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Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – The Big One?

6 juin 2022 à 01:02

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Go Big or Go Home?

I think it would be safe to say that Synology sells quite a lot of NAS. The brand has always had a strong focus on software and providing ‘solutions’, as opposed to ‘flogging hardware’, but ultimately the outcome is that Synology continues to be the top brand in network-attached storage worldwide. One of the biggest reasons for this of course is Diskstation Manager (DSM, currently in version 7.1), the fully-featured network software that is easily comparable in design, utility and quality to many top tier operating systems. DSM 7 is included with all Synology NAS systems to largely the same degree, but when it comes to hardware, their portfolio has tended to spread itself a little more in order to cater for those looking for value, power, features or scale – giving the end-user an opportunity to spend their budget on the areas of NAS that matter most to their network environment. The 2021/2022 released Synology DS2422+ NAS in today’s review is an interesting example of these lines being blurred by the brand and in doing so, trying to provide a little bit of everything. Arriving as the follow up to the DS2419+, this new massive 12-Bay SMB (small/medium business) solution has tweaked a few things it’s architecture, as well as including some of the opinion dividing changes to DSM 7 that have been rolled out in the last 12 months. The DS2422+ arrives with the now well established Ryzen embedded processor series, the opportunity for lots of memory, huge storage scalability, network upgradability and arrives as a solution that hopes to be the center of your home/business storage for many years (evolving over time). So today I want to review the Synology DS2422+ NAS and help you decide if it deserves your data.

Review Chapters – Skip Ahead

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1. Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Packaging

The retail packaging for the Synology DS2422+ is fairly standard stuff. This is hardly a solution that you are going to pick up on the shelf of your local I.T shop, so priorities in the packaging are going to be massively in favour of protection in transit more than looking nice. The NAS arrives in 2 layers of cardboard box packaging and the NAS itself is held in a hard foam framework.

Synology has never really cut corners on protecting its solutions in transit and the DS2422+ NAS is no exception. The NAS arrives unpopulated, but even if it was fully populated with HDDs, this system will be well insulated from shock/motion damage (both of which can be silent killers of this kind of tech down the line.

Laying out the contents of the DS2422+ package shows us a small batch of accessories. These include details on the first time setup, information on the included 3yr warranty (can be extended to 5yr), RJ45 LAN cables (Cat 5e), screws for 2.5/3.5″ media, keys for the bays and an external mains power cable. All fairly standard stuff and you don’t even really need the 3.5″ screws in most setups as the bays are click-n-load.

Occasionally, I might have a moan about a NAS brand including Cat 5e RJ45 cables with a solution instead of Cat 6/7, however as the DS2422+ arrives with 1GbE, this is by no means an issue. Equally, I would highlight that the setup manual/paperwork is pretty redundant and SIGNIFICANTLY better setup guides are available online, but it’s better to include this than not at all.

The retail packaging of this business-focused NAS is unsurprisingly rather plain. This is hardly a crime and the Synology DS2422+ puts more stock in its design and deployment than it does in looking good in its box! Let’s take a close look at the design of the DS2422+ NAS

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Design

The design of the DS2422+ NAS Chassis is very familiar and is one that (although tweaked in small places over time) has remained largely the same over years throughout other releases in the 12-bay Diskstation NAS series. It has always provided a good balance of storage, versus efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

The DS2422+ chassis is almost entirely metal, with the only notable exception being the front panel of the desktop casing and the trays. This larger metal chassis, in conjunction with the 12 bays of SATA storage and twin rear fans results in a NAS that is most certainly going to make some noise. Although not reaching the “aeroplane take-off’ levels of noise that a rackmount like the RS1221+ reaches, the DS2422+ is still a NAS that you do not want to be in close proximity with when in full operation. the official Synology pages highlight that the noise level is a reported 25 dB(A), however, this is based on the use of 2TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (which do not feature on the compatibility list I might add) and not the enterprise build HAT5300 Hard drives that this system is designed to be used with, which are a noticeable degree noisier due to their high performance, workload and durability design. Below is a quick vid on their noise level:

The front of the Synology DS2422+ has no LCD/Display panel, but rather it has numerous LEDs for displaying system, activity and access. These can all be adjusted in brightness and activity in the DSM 7 control panel, with eat pertaining to different areas of the system hardware – Hard drives, network status, network connectivity and system health.

The 12 bays of storage featured on the DS2422+ are all well ventilated around the front oF the chassis and between each bay to allow passive airflow to flow as heat is dissipated inside. As mentioned earlier, the DS2422+ can run fully or partially populated, as well as be run on a single SATA HDD/SSD if need be (which would be rather daft). The system utilizes traditional RAID configurations to allow the end-user(s) to create a good balance of performance and redundancy in their storage over multiple drives. Additionally, the storage can be increased by adding further drives in available bays, an expansion chassis (the DX1222) the DS2422+ or via the popular Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration. Now, this is not a new thing and the PLUS series of Synology NAS has always allowed this configuration in a way that the larger and more powerful DS3622xs+ did not (for reasons of overall performance dip compared with traditional RAID levels i.e. RAID 1,5,6,10, etc). The benefits of SHR in terms of scalability and adding larger capacity drives to your storage array years down the line (as larger capacities HDDs arrive and/or prices decrease per TB) have always been a compelling part of buyers who purchased the PLUS series and always a bit of a puzzler why it is not available here on an XS series solution. SHR on the DS3622xs+ is not impossible if you are migrating from an older NAS as shown here in this video, but it is still a shame it remains absent on the DS3622xs+ as a day 1 choice. For many, this might be a deciding factor when choosing between the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+.

Each bay utilized a spring-loaded tray design that ensures that a drive will not be installed unless in full alignment with the internal SATA port inside. Additionally, each bay of the DS2422+ features a locking mechanism (with 2 keys included with your accessories pack) that ensures that accidental removal of an HDD/SSD in your NAS is not possible – this is especially useful as the DS2422+ does not support re-silvering and accidental removal of a drive for even just a single second can lead to hours upon hours or degraded RAID rebuilding.

The trays themselves are plastic in design, but the days of this being a negative are largely gone now and although early versions of NAS servers have cheaper and less robust plastic trays, this new generation Synology NAS has exceptionally well made plastic trays that are sturdy enough for even excessing storage use. Each tray also takes advantage of a click n load design that allows 3.5″ media to be installed without screws/screwdriver. Alternatively, there are screws and screw-holes for the installation of 2.5″ SATA SSD media for faster storage pools and/or caching storage. However, on the subject of storage media on the DS2422+, we should probably address the hard drive shaped elephant in the room.

The DS2422+ NAS is another release in the Synology High-end/enterprise series that has opted for a much more streamlined compatibility list. This results in this NAS only being fully 100% supported and compatible for use with Synology hard drives and SSDs. These include the HAT5300 and SAT5200 (along with a few others with upgrade options). Although there are a few exceptions to this, the compatibility list over on Synology.com is pretty clear on this:

Synology’s decision to only fully allow the storage capabilities of their systems with their own branded storage media on enterprise-level solutions was met with a mixed reception when it was rolled out in late 2021. On the one hand, the HAT5300 series of drives ARE good drives, arriving at a price point similar to the likes of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and WD Red Pro Pro-class Drives BUT featuring the architecture, performance and durability of Enterprise-class drives (such as Seagate EXOs and WD Gold) – it is a pretty good deal. Likewise, those looking for a full ‘one party’ solution will be pleased as it allows simple installation, deployment and management (with firmware updates and drive warranties being considerably easier to manage). However, with only four capacities of HAT5300 (4TB, 8, 12 and 16TB) at the moment, as well as a relatively sudden pull on the support of other hard drive brands on this system, it has left quite a few users unhappy. It is worth highlighting that using 3rd party hard drives on the DS2422+ in the latest release of DSM 7.1 is not blocked. You can go ahead and install and use the likes of WD Red, Ultrastar and Seagate Ironwolf HDDs in the DS2422+ for Storage Pools, volumes etc, as well as using drive health management tools such as S.M.A.R.T. However their use will lead to the system displaying an amber Warning message (formally showing ‘critical’, till Synology changed their position a little upon feedback from users) and drives will be listed as not on the official compatibility list. Not the end of the world, but for users who are installing the DS2422+ NAS solution professionally for 3rd parties, this might be jarring for the intended end-users.

Nevertheless, the HAT5300 and SAT5200 series are still very good drives for this system and its AMD embedded Ryzen CPU and 4GB memory to sink its teeth into and when fully populated and equipped with 2x10GbE connections banded together (via the installation of the network expansion card 10GBASE-T on the E10G18-G2) has been reported to reach 2,202MB/s Sequential Read and over a quarter of a 128,000+ 4K random Read IOPS.

Removing all the trays shows that all 12x SATA connectors are all combined data/power as you would expect. I did wonder, given the launch of Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard drives two months or so ago, that the next generation of this enterprise 12-Bay would factor in combined SATA/SAS connectors, but I guess then it would tread on the toes of the DS3622xs+ and rackmount solutions somewhat.

The DS2422+ NAS also features the neat and well-branded Synology ventilated/mesh logos on either side. Speaking as someone who has deployed a few Synology NAS solutions personally and professionally over the years, I can say these vents capture a lot more dust than you might expect and definitely help to assist passive airflow internally and assist dissipation. it is one of those slick design points that Synology are fond of,

The physical design of the DS2422+ is largely unchanged since the DS2415+ and DS2419+ that came before it, but that is no bad thing. It manages to balance large storage potential vs compact deployment, as well as maintaining that Synology branded modern design. The lack of a front-mounted USB is a bit odd, given the numerous convenient advantage this would provide, but it’s a minor gripe and given that this NAS is designed with remote/out-of-office deployment in mind, it’s not a big loss. Let’s talk about the connectivity and accessibility of the DS2422+ NAS and how it will provide physical access to your data.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connectivity that is featured on the DS2422+ NAS has changed very little since the DS2419+ that came before it, but still arrives with plenty of network connections, storage options and the previously mentioned PCIe upgradability. When Synology first revealed the DS2422+ 12-Bay, many were quick to highlight that Synology still continues to resist the change from gigabit ethernet towards 2.5GbE on this system. This and the fact that DS3622xs+ arrives with 2x 10GbE is another example of how the DS2422+ at launch was a little in the shade comparatively in its contents. The rear of the chassis is largely dominated by the twin fans.

These two fans are 120mm in size each and are held in a large cooling module that can be removed as needed for cleaning and general maintenance. The sheer scale of the DS2422+ in storage and the amount of heat that is going to be generated by the system in operation means that active cooling and the effectiveness of these efficient components are going to be quite a high priority. By default, these fans will be set to automatic (adjusting their RPM as the system’s internal NAS temp dictates) and can be set to manual – but I definitely would not recommend it! The only real reason a user would want to manually control the operation of fans on a NAS would be for reasons of ambient noise and, to be frank, with this system fully populated with 12x HAT5300 NAS HDDs – the noise of the fans is going to be the leat of your ear troubles!

The DS2422+ features an internal 550W PSU which is surprisingly beefy for this NAS. Yes, those 12-bays of storage are going to need a decent amount of power to keep going, but aside from the PCIe slot needing power, there is no support for graphics cards or even the PSU featuring an additional power 4/6/8 connector for a grander PCIe card (there ARE ports for cable available in the PSU block, but no signs of Synology opening access to this for a PCIe upgrade). To put it into perspective, the DS1621+ and DS1821+ both arrive with a 250W PSU (so, less than half) and those two systems also features M.2 NVMe SSD slots (something not present on the DS2422+).

As mentioned, the Synology DS2422+ is another entry into the Diskstation Plus series that arrives with 4x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports and that is somewhat underwhelming in 2022 – especially when most other NAS providers have immediately skipped to 10GbE at this tier or swapped 1GbE out in favour of 2.5GbE at the same price as 1G. The system DOES have four of these ports (supporting LAG/Trunking and therefore hitting 4Gbe with a smart switch setup) which is going to be tremendously useful.

As discussed several times here at NASCompares, 2.5GbE might not be dominating the marketplace compared with existing 1GbE utilization and not have the 1,000MB/s+ bandwidth possible in 10GbE, BUT it does seem strange that Synology has still not engaged with 2.5GbE on their NAS solutions (though admittedly featuring it on their RT6600ax Router). Although the argument against its inclusion is compelling (i.e still hardly mainstream), users looking at the DS2422+ will be hoping to get at least 3-5yrs of service out of this 24×7 hardware (likely more) and who’s to say where 1G/2.5G/10G will be at in that time with client hardware in your network environment. With many brands offering 2.5G solutions at the same price as 1G – this results in Synology’s steadfast refusal to include 2.5GbE in 2022 rather stubborn.

Nevertheless, if you already have a 1GbE network, or were going to opt for a 2x Port 10GbE upgrade card for around $200-250 for this system (rather than spend $1000+ more on the DS3622xs+) then you are not going to be hugely concerned one way or the other over the appearance of 1GGbE on the DS2422+. Much like other Synology NAS systems, the DS2422+ also arrives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) Type-A ports that allow you to connect a small range of hardware. The hardware that is supported has been pared back somewhat in recent years (devices such as Printers, scanners, Bluetooth and WiFi dongles were removed from the compatibility/supported lists in DSM 7 – possibly down to the way DSM 7 is built. Additionally, the USB on Synology NAS drives CAN NOT be used to interface with the NAS, as the NAS is the ‘host’ in this connection, not the PC/Mac etc. The USB ports CAN be used for external storage though and there is a wide range of applications in DSM that support connectivity of storage to these ports (USB Copy, Hyper Backup, File Station, Virtual Machine Manager and more).

There is an external mini SAS shaped port on the DS2422+ NAS that allows you to connect one of the DX1222 expansion chassis’ and add an additional 12 storage media drives to your available storage. If you are running an SHR setup, it is very easy to expand your existing Storage Pool and Volumes (if provisioned correctly) to spread across both the DS2422+ and expansion – though Synology does not recommend this (risk of accidental disconnection).

The PCIe slot that the DS2422+ features is a PCIe Gen 3×8 slot that allows you to install one of several Synology branded PCIe upgrade cards. Synology does support a few 3rd party PCIe cards from Intel (among others) but I have yet to test if cards not listed on the compatibility list display a similar warning to when you install 3rd party storage media or memory upgrades. Card installation is quite straight forward and although it will require the removal of the top plate of the system’s external casing, it is a simple click and load installation – no power cables needed.

Synology’s available range of PCIe cards has grown little by little in the last couple of years and now supports 10G and 25GbE, across multiple ports and in fiber and copper forms. In most desktop NAS systems in the Diskstaiton portfolio, I would call the E25G21-F2 with its two 25G ports a little overkill – but in the case of the 12-Bay DS2422+ and potential for another 12 bays in the DX1222 – That card might be just the thing to make the most of this systems throughput potential! Additionally, despite the DS2422+ not featuring the 2x m.2 NVMe slots of the other 2/4/6/8-Bay diskstation NAS, you can add this with the E10M20T1 Cobo card of M2D20 dedicated caching card (at an additional cost – grumble, grumble).

Overall, the default network connectivity is one of the weaker areas of the Synology DS2422+ NAS and although there is clearly a few areas of upgradability available to those that want them, what you have here is not a massive leap up from the previous 2 generations of SMB 12-Bay. Let’s get the external panels removed on the DS2422+ and discuss its internal hardware.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Accessing the internal hardware of the Synology DS2422+ NAS is considerably more convenient than smaller and more compact diskstation devices, with the external chassis of the server arriving in three individual panels that are secured by 2 screws each. Two of these panels are necessary for removal to allow access to ways in which you can upgrade the NAS hardware in its lifespan. Removing the panels shows us that the compact chassis design of the DS2422+ results in 50% of that internal space being given to the main storage backplane/board. This board has 12 SATA data+power connectors and is connected to the main system board via a PCIe slot at an angle.

That main storage board is remarkably clear internally, features vent holes above each drive bay and even the power cabling being fed into the board is discreet and understated at the base. The result is a huge area of clear space for ventilation running through both the media bays AND over the large CPU heatsink. Unlike the top and left side panel of the DS2422+, this side of the chassis will not really need to be accessed for any reason other than troubleshooting, but it’s reassuring to see that the internal components are very well spaced out, despite the compact nature of this 12-bay chassis.

The right-hand panel of the DS2422+ covers the two SODIMM memory slots featured on this NAS. Now I was very pleasantly surprised to not that the memory included with the DS2422+ is rated at 3200Mhz frequency. Now, the memory featured on the SMB/Center-Business solutions from Synology in the last few years have all featured an ECC (Error Code Correction / Error Correcting Code) component, to ensure that micro errors and inconsistencies in data as they are passed through the system memory are spotted and corrected. Indeed, this has always been a big hardware factor in the buying decision of IT Admins that like to dig deep into the specs sheets. But till this 2022 series, Synology has always opted for 2400Mhz memory ECC (whilst providing fractionally faster 2666Mhz non-ECC in their Home/Prosumer devices) – so this is a nice upgrade that (correct me if I am wrong) Synology has not raised anywhere online. I respect that.

The fact this system has 4GB of memory is a little underwhelming for businesses and most businesses are going to need to upgrade that memory quite early into it’s deployment. However, it is worth remembering that much like Synology and their position on drive media or PCIe upgrades, they have a very strict officially supported compatibility list and using non-Synology branded memory. As this is largely a business targetted solution, many of those buyers will be happy to purchase first-party accessories with a solution to guarantee that they stay within the warranty, ensure the system works to the standard and heights promised by the manufacturer, etc. However, not everyone feels that way and even if you factor in that the branded memory in the DS2422+ is ECC and 3200Mhz, the cost of Synology memory modules online is noticeably higher than the likes of Kingston, Crucial or Transcend. Once again, it is only going to be a barrier if you do not want to commit to the Synology eco-system completely.

The CPU featured inside the DS2422+ NAS is the AMD embedded Ryzen V1500B and this is now the 2nd generation of devices to arrive with this efficient but very capable processor. Arriving in a 4 Core, 8 Thread architecture, it features a 2.2Ghz clock speed per core. Synology has largely ignored embedded graphics CPUs in their business/enterprise systems (the last 12-Bay example was the DS3612xs+ with an Intel Core i3 a decade ago) and the V1500B is continuing that position. As proficient as this processor is for large file transfers, running all those first-party Synology applications and dynamically shifting it’s resources to where they are needed nice and quick, this processor still lives a little in the shadow again of the CPU in the DS3622xs+ (a quad-core Xeon) and once again is a clear cut example of how the DS2422+ chooses ‘Storage Capacity’ over ‘Power in it’s design. The Processor still does a fantastic job of running the full Synology collaboration suite, Surveillance Station, Multi-client backups and Cloud synchronization tools, all at the same time though, which ultimately means that you have a solid hardware base to wrap your business data around. The Synology DS2422+ is clearly trying to be a local desktop PaaS and SaaS solution in one, with the kind of storage capacity options that most cloud providers are simply never going to be able to offer at the same price.

When it comes to running Virtual Machine environments on the DS2422+ NAS, things are a little more mixed. The NAS arrives with the Synology Virtual Machine Manager, so you can create multiple brand new virtual machines quickly, as well as insert virtual installation/boot media and run very bespoke VM setups (licence free). There are also many ways to import existing ISO VM, Virtual Hard drive or 3rd party VM images (Hyper X, VMware, etc) onto the Synology VMM tool, as well as significant cross over with other Synology applications such as Active Backup Suite to host VMs in a failover routine. All this is managed by the CPU very well, despite not having embedded graphics, and the processor’s multiple threads also mean that VM deployment is a little more flexible with the use of dynamic resource sharing and vCPUs supported. However, I would not really pursue VMs on the DS2422+ NAS without upgrading that memory on day 1.

External performance of this 12-Bay and that CPU in the default setup is immediately going to saturate those 4x 1GbEs with ease. Aside from the general starting internal architecture being more than enough anyway, we are talking about up to a 12 HDDs and/or SSDs – that can easily it the 1000’s of megabytes of throughput anyway. So, it’s only by more enterprising setups involving SSDs and 10GbE that we can get a more realistic picture of what this system can output. Below is the sequential R/W performance and 4K Ransom IOPs of the DS2422+ with SSDs in a RAID 5, 2x 10GbE (Link Aggregated) and how it compares with three other Plus series 12/16-Bay’s in Synology’s portfolio (RS2821RP+, RS2421+ and the DS2419+ Predecessor). The DS2422+ hit 2,202MB/s Seq Read and 1,457MB/s Seq Write throughput externally – a big jump on the DS2419+ predecessor, but the tiniest fraction behind the rackstation solutions (hardly noticeable in fact). However, in 4K random IOPS, it was the leader of the pack, at 128,406 Read IOPS and 65,098 Write IOPS. Again, exceedingly close to the similarly built rackmounts, but a big jump up on the older 2019 gen 12-Bay plus series model.

Overall, the hardware that the DS2422+ features internally is very competent, more than proficient but will not exactly blow your socks off. You have a great base of hardware to handle standard business data management and with several options to scale up the hardware on offer, is a decent upgrade on its predecessor and what you have by default is more than enough to handle those 12 bays of storage. The lack of onboard NVMe SSD slots is still rather surprising, given Synology’s big push on this feature in the majority of their NAS systems and the default 4GB of memory seems a little small when you factor in what this system will be purchased for, but overall I think this is still a good balance of hardware for this scale of storage and cost when put into perspective with the rest of Synologys portfolio. Let’s discuss Synology NAS software, DSM, and how it makes up the lion’s share of the DS2422+’ price tag.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7, DSM 7.1 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, Mac and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS2422+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS2422+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS2422+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 applications and services. If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Key business applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS2422+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1.

Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ PROS Synology DS2422+ CONS
  • HUGE Storage Potential
  • Prioritizes Storage, whilst still providing a good CPU+Memory Server combo
  • Full access to the complete DSM Software Packages & Services
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • ECC Memory at this storage scale is appreciated, and 3200Mhz rated
  • Excellent ventilation throughout
  • PCIe slot is Gen 3×8, so plenty of bandwidth to play with
  • Surprisingly compact for 12 Bays of storage
  • 1GbE is feeling rather outdated in 2022 and for those futureproofing, seems shortsighted
  • Ambiguity in how the system operates and support when using 3rd party media
  • Living in the shadow a bit of the enterprise DS3622xs+ NAS
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below to CCL (which will open in a new tab):

 

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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

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.  

Best 10GbE NAS to Buy in 2022

31 décembre 2021 à 01:10

A Guide to the Best 10GbE NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Data is getting big, like REALLY BIG. From the phone in your pocket taking photos at 10MB+ a go, movies arriving at 4K Ultra HD HDR as an excepted scale and internet connectivity easily breaking into greater than gigabit speeds, we are fast approaching a point where most devices (not just NAS drives) that feature a rather old skool 1GbE (RJ45) LAN/WAN port can potentially cause a bottleneck on your network. Most client hardware (phones, laptops, TVs, Tablets, media players) have risen to the bandwidth challenge in the last 12-18 months with the inclusion of greater WiFi protocol such as WiFi 6 (802.11ax), but in the world of Network Attached Storage (NAS), they have been addressing bandwidth limiting issues for years and one of the easiest ways they have been going it is with the embracing of 10GbE. As the name suggests, 10Gbe is ten times the bandwidth of traditional default 1GbE, allowing a little over 1,000MB/s network transmission to be possible. 10G has been around for a number of years, however, it is only in the last 2-3 years that it has become remarkably affordable, allowing both home and business users to easily make the switch. From 10G adapter cards costing less than £100 and network switches arriving at just a fraction more than their 1G alternatives, to the physical compatibility of 1G and 10G being identical in some cases (Copper RJ45) allowing an upgrade to be easy and with a large degree of hardware recycling – 10GbE is a great deal more available than many could have thought. Below is a video where I detailed lots of reasons to upgrade/ignore 10GbE that you might find useful when searching for the best 10GbE NAS to buy in 2022:

Unsurprisingly, because of the affordability of 10GbE increasing, as well as the popularity and ease of upgrading, ALL the NAS brands have been producing 10GbE solutions in the last few years and that means that (on the plus side) there is ALOT to choose from but (on the less good side) it can mean choosing the right one is a lot harder than you think. Factors such as the CPU, the physical type of 10GbE in use, number of ports, number if media bays and the maximum memory are all tremendously important factors in choosing a 10GbE NAS that fits your budget and requirements.  All too often, you will see a more affordable 10GbE NAS, such as the TS-332X or DS1817 (non-plus) and think ‘wow, that is really affordable’, but that is because the CPU inside is going to be at 80-90% usage at all times during 10GbE use, will be wildly inefficient at managing larger RAID configurations to what they can push through 10G and the money you save in these budget solutions can often be lose quite quickly in the system losing you actual time in use. So, today I want to talk about my three recommended 10GbE NAS solutions that (out of all the NAS systems available at the start of 2022) are the best for budget buyers, for shared storage business users and for Power-hungry Professionals. I am only looking at desktop 10GbE NAS and ONLY servers that have 64bit x86 processors (no ARM Annapurna, Realtek or Marvell here – we want GUARENTEED 1,000MB/s and with the least hardware usage possible regardless). The Hard drives or SSD you choose to use will of course play it’s part, but these three NAS solutions will be able to saturate that 10G bandwidth with even most drive media. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best 10GbE NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 10GbE NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 10GbE solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 10GbE NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 10GbE NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 10GbE NAS Drive – Terramaster F5-422 NAS

0-100TB, 5-Bays, 4-Core Intel J3455 CPU, 4-8GB Memory, 1x 10Gbe + 2x 1GbE Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $549

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Internally the hardware that this unit arrives with is very competitive at this price point, even without 10Gbe. Include 10Gbe into the mix and this could likely be one of the most affordable Intel/4K enabled 10 gigabit NAS drives in the market right now. The Terramaster F5-422 5-Bay NAS features an Intel CPU and 4GB of DDR3 memory which is not even the limit, opening up the device and installing an additional 8GB stick is very easy indeed. This internal hardware certainly enables a number of features that a large number of cost-effective ARM CPU could not. Most important of which is acting as a proficient and encoding enabled Plex media server. The device can support many users at the same time, each with its own login and privileges thanks to this CPU. All the while, setting up, configuring and maintaining a stable RAID across all available hard drives or SSD. However, if your budget is tight, you will be pleased to hear this device can function with a single HDD/SSD if need be and you can add further storage media as your budget allows (and expanding a RAID).

Click to view slideshow.

Overall the terramaster F5-422 NAS is definitely worth the price. I have seen numerous NAS brands grow in the last 8 years and the speed with which terramaster is developing, both the hardware and software, massively outpaces the likes of Synology and QNAP, which have taken twice as long to reach the point that terramaster has. If you are looking to buy your first NAS, but want to ensure that you get maximum features at a modest price-tag, you genuinely would be hard pushed to beat the Terramaster F5-422 right now in 2019. That said, there is no denying that some cost-cutting measures have taken place, with the HDMI output not functioning as you would expect at release or the lack of USB Copy Button. However, you will never find features like those, or software options with this hardware at this price limit that still have 10Gbe on the table and the Terramaster F5-422 serves as a great middle-ground for those that want their cake and eat it in their first steps into the world of NAS at a higher speed going forward.

SOFTWARE - 6/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


7.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable 10Gbe
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Fluid GUI
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS
👍🏻Supports Plex
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻RAM upgradable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻SSD Caching requires the loss of 1-2 Bays
👎🏻No Surveillance or VM App

 


Best All-Round Performing 10GbE NAS – The QNAP TS-h973ax NAS

0-100TB HDD, 5x 3.5″ Bays, 2x 2.5″ SATA Bays, 2x 2.5″ U.2 NVMe SSD, 4-Core Ryzen V1500B 2.2Ghz CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 2.5GbE Ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Option of ZFS or EXT4, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solution from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others.

Click to view slideshow.

Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straight forward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one! 

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


8.2
PROS
👍🏻10GbE Equipped
👍🏻Triple tier storage
👍🏻ZFS / QuTS Hero System
👍🏻Virtualization Support is unparalleled
👍🏻10Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻U.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3×4 Support
👍🏻Hugely Expandable
👍🏻2.5GbE LAN Ports
👍🏻8 Surveillance Camera Licences
CONS
👎🏻No PCIe Upgrade Option
👎🏻Lacks HDMI
👎🏻Some might prefer the ease of NVMe over NVMe U.2

 


Ultimate Hardware & Software 10GbE NAS – The Synology DS3622xs+ NAS

0-240TB, Synology HDDs Only, 12-Bays, 6-Core Intel Xeon X D-1531 CPU, 16-48GB Memory, 2x 10Gbe Ports, 2x 1GbE, 1x OoB Port, 1x PCIe 3×8 Slot, 5yr Warranty,

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, mac and linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS3622xs+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependant on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS3622xs+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

Click to view slideshow.

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

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


8.6
PROS
👍🏻6-Core Xeon Processor
👍🏻Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
👍🏻Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
👍🏻Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Exceptionally Expandability
👍🏻No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
👍🏻5yr Warranty
CONS
👎🏻NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
👎🏻Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
👎🏻48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
👎🏻Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow

 


 

 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 10GbE NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 10GbE NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 10GbE’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 10GbE solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


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Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Kind of a Big Deal

19 novembre 2021 à 17:50

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Game Changer?

Reviewing the new Synology DS3621xs+ NAS is something that is going to be a little tough, given the huge range of buyers who see this particular server as the ‘ultimate private desktop NAS server’. If you have been looking at moving your mid-to-high sized company data operations away from popular cloud services in the last year or so, then there is a good chance that you have been looking at Synology as your private platform of choice. The same goes for large Virtual Machine operations, multi-site surveillance setups and even Plex Media server users who want phenomenal futureproofing moving forward. The DS36XXxs series has been around for a decade or more and in that time only 4 solutions have ever been included, the DS3611xs, DS3612xs, the DS3617xs and now, the DS3622xs+ – so there is ALOT for this new powerhouse desktop NAS solution to live up to. Factors such as its internal performance, external bandwidth, its scalability and ultimately its justification in price to replace your popular 3rd party subscription services – there is ALOT to take into consideration. So, in today’s review of the, I want to discuss the hardware, the software, where it shines and where it doesn’t, in efforts to help you decide whether the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS deserves your data. Let’s begin.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

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


8.6
PROS
👍🏻6-Core Xeon Processor
👍🏻Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
👍🏻Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
👍🏻Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Exceptionally Expandability
👍🏻No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
👍🏻5yr Warranty
CONS
👎🏻NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
👎🏻Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
👎🏻48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
👎🏻Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Packaging

The shipping container that the DS3622xs+ arrives in (I know this is dull for most of you, but some people genuinely care about this) is easily one of the most protected desktop solutions in the Synology portfolio. Arriving in a double layer of cardboard carton (rugged external shipping carton, livery and branded internal packaging box), the NAS on its own is over 9KG unpopulated and you can add another kilo or two to the shipping extras. So with that kind of weight in mind, you have to make serious considerations for shock and motion protection in transit.

Unpacking the first couple of layers of the DS3622xs+ reveals that the NAS is also held in place with a surrounding frame of hard, rigid foam. Again, some brands might cut corners on protective shipping provisions on desktop solutions, in an effort to keep the profit margin a pinch higher. I am pleased to see that there is no evidence of that here on the DS3622xs+. Indeed, although the included accessories are a little thinner than I would have likely, I cannot fault the protection that Synology has afforded to this system in transit.

Unpacking the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS and laying out the entire contents, I was a little surprised by the accessories. Not disappointed, just a little surprised in some areas. The kit includes the NAS itself, external mains power cable (the system has a single internal 550W PSU), installation guide, screws for 2.5/3.5″ media, keys for those lockable trays and two RJ45 LAN cables.

Now, this leads me to my first minor gripe – those ethernet cables. On the face of it, providing additional LAN cables is always good (the system has a possible 5 network connections by default), but the cables are Cat 5e, not Cat 6 – which is what I would expect from a 10GbE equipped solution like the DS3622xs+. This is an incredibly pedantic point I know, but it’s a small thing to have been overlooked and anyone that takes their 10GbE setup seriously will want to swap these out immediately. The main difference between CAT5e and CAT6 cable lies within the bandwidth, the cable can support for data transfer. CAT6 cables are designed for operating frequencies up to 250 MHz, compared to 100 Mhz for CAT5e. This means that a CAT6 cable can process more data at the same time. Think of it as the difference between a 2- and a 4-lane highway. On both, you can drive at the same speed, but a 4-lane highway can handle much more traffic at the same time.

The rest o the accessories and kit are what you might expect and all agreeable. The paper manual is a little sparse, but these kinds of devices have always had a preference to push users to use online resources to setup these devices correctly and with frequent updates. The initial setup and installation of Synology NAS have always been remarkably easy and the contents of this paper manual are largely sufficient to help you through those early steps.

Let’s move over to the design of the DS3622xs+ NAS itself and how it has managed to house such a huge amount of storage, whilst still remaining rather compact in its physical shape.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Design

The DS3622xs+ uses a chassis that is very familiar and is one that (although tweaked in small places over time) has remained largely the same over the last 5 years throughout other releases (both in the XS family and PLUS series). It has always provided a good balance of storage, versus efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

The DS3622xs+ chassis is almost entirely metal, with the only notable exception being the front panel of the desktop casing and the trays. This larger metal chassis, in conjunction with the 12 bays of SATA storage and twin rear fans results in a NAS that is most certainly going to make some noise. Although not reaching the “airplane take-off’ levels of noise that a rackmount like the RS3621xs+ reaches, the DS362xs+ is still a NAS that you do not want to be in close proximity with when in full operation. the official Synology pages highlight that the noise level is a reported 25 dB(A), however, this is based on the use of 2TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (which do not feature on the compatibility list I might add) and not the enterprise build HAT5300 Hard drives that this system is designed to be used with, which are a noticeable degree noisier due to their high performance, workload and durability design. Below is a quick vid on their noise level:

The front of the Synology DS3622xs+ has no LCD/Display panel, but rather it has numerous LEDs for displaying system, activity and access. These can all be adjusted in brightness and activity in the DSM 7 control panel, with eat pertaining to different areas of the system hardware – Hard drives, network status, network connectivity and system health.

The 12 bays of storage featured on the DS3622xs+ are all well ventilated around the front oF the chassis and between each bay to allow passive airflow to flow as heat is dissipated inside. As mentioned earlier, the DS3622xs+ can run fully or partially populated, as well as be run on a single SATA HDD/SSD if need be (which would be rather daft). The system utilizes traditional RAID configurations to allow the end-user(s) to create a good balance of performance and redundancy in their storage over multiple drives. However, although the storage can be increased by adding further drives in available bays or an expansion chassis (the DX1222) the DS3622xs+ does NOT support the popular Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration that is available on the PLUS series and lower. Now, this is not a new thing and the XS/XS+ series of Synology NAS has never supported this configuration, for reasons of overall performance dip compared with traditional RAID levels (i.e. RAID 1,5,6,10,etc) on these solutions that are enterprise/big-data designed. However, the benefits of SHR in terms of scalability and adding larger capacity drives to your storage array years down the line (as larger capacities HDDs arrive and/or prices decrease per TB) has always been a compelling part of buyers who purchased the PLUS series and always a bit of a puzzler why it is not available here on an XS series solution. SHR on the DS3622xs+ is not impossible if you are migrating from an older NAS as shown here in this video, but it is still a shame it remains absent on the DS3622xs+ as a day 1 choice.

Each bay utilized a spring-loaded tray design that ensures that a drive will not be installed unless in full alignment with the internal SATA port inside. Additionally, each bay of the DS3622xs+ features a locking mechanism (with 2 keys included with your accessories pack) that ensures that accidental removal of an HDD/SSD in your NAS is not possible – this is especially useful as the DS3622xs+ does not support re-silvering and accidental removal of a drive for even just a single second can lead to hours upon hours or degraded RAID rebuilding.

The trays themselves are plastic in design, but the days of this being a negative are largely gone now and although early versions of NAS servers have cheaper and less robust plastic trays, this new generation Synology NAS has exceptionally well made plastic trays that are sturdy enough for even excessing storage use. Each tray also takes advantage of a click n load design that allows 3.5″ media to be installed without screws/screwdriver. Alternatively, there are screws and screw-holes for the installation of 2.5″ SATA SSD media for faster storage pools and/or caching storage. However, on the subject of storage media on the DS3622xs+, we should probably address the hard drive shaped elephant in the room.

The DS3622xs+ NAS is another release in the Synology High-end/enterprise series that has opted for a much more streamlined compatibility list. This results in this NAS only being supported for use with Synology hard drives and SSDs. These include the HAT5300 and SAT5200 (along with a few others with upgrade options). Although there are a few exceptions to this, the compatibility list over on Synology.com is pretty clear on this:

Synology’s decision to only allow the use of their own branded storage media on enterprise-level solutions was met with a mixed reception when it was rolled out in early 2020. On the one hand, the HAT5300 series of drives ARE good drives, arriving at a price point similar to the likes of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and WD Red Pro Pro-class Drives BUT featuring the architecture, performance and durability of Enterprise-class drives (such as Seagate EXOs and WD Gold) – it is a pretty good deal. Likewise, those looking for a full ‘one party’ solution will be pleased as it allows simple installation, deployment and management (with firmware updates and drive warranties being considerably easier to manage). However, with only three capacities of HAT5300 (8, 12 and 16TB) at the moment, as well as a relatively sudden pull on the support of other hard drive brands on this system, it has left quite a few users unhappy. Likewise, the decision in DSM 7 for the storage manager to prevent the use of non-compatible (i.e non-Synology) hard drives to be used in a storage pool completely, seems a touch aggressive in its presentation. As I have mentioned previously, I do actually quite like the HAT5300 series of hard drives, but the push by the brand to over-simplify the compatibility and support of 3rd party drives is something that I am less keen on and definitely do not want to see being extended to the rest of the PLUS/SMB line up lower down the portfolio in 2022.

nevertheless, the HAT5300 and SAT5200 series are still exceptionally good drives for this system and its XEON CPU, 16GB memory and twin 10GbE ports to sink its teeth into and when fully populated and equipped with 4x10GbE connections banded together (2x on-board 10GBASE-T + 2x 10GBASE-T on the E10G18-G2) has been reported to reach 4,719MB/s Sequential Read and over a quarter of a million 4K random Read IOPS.

Removing all the stays shows that all 12x SATA connectors are all combined data/power as you would expect. I did wonder, given the launch of Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard drives two months or so ago, that the next generation of this enterprise 12-Bay would factor in combined SATA/SAS connectors, but I guess the PCI lanes of this XEON were already fairly well spread and am much happier with the two 10G and PCIe 3×8 slot instead (if there WAS a choice there with resource architecture).

The DS3622xs+ NAS also features the neat and well-branded Synology ventilated/mesh logos on either side. Speaking as someone who has deployed a few Synology NAS solutions personally and professionally over the years, I can say these vents capture a lot more dust than you might expect and definitely help to assist passive airflow internally and assist dissipation. it is one of those slick design points that Synology are fond of,

The physical design of the DS3622xs+ is largely unchanged since the DS3617xs and DS2419+ that came before it, but that is no bad thing. It manages to balance large storage potential vs compact deployment, as well as maintaining that Synology branded modern design. The lack fo a front-mounted USB is a bit odd, given the numerous convenient advantage this would provide, but it’s a minor gripe and given that this NAS is designed with remote/out-of-office deployment in mind, it’s not a big loss. Let’s talk about the connectivity and accessibility of the DS3622xs+ NAS and how it will provide physical access to your data.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that the DS3622xs+ is easily the most well-provisioned Synology Diskstation NAS in terms of ports and connectivity that the brand has ever produced. When it comes to balancing the external connectivity of a NAS, there is a fine line that needs to be balanced between providing enough external bandwidth to let the internal storage media spread its wings a bit and saturate multiple connected clients with data throughput. For the most part, the DS3622xs+ absolutely and positively SMASHES IT and provides an unparalleled level of bandwidth on day 1 and in expandability.

The two rear fans on the DS3322xs+ are 120mm in diameter each and can be fully controlled in the DSM control panel or left to automatically adjust as needed to maintain optimal system efficiency. Drawing air over the multiple heatsinks and storage bays inside, these fans are also not the quietest either. This isn’t a huge surprise, given the scale of the chassis they are ventilating though.

This rear panel can also be removed by pulling the 6 thumb pins on the rear of the chassis and this allows you to perform cleaning as needed. This is something that you would usually find on rackmount solutions, but welcome addition, given the scale of the storage available in this 12 bay solution. Likewise, the same goes for those logo branded side panels. which can also be removed for cleaning (as well as accessing some upgrade areas of the device).

One of the biggest improvements of this device over the DS3617xs that came 4-5 years before it is the addition of TWO copper/RJ45 10GbE network ports on the DS3622xs+. These 10GBASE-T connections are exactly what buyers have been demanding in the high end of Synology’s Diskstation solutions for years now and although there have been a few desktop 10GbE solutions in their portfolio, they have always arrived with a whiff of compromise or arriving with nowhere near the mass storage potential that this 12-Bay solution can offer. Not only in those 12-Bays, but also with featured expansions adding more storage media.

Unsurprisingly, these two 10G ports can be link aggregated/trucked to allow a possible 20Gb/s (2,000MB/s+) bandwidth connectivity – something that 12 Bays of enterprise-level storage media certainly has the potential to do. Add to that the PCIe upgrade slot (will touch on that in a bit) in conjunction with Synology’ range of 10Gbe upgrade cards, Combo 10G+Cache card and recently released fibre channel (FC) cards and you have some SERIES external bandwidth potential and saturation possible here – especially if you factor in the Synology SAT5200 SSD series. Below is the reported performance of the Synology DS3622xs+, fully populated with SAT5200 SSDs and an additional 2x 10GbE network card (2 slides, featuring RAID 5 and RAID 6):

Click to view slideshow.

Sequential performance was rated at 4,720MB/s read and 2,621MB/s write in RAID 5. Then you have the random 4K IOPS benchmarks, with the same fully populated SSD, 4x 10GbE and RAID /RAID6 setup. This reached highs of 262K Read in RAID 5.

Click to view slideshow.

Of course, this is a maximum level setup that required an additional PCIe upgrade card and full SSD population, however, even with the HAT5300 HDDs, you will likely comfortably saturate the available twin 10GbE ports available by default. Along with these, the DS3622xs+ also arrives with two regular 1GbE ethernet ports. Although these seem a tad unnecessary after the two previously mentioned ports, even a mid-level deployment of this NAS will mean you do not want to waste the higher bandwidth ports on regular less-than-gigabit internet connectivity and these ports still have their uses for low priority connectivity.

Interesting, the Synology DS3622xs+ also arrives with a further 100MB/s copper network port, however, this one is a relatively new inclusion to the Synology NAS hardware portfolio and is a much more useful alternative to the coms port usual found on this product series.

This additional network port provides a direct maintenance and control access point (with usual security and access control as usual) known as  Out of Bands management (OOB). In the event that you have a critical network failure and need to interface with the system directly (even remotely when set up correctly) this is a useful recovery point for those that need to get into the system ‘around’ the existing network protocol in the event of connection difficulties to make repairs internally. Interfacing directly with the NAS directly via an RJ45 point-to-point connection is not new, but not in a way that would simplify the troubleshooting and management of powered-down devices remotely and accessing critical logs through a dedicated interface. It’s going to be a fairly rarely used feature I imagine, but kudos to them for including it as an extra and not expecting you to lose one of the existing ports to this access point. Talking of access points, let’s talk about another way in which you can scale up the DS3622xs+ in the system’s lifespan, that PCIe slot.

The DS3622xs+, like many of the enterprise and business class NAS solutions in Synology’s portfolio, arrives with a PCIe upgrade slot that allows you in upgrade the system with numerous internal and external performance expansion cards. This range quite extensively from single/twin port 10G cards (copper and fibre) and m.2 NVMe SSD caching cards to Combination cards that carry both features and a 25GbE two-port card. One impressive thing that Synology has managed in their upgrade cards and last 2-2.5 years of solutions is to ensure that ALL cards are PCIe Gen 3 x8 in architecture AND the slots on all their upgradable PLUS, XS, SA and FS systems are ALL PCIe Gen 3 x8 too. This means that no card will ever be throttled or bottlenecked by the PCIe slot and the potential 8000MB/s possible bandwidth allows you to push as much performance through as possible. Installation of cards requires the removal of one of the side panels (held in place by a couple of screws) and is a very straightforward installation.

Though it is also worth noting that, much like the compatibility list of hard drives and SSDs, the supported compatible network upgrade cards list on the official site is heavy first-party focused (though with a little more flexibility this time around). See below:

The final connections available are two of the best and (arguably) two of the worst. Let’s go upwards. The USB ports on the DS3622xs+ are a little bit of a disappointment for a few reasons. Firstly, Synology scaled back a lot of the abilities of USB ports in recent years and although standard external HDD/SSDs can be connected, along with UPS’ and a few encryption key devices, they have dropped the support of USB dongles, USB printers and Scanners. Although utility of most of these has reduced over the years, it has largely reduced the use of these ports. Add to that the fact that these ports are USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) Type-A, when USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) (in Type A and C) is available practically everywhere else and the idea of using these ports as any means of creating a local back of this 12-Bay particularly quickly are significantly reduced. It is certainly better to have these than no ports at all, but they are a little bit of a letdown when you look at how much the rest of the system has been upscaled since its predecessor.

On the other hand, the inclusion of two expansion ports on the DS3622xs+ is definitely something I can get behind! The DS3622xs+ is not the first 12 bay desktop solution that has been produced (going back practically a decade now since the DS3612xs), with this new NAS also supporting a newer gen 12-Bay expansion (the DX1222) and allows you to have up to a possible 36 bays of storage. This is especially useful when you factor in that the DS3622xs+ has both those 10GbE network ports AND a PCIe upgrade slot to add even more. Therefore the potential to get the most out of so many bays of storage in terms of capacity AND in performance is highly possible in this NAS.

Despite the lack of SHR (Synology Hybird RAID) support on this box, that does restrict you from expanding your existing RAID pool and volumes over multiple chassis (thereby allowing you to increase the available storage capacity without needing to change/adapt your existing shares/targeted LUNs/VM directories/camera feeds). Although I would largely recommend not to spread your RAID outside of a single chassis, having that option can be useful to some and if not, you can always use the expansion(s) to create huge volumes that are connected eternally, but fully accessible via DSM and your existing network clients.

So, as you can see, the DS3622xs+ is a particularly impressive and unique NAS in terms of external connectivity and upgradability, far surpassing taht of its predecessor (the DS3617xs) and pretty much any other desktop NAS solution in Synology’s portfolio. Let’s discuss the internal hardware.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Synolgoy DS3622xs+ is something that, for the most part, leave me impressed. It is not a HUGE jump up from the DS3617xs that came before it, with this new NAS system staying within the same CPU family series and just notching it up a few inches really. One early down point I noted was that the DS3622xs+ does not feature NVMe SSD m.2 bays inside (relying on upgrading towards this with the M2D20 or E10M20-T1 optional upgrade cards). Now, this could easily be the result of PCI lanes on the CPU and chipset being exhausted to support those 10Gbe ports, numerous bays and external HD mini-SAS architecture expansion slots. It is easy to imagine that adding m.2 slots on top of this was either an impossibility or would have resulted in capped/bottlenecked throughput on those m.2 slots. Nevertheless, this is a real shame, given the huge push that Synology has made on NVMe SSD caching on their systems and this would have been particularly advantageous to the end-users on a 12-Bay and 2x10G system that has the internal/external bandwidth potential to show the difference that caching could bring to multiple users at once. That said, let’s focus on the hardware inside that is present. Removing the first side panel reveals the memory of the DS3622xs+

Now, it is worth mentioning that these two revealed SODIMM DDR4 memory slots are not actually the default memory of the DS3622xs+ NAS. These slots allow you to increase the default 16GB of ECC DDR4 memory to 48GB. As good as this sounds, it does require a couple of notes to be aware of. First off, the CPU inside the DS3622xs+ can actually support more than 48GB of memory and, in fact, the 48GB maximum memory on this NAS is the result of the default memory being located in a largely inaccessible slot (so they cannot be changed out for larger modules). Additionally, it is also worth remembering that Synology insist on the use of only their own branded DDR4 ECC memory inside the DS3622xs+ NAS and using alternative memory modules/brands can result in them being unable to support your warranty. This has always been a sore point for some in the smaller NAS products, but at this storage level, many business users are perfectly fine with this.

The default 16GB of memory is located next to the XEON processor inside and is installed in two SODIMM slots that are impossible to reach without fully dismantling the entire NAS. The 16GB arrives in 2x 8GB Synology DDR4 2400Mhz ECC modules. Synology has always used Error Correcting Code memory in their SMB level units and higher and it is exactly the quality of memory I would expect in an enterprise product from this brand.

Removing the top panel reveals the access to that PCIe upgrade slot, but also a better view of the internal ventilation of the DS3622xs+. You can see that the 12 bays of storage are all fed into their own multi-ported controller board and this board feeds into the main CPU+memory controller board via its own PCIe connector. Indeed, this is a very clean setup and although the power cabling for the 550W PSU is visible, it is neatly tied and controlled. Despite a large amount of storage and a rather compact chassis, there is a tonne of airflow available to those big rear fans.

Indeed the entire outer chassis of the DS3622xs+ can be removed in 3 separate panels. This can be done for reasons of maintenance, but also for when you need to upgrade certain components. The CPU on the DS3622xs+ is not upgradable, but this kind of easy access is going to make keeping things dust-free/clear considerably easier long term. It is a feature that has existed in the 12 bay series of NAS solutions for more than a decade.

The CPU and its fanless heatsink are surprisingly compact, located on the base of that central controller board. The CPU is an Intel 6-Core Xeon D-1531. Now, in of itself, this is a powerful CPU that is going to find a great balance between high throughput, power efficiency and multi-task handling in the hundreds or thousands. However, this is still a small jump up from the Xeon D-1527 4-Core processor that came in the 54-5 year older DS3617xs predecessor.

A close look at the specifications and details over on Intel for the new and old Xeon D series CPU shows you that they both have the same clock speed at the base and in turbo, both do not feature embedded graphics, both were released in 2015 and are incredibly similar architecture, though the D-1531 in the DS3622xs+ is still an improvement in a few areas.

Where the Xeon D-1531 CPU in the DS3622xs+ improves over its predecessor is in smaller quality of life and ‘larger use’ areas that lower latency to connected users and when dealing with larger (in frequency and numerous) tasks. Aras such an the extra 2 cores, four more CPU threads to handle tasks and larger L2/L3 cache availability. Still, it would have been nice to see this CPU get the kind of upscale that we saw in the SA series, or even the 8-Core Intel Xeon D1541 that is available on the RS3621xs+ rackmount alternative to this desktop NAS.

However, Synology has always been a brand that keeps a very watchful eye on its portfolio and how solutions sit next to each other, not only between each solution in the desktop series (making sure that there is little overlap), but also making sure that there is a clear price-point line between desktop and rackmount. Adding a more modern CPU may have led to the brand increasing the price of this solution significantly over its predecessor, whereas  (ex.VAT) the DS3622xs+ is only a couple of hundred pounds more than the 4-5years older DS3617xs. Not to make excuses for the slightly underwhelming CPU (in context) but I can see why Synology went with this particular Xeon. Let’s talk about the software on the DS3622xs+, another big part of why buyers will be looking to install this NAS in their homes or business.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, mac and linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS3622xs+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependant on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS3622xs+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS3622xs+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 applications and services. If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Key business applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an every evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

UNIT
Synology DS3622xs+ PROS Synology DS3622xs+ CONS
  • 6-Core Xeon Processor
  • Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
  • Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
  • Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • Exceptionally Expandability
  • No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
  • 5yr Warranty
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
  • Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
  • 48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
  • Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow
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