External PSU and Reported 2.74/7.32W Power Use (Idle/Active)
  • 7.38 × 2.6 × 6.2 inch Chassis Size

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion


As long as you keep your feet on the ground a little and stay realistic, the QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive is indeed a very impressive piece of kit. We are talking about a combined hardware and software solution that you can purchase with a 4TB drive from the likes of Seagate or WD inside all in for a little over $200. It can run plex media server, it has surveillance software included in QVR Elite, AI-powered photo recognition (with the system featuring a dedicated AI engine for these tasks), multi-tiered backup handing in Hybrid Backup Sync 3, host a DLNA media server, connect and synchronize with cloud services in a bunch of ways, access to a bunch of tailored mobile apps and a whole lot of other services that would take too long to mention. Also, the TS-133 NAS is the first system in the commercial NAS market to feature this new Cortex A55 processor, as well as twice (and in some cases) four times the memory of alternative systems in the same tier with it’s 2GB DDR4 RAM. As long as you have realistic expectations about how busy you are going to be, how hard you intend to push the device and how much you expect it to do at any one time, I think the QNAP TS-133 NAS is easily the most powerful and capable 1-Bay NAS in the market to buy right now. The non-upgradable memory is a pain, the lack of 2.5GbE is perplexing and the continued appearance of USB 2.0 is a tad infuriating, but the TS-133 seemingly makes up for it with a wide variety of applications supported, a remarkably subtle and discreet deployment and in the hands of the right low-level user, this might well be the best NAS QNAP have produced in the value tier for years!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Currently the most powerful 1-Bay NAS Drive in the market
👍🏻A 1-Bay with 2GB of DDR4 Memory is pretty rare in the Value tier
👍🏻
👍🏻Exceptionally low noise and power use
👍🏻
👍🏻Runs the latest version of QTS 5
👍🏻
👍🏻First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor
👍🏻
👍🏻Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus
👍🏻
👍🏻Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware
👍🏻
👍🏻Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting
CONS
👎🏻1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming
👎🏻USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming
👎🏻
👎🏻Lack of RAID will put some users off (applicable to all 1-Bay’s though)

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES


Let’s start by how the TS-133 is presented. The retail box of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is definitely a change of scene from the plain brown box design of bigger releases by the brand and this is almost certainly down to the system being more readily available for buyers to see in retail outlets. The majority of NAS solutions are eShop purchases, but more affordable solutions such as the TS-133 are going to be considerably more high street accessible in your local tech shop. The packaging is a mix of European graphical shouting and eastern specification details. Maybe lacking a little of the subtlety of the TS-130 and TS-128A that came before it, it is still a nice looking box that I would stop to look at, to be honest.



Another area that the QNAP TS-133 NAS differs from bigger and more expensive releases is in how the unit is packaged. As this is a smaller and more compact unit, as well as more cost-sensitive, the protective packaging on this system is all cardboard (no hard foam framework) and it is packed pretty tight with the NAS, accessories and documents. Once you have unpacked it, good luck getting it all back in there!



The accessories of the QNAP TS-133 NAS are pretty standard stuff, with the kit including screws for 2.5″/3.5″ storage media, documentation on your warranty, warranty extension option, setup guide, 1 metre Cat 5e RJ45 LAN cable and the external PSU that the NAS arrives with. Once again, the box was pretty tiny and I am surprised how much they crammed in there.



Once everything is all laid out on the desk, you get a better idea of the scale of the QNAP TS-133 NAS. This kit does not include any HDD/SSDs, but the support of media is pretty wide and this NAS supports upto 20TB via a single Hard Drive in the available bay – though DO remember that hard drives greater than around 8TB (and Pro series drives of all capacities) will be noticeably noisier in operation and the TS-133 will not be able to hide this.



The external PSU of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is a 36W block style and fairly generic. Having an external PSU will ensure that the heat that it might generate is not inside the chassis (resulting in increased fan operation to compensate, potentially lower CPU efficiency and a noisier experience). Equally, thanks to the modest CPU inside this system, compact design and modest connections, this system is exceeding low in power consumption in both idle and active use – something that those looking for a NAS for their mobile home, boat, easy-deployment storage and mobile work desk space will appreciate.



Overall, the QNAP TS-133 NAS retail kit is all fairly standard stuff and although I wasn’t exactly bowled over by it, it contains everything you are going to need (aside from media) to set this device up in your home or office space. Let’s talk about the design of the TS-133.

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Design


The chassis that the QNAP TS-133 NAS features is a modified version of the TS-130 chassis that arrived back in 2020/2021. It is a surprisingly compact plastic casing, white in colour and features a mesh/quilt patterned black stick that details the system information at a glance via LEDs. The system does not have any side panel ventilation, instead opting for a larger system of smaller vents located around the entire chassis. I definitely prefer this colour scheme and slightly sharper edges of the TS-133 over the baby-blue TS-130 NAS Chassis.



Indeed, although some users are less keen on white chassis (as they can show dust and marks much more) this plastic chassis here is very low noise (will touch on this later) and will merge into more hardware environments very easily. It reminds me a lot of the 1-HDD WD My Cloud/My Book design and how it is designed to be understated and fit into your other desk/office hardware easily. This does as much quite well – though maybe it would have been nice for other colours to be available? A missed home user opportunity perhaps (it sounds crazy, but enough users have asked me this very question to wonder).



The top right of the front of the QNAP TS-133 NAS features individual LED indicators that denote different activities. These LEDs can be dimmed/deactivated in the QTS system and denote the following:

  • System Activity
  • Network Activity
  • Storage Media Activity

Despite QNAP being one of the last brands to still feature LCD screens on some of their systems to give real-time information such as system temp, IPS, warning details etc, the budget level ranges such as this one have never and almost certainly will never have that kind of on-system digital UI.



Ventilation on the QNAP TS-133 NAS is an interesting subject (I mean, relatively interesting, I am not mad!). As this system is noticeably smaller than more other NAS drives AND it features a more power-efficient CPU, heat is going to be more of a concern than usual. Although the system is quite small, there is quite a lot of passive ventilated airflow working in conjunction with the active rear cooling fan. Although the bulk of the ventilation is based on the bottom of the device, the chassis is indented on either side, allowing the air to pass over the vertically stacked HDD bay inside and through the vents at the base as needed.



When the QNAP TS-133 NAS is in operation, the cooler air is pulled from the base, over the drive media and internal component heatsinks, then pulled through the rear cooling fan out the rear of the system. As the system does not feature any trays that would allow air to exit or ventilated side panels, it means that this airflow can’t escape any other way. The system uses a closed chassis and this ventilation is a big part of how the more efficient components maintain ideal operational temperature.



So, that is the design of the QNAP TS-133 NAS. It is certainly designed in a much more modest and understated than beefier NAS’, such as the TS-251D or TS-453D, but for compact deployment where you will want as little impact as possible in noise or physical space, it’s a solid bit of design. Let’s discuss the connectivity of the TS-133 NAS.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Ports & Connections


As mentioned, the QNAP TS-133 NAS features a rear-mounted active cooling fan. This fan and the covering vent cover around 40% of the rear of the chassis and is surprisingly low noise. When you first boot the device up, it will spin at the maximum speed for a few seconds (as it tests that its functions are fully operational) and although the fan at the height of its speed is audible, it is still not the worse I have heard. In the 8 hours of hardware/software testing that I performed on this device (including software overviews, storage setups, Plex media server and more), I never heard the fan spin up particularly and the only particularly noticeable noise was the single Seagate Ironwolf hard drive I installed inside, which the TS-133 was unable to disguise/suppress.



For all of my positivity about the QNAP TS-133 NAS up to this point, it is worth highlighting that in terms of connectivity (and I am aware this is a much more modest, affordable and compact system), the external connectivity on the rear of this NAS is pretty underwhelming. QNAP in the last 18-24 months have revealed a number of innovative solutions to their Home, Prosumer and SMB (small-medium business) ranges that have largely led the way on connectivity – whilst still maintaining the same price point as fewer connectivity equipped systems from rival Synology. However, the TS-133 makes very little change in the connectivity compared with its 18-24 month older predecessor (the QNAP TS-130) and the 1GbE network port on the TS-133 is a particular blow. With Internet Service Providers rolling out 1Gb+ internet speeds in many countries AND providers such as Virgin in the UK releasing 2.5GbE equipped routers, we are fast reaching a point where one of the prime benefits of NAS vs Cloud (namely, the fact you can access a NAS faster than the cloud) is potentially being undone. Even if the TS-133 NAS is designed as an affordable solution, QNAP released several units in 2020/2021 that has 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE – so why does this system still have just 1GbE RJ45?



The System hardware inside the QNAP TS-133 NAS can certainly saturate 1GbE/100MB/s+ with/without encryption externally and alongside the benefits of even a modest non-pro HDD or SSD in this 1-bay allowing speeds of 24-360MB/s  easily, QNAP also state that you CAN use the USB-to-5GbE adapter (optional purchase). So there does not seem to be any CPU limitations to using greater than gigabit connectivity and therefore its absence in even a modest device like this in 2022 is a tad disappointing.



Then, after the slight disappointment of 1x 1GbE, I then saw that the TS-133 arrives with 1x USB 2.0 port – IN 2022! Now, I am not unreasonable. I appreciate that 1) this is an affordable solution 2) that the processor and its hardware limits/chipset might be stretched and 3) that the system DOES also feature a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port type-A too. However, given that this device can be used with USB backups, USB 3.2 Gen 1 network adapters, expansion chassis and more, having one of the USB expansion ports with considerably lower bandwidth version 2.0 ports is a real pain. They can still be used for things such as USB printers or UPS Heatbeat/alert connectivity, but as this system lacks any HDMI out (As the CPU does not feature any kind of embedded graphics), you cannot even use these for a KVM setup.



Overall, the connectivity on the QNAP TS-133 NAS is… well… fine. It’s fine and jsut about passable for an entry-level/affordable solution that is not exactly designed to knock your socks off. Nevertheless, it is not exactly going to blow you away in the bandwidth department. Next, let’s talk about the internal hardware.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Internal Hardware


The internal hardware of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is understandably modest and although the system supports a good % of the QNAP QTS applications, it has to be said that its ability to multitask and/or support multiple users at once is noticeably less than an Intel/AMD x86 system would be. The single media bay of the TS-133 NAS allows a drive to be held in place (there is no tray and hot-swapping is not supported) internally via a SATA connection. To gain access, flip the device over and then unscrew the single base level flathead screw. It is that straight forward and after it is removed, the chassis can simply be slid apart into two pieces to reveal the media bay.



The drive bay is connected with a SATA combined power and data connector (no loose cables) and you can install either a 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD. The system is designed around an aluminium framework that is full of spacing for the airflow to work around and between the internal media, controller board and component covering heatsinks. The TS-233 2-Bay version of this system featured two trays that allowed the much easier screwless installation of media, whereas things are a little bare-bones in the TS-133 NAS. This is not the end of the world and only adds around 2-3 minutes to your installation though.



Now, some users do not consider a 1-Bay NAS system a suitable 24×7 server system for anyone, as the single HDD architecture means that you cannot take advantage of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) that allows you to have a safety net in the event that a HDD/SSD fails (nothing lasts forever). However, I would also be keen to highlight that RAID is NOT a BACKUP! If you are storing data that you deem irreplaceable (eg photos of family or events) or mission-critical (client/customer data for your business), then you NEED to have at least one (ideally x2) copy of your data at all times. So, although the loss of RAID in the TS-133 NAS is going to be a bit of a bummer for some, it DOES still arrive with support of Backups between the NAS and USB/Cloud/NAS, with the option to create many, many scheduled jobs in the HBS3 program. These can be conducted in either direction and although lack the short recovery of service that a RAID can provide, they are real BACKUPS and will be your saviour in the event of a critical system failure, ransomware attack, malware attack, theft and more.



The CPU of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is a Cortex A55 processor that is 64bit ARM in architecture, quad-core and has a clock-seed/frequency of 1.8Ghz per core. This CPU is one that is designed for long, long use whilst using a very small amount of power. ARM processors are often popular on mobile devices, tablets, Chromebooks and ultimately devices that are designed with efficiency in mind. However, this CPU (much like the A53 Realtek RTD1295 in it’s predecessor, the TS-130) is a server optimized processor and although would be outpaced by the likes of a Celeron, Pentium or Ryzen, it is ideal for keeping within the price point of most cost-effective buyers, whilst still providing a wide variety of supported software and services.



There are several versions of this CPU architecture in the market, but they all share a lot of functional similarities. ARM processors compress the instructions that are handled by the processor in order to use less power in their operation for the rest of the system. So, on the one hand, it means less power is used when typically operations are required HOWEVER it also means that it cannot handle particularly complex tasks, as they are either impossible to compress or the act of compressing these instructions takes way too long. The use of efficient CPUs like this in modern value NAS is not new (all the NAS brands do it), but this is the first time we have seen this particular CPU in a 2022 Value series NAS and almost certainly this will be a familiar architecture moving forward from the likes of Synology and Asustor soon.



Under the same CPU is an area of flash memory where the QNAP operating system lives (at least till it is initialized with storage media) and allows the system to be restored if needed, as well as set up from scratch without the use of the internet. This is fairly common in QNAP NAS systems and I can confirm that when the review unit arrived here in the studio, it featured the latest version of QTS 5 onboard.



The QNAP TS-133 NAS also features DDR4 memory that works in conjunction with the CPU to support your software and services when using the NAS (much like any other computer device). However, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the TS-133 arrives with 2GB of DDR4 memory – which is noticeably more than most brands currently offer at this price point for a 1-bay (with the majority of others under £100 arriving with just 256MB or 512MB). However, the bad news is that you cannot upgrade this memory (as it is soldered to the controller board), so although 2GB is still more than other modest/Value NAS systems like this, you are going to hit a glass ceiling pretty quickly if you plan on using this system particularly aggressively. When I had a small handful of applications running on the TS-133 (media, surveillance and 1 backup task), I only had 0.7GB of memory left available according to the task manager. So, that 2GB memory DOES allow you to run several tasks, but if you are considering a larger body of software, users or scheduled tasks to be regularly performed, you might find this system will hit a wall sooner than you might like. Like most modest systems, the TS-133 is about staying realistic about how much you are paying for, the hardware that money gets you and what it can realistically be capable of. For the hardware on offer and my software experiences, I was pleased with what this system could do. I just wish there was the option of adding more memory later on. Let’s talk about software.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Software & Services


I have rather laboured the point about the internal hardware of the TS-133, but this is mostly because many users will not understand the difference between power and capability, and this is very often an area where a buyer will fall into the tricky area of Budget Vs Cheap. I believe that this NAS falls into the category of value, not cheap – but let me explain. The QNAP TS-133 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. This service package and GUI is included in the price of the TS-133 (along with numerous mobile and client applications for multiple platforms) and is a relatively easy user interface to navigate (though not quite as user friendly as their more expensive rival Synology and DSM of course) and is an operating system that will support those users in both home and business circles. it is important to understand that when you buy the TS-133 server (or indeed any QNAP NAS) that it arrives with the QTS software platform included, BUT with constant updates and hundreds of applications included that NEED to be updated in their lifetime for reasons of security and increased services. If you want to use the QTS system, it is highly recommended that you always enable the myriad of security councillor, scanning and network security tools included. These are all tested and maintained 1st party QNAP apps and 3rd party applications. This is further improved with desktop client programs for PC/Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android – ALL INCLUDED and downloadable at any time. The TS-133 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS. I reviewed QNAP QTS 5 late last year over on YouTube (and here on the blog) and although these reviews were based on a more powerful QNAP NAS, the bulk of the services and features covered are supported by the TS-133 – just on a smaller scale:

FULL Written QNAP QTS 5 Review FULL Video Review of QNAP QTS 5

Of course, with such modest hardware under the bonnet, how much of the QNAP software can this system hope to run? I can say that it definitely runs well/better than the TS-130, however as mentioned, the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the TS-133 arrives with (which cannot be upgraded) will likely use a significant chunk of that just to run a small handful of applications at once. The QNAP TS-133 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. Along with a bunch of others, the key tools, the TS-133 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS, such as:

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-133

  • QSync for Backing up multiple Devices to the NAS on a schedule/as needed
  • Hyper Backup Sync 3
  • QuMagie for photo collections and AI-enabled face/thing recognition
  • Multimedia Console for managing media sharing, streaming, transcoding and indexing
  • File Station for File Management, sharing and permission allocation
  • Download Station for managing HTTP/FTP/NZB/BT downloads, as well as RSS feeds for podcasts and updates
  • QFiling and QSirch to better organize files and remove duplicates/waste
  • Cloud Drive for Migrating and Synchronizing between Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc
  • Photo Station to organize and catalogue photo collections
  • Music Station to organize, playback and stream music media to network/internet devices
  • Video Station to playback media over the network/internet
  • Container Station for management micro/compact virtual environments
  • QVR Elite for Surveillance/CCTV/NVR use with IP Cameras
  • MANY more QNAP Apps

Third-Party Applications for the TS-133

  • Plex Media Server(no transcoding natively)
  • Emby
  • iTunes Server
  • Acronis True Image Backup
  • Malware Remover
  • SugarCRM
  • TVMosaic

Overall, I cannot especially fault the range of applications that the QNAP TS-133 NAS arrive with, as at this price point for all these to be included with the hardware (more than just applications, but it has evolved into an entire operating system with services, client tools and wide-ranging usage options). It is still a device that requires a higher than average understanding of technology and its position of trying to hold your hand in the menus, whilst simultaneously throwing setup options at you (with each saying that are important and you need to stay secure) means that it can be a pinch intimidating. You should not by a device like this and think that the end of your data storage, security and backups ends at the point of plugging it in – that way leads to the loss of data and lots of lost nights of sleep, but still, for this price point it is really hard to fault the value here for the combination of hardware and software.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict


As long as you keep your feet on the ground a little and stay realistic, the QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive is indeed a very impressive piece of kit. We are talking about a combined hardware and software solution that you can purchase with a 4TB drive from the likes of Seagate or WD inside all in for a little over $200. It can run plex media server, it has surveillance software included in QVR Elite, AI-powered photo recognition (with the system featuring a dedicated AI engine for these tasks), multi-tiered backup handing in Hybrid Backup Sync 3, host a DLNA media server, connect and synchronize with cloud services in a bunch of ways, access to a bunch of tailored mobile apps and a whole lot of other services that would take too long to mention. Also, the TS-133 NAS is the first system in the commercial NAS market to feature this new Cortex A55 processor, as well as twice (and in some cases) four times the memory of alternative systems in the same tier with it’s 2GB DDR4 RAM. As long as you have realistic expectations about how busy you are going to be, how hard you intend to push the device and how much you expect it to do at any one time, I think the QNAP TS-133 NAS is easily the most powerful and capable 1-Bay NAS in the market to buy right now. The non-upgradable memory is a pain, the lack of 2.5GbE is perplexing and the continued appearance of USB 2.0 is a tad infuriating, but the TS-133 seemingly makes up for it with a wide variety of applications supported, a remarkably subtle and discreet deployment and in the hands of the right low-level user, this might well be the best NAS QNAP have produced in the value tier for years!


PROs of the QNAP TS-133 NAS CONs of the QNAP TS-133 NAS
Currently the most powerful 1-Bay NAS Drive in the market

A 1-Bay with 2GB of DDR4 Memory is pretty rare in the Value tier


Exceptionally low noise and power use


Runs the latest version of QTS 5


First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor


Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus


Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware


Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting

1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming

USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming


Lack of RAID will put some users off (applicable to all 1-Bay’s though)


 


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dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 & SSD Review and Temperature Tests

7 mars 2022 à 01:08

dBrand Darkplates – Are they Good or Bad for your PS5 SSD & System Temperatures?


The Playstation 5 is one of the oddest looking consoles in…well.. ever! I think we can all agree that when Sony unveiled the console, a large number of us assumed it was concept art, or a tech demo. But no, the PS5 is white and black, has fins and is huge! When they announced that the side plates of the system were removable, it took all of about 10 minutes for brands to start getting to work on replacement side panels (or ‘Plates’) for the console in a multitude of colours and patterns. Sony, needless to say, immediately started pursuing legal action against these companies for infringement of their design and intellectual property without permission and of all the companies that received this legal onslaught, very few made the headlines as loudly as Brand and their Darkplate series. Thanks to a combination of speed of producing concepts, to an arguable savvy social marketing management team, they appeared on the bulk of mainstream gamer news sites and editorial platforms with their ‘illicit’ Darkplates. Sony won the battle of course, but dBrand seems to feel they can win the war with the release of their Darkplate 2.0, a new take on the shape and presentation of the PS5 plates, featuring additional ventilation, a tongue in cheek reference to their legal battles (with a user highlighting to me that the binary 01101 etc embossed inside is translated to the cease and decide Sony issued Brand) and creates a much more compact looking system that can also arrive in multiple colours, patterns and optional LED lighting. Now, I generally never look at things like this on NASCompares, as I focus almost exclusively on storage (NAS, DAS, HDDs, SSDs, Switches, Routers, IP Cameras, etc, etc), however, the Brand DARKPLATE 2.0 covers open up TWO important area of concern for some buyers that ARE very much in my/NASCompares wheelhouse. 1, Do these plates undermine or nullify the negative pressure air in/air out system the PS5 uses with its central fan and 2) if an m.2 SSD expansion drive is installed in the available bay of the PS5 (also inevitable given the baseline storage the system has and AAA games in 2022 onwards), does the increased block of heat that the SSD+HEATSINK+M.2 Cover panels result in ambient heat that the system is not efficiently ejecting? So, today I want to talk a little about these plates, but more importantly, run a series of tests that measure the temperature of the internal system AND the SSD expansion bay in a series of different setup scenarios. But, before we go any further, let’s take a closer look at the dBrand Darkplates themselves and how they install/look on the PS5

DESIGN - 9/10
QUALITY - 9/10
EFFECTIVENESS - 7/10
PRICE - 4/10
VALUE - 4/10


6.6
PROS
👍🏻Nice design, feel, patterns and colours
👍🏻In shape when deployed makes the system look a lot more subtle and understated (no tall fins)
👍🏻
👍🏻The Vented dark plate vents do not seemingly undermine the PS5 negative pressure cooling
👍🏻
👍🏻Mesh covered vents can be removed for cleaning
CONS
👎🏻Quite pricey for what you are getting
👎🏻The vented panels seem largely useless throughout temp testing

 

Twice the Price – What’s the Difference?

The Design and Cooling Differences of the Brand Darkplates 2.0 for PS5?


So, first and foremost, the vent panels of the Brand Darkplates. These are not featured on the official PS5 plates and are one of the biggest differences between the two (and almost certainly form part of the argument that these are not infringing on Sony’s copyright. It should be highlighted though that there are not fan-assisted, they do not connect with any internal/USB power source to increase airflow and are designed to be used above the existing PS5 system fan to allow more air to be pulled into the system before it gets pushed out the back of the console. This is where the concern is for some regarding how these pass airflow vents will undermine the PS5 active cooling system when in operation.



Fairplay to Brand, the presentation of the Darkplate 2.0 kit is incredibly chic, with a box that opens from the middle on dual hinges that reveals the individual plates wrapped in plastic and black foam, then cleaning fabric and a Darkplate 2.0 reference card. It’s all very modern in presentation and dBrand make several references to the Sony legal action, their ‘fight the man style stance and generally trying to promote this as more than just plastic for your home console. It is all laid on pretty thick, but it’s still a good retail kit.



One question many buyers have about the dBrand Darkplates is about value for money. Once you step aside from the marketing and legal fandango, you are looking at type plastic plates for your PS5 that are $59 to buy. Now, Sony is already releasing their own plates now at a notably higher price, but also you need to factor in that ALOT of budget eTailers (eshops, online retailers, etc) are now selling plain black budget plates for upgrading your PS5 for just $29 – half the price fo the black dBrand Darkplates. You can also add that if you wanted to upgrade your PS5 with a new SSD and wanted to ensure low operating temperatures and/of the longevity of the SSD, then you can look at PS5 designed SSD heatsinks for the system for as little as $20. So that means that the dBrand Darkplates 2.0 arriving at $59 puts it very much in a price bracket than many might think. The PS5 designed heatsink as an optional purchase is particularly pertinent as not only will it ensure that your PS5 SSD runs at a much better general heat level, but it does so with little/no impact on the system cooling (testing here on NASCompares several times in 2021/2022). So, do the dBrand Darkplates keep the system running cool still?

How the dBrand Darkplate PS5 Temperature Testing was Conducted?


For this test, I used the following components in four different hardware configurations, with each test cycle featuring four individual components that feature heavy Write activity actioned by moving 300GB of data from the internal system SSD and over to the expansion SSD, gameplay of two PS5 titles located on the SSD and a heavy Read activity by moving the games back onto the default system storage. When each test was completed, I turned the system completely off for 15 minutes and removed the side plates between tests, to allow the system the chance to dissipate heat. This seemed reasonable instead of leaving the system off for hours at a time to completely cool naturally and as long as all tests were afforded this same cool-down period equally, it still kept things even. Here are the hardware components used in this these tests:

  • PS5 System
  • Original Official Cover Plates
  • Seagate Firecuda 530 1TB SSD with EK Official Heatsink
  • Seagate Firecuda 530 1TB SSD without Heatsink
  • M.2 SSD Cover Plate
  • Sabrent PS5 Designed Heatsink
  • Twin Node Temperature Sensor

In all tests, a temperature node was placed an inch beneath the core system fan to measure ambient system temperature at all times. This was to see if 1, the ventilated debrand plates prevented the PS5 negative pressure cooling doing its job and 2, to see if the additional heat of the SSD with/without a cover would particularly increase heat in light of the brand plates changing the system passive cooling system. The first thing to do was to get a default/baseline from the PS5 system in all these tests, so I set up the PS5 in its original plates. I installed the Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD, set in place the metal m.2 cover plate, closed the system side plates and then begun running the tests on this ‘control’ or ‘baseline’ setup.



After the first range of tests were completed, I removed the official PS5 cover plates, left the system to cool for an hour (removing and then replacing the SSD at the start and end including the m.2 cover plate), then added the dBrand Darkplates to repeat all the tests.



The range of tests and operations were repeated in this near-identical setup (but with new plates) around 2 hours after the start of the first tests and with little meaningful change in the room temperature.



Next, I wanted to see what impact that m.2 cover plate had on the running of the PS5 with the dBrand plates, so after test phase 2 was completed, I powered the device down and removed the m.2 cover plate. This time I did not leave it covering the SSD during test phase 3. The Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD used for these tests features its official EK gaming heatsink and it would be interesting to see if the additional passive ventilation in the dBrand plates would allow the air to be better drawn through the m.2 SSD bays even slightly.



After Test Phase 3 was completed, I had one final test and that was using the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink inside the dBrand darkplate setup. Swapping the Seagate Firecuda 530 EK Heatsink version in favour of the bare/non-H/S version for this test, I installed it + the Sabrent heatsink and then replaced the Darkplates for testing as before. It would be interesting to see if the increased surface mass of the Sabrent would possibly benefit from the dBrand plates and/or if the system would be impacted in any way.



So, there you have it. Those were the tests. So, now let’s go through the results and everything we observed. It is worth remembering that the temperature for the airflow/ambient temps inside the PS5 between each test (due to factors such as the time of day and surrounding room temp that were beyond my control) at the start and end of each test cycle had a few degrees of difference between tests and although I will be adding start/end temp levels into consideration, the increase between them inside each test will be primarily what I will compare, as it will demonstrate how well the system adapted/adjusted to the change in hardware setup. For the SSD temperature, I have used CrystalDisk for PC to access the logs of the SSD controller and see how the SSD changed temp throughout the four tests each time. The spike in the graphs represent the peak of the heat recorded during each test and decreased between tests. This temp was NOT a constant and just shows its highest point.


Key – Heavy-Write = Heavy Write Activity (300GB) moving games from internal PS5 Storage to M.2 SSD, Far-Cry-6 = Far Cry 6 Gameplay, Demon -Souls = Demon Souls Gameplay, Heavy-Read = Heavy Read Activity (300GB) moving games from M.2 SSD to internal PS5 Storage

Original PS5 PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + M.2 Cover Test Results


In test one, I used the original PS5 Plates, the Seagate Firecuda 530 H/S Edition and the m.2 expansion cover plate. Here are the results:

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C


The general system temperature throughout the tests was quite normal for the PS5 (as you would expect in this default setup) but the SSD controller temperature was higher than I would have liked (especially compared to a PC setup) and a lot of that can be blamed on that M.2 cover plate. I have raised this before, but I do not think the cover for the M.2 is a good design for a closed system like the PS5.



 

dBrand PLATES +Seagate FC530 H/S + M.2 Cover Test Results


The next test was the dBrand Darkplates this time, but still with the same Seagate Firecuda 530 H/S SSD and m.2 cover plate. This was mainly to see if the additional ventilation would be a positive/negative to the system’s negative cooling (as its introduction of two meshed vents had to make an impact!).

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.5 = 0.3°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

20.4 > 22.2 = 1.8°C

39°C

Demon -Souls

21.0 > 24.0 = 3.0°C

44°C

Heavy-Read

20.9 > 24.8 = 3.9°C

47°C


The SSD temperatures were still predictably high, because of that m.2 cover, but overall the system temperature was very close to the official test temperatures and in some cases even managed to be a little cooler. Below is the temperature of the SSD controller at each test. Still higher than in a PC/Open setting, but a pinch lower.



 

dBrand PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + NO M.2 Cover Test Results


Next I wanted to remove the m.2 plate from the equation, so I repeated the previous test setup hardware WITHOUT the M.2 cover plate. Would allowing more active airflow in contact with the SSD heatsink help?

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

21.3 > 21.0 = -0.3°C

18°C

Far-Cry-6

20.1 > 23.2 = 3.1°C

29°C

Demon -Souls

20.9 > 22.2 = 1.3°C

39°C

Heavy-Read

22.2 > 24.0 = 1.8°C

45°C


Overall the numbers were better for the SSD but negligible for the ambient temps. Nothing incredible and certainly not something that makes the dBrand plates worth the $59 asde from their look, but they did seem to run a slightly cooler system temp most of the time. The SSD controller was definitely a noticeable degree lower in running temp and although it still reached a height of 45 degrees after all the tests, it maintained the lower temperature recording for longer than the previous two tests.



 

dBrand PLATES + Seagate FC530 H/S + Sabrent PS5 H/S Test Results


The final test was the most unofficial sony one of the three, using the dBrand plates in conjunction with the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink. This heatsink fills the entire M.2 slot and is raised slightly from the expansion aby in order for active airflow drawn by that internal fan to travel over/through the grooves of the heatsink. Use of the Sabrent heatsink means that I have to switch the Firecuda 530 SSD out for the same SSD but without the official/pre-applied heatsink. Now, the question here is that if the system internal negative pressure cooling is not as efficient with the vented panel of the dBrand plates, will that means that air flow over the Sabrent heatsink will be reduced (as the air gets pulled through the circular vents of the plates and not the grooved front vents of the PS5 normally?

Type of Reading

Ambient System Temp.

SSD Controller Peak Temp.

Heavy-Write

21.9 > 22.4 = 0.5°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

19.8 > 24.9 = 5.1°C

32°C

Demon -Souls

20.3 > 22.9 = 2.6°C

33°C

Heavy-Read

18.5 > 20.9 (fan increased) = 2.4°C

38°C


Overall, this was a great test and the SSD temperature was at its lowest here than in any other test. The ambient system temperature was good too, lower at boot and by the end of a test wave than any other test. The only thing that marred it slightly was the fact the system fans appeared to ramp up in the closing stages of the heavy read test.



Let’s compare each test vs the default setup below.


In all four scenarios, games were being loaded from the Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe SSD inside the PS5 expansion bay and an interesting take from this is the varying differences in temperature between them (in the white and red graphs) that, even if you factor small changes in the environmental temperatures around the machine, are still notably different, the more access airflow had to those heatsinks. Likewise, you can see that the temperatures displayed for the ambient system temperature were from the last seconds of each test in jsut the standard setup in conjunction with either plate set choice were still incredibly similar. Therefore I think this indicates that the system temp with the dBrand plates is still comparable in either setup (at most 1-2 degrees of difference):

Click to view slideshow.

Comparing the initial setup with dBrand and Official PS5 plates side by side, you can see that most fo the internal PS5 temperatures were largely identical and it’s only really on the SSD controller reports that we see a significant difference (with the dBrand SSD heatsink being the lower temperature at boot, but closing in on the same temp as the official plates as each test was completed. Overall, comparing these showed (at least to me) that the use of the dBrand plates did not impact the PS5 system operational temp levels negatively.


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

20.2 > 20.5 = 0.3°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

20.4 > 22.2 = 1.8°C

39°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

21.0 > 24.0 = 3.0°C

44°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

20.9 > 24.8 = 3.9°C

47°C


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 vs Original PS5 Plates (WITHOUT m.2 Cover Plate)


Whereas if we look at comparing the default PS5 setup+SSD+m.2 cover against the dBrand plates+SSD+no cover, we see that temperatures were even better for the SSD controller. In terms of ambient airflow, the uncovered SSD heatsink did not really negatively impact the PS5 system and in the areas, it did get hotter than the official PS5 plates and cover, it was very small indeed and negligible at best!


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + NO M.2 Cover

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

21.3 > 21.0 = -0.3°C

18°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

20.1 > 23.2 = 3.1°C

29°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

20.9 > 22.2 = 1.3°C

39°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

22.2 > 24.0 = 1.8°C

45°C


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 vs Original PS5 Plates (with m.2 Cover Plate)


Finally, there is comparing the default setup of the official plates versus using the dBrand Darkplates, M.2 SSD and the Sabrent PS5 designed heatsink. The controller was easily at it’s coolest point on the tests using the Sabrent heatsink, which wasn’t a big surprise. However, what really stood out was that the heat increase inside the PS5 system (although STARTING lower) increased quite quickly. Even though it was still lower than the SSD+official heatsink+m.2, it increased fast enough to make me wonder if the additional vents of the dBrand design lost some of that sucked in airflow directly next to the Sabrent heatsink. Here is how they compare:


RESULTS:

TEST Original PS5 Plates + SSD + M.2 Cover

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 PS5 Plates + SSD + SABRENT HEATSINK

Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max Ambient System Temp Start/End/Diff SSD Controller Temp Max
Heavy-Write

20.2 > 20.8 = 0.6°C

45°C

21.9 > 22.4 = 0.5°C

28°C

Far-Cry-6

21.6 > 24.0 = 2.4°C

43°C

19.8 > 24.9 = 5.1°C

32°C

Demon -Souls

22.8 > 26.6 = 3.8°C

48°C

20.3 > 22.9 = 2.6°C

33°C

Heavy-Read

20.8 > 24.3 = 3.5°C

51°C

18.5 > 20.9 (fan increased) = 2.4°C

38°C


Throughout Feb 2022, I will be publishing the videos of my tests (x3 videos) and they will be published below. Take a look at them as they get published, as well as my video detailing the results of temperature testing of the Sabrent PS5 SSD heatsink:


Note: if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’, it means it is still awaiting publication in the schedule and will be coming soon.

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 1

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 2

dBrand Darkplate 2.0 Temp Test 3

Sabrent PS5 Heatsink Temp Test


 

dBrand Darkplates 2.0 for PS5 and Keeping it Cool? – Conclusion & Verdict


Overall, I would say that the pricetag of the dBrand Darkplates is a lot more about having a unique looking and possibly better design looking PS5 in your home, than it is about improvements on systems temperatures and efficiency. The $59 price tag of the base/default dBrand Darkplate 2.0 kit is quite steep, when there are budget $25-30 PS5 plate kits in the market right now and the ventilation that forms a big part of the design of these newly refreshed designed plates looks interesting/effective, but in reality seems to change the operating temperature of the PS5 very little. Therefore although they don’t seem to improve the temperatures much, it can be argued that the plates do NOT undermine or negatively affect the PS5’s negative cooling system. Regarding their use in conjunction with an SSD, m.2 PC style heatsink or a PS5 designed alternative, the differences between identical setups with the official PS5 plates or Darkplates were too similar to declare any form of advantage. Ultimately, in 2022, if you want the SSD that is housing your bigger games to run at its coolest, investing in a better system designed heatsink or running without the m.2 cover plate is much, much more recommended than upgrading cover plates. I like the look, feel, presentation and overall design of the dBrand Darkplates, I just question whether they are worth $59, or double the price of budget plate replacements out there.

PROs of the dBrand Darkplates 2.0 CONs of the dBrand Darkplates 2.0
Nice design, feel, patterns and colours

In shape when deployed makes the system look a lot more subtle and understated (no tall fins)


The Vented dark plate vents do not seemingly undermine the PS5 negative pressure cooling


Mesh covered vents can be removed for cleaning

Quite pricey for what you are getting

The vented panels seem largely useless throughout temp testing



 


 

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Updated Guide to Installing KODI on Your QNAP NAS in 2022

9 mars 2022 à 01:38

A Step by Step Guide to Getting Kodi on Your QNAP NAS – UPDATED


Despite the growing popularity of third-party multimedia streaming services such as Netflix, Disney plus and HBO Max, there is still a solid demand by users to enjoy the media they own from the comfort of the sofa in a digital, disc-free environment. Whether it is because we have hundreds of DVD and Blu-ray discs cluttering up shelves or a drawer full of hard drives brimming with good TV to watch, some users resent having to pay subscription services for media they may already own or end up spending hundreds of pounds a year on media they do not own, with its removal and availability changed on a whim. It is for reasons like these that many users look into purchasing a solid network-attached storage (NAS) drive from brands such as QNAP in order to enjoy the media they own, while still enjoying slick graphical user interfaces GUI offered that is comparable to Netflix and Prime Video. One application that has been in allowing users to enjoy the media they own for many years is KODI, a media centre application with thousands of addons, unparalleled codec+format support and one of the easiest user interfaces to navigate and customise. Sadly, in recent years less scrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the flexibility of Kodi in order to play copyrighted material found online illegally and stream from less than legal sources to watch new multimedia. Because of this, Kodi was largely shunned by most well-established app stores and is no longer available to be directly downloaded from the NAS application centre in 2022. However, that does not mean it is impossible to still use and in fact, there are multiple versions of Kodi you can use, as well as add-ons to connect with your streaming services and even access other multimedia services available that are installed on your QNAP NAS (Plex, Emby, Twinky, etc). So today I want to walk you through how to install Kodi on your QNAP NAS and start watching your media from your sofa today.


Below is your checklist to make sure you have before beginning the installation of the Kodi HD Station application for HDMI.

  • QNAP NAS with an Intel/AMD CPU
  • HDMI Port (1.4 or 2.0a)
  • QTS Upgraded to QTS 4 or later
  • Latest Version of HD Station
  • Control Device for HDMI, ie IR Remote, Keyboard+Mouse,
  • Access to the Internet (can be disabled after if you prefer) and access the NAS via the Web Browser GUI (Graphical User Interface, ie The Desktop of QNAP NAS)

Let’s get started.

KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 1 – Installing Applications


Head into the App center on your QNAP NAS, via the web browser GUI:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 2 – Installing QNAP HybridDesk Station / HD Station


If you QNAP NAS has an HDMI output, an option will be available on the left-hand side, labelled ‘HybridDesk Station’. Go ahead and click it to enter a new window. From here you need to click the JybridDesk Station ‘install’ option. You may well also be asked to install one of the other HD Station applications, that is up to you (none are essential to KODI)


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 3 – Configuring the QNAP App Center Options


Once the HD Station / HybridDesk Station application is installed, head to the top right corner and click the cog icon (settings):


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 4 – Allowing 3rd PARTY and Unsigned Applications


In the first window that appears, put a tick in the box regarding the installations of applications without a valid signature (this means applications that are not QNAP created or partnered can be installed, such as KODI):


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 5 – Congifuring an App Repository


Then click the App Repository tab at the top of the same window, and get ready to enter the location of where yo will be downloading the KODI application from:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 6 – Adding New App Centers


Enter the information in the boxes shown in the image below. The URL should read ‘https://www.qnapclub.eu/en/repo.xml‘. Once you have done this, click ‘add’:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 7 – Adding the QNAP Club App List


The QNAP Club Repository should now appear in the list underneath in the previous window. If it is now there, click ‘close’.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 8 – Finding the QNAPClub App List


On the left-hand side of the app center window, a new option should have appeared for the new app center that you have added. QNAP Club is an unofficial and Homebrew app community that creates new applications, as well as modifying existing linux/windows software to work within the QNAP NAS system. These can be used via the network, web browser or using the HDMI/KVM setup of the NAS. So, let’s install KODI.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 9 – Finding the Kodi Application


The quickest way to find Kodi is to use the search bar at the top right of the QNAP App Center and enter ‘KODI’ and hit search. Several versions of Kodi will appear, however, it is highly recommended to opt for version 19, as Kodi v.19 (Matrix) is not only the latest release available for QNAP, but also older versions have not been extensively updated for the latest version OF HD Station / HybridDesk Station. Simply click the +install button as you normally would any other application. You may see a pop-up warning you that this application installation highlights that this is a 3rd party/unsigned application. This is so you understand that you are installing KODI at your own risk/choice and against the recommendations of the manufacturer.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 10 – Allowing Remote Access


When the KODI application is installed, you will be able to access it from your HDMI output on the NAS (you will need a keyboard, mouse, IR Remote or network remote control such as the free QRemote application to navigate it), but if you want to configure the KODI application from your web browser, it is possible to configure HD Station / HybridDesk Station and KODI from Chrome/Safari/Edge/Mozilla etc quite easily. Head into the Control Panel option in the QNAP browser GUI.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 11 – Accessing the HDMI Control Panel


From here, head to the Applications section at the bottom and select the HDMI Display Applications option.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 12 – Adjusting the HDMI Defaults


A new options/config menu will appear and from here you are able to configure the HDMI output settings of your QNAP NAS. If you have alternative applications that use the HDMI out (such as Linux Station, Media Players or assigned a VM directly to the DMI), they will appear here. In order to use/view KODI via the QNAP HDMI output, you will need to ensure that the application is ‘enabled’ (so conversely, it will say ‘disable’ in red if the app is currently running, which what you want!). Then click the Settings option.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 13 – Changing HDMI Resolution and Settings


Next you will have an HDMI settings menu. If you need to change the resolution of the HDMI output, you can change it in the top right drop down menu. However, in order to allow web browser access to the HDMI output to configure Kodi, etc, we need to tick the box labelled  Enable Remote Desktop and then click Apply.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 14 – Accessing the HDMI Output via your Web Browser


Once you have done that, a couple of new options will appear underneath. In order to access the HDMI visual interface and GUI, click the first option Click Here to Open and a new tab will open in your web browser that displays your QNAP NAS HDMI output. If you have a specific login for your NAS, you will need to enter it first in the next window before proceeding to the HDMI GUI.

KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 15 Booting Kodi and Changing Settings


From here you will have rows of icons on the screen that show the HDMI equipped applications that are installed on your QNAP NAS. If you want to run and access KODI, just go ahead and click the KODI icon and it will open the application (be warned, the first time you run the KODI application, there will be ALOT of pop up messages asking if you want to enable/disable aspects of the application). If you plan on using the KODI application exclusively for the HDMI port and want to make sure you do not need to go through the process of login in every time on the TV, as well as selecting the Kodi application manually every time, you can head into the settings menu at the top right (the cog icon) and change the defaults like this:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 16 – Setting Kodi as the Default App


From the settings menu, select the ‘App’ tab on the left-hand side and from there, select Kodi, then at the bottom of the app options, you will see an option marked SET AUTO RUN which, when enabled, will make sure that KODI always runs via the HDMI as the default start-up application. You can also set the General Tab to remember your login details (over HDMI only) and allow KODI to always immediately be available whenever you turn your TV on and want to watch your media.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 17 – Browser Responsiveness


The last thing, IF you are setting up your KODI application over the Web browser GUI (i.e. via your laptop or PC), then the refresh rate of what you see on screen will not be as fast/sharp as if you accessed it from the HDMI into a TV. So, do not be surprised if it seems that the responsiveness seems a little lackluster when navigating options. This only applies to accessing remotely via the web browser and won’t be the case over direct HDMI with control over a mouse+keyboard, Bluetooth mouse, IR remote or using the QNAP Qremote free mobile application to control the HDMI output. Thanks for reading this guide and I hope it helped!



 


If you need a little more information on how to install KODI on your QNAP NAS in 2022 (such as where to download the Kodi App directly, or a complete walkthrough of how to install the multimedia tool more visually, you can always use the video blow that will guide you though the process.



 


If you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your multimedia needs (whether it is Plex Media Server, Emby, Kodi or using other 3rd party media software), then please use the free advice section linked below. A genuinely free service manned by two humans (me and Eddie the Web guy) and we answer all of your questions to help you get the right solution for your needs. We do not charge anything, we do nothing with your email and although there are donation options available HERE, they are completely voluntary! Have a great 2022!


 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 


 


 

TrueNAS/iXsystems NAS Q&A – Your Question’s Answered

11 mars 2022 à 01:43

A TrueNAS and iXsystems Questions & Answers Interview



If you have been on the fence about moving into the world of using the open-source platform TrueNAS for your private server, there is a good chance that the rather elite level server software is leaving you a pinch intrigued. The big ZFS optimized software that is available to download completely for free OR as part of a business targeted solution from iXsystems seemingly promises significantly more freedom and flexibility than off-the-shelf commercial NAS solutions, but there is no denying that regardless of whether you are an existing NAS user that is thinking of going down the ‘custom build’ route OR someone who thinks they are I.T verses enough to DiY it on day 1, that TrueNAS can be fantastically intimidating. Later in 2022, I will be exploring TrueNAS in huge detail, looking at what the platform offers to new users, how it compares with popular NAS brands like Synology & QNAP and hopefully helping to demystify this more community-supported platform. In this first Q&A, in what I hope will be many in 2022/2023, I have canvased YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and directly here on NASCompares for traditional NAS users burning questions about TrueNAS. I spoke with Morgan Littlewood, SVP for Product Management over at iXsystems, and put your questions to him. Below are those questions and his responses. If you have any further questions that are not covered in today’s Q&A, or have follow-ups to those that were asked, then fire them in the comments. We will have our full review of TrueNAS coming very soon here on NASCompares, along with a hardware review of the iXsystems Truenas Mini X+, so don’t forget to subscribe for that. But, let’s crack on with the Q&A.


Note – Today’s Questions come from you, the viewer/reader via the site or social media platforms. Where possible I have kept the questions in their original verbatim form. Where changes have been made, it has been for the sake of clarity in the question for structure.

Why are the hardware requirements for TrueNAS higher than EXT4 based Systems that also run on Linux?


TrueNAS is optimised for reliability and performance. Less RAM can be used, but it is not recommended. We don’t recommend anything that may result in a poor experience. ZFS is more robust and resource-intensive than EXT4 on account of its much safer Copy-on-Write architecture. Snapshots and clones are much simpler, and data safety during hardware and power failures is much higher.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  04:18

Why are the RAM and CPU requirements so high compared to other systems (from Synology or QNAP for example) that can arrive with Intel Celeron’s and even ARM processors?


TrueNAS is a fully Open Source system based on FreeBSD (TrueNAS CORE) or Linux (TrueNAS SCALE) with OpenZFS. The software is professional-grade and is not optimised for minimum personal electronics cost. The software can run on virtually any hardware, including all drivers, even QNAP hardware. Less CPU and RAM will result in lower performance.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  06:08 


In light of a recent spate of off-the-shelf NAS Ransomware Attacks on the likes of Asustor, Terramaster and QNAP, is there any reason that I should think that a TrueNAS build system is less susceptible?


Yes, QNAP (and Synology) have a consumer-grade architecture with poor isolations between apps and the Operating System. Hackers can break into these systems through the complex apps and get access to the underlying OS as a root user.  TrueNAS is professionally architected to avoid these and other issues. Complex apps are isolated to Plugins, Apps, and VMs with no host access. Unlike QNAP and Synology, all software is Open Source and visible to security experts for inspection. It is still important that users follow the best practices our software and documentation encourage.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  08:25

If TrueNAS (aka FreeNAS) is free and can be used on a custom build server, why should I spend more on hardware to buy an iXsystems system?


TrueNAS is Open Source and customers have a choice. Running TrueNAS on used equipment is the lowest-cost approach. TrueNAS on Minis or new server hardware will be similar in cost. TrueNAS Minis have the advantage of being thoroughly tested and supported by iXsystems. There is additional software for managing enclosures which are themselves optimised for storage (e.g., whisper-quiet fans). Any revenues from TrueNAS Mini contribute back our support of the TrueNAS Open Source project.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 10:32


Does TrueNAS have Mobile Applications?


TrueNAS is an Open System. There are many mobile apps that use the SMB, NFS, and WebDav interfaces into TrueNAS. Mobile browsers can access the TrueNAS or TrueCommand UIs.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 13:57 

Does TrueNAS have any preset minimums in place regarding that, if left unaddressed, inhibit the system in any way (remote access, application support, etc)?


If there is insufficient boot drive space, the software updates will be inhibited. Insufficient RAM will inhibit VMs from performing well.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 15:09

Aside from S.M.A.R.T and single drive benchmarks, does TrueNAS have more/better self-testing and benchmarking tools? e.g in an internal means to measure the performance of a RAID configuration?


We recommend FIO for performance testing of the ZFS pool, which is built into TrueNAS. Any other testing can be performed remotely on the system via its various protocols.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  17:40


What is the hardware entry point for a home user to start using TrueNAS?


TrueNAS is not targeted at small home users with one or two drives. Rather, it is for home users with many Terabytes of data, typically video or photo enthusiasts and/or users with a background in IT. We recommend either a used server or a TrueNAS Mini for home use. The TrueNAS Mini-E is the lowest cost, and the TrueNAS Mini-X has more power and flexibility. 


Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 19:22

What are the benefits of running a smaller 4 Disk NAS on TrueNAS compared to Synology DS920+?



The Synology 920+ is a 4-Bay, 4 core Celeron processor with 4-8GB RAM. It uses a combination of BTRFS and RAID to store its data. It is a nice little hardware package with a non-production file system that is less reliable. Synology then mates BTRFS with RAID-5 which is also less reliable in the presence of power outages and bit rot. This combination makes the data storage less resilient, scalable, and portable. The TrueNAS Mini-X system is a step up from the Synology 920+ in reliability and flexibility. It has 7-Bays, 4 Cores, and 16-32GB of ECC protected RAM. It uses OpenZFS 2.0 which is more reliable by design and enables open, efficient replication to any OpenZFS system, plus the normal Rsync tools. ECC RAM is used to avoid any corrupted data or files and provide rapid detection of any faulty hardware. Without ECC, silent errors that are very difficult to troubleshoot and fix can occur.


TrueNAS has recommended drives, but does not make it difficult to use third-party drives, used or new. We’ve seen Synology move to branded drives with poor support of other drives. TrueNAS supports a ZFS Write Log function which makes the system very reliable even during power failures. Data that is written and acknowledged is always safe. The use of RAID-5 and BTRFS does not provide this level of protection


Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 21:07

Which Drives do you use in your pre-populated systems and is the warranty on these inclusive with that of the system?


TrueNAS Minis use WD Red Plus HDDs and a variety of different SSDs. The system warranty includes all pre-populated drives for a single throat to choke experience. We have found the WD Red Plus drives to be very reliable in conjunction with OpenZFS.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  23:16


With TrueNAS Scale, will RDMA/RoCEv2 be supported? 


RDMA is a very useful technology for accessing data in RAM on another system. For accessing data on HDDs and Flash, there is only a minor benefit. TrueNAS SCALE will support RDMA in a future release based on customer/community demand.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  25:05

Do iXsystems and/or TrueNAS adequately support flash server use and if so, does it have intelligent wear monitoring?


SSD wear monitoring is available, but it’s really a band-aid for systems with poor flash characteristics. OpenZFS does two things that ensure a much longer flash life:

  1. Writes to flash are distributed evenly over the drives in the system through the use of ZFS VDEVs
  2. Small writes (e.g., 4K) are aggregated into larger writes (e.g., 64K) as part of the writing process. This reduces the stress on the flash media enormously. Even QLC drives can sustain heavy workloads with OpenZFS.

Find the answer in the video Q&A here: 26:04

How migratable is a TrueNAS RAID array between systems? I.e If my Intel i5/16GB DDR4 6 Drive RAID6 Drive configuration based system suffers a motherboard failure, how smooth/easy/possible is installing these 6 drives in another system? And does the hardware configuration need to match?


Great question. This is the beauty of OpenZFS. There are two ways to migrate data efficiently:


ZFS replication: this is incremental, very efficient, and can be done between two systems with different sizes and even different OSes. You can replicate the entire pool or specific data sets within it. Replication is efficient, making it feasible to do every ten minutes or every night.


Drive Transfer: A ZFS pool can be exported to its set of drives. The drives can then be removed and placed in another system, server, or JBOD and imported as a new ZFS pool with all data intact. The new system does not need to use any similar motherboard, RAID card, OSes, and it can even be a VM with access to the drives. If there are any drive errors, these can be repaired by the ZFS checksum and scrubbing processes. 


You can ZFS replicate or transfer a TrueNAS pool to an Ubuntu VM running on VMware. This is the difference provided by an Open Software model with a professional-grade architecture. The software is designed to give users the flexibility they want and not lock them into a proprietary ecosystem. TrueNAS enables data to be maintained well through several generations of hardware using these techniques. This is critical for long-lived data like family photos, videos, and professional work product. For businesses, it is very important that TrueNAS enables scalability from a few drives to over 1,000 drives in a single system. Large archive/backup systems can support many workgroup systems with the same software and tools. Synology is particularly limited in the scalability of its systems.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  28:16

Does TrueNAS have an active homebrew scene?


Yes, there is a very active community of users doing three things:

  1. Building their own hardware platforms with new and second-hand parts. We have a few users that have re-used QNAP systems.
  2. Assisting with software development. Some users will find a bug and then resolve it themselves. The software is largely in Python and C. Most users will just report the bug via our Community.
  3. Developing or building Apps that run well on TrueNAS. Most of these Apps are now docker containers or combinations of containers.

Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  31:32


What are the benefits of an Open Source NAS over an off-the-shelf NAS system?


The role of a NAS is the long term retention and sharing of data.  Videos, photos, financial, and medical records all need to be retained for tens of years…even multiple lifetimes.  This can’t be done with a single box and will require an evolving family of platforms and backup strategies. Open Source provides the benefits of long term evolution and migration options.  Data can be replicated and migrated easily between systems. New systems can be built with second-hand hardware and free Open Source software.  The user has control of their own destiny. That is Open Source economics. TrueNAS embraces Open Source economics and allows you to choose the hardware platform that best suits your applications and your budgets.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  33:35

How does the TrueNAS Community help a new user?


The TrueNAS Community is a fantastic resource for the average user. Because TrueNAS is Open Source, there are thousands of users that both have operating experience, but extremely good knowledge of how the software works and how to resolve systems integration issues, recover data, and troubleshoot hardware.  When you are trying to do something new with your system, it’s common to find that hundreds of people have already worked out how to set something up, or have the experience to tell you that you can’t get it to work. Community members can save themselves many hours of work and have a fun conversation. The TrueNAS forum is moderated to make sure forum posts are polite and welcoming.


Find the answer in the video Q&A here:  35:48


 


You can watch the original Q&A with Morgan Littlewood of iXsystems below:


 



If you have any further questions about TrueNAS that were not addressed in this Q&A, fire them below in the comments and we will have them featured in a follow-up interview this spring/summer. Thanks for reading.


 


 

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SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Beta Now Publicly Available

14 mars 2022 à 01:11

Latest Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Software Now Available to Test in Beta


If you are a terramaster user and have been wondering what the brand has had in store for it’s software in 2022, it would appear that they have been working busily on a host of improvements, upgrades and new features for the latest version of their NAS System, TOS 5. Now terramaster users are able to try out some of the new features and services that are included that range from a new self-isolation mode, to flexible RAID configurations, AI Photo recognition, Docker, Surveillance support and improved client sync applications. Remember, this is still a Beta and therefore you should not upgrade the firmware on your mission-critical system with this less stable beta! The TOS 5 beta is intended as a means of getting feedback from users on what works, what doesn’t;t and ultimately to help ensure the full release of TOS 5 is the best it can possibly be. So if you do want to test out TOS 5, get your backups in order first! Let’s discuss what is new and improved in TOS 5!


Note – We originally previewed an earlier build of Terramaster TOS 5 Alpha in the video HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel. LOADS more features have been added since this original alpha preview and we will soon be deep-diving into this newer Beta release very soon. Below is what Terramaster say is included in the new TOS ver.5 Beta. The original press release can be found here with further details, alongside existing features of TOS that will also remain and/or be improved upon in TOS 5 – HERE.


(from the official Terramaster new pages below)

New Features & Improvements in Existing Services


In TOS 5, not only have the storage structure and data interaction mode been reconstructed but also, compared with the previous generation, it adds more than 50 features and 600 improvements. The new features meet more business requirements, as well as significantly improve response speed, security, and ease of use.

Browser Access to TOS is Now 3x Times Faster


TOS 5 adopts progressive JavaScript language and a lightweight framework with faster loading speed. TOS 5 features bidirectional data binding, easier data manipulation, and automatic synchronous response to data changes in the page; UI, data, and structure separation makes it easier to change data without the need to modify logic codes. Using progressive JavaScript language, TOS 5 has a more lightweight framework. In addition, through two-way binding of data, the view, data and structure are separated. When the page is operated, it automatically responds to changes in data, which makes the system “lighter” and achieve faster loading speed.



New caching technology avoids network round trips between the server and the database, bypasses the calculation that occupies resources, saves server resources, and improves response time and waiting time, so TOS 5 has the fastest response time in the current TOS family. Compared with the last generation, the TOS 5 response speed has increased by 300%! Use WASM to optimize the calculation method and execute the back-end complex calculations on the front-end, thereby reducing the calculation pressure on the server. In addition, TOS 5 uses the most popular back-end language at the moment, which can support high concurrent requests. Compared with traditional interpreted languages, the compilation speed is faster. Further information on the newest version of TOS and how the GUI has been redesigned can be found HERE.

Improved Resource Monitor in TOS 5


The new iconic resource monitor board allows you to grasp the operating status of your TNAS comprehensively and intuitively in real-time; at-a-glance visibility of system load, CPU and memory usage, network traffic, disk I/O, device temperature, storage, processes, online users, listening ports, and system resource occupancy. Historical records of up to 30 days can be easily traced back.


Full One Button System Isolation Mode Available in TOS 5


TerraMaster’s unique security isolation mode completely isolates your TNAS device from the external network through network isolation, digital signature, and file format restriction, providing a safer operating environment and effective protection against virus and ransomware attacks.

Support of the WORM File System in TOS5


Data can be written at one time within the customized protection period and cannot be deleted or modified. This effectively protects your data from malicious damage, deletion, or tampering and provides data protection for up to 70 years; essential for the financial, judicial, medical, and scientific research sectors, as well as other business users.

Improved Storage, Backup & Sync Features in Terramaster TOS 5


TOS 5 features optimized storage architecture to reduce the system space occupation. The file deduplication system, file system compression, TRAID elastic array, and other functions also save you up to 40% of storage space

Single Portal Folder Level Backup for Home and SMB Users


Reduce complexity and embrace simplicity. All backup needs can be completed through a single portal, providing one-stop backup solutions including Central Backup, TerraSync, Duple Backup, Snapshot, USB Copy, CloudSync, and other comprehensive backup tools. This meets your clients’ disaster recovery and restoration requirements, as well as backup policies and destinations.

Business Focused ProActive Backups for Larger Business


To improve management efficiency, medium and larger-sized businesses need a centralized and active backup solution for multiple users, PCs, and servers. Centralized Backup is a business-oriented backup solution that supports backup and restoration for multiple device types. You can centrally backup data of dozens or even hundreds of PCs, servers, or virtual machines with only one TNAS.


New Flexible RAID Support in TRAID in TOS 5


By optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements. Much like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) in that you can mix drive capacities for improved storage after the RAID redundancy calculation. I reached out to Terramaster directly on this and they confirm that this function is supported in TOS 5.

Multiple Client Sync with TerraSync in TOS 5


TerraSync, a TerraMaster self-developed synchronization tool, realizes data synchronization between multiple users and multiple devices. It efficiently implements data sharing among branch offices and data synchronization between individuals on multiple devices and platforms, which assists employees in collaborative work and improves work efficiency.


New CloudSync Application for Bare Metal-to-Cloud Live Sync in TOS 5


The new CloudSync app integrates multiple cloud drives and syncs them into one application, including Google Drive, One Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Box, Dropbox, Koofr, OpenDrive, pCloud, Yandex disk, and Aliyun. This allows users to centralize the management of multiple synchronization tasks and add a variety of cloud disk synchronization options including Aliyun and Rackspace. A more flexible, stable, and efficient solution for data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives is facilitated by your choice of customized synchronization strategies, such as traffic control, scheduled tasks, and encryption.

CCTV Surveillance in Terramaster TOS 5


TNAS is an ideal video recording storage device. The new Surveillance Manager makes full use of TNAS storage resources to realize camera management, real-time monitoring, video storage, playback, query, event and activity monitoring and recording, providing you with economic and flexible video monitoring management tools to safeguard your personal and property safety.


AI Photo Recognition Now Available in TOS 5 with Terra Photo


Terra Photos is TerraMaster’s brand-new AI photo management application that provides smart solutions for your photo management and sharing; it uses intelligent AI algorithms to identify and classify faces, pets, locations, and other objects in your photos.


Docker Added to Existing Container Tools in TOS 5


Combined with docker-compose and portainer, the new Docker Manager features an optimized operation interface, with multiple new features which provide visual management that meets all your requirements for container customization and flexible configuration.


New Update to Terramaster’s Mobile App, TNAS Mobile 5


To adapt to TOS 5, TNAS mobile has also ushered in a comprehensive update, TNAS mobile 5. Featuring an optimized user interface and interaction, it has also added mobile phone backup, photo management, personal folders, team folders, data safebox, TerraSync, remote administrator, and other functions, which provide more convenience for remote access, mobile office, and remote management of your TNAS.


 

How to Access the Terramaster TOS 5 Beta?


Before starting the test, please be sure to read the following precautions carefully.


Precautions:

  1. A beta version is an early version of a program that contains most of the main features, but is not yet complete and may have some defects. This version is only released to a select group of people, or to the general public, for testing and feedback;
  2. The Beta version is not suitable for use in work or production environments. If your TNAS device is running business or storing important data, please do not participate in this test;
  3. The root file system, storage mount path, application storage location, and startup mode of TOS 5 are different from those of other versions. You will not be able to install TOS 5 through an update, but will need to reinstall the system. Reinstalling the system normally will not delete the data on your hard disk, but for safety, please be sure to back up your data in advance;
  4. The Beta version released this time is only applicable to TNAS models in X.86 series (220 series, 221 series, 420 series, 421 series, 422 series);
  5. Your current TOS version must be 4.2.09 or higher;
  6. TOS 5 Beta requires a new version of TNAS PC (Windows OS: V5.0.4 / macOS: V5.0.4) and TNAS Mobile (Android: V5.0.1 / iOS:V5.0.1).

Download link:


TNAS PC for Windows OS:    https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNAS PC_for_win_V5.0.4.zip
TNAS PC for macOS:    https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNAS PC_for_Mac_5.0.4.dmg
TNAS Mobile for Android: It will be published later.
TNAS Mobile for iOS: It will be published later.


How to install TOS 5 Beta?

  1. Download the TOS 5 Beta installation package:  https://download2.terra-master.com/TOS_X642.0_5.0.50_Beta_00063_2203071918.ins
  2. Log in to your TOS, go to control Panel > General Settings > Update & Recovery > Restore to Factory Defaults, select “Restore to Factory Defaults” and click “Apply” to clear your original settings;
  3. Your TNAS will automatically restart and enter the initialization guide page; If the initialization page is not displayed, please search the NAS IP address by TNAS PC, and enter the IP address in the browser’s address bar to access;
  4. Please select “Manual Installation”, upload the downloaded TOS 5 Beta installation package, and wait until the installation is complete;
  5. The system will automatically restart when TOS 5 Beta is successfully installed. After the system restarts, set the administrator settings as instructed to complete the system installation;
  6. After the system is installed, clear the browser cache. Otherwise, some system pages may not be displayed correctly.

Bug reports


As the Beta version is an early version of the program, there may be some defects, please do not pass the bugs of the Beta version to the public to avoid causing unnecessary trouble to others.
If you’d like report a bug, please send the description, reproduction method and screenshot of the bug to the email address: [email protected]


 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Dirty Pipe Linux Vulnerability – What Do Synology, QNAP, Asustor & Terramaster NAS Owners Need to Know?

16 mars 2022 à 01:10

Dirty Pipe Linux Weakness and Why You and your Linux Based NAS Should Care?


For those that might not be aware, a vulnerability in Linux kernel 5.8 and above was disclosed by Max Kellerman last week and publically disclosed (with a proof of concept demonstrating the weakness) and this vulnerability was reported (tracked under CVE-2022-0847) and effectively allows a non-privileged user to inject and overwrite data in read-only files, including SUID processes that run as root. This Linux vulnerability is reported to be comparable to the Dirty CoW vulnerability found in Linux from 7 years ago (CVE-2016-5195) where an exploit was used for pushing malware onto software services. Full details on the public disclosure and demonstration of the vulnerability by Kellerman can be found here, but the larger impact of this is that there are many, MANY different software platforms around the world that utilize Linux as the base of their systems and alongside Android and smart home appliances, one big advocate of Linux kernel-based development is NAS storage providers in their systems and services. Now, on the plus side, Linux was incredibly quick to implement a patch on this and the vulnerability has been closed on Linux kernels 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102, however, most NAS servers use different versions of the Linux kernel, as well as roll out updates to their varied hardware systems in a most bespoke fashion. This leads to them potentially running outdated kernels and leaving a door open to this exploit, posing a significant issue to server administrators. We fully expect NAS brands to roll out updates where appropriate/applicable shortly to close this vulnerability, however, one consistent thread in the past when some NAS brands have been hit by ransomware/malware exploits is when vulnerabilities that are found in older software revisions are left unchecked by the end-user (ignoring brand updates or practising unsafe network security). So today, let’s discuss the dirty pipe vulnerability, how/if it affects Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS platforms right now and what you should do right now to avoid any exploits being used on your system.


What is Dirty Pipe?


In brief, Dirty Pipe is a vulnerability in Linux Kernel 5.8 onwards that allows local users to inject their own data into sensitive read-only files, removing restrictions or modifying configurations to provide greater access than they usually would have. This was first registered and made publically known by Mark Kellerman and he gives an incredibly concise and detailed breakdown on the vulnerability, how he found it and it’s implications in this article by him.


“It all started a year ago with a support ticket about corrupt files. A customer complained that the access logs they downloaded could not be decompressed. And indeed, there was a corrupt log file on one of the log servers; it could be decompressed, but gzip reported a CRC error. I could not explain why it was corrupt, but I assumed the nightly split process had crashed and left a corrupt file behind. I fixed the file’s CRC manually, closed the ticket, and soon forgot about the problem. “Months later, this happened again and yet again. Every time, the file’s contents looked correct, only the CRC at the end of the file was wrong. Now, with several corrupt files, I was able to dig deeper and found a surprising kind of corruption. A pattern emerged.”” Kellermann said. 


A short while afterwards, a security advisor by the name of BLASTY updated this with an increasingly easier method of its execution and also publically disclosed it, highlighting just how much easier it made it to gain root privileges by patching the /usr/bin/su command to drop a root shell at /tmp/sh and then executing the script. This all means that it makes it possible for a user to gain admin authentication and system powers and can then execute malicious commands to the system.

Dirty Pipe PoC (https://t.co/ql5Y8pWDBj) works beautifully. 🤑pic.twitter.com/OrRYJE5skC


— blasty (@bl4sty) March 7, 2022



These can range from malware to (the increasingly more likely) a ransomware action that would encrypt the contents of the system and demand a fee for it’s decryption. Now, the nature of this exploit at this time (for systems that have not or cannot update to the latest patch Linux kernel 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102 right now) is still limited as it would only be usable in the event of a targetted attack and/or the need for a further utility or application in the system to execute the follow-up command. Now the extent to which this affected NAS Drives from the popular off the shelf private server providers is actually surprisingly diverse and a big part of that comes down to how each NAS brand is utilizing Linux. More precisely, different NAS brands are running their NAS system software on differing kernels of linux that they update over time, as well as individual systems in their respective portfolio (for reasons of hardware and utility) also run slightly different revisions of Linux for their software, eg Synology and DSM, QNAP and QTS, Asustor and ADM, etc. So, how does this affect each NAS brand, if at all?

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Synology NAS?



By the looks of things, Synology NAS and DSM 7/7.1 are not susceptible to the Dirty Pipe vulnerability. This is largely down to the Diskstation Manager software and services running on Linux kernel 4.4 (this will vary in subversion depending on the Synology NAS solution). The vulnerability that is executed is found in version 5.8 onwards and even if Synology update their platform to this linux revision in the near future, they would also use the patched revisions and therefore avoid the weakness. Indeed, a bold move by the brand themselves on Reddit when an official Synology rep on the /synology sub reddit made it abundantly clear (zero ambiguity) that the Synology NAS platform and DSM7 was not going to be touched by this:



This i further highlighted by the brand’s security advisory not even acknowledging this in any way HERE. Generally, Synology are s#!t hot on updating their advisories, so this is a very good sign and I would believe them on this (as well as the kernel versions backing this up).

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on QNAP NAS?



QNAP NAS, QTS and QuTS run a higher revision of the Linux kernel than Synology, which unfortunately means that this vulnerability (although targetted in design and closed in it’s scope). QNAP runs kernal 5.10.60 on it’s Prosumer, business and enterprise systems and kernal 4.2.8 on it’s more affordable/ARM systems. Once again, it is worth remembering that this si a vulnerability that was found in Linux, not QTS/QuTS, so not only is this something that is not QNAP’s fault but also that issuing a patch/firmware update for their software and services will not be immediate (as they run a modified linux platform and any update needs internal implementation and testing before rolling out). QNAP issued details on this remarkably quickly via their Security Advisory pages with an updated line on this and highlighted which systems in their portfolio were unaffected (running Linux Kernel 4.X onward) as well as ones that feature the affected linux revision that an update will be available for shortly. Here is a breakdown of what they said:


  • Release date: March 14, 2022


  • Security ID: QSA-22-05


  • Severity: High


  • CVE identifier: CVE-2022-0847


  • Affected products: All QNAP x86-based NAS and some QNAP ARM-based NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x


  • Not affected products: QNAP NAS running QTS 4.x


  • Status: Investigating


A local privilege escalation vulnerability, also known as “dirty pipe”, has been reported to affect the Linux kernel on QNAP NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x. If exploited, this vulnerability allows an unprivileged user to gain administrator privileges and inject malicious code. The following versions of QTS and QuTS hero are affected:

  • QTS 5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS
  • QuTS hero h5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS

For a full list of the affected models, please check “Kernel Version 5.10.60” in the following link: https://www.qnap.com/go/release-notes/kernel. QNAP is thoroughly investigating the vulnerability. We will release security updates and provide further information as soon as possible. Recommendation – Currently there is no mitigation available for this vulnerability. We recommend users to check back and install security updates as soon as they become available.


So, if you are curious if your system is running the affected linux kernel, you can find a list of QNAP NAS systems that feature 5.10.60 below:



QNAP are working on this right now and although an firmware update should be available quickly, I would recommend heading to the bottom of this article for recommendations on securing your storage and network setup either in the long term OR till an official patch is issued.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Asustor NAS?



In more positive news, not only is Asustor and ADM 4 not affected by the dirty pipe vulnerability but also the brand has been fantastically loud about this in their security advisory pages. This is one of those rare occasions where a brand has added an entry to their advisory pages for a vulnerability that is NOT impacting their systems. I kind of wish we saw more of this, as even if a brand is NOT affected by a weakness that is being reported on servers, users would rather be abundantly clear. You can find out more from Asustor’s security advisory pages HERE, but the details are available below:

Severity Status
Not affected Resolved

Details – A flaw was found in the way the “flags” member of the new pipe buffer structure was lacking proper initialization in copy_page_to_iter_pipe and push_pipe functions in the Linux kernel and could thus contain stale values. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to write to pages in the page cache backed by read-only files and as such escalate their privileges on the system.


Statement – None of ASUSTOR’s products are affected by CVE-2022-0847, this vulnerability issue only affects with Linux Kernel 5.8 and above. The Linux Kernel version built in ADM 4.0 is 5.4, and 4.14 in ADM 3.5.


So, they are making things remarkably clear that regardless of the current update/firmware status of your system, you are unaffected.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Terramaster NAS?



Details on the linux kernel that is utilized by Terramaster in their NAS systems in the current TOS 4 software that is available (As well as the TOS 5 beta) are still being investigated and I will update the article shortly with my findings. Early checks seem to indicate that TOS 4 is running on an earlier version of linux and therefore unaffected. However, I will confirm this and the TOS 5 beta status as soon as possible here in the article.

What Security Measures Should NAS Owners Take to Avoid Dirty Pipe?


Although the circumstances that need to execute this Linux dirty pipe vulnerability towards your NAS are quite restricted (classing this largely as a targetted attack, as a little bit more prior knowledge is needed about the targeted system in order to exploit it and execute code), this should still not leave users to remain complacent. Regardless of whether you are a QNAP, Synology, Asustor or Terramaster user, you should be actioning safe and secure working practices with your data – as well as ensuring that you have sufficient backups in place of your mission-critical and/or irreplaceable data! Here are some recommendations for your NAS setup to reduce the potential for you to be affected by any exploited vulnerability that could well be currently unidentified in your setup:


If you are concerned about being vulnerable to Dirty Pipe and want to ‘shut the doors’ a bit till a firmware update:

  • Disable Port Forwarding
  • Disable uPnP Auto Configuration Tools
  • Disable SSH & Telnet Services
  • Change Your Port Numbers

If you want to take a moment to do some security and access house-keeping:

  • Disable Admin Accounts
  • Enable Auto Updates
  • Add 2-Step Verification
  • Use Strong Passwords
  • Limit App File/Folder Access to applications they do not need them

And finally, most important of all – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!


I will repeat this as many times as it takes, but you should NOT be measuring the cost of your backups by the cost of the hardware. You should measure them by the COST to YOU if that data is permanently LOST! Additionally, if all your mission-critical/irreplaceable data is in ONE location (eg on the NAS, sent from your phones and PCs, then deleted from those to make space), then THAT IS NOT A BACKUP! That is the single repository of that data! Get a USB Backup in place, get a Backblaze Subscription HERE affordably or some cloud space in general, get another NAS – whatever it takes! If you need help arranging your NAS backups on your QNAP or Synology NAS, use the video guides below:


Finally, if you want to stay on top of the vulnerabilities that are publically disclosed on Synology, QNAP, Asustor or Terramaster, I STRONGLY recommend following and/or adding your email to the article below. We automatically crawl the security advisory pages from the top NAS brands and have created a single page that automatically lists and updates the status of known NAS vulnerabilities as soon as they are revealed.



Thanks for reading and let’s keep your data safe together!


 



 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Terramaster T12-423 Celeron based 12-bay NAS

18 mars 2022 à 01:06

TerraMaster Introduces 12-Bay T12-423 High-Performance NAS

Terramaster continues to roll out their new ‘423’ series of devices and for those that thought the recent 9-Bay solution that was revealed was intriguing will be pleased to hear that Terramaster have doubled down o this and crafted a new 12-Bay NAS solution in the T12-423. The Terramaster T12-423 NAS is their first 12-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other12-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos, such as the QNAP TVS-1288X or TVS-1282) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T12-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T12-423 FRONT T12-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T12-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T12-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster has only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this TWELVE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally, there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T12-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T12-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T12-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T12-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 12 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2 (SO-DIMM)
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 12
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 240TB (20TB x 12) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size  mm
Packaging Size  mm
Weight Net Weight:  Kg   Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A) (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in idle state)
Power Supply 500W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in read/write state)
W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in hibernation)
Limited warranty 2 years
Certificate FCC, CE, CCC, KC
Environment RoHS, WEEE
Temperature
Working Temperature 0°C  ~ 40°C (32°F ~ 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C ~ 60°C (-5°F ~ 140°F)
Relative Humidity 5% ~ 95% RH
Package Contents
Host unit (x1)
Power cord (x1)
RJ-45 network cable (x1)
Quick Installation Guide (x1)
Limited Warranty Note(x1)
Screws(a few)

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T12-423 12-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 4×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis in its narrow form is much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is a 12-Bay chassis, with an internal 500W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T12-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T12-423 will be available at approx $1399 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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Other products mentioned on this article:  

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

TrueNAS Core Software Review – GUI, Design & Storage Management

21 mars 2022 à 01:10

TrueNAS Core Software Review – Part I, Design, the Interface & Storage Management


Have you been considering a NAS for a few years, but looked at the price tag that off the shelf featured solutions from Synology or QNAP and thought “wow, that seems rather expensive for THAT hardware”? Or are you someone that wants a NAS, but also has an old PC system or components around that could go towards building one? Or perhaps you are a user who wants a NAS, but HAS the budget, HAS the hardware, but also HAS the technical knowledge to understand EXACTLY the system setup, services and storage configuration you need? If you fall into one of those three categories, then there is a good chance that you have considered TrueNAS (formally FreeNAS). The community supported and highly customizable ZFS storage platform that is available for free and along with regular updates has adapted over recent years towards diversifying different kinds of users, their setup’s and their requirements of TrueNAS. Today I want to review the TrueNAS software. In order to do this, I have been supplied with a Mini X+ 5 HDD/2 SSD Desktop system (hardware review on that soon) by iXsystems, a company with established ties with TrueNAS and the platform’s official enterprise hardware solution partner. This review is going to be conducted a little different than my normal NAS server reviews. Unlike a review of a new piece of NAS hardware, TrueNAS is a software platform that is significantly more flexible in it’s installation (ultimately available in one form or another on a custom PC build or even much smaller shuttle case builds). Equally, unlike many who have reviewed TrueNAS and it’s previous versions or recent splinters (e.g. FreeNAS, Core, Scale, Enterprise, etc), today’s review is going to be a fresh look at this platform, what it does better than Linux NAS systems like Synology or QNAP, what is does worse and ultimately help users who are thinking of moving towards the steeper learning curve of custom-built TrueNAS. What TrueNAS lacks in the ease and simplicity of traditional NAS drives, it can more than makeup for it in its sheer scope and potential to be more powerful, efficient and flexible overall. So, let me guide you through my highlights of 30 aggregate hours of use with TrueNAS.


Part II of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (23/03)


Part III of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (25/03)


Alternatively, you can read the (LONG) FULL Review of TrueNAS is available HERE.



TrueNAS Review Disclaimer – As mentioned in my introduction, my review of TrueNAS today was made on an iXsystem Mini X+, an 8-Core Intel-based system that featured 32GB of DDR4 memory, as well as arriving with 2x 10GbE ports, PCIe Upgradability and mixed storage media support. The system arrived with 5x WD Red Drives and 2x 2.5″ SSDs. This hardware does not impact the bulk of this review as TrueNAS is available as an open-source download that can be installed onto a custom PC, flashed server etc. However, the iXsystem Mini X+ arrives with TrueNAS Core and a few smaller extra bits that are exclusive to this more complete hardware+software package. Where appropriate, I will highlight it, however, the bulk of the features, settings and stand out areas of attention below can be applied to the free, standalone version of this platform. Additionally, there are references to enterprise features and TrueNAS Command (a wider remote deployment monitoring and management portal tool) that may be exclusive to that platform. Finally, my personal background is largely focused on traditional turn-key NAS solutions and therefore I decided to present this review on how things are done differently to NAS brands such as Synology and QNAP. You can find iXsystems Pre-built TrueNAS solutions over on Amazon here.

Review of TrueNAS – GUI & Deployment


First-time deployment of TrueNAS (after the initial installation of the software on the hardware system which will vary based on whether you have opted for an iXsystem solution or a custom build) is very straightforward. Once the system is booted, connected to your network and initialized, finding the device is possible via truenas.local. or obtaining it’s address from your switch or using an IP Scanner.



So, the first thing that I want to discuss about TrueNAS is the design. Finding a very interesting middle ground between providing all the configuration options in a single screen, whilst still not overwhelming the end-user, getting it pretty close to nailing it.


Alot More Hints and Tips than I was Expecting!


The first thing I was very surprised by in the design and deployment of the TrueNAS GUI was the sheer number of hints and information ‘i’s around every single screen. As TrueNAS and FreeNAS before it are built on FreeBSD, although there I expected a GUI, I did think it would still be rather command-line heavy still. However, not only are the controls of TrueNAS almost all displayed in a clearly visible GUI, but also I struggled to find a single option or choice that didn’t have a tip or guidance suggestion. This was a particular surprise as one of the biggest hurdles for most users considering moving from a turn-key NAS solution towards TrueNAS (custom or an iXsystem) is that intimidating climb up the steeper learning curve. It was a genuine and extremely welcome surprise to see how much guidance was available to even small and insignificant choices in the storage system setup where available.


Presentation of Storage and Resource Use is VERY Clear


Another thing that I fully expected to be present, but not to this level, was how the information on your storage areas (Pools, data sets, individual drives, etc) and the monitoring of your resources were displayed both analytically AND clearly. Of course, I expected TrueNAS to have the means to assess the system hardware health and status, but like most of my early personal experience with FreeNAS, UnRAID and FreeBSD years before, I thought this information would be available less in the GUI and more in command retrieval. However, the resource monitor and storage status (both, when delving into the system deeper and just via the initial splash screen of the GUI) provide an excellent level of information and in the case of the former, can be broken into a report form. Getting the presentation of storage on a GUI that can suit both the novice and the veteran techie is a tremendously tough line to balance and although there are a few areas where TrueNAS tends to ‘info-dump’ you a little, this area was no one of them.


Sharing Tab and its Breadcrumbs (WebDav, iSCSI, SMB, etc) Are More Intuative than Most


Another part of the TrueNAS graphical user interface that sets it apart a little from off the shelf NAS hardware+software is how the menu bar is displayed. With most NAS brands having their GUI comparable to popular operating system desktops (primarily Windows, MacOS or Android for the most part), TrueNAS’ GUI is a little bit more comparable to WordPress for the most part. The bulk of the config and service options are all located on the left-hand side of the screen and although there is only a handful at first glance, each one breaks down into subcategories quite quickly. The responsiveness of this menu system is particularly impressive and it’s easy to forget that you are accessing a remote system. Although the bulk of the tabs and options are where you would hope, one particular stand out example of things being done in a different and better way than most brands in the sharing tab/menu. Although most NAS brand software and GUI have tabs dedicated to sharing files (as well as contextual menus on files and folders), once you start breaking down into different sharing protocols, things get a little distance out and you end up having to keep multiple windows open to create and manage your cross-platform sharing environment. TrueNAS on the other hand has bulked these all together into the single tab and allows navigation through and between considerably more intuitive. Equally, the customization and configuration of shares and you delve deeper (although increasing the learning curve) are significantly more diverse to allow tweaking and improvements based on your setup.


Live Reports of System & Processes are Very Detailed and Quick to Navigate


Much like the Storage Presentation and Resource Use, getting reports of historical system information and active processes are much more detailed on the TrueNAS platform than I have seen from many NAS brands. TrueNAS uses Graphite for metric gathering and visualizations. Some general settings can be found in System > Reporting. Once again, it’s a fine line to have information regarding the server be presented in a fashion that is digestible to less storage-experienced users without potentially dumbing things down a little. Luckily these do still seem to present all the information that either tier of user is going to need and is done so by the information being broken down into sections that in turn can be delved deeper into by degrees. The UX of TrueNAS has clearly been thought about a lot and although many FreeNAS veterans might have disliked the changes in some areas towards making it simplified in places, there are still options for drilling down into system heath and history quite significantly.


Lots of Theme Customizations and a Theme Maker


A very surprisingly detail of TrueNAS is how much the GUI can be customized. Most NAS brands and their software allow the end-user (i.e that current user of many that have access credentials) to change minor details. The Wallpaper, their login icon and time/date display and pretty much the full range of choices. Given the fact most off-the-shelf NAS solutions are designed with being more user-friendly and attempting to de-mystified network storage for average users, I was VERY surprised that it was TrueNAS that had a greater degree of customization available in how the GUI is displayed. Colour schemes, logo changes, scaling, icon replacements, fonts, accents and changes to the top bar. There is a comparatively large amount of choice and customization compared with turn-key NAS solutions from Synology and QNAP and leans very well into the already established idea that TrueNAS is designed around custom builds.

Click to view slideshow.

No Avoiding That it is Still Very Stat and Tech Heavy some less experienced Users


As much as I like the GUI fo TrueNAS and how it has melded the controls very well to remain accessible to the experienced and inexperienced user, it has to be said that this is not done 50/50 and although there are hints, guides and recommendations by the system through all choices, it is still a very tech-heavy product and although the basic/top-layer decisions are user friendly, it isn’t going to be long before the full pages fo customization and configuration choices presented in the TrueNAS GUI are going to be a little overwhelming for those that are more used to these tougher decisions being hidden behind presets or set up behind a scaled option of security. In a few other areas of TrueNAS, this is addressed with an ‘advanced’ tab or mode option that until pressed will hide these tougher elements of the setup unless needed. Sadly this is not a system-wide design choice in the GUI and the TrueNAS UX is something that can demand accelerated learning. Alot of this might be solved with ‘easy’ ‘intermediate’ or ‘expert’ table opens on the bulk of pages, but as it stands it can sometimes be a bit of a ‘cannot see the wood because of all the trees’ situation when looking for a specific option in a menu, as there are 10-15 choices/boxes on the screen. The TrueNAS UI in the latest version IS very good and considerably more user-friendly than I thought it would be, but I would still be reluctant to call it novice-friendly.


No Search Functionality at the Home Screen


This was something that, despite the arguably higher skill level that TrueNAS commands in it’s user base, I was still surprised was absent – A search feature from the main GUI. It would not be a commonly used feature, however, I have met plenty of less experienced users or those in a rush looking for a specific option/service/setting that would appreciate a search functionality to be available. There ARE a few services and options in the menus that feature search functionality, but they are generally always limited to that specific function and not system-wide.

Review of TrueNAS – Storage


Realistically, THIS is the thing that is going to be paramount to most users of TrueNAS, Storage! But simply storing data is not enough, it is about how well it stores it, how customizable it is to different user environments, how secure it is in terms of backups and redundancy, how robust it is and the maintenance of that storage moving forward. TrueNAS arrives with ZFS (zettabyte File System), an enterprise-ready open source file system, RAID controller, and volume manager with unprecedented flexibility and an uncompromising commitment to data integrity. It eliminates most, if not all of the shortcomings that veteran storage professionals claim are apparent in ‘EXT4’ or the much newer ‘BTRFS’ file systems from brands such as Synology and QNAP NAS devices. Alongside the widest support of ZFS currently available in the market, TrueNAS also is one of the most scalable solutions available in the world (in part thanks to that freedom in building the hardware architecture being available and the open-source design of the platform allowing migration being considerably more seamless as you change out hardware over time. ZFS also brings big advantages in deduplication and compression techniques that improve how much data is being written to the system, whilst simultaneously simplifying the internal pathways of the system to larger bulks of users. In recent years, turnkey solutions from Synology and QNAP (as well as more affordable brands such as Asustorand Terraamster) have provided a degree of duplication on their platforms (QNAP seemingly extending this more than most) but ZFS has most of the architecture for these processes natively built into it and although you WILL need to bulk up on your hardware (16GB memory recommended in most cases if you want both for example), it still allows TrueNAS to stand out. Here are the elements of TrueNAS storage that stood out for me.


Exceptionally High Level of Access Control Options and Configuration of Data Sets


If there are two areas of consistency throughout TrueNAS storage that need to be highlighted above all others, it would be control and security. At practically every tier of the system’s internal storage management, you are able to apply numerous measures of bespoke user choice protection. More than the fact that standard elements of encryption, ACL and storage segmentation are available here, but more the sheer depth of it. You are able to assign extremely rigid access controls to your storage pools, zDevs, zVols and data sets from the ground up, as well as the branch these security measures into select user and group access (which can be changed by a superuser on the fly with ease). Along with that, ACL support is extremely wide-ranging, giving you the means to create areas of storage that are completely inaccessible (in either direction) by the greater system that ensure that storage can be created quickly, but without opening doors to your mission-critical storage. This bespoke control extends quite heavily to the configuration of Access Control Levels, as access Control List (ACL) is a set of account permissions associated with a dataset and applied to directories or files within that dataset. ACLs are typically used to manage user interactions with shared datasets and are created when a dataset is added to a pool. TrueNAS seemingly allows a create degree of control on this than most NAS systems on the market right now.


Excellent level of support of SED Media and Encryption levels in General


Then with Security, TrueNAS covers this in a few key areas. First off, several methods/protocols of encryption are supported by the system (giving the end-user a choice at the setup level) and generally ‘choosing’ your encryption method is not something offered by most brands to this extent (or at all in many cases). Next, there is the fact that encryption can be applied at every level of thes storage is required. When we look at some other NAS brands that included encryption, they tend to include encryption at the shard folder or volume level (pool level is supported with the use of encrypted drive media). TrueNAS is one of the very few several software on the market that provides native and configurable encryption at every level (storage pool, volumes, data sets, etc) and along with support of key management, there are additional failsafe options available that also passphrase support too. Finally, you have the support of self-encrypted drives (SEDs) in the system that can be fully utilized and that additional encryption be afforded to the greater storage system with the others. In short, you can create a fantastically encrypted storage system to an unparalleled degree in trueNAS. Again, not too shabby for an open-source bit of software!


Unrecommended Storage Configuration Choices Need to be ‘Forced’ to be actioned


One issue that will inevitably come to providing software that is highly customizable is giving the end-user too much rope to hang themselves with! Once you make your way past the rudimentary aspects of storage, the end-user can start putting together the building blocks of their storage inefficiently (or worse still dangerously) and run the risk of creating a basis for their storage for years to come that is inherently flawed. Balancing that line of allowing complete control and customization, whilst stopping a user from doing the wrong thing is a tough line to tread (QNAP have been walking this one as best they can for years too). TrueNAS has addressed this with a (very) soft lock system. When building your storage, if you are configuring the resources in a less than optimal/safe way, the system will give you a warning on the screen that details the potential downside/detrimental effect of your action. This warning can then be closed/dismissed and in order to continue, the ‘continue’ option will be joined with a button ‘force’. This is TrueNAS’ middle ground to allow creative freedom, whilst letting the end-user know that the action they are performing has a layer of risk attacked. For example, you are configuring a RAIDZ2 (think RAID 6) and you are using 8 disks that are not all uniform in capacity, but you do not care/want to proceed anyway. This is where the system would present you with a warning to ‘force’ through. The same thing when you build pools without redundancy or use differing media interface types outside of a fusion pool or cache setup. It is by no means a perfect solution, but at least TrueNAS have clearly understood that they need to steer things a bit at times.

Copy on Write Architecture is an additional Layer of File Level Error Recovery


An interesting architectural advantage of TrueNAS utilizing ZFS is the support of CoW (Copy on Write). This is a system of checksum built data health that involves a brief period of two actions of write occurring on any data being sent to the TrueNAS serve, which are then compared for consistency and then a single final, verified version of that data resides. ZFS does not change the location of data until a write is completed and verified. This ensures that your data isn’t lost during an interrupted task such as a power outage. ZFS uses a 256-bit hash of the data in a file system block, known as a checksum. This checksum ensures data integrity during writes. The way it handles and tests writes means that each write is tested, eliminating storage degradation such as bitrot. It also eliminates the write hole which allows for silent data corruption within RAID. Similar methods of data health and verification are utilized in other storage technology (such as ECC memory and in the write actions of BTRFS) but not to this extent and in such a widespread way. Writes do not overwrite data in place; instead, a modified copy of the block is written to a new location, and metadata is updated to point at the new location.


Support of RAIDZ Means that Initial Building is Faster and Recovery More Precise


One of the long understood advantages of ZFS that TrueNAS provides immediately (perhaps to the jealousy of EXT4 and BRTFS system users) is the utility of RAIDZ. RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is the ability to combine multiple media drives into a single storage pool that provides some/all of the benefits of increased storage performance, storage performance and redundancy (eg a safety net to still access/recover your data in the event of a drive failure). RAID and RAIDZ are similar on the face of it (with support of striping and mirroring), but it is a lot of difference in the larger arrays in terms of building, writing and recovery. RAIDZ has some interesting benefits, the first and most obvious is that a RAIDZ compared with a RAID5 takes minutes, not hours to build! Additionally, RAIDZ has a better understanding of empty blocks and that becomes beneficial in the event of a RAID rebuild, as in the event a drive fails and you introduce a new HDD/SSD, RAIDZ will ONLY need to rebuild the areas onto the replacement disk that data original resided on (using parity data from the other present disks) and then just zero’ing the rest of the disk. Similar systems like this have arrived from Synology on their platform for after RAID recovery (still using TBRFS) but still not as fluid and native as in ZFS. Striped VDEV’s, Mirrored VDEV’s and Striped Mirrored VDEV’s are essentially the same as RAID0, RAID1 and RAID10 accordingly with one difference; automatic checksumming prevents silent data corruption that might be undetected by most hardware RAID cards. ZFS uses the additional checksum level to detect silent data corruption when the data block is damaged, but the hard drive does not flag it as bad.

  • RAIDZ (sometimes explicitly specified as RAIDZ1) is approximately the same as RAID5 (single parity)
  • RAIDZ2 is approximately the same as RAID6 (dual parity)
RAID5 example of parity
Disk 1 Disk 2 Disk 3 Disk 4
1 2 3 P
5 6 P 4
9 P 7 8
P 10 11 12

RAID5 places blocks in a regular pattern. You only need to know the block number (address) to determine which disk stores the block, at what address, and where the corresponding parity block is. Also, with N disks, exactly one parity block is stored for every N-1 data blocks.



In RAIDZ, ZFS first compresses each recordsize block of data. Then, it distributes compressed data across the disks, along with a parity block. So, one needs to consult filesystem metadata for each file to determine where the file records are and where the corresponding parities are. For example, if data compresses to only one sector, ZFS will store one sector of data along with one sector of parity. Therefore, there is no fixed proportion of parity to the data. Moreover, sometimes padding is inserted to better align blocks on disks (denoted by X in the above example), which may increase overhead. However, we have still not touched on two more core advantages of ZFS and it’s RAID management…

3 Disk Redundancy is Available and Should Get More Kudos!


TRIPLE DISK PARITY! Now, if you don’t know what that is, then you can be forgiven for wondering why I have put that in capital letters. However, those that know, love it. In short, RAIDZ3 is the 3 disk fault-tolerance storage pool configuration that is largely unavailable conventionally in any other RAID configuration, requiring at least 5 disks (again, HDD or SSD) it means that you can withstand 3 drives failing. Now, if that sounds like tremendous overkill, then let me share a fun fact with you! Most drive failures that I have witnessed (and I welcome commentors to contribute on this) do NOT stem from poor treatment of a single drive, dropping an enclosure or poor individual handling. No, the bulk of drive failures I have witnessed have stemmed from three causes (looking at logs and SMART info):


  • Inherent fault at the point of manufacture or in the logistics chain that has developed over time
  • Overworked system hitting RAID arrays harder than intended 24×7 etc, or just designed drive workloads being exceeded in general
  • Critical larger system failure in the middle of a widespread write action (eg power failure as all drives are engaged for writing)

Now, in THOSE three examples, the key factor to keep in mind is that in none of them is an HDD or SSD on its own. At manufacture in bulk, in transit in crates of 20x at a time or in larger setup RAID array – the things that harm the storage media is hitting several at once. Even if you ignore the degenerative factors of exceeding workloads and system critical failure damage, there is no avoiding that when you buy multiple HDD/SSD from a single e-retailer (eTailer?), they do NOT provide you with multiple drive with each drive from a different crate/carton. No, that would be spectacularly inefficient for any retailer. No, you have to accept that there is a % chance that as soon as 1 drive fails that (without identifying to cause) that another drive in the array could fail for the same reason soon. So a double disk redundancy such as RAIDZ2 or RAID 6 would give you extra time – but how much time? Who known. But if your data is mission-critical and you weigh up the cost of another HDD in a custom build design such as TrueNAS, a triple parity RAID system starts to make a lot of sense.


ZFS ReSilvering Often Overlooked Safety Net


Another wildly overlooked and misunderstood advantage of ZFS and TrueNAS’ utility of it is in the support of Re-silvering. For those unaware, resilvering is when a drive that WAS part of the RAID array is disconnected and reconnected in a brief window that allows the system to identify that the drive belongs in the original pool and re-embraces it quickly. In practical terms, imagine your system suffers a very brief SATA/Controller board malfunction and a drive is dismounted (software level). Alternatively (and something surprisingly more command than you might think) an HDD in a tray/bay of the NAS might be accidentally physically ejected. Resilvering would allow the system to KNOW that the drive is part of the set and reintroduce it. In EXT4 or BTRFS, that brief disconnection would result in the RAID pool changing to a degraded status and the end-user would be forced to 1) endure a slower system as data is being exchanged with the pool in this parity-reading state as 2) the system wipes the former HDD/SSD to re-write all the data it had already and 3) unnecessary stress is placed on the system resources throughout. In ZFS and TrueNAS, the system would SEE that the recently ejected/dismounted drive is part fo the pool, verify that it has the data in place and then re-introduce the drive. the time this takes is largely based on how long the drive was disconnected (and data written in the interim) but it can genuinely take seconds or minutes – unlike the hours to days that a RAID recovery from a degraded state would take.


USB Storage Media is Visible and Managed in the Storage Manager


It is a very small detail but one I think is worth highlighting. Namely that USB storage media in TrueNAS is handled much differently than in other turnkey NAS solutions from Synology and QNAP. In those latter examples, USB storage is treated at arms length, visible in the file manager in the GUI of course, but then only really visible for use in the backup tools (which is still great). In TrueNAS however, USB storage media is visible, configurable and manageable directly from the storage manager. Now, obviously spreading a RAID over SATA storage media and a USB drive would be ridiculously dangerous for storage, however, there are still plenty of benefits and management advantages to having external storage visible alongside the management of the rest of the storage – aside from backup management and configuring the access privileges of the drive media, it also allows the USB drive to be managed for scheduled tasks and processes alongside the rest of the system and integrated into the reports and monitoring of the TrueNAS system. It is a small detail, but one that really stood out for me when comparing TrueNAS against Synology DSM and QNAP QTS USB media management overall.


Fusion Pools of Mixed Storage Media is Great and Rarer Than You Might Think


Another (relatively) recent addition to TrueNAS and its use of ZFS is the option to create fusion pools. A comparatively streamlined process, when you think about how technical and advanced the average options of TrueNAS can be to the end-user, fusion pools allow you to introduce mixed tiers of storage of different performance and combine them into a single visible pool, but in the background the system is sending data to the drive media that is best suited to supply it – so metadata on the SSD media, larger bulkier sequential data on the HDDs etc. ZFS sends writes to individual physical disks rather than just a RAID volume. This allows for stripe writes across RAID volumes and can perform synchronous writes to speed up performance. This model also ensures there are no long waits for file system checks. ZFS incorporates algorithms to make sure your Most Recently Used (MRU) and Most Frequently Used (MSU) data are stored in your fastest system storage media. Utilizing MRU & MSU combined with flash/NVDIMM ZILs/SLOGs and ARC/L2ARC devices, you can speed up your performance astronomically. Similar systems to this exist in QNAP’s EXT4 service ‘tiered storage’ and both they and Synology offer NVMe SSD caching services in conjunction with an existing pool/volume, but again this is done to a considerably higher and more customizable degree in TrueNAS. It just takes more time and knowhow to set up though.


Smart/Intuitive Option to Define Drive Media Use


Then there is an interesting storage setup choice that TrueNAS offers that is actually quite a bit of fresh air versus the more complex elements of it’s configuration. Namey that the system also includes an option to specifically designate a soon to be created area of storage to a task/use. So, if you have introduced one or more drives to your custom build server, you can choose whether you want this to be an independent new pool as a hot spare, to factor as additional storage redundancy, dedicated deduplication storage, designate the space for metadata (SSD recommended of course) and more. It is a surprisingly user-friendly option amidst all the complexity and a welcome addition to save time and headaches!

No Native Browser GUI Based File Manager


One missing feature of TrueNAS that really surprised me was the absence of a browser-based file manager. Now, on the face of it, many will argue that the GUI of your storage system should be reserved for system management, configuration and for troubleshooting (some even erring away from browser GUIs entirely in favour of SSHing etc directly into the system as a superuser for these tasks for pace). Equally, once you have correctly created and configured your storage (along with creating shared paths and enabling the right file access protocol in TrueNAS) you will be able to mount and access your storage in a drive, folder and file level in your native OS (arguable BETTER). However, the ease and added benefits of ALSO being able to access your system storage from time to time in even a simple file/folder level in the GUI cannot be overstated. Sure, you CAN create a very based root directly breadcrumb style breakdown in a browser tab – but with most NAS brands offering the same OS-level native file/folder access AND offering a web browser GUI file management option (with copy, paste, archive, thumbnails, sharing, editing) AND mobile applications to do the same. It is really odd that this is not a native option in TrueNAS. You COULD use 3rd party tools of course to do this, but that would be a credit to those and not TrueNAS.

RAIDZ Still Takes Longer than Traditional RAID in ReBuilding Fuller Arrays


This is a small negative in the grand scheme of things and hardly something that leaves TrueNAS/ZFS reflected too badly against EXT4 and BTRFS setups, but although ZFS Raid rebuilding IS much faster if your actual capacity used is smaller (only building the data/space used and hashing/zeroing the rest), that advantage does not help in the event of your storage pool being much fuller and in testing a RAIDZ at 90% full vs a near-identical RAID5 on 4x4TB actually took a pinch longer on the ZFS pool. Again, the difference was small and largely down to the additional checksums and verification of ZFS, but still, something to note.


Potential Defragmentation in Copy On Write Methodology


Earlier, we discussed that ZFS utilizes copy on write (CoW) in order to create a 2nd copy of the data for ensuring the integrity of the write action. Unfortunately, this can mean that TrueNAS can suffer from data fragmentation as time wears on. There are direct performance implications that stem from that fact. This can be avoided with scheduled/periodic de-fragmentation, but this can be time and resource-consuming depending on the volume of your storage. So potentially, the fuller your storage pool is with actual data, the slower it will ultimately get. Write speeds in ZFS are directly tied to the amount of adjacent free blocks there are to write to in order to maintain the CoW process. As your pool fills up, and as data fragments, there are fewer and fewer blocks that are directly adjacent to one another. A single large file may span blocks scattered all over the surface of your hard drive. Even though you would expect that file to be a sequential write, it no longer can be if your drive is full. This can be an often overlooked and direct reason for long term performance drops in some systems over time if left unchecked. I have personally not experienced this, but it has been discussed online (forums, reddit, etc) and therefore I still thought I should address this.

Still Not Especially Novice or even soft IT knowledge Friendly User


Despite the big efforts by TrueNAS to demystify the complexity of storage management in several areas of its storage area (fusion pools being partially automated mixed media pools, the suggested vDev drive drop-down, USB management in that same area and ‘force’ warning options to name but a few), there is still no avoiding that TrueNAS is CONSIDERABLY more complicated to setup your storage and is a large jump from the frank simplicity of Synology and QNAP. Some would argue that the simplicity offered by turnkey/off-the-shelf NAS solutions are incredibly restrictive and inherently limiting, but there is still a substantial learning curve to setting up your storage in TrueNAS that needs to be appreciated and understood at the outset.


In the next part of this review of TrueNAS later this week we will be looking at Account Management, as well as how Business Users who are considering TrueNAS for their enterprise storage can get support and how far that support extends.


Part II of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (23/03)


Part III of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (25/03)


Alternatively, you can read the (LONG) FULL Review of TrueNAS is available HERE.


 


 

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TrueNAS Core Software Review – Account Management, Alerts, Notifcations & Business Support

23 mars 2022 à 01:17

TrueNAS Core Software Review – Part II, Managing Accounts, Alerts & Business Support


If you are considering managing your own private server, want to build it yourself (investing your budget primarily into the hardware) and want to take advantage of free to download open source software, then there is a huge chance that you are aware of TrueNAS. In part two of my full review of the TrueNAS Core software, I will be looking at how business users are going to find the account management of TrueNAS, how those accounts can be adapted/changed on the fly, what authentication methods are on offer to those accounts, how detailed the alerts are, in what ways can those concerned by notified as quickly as possible and just what options are available to business users who like the flexibility of TrueNAS but want commercial-grade support. We have a lot to cover, so I won’t waste much of your time, but I should add that today’s review was made possible with help from iXsystems providing a Mini X+ TrueNAS system. iXsystems is the business arm of the open-source TrueNAS platform and they provide the means for users who like the FreeBSD platform to have more of a turnkey ‘off the shelf’ solution at their disposal. If you want to read the FULL review, you can read the (LONG) FULL Review of TrueNAS is available HERE.


Part I of the TrueNAS Review Can be found HERE


Part III of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (25/03)

Review of TrueNAS – Accounts Creation, Control & Management


Given the rather technical, bespoke and detailed nature of TrueNAS, it is easy to understand why the solution is aimed at business users who want things set up in a ‘certain way’. Although turnkey solutions are easier to deploy and are generally more user-friendly, they are more often than not too rigid and inflexible for businesses to use in their larger business models. In most cases, a TrueNAS custom-built (or iXsystem) will be deployed in the center of a business and accessible from many, many company staff for backups, email, document archives, hybrid sync storage and more. Therefore it is important to review how TrueNAS handles multiple accounts, how security is afforded to these accounts and how privileges and access to more mission-critical or confidential data are managed. TrueNAS features a quick and easy means to create multiple users and/or groups for the host user network (as well as connecting these with remote access as required). Let me talk you through what stood out for me in TrueNAS when it comes to account management.


Significant Range of Security and Account Configuration Options


Creating a user account in TrueNAS is incredibly straightforward, as well as making each account as secure as possible. Each account has the standard username and password settings you would expect, but then they delve quite a bit deeper into how you want these users to access the system, their subgroups (which then allows you to create bulk protocols/privileges for all users in that group quickly) and the nature of their account. Options such as which file directories this user can interact with can be set to rear only, write or full access are fairly standard, but I like the options for locking some user accounts easily, creating unique SSH keys, creating temporary admin powers and rotational/changeable passwords are a nice extra touch. As the system is predominantly designed to be remotely accessed via 3rd party client OS’ and 3rd party client software, the more customizable user account features of user images and bespoke desktop GUI found on NAS systems such as Synology and QNAP are absent, but this is still a very easy and detailed user creation element to TrueNAS.

Good Support of Microsoft Account Authorization


It’s a relatively small extra detail, but user account security in TrueNAS also includes an option to integrate the use of Microsoft account security when accessing the storage on the server. This is applicable to any system running Windows 8 or higher (including Windows 11) and allows the authentication methods that are used in the Windows operations system to be used to further verify the identity of a connected user. This user service is not exclusive to TrueNAS of course, but it is another neat piece of third party crossover support that the software includes in its open-source architecture.


Impressively Configurable 2-Step Authentication


The fact that TrueNAS features the support of 2 step authentication (also known as 2FA – 2 Factor authentication) is not going to be a huge surprise for many, given its ubiquitous appearance on pretty much all software clients in the last few years. For those that arent aware, in brief, two-step authentication allows you to have a 2nd degree of user authentication when logging into a service/software alongside your password, as your phone will need to provide a randomly generated code every time when you log in. You need to use one of the many authentication client tools available online (with Google Authenticator being one of the most used for mobiles), but it is surprisingly easy to set up. Where 2-Step authentication in TrueNAS differs from most is the level of configuration that is on offer within the 2FA settings.



Most systems will provide you with the option to simply synchronize with the authentication tool you are using (3D generated barcode or long passkey as best suited to the end-user). TrueNAS on the other hand allows you to change the authentication interval that the randomly generated code changes (usually 30 seconds) to longer for those that need it for accessibility support, as well as change the validity period/number of attempts before a potential lockout. Then you have the option to customize the length of the one-time password (OTP) to greater than the usual default 6 digits (something I have not seen offered by any other NAS brands in 2022). Finally, there is the choice to integrate the requirements for 2-step authentication into SSH logins (command line access with an SSH client window tool such as Putty), which given the huge degree of SSH access built into the typical TrueNAS use scenario, it definitely beneficial.

No Bulk Group or User Creation Options


One small but present absence that I noted in TrueNAS was the lack of an option to create bulk users at once or to import an existing CSV or .xlsx file. This is a very minor detail of course and only applicable to users who have larger volumes of users they wish to move over to a new server from an existing setup, but I am still surprised that it is absent in TrueNAS Core. I have contacted iXsystems to enquire about this and apparently it IS an option that is available in TrueNAS Scale, but nevertheless, I am disappointed that it is not available across the whole platform.

Review of TrueNAS – Alerts & Notifications


Most users who are looking at getting a private server, although initially heavily invested in tinkering and playing with the device, will eventually want the system to just sit in the corner, be quiet and do it’s job! It’s understandable, as interesting as the software and services are, ultimately a NAS (TrueNAS or otherwise) is a tool and as soon as you have set the device up to do the thing you specifically need it to, you want to go back to doing other things and whilst your NAS carries on. However, whilst that is true, in the event something is wrong or out of the ordinary system processes are noticed internally, you want the TrueNAS to tell you ASAP! Most NAS systems have inbuilt notifications and alerts that can be pushed to select/all end users that can be tailored to preferred client devices and methods. In the case of TrueNAS there are (as you might expect) a wide, WIDE variety of settings and choices for delivering those all-important notifications and although in the case of many apps being 3rd party (therefore having their own notification and alert schemes in place as appropriate), the greater storage system, network/internet connections and user behaviour alerts are still pretty extensive in their alert options. Here is what stood out in TrueNAS for me in this area.


VERY Customizable Alerts and Notification Customization


I really cannot stress enough how diverse the range of alert configuration options that TrueNAS allows you to adapt. The window above is just a small example of the many, many windows available although it is a long, long list of options, you cannot really suggest that TrueNAS didn’t cover all the scenarios. There are even slightly more customizable ones that you can add too. The delivery of these alerts is a little less straightforward than those found in Synology/QNAP (which have proprietary client apps for mobile and desktop that allow faster alert methods) but a large number of platforms are supported in TrueNAS for notifications that include email, Slack, AWS, InfluxDB, Mattermost, Pager Duty, SNMP Trap and more. Alongside incredibly concisely built alert parameters, each one can be scaled in priority and in turn, its urgency adjusted.



TrueNAS uses a 7 tier alert priority scale and you can adjust each alert & notification variable in the wide-ranging list to your own requirements. For example, if you were running a shared storage area with a team of 10 users and 8/10 of those users were accessing the system at once (potentially bottlenecking the network in a 1GbE network, depending on the file volume/frequency), you might want the system admin/IT to know this. It isn’t a high-level alert, more of a case of being aware of the additional network load. In that case you can setup an alert of bandwidth/zdev access above a certain level/% and suitable admin to receive a level 2 notification (NOTICE) so they are aware. Alternatively, example 2, there have been several failed login attempts under a specific user account, but eventually that user has logged in successfully. This might be a cause of concern as repeated password attempts could so easily be an unauthorized individual connecting to the greater system. You can set the # of failed login attempts before an automatic lockout OR set an alert of level 3 ‘WARNING’ to alert a system admin to look into this account behaviour to access the situation. Alerts and notifications become significantly more intricate (breaking down into encryption certificates, hardware health, critical system failure, SSH/Telnet logins. etc) and this easy 7 tier alert system can be applied to all instances.


Build In Support Lines, Business Support tiers, Direct System Messaging System and Issue Reporting Mechanism in the TrueNAS GUI


As TrueNAS is an opensource and community-driven NAS platform, you would be forgiven for wondering just how much this all means when you hit a technical wall, encounter system roadblocks, need advice on a setup or just generally looking for guidance. One of the main appeals of an off the shelf/turn-key solution from brands such as Synology and QNAP is that as a paid hardwware+software solution, you feel that there will be technical support lines via live chat, email and even phone in some cases (depending on the level of solution of course) that a homebrew/DiY solution will not be able to supply. However, the support on a TrueNAS system is a little more diverse than that. If you build your own NAS system from scratch and install TrueNAS Core onto your system, you will not have access to premium/commercial level support, but you do have links in the TrueNAS GUI to community support, details online guides and access to the Jira support system that allows your query for assistance to be submitted to the community pool. There are also provisions there to check if your issue has already been documented and resolved elsewhere. These links are immediately available from within the GUI in multiple areas.



But if you are a business user, despite the TrueNAS open-source/freely available status, you may well have opted for it for it’s customization and flexibility compared with off the shelf NAS solutions. Therefore you might still want paid/commercial/enterrpise grade support. This is where the distinction between going TrueNAS DiY and pre-built TrueNAS from iXsystems becomes a little clearer, as iXsystems are the official pre-build provider of TrueNAS and with their solutions, they offer a scaled range of support options that include numerous contact methods. In addition to all the TrueNAS CORE support options that are still available, TrueNAS Enterprise customers who purchase hardware from iXsystems can receive assistance from iXsystems if an issue occurs with the system. Silver and Gold level Support customers can also enable Proactive Support on their hardware to automatically notify iXsystems if an issue occurs. Here is how those support options scale and which systems support each tier:

Gold Silver Bronze Warranty
Software Help Desk 24×7 12×5
12×5 Limited
Hardware Support 4 Hour

On-Site Support & Repair

Next Business Day
On-Site Support & Repair
Advance Parts Replacement Return to Depot
Remote Deployment Assistance (60 days) Yes Yes Yes No
On-Site Hardware Spares Kit Included Optional Optional Optional
Proactive Support & System Monitoring Yes Yes No No
Advanced Hardware Replacement
Delivered the next business day
and/or Saturday.
Delivered the next business day. Delivered the next business day. No
After Hour Maintenance/Upgrade Assistance By appointment By appointment No No
Online Support Portal and Knowledge base Yes Yes Yes Yes
Software Updates Yes Yes Yes Yes
S1: Not serving data or severe performance
degradation, critically disrupting business.
Response within 2 hours, 24×7 Help Desk Support Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) Email support (Next business day) for S1 and S2 intermittent faults only
S2: Performance degradation in production or
intermittent faults.
Response within 4 hours, 24×7 Help Desk Support Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) Email support (Next business day) for S1 and S2 intermittent faults only
S3: Issue or defect causing minimal impact. Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) Email Response within 4 hours, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time (M-F) No support available.
S4: Request for information or administrative
requests.
Next business day response. Next business day response. Next business day response. No support available.

The level of support afforded to each tier of the iXsystem hardware portfolio is not quite as straightforward, however, as smaller-scale systems only support upto a bronze tier. Therefore on closer examination, you can only access the highest/most-involved customer support tier when you are looking at the enterprise tier hardware systems. Now, on the face of it, that makes sense in terms of priority as it is those highest volume use systems that are going to want the fastest and most responsive support. Equally, the most modest systems will be used by smaller-scale users and have smaller scale utilities in mind. Still, I know more than enough NAS users who choose more modest NAS systems from Synology and QNAP, BUT will push for extended warranties, 5year warranty enterprise storage media, choosing to allocate their storage server budget towards lengthy support periods for peace of mind/insurance. Here is how the commercial support options spread across iXsystem hardware options:

Model Gold Silver Bronze Warranty
M-series Available Available Available 3-Year Included
X-series Available Available Available 3-Year Included
R-series Not Available Available Available 3-Year Included
FNC Not Available Available Available 3-Year Included
Mini Not Available Not Available Available 1-Year Included. SW Warranty requires registration

In the case of my review, I have been using a TrueNAS mini x+ and below is how the support prices are based on this model of the TrueNAS iXsystem mini. It is worth noting that only systems with all hardware provided by iXsystems are eligible for software support and warranty. Enterprise Bronze Support is only available for customers that have larger TrueNAS systems also under Enterprise Support Contract. Component swaps are the standard process for resolving major issues.

Model 3-Year Silver 3-Year Bronze 3-Year Warranty Warranty
Mini E, E+ Not Available $299 $149 1-Year Included. SW Warranty requires registration.
Mini X, X+ Not Available $399 $199 1-Year Included. SW Warranty requires registration.
Mini XL+ Not Available $599 $299 1-Year Included. SW Warranty requires registration.

Overall, I think TrueNAS (and iXsystems) have balanced the level of support and assistance options that are available to most kinds of NAS user. It makes sense that a free-to-download software platform would not be able to provide a commercial/enterprise-grade support level without having to financially support this behind a subscription service. And they do not leverage this against the community support, opening encouraging this as an option and facilitating multiple methods of looking up similarly submitted and solved issues, streamline the community support process as much as possible and still presenting the choice to go down the paid-support route when needed. The face this support is not available in non-iXsystem TrueNAS setup’s might be a bit of a downer for some, but as mentioned multiple times in this review, the money that some users are saving in a custom/DiY solution in TrueNAS vs a turnkey/off-the-shelf solution from Synology/QNAP needs to be paid in learning how it all works. I think TrueNAS and iXsystems found the best middle ground possible here.

Larger Range of Configuration Options Can be Overwhelming and Lacks Convenient Preset Options


When I said that there are a lot of alert and notification choices built into TrueNAS, I was not kidding. Even at a casual glance, they are in the triple figures, and that is jsut on the outset. It IS true that the bulk of them are automatically set to one of the 7 pre-set alert levels by default, but if you have a slightly more secure/closed setup in mind for your system notifications, you are going to be spending hours, not minutes adjusting them all to your unique needs. The same goes if you want to run a more open setup for testing, as the TrueNAS default settings are a pinch higher than I would class as ‘casual’ in scaled alerts (better safe than sorry). Now, other turnkey solutions on the market combat this by providing various alert/notification switches BUT also arriving with security councillors/preset configuration dropdowns. In brief, I wish TrueNAS had a range of preset notification levels, perhaps set as ‘low-medium-high-business-enterprise’ that changed these settings in bulk and THEN you can go in manually where needed and change a few, allowing you to create a custom profile which you can then save as ‘CUSTOM’. Similar tiered/scaled choices exist in other areas of TrueNAS for other services that change bulk options on the fly, as well as ‘advanced’ tabs in places when you want to get your hands a little dirtier and play with options at a deeper level in the GUI. Overall though, I prefer to have too many alert/notification options that are not enough though!


In the third and final part of my review of TrueNAS coming later this week, you can find out what I thought about Security, Network Management, how the platform handles applications & Addons and my overall verdict of TrueNAS Core 12.


Part I of the TrueNAS Review Can be found HERE


Part III of the TrueNAS Review is HERE (25/03)


Alternatively, you can read the (LONG) FULL Review of TrueNAS is available HERE.


 



 

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Synology RS822+ and RS822RP+ Rackmount NAS Revealed

9 juin 2022 à 12:15

Synology RS822+ and RS822RP+ Rackstation NAS Unveiled

If you have been keenly following Synology hardware and software releases so far in 2022, then I think it would be fair to say that they have been rather business-focused. With many of us anticipating the reveal of a new plus series 22′ 2/4 Bay in their lineup, we have all rather been caught off guard with the number of Small/Medium-Business to Enterprise solutions revealed so far. And today we want to discuss another entry into that tier of the brand’s portfolio, with the Synology RS822+/RS822RP+ Rackstation NAS – a follow up to the RS820+/RS820RP+ NAS revealed back in 2019, that is going to arrive with a familiar range of hardware choices from Synology, but in this tight 1U expandable server. Arriving on the scene oddly close to the similar RS422+ NAS, the new RS822+ and RS822RP+ (same NAS, but redundant secondary PSU on board) is a much more expandable and upgradable solution in a number of ways and follows on from previous entries by Synology in this product line. Let’s take a closer look at the hardware on offer, how it will impact on DSM 7.1 performance and whether this system will deserve your data in 2022.

Hardware Specifications of the Synology RS822+ and RS822RP+ Rackmount NAS

Much like a number of PLUS series in the Synology portfolio that are geared toward small-medium business (SMB) users, the 4 Bay RS822+/RS822RP+ arrives with the AMD Embedded Ryzen V1500B quad-core processor that first debuted on the DS1621+ and DS1821+, so Synology has had plenty of time with this CPU to get the most out of it for DSM. Whereas the RS422+ NAS first revealed here 2 months ago which arrived with the AMD Ryzen R1600, so it will be interesting to see how these two processors will compare later down the line when they are both on the market. The system also arrives with a slightly underwhelming 2GB of memory, but this can be upgraded to an impressive 32GB of memory. Additionally, this memory is ECC (error-correcting code), so high volume and frequency transfers will have that additional checksum in the background to check data write as it passes through and repair the files that aren’t up to snuff! Oddly, this is another system that does not arrive with M.2 NVMe SSD bays, despite Synology highlighting the importance of caching on business transfers – especially odd when the 6/8 Bay systems with the same CPU/Memory architecture arrive with the 2 slots by default. You can add this, as well as network upgrades, via the available PCIe Gen 3 x8 upgrade slot on the rear though, so it is not the end of the world. Finally, we can see that the RS822+/RS822RP+ arrives with 4 LAN/Ethernet ports which are 1GbE each. Despite the advantages of this system supporting LAG/Port trunking to maximize that bandwidth, it is still slightly puzzling that Synology continues with implementing gigabit ethernet on their solutions in 2022. 2.5GbE and 10GbE are hardly mainstream (and the latter clearly would incur additional cost), but with most looking at a system like this to last them a good 3-5 years at least, that would have been a nice bit of future-proofing in terms of base-level connectivity and not partially limited behind an upgrade hurdle. Overall, the hardware here still results in a solid 4 Bay 1U NAS, but not a huge jump up from the RS820+/RS820RP+ outside of that CPU. Below are further specifications:

CPU model AMD Ryzen V1500B
CPU quantity 1
CPU architecture 64-bit
CPU frequency 4-core 2.2 GHz
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) Yes
System memory 2 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Pre-installed memory modules 2 GB (2 GB x 1)
Number of memory slots 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
Memo
  • Choose Synology Memory Module for best compatibility and reliability. Synology will not provide warranty or technical support if you extend your memory with non-Synology memory.
  • For more information on recommended memory configurations, please refer to your Synology product hardware installation guide .
  • Synology reserves the right to replace with higher frequency memory modules depending on the supplier’s product life cycle. Rest assured that the same benchmark will be rigorously tested for compatibility and stability to avoid performance differences.
Drive bay Four
Maximum number of bays when using expansion unit 8 (RX418 x 1)
Compatible drive types * (Click here for all supported drives)
  • 3.5 “SATA HDD
  • 2.5 “SATA SSD
Hot swappable drive Yes

RJ-45 1GbE LAN port * 4 (Link Aggregation / failover support)
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port * 2
eSATA port 1
Memo
  • The maximum transmission unit (MTU) for a 1GbE LAN port on this device is 1,500 bytes.
  • The USB 3.0 Standard has been renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 1 by the 2019 USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (x4 link)
Internal drive
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
External drive
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS +
  • exFAT
Form factor (RU) 1U
External dimensions (height x width x depth) RS822 +:44 mm x 480 mm x 492.6 mm
RS822RP +:44 mm x 480 mm x 518.6 mm
weight RS822 +:6.4 kg
RS822RP +:8.0 kg
Rack installation support * 4 pillars 19 inch rack (Synology Rail Kit –RKM114 / RKS-02 )
Memo Rail kit sold separately
System fan RS822 +:40 mm x 40 mm x 3 pcs
RS822RP +:40 mm x 40 mm x 2 pcs
Fan speed mode
  • Maximum speed mode
  • Cooling mode
  • Low noise mode
Power recovery Yes
Noise level * RS822 +:27.4 dB (A)
RS822RP +:38.8 dB (A)
Reserve power on / off Yes
Wake on LAN / WAN Yes
Power supply unit / adapter 150 W
Redundant power supply RS822 +:――――
RS822RP +:
AC input power supply voltage 100 V to 240 V AC
Power frequency 50/60 Hz, single phase
power consumption* 47.69 W (access)
16.7 W (HDD hibernation)
British thermal unit 162.83 BTU / hr (access)
57.02 BTU / hr (HDD hibernation)
Memo
  • Click here for details on how to measure power consumption .
  • The noise test was performed on an idle Synology system with all Synology SATA HDDs mounted. We installed two GRAS Type 40AE microphones 1 meter away from the front and back of the device. Background noise: 16.49-17.51 ​​dB (A), temperature: 24.25-25.75˚C, humidity: 58.2-61.8%
Operating temperature From 0 ° C to 35 ° C (32 ° F to 95 ° F)
Storage temperature -20 ° C to 60 ° C (-5 ° F to 140 ° F)
Relative humidity 5% to 95% RH

How does the Synology RS822+/RS822RP+ Compare with the Synology RS820+/RS822RP+ NAS?

Perhaps you have been considering the Synology RS820+/RS820RP+ already, considering upgrading from it or had already been holding out to see if the brand would introduce a follow-up in 2022? Whatever your reason, comparing the Synology RS820+ and RS822+ Rackstation NAS is not taxing. The new Ryzen V1500B CPU in the RS822+/RS822RP+ NAS being with it a much more proficient and capable system overall. Along with this, it allows the newer 2022 unit to support more memory (thanks to the system having 2 slots, not 1), ECC Memory included, faster overall transfers and ultimately means that you are going to get a  great deal more efficiency out of DSM’s day to day operations. So, if you want more hardware available for larger ranges of connected users and tasks, the RS822+/RS822RP+ has this advantage straight off the bat. After that, things are quite similar – both have a PCIe 3×8 slot, both support the RX418 expansion, both have 4x 1GbE LAN and USB 3.2 Gen 1 and both have a redundant PSU version available. Still, that greater performing CPU is going to seal the deal for many. Below is how they compare on the specifications table:

Hardware Specifications
Model

Synology RS822+

Synology RS820+

CPU Model AMD Ryzen V1500B Intel Atom C3538
CPU Quantity 1 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.2 GHz 4-core 2.1 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Memory
System Memory 2 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Total Memory Slots 2 1
Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB (16GB x 2) 18 GB (2GB + 16 GB)
Storage
Drive Bays 4 4
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 8 (RX418 x 1) 8 (RX418 x 1)
Compatible Drive Type* (See all supported drives)
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Hot Swappable Drive Yes Yes
External Ports
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port* 2 2
eSATA Port 1 1
PCIe
PCIe Expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (black, x4 link) 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (black, x4 link)
File System
Internal Drives
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
External Drives
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
Appearance
Form Factor (RU) 1U 1U
Size (Height x Width x Depth) RS822+ : 44 mm x 480 mm x 492.6 mm
RS822RP+ : 44 mm x 480 mm x 518.6 mm
RS820+ : 44 mm x 480 mm x 492.6 mm
RS820RP+ : 44 mm x 480 mm x 518.6 mm
Weight RS822+ : 6.4 kg
RS822RP+ : 7.96 kg
RS820+ : 6.4 kg
RS820RP+ : 7.96 kg
Rack Installation Support* 4-post 19″ rack (Synology Rail Kit – RKM114/RKS-02) 4-post 19″ rack (Synology Rail Kit – RKM114/RKS-02)
Notes The rail kit is sold separately The rail kit is sold separately
Others
System Fan RS822+ : 40 mm x 40 mm x 3 pcs
RS822RP+ : 40 mm x 40 mm x 2 pcs
RS820+ : 40 mm x 40 mm x 3 pcs
RS820RP+ : 40 mm x 40 mm x 2 pcs
Fan Speed Mode
  • Full-Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
  • Full-Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
Power Recovery Yes Yes
Noise Level* RS822+: 27.4 dB(A)
RS822RP+: 38.8 dB(A)
RS820+ : 27 dB(A)
RS820RP+ : 39.9 dB(A)
Scheduled Power On / Off Yes Yes
Wake on LAN / WAN Yes Yes
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 150 W 150 W
Redundant Power Supply RS822+ :  No
RS822RP+ :  Yes
RS820+ :  No
RS820RP+ :  Yes
AC Input Power Voltage 100V to 240V AC 100V to 240V AC
Power Frequency 50/60 Hz, Single Phase 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power Consumption* 47.69 W (Access)
16.7 W (HDD Hibernation)
37.94 W (Access)
20.96 W (HDD Hibernation)
Warranty 3-year hardware warranty, extendable to 5-year coverage – EW201 3-year hardware warranty, extendable to 5-year coverage – EW202

Hard Drive & SSD Compatibility on the Synology RS822+/RS822RP+ NAS?

It’s an important question for many users! Since Synology changed their support and compatibility position on a number of high-end business solutions in 2022 to change their supported HDD/SSD to feature only their own media, many have been concerned that this was a trend that would continue in other releases. I am pleased to confirm that this is not the case with the RS822+/RS822RP+ and this new 1U 4-Bay Rackmount NAS has a considerable number of 3rd party HDD vendors listed on the compatibility pages. It is still not exactly exhaustive and the available list of drives is not as wide in brand and capacity as we have seen on older Synology NAS releases, but it good to see that this system is not going to have the tighter compatibility on media that the likes of the DS3622xs+ and DS2422+ NAS arrived with at launch.

Software Specifications of the Synology RS822+/RS822RP+ NAS?

As the RS822+/RS822RP+ NAS system arrives with a familiar Ryzen V1500B and DDR4 ECC Memory architecture that was seen on the DS1821+ and DS1621+, we can already ascertain that its performance with DSM 7.0/7.1 is going to be very good. This is not a hardware architecture that is going to lend itself very well to high graphically demanding tasks (so 4K Multimedia is off the table) but these specifications will still run the entirety of the Synology first-party applications available for business (backups, the collaboration suite, VMs, Surveillance, cloud synchronization, etc). Here is a breakdown of what the RS822+/RS822RP+ Rackstation supports and to what extent:

DSM Product Specifications
Storage space management
Maximum single storage space capacity* 108TB
Maximum storage space 64
SSD Read/Write Cache (White Paper) Yes
SSD TRIM Yes
Supported RAID disk array types
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Basic
  • JBOD
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1
  • RAID 5
  • RAID 6
  • RAID 10
RAID configuration migration
  • Basic to RAID 1
  • Basic to RAID 5
  • RAID 1 to RAID 5
  • RAID 5 to RAID 6
Expandable storage space with larger hard drive
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
  • RAID 5
  • RAID 6
  • RAID 10
Add hard disk to expand storage space
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • JBOD
  • RAID 5
Global Hot Spare supports RAID types
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
  • RAID 5
Remark
  • The actual maximum storage pool and volume size depends on the hard disk capacity used, the number of available disk slots and the RAID type.
  • Maximum single storage space is not directly equivalent to maximum net total storage capacity. (see more)
  • The available capacity of each storage space is lower than the size of the maximum storage space, which actually depends on the file system and the amount of system metadata stored.
file service
archival agreement SMB/AFP/NFS/FTP/WebDAV
Maximum number of simultaneous SMB/AFP/FTP connections 500
Windows Access Control List (ACL) integration Yes
NFS Kerberos authentication Yes
Remark The test standard is based on the maximum number of simultaneous connections supported by this model. During the test, 25% of the connections were simultaneously transferring files. The transfer process only ensures that the connection is not interrupted, and the minimum transfer speed cannot be guaranteed.
Accounts and Shared Folders
Maximum number of local user accounts 2,048
Maximum number of local groups 256
Maximum number of shared folders 512
Maximum Shared Folder Sync Tasks 8
Hybrid Share
Maximum number of Hybrid Share folders 10
Remark For more details on the maximum number of folders for Hybrid Share, see this article .
high availability
Synology High Availability Yes
log center
Logs received per second 800
General Specifications
Internet Protocol SMB1 (CIFS), SMB2, SMB3, NFSv3, NFSv4, NFSv4.1, NFS Kerberized sessions, iSCSI, HTTP, HTTPs, FTP, SNMP, LDAP, CalDAV
Supported Browsers
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
supported languages English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska, Nederlands, Русский, Polski, Magyar, Português do Brasil, Português Europeu, Türkçe, Český, ภาษาไทย, Japanese, 한국어, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Remark For details on supported browser versions, please refer to the DSM Specifications .
Add-on Packages View Full Package List
Antivirus by McAfee (Trial)
Yes
Central Management System
Yes
Synology Chat
Maximum number of people online at the same time 100
Remark
  • Simulation of user environments, measured with an average of 20,000 messages, emojis, or stickers per user, requires less than ten seconds of server response time.
  • Where applicable, the system is tested with maximum memory installed and set to allow the maximum number of simultaneous connections.
Document Viewer
Yes
Download Station
Maximum number of download tasks 80
SAN Manager
Maximum number of iSCSI Targets 128
Maximum number of LUNs 256
LUN Clone/Snapshot, Windows Offload Data Transfer (ODX) Yes
Media Server
DLNA Compatible Yes
Synology Photos
face recognition Yes
Snapshot Replication
The maximum number of snapshots supported by a single shared folder 1,024
The maximum number of system snapshots 65,536
Surveillance Station
Maximum number of camera support channels (requires installation of camera authorization) 40 (with 2 free licenses) (check compatible IP cameras)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.264) 1200 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
800 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
350 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
280 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
170 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.265) 1200 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
1200 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
600 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
480 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
200 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Remark
  • The maximum number of IP cameras and FPS figures are obtained when the test rig is continuously recording with a full hard drive.
  • Actual system capabilities will vary based on system configuration, hard drive performance, number of features enabled, and presence of other workloads.
Synology Drive
Recommended number of clients that can be synchronized at the same time 350 (The number of devices that can be connected at the same time when the recommended number of files is stored)
Recommended number of files to store 5,000,000 (applicable to index or files belonging to Synology Drive , files accessed through other protocols, please refer to the file service in the above field)
Remark
  • Exceeding the recommended quantities above will not cause the kit to stop functioning, only longer response times.
  • Using SSD cache can significantly improve performance.
  • The Btrfs file system and unencrypted shared folders were used in the above tests.
Synology Office
maximum number of users 200
Remark
  • Test opening multiple files, each edited by 30 users simultaneously.
  • Client performance may affect the maximum number of simultaneous editing users. Client Test PC Specifications: Intel Core i3-3220 / 8GB RAM
Video Station
Yes
VPN Server
Maximum number of connections 40

Any Confirmation on the Price and Release of the Synology RS822+ and RS822RP+ NAS?

Right now we are still awaiting confirmation on the pricing and release date on the RS822+/RS822RP+ Rackstation NAS to be confirmed by Synology. However, it has already appeared online in the east of the globe and that likely means that we will see it’s release before the end of July at the latest. Add to this that the model name has ’22 in it and that means that Synology will likely want this model released before August (typically the tipping point for when model IDs change to the follow-up year, 22 > 23). Pricing will almost certainly be near enough identical to the price of the RS820+/RS820RP, at around the £800-900 – $900-950 o- €850-950 mark (your region and local TAX depending) but that is still unconfirmed. Stay tuned for more updates on this NAS by following me and Eddie on NASCompares.

You can check the availability and pricing of the RS822+ NAS via the links below:

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology & 3rd Party Hard Drives – What You CAN and CANNOT Do

13 juin 2022 à 01:53

Synology 2022/2023 NAS and WD & Seagate Hard Drive Compatibility

If you have been considering a large scale business or enterprise NAS solution from Synology in 2022/2023, then there is a good chance you have heard about a relatively recent change in how Synology has approached hard drive compatibility in this tier of their portfolio. This change (in brief) is that this tier of systems is only designed to be used with their own branded range of hard drives and SSDs (the HAT5300, SAT5210, HAS5300, etc) and practically all hard drives from long-standing partners such as WD and Seagate are not officially supported in their business/enterprise-scale systems. Now, it is important to stress that this is NOT a complete closed-door policy here. Indeed, after the initial negative reception to this policy change demonstrated in DSM 7 featured in the DS3622xs+ and DS2422+ reveals (Danger notifications, limited drive interaction options in storage manager, etc), Synology changed a number of these areas in their DSM 7.1 system when using 3rd party drive media. However, many users are still concerned with where they stand on using popular NAS hard drives such as Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red, Ultrastar and EXOS in their brand new Synology NAS drive. So, today I want to go through pretty much everything that you CAN and CANNOT do with 3rd Party hard drives in the larger scale Synology NAS drives with DSM 7.1 right now. However, if you are in a rush or just want the TLDR:

The GOOD News

  • Practically ALL Storage Services and Features of Synology’s DSM 7.1 platform are available when using 3rd Party HDDs (Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red, Ultrastar, etc) and I only found 2 things that weren’t (and even one of those is pretty small)
  • Thanks to recently released specifications and compatibility on the DS1522+ and RS422+ NAS for 2022, we can confirm that these system do NOT have limited HDD compatibility listings and in fact list all the usual HSS and SSD models you would expect
  • Synology has changed the red ‘DANGER/CRITICAL’ warning in the DSM notification panel of DSM 7.0 to show ‘Warning’ in amber. Still not ideal, but still a step up visually
  • SMART, testing, Scrubbing, Hot Spare, Drive management and ALL RAID configurations are available to 3rd party HDDs
  • ALL File Management tool are available with Volumes that contain unverified drives
  • ALL 1st Party Applications that I tested did not complain/refuse the use of volumes that contained 3rd party media

The BAD News

  • ALL non-Synology HDD/SSD is listed in Red in the drive manager as ‘unverified’. I wish (if they have to go down this road) that they list in amber or use less loaded terms
  • Even simple hard drive utilities in the Storage Manager to build a RAID pool and volumes are met with ‘unverified/incompatible warnings 3-4 times throughout, which can be jarring
  • Warning in DSM 7.1 GUI is always present
  • Still 100% unconfirmed but in my testing, Seagate Ironwolf Health Management was not visible in the DSM 7.1 Storage Manager via the 22′ Series NAS I used
  • HDD/SSD Firmware Update checking in DSM 7.1 Storage Manager only available to Synology Drives (eg HAT5300) and not supporting 3d party drives. Not unexpected, as it would require a big chunk of database maintenance management on the Synology side to provide this feature with multiple HDD brands.

Skip Ahead:

Important – Currently only Enterprise and Large Scale Synology NAS systems released from the 2022 Series onwards have stricter HDD/SSD compatibility in DSM 7.1. Smaller-scale home user, prosumer and SMB systems under 8x Bays still have compatibility and supported HDD/SSD for WD, Seagate, Toshiba and more. This article was made and detailed using a Synology DS2422+ NAS, supplied by CCL here. So, let’s get down to business. Here is what you would find if you look up hard drive and SSD compatibility on a large business class Synology NAS drive via the official brand’s support pages (in this case, the Synology DS2422+ 12-Bay NAS system):

Now, as you can see, the available list of compatible/supported drives is almost exclusively Synology branded drives. But what happens when if we were to ignore this and install drives that were not included on this list?

Synology Notifications, Warnings & 3rd Party HDD/SSDs

There is an exception (a Western Digital Ultrastar HC310), but there have been a few exceptions in the available drives list that have tended to be the result of Synology not providing a specific drive-based encryption method/on-board feature, capacity or media interface, but as time has gone on this has diminished. In order to get a better and more complete test range, I installed four Synology HAT5300 drives and eight hard drives that covered the bulk of popular currently available HDDs for desktop and rackmount NAS server use. These included WD Red, Red Plus and Red Pro, Seagate Ironwolf and Ironwolf Pro, Western Digital Ultrastar, Seagate EXOS and Barracuda (that last one was just because I had it spare and wanted to check). As you can see in the diagram below, all eight of the non-Synology branded drives were listed as unverified and the system status in the bottom right of DSM was displayed as ‘Warning’.

A closer examination shows us that the warning is guiding us toward the storage manager area to rectify a problem. This is something that some users have already voiced their concerns over (and subsequentially Synology changed their messaging after feedback since the DSM 7.1 update was rolled out).

These notifications are also triggered in the events log at the top right of the screen and each HDD that I installed resulted in the system creating a warning alert for each. At least the nature of this alert was defined a little clearer and made reference to the drives installed not being featured on the official compatibility list for this device.

In order to see the extent of how the system interprets and interacts with 3rd party storage media in this 2022/2023 generation NAS, I wanted to go ahead and create a single drive storage pool on the WD Red Pro HDD and then create an accompanying Volume inside. So, this was Storage Pool 1 and Volume 2 (with Pool & Volume 1 is comprised of Synology HDDs). You can see that the 8x 3rd party drives (so, regardless of in/out of the pool+volume I created) as displayed in red at all times.

Looking at a single drive in the HDD/SSD tab of Storage manager shows lots of hardware information about the drive that is installed, much like any other drive. I am pleased that you are still able to see/monitor the 3rd party drives in this NAS still in DSM 7.1, even with the alert in the events log.

If you visit that alert in the events log, you can see a little more information on the nature of the alert. The event detail is a little brief, but Synology’s position on this subject is quite clear and although there is zero talk of the system not being supported by the brand down the line, they do add that they recommend using drives on the official compatibility list (ie, in this case, the bulk of which being their media) to ensure system performance and prevent data loss.

Using 3rd party drive media in the storage pool creation wizard is still possible and Synology has not attempted to block/suspend this in any way in DSM 7.1. That said, it will present you with a further warning with each screen (this one being a pinch more heavy-handed though). I know Synology want to be abundantly clear on this and want it presented that you are proceeding on a course that they do not recommend, but less experienced storage users might bulk at this warning.

When the storage pool that is made up of 3rd party storage media is created, it will be available to view alongside all other storage pools in the storage manager of DSM 7.1. The same goes for if/when you create one or more volumes inside that storage pool, but all storage associated with the 3rd party storage media will be labelled as ‘at risk’ as the pool contains “one or more drives that are unverified”. So, right now we 100% can use 3rd party drives in storage pools and volumes, but they are not without the warning in place. Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the storage manager options in DSM 7.1 and how much they can be used with 3rd party drives.

Synology Storage Manager and 3rd Party HDD/SSDs

3rd party hard drives in a large scale/enterprise 2022/2023 NAS still have the drive health information options available when selecting them in the storage manager. They are still listing with an angry red ‘unverified’ message, but health status, check history and S.M.A.R.T are still available to check the drive. In my testing, I was not able to see the Seagate Ironwolf Health Management tool (that is included on Seagate Ironwolf HDDs and visible in the NAS GUI normally), but I did not have sufficient media to identify if this was related to the new DS2422+ not supporting this feature or DSM 7.1 not allowing the featuring in the storage manager at this time.

The smart testing tab, when comparing the number of options provided in the DSM 7.1 storage manager between Synology HDDs and 3rd party HDDs, was pretty much identical! Below is how they appear via the web browser, side by side.

As mentioned, pretty much all the services and features of DSM 7.1’s Storage Manager are available to non-Synology drive media, such as the usage analyzer.

The same goes for if you choose to use 3rd party drives as hot spares (i.e accessible replacement media for if a RAID storage pool fails). You still need to ensure that the drive media in question is sufficient capacity, but it’s still good to know that hot spare use is still available.

Continuing, you also have the option of improving/changing RAID storage pools that are comprised with 3rd party drives still. This is reassuring to those that were concerned that their WD/Seagate storage pools might not be expandable/scalable in DSM 7.1 as needed on these enterprise and bigger scale solutions.

I was also surprised that the Drive Benchmark tool in DSM 7.1’s storage manager still could be used by 3rd party drives. Although this is a small tool, it can be remarkably handy for testing drives sustained activity on the fly. This tool worked with both 3rd party HDD and SSDs in testing still.

Options for scheduled or immediately actioned Data Scrubbing were also available to 3rd party drives still. Another useful and often overlooked RAID maintenance that I’m glad is still available in DSM 7.1 with non-Synology Drives.

The in-built SSD Cache advisor (the tool that recommends the level and capacity of SSD that you need to factor into your daily storage is also more than happy to interact with storage volumes that are built of 3rd party drives too. As the DS2422+ I used for these drive tests does not feature m.2 SSD slots, I was unable to confirm whether the system would accept 3rd party SSDs for caching in this enterprise DSM 7.1 NAS system. I COULD have used the E10M20-T1 or M2D20 PCIe cards to add storage, but then that would introduce an additional component into the mix and those cards also arrive with their own SSD compatibility listings already.

Overall, the big takeaway in the Synology DSM 7.1 Storage manager when it comes to using 3rd party HDD and SSDs is that you can do pretty much EVERYTHING with these drives as you can do with Synology’s own storage media. The only things that were not available were the ability to upgrade HDD/SSD firmware from within the software (something that is understandably only available to Synology media for reasons for database maintenance and accuracy I am sure) and I was unable to completely confirm whether Seagate ironwolf health management was available. EVERYTHING else in Storage Manager is available to be used. However, the lines Synology have drawn with regard to their system are pretty clear, with warnings at every screen and a persistent warning on the desktop GUI. Let’s go up a level and look at how the systems file management and more general storage tools interact with pools/volumes that are comprised of 3rd Party Media.

Synology File & Folder Management and 3rd Party HDD/SSDs

Much like when I explored many areas of the Storage Manager in DSM 7.1, I found virtually nowhere in the general system applications where using 3rd party media-built volumes presented a problem or limitation to the user. First up was File Station and (probably one of the earliest and most important things you will do) I was able to easily and quickly create a shared folder on a 3rd party drive volume as easy/seamless as normal.

The Shared Folder had ALL of the usual configuration options available (visibility, recycling, compression where appropriate, etc) and because BTRFS was still available during the volume’s creation, those benefits were also available to this shared folder too. Interestingly, there were no warnings or recommendations by the system when using this particular pool (unlike the louder stance during the storage pool/vol creation) and, spoiler alert, I never again in my testing was presented with any warnings or recommendations by the system during any further interactions with tools and services.

The file manager presented no limitations or restrictions in its services when used with 3rd party drive foundation volumes and that means that if you are considering a Synology installation for a client/associate and are concerned that their access outside of the DSM 7.1 primary browser GUI will show them warnings regarding non-Synology HDD media, this will not be the case and so far it seems that these amber indicators do not go further than the default storage setup, desktop widget (which can be disabled in 1 click) and the alerts log. Let’s test a variety of popular Synology applications to see if there is any kind of reference to drive compatibility or limitation in their presentation.

Synology Applications in DSM 7.1 & 3rd Party HDD/SSDs

There are ALOT of Synology first-party applications available in DSM 7.1 and chances are that you are going to be using at least 2-3 regularly (backups, multimedia, surveillance, collaboration tools, virtual machines, general sharing, etc), so knowing if the use of 3rd party storage media in a large scale or enterprise Synology NAS solution in 2022 is going to be smooth/unrestricted is going to be paramount. Once again, I found no limitations or hindrances in DSM 7.1 with the DS2422+ and drives I tested compared with the same operations using the Synology HAT5300 drives. Even directly in the app center itself, I was able to select the volume that had the 3rd party media as the default installation directory for all apps if I wanted, without any limitations or warning.

The improved resource monitor in DSM 7.1 also allowed full and unfettered monitoring of the full storage pools, volumes and individual drives as normal.

In the control panel, the shared folders that I created on the 3rd party drive built volume could still be added to the media indexing folders with zero restriction, limitations and without any notification or warning.

The same goes for using some of the background applications such as snapshots and replication used with the non-Synology drive volume. These services also had all of their more customizable features of retention, schedules and capacity available too.

Heading into more business’y territory, the Synology Virtual Machine Manager was still able to use the volume made of 3rd party drives as an available storage space, as well as accessible for VM images and services. The number of these larger-scale solutions from Synology that are deployed for VM utilization is growing rapidly as the tool improves (as well as used in conjunction with the likes of VMware, Hyper-V, SaaS and PaaS providers to sync/migrate from over time) so this was always going to be a crucial area of storage concern for many in DSM 7.1’s drive support.

Equally, there was no limitation to the individual configuration options that Synology VMM includes for the storage you connect it to.

You will also be pleased to hear that the full range of backup and synchronization tools that are included with Synology DSM 7.1 have unrestricted access to volumes made of 3rd party drive media. I tested Hyper Backup, Cloud Sync and Active Backup Suite – all three could utilize volumes, regardless of the drives in the pool, with equal features and services. I was unable to test Hybrid Share, but I saw no indication that this would have any limitation either.

Users looking to use the Synology storage as a direct target for ISCSI LUNs will also be pleased to hear that 3rd party drive built volumes worked 100% normally and there were zero warnings on screen.

Finally, Synology’s ever-evolving Surveillance station software had complete, unrestricted and no-warning access to the 3rd party HDD volumes and there was no hindrance whatsoever when connecting the service. The DS2422+ and large-scale solutions like it are always going to be popular with users who choose Synology for this CCTV software (those recordings can add up to terabytes in no time at all) and with Synology providing 16TB drives at max capacity in summer 2022 and the likes of WD and Seagate hitting 22TB right now, many users will want to know that 3rd party media in these systems is still viable.

Synology 2022/2023 Enterprise/Business NAS & 3rd Party HDD/SSDs – Conclusion

As mentioned in my introduction, I really did struggle to find anything on DSM 7.1 on the DS2422+ using 3rd party hard drives that were restricted or barred from use at all. There IS the ever-present amber warning on the system’s initial GUI splash screen, but there did not seem to be any restriction on the services and features of DSM 7.1. So, this leads to the question of support and also what makes the Synology branded media better choice for the end-user. For that first point, I reached out to Synology earlier in the year to ask for further clarification on how support would be provided by the brand with regard to system’s that are utilizing storage media that is certified/confirmed/present on the Synology Compatibility pages. Here was that response from back in Feb ’22:

We have always recommended only using the drives tested and verified by our engineers to ensure long-term system reliability many many years ago. While non-verified drives can still be used on all devices, the updated policy is being introduced on new products primarily purchased by our business and enterprise clients in an effort to highlight the potential issues with using them. The policy still allows for the use of non-verified drives but with certain restrictions, such as status indicators and alerts indicating the system is not in an officially supported configuration and certain drive metrics not being supported. At the same time we understand that there is room for improvements to the user experience while still ensuring our customers are aware of the issue. In an upcoming DSM update, we are adjusting the alert level shown and also adding drive S.M.A.R.T. monitoring for unverified drives.

So, it would look like the comments on multiple social message boards (Facebook, Reddit, Syno Forums, etc are at the very least being read), However, for many this message does not fully cover the question of detailing the level of support that the brand will indeed provide in the event of perfectly reasonable failure. I raised this matter with Synology with the following examples for guidance (as I felt they covered a cluster of existing scenarios posed by users online):

Example #1, a Synology DS3622xs+ or DS2422+ owner purchases their unit and 12 Seagate EXOs HDDs, then 36 months down the line they suffer an unexpected (but perfectly reasonable) PSU failure. Will the brand support this user and provide a replacement PSU?

Alternatively, Example #2, if the hardware failure (still within perfectly reasonable parameters of hardware that is mass-produced of course) is controller board based? Where will the utility of non-Synology media stand?

A senior Synology manager provided the following response and clarification:

When a customer makes a technical support request, our engineers will work with them in troubleshooting the cause of the issue and to find a solution to resolve it. If it is determined that a failure is directly attributable to a 3rd-party component that has not been validated by Synology, our engineers may make the decision to reject continuing the diagnostics process. This is carried out because in many cases, there is little that our engineers can do without having those exact components on hand to replicate the problem and then determine a way to workaround or mitigate them.

You can read the rest of that article and all the points it covered HERE – https://nascompares.com/2022/02/17/synology-nas-and-hard-drive-compatibility-in-2022-should-i-be-worried

On the subject of what makes Synology Drive media a recommended choice in Synology solutions, Synology was keen to highlight that:

  1. Better reliability: From our observation, our support tickets relating to HDD/SSD issues dropped 19% so far, which means users will gain better reliability with Synology HDDs.
  2. Enhanced performance: Performance when multiple devices read sequentially compared to 3 Party HDD +36%
  3. Seamless update: online HDD/SSD firmware update from DSM without downtime or rebuilding disk array

As further releases in the Synology 2022 range start to appear on the market (most recently the RS422+, RS822+ and DS1522+ at some point) we are seeing Synology’s position on Hard Drives in these less enterprise or large-scale solutions soften somewhat. listing many more HDD and SSDs from 3rd party brands (but still nowhere near as many as in previous NAS releases such as the DS920+ or DS1621+, with many glaring omissions from the likes of WD and Seagate, see here). Bottom line, it is always going to be the prerogative of Synology to choose the storage media they believe is in the best interest of the systems that provide, but I don’t think this is a subject that is going to be removed any time to everyone’s satisfaction. Right now you can definitely take advantage of pretty much the whole Synology DSM 7.1 features and services with your new high-end 2022/2023 Synology NAS purchase, but until more time passes and we have case examples of support queries running smoothly on forums such as Reddit of Synology’s official support forum, many will still have a lingering doubt about using 3rd party media on these systems. We will be doing more in-depth HDD comparisons with Synology media and 3rd party alternatives in the Synology DS2422+ very soon, so stay tuned and/or subscribe to hear about it first and once again thanks to CCLOnline for supplying us with the Synology NAS for our tests. Have a great week

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

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