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WD Red Family for NAS – A Decade in Data

29 novembre 2022 à 18:00

WD Red turns 10!

It is hard to believe that it has been 10-years since Western Digital introduced its Network Attached Storage-focused range of drives, WD Red. In that time, we have seen the technology behind NAS evolve rapidly, in form factor, capacity and performance year-over-year – and throughout all that time, WD Red has been there, evolving every step of the way.

Having the right tool for the job has always been key to any IT professional. Although the NAS industry has existed in some form for the better part of three decades, many people used traditional hard drives that were not specifically designed for 24×7 server use. Regular desktop hard drives were designed with single-use deployment in mind, like a PC. Applications and files were not as data-rich then. In 2012, the WD Red NAS HDD series arrived. These were a different kind of drive, a drive that was designed for the rigours of NAS use, fast read and write speeds to keep things efficient, alongside higher workloads and use in multi-drive, always-on environments.

NAS Storage Evolution

Over the following years, the use of drives for RAID was became increasingly popular and data demands increased drastically. In parallel, we saw the launch of new form factors, from 2.5″ HDDs to SATA and NVMe SSDs, major capacity increases across the WD Red family and the addition of WD Red Pro and WD Red Plus drives. WD Red Pro and WD Red Plus HDDs are optimized for high reliability and support always-on workloads with solutions for families, home offices, and small to medium business IT hubs. These drives are engineered with CMR recording technology to handle high-intensity workloads in 24×7 environments and include NASware 3.0 technology. A key feature of WD Red has always been NASware and NASware 3.0 in WD Red Pro and WD Red Plus enables seamless integration, robust data protection and optimal performance for NAS systems operating under heavy demand.

Together with the multi-axis shock sensor that automatically detects subtle shock events and dynamic fly height technology, the built-in technology features enable the system to increase compatibility, upgradeability, as well as reliability and adjust each read-write function to compensate and protect data. In addition to new form factors, ranges and the evolution of NASware, key technology breakthroughs have shaped the WD Red family that we see today. The introduction of HelioSeal® Technology in the WD Red range was a significant milestone. Helium reduces flow effects during the disk rotation, so thinner and thus more disks can fit in the housing. This enabled WD Red family HDDs to be offered in the higher capacities that we expect today.

Responding to Future Data Demands

As we look to the future, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will likely look to transform their organizational structure into remote/virtual organizations to face current market conditions and challenges. These models are driving the acceleration of technology innovation to enable workers to access key resources across different locations, time zones, and devices. Therefore, work from anywhere, remote access, connectivity, scalability, and throughput are defining the new normal workplace. This makes a robust NAS infrastructure with a wide range of options a necessity. Following the addition of the WD Red SA500 SSD to the range and subsequent release of the WD Red SN700 NVMe SSDs, Western Digital most recently turned its focus back to increasing HDD capacity. While helium had enabled the jump to 18TB, its OptiNAND technology is the key to the 20TB and 22TB drives available today. OptiNAND technology optimizes and integrates HDD with iNAND® embedded flash drives which helped provided solutions by delivering additional capacity, performance, and reliability. Western Digital is in a unique position to be able to leverage its in-house manufacturing capabilities with both flash and HDDs to extend the areal density curve of ePMR. Cleverly, ePMR takes the approach of adding more bits per inch (BPI) on the hard drive platter by applying an electrical current to the main pole of the write head throughout the write operation.

The Benefits of OptiNAND and ePMR

This current enables more consistent, and faster switching of the write head, thus reducing timing jitter. Higher BPI is achieved when individual bits of data can be written closer together, which leads to higher areal density. Couple ePMR together with the implementation of OptiNAND and triple stage actuators and Western Digital has been able to achieve 2.2TB per platter. In addition, OptiNAND also plays a key role in achieving higher areal density and optimizing internal algorithms, which also leads to performance benefits. OptiNAND integrates an iNAND Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Embedded Flash Drive (EFD) with traditional spinning disk media and incorporates innovative changes to the firmware algorithm and system-on-a-chip (SOC). OptiNAND has broken through the conventional boundaries of storage which have only added to Western Digital’s legacy of industry-first technologies such as the aforementioned HelioSeal and triple-stage actuators.

Advances in the technology led to the world’s first 20TB and 22TB CMR NAS hard drives for general sale, with the WD Red Pro series. The WD Red Pro HDDs with industry-leading capacities are supported by many NAS systems and offer all the benefits of increased capacity. When used in larger RAID configurations, it also makes the path to petabyte storage for NAS systems much easier to achieve than ever before. The next few years should be just as exciting in the development of NAS offerings as data storage requirements continue to increase exponentially

 

Should You Buy the Synology DS920+ or Wait for a DS923+ NAS is Released?

9 octobre 2022 à 18:00

Should I wait for a Synology DS923+ or just get the DS920+ NAS?

Let’s be honest, it is a REALLY good question. Right now as the first quarter of 2022 draws to a close, many users who are thinking of upgrading their existing Synology NAS system, pondering migrating over to the platform or are about to make their first NAS purchase (and are concerned with longevity) are looking at the currently available highpoint of the range, the DS920+ 4-Bay, and wondering if it is due an update any time soon. This consideration is pretty valid. Synology has generally adhered to a 2-year refresh cycle on the Synology Diskstation plus series of Prosumer/SMB solutions in 2 and 4 bay, and given the 26 months (!!!!) since the release of the DS920+ (depending on where in the world you are), it is logical to imagine that a Synology DS923+ NAS could be on the horizon for Winter 2022. Synology runs a pretty tight portfolio and over the last few years in the diskstation tier have created a well-spread range of solutions that tend to be around $50-100 different in price at each tier and with each being a little more ‘extra’ than the last in terms of storage supported, CPU architecture, memory or network connectivity and a lot of the layering of their portfolio in this way is made possible by different ranges refreshing on rotation. Now, the value series of solutions (Plat, J, standard) are all ranging from 1.5-4 years since their original release and with the 20+ series all gradually hitting 2.5 years old apiece, there is a good chance that Synology (in order to propagate that layered portfolio) will need to start releasing those 2023 series of devices soon, for fear of their diskstation range becoming a little stale vs the competition. As highlighted, the currently available DS920+ is the darling of the portfolio for many, but with all indications that Synology will be refreshing solutions in 2022, a Synology DS923+ looks increasingly likely and for many that are sat on the fence, choosing between buying the DS920+ or waiting for a potential DS923+ is a tough call to make. So, today I want to go through four reasons why you should pull the trigger NOW and buy the DS920+ and four reasons why you should get comfortable, sit on your wallet and wait it out for a DS923+ NAS.

Reasons you SHOULD Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS

The Synology DS920+ NAS is a really impressive piece of hardware that, although plays it a little safe in areas of it’s hardware (I am looking at you 1GbE ports) is still a great prosumer Synology solution that is arguable the best currently fully-featured entry point into Synology NAS hardware, DSM 7 and what the brands offer that separates them from the other brands out there. Here are four reasons why you should not wait for a DS923+ NAS and just pull the trigger on the DS920+ you have in your basket.

Very Small Difference in DSM 7 Performance

For those that are not aware, all Synology Diskstation NAS solutions (big or small) arrive with DSM 7 (or DSM 6.2 in some cases is still an option) which is a complete network storage software and services platform that general can rival a lot of the software as a service (SaaS) platforms out there with the range of things it can do. From tailored file access, multi-site backups, Virtual Machine deployment, Surveillance, office administration tool, communication management, database hosting tools and more. All this is managed over numerous first-party tools, via the web browser GUI and via many client applications. It is genuinely an impressive all-encompassing platform that is far more comparable to an entire operating system than a simple data storage tool that your NAS includes. This platform allows you to create numerous users wit their own dedicated access and privileges to the NAS file/folder structure, with each user having their own DSM login/sessions running at the same time as needed, as well as being able to run many, many applications at the same time. In the event that Synology release a DS923+ NAS, as Synology have a very layered portfolio, a refresh to any system still typically maintains the structure of it’s predecessor in terms of CPU and memory. They will be upgraded, but still very much in the same basic architecture to either the DS920+ or the recently released DS1522+. The result is that a Synology DS923+ NAS will likely arrive with the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 or still possibly an Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB of memory by default, therefore unless you are going to particularly push the Synology NAS hardware in terms of multiple users and/or active processes internally or are prioritizing multimedia and want to be guaranteed an embedded graphics CPU, you will not see any real difference on the user side compared with the current DS920+. Synology NAS hardware will make the most of the available hardware (especially memory) it can to stay as fast and responsive as possible, intelligently flushing the case when things are getting particularly busy. Therefore, unless you are going to be running tasks that were going to tax/stress the DS920+ to begin with, the DS923+ isn’t likely to provide a significant/noticeable improvement in the general DSM 7 user experience right now. Maybe a few years down the line as the software further develops into DSM 7.1, DSM 7.2, DSM 8, etc, but not for quite a while!

Synology DS920+ NAS Prices are already good and will only get better

One advantage of hardware that has been in the market for a longer length of time (but crucially is still a flagship product by a brand) is that the pricing gets considerably more flexible the longer it is in available. Barring hardware shortages caused by external/3rd party influences, this is generally always true and it has to be said that the Synology DS920+ is certainly more affordable than its launch RRP back in summer 2020, as well as deals/promotions being regularly available at different retails and seasonal events occurring with more frequency. The DS920+ can now often be seen at the £400-450 at different retailers (admittedly in short promos) and that is a decent step down from the approx £550 it was listed at launch in most retailers.

Although Synology generally maintains a steady price point when refreshing a series (typically mating the predecessor pricepoint and increasing in single-digit % in line with inflation or standout hardware upgrades), so alongside the DS920+ already being at a nicer price point right now than ever, it seemingly appears in more promos AND if/when a DS923+ NAS is launched, expect that price to be even better. So, that means that buying a DS920+ is a better price choice and even allows you to hedge your bets a bit and still catch the DS920+ later in the event of clearance sales, etc.

Unlikely but possible HDD Compatibility Factors in a potential DS923+ NAS

Now it should be stressed that I do NOT think that this is hugely likely to happen, but not impossible. In recent Synology Diskstation series devices for business and enterprise, the brand has changed its policies on hard drive compatibility. This has resulted (after arguably some too and frow between users and the brand online) Synology’s own hard drives and SSDs being fully supported and compatible with all the storage services of their DSM software, whereas third party drives from Seagate and WD (such as the WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf series) still work and are visible to the Synology DSM storage system, but some features and services are not available (as well as the system displaying a warning message in conjunction with the unsupported HDDs being used and changes to how the brand supports users with these non-Synology HDDs – highlighting the need for their support teams to emulate their end-user setup being integral in support in many cases).

Now, this is NOT a compatibility question on the Prosumer and SMB desktop Diskstation right now solutions such as the DS920+ NAS. Indeed, I cannot see this policy being extended to a potential Synology DS923+ NAS, as the likes of the HAT5300 Hard Drives are crafted for considerably more rugged use than that expected by a plus series 4 bay. However, this is still not 100% confirmed and if Synology were to release a more affordable/value tier to their drive media that is designed for these smaller systems, such as re-purposing the Toshiba N300 NAS range as they did with the Toshiba MG06/07/08 in their enterprise tier (again, there have been ZERO indications about this right now and I am hypothesizing here)  – THEN that would bring into doubt the HDD compatibility of a new DS923+ NAS and make the DS920+ a much more attractive purchase for many new users. Again, I would say the chances of this one are very, VERY small, however, if you hear Synology reveal a value HDD series in the future – then maybe it’s something to ponder. Recent testing of the new WD Red Pro 22TB Hard drives in the Synology DS920+ NAS HERE shows that they clearly work AND work well in the older generation. The Synology DS923+ NAS will almost certainly support these new bigger WD Red drives too, but how they are presented in DSM 7.1 and it’s storage manager is still TBC.

Synology Have R&D’d the Intel J4125 and J4025 Significantly in the DSx20+ Series

When Synology release a hardware solution and introduce hardware combination (typically a CPU+MEMORY+NETWORK INTERFACE combo), they then integrate that combination and chipset towards a fleshed out range of different scale solutions. We have seen it in the Intel Atom ranges that spanned out into 5, 6, 8 and 12-Bay desktop solutions over several generations, we saw it in the Realtek RTD1296 ARM processor combination across 1, 2 and 4 Bay solutions and with the DSx20+ series released in 2020, we saw the Intel J4125 and J4025 span out into 2, 4 and 5-Bay solutions across 3 different sub-ranges. When Synology does this, you tend to find that they really push the envelope on what a processor can do and as further firmware updates roll out and development of new apps and this hardware architecture in advance also takes place in the R&D for months or even YEARS, it means that the longer a hardware combination is available, the more Synology are able to do with it in their proprietary applications.

This is no exception in the case of the DS920+ and the Intel J4125 Celeron Quad-Core processor features have been extremely well stretched by the bods in the Synolgoy R&D and Product Management teams for their platform. Now if a Synology DS923+ NAS was released, it would use a new CPU and although it is almost certainly going to be either the dual core AMD Ryzen R1600 or the quad core Intel N5105/J6412 (though I would bet on the R1600 AMD chip), it will still be a different chip and Synology will start the merry-go-round again to learn how much they can get out of it for their applications and service – pushing it as much as they can in terms of efficiency and capability. So, if you want the best and most efficient experience of Synology DSM 7 and are choosing between a very real and established DS920+ or a theoretical and potential DS923+, the DS920+ will be the better choice in terms of a product that has been significant;y road-tested by the brand.

Reasons You SHOULD WAIT for a Synology DS923+ NAS

As good as all of the benefits (both realistic and potential of course) that I have outlined above that suggest buying a Synology DS920+ NAS now is the right thing to do – it’s not all so cut and dry. There are several considerations that, based on Synology’s behaviour in previous generation refreshes, as well as changes in modern hardware architecture, that would comfortably support waiting for a Synology DS923+ NAS. Below I have outlined four reasons to wait for a DS923+, some you might be already thinking, but I bet you didn;t think of all of them. Let’s go.

The DS923+ will almost certainly feature either Optional 10GbE or 2.5GbE Network Connectivity

When the Synology DS920+ NAS was first revealed in the months before it’s formal release, one factor about it’s hardware specifications rubbed quite a few users up the wrong way – namely the continued inclusion of 1GbE (gigabit ethernet) network ports on the system. It features two ports (as found in the previous few revisions of this series and allows via link aggregation/port-trunking to hit 2GbE with a supported switch) but in spring/summer 2020, most other NAS hardware vendors were providing 2.5GbE ports at the same price point as 1GbE, alongside a few hardware client hardware that would share the network environment (switches, routers, etc) starting to implement 2.5GbE. Fast forward to spring/summer 2022 and 2.5GbE is a noticeable degree higher in uptake. Its still nowhere near as ubiquitous as 1GbE of course, but it is now being rolled into ISP routers, multi-port affordable switches, computers and even the late 2021 revealed Synology RT6600ax features a 2.5GbE port. Now, this means that Synology will almost certainly integrate the optional 10GbE upgrade port (the E10G22-T1-mini supported adapter that was featured on the DS1522+) or finally introduce 2.5GbE on their DS923+ NAS – to not do either would not only leave to steeped disappointment but also with greater than gigabit internet connectivity being more widely available globally, the thought that your NAS over the network could potentially be outpaced by an internet-connected cloud would be pretty damning.  There is of course the users who think that the DS923+ is long overdue for a default/on-board 10GbE revision and, as ideal as that would be, realistically unless Synology fundamentally changes their hardware portfolio and structured hardware pricing, 10GbE is pretty unlikely to land on the DS923+ or gen after. That said, never say never!

Potential for Synology to double jump the CPU to the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 or Intel J6412 Celeron in the DS923+

Since the release of the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay Diskstation, many have been sharing their thoughts and experiences of the system and it’s unique CPU. The AMD embedded Ryzen R1600 that it features is a dual-core architecture, 2.6-3.1Ghz clock speed and support of DDR4 ECC 3200Mhz memory upto 32GB. Although that means that embedded graphics or hardware transcoding is off the table, in most other respects it is a great CPU in terms of power vs efficiency. In the past when Synology released the 4/5 Bay systems, they tended to use the same CPU+Memory combo, but increase the level of hardware and expandability in the 5-Bay version (eg DS918+ vs DS1019+, DS920+ vs DS1520+ and now the possible DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS). So there is a good chance that a new DS923+ will have that processor.

Alternatively, they might well continue pushing forward with Intel’s in this product series, but which one? This was an intriguing factor and one that I would not put past Synology to action if the DS923+ becomes an increasingly later and later release. The next-generation refresh of NAS from the bulk of the established off-the-shelf NAS hardware providers that we know so far for 2022 have all seemingly opted for the Intel Celeron N5105/N5095/N5095A Quad-Core processor for their prosumer/SMB desktop hardware. Now, there are a couple of things to unpack. First off, yes, I listed three different CPUs there. Thanks in part to hardware shortages, to the pandemic and to disruption at the production level moving forward through 2021/2022, this has resulted in Intel’s own refresh cycle of their individual ranges overlapping quite considerably. Typically they phase out (retire) a specific component after a period of time and introduce a new revision or a completely new version, with the Intel Celeron series being no exception. However, due to those interruptions mentioned, it has resulted in these three CPU revisions running and having stock spread across them. They are all very, very similar revisions with only small differences in video encode/decode (favouring the N5105 marginally) and most feel that one, two or all three of these will run in the DS923+ NAS upon it’s reveal (likely N5105 and/or N5095). I largely agree with this and although it is a better CPU than the current J4125 in the DS920+, it is a small jump that does not really justify ignoring the DS920+ on it’s own.

All this said, Synology has been moving several of their premium series to an AMD Chip (with the R1600, V1500B and now even AMD EPYC processors starting to appear in their SAS SA6400 and SA6200 series). So although it would be nice to see these Intel processors in the DS923+, I think that we are more likely too see comparable hardware to that found in the DS1522+ NAS. That said, I can definitely see Synology keep the likes of the DS223+ and DS423+ series on an Intel CPU, to perhaps reshape the portfolio and distinguish between the home and Prosumer tiers better. Regardless, any/all of this means that waiting on a DS923+ NAS will almost certainly result in a more capable CPU in the NAS for you.

Higher Maximum memory to upgrade too in current AMD Embedded Ryzen and 2021/2022 Gen Intel Celeron Processors

This is a much more minor point than CPU procrastination and second-guessing. Regardless of which CPU the Synology DS923+ NAS arrives with, practically all of the post-2020 AMD and Intel processors that would be serviceable in a desktop NAS solution arrive with 16/32GB maximum memory support. Now, the Intel J4125 that the DS920+ arrives with has an 8GB officially supported maximum and Synology largely adhere to this, with 4GB of soldered memory in the DS920+ and a DDR4 SODIMM slot that can allow an additional 4GB upgrade. So, on the one hand, that’s great news – the DS923+ will almost certainly support 16GB of memory at the very, very least – meaning more apps, more users and more services can be totally used on the system. Now, I say ‘almost certainly’ as we cannot ignore that Synology has steadily been integrating soldered/controller board attached memory on their SMB/Prosumer diskstation systems such as the DS920+, DS220+ and DS720+ over the years.

In the case of the DS920+, it wasn’t a huge deal – 4GB soldered, 4GB upgrade slot, 8GB max , done. However, in the DS220+, DS420+ and DS720+, the fact they arrived with 2GB of pre-attached memory means that a 4GB SODIMM upgrade results in an odd 6GB maximum on these systems (despite the CPU being able to support 8GB). So, do take into consideration that if the DS923+ NAS features 4GB of memory by default and it is similarly soldered, you are looking at a maximum 12/20GB of memory being the limit on this DS923+ hardware if they repeat the design of the DS920+. Or perhaps they will return to twin SODIMM slots as found in the DS1522+ and allow an AMD powered DS923+ NAS to hit the sweet spot of 32GB! Regardless, It is still more than the memory cap of the DS920+ and something to watch out for.

Questions around Diskstation Expandability in the Next Generation

Now, this point is a little more nebulous and something that will only be a concern to a smaller % of users who are weighing up between the DS920+ and a potential DS923+ NAS if revealed. I want to talk about JBOD storage expansions – I know, sexy, sexy stuff! Hear me out! One of the appeals of the DS920+ (and indeed the DS918+ and DS916+ before it) is the expandability of the system to allow you to use a Synology 5-Bay expansion down the line to add more storage to your existing RAID/SHR (i.e. the 9 in the model ID means that this is the maximum number of bays that the system can be expanded/migrated towards). Now, why should that be something to think about? The DS920+ and the potential DS923+ would both be expandable, so it’s no dice as a deciding factor. Well, did you know that expansions on the Synology NAS hardware platform ALSO get refreshed? The DX510, the DX513 and currently DX517 are the 5-Bay expansion devices (connected by 6Gb/s) are the means to add those additional 5 bays and it would not surprise me if Synology release a new expansion chassis (DX523? DX524?) to further refresh this series (improved SATA protocol, power management, etc) and when that happens, several factors raise their heads. First, production of the predecessor (the current DX517) will decrease in favour of the potential newer expansion.

Now, very, VERY few people buy an expansion for a NAS system in the first 2-3 years of their systems life – if they are producing that much data, they would opt for a larger NAS (DS1821+ or DS2422+ for example). Some users might use an expansion as a means of creating a synchronized backup with the local system, but local backups that cannot be easily disconnected such as these are less than ideal in the long term. Regardless, the point I am making is that if you opt for a DS920+ NAS now and a few years later are looking for a DX517 to expand your system, they might not be so readily available from your preferred retailer (or indeed available new in fewer quantities and therefore at a possible premium due to necessity vs scarcity). This is still a remarkably minor point of course and hinges on a lot of ‘what if’s’, but something to factor in and perhaps – if this is something that concerns you now, you should maybe jump from the DS923+ altogether and opt for something bigger on day one such as a DS1520+, DS1621+ or DS1821+ NAS now, then partially populate it in an SHR and add drives to the array as and when.

Our Predictions on the Synology 2023 NAS Hardware & Software

Synology is famously one of the most secretive companies in the NAS market and although we know a decent chunk of information on DSM 7.1, their surveillance hardware/software upgrades and even big movements on their router series, solid formal information on the Synology Diskstation and Rackstation information is only arriving in smaller dribs and drabs. That said, they still follow a few refresh trends and between these routines and smaller imprints they have made online, me and Eddie the web guy were able to make several predictions and assertions on Synology in 2022/2023. You can watch the video one of the two videos we have made on Synology 2023 Hardware, Confirmed and Predicted, below:

Video Article – SEPT 2022 Video Article – JULY 2022

Alternatively, you can read our Synology 2023 NAS Hardware MEGATHREAD over HERE.

More information on the Synology DS920+ NAS

If all of the above has led you to strengthen your resolve, get off the fence and find out more about whether the Synology DS920+ suits your needs, then you can find out more information on the Summer 2020 released NAS in the reviews below in both video and written form. It covers the things I liked, the things I didn’t and ultimately helps you understand whether Synology and it’s DS920+ deserves your data. If you are choosing Amazon, eBay or to purchase your DS920+, please use the links here as it helps support the site, costs you nothing extra and allow us to keep creating our reviews, guides and free support services. Cheers!

Video Review of the DS920+ NAS Written Review of the Synology DS920+ NAS
Video Review Synology DSM 7 Written Review Synology DSM 7
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

 

 

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WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP NAS 10GbE Tests – RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6

26 septembre 2022 à 18:00

QNAP TS-464 NAS 10GbE RAID 0/5/6 Testing with the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

When you buy a new NAS and drives, one of the most important long-term decisions that you will make is choosing your RAID level. A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is the process of combining multiple media drives together into a single area of storage (a Storage Pool). Different RAID configurations provide different benefits and although it is not impossible to switch/change your RAID level years down the line it is not particularly straightforward, is quite limited in the range of RAID change options and often just makes you wish you had picked better the first time around! That is one of the main purposes of today’s article, to understand the performance differences between the big three RAID configurations that people choose for their first NAS system – RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6. In order to achieve this, I have opted to use the 2022 released QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS, combined with a 10GbE upgrade and alongside this I have fully populated the device with FOUR of the new massive capacity 22TB WD Red Pro series Hard drives. What we have here is a fully-featured, Prosumer NAS system with an external 1,000MB/s external throughput and a potential 88 Terabytes to play with! This will be a great way to test the performance potential of RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6 for users who are considering a modest scale 4-Bay NAS and want to make sure they pick the right RAID configuration for their needs right – FIRST TIME!

Skip Ahead? Use the links here to skip ahead to the Appropriate Test:

RAID 0, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 5, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 6, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

Before we get started, if you are interested in emulating these tests for yourself, or are keen to achieve these results in your own setup and want to know the devices I used in these tests, you can use the links below to find each item on Amazon in your local region. Using these links will result in amazon sending a small % back to us here at NASCompares that goes directly back into our site and services, allowing us to continue making these articles, videos and more – Thanks in advance!

Hardware Used in today’s Tests

Note – If you would rather WATCH these tests in video form, you can watch the WD Red 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS Performance Tests here on the NASCompares YouTube Channel. Alternatively, you can watch my review of either the QNAP TS-464 NAS or WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive below:

 QNAP TS-464 NAS Review WD Red Pro 22TB Review

QNAP TS-464 NAS & WD Red Pro 22TBs – The Test Setup and Hardware Used

These tests were conducted in a Windows 10 client machine environment over 3 days (factoring RAID rebuild times and cool downs) and all three RAID configurations (RAID 0, 5, 6) were conducted with four WD Red Pro series 22TB hard disks. The benchmark software used for these tests was Atto Disk Benchmark, as it provides a very wide range of test setups – as well as working much more smoothly with iSCSI targets/LUNs in windows and providing clearly information to display to the layman for this article. Additionally, given that just one of the WD 22TB hard drives can achieve more than 250MB/s throughput, I went ahead with a 10GbE, point-to-point connection between my PC and the NAS, using a QNAP 1st party 1 Port 10GbE card and the Sonnet Solo 10GbE Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapter. Here is a breakdown of the specific test setup components:

  • QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS with QTS 5

  • WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drives x4, RAID 0 or RAID 5 Configuration (dependingClick to view slideshow.
  • 20TB iSCSI LUN via the Default iSCSI Manager Target, connected to the Windows PC with the iSCSI initiator as a local appearing drive for Atto Disk Benchmark
Click to view slideshow.
  • Local PC Network Adapter using the Thunderbolt-to-10GbE adapter
Click to view slideshow.
  • Windows 10 Pro PC, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz 2.20 GHz, 32GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, Internal Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSD

  • MTU / Jumbo Frames set to 9K on both the NAS and the Network Adapter, Direct Connection (LAN-to-LAN), no network switch
Click to view slideshow.

Before we go further though, we need something to measure against. Here is the default performance of a SINGLE WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive, using the QNAP QTS Storage Manager Benchmark Tool:

As you can see, even on it’s own, a single WD Red Pro 22TB HDD can largely saturate even a single external 2.5GbE connection. So, at the very least, you are going to get 240-260MB/s with just the one drive. So, let’s get down to business! I performed a wide scope of tests, so let’s go through those results!

QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 0 10GbE Performance Tests

The first RAID we are testing in our WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS setup is RAID 0. In a RAID 0 configuration, ALL of the available capacity of the drives you select is available BUT you have no redundancy (i.e no safety net if a drive fails) and in the event of one of your HDDs going bust, you almost certainly lose ALL of your data (this can be very marginally negated if you spend some time deciding on a spanning or stripe style RAID protocol). So, why do people choose RAID 0 if it has such a high cost in the event of drive failure? Well, there are the massive storage benefits of course, but there is the other big bonus that the NAS will be reading and writing ALL the drives at once, hugely increasing the maximum performance that can be achieved. Also, as RAID 0 has no redundancy and no CPU resources are being used to calculate parity (a blueprint of data that is used for data restoration) which further increases performance AND lowers overall system hardware use. Therefore I expect the performance of the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs to be very good in a RAID 0 configuration over 10GbE.

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 837MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 814MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 806MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 730MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 805MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 5 10GbE Performance Tests

Next, I wanted to test the most popular RAID configuration for 4-Bay NAS drives like the QNAP TS-464 – RAID 5. In this configuration, it pools the four 22TB WD Red Pro hard disks together, but thanks to a system of data being striped across the disks during writing (i.e. data is written across the disks in a 1, 2, 3, etc pattern continuously AND one disk on each stripe having parity data (a blueprint of the data written on the other disks in that particular stripe), it means that in the event of a drive dying, you can rebuild the data that was on the broken drive from the remaining data on the other disks and the availability parity data. This also means that in order to maintain a balance of combined storage and ensure space for parity data, a RAID 5 will result in 1 drive’s worth of data capacity being educated from the overall total. So, in the case of the TS-464 and four 22TB Hard Drives, you would get 66TB of available data (as 22TB of that is used for parity data provisioning). Additionally, although you are still reading AND writing from multiple disks at once, the calculation, creation and maintenance of parity data in a RAID 5 has a negative impact on the total performance, as the system is using more resources (CPU+Memory) in order to keep things running smoothly in your storage pool. Modern NAS systems have done an excellent job of choosing very capable CPUs and RAID 5 configurations in recent years have been substantially better in performance. However, a RAID 5 will still have a lower degree of performance to a comparable RAID 0 hardware setup. Here is how the RAID 5 on the WD Red Pro 22TBs and the QNAP TS-464 NAS performed:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 800MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 779MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 517MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 535MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 520MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 687MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 525MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 724MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 6 10GbE Performance Tests

Our final test of the QNAP TS-464 NAS was a configuration setup up of a RAID 6 on the four WD Red Pro 22TBs. Now, a RAID 6 is highly comparable to a RAID 5 (discussed above), but instead of 1 drive of failure protection (the redundancy/safety net), you have TWO drives of safety. You need at least four drives in order to setup a RAID 6, but most users who consider RAID 6 are using much, much larger bay configurations and you generally find RAID 6 in homes/businesses where the data on the drives is mission critical, priceless or utterly impossible to recreate (from company accounts to photos of your children growing up!). Now, alongside the expected drop in capacity being 2 drives lower (so in the case of this configuration of 4x 22TB HDDs, you have 44TB available to storage data), the system’s overhead in creating parity/blueprints of the current data in efforts to maintain that two disk redundancy/safety net is twice as much, so performance will decrease further. So, let’s see how the QNAP TS-464 and the WD Red Pro 22TBs faired in performance over 10GbE in a RAID 6 set up:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 809MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 780MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 399MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 430MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 444MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 625MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 422MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 623MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS + WD Red 22TB RAID 6 Tests – Verdict & Conclusion

Overall, the performance that the QNAP TS-464 NAS and those 22TB WD Red Pro HDDs provided in each RAID configuration was pretty much what I would have expected. The Celeron CPU inside this NAS is a much more middle-of-the-road processor compared to more ‘file system’ and ‘general throughput-focused’ alternatives in the AMD-embedded Ryzen, Xeon or Atom that are found on other bulkier NAS systems, so it was always unlikely to saturate a full 10GbE connection with just four drives, even in a RAID 0 with an Intel Celeron processor. However, the RAID 5 configuration regularly hit the 600-700MB/s mark in this 4 disk RAID 5 configuration which, considering we are still talking about mechanical HDDs (even at 22TB and 265MB/s per drive) is pretty impressive! The RAID 6 performance clearly took the wind out of the sales of this 4-Bay though and unless you were using a larger 6-8 Bay configuration (such as the TS-664 or higher), this NAS hardware configuration struggled at the double parity level. Overall, the WD Red Pro 22TB hard drives perform exceptionally well and were consistent in their operation and the QNAP TS-464 NAS did exactly what it promised! If you are looking for a huge amount of capacity in a compact package, this potential 88TB 4-Bay desktop NAS combo is pretty incredible!

 

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New Version of Seagate Ironwolf Pro NAS Drives Available

8 septembre 2022 à 18:00

Seagate Update Ironwolf Pro Hard Drive Series with a new More Durable Enterprise NT Model

If you have been on the fence for a while about choosing the right Hard drive for your NAS, humming and ahhing about whether to choose a Pro series drive or an enterprise-class drive, then Seagate just made things a little easier for you with the release of the new Seagate Ironwolf Pro NT series of drives. Available now, these are new versions of the 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18 and 20TB Seagate Ironwolf Pro series, but now have had a few build elements tweaked to improve their durability and workloads to be much more comparable to data center class drives – whilst still maintaining the advantages and firmware focus of the Ironwolf Pro HDD series.

What Are the Specifications of the Newer Generation of Seagate Ironwolf Pro?

The difference between the previous/current generation of Seagate Ironwolf Pro HDDs and these newly release NT versions is largely based on their build and design being much close to that of the Seagate EXOS series, which results in a higher sequential performance, longer/higher durability rating and a larger scope of deployment.

Main Key Differences Between Seagate Ironwolf Pro and the New NT Version

  • Standard Ironwolf Pro drives can be used in upto 24 Bay enclosures, whereas these new NT drives are data center scale in their deployment and results in limitless enclosure volume support
  • Standard Itonwolf dries have a 300TB annual workload, Ironwolf Pro can take 300TB a year and the new Seagate Ironwolf Pro NT series can reach take 550TB of writing per year
  • Across the range of capacities of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and the new Ironwolf Pro NT versions, the new NT version is around 15-30MB/s faster on reported sequential performance (likely higher in typical ad-hoc use)
  • The Seagate Ironwolf NT series arrives with a reported 2.5 Miliion hours MTBF vs the 1 Million on standard Ironwolf Pro drives

Here is how the two versions of Seagate Ironwolf pro compare side by side on the rest of the specifications

HDD Type Seagate Ironwolf Pro v.2

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

Available Capacity 2TB-20TB 2TB-20TB
Model ID Standard (X=capacity STx000NT001 STx0000NE000
Interface SATA SATA
Drive Bays Supported Unlimited 8-24-Bays
Magnetic Recording CMR CMR
Workload Rate Limit (WRL) 550TB per Year 300TB per Year
Rotational Vibration (RV) Sensors Yes Yes
On-board Cache 256MB 256MB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2.5Million 1Million
Sector Size (Bytes per Logical Sector) 512E 512E
Rescue Data Recovery Services(years) 3yrs 3yrs
Spindle Speed (RPM) 7200 7200
Max. Sustained Transfer Rate OD Seq Read (MB/s) 285MB/s (20TB)

285MB/s (18TB)

270MB/s (16TB)

270MB/s (14TB)

270MB/s (12TB)

263MB/s (10TB)

255MB/s (8TB)

250MB/s (6TB)

285MB/s (20TB)

260MB/s (18TB)

255MB/s (16TB)

255MB/s (14TB)

240MB/s (12TB)

240MB/s (10TB)

240MB/s (8TB)

220MB/s (6TB)

Rotational Vibration @ 10-1500 Hz (rad/s) 12.5 12.5
Operating Temperature (ambient, min °C) 0 0
Operating Temperature (drive reported, max °C) 65 65
Nonoperating Temperature (ambient, min °C) -40 -40
Nonoperating Temperature (ambient, max °C) 70 70
Vibration, Nonoperating: 10Hz to 500Hz (Grms) 2.27 2.27
Acoustics, Idle (typical, measured in Idle 1 state) (dBA) 20 20
Acoustics, Seek (typical) (dBA) 26 26
Shock, Operating 2ms (Read/Write) (Gs) 40/40Gs 40/40Gs
Shock, Nonoperating, 1ms and 2ms (Gs) 200 200

So, as you can see, both are available in between 2TB and 20TB at the time of recording, but it is in just a handful of specifications (though crucial to larger scale RAID/configurations

When Will the Newer Models of Seagate Ironwolf Pro HDDs Be Released?

The new Seagate Ironwolf Pro STx000NT001 range of HDDs are available now alongside the existing Pro generation on several websites, as well as being highlighted on the official Seagate product pages. Price differences between the original Ironwolf Pro and this new version are yet to be fully clarified.

 

 

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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.  
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