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Hier — 30 juin 2022Flux principal

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review

29 juin 2022 à 18:23

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – And Now for Something Completely Different, sort of…

Many who have been following the release strategy of the popular network-attached storage brand, Synology, have been noticing something of a shift towards premium business products this last few years. The brand still features numerous solutions that are targeted toward home, value and prosumer users, but it is undeniable that Synology has been giving a great deal of attention to top-tier business and enterprise above all else in 2022. So far, the new Synology DS1522+ NAS is a solution that on the face of it is something a little bit more SMB and Prosumer, arriving in a 5 Bay desktop chassis and mid-range server CPU form. This new system has striking differences in a few key areas though compared with the DS1520+ predecessor and with little mention of a new DS922+ or DS923+ from the brand in any form, many are wondering if the new DS1522+ is what the shape of the smaller end of the Synology portfolio is going to look like moving forward. Today I want to review the Synology DS1522+ to find out whether this new iteration of the popular Diskstation series is a move for good or for bad, discuss its hardware and what this newer configuration of hardware is able to do. Let’s find out if the Synology DS1522+ NAS deserves your data.

Review Chapters

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

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


8.4
PROS
👍🏻8GB of ECC Memory that can be scaled to 32GB – LOVELY STUFF
👍🏻Optional 10GbE Upgrade
👍🏻Continued Support of Synology Hybrid RAID on this scale
👍🏻4x LAN Ports by default
👍🏻Expandable with another 10 Drives down the line (2x DS517)
👍🏻NVMe SSD Bays for Caching will be very useful with this 5-Bay RAID Storage
👍🏻DSM 7.1 is hands down the best NAS software and services in the market right now
👍🏻3 years base warranty, with optional extra 2yrs
👍🏻Numerous storage service advantages inc. BTRFS, Fast RAID Rebuild and Auto-Repair
👍🏻First Party Hybrid Cloud services with Synology C2
👍🏻Exceptionally good surveillance software included
CONS
👎🏻That CPU is going to divide opinion
👎🏻HDD & SSD Compatibility list is a little thinner than I expected
👎🏻Optional 10GbE upgrade is via a heavily proprietary route



Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Packaging

As always with Synology Diskstation NAS, The DS1522+ arrives with familiar two-tone livery-covered brown box packaging. It’s an attractive presentation indeed and I have always appreciated Synology’s approach to providing what looks like generic packaging that when you take a closer look is clearly specifically designed for this system with neat finishing touches. It is a small detail but for a brand that I believe heavily stars itself on Mac presentation, these small image details do all add up.

With regard to protection in transit, this system arrives a little less protected than some of the bigger desktop NAS systems. Featuring a predominantly cardboard internal frame, with foam panels, this system arrives in a moderately protected fashion in terms of movement in transit. Additionally, as the systems are always shipped unpopulated, this is less of an issue.

Inside we find the usual Synology retail kit and although the system does not arrive with media, it does feature pretty much everything else you’re going to need to deploy this product for the first time. Inside we find the unit itself, an external PSU, details on the first-time setup, information on the 3 years of warranty (that can be extended to 5 years), screws for 2.5 in media, keys for the hard drive trays and an ethernet cable.

Taking a closer look at that external PSU, it is a Synology branded 120W power block with separate mains power connector. Five-bay NAS systems tend to be the tipping point when it comes to internal or external power suppliers. Personally, I always prefer an external PSU for reasons of speedy replacement, when in a pinch and less warranty hassle.

The system also arrives with a single RJ45 cat 5e ethernet cable. I know this system features multiple ethernet ports but only a small percentage of users will likely take advantage of link aggregation, failover or load balancing and it would be wasteful to include cables for this smaller percentage of users. Likewise, as this system is gigabit ethernet by default, cat 5e is perfectly acceptable here.

Overall, the presentation of the Synology DS1522+ retail kit is pretty much everything you would expect. All fairly standard stuff that is presented neatly and securely. Let’s dig a little deeper and discuss the design of the new Synology DS1522+ Diskstation NAS

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Design

The design of the Synology DS1522+ has changed very little in this now third generation of the popular compact 5-Bay Diskstation from the brand (not inc the DS1513/15/17/etc which were especially more business-focused). Taking advantage of a larger and modified version of the familiar chassis found in the DS920+, this five-drive system is surprisingly small in stature given the level of storage and connectivity that it contains. Additionally, there is more ventilation dotted around the system than one might expect for its scale and although the chassis is predominantly plastic in its external casing (surrounding the internal aluminium frame), it still feels very sturdy in its build quality and is dripping in that slick Synology branding and design.

The sides of the DS1522+ square chassis have the vented Synology logo and there is additional ventilation around every storage bay from the front that all works in conjunction with the two rear active cooling fans on this system. It is a good balance between functionality and modern design here on the DS1522+ and Synology have been tweaking this design for many years now to ensure this system still looks pretty darn good on any desktop setup.

The SATA bays on the front of the Synology DS1522+ are all lockable and support 3.5inch and 2.5inch media. Additionally, the system does not require full population to operate and will easily function with as little as a single drive. The Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) feature that allows you to take advantage of mixed capacity RAID configurations is also supported on the DS1522+ and although the compatibility list for this NAS is a little stricter than the lights of the DS920+ (oddly, Pro series HDDs from Seagate and WD Red are not here and no drive above 16TB), it is still a little bit more varied than more enterprise NAS that the brand has unveiled in 2022.

Synology has recently been changing its position on supported media in its systems and many were concerned that the DS1522+ would be similar in HDD/SSD compatibility to the likes of the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ (i.e. only officially supporting use of their own HAT5300, SAT5210, SAT5210 and SNV3400 media). The range of drives that appear on the DS1522+ compatibility list includes several 3rd party NAS and server-grade HDD/SSDs, though there are still some glaring omissions at the time of writing (eg a number of WD drives are missing and only Red Plus and Purple present, plus drives above 16TB are absent). You can still choose to use non-Synology verified drive media in the DS1522+, but the brand does state that you are using the system in a setup that is not how it was intended and might result in support issues down the line.

The trays of the DS1522+ themselves, much like the chassis, are plastic in material, but are click and load drives that ensure the installation of hard drive media takes just a few seconds, as well as the support of installing 2.5inch media using the included screws from the accessory kit. It is a very straightforward system to get up and running and installation of drives have come a long way since the days of having to fiddle with SATA and power connectors inside your old DiY tower desktop case.

Although the Synology DS1522+ does not feature an LCD panel for real-time information on your device, it does feature numerous LEDs that denote the activity of the storage media, network connectivity, system status, and any errors that may have been encountered internally. Synology has always been rather clear that management of their systems needs to be conducted with an additional client device (computer, smartphone or larger server overseer program) with the likes of a KVM setup being largely out of the question here.

The DS1522+ also features a front-mounted USB port that allows quick and easy attachment of external storage to be utilized for backups in either direction (with a specialized USB backup tool to craft more bespoke and tailored synchronization and exchanges), as well as to simply attach a few supported accessory devices easily. It is a shame that this port is USB 3.2 Gen 1 and therefore limited to 5Gb/s, rather than the more popular Gen 2 10Gb/st connection that is becoming widely available. This may limit the speed of some backup operations quite significantly and when you are talking about a large RAID-enabled five-bay storage system that can support up to a 20TB drive in each one, we are talking serious amounts of data here.


Alongside the five SATA bays of storage, the DS1522+ also features two rather useful m.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install superfast m.2 PCIe performance storage drives into this modest-sized system. These bays are ventilated and allow for additional heatsinks to be attached to SSDs inside. Synology has been a keen supporter and innovator of SSD caching in storage servers. Its benefits and improvements via the many different types of SSD cache that are possible to improve the overall access and performance to the primary storage in a number of ways and I’m glad to see Synology continuing with this feature here.

It is worth highlighting though that Synology continue with their strict use of these bays for SSD cache only and does not allow their use as independent storage pools and volume creation. This is a real shame as this system not only can benefit via the optional 10GbE connection, but also many users would like this area of super fast storage to be more directly beneficial to specific DSM applications, priority databases, virtual machines or even dense multimedia use. There are ways and means to unofficially mod your Synology NAS to allow these bays for use as storage pools, but it is not recommended, is not officially endorsed and could potentially be patched out in a further firmware update, thereby resulting in these NVMe storage pools being a touch unstable long-term.

Overall, I still really like the design of Synology Diskstation devices and the DS1522+ is another great example of the brand really putting in the hours in, crafting a device that is just a huge leap from what other brands put out in physical architecture. Although it seems tremendously understated and discreet in its scale, that is kind of the whole point and often one of the main reasons people are so happy to have a Synology on their desk whilst they work. Let’s take a closer look at the port and connections of the Synology DS1522+ to see how it has improved on its predecessor, as well as just how much you are going to be able to do with those five bays of RAID storage.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The port and connections available on the DS1522+ are remarkably similar to the previous generation DS15XX+ Diskstation from Synology, but with one rather important upgrade that I will talk about later on. The DS1522+ NAS external performance, even if fully populated with SSDs, is going to be negligible (dual-core CPU and 5 SATA drives) and therefore Synology has clearly had to balance factors such as value and necessity when choosing the connectivity of this system. For the most part, what we see here is largely what we expected and perhaps a little safe, but they do manage to cram quite a lot into this tiny little box.

As always, with these rather compact chassis, the rear of the system has two active cooling fans that are designed to keep the internal components operating at optimal temperature efficiency. These fans can have their RPM adjusted manually or left on automatic modes to ensure they increase or decrease in speed as needed. As this system is a plastic external casing and these fans are too rather small plastic fans, noise shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you choose to install more enterprise or large capacity drives.

On the subject of day 1 network connectivity, there is a mixture of good and bad news. The Synology DS1522+ NAS arrives with four ethernet gigabit ethernet ports that allow users to create multiple network connections with this device at 100MB/s+ each, or link aggregate them in order to achieve 400-450MB/s+. This will of course depend on the storage media and RAID configuration you opt for, but this is a good number of network ports for such a modest-sized device. The fact that they are still gigabit ethernet in 2022 is something of a disappointment though and whilst all other NAS brands right now have already shifted gear in their latest releases to 2.5 GbE, Synology still appears steadfast to be sticking to gigabit ethernet. However, networking on the DS1522+ NAS is not quite over yet…

This is because the Synology DS1522+ NAS also features a network expansion port that allows users to install an optional 10GbE ethernet upgrade module. This module, although an additional purchase, is something a lot of users are going to be glad they can utilize later in the system’s life to improve network performance in this device.

You may also have noticed that I have not referred to this upgrade as a card, but as a module. This is because the upgrade port on the Synology DS1522+ uses a unique proprietary design, which I will get onto in just a moment

According to Synology’s own reports, the DS1522+ with the 10GbE upgrade card achieved up to 736 MB/s sequential read and 796 MB/s sequential write performance. This does seem a little surprising, as I would hope that this system, if fully populated with SATA SSDs would do a better job of saturating a 10G connection, but I will be running my own tests for YouTube shortly.

Inside the network upgrade port, you find a PCIe Gen 3 x 2 slot (so a potential 2,000MB/s bandwidth). This is not a commonly used adapter connector and this means that you cannot use off-the-shelf 10GbE ethernet upgrade cards when upgrading the system, but rather you need to use Synology’s own first-party, specifically designed adapter on this system, the E10G22-T1-mini. On the plus side, that is a decent amount of bandwidth being made available to a single 10GbE connection and it will be interesting to see if Synology can flesh out a range of accessories for this adapter slot, despite its small form.

Additionally, many users will embrace the convenience of this upgrade module method compared with the slightly more hands-on and internally invasive PCIe upgrade methods that are traditionally associated with network upgrades. However, this module costs a pinch more than normal 3rd party PCIe 10GbE upgrade cards and is also a little bit pricier than their own normal PCIe 10G upgrade card Synology’s own E10G18-T1).

The fact that it arrives in this proprietary form is possibly another move by this brand to keep everything in a ‘first-party ecosystem’ which I know a number of users are less keen on. Nevertheless, having an option of 10GbE here is tremendously useful to have, but I query whether this module was the only way it could have been done. 

Another form of upgrade that is possible with the Synology DS1522+ is with storage expansions. This device can be connected to two official DX517 expansion chassis allowing you to store up to 15 bays of storage across the complete storage system. Although these expansions have their RAID managed by the main DS1522+ NAS, as they are JBOD (just a bunch of drives), this is still going to be tremendously useful to users who either wish to expand their existing SHR storage pool easily or wish to create mirrored storage backups with the main NAS storage. Expansions like these allow users to focus the budget they intend to spend on their NAS storage more appropriately away from day one capacity and instead towards the system power, whilst also having the option to expand existing storage pools without needing to reconfigure or create brand new pathways for existing client devices.

Finally, the Synology DS1522+ also has an additional USB port that allows you to attach further external storage, a UPS device, or a few other compatible USB accessories to the Synology DS1522+. DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 reduced the range of supported USB devices for reasons of compatibility.

Overall, the external connectivity and available upgrades that you can attach to the DS1522+ are all moderately good for a system of this scale and despite some of my reservations about how Synology have chosen to pursue the upgrade path towards 10GbE on this system, it is still hugely important and advantageous that this is possible on this system. The rest of the connectivity present here is pretty much everything we expected, including the slightly underwhelming gigabit ethernet by default, I’m sure there is plenty here for most SMB users to sync their teeth into to make the most of the Synology DS1522+ in their network setup. Let’s discuss the internal hardware and how it has changed in this latest iteration of this product family.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

When I first announced the Synology DS1522+ here on NAS compares, the predominant and loudest comment made by you guys was regarding the CPU choice that the brand opted for in this device. Up until this point we had gotten used to the Synology 5-Bay effectively supersizing the architecture of the 4-bay that came before it (eg DS918+ > DS1019+ and DS920+ > DS1520+) and we’re all pretty convinced that this system would and should feature an Intel Celeron processor. When the hardware for the new DS1522+ NAS did arrive, many of you were quite surprised Synology had opted for another embedded Ryzen CPU, the Ryzen R1600.

Now, let’s get it out the way immediately. For a five-bay NAS device running DSM7 and with an optional 10GbE connection – the Ryzen R1600 is a good CPU. Its two-core, four-thread architecture, though a little weaker than many would have hoped, has an excellent power vs efficiency level and when combined with the support of ECC memory enables the system to get more done reliably and also whilst utilizing less raw power. Other desktop and rackmount NAS from Synology that feature a similar quad-core Ryzen (the V1500) proved that this processor is more than up to the task of managing multiple RAID pools and volumes whilst in 24/7 server use. Equally, no doubt Synology have benefited from lessons learned in the previous embedded Ryzen NAS developments that have resulted in this new R1600-equipped system benefiting in how well it runs DSM7 applications. Although industry measurements are a little few and far between on this relatively new processor, the hardware architecture behind it stands out very well.

The issue for many, as mentioned earlier, is going to be that this is NOT an embedded graphics processor and many users look at this scale of solution as a mixed-use device for home and business, or just for purely enjoying multimedia, are going to be a bit underwhelmed as that is something that this processor is less suited for. The hardware architecture we have here is going to result in very high CPU utilization for even mid to low-end multimedia handling and heavier tasks such as 4K multimedia and transcoding while streaming, are going to push this process to the 100% utilization mark very quickly. Many are concerned that Synology may be in the process of reshaping the lower tiers of their portfolio to solely utilize these Ryzen processors, something I assume and indeed hope not to be the case. Additionally, it is worth highlighting that this particular family of Ryzen CPUs (The R1000 series) does feature AMD Vega embedded graphics options, so it is an odd choice by the brand to stick with this product family but opt away from more graphically proficient processors that are in the line-up.

Moving forward, we can discuss the memory that is utilized by the Synology DS1522+. Much like previous five-bay NAS systems, the DS1522+ arrives with 8GB of memory by default. Arriving in SODIMM DDR4, the system can have its total available memory upgraded to an impressive 32GB across two slots. Those looking at the Synology DS1522+ for surveillance, large databases, containers or virtualization are definitely going to be pleased with this style of total memory available in the system’s life.

Additionally, it is worth highlighting that the DS1522+ is yet another solution from Synology that features error-correcting code (ECC) memory, which is certainly a high-end business preference for many. This type of memory benefits from an additional module on board that checks data as it enters and exits the RAM and if inconsistencies or errors occur during the write, this memory recognizes this when comparing the format of the binary at the beginning and end of its pass through, restoring the data to its integrity before it is committed to the larger NAS system during a write operation. Those that utilize larger databases or simply huge amounts of data that are high in frequency but low in volume. Will certainly see the benefit in this rather than encountering corrupted data days, weeks, months or even years down the line. This is by far the smallest NAS that Synology has released to feature this more enterprise-grade memory.

There is no avoiding that the CPU choice of the Synology DS1522+ is certainly going to divide opinion. As Synology continues down its path towards being a more enterprise and high business solution provider, I do think their shift towards more corporate storage and file management focus in its chosen hardware is only going to increase. That isn’t to say that the hardware on offer inside the DS1522+ is not good. Quite the opposite, from the design of the internal components and how they are laid out in this 24×7 server, to the general quality level of both the CPU and memory. Aside from multimedia concerns, you still have a very proficient and good-value Synology server here in terms of hardware. Likewise, this five-drive NAS is with it two NVMe SSD bays working with that CPU and memory combo is going to result in some very fast, responsive and highly productive storage for you, your home and/or your business. It will be interesting to see how the Synology DS1522+ compares against the Intel-powered Synology DS1520+ that came two years before it in terms of performance. Let’s discuss the level of support that the Synology DS1522+ provides towards Synology’s award-winning software.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS1522+ 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 DS1522+ 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 DS1522+, 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 DS1522+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS1522+ 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 DS1522+ 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 DS1522+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

Synology DS1522+ PROS Synology DS1522+ CONS
  • 8GB of ECC Memory that can be scaled to 32GB – LOVELY STUFF
  • Optional 10GbE Upgrade
  • Continued Support of Synology Hybrid RAID on this scale
  • 4x LAN Ports by default
  • Expandable with another 10 Drives down the line (2x DS517)
  • NVMe SSD Bays for Caching will be very useful with this 5-Bay RAID Storage
  • DSM 7.1 is hands down the best NAS software and services in the market right now
  • 3 years base warranty, with optional extra 2yrs
  • Numerous storage service advantages inc. BTRFS, Fast RAID Rebuild and Auto-Repair
  • First Party Hybrid Cloud services with Synology C2
  • Exceptionally good surveillance software included
  • That CPU is going to divide opinion
  • HDD & SSD Compatibility list is a little thinner than I expected
  • Optional 10GbE upgrade is via a heavily proprietary route
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below as it results in us at NASCompares receiving an affiliate fee from Amazon:

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Synology Unofficial Memory on DSM 7.1 – DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS

1 juin 2022 à 01:19

Using Synology NAS, DSM 7.1 and Unofficial Memory Modules for DSx20+ series

NAS systems are not cheap and nor are the accessories! However, one area that many new/existing NAS buyers take issue with more than most is the cost of official NAS memory. It’s an unfortunate fact that any computer system that has been built/tailored towards a specific purpose, is going to end up costing more. This usually comes down to much more specific design requirements and NAS drives are no different. But when it comes to Memory modules, people are slightly less forgiving. When a NAS brand sells it’s branded memory, many are quick to raise that the brand rarely makes the memory itself and instead they are putting their branded labels on memory from the likes of Kingston, Samsung, ADATA or Crucial. Now, this is only partially true, as brands tend to test a wide range of memory in the development phase of their products and then settle on the best choice based on that system architecture (no doubt factoring cost of course too) and then THAT memory is made the brand’s recommended choice, labelling it brand-approved. Where things get murky is when brands start to become rigid on their system’s use of other memory and how that impacts brand support and how the system treats ‘other’ or ‘unofficial’ memory.

Article Chapters to Skip Ahead

In the case of Synology, this can lead to DSM 7.1 displaying a warning notification in the software highlighting the use of an unsupported memory. There is also the fact that the brand might become less able to assist you in any warranty claims from reasonable system hardware failure if the issue can be stemmed in any way to memory. Now, when Synology released the latest revision of their software, DSM 7.1, there were some reports online of users stating that their system would no longer boot with 3rd party memory installed. Although I tested this on the NASCompares YouTube channel with mixed results, I have since RE-TESTED this (on the heavy request of users who did not experience any issues, who queried the results) and in that follow-up testing, ALL 3rd party memory modules worked (video embedded later in the article below). So, it looks confirmed that unofficial/3rd party memory STILL WORKS in DSM 7.1 at the time of writing, which means users still have a choice of choosing the 3rd party RAM route or sticking with the officially provided and branded memory. Nevertheless, many users who look at Synology’s pricing for their official memory modules might be thinking “HOW MUCH???”:

Important Considerations about Synology NAS and Unofficial Memory Upgrades

Now, let’s get serious real quick. A Synology NAS does not occupy the same importance in your hardware environment as a TV, sound system or even day-to-day PC. A NAS system will often be one of many backups of ALL your data! Therefore exercising caution on how your upgrade/tinker with it can have more dire consequences than simply breaking it – it can lead to the potential loss of genuinely irreplaceable photos, videos and more. Therefore if you are looking at upgrading the memory of your NAS drive and using hardware that is not on a recommended list by the manufacturer, you need to make sure you have your backups in order – have at least two backups (i.e 2 complete copies of your data OUTSIDE of the original file – one on your phone and one on a NAS only means ONE copy!). Additionally, if/when you install ANY new memory, it is highly recommended that you run a quick(ish) memory test using the desktop Synology Assistant application (for Windows/Mac) so that the NAS can check that the memory is good-to-go. Be warned, this process can take several hours (a relatively simple 2GB Transcend DDR4 2400Mhz SODIMM module in a DS920+ in my testing for a YouTube video took just over 1 HOUR and 40 MINUTES) and during that time, access to the NAS is largely impossible (plus the system will re-boot at least once). So ensure you do this during a quicker/downtime moment for your network. Below is a brief overview of where the Memory Test setting of Synology Assistant is and how to enable it:

We conducted a wide range of tests of memory from Crucial, Transcend, ADATA, Kingston, Sabrent and ADATA DDR4 SODIMM memory. These tests were conducted with a Synology DS220+ and DS920+, each running DSM 7.1. Here are the results from a video over on NASCompares:

So, let’s discuss 3rd party memory, Synology NAS and DSM 7.1 on some of the brand’s most popular systems for home/prosumer users – as it is these users who are less inclined to choose the official memory route.

Synology DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS Memory Tested

Now, before getting to the confirmed working memory that works in DSM 7.1 on the popular Synology Plus Series NAS right now, it is worth remembering that official Synology memory is always going to be the ‘ideal’ choice for the NAS. Despite reservations of price and (in some places) availability, this is still the memory that is going to present you with the least hurdles in the event of ALL support claims with Synology. Additionally, official memory will ensure no ‘warning – incompatible/unsupported memory installed’ message being displayed in DSM 7.1. Most home users will be able to ignore this warning no doubt, but if you are installing a Synology NAS for a 3rd party (friends, family or professional installation), it might un-nerve the receiver. It is for reasons like these that you might still want to opt for the official Synology memory. In that case, you can find the official memory modules available from Synology here:

D4NESO-2666-4G

D4ES01-4G (ECC)

D4ES01-8G (ECC)

D4ECSO-2666-16G (ECC)

However, we have been testing ALOT of memory with the Synology Diskstation Intel J4125 and Intel J4025 series of NAS devices since DSM 7.1 was released (DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+, DS1520+) and the following 3rd party memory modules are all confirmed to work in those systems.

IMPORTANT

  1.  The Synology DSx20+ series of NAS devices all arrive with default 2GB or 4GB of memory internally that is attached to the controller board/PCB which CANNOT be removed. Therefore you will ONLY be able to install a single memory module to upgrade these systems.
  2. When installing a new memory module, the Synology NAS system may take longer than usual to boot that first time (as I found out to my somewhat embarrassing error!), so give the system upto 20mins to boot the first time you install a new memory module.
  3.  The Intel CPU inside these systems has a maximum memory support of 8GB and they recommend that all memory matches the frequency/speed (Synology provide 2666Mhz DDR4 on these systems). So, try to err towards 2666Mhz (though we have successfully tested both 2400Mhz and 3200Mhz). Additionally, having in excess of 8GB is not guaranteed to mean the CPU can actually use more than 8GB in its architecture internally.


4GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

The following 4GB Modules of DDR4 SODIMM memory have been tested in the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1. The Links used below will take you to amazon (it SHOULD re-direct to your own country/storefront automatically) where this memory is available. HOWEVER, thanks to their site having a policy of substituting product links to something else in the event the original product is out of stock, MAKE SURE to check that the memory modules for 16GB and 32GB SODIMM modules are DUAL RANK or ‘DR‘, as Synology NAS typically have trouble with SR/SINGLE RANK modules above 8GB. When in doubt, use the model ID.

Kingston KVR26S19S6/4

2666Mhz, Single Rank

AM-D4NESO-2666-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Crucial CT4G4SFS8266

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$23.25 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$34.95 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$33.77 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

TimeTec 76TT26NUS1R8-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Transcend M2666HSH-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

SK Hynix HMA851S6CJR6N

3200Mhz, Single Rank

$31.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$26.49 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$15.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >


8GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

Now, when it comes to 8GB Memory modules on the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1, it is once again worth remembering that the CPU has that 8GB recommended maximum memory in place from both Intel and Synology. So, although all six of the tested modules below WORK, the jury is still out on whether you will be able to use them to their fullest extent. Additionally, remember that this will be paired with the 2/4GB of memory that the NAS has soldered to the controller board internally, so you will end up with either 10GB or 12GB of visible memory inside your NAS.

TimeTec 76TT26NUS1R8-8G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

SAMSUNG M471A1K43CB1

2400Mhz, Single Rank

Crucial CT8G4SFS8266

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$28.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$27.75 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$38.50 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

ATech AT8G1D4S2666NA0N12V

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Sabrent Rocket SB-DDR8

3200Mhz, Single Rank

ADATA AD4S240038G17

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$31.25 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$49.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$55.80 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >


16GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

Finally, we have the largest current memory that works in the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1 – 16GB in a single DDR4 SODIMM non-ECC module. For many users, the idea that a 16GB RAM stick for their NAS from Kingston, Crucial or Samsung will cost less than a 4GB official module is just too damned tempting! Much like the 8GB modules, it is really important to remember that these are substantially higher than the recommended maximum of the CPU by Synology and Intel, so although these have been tested and confirmed to work by both me (Robbie @ NAScompares) and many online sources, I would still ensure you have at least 2 backups in place of your data at all times regardless. 

TimeTec 76TT26NUS2R8-16G

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

SAMSUNG M471A2K43CB1

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

Crucial CT16G4SFD832A

3200Mhz (2933/2666Mhz)

$52.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$77.00 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$73.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

Crucial CT16G4SFRA266

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

Sabrent Rocket SB-DDR16

3200Mhz, Dual Rank

ADATA AD4S3200716G22

3200Mhz, Dual Rank

$67.39.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$74.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$98.00 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

Is Upgrading the Memory on a Synology NAS worth it?

Many users will avoid updating default Memory on a Synology NAS server while it is still under warranty – thinking that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. However, If you are buying a Synology NAS that supports an official or unofficial user memory upgrade, there’s almost no reason not to do the upgrade. There are practically no disadvantages (none at all, if you buy official Synology Memory) and the benefits will be immediate. You can always wait till later on an upgrade when you notice a drop in performance, however, I would keep an eye on deal websites for your compatible DDR3 or DDR4 Synology NAS supported memory and then grab some when a bargain appears. I do wish some lower capacity NAS’ drives, such as the DS120j, DS220j and DS420j (that arrive with much less memory soldered to the motherboard than their CPU can handle at maximum) were able to have their memory upgraded, as this becomes a tremendous bottleneck. There are cases where two drive bays are enough in terms of total available storage space (especially with 18TB Seagate and 20TB WD Red NAS drives in-coming), so you will be able to run a lot of applications, for multiple users, but the rather comical 256MB, 512MB and 1GB memory available in these budget models is just not enough to run DSM 7.1 to its full potential on these NAS and the result will be that most users will walk away with a very poor opinion of the Synology NAS experience.

Looking for Other Synology NAS and Compatible Unofficial Memory?

We have made several guides on finding the right unofficial memory that can be used on Synology NAS systems over the last few years. You can use the huge guide liked below to scroll the current available range of NAS from the brand and the official and unofficial RAM that works with it.

Synology Unofficial Memory Upgrades – 2022 UPDATED (Click Below)

 

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

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.  

 

Comparing the Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

27 mai 2022 à 01:19

Comparing the Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

Let’s be honest. Network Attached Storage (NAS) is much the same as any other kind of consumer-available technology, in that every few years a brand will release the latest hardware in its portfolio and buyers will IMMEDIATELY start comparing it versus its predecessor. New vs Old, Launch Price vs Discount Deals, Cutting Edge vs Well Established – regardless of your own motivation, then are a whole bunch of reasons why someone will be comparing the Synology DS1522+ for 2022 versus the 2020 released DS1520+ NAS. Today I want to take a closer look at these two NAS systems from the big brand in NAS drives and compare their strengths, their weaknesses and ultimately help you decide which one deserves your data right now. Let’s begin.

Note – Depending on when you are reading this, the availability of the DS1522+ or DS1520+ will be different. So, regardless of which one of these two NAS systems best sounds like it suits your needs, it is paramount that you remember that your data should be backed up at all times. So do not just leave your data in an insecure or unsafe state in favour of waiting for either of these NAS to arrive. Unless your data is in at least 2 separate copies (NAS, close, USB, etc), it is NOT backed up! If you need help, you can use the free NAS advice section HERE.

Comparing the hardware of the Synology DS1522+ and DS1520+ NAS

The 5-Bay Diskstation releases from Synology have always been one of the most interesting tiers of the brand’s desktop solutions. The reason for this is that all too often this scale of system serves as a bridging point between Prosumer & SOHO systems and the small/medium business hardware in their portfolio. This is demonstrated first in the scale of the available RAID 5/6 storage, but then more so in the scalability and upgradability of the 5-Bay system, allowing two expansions, greater network connectivity and better internal hardware than the more domestic targetted solutions – often with the internal hardware differing considerably between each periodic 2-3yr refresh by the brand. Let’s first look at the internal hardware of these two NAS’ to see how much they differ. The DS1520+ NAS first arrived on the scene with some great hardware advantages over the (then 2 months sooner released) DS920+, arriving with a 4 Core Intel Celeron Processor that featured integrated graphics, 8GB of DDR4 2666Mhz memory and NVMe SSD upgrade slots. In the two years since its release though, Synology clearly decided to make some big changes in the DS1522+ to make it considerably more scalable and general business/file-ops focused. The newer DS1522+ features a dual-core AMD Ryzen embedded R1600 that, although arriving with half the cores of the Celeron in the DS1520+, has a higher CPU frequency and total achievable frequency in turbo/burst when needed. That said, users will be surprised to learn that this CPU also does not feature embedded graphics, so therefore the DS1522+ will be less CPU efficient at handling multimedia or VM deployment than the DS1520+.

Though both systems feature 8GB of DDR4 memory, the 1522+ has much higher pedigree and wins here thanks to its use of much more impressive ECC (error code correction) memory to identify and repair any bit level write errors and can also be scaled to a considerably higher 32GB of memory (with the DS1520+ maxing out at 8GB).

NAS Model DS1520+

DS1522+

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4125 AMD Ryzen R1600
CPU Quantity 1 Embedded Ryzen
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.0 – 2.7 GHz 2-core 2.6 – 3.1 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Integrated Graphics Yes No
CPU Cache 4 MB cache 1 MB L2 cache, 4 MB L3 cache
Memory
System Memory 8GB DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed 8GB (4GB On-board + 4 GB via a 2666Mhz Module) 8 GB (8GB x 1)
TDP 10W 25W
Total Memory Slots 1 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 120W External 120W External

Next up, let us discuss storage on the DS1522+ and DS1520+M, as these two systems are near enough identical on that one. Both arrive with 5x SATA storage bays, though you can deploy either NAS with as little as a single rive if you want. From there you can go ahead and install enough drives to accommodate a RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or Synology’s own flexible RAID configuration, SHR. Both systems can be initialized to operate with either a BTRFS or EXT4 file system, as well as supporting the wide range of services and features of the Synology Storage Manager. Finally, as mentioned, both systems feature M.2 NVMe SSD bays and both only allow these to be used for caching with DSM and its services/storage. Even in terms of expandability, these systems are largely identical. with both supporting the connection of two DX517 expansion chassis and reaching a total potential 15 bays of storage. As both systems support the latest version of Synology DSM, that maximum volume, simultaneous volumes, active storage shares and hybrid storage support are largely identical. The only area where things might differ significantly between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ is regarding Hard Drive compatibility. Synology changed its position a bit on compatibility in a few of the 2022 series hardware releases (beginning with the RS3622xs+, DS3622xs+ and DS2422+ at the start of the year) with them stating that they fully support the use of their own HDDs and SSDs in these systems, but not in third party drives from the likes of WD and Seagate. These drives will still be usable in their systems, but the user will be greeted by a warning message regarding compatibility. Now, this is not a factor of the DS1520+ compatibility, however, we are still (at the time of writing) awaiting confirmation of the HDD compatibility list of the DS1522+ NAS, so although it is NOT CONFIRMED RIGHT NOW it is possible that your choice of supported HDDs might impact which NAS is better for your storage.

Model DS1520+

DS1522+

Size (Height x Width x Depth) 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm
Drive Bays & Storage 5x SATA 5x SATA
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 15 (DX517 x 2) 15 (DX517 x 2)
M.2 Drive Slots 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching
Hot Swappable Drive Yes Yes
RAID Support JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR

Now in terms of the external connectivity and how it can be upgraded, this is another big area of difference between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ NAS. Both systems arrive with 4 1GbE RJ45 LAN ports, which can be combined via link aggregation/Port Trunking to allow up to 4Gb/s bandwidth between the system and a supported smart switch. However, the big difference in bandwidth potential between these two NAS centres around the DS1522+ features the option to upgrade it’s network connectivity to 10GbE by installing an E20G22-T1-mini 10G network upgrade in the available proprietary slot. Now, this is not a connection that is available in the default DS1522+ and is an optional upgrade, but still it is good to know that the option of adding 1,000MB/s bandwidth is available down the road. The DS1520+ does not include an option to increase the network connectivity in this way (though unofficial and not officially supported USB-to2.5GbE and 5GbE connectivity via 3rd party adapters are possible (but I wouldn’t trust their long term stability really) and for many, this will be a deal-breaker between these systems in the same way the CPU differences between these two NAS’ does. Both systems see the same sized chassis and the 10GbE upgradable slot on the DS1522+ using a smaller M.2 sized connector rather than the PCIe 3×8 slot of other Synology NAS, so it does not impact the size of the chassis.

Model DS1520+

DS1522+

RJ-45 1GbE LAN 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
2.5GbE LAN  No No
10GbE LAN  No Optional
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) No No
eSATA Port 2 2
PCIe Expansion No Yes (currently supports E10G22-T1-mini Adapter)
Supported File System
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
Size 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 282 mm x 243 mm
Weight 2.62 kg 5.1 kg

Overall, I think the differences between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ are some of the most notable that the brand has ever delivered between two NAS just two years apart in the same series! The option of 10GbE later in the system’s lifespan, along with a huge 32GB of ECC memory on the DS1522+ I think narrowly put that NAS ahead, but it is by no means an unquestionable victory, as not only are those advantages of the DS1522+ more centred around additional purchases, but also the DS1520+ features that quad-core graphics embedded CPU – which means that a number of common Synology NAS desktop uses for entertainment such as Plex Media Server and Video Station are going to run much more efficiently on the older system. Then you have to also factor in that the DS1520+ is going to be available at a more affordable price thanks to its longer time at retail (with the DS1522+ almost certainly remaining close to its RRP for the bulk of 2022. I still think the DS1522+ is the better business and mission-critical performance choice overall, but the DS1520+ is going to be better suited to home and prosumer users overall.

Expected Performance of the Synology DS1522+ vs DS1520+ NAS Compared

The performance of Synology DSM services and supported 3rd party connected appliances is going to be very similar on both the DS1520+ and DS1522+ NAS when it comes to utilizing the respective systems in low volume/frequency client tasks. By that, I mean that the scale of the operations that you need the NAS to action (from simple file sharing and downloading, to more intensive multi-site backups, file streaming, databases and surveillance for example) will largely dictate which NAS will perform better for you. As mentioned, the DS1520+ and its embedded graphics supported CPU will use fewer resources to perform graphically focused tasks such as transcoding, as well as running applications that have a high volume of visual data such as live camera feeds in Surveillance Station 9. Whereas the file handling and general transfer performance of traditional data exchanges are going to use fewer resources on the DS1522+ embedded Ryzen processor, as well as have a much, MUCH higher ceiling for total processes thanks to that larger memory scalability already discussed. Below is a breakdown of the most popular applications and services that are included with either the Synology DS1520+ or DS1522+ NAS:

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 – 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

However, the extent to which you can use all these applications at any single time (both as multiple clients using the same software or multiple applications running in parallel on the same NAS system) is going to be better on the Synology DS1522+ in the grand scheme of things, thanks to that potential 32GB of memory available to scale up down the line. Here is how these two Synology NAS drives compare in volume and features in those 1st party services:

Model DS1520+ DS1522+
Max Single Volume 108TB 108TB
SAN Manager 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS
Surveillance Station 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses
Collaboration Suite ALL Tools ALL Tools
Synology Drive 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files
Active Backup FULL Support (Google, 365, VM,  local) FULL Support (Google, 365, VM, local)
Synology Photos All Features All features
Hybrid Share Full Support of 10x syncs Full Support of 10x syncs
Accounts 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders
SHA Yes Yes
VMM Yes, 4 Recommended Max Yes, 8 Recommended Max
Hardware Transcoding Yes No
MailPlus 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences
SHR Support Yes Yes
Snapshots 65,536 Max 65,536 Max
Web Hosting Upto 30x Upto 30x
Hyper Backup Yes, all features and clients Yes, all features and clients
Max Tested R/W Speed 451.28MB/s – 451.18MB/s 736MBs – 796MB/s

Once again, very similar and indeed, both systems largely provide the building blocks to use each application to the highest extent allowed/recommended by Synology in DSM. Despite these NAS’ having very different CPUs, they still ultimately support the same volume of services (at maximum) in DSM. But the DS1522+ clearly has more recourse scaling possible and that will hopefully mean that you will be able to push several applications in higher frequencies each more on the newer system than the old one. Just don;t overlook how useful that Intel Celeron CPU would be to multimedia tasks.

Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Synology has clearly taken a rather different tactic in the release of their newest 5-Bay system, making changes to the expected hardware configuration and architecture that set it on a very different path than its predecessor. Those with longer memories will know that the Diskstation 5 Drive portfolio used to be very much this kind of design (i.e a file transfer focused CPU, more memory scaling, optional 10GbE, etc) and rather than building off the design of the 4-Bay (as the DS1520+ did against the DS920+), the DS1522+ seems to scale itself against the DS1621+ in it’s shape and abilities. If you were already looking at Synology NAS systems that being heavy emphasis on scaling their architecture notably down the line in efforts to remain future proof, the DS1522+ is going to tick ALOT of boxes for you. Whereas if you were looking at a Synology NAS for home use, a Plex Media server, low client/user use and generally as more of a setup-and-forget solution, then the DS1520+ will likely suit your needs better and will have the added benefit of a more palatable price point in 2022. How far Synology will extend the build logic of the DS1522+ towards other solutions in the diskstation/rackstation portfolio still remains to be seen. Most business users will want to opt for the DS1522+ though. Cheers for reading!

NAS MODEL ID

Synology DS1520+ NAS

Synology DS1522+ NAS

Where to Buy:

 

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

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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.  

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

23 mars 2022 à 01:17

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


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


Part I of the TrueNAS Review Can be found HERE


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

Review of TrueNAS – Accounts Creation, Control & Management


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


Significant Range of Security and Account Configuration Options


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

Good Support of Microsoft Account Authorization


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


Impressively Configurable 2-Step Authentication


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



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

No Bulk Group or User Creation Options


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

Review of TrueNAS – Alerts & Notifications


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


VERY Customizable Alerts and Notification Customization


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



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


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


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



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

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

On-Site Support & Repair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Part I of the TrueNAS Review Can be found HERE


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


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


 



 

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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

TrueNAS Core Software Review – GUI, Design & Storage Management

21 mars 2022 à 01:10

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


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


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


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


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



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

Review of TrueNAS – GUI & Deployment


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



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


Alot More Hints and Tips than I was Expecting!


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


Presentation of Storage and Resource Use is VERY Clear


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


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


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


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


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


Lots of Theme Customizations and a Theme Maker


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

Click to view slideshow.

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


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


No Search Functionality at the Home Screen


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

Review of TrueNAS – Storage


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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



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

3 Disk Redundancy is Available and Should Get More Kudos!


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


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

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


ZFS ReSilvering Often Overlooked Safety Net


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


USB Storage Media is Visible and Managed in the Storage Manager


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


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


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


Smart/Intuitive Option to Define Drive Media Use


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

No Native Browser GUI Based File Manager


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

RAIDZ Still Takes Longer than Traditional RAID in ReBuilding Fuller Arrays


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


Potential Defragmentation in Copy On Write Methodology


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

Still Not Especially Novice or even soft IT knowledge Friendly User


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


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


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


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


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


 


 

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

11 mars 2022 à 01:43

A TrueNAS and iXsystems Questions & Answers Interview



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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


Does TrueNAS have Mobile Applications?


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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



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


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


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

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


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


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


With TrueNAS Scale, will RDMA/RoCEv2 be supported? 


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Does TrueNAS have an active homebrew scene?


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

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

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


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


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


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

How does the TrueNAS Community help a new user?


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


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


 


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


 



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


 


 

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SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Best Plex NAS to Buy in 2022

24 décembre 2021 à 01:10

A Guide to the Best Plex NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

If you have been looking at buying a Synology or QNAP NAS drive in 2022 for use as a Plex Media Server, then chances are you are doing this because you are sick of paying for a bunch of online streaming services OR you have an enormous physical library of discs that you own in your home that you want to watch conveniently on an Amazon FireTV, Roku Box or home Console, disc free! It’s not a big ask, is it! Do you remember when watching movies and boxsets from your sofa was easy? You owned a few hundred DVDs or Blurays, you popped in the disc for what you wanted to watch, then you watched it. It had a few extra steps that Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+, BUT you owned what you watched and you were in control of what you wanted to see. The dominance of subscription streaming services was unquestionable and for a while, it genuinely felt like it was the best option for ease of access to a huge library of multimedia that you only really wanted to watch once or twice anyway – all for just $5-10 per service. However, it got complicated. We went from 3-5 media streaming services, to suddenly HUNDREDS, with Films/Boxsets appairing on exclusive platforms (in some cases actual tv seasons being divided across different services too). This also led to TV shows being available/featured on a streaming service considerably shorter, due to the show-owner realising that timed exclusivity and switching streamingly platforms is much more lucrative in the long run. So, the streaming services STOPPED being so convenient, stopped being such good value – with most households now having/needing 3-4 different subscription services (so, in most cases Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and the cable TV/Sky provider service) and spending $400-500 a year, and not owning a single piece of media or having control of when things are not available. Add to that the rather bias search abilities of these platforms pushing ‘suggested’ content and you cannot help but pine for those simple days of sitting on the sofa and watching that DVD. It is for this reason that many have made the jump over to Plex Media Server. To find out more about what Plex, a Plex Media Server NAS are and what they do, watch the video below:

A free service that allows you to stream the media YOU own, but still features slick graphics, user-friendly GUI, descriptions, trailers, thumbnails, reviews and more. Today I want to discuss the best three NAS drives for use as a Plex Media Server. There are literally thousands of different NAS devices on the market that can be used for Plex (it is a fairly low resource demanding tool in its smallest form) but the extent to how much you will use it, the number of users you want to share with, the volume of media and the quality of the content (e.g 4K, 1080p, etc) make a HUGE difference to which NAS you should choose for your Plex Media server. So my three PLEX NAS recommendations for 2022 are based on the best Budget 1080p Plex NAS, the best 4K Plex NAS and finally, the Best EVERYTHING Plex NAS for 2022. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best Plex NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Plex 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 Plex solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Plex 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 Plex NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Value 1080p 4K Plex NAS Drive – The Synology DS920+ NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4125 4x 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB 2666Mhz Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2x NVMe SSD Cache Bays, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

Click to view slideshow.

There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

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


9.2
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Best Powerful 1080p & 4K Plex NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-872X

0-160TB, 8-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 2/4/6 Core Intel Pentium/i3/i5 CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, 2x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots.

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

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


8.2
PROS
👍🏻One of the few Intel Core NAS Systems Released in 2020/2021
👍🏻High Virtualisation Use
👍🏻10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
👍🏻SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
👍🏻Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
👍🏻Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
👍🏻Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
👍🏻10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
👍🏻Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
👍🏻Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
👍🏻CMS and CRM systems included
👍🏻Media Center support across numerous apps
CONS
👎🏻GPU Card Support is not clear
👎🏻8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
👎🏻PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect

 


Ultimate Plex Media Server NAS – The QNAP TVS-h1288X

0-160TB, 8x HDD Bays, 4x SATA SSD Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 6 Core Intel Xeon W (Embedded Graphics) CPU, 16-128GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 10Gbe Port, 4x 2.5GbE, 3x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

When reviewing a business class piece of kit, it is important to stay RELATIVE! You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Ford Focus as equals, as they have a very different audience in mind and a very different price tag – therefore Value and ROI are always relative. That said, the TVS-h1288X is, hands down, the most impressive desktop NAS drive I have ever handled – and I do not say that lightly! QNAP has been working overtime these last 2 years to not only introduce their ZFS series to the SMB and Enterprise marketing, with gradual but compelling results – but it is only now in the TVS–h1288X system that they have successfully merged it into another core area of their business – content creators. Whether you are on board with the ‘optional thunderbolt card’ nature behind this device, you cannot fault the sheer weight of hardware on offer here and how it is perfectly tuned and appropriate for the storage, performance and safety benefits of ZFS in QuTS Hero included with this device.

Click to view slideshow.

Yes, it is a hungry beast of a device in terms of power, but right now THIS is the NAS system to beat in the market right now in desktop form. There are still the odd hurdle for surveillance users to jump and the fact this range starts at 8/12-Bay is an odd choice – but with a 6-core Xeon processor that features high grade embedded graphics, upto 128GB of DR4 ECC memory, 3 storage tiers of scaling speeds, a combined external bandwidth of 30 Gigabits per second (so 3,000MB/s) and that is without even the inclusion of a Thunderbolt update that can allow upto 4 more Thunderbolt users to enjoy simultaneous access for photo/video editing – You simply cannot fault the ambition behind the TVS-h1288X and it leaves most of its 8-Bay competitors in its dust – just maybe raid the piggy bank before you buy it though

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


8.2
PROS
👍🏻10Gb/TB3 Support
👍🏻2.5Gbe LAN Ports
👍🏻6 Core GPU enabled Xeon with over 15,000 CPUBenchmark Score
👍🏻3 Tier Storage System
👍🏻ZFS File System
👍🏻PCIe Gen3 x8 and 3×4
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻Thunderbolt is Optional – many will appreciate the choice (upto 4 ports)
👍🏻Larger 22110 NVMe Gen3 x4 Support
👍🏻Upto 128GB ECC DDR4 Memory
👍🏻5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gb/s
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻Expandable (TR-106T and TR-1082T soon)
CONS
👎🏻Quite expensive
👎🏻HDMI is 1.4b (30FPS 4K)
👎🏻Shame we haven’t got 4/6 Bay options as found in TVS-682/882
👎🏻Surveillance Software versions and licenses are a bit confusing
👎🏻Noise/power levels are comparable to a small rackmount

 


And there you have it. Those are the three best Plex 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 Plex NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative Plex’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a Plex 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!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

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.  

 

Recommended 4-Bay NAS to Buy in 2022

23 décembre 2021 à 01:01

A Guide to the Best 4-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Most users who have been considering purchasing a brand new NAS Drive will often find a 4 drive (also known as a 4-Bay) desktop system to be the easiest and most capable entry point into this kind of technology. If you are trying to storage a decent sized amount of data over 10-12TB, you will all too often find that a 4-Bay NAS gives you the best middle ground between the price of your storage, the scalability in the lifespan of the system and the general hardware level of the NAS solution itself. It provides a great deal of storage/drive-failure-safety in its RAID 5/6 vs that of a 2-Bay and its RAID 0/1, whilst also allowing you to multiple the performance and throughout of the NAS thanks to the larger number of HDD/SSDs on offer. Most modern 4-Bay NAS released in the last few years have typically been the most creative areas for brands to start equipping their solutions with the most innovative features, such as m.2 SSD caching bays, PCIe upgrade slots, improved default network ports (such as 2.5GbE) and HDMI. Below is my before you buy guide on whether you should consider buying a 4-Bay NAS, the Pros, the Cons and the things that some people forget. I recommend watching this before you go further with my top 3 4-Bay NAS to buy in 2022, as it will help you understand if you even need a 4 HDD NAS at all:

Likewise, you will all too often find that most NAS brands (such as Synology, QNAP and Asustor) will have more 4-Bay solutions than any other tier – it is THAT much of a popular hardware choice. So, with a new year beginning, I wanted to make it easier for you and highlight the best three 4-Bay NAS systems to consider, right now in 2022. These three NAS

What Have All the Best 4-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 4-Bay 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 4-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 4-Bay 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 4-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 4-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-451D2 NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4025 2.9Ghz 2-Core CPU, 2/4/8GB Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 2-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $450

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What we said in our Review – The QNAP TS-451D2 is an interesting solution to add to the range at the tail end of 2020 for the company, sandwiched in between the launch of newer business devices and likely one of the last units in the QNAP D series. The brand has long since shaken off the reputation of being a hardware provider and light software provider, becoming something much, much even. With a huge number of first-party applications in the QNAP QuTS library (many of which are genuinely unique) as well as releasing an affordable 4-Bay NAS solution that has aimed itself at the new NAS buyer, or the NAS user who wants to spend a little now but can expand greatly later.

Click to view slideshow.

It isn’t perfect – a dual-core, not a quad-core. 1Gbe and not 2.5Gbe – but that is not the point in the TS-451D2. This is aimed at the 4-Bay NAS buyer that want a good level of software and hardware performance, without breaking the bank. I will be doing further testing of this device on surveillance and Plex media handling, but even early tests have been remarkably positive. How it performs with key applications in the QNAP app library is already pretty easy to predict (quick well indeed), but overall the TS-451D2 is a great little NAS with a huge amount of potential for those that want their abilities to grow with their data. Just maybe the lack of PCIe will be a dealbreaker for some at this price point.

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


7.6
PROS
👍🏻HDMI 2.0 at an affordable level – always good
👍🏻
👍🏻Supports pretty much the entire QNAP app catalogue
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Compact and low noise
👍🏻
👍🏻Arriving at a good price point for a standard Intel 4-Bay
👍🏻
👍🏻Good as a first NAS if you want all the features
👍🏻
👍🏻EXCELLENT home multimedia NAS at this price point
👍🏻
👍🏻VERY Good Surveillance NAS for Home or Small Business
👍🏻
👍🏻Expandable with TR-002 and TR-004 QNAP expansion devices to many, many more drives
CONS
👎🏻CPU is a little weak for solid Virtual Machine Use
👎🏻
👎🏻Only 1Gbe ports, not 2.5Gbe or LAG support
👎🏻
👎🏻Lacks the PCIe Upgrade slot of the TS-251D

 


Best Value 4-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS920+ NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4125 4x 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB 2666Mhz Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2x NVMe SSD Cache Bays, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

Click to view slideshow.

There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

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


9.2
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Most Powerful 4-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-472XT

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel PT/i3/i5 8th Gen 2/4/6-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, PCIe 3×16 + 3×4, 2x M.2 NVMe, HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 2-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1300+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The QNAP TVS-472XT is a NAS drive that has taken the elite and overpowered attitudes that were previously the hallmarks of the Thunderbolt 3 NAS range and turn it into something a great deal more mature and accessible to mid-range users. Till now, if you wanted access to the full features and functionality of a fully equipped thunderbolt and 10Gbe enabled 4K NAS, you were forced to either compromise too much with the TS-453BT3 or break the bank with the TVS-682T. Thanks to this new QNAP TVS-472XT NAS however, you no longer need to compromise and have access to a much more balanced and well equipped NAS platform for photo and video editing post-production in 2021.

Click to view slideshow.

This 4 bay thunderbolt equipped NAS is about quality, not quantity and although may lack the wider coverage of users that the TVS-682T has, it makes up for it with a much, much better and higher dedicated performance to those fewer connected users. What the XT series brings to the NAS industry is to fill a much-needed gap in the thunderbolt NAS portfolio and gives users an important choice between the existing product family. It is worth mentioning that you lose out on the 3rd tier of storage offered by the 82T series, as well as the long-term future-proofing it offers for PCIe upgrades to the GPU and adding high-speed users later – but unless you think this is a necessary possibility in the next 3-4 years, you should save your money and go for the QNAP TVS-472XT. Easily in my top 3 NAS of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and now, 2021.

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


8.4
PROS
👍🏻High Virtualisation Use
👍🏻Two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Ports which can allow 2 devices access at once
👍🏻SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
👍🏻Business Use
👍🏻SMB Storage
👍🏻Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
👍🏻Embedded 10GBe Port
👍🏻Thunderbolt-to-10Gbe Adapter possible
👍🏻DLNA Support
👍🏻Apple Time Machine Support
👍🏻Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
👍🏻iTunes Server
👍🏻email server
👍🏻Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
👍🏻CMS and CRM systems
👍🏻Office applications
👍🏻Media Center support
CONS
👎🏻Only 2 TB3 Ports – so only 2 Editors at once
👎🏻No Remote Control
👎🏻no Intel i7 8th Gen option
👎🏻Only 1 10Gbe Port
👎🏻PCIe Slot that is available not compatible with 40Gbe cards

 


 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 4-Bay 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 4-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 4-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 4-Bay 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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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.  

 

Synology NAS to Buy this Cyber Monday 2021

24 novembre 2021 à 01:43

Synology NAS Bargains and Deals this Black Friday 2021

Black Friday is here again and for many of you, this is the final decider on whether you are going to finally buy your very own Synology NAS or upgrade that old DS411+ or DS216+ that is starting to show its age. Synology have been focusing considerably more on rackmount NAS solutions in 2021 and the few desktop (Diskstation) NAS solutions that have arrived on the market have been either fantastically enterprise or currently regional exclusives at this time. This means that the majority of their desktop NAS solutions have been on the market now for more than a year each (some in the 18+ series have been around for quite a while longer!) and therefore there is considerable scope for the current range to have a number of great discounts available in the Black Friday 2021 sale. We predict that the likes of the DS920+ all-rounder NAS will likely be the star of the show in terms of deals, but given that the DS118, DS218 and DS418 are long overdue a refresh, these might also be very discounted at e-retailers. Below I have detailed the Top 3 Synology NAS for backups, plex, business, surveillance and value. Each with links to amazon and their discount warehouse (which will be on an extra 20% discount during Black Friday 2021). Alongside this, I will also be updating this page regularly during black Friday adding links to deals as they go live throughout the week of Black Friday, from Monday 22nd to 30th November.

————–  Useful Links  —————

US Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

UK Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – USA

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – UK

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – Germany

TOP Synology NAS Deals to Watch Out For on Black Friday 2021

Below are the three Synology entries that are almost certain to be on sale this Black Friday at your normal online shop (not just Amazon).

Synology DS920+ NAS Drive – Released in summer 2020, the DS920+ is still a very popular NAS but is regularly featured in seasonal sales. Add to that the potential for a DS922+ release next year and you are very likely to see this NAS in the black Friday sales (it was a prominent fixture of the Amazon Prime Day sales globally earlier in 2021. Find it HERE.

Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router – The 3rd release in the Synology Router series, the MR2200ac is still a popular piece of kit. However, continued mention online of a potential WiFi 6 version in 2021 (MR2200ax or RT2600ax?) along with continued development of the SRM platform likely means that the MR2200ac and RT2600ac will be on sale at numerous retailers. Find it HERE.

Synology DS118, DS218 & DS418 NAS – The standard/value series from Synology (the Realtek 64bit family) has been in circulation as far back as 2017 and is long overdue for a refresh. That said, Synology have continued to support it, provide it with DSM 7, BTRFS at the 2GB level and it can still handle Plex, backups, surveillance and native 4K transcoding well in 2021. A real potential bargain! Find it HERE.

Synology DS920+ NAS Drive

Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router

Synology DS118, DS218 & DS418 NAS

 

 

Black Friday 2021 – Synology NAS Drives for PLEX

One of the big appeals of a Synology NAS drive is to use it as a Plex Media Server. Plex (if you didn’t know) is just as slick, fast and beautiful in design as Netflix, Prime Video and HBO Now, but instead of streaming/renting your content, you play the movies, tv shows and music that you own! Having your own Plex Media Server Synology NAS is fantastically appealing and a much more financially appealing choice than paying monthly for content you do not get to own. Below are the best 3 Synology NAS deals this Black Friday for a Plex Media Server in 2021.

 

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

 


Synology DS1821+ 8-Bay NAS

I have always been a long-term fan of the Synology brand as a whole, applauding their recent moves towards Ryzen processors and range-wide adoption of dedicated M2 NVMe cache bays. However, the Synology DS1821+, much like the DS1621+, is a giant leap in many ways and the smallest of stumbles in others. The switch from Atom to Ryzen embedded processor needs to be recognised for both the big jump it is from a brand that typically errs on the side of caution in hardware. Likewise, the inclusion of ECC memory, massive potential-filled PCIe expandability at PCIe 3 x8 and support of popular services like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) are certainly a plus. But many buyers will be put off by the continued adoption of 1Gbe as standard and the limitation of those NVMe bays to caching ONLY and not raw storage pools. With a price tag without storage media at around £1,000 (give or take), this is a big ask to pay for something that has lucrative software potential but arguably lesser hardware potential. In short, I do really like the Synology DS1821+ NAS, I just don’t know how long I could be in love with it long-term, as the rest of my network hardware environment embraces faster connectivity.

 


Synology DS1621xs 6-Bay NAS

Whatever way you look at it, you cannot what question the sheer level of hardware value present in the DS1621xs+, especially compared with other similarly priced Synology NAS. In the DS1621xs+, you find one of the best performing internal and external NAS systems in the entire Synology portfolio, as well as providing you with an enterprise rackmount grade solution in a desktop form. I know it seems like a big statement, but this could genuinely be one of the best examples of what Synology provide to business users and certainly reorganises the portfolio for small and medium business users for the better in 2020/2021. Is it perfect, of course not, few things ever can be. But if your budget can extend to it, the Synology DS1621xs+ easily represents the very best of everything that Synology has to offer, while still maintaining a fantastic high standard to third-party software users worldwide.

 


 

Black Friday 2021 – Lowest Priced Synology NAS Drives

If you are new to Synology NAS and don’t want to spend much this Black Friday, then that’s ok. Synology has a great selection of fantastically low price NAS available to buy this Black Friday in 1 hard drive, 2 hard drive and 4 hard drive sizes. Below is the best 3 Budget NAS that Synology features this Black Friday 2021:

Synology DS120J 1-Bay NAS

With the release of the new DS120j NAS, when it comes to buying your first network-attached storage device there are several reasons why the Synology range appeals to many. With a diverse range of hardware and storage options across a wide series of uses, as well as an impressive range of first-party applications, Synology has fast become one of the biggest names in the NAS. However, so many users have one tiny problem with most Synology devices, namely the price tag. In terms of overall price, you will find that a Synology NAS typically is around 15 to 20% more expensive than most other brands with the same hardware (we will leave software out of the equation for a bit). Added to this is the fact that most buyers looking to buy their first unit are nervous in spending large sums of money on a largely unexplored area of technology. Luckily Synology has already addressed this problem before with the inclusion of a budget range of devices that serves as a fantastic introduction point to network-attached storage and the Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM) system software.

 


Synology DS220J 2-Bay NAS

The Synology DS220j NAS is not the most powerful NAS drive, or the most fully-featured NAS drive – but the point is that it is not trying to be! Synology has held an exceptionally good reputation in the world of network-attached storage for a decade and if a new NAS buyer wanted to cautiously invest in a new piece of equipment in this area, then despite their modest budget, they will want to get the best they can for their money, from a brand with an established pedigree – THAT is what the Synology DS220j NAS is trying to achieve and for the most part, it completely succeeds! Aside from the memory being a touch light on the ground and the white chassis not being to everyone’s taste, in almost every other regard the DS220j is a great little NAS drive that any first time NAS users, or those making the jump from subscription cloud services like Google Drive and DropBox, are going to enjoy. Just keep an eye on the number of active users and tasks at any given time and you will be on to a winner here.

 


Synology DS420J 4-Bay NAS

Although this device will only cost you around £485 ex.VAT with 4x 2TB hard drives (Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives) included, it can still perform the bulk of the standard tasks that are available in modern NAS and if you are looking for a universally supported DLNA or backup device, this is the one for you. Though definitely not aimed at the NAS experienced or 2nd-time buyers, or those looking for a solid foundation to build a business around where the customer data is critical. If you are looking for a network-attached storage device to act as a network backup or just want a simple NAS to do basic tasks such as media and protecting the data on your other devices, I recommend the Synology DS420j NAS

 


 

Black Friday 2021 – Synology NAS Drives for Photo and Video Editing

Storing your photography or Video Editing archive for post-production on a Synology NAS is something taht has grown in popularity in the last few years. Now in 2021, not only can a Synology NAS be used to store your photos/video, but with upgraded connections to 10Gbe, Thunderbolt 3 to 10Gbe Adapters and link aggregation becoming more affordable, buying a Synology NAS this Black Friday 2021 for your post-production and live editing is easier than ever before Below are three great options for editors looking for a Synology NAS Deal from Amazon today.

Synology DS1520+ 5-Bay NAS

Although this is not the first 5 drive NAS that Synology has ever produced, you can clearly see that the brand has seen what was popular in previous generations and cherry-picked those areas to build the DS1520+. Arriving perilously close to the DS920+, in both release date and primary architecture, chances are that the benefits of buying the DS1520+ are far more long term. I do think that the DS1520+ is a great example of Synology hardware and certainly merits the additional spend over said four-bay. What complaints I can make about it still echo those of the DS920+ and although the additional memory is a welcome thing indeed, as is double expandability and 4 LAN ports, this system still seemingly prioritises internal performance over external performance. Surely, the DS1520+ may lead to the odd bit of buyers regret those that purchased the Synology DS920+ a couple of months ago, but the DS1520+ is a system that asks you to invest today on long-term benefits down the line and for some, it might seem a touch unwarranted. Overall though, I like it and would happily recommend the Synology DS1520+ NAS to most users, especially those who want a more balanced and 4K ready solution than those before.

 


Synology DS1621+ 6-Bay NAS

The Synology ‘Plus’ series of devices has long held a reputation for providing mid-range hardware to mid-range business customers. Because of this, the DS1621+ needs to balance a fine line between providing fast and reliable hardware, whilst still maintaining a price point that won’t intimidate the average small-medium business user. In this regard, I think the Synology DS1621+ NAS gets it right, finding an impressive halfway point between these two factors. However, it is important for buyers to understand what they are buying and where the price point for the Synology DS1621+ is being aimed. Although it seemingly lacks some of the multimedia and prosumer features of ‘cheaper’ NAS devices in the Synology portfolio, it doubles down on more business and enterprise-level features in efforts to support that core audience. It’s about getting the right tool for the job and in that area, Synology almost completely succeed. The lack of above gigabit connectivity afforded to a NAS unit at this price point, compared with their competitors, may put some users off, but on the whole, you are getting good performance and excellent value on this combined hardware and software solution with some excellent scalability.

 


Synology DS3617xsII 12-Bay NAS

Meet the 12-bay desktop NAS that allows instant deployment with scalability up to 36 drives, delivering outstanding 2,358MB/s sequential throughput reading. DS3617xs is certified for VMware, Citrix, Hyper-V, and OpenStack, ready to bring superior agility and efficiency to businesses. Synology DS3617xs is backed with Synology’s 5-year limited warranty. With technical support and hardware replacement service, the 5-year warranty maximizes your enterprises’ return on investment.

 

Black Friday 2021 – Synology NAS Drives for 4K Video

4K TVs and High Definition media production have now reached a point that buying the right Synology NAS for storing, watching and adapting 4K Ulta High definition media in 2021 can be alot of work. True 4K media arrives in HUGE file sizes and you will need a more powerful Synology NAS drive to handle this kind of media all the way from the hard drives inside, to pumping it out to your 4K Display. Luckily a few of the more powerful Synology NAS solutions are on offer this Black Friday and if you are lucky enough to get a deal on one of these three, you will have a great NAS to enjoy 4K in your home or business environment.

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020.


Synology DS1520+ 5-Bay NAS

The DS1520+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS920+ or DS1019+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. Although this is not the first 5 drive NAS that Synology has ever produced, you can clearly see that the brand has seen what was popular in previous generations and cherry-picked those areas to build the DS1520+. Arriving perilously close to the DS920+, in both release date and primary architecture, chances are that the benefits of buying the DS1520+ are far more long term


Synology DS1621xs 12-Bay NAS

It is fair to say that the Synology DS1621xs+ NAS makes a bold statement in what it is bringing to the table. Synology has been a brand that up until a few years ago traded significantly more on its software than it does on its hardware. Devices like the DS1621xs+ go a long way to dispel this myth in 2020/2021 and what we find here is an exceptionally well-equipped desktop NAS system. Obviously, at this price tag, you would expect it to deliver a lot and as a combined hardware and software package, the DS1621xs+ certainly achieved this. What issues you can make with the hardware are of the DS1621xs+ are more a question of the brands own decisions on what users want in storage right now. Small factors such as the NVMe bays not being accessible for RAW storage, the lack of Synology hybrid RAID and the use of CPU seen in 2017 and 2018 release hardware might put some potential buyers on the fence. But ultimately if you’ve committed to a desktop Synology solution because of DSM, the brand’s high reputation and that spec sheet – you will genuinely struggle to find a more powerful and equipped desktop NAS from this company right now.

Black Friday 2021 – Synology NAS Drives for Business

Businesses in 2021 are producing so, SO MUCH DATA! Customer information, Web site images, legal documents, online marketing, internal communication, surveillance and security – it all adds up! With the majority of this data being highly confidential, copywrite or both, it is imperative that a business has a secure place to keep this data. Synology NAS drives have been used in business for a number of years and Diskstation Manager (DSM) arrives with every NAS, packed with applications and licenses for those enterprise applications (Synology Active Backup, Surveillance, Virtual Machine Manager, Drive, Office, Chat, Calendar, mail and more). Below are the best Synology NAS drive deals this Black Friday for those who want to invest in a business class server to protect their data and ensure high productivity in 2021.

Synology DS1821+ 8-Bay NAS

DS1821+ is an 8-bay desktop NAS providing superior performance with great expandability, allowing for seamless expansion and upgradability to satisfy your growing business needs. DS1819+ comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one PCIe expansion slot, providing great configuration flexibility, thereby satisfying your intensive workload demands. Synology Office is a collaboration package combining the convenience and usability of public clouds with the data privacy and security guaranteed by private clouds. It allows you to work seamlessly together on documents and spreadsheets in a protected environment


Synology RS1619xs 4-Bay NAS

RS1619xs+ is a high-performance and scalable 1U rackmount NAS designed with upgradable memory and M.2 SSD cache configuration to meet the needs of modern businesses that require a flexible, reliable, and efficient storage solution. Synology’s 5-year limited warranty provides hardware replacement and technical support via email and telephone services, maximizing your enterprises’ return on investment.  Synology iSCSI storage supports most virtualization solutions including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xen Server, and OpenStack Cinder, to enhance work efficiency. Create and manage virtual machines running multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and DSM using Virtual Machine Manager.


Synology RS2421RP+ 12-Bay NAS

It is reasonable to say that when it comes to having a huge storage array, competent hardware and business class software, that the Synology RS2421RP+ does deliver on a number of its promises. Indeed, despite the huge similarity in internal hardware between the RS2421RP+ and other recent rackmount releases in 2021, the RS2421RP+ manages to still stand out with its unparalleled level of storage against the majority of solutions in the Synology portfolio. The price tag, edging closer to a number of Xeon powered solutions, may seem a touch high for some and given the difference between this 16-bay and the £1200+ 12-bay being relatively small – that price tag does seem a tad overly ambitious. That said, much like other rackstation NAS solutions of late, the jump from Intel Atom C3538 to embedded Ryzen V1500B was long overdue and although may seem fairly predictable and pedestrian now in, still remains a firm favourite. If the software and services of Synology Diskstation Manager appeal to you, you need storage in the hundreds of terabytes and you need a solution that is both scalable and centralised, you would be hard pushed to find a better solution from Synology right now without spending £5,000-10,000 without drives.

 


Hot Tips when you Buy a NAS this Black Friday 2021

In order for you to get the very best NAS deals this Black Friday, here are some hot tips that I have personally used for the last few years to get the very best deals.

Amazon Warehouse Deals are 20% lower

For those that aren’t aware, Amazon has a whole section of their website that is dedicated to pre-owned and opened items. This includes both NAS, hard drives, SSD and more for your storage. During Amazon Black Friday 2021, the discount on these broken-seal items will be increased by an additional 20% and for those looking for an insane bargain, this will be irresistible.

Another tip when buying NAS or Hard Drives from Amazon Warehouse is that although (as they are broken seal/used/returned items) they have a shorter warranty from Amazon, you will almost certainly be able to claim the FULL warranty coverage from Synology, QNAP, WD or Seagate. They just want your serial number and a receipt of purchase – this will not state the amazon reduced warranty.

Amazon Warehouse for different countries can be found below:

 

Amazon Warehouse USA

Amazon Warehouse UK

Amazon Warehouse Germany

Latest Deals Update and Notifications

If you want to make sure you see the LATEST Black Friday deals for NAS (as new ones are added every hour) then I would recommend checking the official Amazon Prime page regularly. It will also include the very latest Lightning Deals too

US Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

UK Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

Amazon Prime for FREE

The prices listed on Amazon for NAS during the Black Friday event are only available to Prime members. If you are not a member, don’t worry, as you can use the 30-Day free trial to sign up for a Prime, or just pay for 1 month of Prime as a student and get it at 50% off. Then after you finish your purchase, you can cancel your subscription. The other bonus of this is that you will qualify for fast, next day delivery for free. I would recommend however that you do not cancel your subscription until you have received your order and tested your item.

As then you will still be able to take advantage of the fast and free return policy extended to Prime members. This is especially useful when buying NAS Hard Drives and you are worried about broken drives!

Improved Delivery on your NAS Black Friday Deal

It is a well-known fact that Amazon Prime membership includes free next day delivery and Amazon has even upped the stakes by stating that they will be providing the fastest-ever Black Friday delivery of just 14 minutes between the cart and the courier, last year we saw and heard numerous examples of delivery issues with Black Friday deals, adding 2-3 days on supposed next-day shipping.

If any of your Amazon Prime delivery dates are not the 24 hours turn around that they promise, then definitely complain to Amazon after you receive your goods (not before) as they will almost certainly have a deluge of customer enquiries after Black Friday 2021 and  in an effort to conclude the matter, you might get an additional discount, a gift vouchers or more. Currently, the trending ‘gesture of goodwill’ gift is a free month of Prime membership.


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

 

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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.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

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