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How to Install TrueNAS Core on your Terramaster NAS

10 août 2022 à 01:27

How to Install TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS Drive – Step By Step Guide

Most new or relatively inexperienced NAS users can be separated into two clear categories. There are those that want to get their hands dirty, spend sensibly on a DiY system in order to take advantage of community built platforms such as TrueNAS Core, and then there are those that are happy to pay extra for the system to arrive prebuilt, but also know that the software that it comes with can be a little more restrictive. However, it is NOT impossible to have the best of both! Today, I want to show you how to turn the remarkably affordable NAS solutions from Terramaster (easily the best Value NAS in the market right now, even when the 2022 range is pretty well hardware equipped with NVMe, 2.5G, Embedded Graphics CPUs and more) into a TrueNAS Core ZFS Powered NAS system. It is considerably easier than you might think, is very easy to reverse and allows you to have the full customization and freedom of TrueNAS Core, a prebuilt 24×7 designed server system and all whilst still getting exceptional value for money for the hardware. Cool right? Let’s begin the step-by-step guide.

Note – a FULL 30 Minute Installation Guide for TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS is available HERE on the NASCompares YouTube Channel

TrueNAS Core Software on Terramaster NAS Hardware – What You Need?

It is worth highlighting that having just a Terramaster NAS is not quite enough and in order to get TrueNAS Core up and running on a Terramaster NAS requires a few extra checks and use of a few items you might have already in the home/office, or a quick $10 shop online at most. In order to upgrade your system to TrueNAS Core, you will need to consider/have the following:

 

  • I recommend not using a USB larger than 32GB, due to the constraints of 1st party software to format larger than this in FAT32. Don’t be tempted to spend like $2 more for a 64GB, as the TrueNAS Core installation will occupy the full USB space (as you will create a system-image-USB) and space is utterly irrelevant when the TrueNAS Core installation is so small
  • A Disk Image to USB conversion too. I recommend ‘Rufus’, currently in ver 3.19 and can be run in a portable .exe form that doesn’t require installation – DOWNLOAD
  • A basic USB Keyboard (example HERE but really, any will do) and an HDMI Monitor (or simply any device that has an HDMI input – NOT output) such as a TV or Capture card
  • Hard Drive and/or SSD media (you should already have these, but just in case) for your storage
  • OptionalDownload Advanced IP Scanner HERE, as it is a really useful tool for analyzing your network and finding your new TrueNAS Core NAS for remote access

That is about it. Most of these (maybe not the USB drive at that physical size) you will almost certainly already have to hand.

Can I Reverse the TrueNAS Core Installation and go back to Terramaster TOS?

Almost certainly YES! I say ‘almost certainly’, as there is one small caveat. When you make the change from Terramster TOS to TrueNAS Core on the NAS hardware, the drives (HDD and/or SSD) inside are formatted to ZFS and used in the new system software. This works both ways if you want to revert back to TOS on the NAS too. So, although the act of reinitializing the NAS to its original software is very easy (simply needing you to replace the internal USB and rebooting), it will mean that any data that resides on the disks inside will be formatted. So, if you are choosing to make a change from one NAS OS to another, make sure you have your data appropriately backed up elsewhere. So, let’s begin the installation of TrueNAS Core on the Terramaster NAS.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 1, Download TrueNAS Core

Head to the TrueNAS Core website HERE and download the latest stable release of the software to your local PC, Linux or Mac system. Make sure to remember where you downloaded it.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 2, Download Rufus USB Image Tool

Head to the Rufus website and download the latest version of that tool – I recommend downloading the standalone executable file here, as then it will immediately run when you double click the file, without installation etc. It may redirect you to Github, but it will be the same executable file. Once again, remember where you downloaded it.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 3, Preparing the USB

Connect the small form factor USB Drive to your system (again, this is the one I used from Sandisk) and after a few seconds, it should appear as an available USB Drive. The drive MAY need formatting (you will be prompted to do so), if that is the case, then you can format it via the system prompts and by default, it will format it to FAT32 (as long as your USB is less than 32GB). If you are not presented with a system prompt to format your USB, then you can head into My PC, or My Computer via a windows computer and right-click the drive, select ‘format’ and format it that way.

If you have used the USB for other things previously, there is a chance that the drive has existing partitions in place. For that, the quickest way to completely remove any partitions is to open up the bottom-left windows system menu as normal, and then just type diskpart and open the command-line GUI tool. From there, use the command list disk to show the available drives that are connected, you will see your USB (normally disk 1 or 2, but can differ depending on your system layout and can be spotted by the storage amount). From there, type select disk # (where # is the drive number that your USB is shown as) and then type clean, which which will then remove any index structure for the drive (i.e the partitions and existing format) and then you can go back to the My Computer/My PC page and format the drive to FAT 32 as normal.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 4, Creating a USB Installer Image of TrueNAS Core

Open the Rufus application and from there you will see the USB Drive (listed as NO NAME, or ‘UNTITLED’, ETC) at the top. From there, look to the select image/find image option (depending on the ver. of Rufus or your USB Image Creator tool of choice) and find the TrueNAS Core disk image you downloaded earlier). If the drive is not listed, it may have downloaded as a compressed/archive file. If that is the case, head to the location of where you downloaded TrueNAS Core (in your file explorer, not in Rufus) and right-click the file you downloaded. If the option to ‘extract‘ is visible, then you can extract it (i.e unpack it to the original form) in that same download directory. From there, head back into RUFUS and then the TrueNAS Core system image should be visible. Select it, then run the Rufus System image creator tool and create your USB bootable TrueNAS Core disk image.

REMEMBER! This will completely format your USB drive and any files that are on that USB will be destroyed. The system image creator tool will turn the USB into a pure boot image tool – the USB will not be usable for traditional storage again unless you completely format it again.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 5, REMOVE THE USB FROM YOUR PC!!!!!!!!!

Really, really important and sometimes overlooked. Once the USB creation is completed, you need to remove the USB (using the eject hardware safely option at the bottom right of your windows machine taskbar as normal). DO NOT accidentally leave the USB in your USB Ports for any longer than necessary. If you leave it in and your system reboots at any point (eg in a normal ‘end of day shut down, go home, reboot tomorrow’ scenario), then the system might boot directly into the TrueNAS Core installation and although it is easy to exit from, it can change your system default boot preferences, maybe even remove your primary boot drive as the OS drive – requiring a little messing with a windows installation disk to change it back. The odds of this are very small, but not zero, so make sure to safely remove your USB drive when the TrueNAS Core system image creator tool is completed.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 6, Opening up your Terramaster NAS

This next step is going to differ depending on the Terramaster NAS Drive you are choosing to use. For this guide, I am using a 2022 generation F4-423 4-Bay NAS, but the general steps are the same for any Terramaster NAS (though the location of the USB will differ). With the Terramaster NAS disconnected from the network and from any power source. From there you will need to remove the external casing. In the case of most Terramaster NAS, the chassis is held by 4-6 screws on the rear of the casing that, when removed, allow you to remove the rear pannel+fans and slide the internal framework out the front of the casing (be sure to check the fans are not disconnected accidentally in this process). IMPORTANT – Remove any HDD/SSD Media during the dismantling of the Terramaster NAS chassis, as it would be so, SO easy to harm these with accidentally dropping/motion damage. No need to remember the order of the drives when you re-install them, as they are going to be formatted during the TrueNAS Core installation.

Now, if you take a closer look at the main controller board of the Terramaster NAS (the one with network/USB ports attached, not the one that the HDD/SSD bays are on), you will spot a VERY small USB module in a tiny USB port. It should look something like this:

Now, THIS is where the default Terramaster TOS NAS software installation is kept. This is NOT where the OS actually runs from, but this is where the system checks in it’s BIOS when booting to find installation media (IF the system does not already have an active OS on the drives). Very delicately (as it IS a small USB and likely tucked in next to some other delicate components) remove the USB there is there, put it somewhere safe (as you will need this if you ever want to return the Terramster back to a TOS software system) and then replace it with the USB from earlier that has the TrueNAS Core system image you created in Rufus. THIS is why you needed a very small USB, as otherwise there is simply no way you would fit a traditional USB flash stick in the space provided.

That is pretty much it. This only other thing to factor in here is IF your Terramaster NAS does NOT have an external HDMI port. Most Terramsater NAS released in 2020-2022 have an HDMI port on the rear that although largely useless in TOS, is still accessible (something you will need for TrueNAS Core initialization. However, some Terramaster NAS with Intel Processors have the HDMI Port located INSIDE the main chassis. So, IF your NAS has an inside HDMI port, you are going to need to connect an  HDMI monitor to it and run the initial installation (covering in a bit) with the chassis in this open state. After installation is complete, you can close the Terramaster NAS chassis up. Otherwise, if your NAS already has an external HDMI port, you can go ahead and reconstruct the NAS chassis.

NOTE – If you plan on upgrading the memory of your NAS to 8GB-16GB (in order to use ALL of the features of TrueNAS Core to their fullest extent), I would recommend doing so at this point before rebuilding the physical chassis again, as many Terramaser NAS have the 2nd SODIMM memory slot in really tight locations.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 7, Accessing the HDMI Port and Keyboard Control

Next, you need to start getting the system ready for Initialization and Setup. I would strongly recommend running the first-time installation via a direct interface with the Terramaster NAS. You will need to connect an HDMI Monitor/TV/Capture Card to the HDMI port of the NAS, a Keyboard (and/or mouse) to an available USB port) and then connect the power/network connections to the NAS and boot the device up.

After a few minutes, the TrueNAS Core GUI/Command will appear on your monitor and all you need to do is navigate the config choices to set up your TrueNAS Core NAS the first time.

Important – TrueNAS Core runs at its best when it is run on a separate drive from your storage. Much like an Operating System, you can install TrueNAS Core on an available SSD in a SATA or NVMe SSD slot in the Terramaster NAS, then (after initialization) you can go into the TrueNAS Core > Storage area and create a pool of storage using the available storage media bays,

It is NOT recommended that you install it on a USB drive, for reasons of speed and power-connections.

After you have completed the setup and are back at the initial TrueNAS Core boot menu, select the ‘SHUTDOWN‘ option (not reboot/restart, for reasons I will explain in a moment).

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 8, Remove the Boot USB Drive

Once your Terramaster NAS has fully powered down, you need to disconnect the storage, power and any other cables, then open up the Terramaster NAS again (if it was re-constructed from earlier) and then remove the USB drive you installed earlier with TrueNAS Core boot loader on it. You need to do this as otherwise, when you reboot the Terramaster NAS, it will reboot into the bootloader again. You can skip past this and/or it will not action a reinitialization without your input, but better to remove the USB and therefore allow the system to always immediately boot into the TrueNAS Core system. After you have reconstructed the terramaster NAS, you can go ahead and connect all the cables and power on the device.

Note – Do NOT replace the USB with the original Terramaster USB Drive that it arrived with, or the system will auto boot into the Terramaster TOS Installation setup.

TrueNAS Core on a Terramaster NAS – Step 9, Reboot the NAS

Upon rebooting the Terramaster into TrueNAS Core (can take up to 5 mins, but usually much quicker). You have two options with how to access the configuration and controls. You can use the HDMI+Keyboard if you choose for console/command level access. Alternatively (much more recommended), use a program such as Advanced IP Scanner, which is free and VERY useful anyway, or even network command prompt) to scan your local area network and find where the Terramaster with TrueNAS Core is located (i.e it’s IP). This IP (eg 192.168.1.111) is what you put into the URL bar ofay web browser and it will load into the login GUI for TrueNAS Core. From here you will need to use the username ‘root’ in combination with the password that you created during initialization.

And that is about it. You now have TrueNAS Core installed as the default OS of your Terramaster NAS. From here you can do anything and everything that his highly regarded ZFS powered server software offers. Head into the Storage area and start creating pools, as well as areas for caching and lots more features.

TrueNAS was recently updated to ver.13 in a stable release of the FreeBSD format, as well as new improvements in the Linux-based version ‘TrueNAS Scale’. The first thing you are going to need to do when setting up your TrueNAS Core > Terramaster NAS server is set up your storage. Do this by heading into the storage tab and following the handy steps on screen. After that, you can pretty much do anything on your new ZFS NAS!

You can find out more about TrueNAS in my full review below that covers everything I like and dislike about the platform:

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful and that it really helped you to make the most of your storage. Want to help me continue to make more guides, reviews and tutorials on the subject of NAS? Then you can do so in a few different ways (any of which I will be eternally grateful for if you choose to!). You can visit the ‘Support NAS Passion’ page HERE and see a few different ways that you can help us keep the lights on. Alternatively, you can use one of the links below to shop for your hardware today or in future (visiting those sites via the link below ensures that we get a mall commission on absolutely anything you purchase – and doesn’t cost you anything extra). Finally, if you want to support us in spirit rather than financially, recommend our blog to a friend or professional colleague or share a link on your social media site of choice. Thank you for reading and have a fantastic week!



 

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QNAP TS-464 vs TS-453D NAS – Which Should You Buy?

3 août 2022 à 01:17

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS Drive – Which Should You Buy?

Are you considering the QNAP TS-464 now it has been released? Or thinking of saving some money and opting for the predecessor TS-453D that is currently on sale? It’s a tough decision for some that want to ensure value for money, yet remain future-proof. It is no secret that QNAP, much like many other NAS brands, refreshes their range of available hardware every few years. We are all quite used to tech makers producing a new version of their ‘thing’ that makes big and bold promises to be bigger, better and faster than what came before! In the case of Network Attached Storage though, one big contributing factor that often necessitates the release of new versions of their products and series is the CPU. CPU manufacturers such as Intel and AMD tend to perform refreshes of their own to their portfolios (retooling manufacturing plants for the newer processors and ceasing production of the previous chip) and this leads to NAS brands having to change their CPU in line with the chip manufacturers new revisions shortly afterwards. This new CPU revision will often open the door to further improvements in the rest of the hardware too and that is eventually what governs the shape and abilities of a new NAS release. This all too often though leads to a period of around a year when retailers that provide these solutions (everything from Amazon to specialized retailers) will feature both the older and newer NAS systems in stock at the same time and that leads to many, MANY buyers wondering whether it is worth saving some money and purchasing the previous NAS release on ‘sale’ or spending more and getting the newest release to be more future-proof. Given that both the TS-464 and TS-453D run IDENTICAL versions of the QNAP QTS 5 system software and services, the temptation to save a few quid and/or spend that saving on network improvements or more storage is pretty high. Also, the TS-453D released back in 2020 arrived on the market at $630 and is now available to buy for $549 (or even as low as $438 during seasonal sales such as Prime Day and Black Friday), see below:

Now, if you compare that against the newly released QNAP TS-664, which has seemed to hit the eShops at around $600-650, that is quite a big difference in price tag. So, today I want to compare the QNAP TS-464 released now in spring 2022 against the 2020 released TS-453D, just to see where that extra goes. On the face of it, we have two very, VERY similar NAS drives that simply arrive in different colours but have all the same ports. However, even the smallest dig into their respective specifications reveals a huge difference in the bandwidth and capacity in how these ports have changed. Let’s begin

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Design

The design of the TS-464 and TS-453D are INCREDIBLY similar. The chassis that both NAS systems use a black, plastic and matt textured enclosure, with a coloured front side panel and a removable glass effect front cover that reveals the main SATA bays. This external plastic casing covers the internal metal structure completely and passive airflow via ventilation is quite discreet around the box, facilitated by a larger single 120mm rear fan on both NAS. This design has been their main choice for their flagship series since the release of the TS-x53B and TS-53Be devices in 2017/2018 and is quite understated. Of the two I SLIGHTLY prefer the copper effect side panel of the TS-464 over the TS-453D, but this is a purely personal preference.

QNAP TS-464 NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

QNAP TS-453D NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

Ventilation and notice on both the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D are largely identical, however, there is the tiniest potential increase possibility in fan operation in the TS-464, due to the increased hardware inside the enclosure that I will touch on and the system needing to maintain an efficient system temperature. However, ventilation on both of these NAS systems is a limit more understated than alternatives from the likes of Synology, as the side vents on both these NAS are quite small (with a larger base vent panel under the SATA media bays) and I have always wondered how much impact the lockable front panel of this chassis design impacts airflow from that rear active cooling fan (negatively, positively or no different). But nevertheless, the chassis has little or no difference in the two years between the TS-453D and TS-464 being released.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

The rear of each of these NAS systems are largely the same, however, the rearrangement of the ports of the newer TS-464 (likely to make room for additional internal M.2 NVMe SSD slots that we will discuss later) has led to them being a little between distributed across the internal board. The vents in the metal rear panel of the older TS-453D are wider than those found on the TS-464, though I am not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this decision (dust control, creating increased velocity for the air via compressed channels? I have no idea), but it does not seem to affect system temperature either way when we checked the system diagnostics after 24 hours power-on. The fan is completely automated to increase/decrease as the system temperature monitor dictates but can be adjusted higher or lower in RPM manually if needed for reasons of preemptive high system activity or noise adjustment. Personally, I would ALWAYS leave this on automatic.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

Overall, the design of the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D has changed so very little, that there is little or no difference between them of note. Both are particularly compact 4 bays that can be deployed pretty easily. Let’s dig down into the internal hardware of these two NAS, as it is there that we really really start to see how much has changed in two years and gives us a clearer picture of which one will be better value for money.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Internal Hardware

Right, so HERE is where we start to see some big differences between the TS-464 and TS-453D, as QNAP are able to take advantage of a better CPU to spread their hardware and bandwidth a great deal more. Once again though, on the face of it, the specifications are incredibly similar. Both use quad-core Intel Celerons, both arriving at 2.0Ghz with embedded graphics and both using 4GB DDR4 memory, yet more than a $/£/€100-150 difference! This is down to the maximum capacities afforded to this hardware in the TS-464 and its scalability down the line. For example, the default memory inside the TS-453D (ADATA 2400Mhz DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM) is also accompanied by an additional empty memory slot to allow an additional 4GB more memory. As the older TS-453D has a CPU that has a maximum 8GB of memory, this is perfectly fine. However, the TS-464 NAS’ newer gen CPU allows up to 16GB of memory (4GB of 2666Mhz memory in the default model) across two upgradable slots. Likewise, the newer system features those M.2 NVMe slots that can be used for SSD storage upgrades. Although both the TS-453D and TS-464 support SSD caching (when a pool of SSDs is used to speed up data write/read in conjunction with the larger HDD RAID array), Qtier and as standalone storage pools, the TS-464 is the only one that provides this as immediately without any upgrade cards. This is the first of several key differences between the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D NAS that stem from the CPU choice. Here is how they scale up specifically though:

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Price £559               $650              €675

£429               $530              €549

Storage Media Support 4x SATA, 2x m.2 NVMe 3×1 4x SATA
CPU Model Intel N5105/N5095 Intel J4125
CPU Frequency & Cores Quad-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz Quad-Core 2.0-2.7Ghz
CPU Benchmark Score CPU benchmark 4161 CPU benchmark 3006
Memory Default/Max 4-16GB SODIMM DDR4 4-8GB SODIMM DDR4
PSU Power & Design 90W External PSU 90W External PSU
Physical Fans 1x 120m FAN 1x 120m FAN

Now, that CPU is the big game-changer here. When Intel made the switch to the newer N5105/N5095 processor, this opened the door to a bunch more ways to extend the efficiency and bandwidth of those existing physical services. NAS systems are designed to be operational for days, weeks, months and even years at a time. Therefore, in order to maintain optimal performance, as well as lower power consumption and lessen the damage that long term operation can inflict on a processor, the CPUs used in NAS are a great deal more modest. In the case of the TS-453D and TS-464 NAS, they feature Intel Celeron processors, each featuring an embedded graphics component (allowing graphical operations, multimedia handling and visual data to be handled by a specialized area of the processor), quad-core architecture and a base level clock speed of 2.0Ghz that can be burst (turbo/increased when needed). However, the newer generation N5105/N5095 CPU in the TS-464 is able to reach a higher overall clock speed and also is more efficient (i.e uses a little less hardware resources to get a task done than it would take on the J4125 typically, so, therefore, can do more tasks overall when the full CPU power is utilized). Indeed, CPUBenchmark rated the newer CPU 30%+ higher in its scoring than the J4125 (again, as you would expect for a CPU released more than a year later by Intel), so this processor means that more can be done on the TS-464 (in like for like tasks) and also this CPU allows a greater range of hardware to be built into the system. CPUs are one of the largest quantifying factors of how a NAS is built and this is because they can only handle a certain amount of connected hardware (storage bays, ports, expansion slots, etc) when connected to a larger controller/motherboard. This is commonly referred to as the # of PCI lanes and the chipset used in the build of the system. Because this newer Intel N5105 / N5095 CPU has more lanes to use at once than the J4125, it allows the newer NAS drive to have more hardware.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Intel N5105/N5095 CPU

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Intel J4125 CPU

These additional CPU resources, as well as the increased maximum memory and flexibility the TS-464 providing M.2 NVMe SSD slots can be used ultimately means that in terms of internal hardware, the newer released QNAP TS-464 wins over the TS-453D NAS. It is worth remembering that the M.2 NVMe SSD slots on the QNAP TS-464 are PCIe Gen 3 x1 (down to the Celeron CPU still not having anywhere near the scope in its flexibility that the likes of an Intel Core, Ryzen or Xeon might have) and will bottleneck at 1,000MB/s, but this is still better than nothing and as these slots are not an option on the TS-453D without the installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade card over PCIe.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Ports & Connections

Once again, the ports and connections available on the QNAP TS-453D and TS-464 seem near enough identical at a glance, but even a casual dig into those spec sheets real some big differences. Both systems provide two 2.5GbE network ports that, along with up to 260-270MB/s throughput, also allow port-trunking (otherwise known as link aggregation) and with the use of a smart switch can provide 500-550MB/s performance to your connected network. Alongside this, both systems support the QNAP USB 3.2 to 5GbE adapter to add further network ports to the system too. Likewise, both system provide an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port and USB 2.0 ports for a KVM (keyboard, video, Mouse) setup to be used in conjunction with the included parallel HD Station application and its tools. The HDMI and direct interface of the QNAP is still pretty niche as a service on this system, but it has a number of useful multimedia, surveillance and VM utilities that can be quite impressive. Finally, Expansions on the TS-464 and TS-453D are largely the same, with QNAP offering 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12-Bay expansion chassis (arriving in JBOD or hardware RAID enabled) that connect over USB or an inclusive PCIe card. However, after this, things become a great deal more future proof and scalable on the TS-464 NAS.

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Network Ports 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE
USB 3.2 Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
USB 2.0 Ports 2x USB 2.0 3x USB 2.0
HDMI Ports 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS
PCIe Upgrade Slots PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot (2Gb/s) PCIe Gen 2×2 Slot (1Gb/s)

The first difference worth highlighting is regarding those USB ports. The older TS-453D features USB 3.2 Gen 1 (AKA USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports that provide up to 5Gb/s (500MB/s+) bandwidth with connected external storage media (i.e you would need a RAID enabled HDD USB enclosure or SSD drive in order to hit this performance cap). The TS-464 on the other hand features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 2 – THANKS for the name nonsense ‘USB.org’!) which can provide 10Gb/s performance (i.e 1,000MB/s). As SSDs become increasingly affordable and even external m.2 NVMe SSD enclosures arriving at a bargain, this option to have a significantly faster backup drive option available is quite attractive. Especially for those that plan on having a USB tier to their multi-stage NAS Backup strategy and choose to have dated/versioned backups, rather than differential backups just ‘topping things up’ over time. Another big difference of note is in that PCIe upgrade slot. Both the TS-453D and TS-464 feature the option to install a PCIe upgrade card that can include options to add better network interfaces (2.5/5/10G or WiFi 6 / AX wireless options) with multi-port card, storage upgrade cards (adding multiple M.2 NVMe and SATA bays) or even combo cards that feature both on a single card. The difference between the TS-464 and TS-453D though stems from the bandwidth afforded these slots, with the TS-453D arriving with a PCIe Gen 2×2 slot and the TS-464 having a PCIe Gen 3 x2 slot. This results in the newer NAS providing DOUBLE the potential bandwidth of the TS-453D when installing an upgrade card. So this will be particularly useful when installing multiport network upgrade cards and SSD cards that exceed 1,000MB/s, as well as combo cards that need to spread the bandwidth a bit. Overall, the hardware in the TS-464 is certainly better and broader than the TS-453D, but it is worth remembering that the bulk of these advantages and improvements made in the 2 years later hardware release can be viewed in terms of optional scalability and expandability – so you are going to need more hardware to take advantage and almost certainly not advantages that most users will take advantage of on day 1.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Software

This is pretty much the smallest difference that can be measured between the QNAP TS-464 and QNAP TS-453D NAS. Both these NAS systems run the QTS 5 operating system, services and applications available for the platform and numerous client hardware devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc). The only REAL difference between these two NAS systems is the fact that the improved hardware inside the newer TS-464 (more efficient and higher clock speed CPU, after memory and large maximum RAM threshold) allows a larger number of actions and clients to be managed at a single time than the TS-453D NAS. However, in smaller or single operations, you are not going to feel/see the difference, unless you are particularly pushing the CPU or Memory utilization in a single client interaction (i.e surveillance camera feeds, Virtual Machine deployment, transcoding natively and/or Plex, etc). Likewise, the inclusion of the default M.2 NVMe slots on the TS-464 means that you have a few extra SSDD services available on day 1, but these are still available to the TS-453D via either the installation of a PCIe upgrade card OR using SATA SSDs internally. Below is a breakdown of the applications and services that are included in QTS available on both NAS systems.

TS-464

TS-453D

Browser Support Supports all Browsers Supports all Browsers
Browser File Management Browser File Management
Photo/Music/Video Tools Photo/Music/Video Tools
Multimedia Console Multimedia Console
AI Photo Recognition AI Photo Recognition
Edge m.2 Coral TPU Support
Storage Services
SED Drive Support SED Drive Support
QTier QTier
Hybrid Mount Hybrid Mount
ISCSI Target/LUN ISCSI Target/LUN
vJBOD vJBOD
Snapshots Snapshots
SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both) SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both)
Cloud Sync / QSync Cloud Sync / QSync
Ex-FAT is Free Ex-FAT is Free
RAID Resync control RAID Resync control
Secure Erase Secure Erase
Lots of Expansions (TR/TL) Lots of Expansions (TR/TL)
HBS 3 HBS 3
Qfiling and Qsirch Qfiling and Qsirch
Business Applications
QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses
Virtualization Station Virtualization Station
Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20 Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20
Container Station Container Station
Hypervisor Protector Hypervisor Protector
QMailAgent QMailAgent
HD Station HD Station
BoXafe BoXafe
Security
Security Councillor Security Councillor
Malware Remover Malware Remover
McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning
QVPN QVPN
Log and Notification Center Log and Notification Center
Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc
256 bit Encryption 256 bit Encryption
2 Step Authentication 2 Step Authentication
Firewall App Firewall App
Access Protection and Allow/Deny list Access Protection and Allow/Deny list

Although you are going to be able to do more of these things above simultaneously on the TS-464 than the TS-453D NAS, it is not a huge win for the newer box and once again, this win comes largely down to futureproofing than anything you will feel on Day 1. You can learn more about the QNAP QTS Platform in my review below in both video and blog form:

QNAP QTS 5 Review Video QNAP QTS 5 Review on the Blog

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Conclusion

It will come as no shock that the newer QNAP TS-464 NAS is the better choice in the long run compared with the QNAP TS-453D, thanks largely down to a larger degree of upgrades, storage scaling in the future and resource expandability. If you KNOW you are not going to be scaling up your storage hardware in the next 4-5 years, then perhaps the TS0453D is a better choice for you, using that saved $/£/€100-150 difference towards more storage, network interface upgrades or improving your in-house network environment generally with 2.5GbE or 10GbE. The software provided on both systems is still very good value for money and QNAP is still one of the few brands that provide this level of hardware (plus inclusive software and services) at this price point. Equally, you are almost certainly going to see the QNAP TS-453D at ever more attractive price points at retailers and it is still a great little NAS (check out my 2020 review of the TS-453D HERE). But you simply cannot ignore the number of ways that the base level TS-464 NAS can be upgraded and improved in its lifespan and for those that want a ‘blank canvas’ NAS solution that they can then change alongside their own network client hardware in the home/office, the TS-464 NAS is the more mature and long-term choice easily.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Spring/Summer 2022

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Spring/Summer 2020

Reasons to Buy it?

Better Hardware inside and out

More Expansion/Upgrade Options

Able to run more simultaneous apps/clients at once

Faster USB Ports (10Gb/s)

Larger bandwidth PCIe upgrade slot (PCIe 3×2 vs 2×2)

Higher CPU Frequency, Efficiency & Proficiency

Reasons to Buy it?

Lower Current Price Point

Overall lower power consumption

Better ventilation internally and on fan panel design

More USB Ports overall

More likely on Sale over Black Friday/Seasonal Sales

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

 

 

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Alternatives to Drobo from Synology or QNAP – Which NAS Should You Buy?

27 juillet 2022 à 01:33

Leaving Drobo NAS and Buying a Synology or QNAP – Get it Right, First Time

For a long time, I championed the Drobo Brand of network attached storage (NAS) as a great option for users looking to have their very own no-fuss, easy to set up and content-creator-friendly system. However, I think it would be fair to say that in the last 5-6 years, whilst many of the more ambitious NAS brands such as QNAP and Synology were pushing the boundaries of what people can do with their NAS systems in software and hardware, Drobo had made little or no innovation in their either department. Indeed, although we saw the impressive and surprisingly affordable Thunderbolt RAID device, the Drobo 5D3, in the world of NAS we really saw things start to stagnate. Fast forward to 2022, and we recently found out that Drobo (and its parent company StorCentric) had sadly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing impacts on their business from the pandemic. Although the company has stated in several interviews that they intend to carry on later, with a smaller product line perhaps, I think the brand had been in trouble long before the pandemic and for a while, many users on the brink of buying their latest NAS or were in the process of upgrading an existing Drobo populated network storage environment, started considering making the switch to the bigger and more established NAS brands, Synology and QNAP. These two brands have 22 and 18 years of experience respectively in network attached storage and in that time have continued to release new and exciting innovations that challenge alot of the rather unexciting and rudimentary storage services that Drobo NAS systems arrive with.

What Do Synology and QNAP Provide that Drobo Doesn’t?

NAS has a technology that anyone (home or business) can buy has been around for around two decades now and in that time, ALOT has changed. The days of a NAS being just a simple blob of storage (1+ HDDs) that are connected to the network/internet and accessible remotely are long gone. Now modern NAS systems arrive with a full range of tailored applications (i.e. interfaces that allow you to access file types such as Photos, Music, Video, Docs, etc in a manner better suited to their output), a full graphical user interface accessible via your web browser that is more akin to a complete operating system, many client tools and apps, huge variety of business tools and all of this whilst still providing configurable storage to you, your family or your business. Below is just a handful of the thing that a Synology or QNAP NAS can do, that a Drobo either cannot do or does in a very limited capacity:

  • Bigger Range of solutions in 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12-Bay and bigger desktop NAS solutions
  • Many, many Mobile Applications
  • Incredibly user-friendly GUIs via the web browser (DSM and QTS) that give NAS devices an operating system comparable to Windows or MacOS
  • AI-Powered Photo Recognition
  • Huge variety of NAS Apps
  • Highly configurable and customizable iSCSI and Remote Targetted storage tools and Protocols supported
  • Multi-tiered and comprehensive backup tools covering NAS-to-NAS, USB, Cloud and VM Backups
  • Wide Variety of Desktop/Client Apps
  • Diverse RAID configurations and Storage Expansion Options
  • 10GbE by Default or as an Optional Extra
  • A large number of security tools and configuration tools (starting with
  • NVMe SSD Bays for caching and/or storage
  • Dedicated Premium Surveillance, Virtual Machine, Multimedia, Containers and Cloud Sync Software
  • Fully featured Plex and Emby Media Server Support
  • SaaS Sync Tools (Active Backup on Synology and BoXafe on QNAP)
  • A large variety of email hosting, web hosting and database creation tools
  • Not just supporting EXT4, but also supporting ZFS or BTRFS’ file systems

Now, it is worth remembering that Drobo DID release some innovations over the years in their NAS and DAS systems. They were the first to introduce a much more innovative LED system on the front of their system’s to denote system storage use, particular activity and more detailed warning patterns. They were one of the first to integrate m.2 SSD caching upgrade bays into their desktop systems (though using mSATA or M.2 NVMe), and they were one of the first to introduce internal battery systems in their desktop NAS that allowed the system to safely close read/write activities in the event of the system suffering a critical power failure. Then of course there was BeyondRAID, their flexible RAID configuration that allowed easy RAID expansions and mixed drive use. These innovations were all good, it’s just a shame that they all came around many years ago and the brand has not moved forward in hardware or software technology since.

Why Choose Synology NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

Synology is often considered the ‘Software Choice’, as DSM (Diskstation Manager) is by far the most user-friendly, secure, responsive and ‘OS-like’ platform available in the whole of NAS. It may seem one of the most expensive, but with it, you get some genuine boundary-breaking software with your purchase.  You still get a great level of hardware in the majority of Synology NAS solutions, but the real draw of Synology is that software. Not only does it support your own hardware environment of PCs, Macs, entertainment devices and mobiles in their own respective software, but DSM also includes MANY applications designed around keeping all your data IN-HOUSE. So, replace Skype/Whatsapp with Synology Chat, Replace Google Docs and Office365 with Synology Office. Use Synology Drive to make your storage visible and accessible the way YOU want it, and export your entire cloud/data network over to a Synology NAS and remove all the external access as and when you need! They aren’t the cheapest and they want you to do it ‘there way’, but it’s a pretty decent way. Additionally, their recent DSM 7.0 software has left many users impressed, with enhanced support of those 3rd party cloud storage and business services, AI photo recognition, their surveillance platform continuing to win awards and even an in-house cloud service in Synology C2. Stylizing themselves very much as the ‘Apple’ of this industry, they really do focus on keeping things straightforward and intuitive.

PROS of Synology NAS

  • Easily the most intuitive and Usage browser-based GUI (award-winning DSM 6.2/7.0/7.1) – FULL Review HERE
  • One of the best Surveillance NAS software solutions
  • Most popular vendor for Mac users for it’s UI
  • Incredibly feature-rich NVR software included, in Surveillance Station
  • Includes Active Backup Suite – Enterprise level and fully featured Backup Co-ordination software
  • Lowest Power Consumption vs other brands
  • A large # of their systems arrive with m.2 NVMe SSD caching upgrade bays
  • Quiet chassis compared with other brands
  • Task specialised Ranges like ‘PLAY’, ‘PLUS’ and ‘J’ make buying easier
  • The best range of first-party software, with Synology Office, Chat, Mail, Drive and more
  • SHR and SHR-2 – also BTRFS available in most solutions
  • Cloud Services and Hybrid Storage Tools available in Synology C2
  • Desktop and Rack-mount options are available
  • Best software for Home and SMB

CONS of Synology NAS

  • Often the most expensive
  • Recent Enterprise NAS Hardware has changed Compatibility in favour of Synology HDDs and SSDs
  • Generally, Synology NAS has the lowest hardware power in their systems
  • NVMe SSD Bays are for caching ONLY, they cannot be used for super-fast storage pools
  • More technically minded folk will need to dig a little to get to the nitty-gritty
  • SHR is not available on Enterprise NAS Systems
  • Network ONLY – no HDMI, Audio in/out, Thunderbolt, etc

Why Choose QNAP NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

Often considered the choice for the more hardware-aware buyer, if you are looking for a much more traditionally computer associated hardware – QNAP NAS is certainly the one that springs to mind. Generally considered the ‘innovators’ of the NAS industry, they have the largest range of solutions available Notwithstanding the fact that their hardware is by FAR the most evolved platform in NAS (thunderbolt 3, multiple HDMI, 10Gbe standard solutions, Silent NAS, AI solutions and advanced SSD caching), the platform is fantastically diverse, providing great NAS options alongside network switches, network adapters and generally reshaping your hardware environment for the better. The software has also evolved dramatically into its own beast, moving away from trying to imitate and carving its own path. It is a little more technically (and I really do mean a little) but it is far more rewarding for it. They do not feature some popular items on their portfolio, such as BTRFS or a fluid RAID system like SHR/BeyondRAID, but make up for this with their own range of alternatives and in most cases succeed. Get your reading glasses on though, as their range is quite vast and might overwhelm you a tad. In recent years the brand has shifted focus a great deal more towards software in efforts to meet the gap with their rival Synology to pretty good success. This is often achieved by releasing software that does the previously impossible before anyone else, but lacking a little of the polish of their biggest rival. Recent achievements with HybridMount, vJBOD, HyperVisor Protector, QuMagie and Multimedia Console have been received remarkably well, arriving onto the scene 1-2 years before anyone else. Alongside this, QNAP still has easily the best virtual machine and backup software for home and SMB in Virtualization Station and Hybrid Backup Sync.

PROS of QNAP NAS

  • Best Solutions for Plex Media Server in NAS
  • Enterprise/Business Solutions feature ZFS
  • 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe Options
  • Best Virtual Machine and Container Solutions in NAS
  • NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Caching, Storage Pools or Tiered Storage Configurations
  • Almost all range is metal in design, or a plastic but unique chassis
  • HDMI and remote control included in most Media NAS devices
  • Thunderbolt NAS options covering TB2, TB3 and even TB4 (TS-464)
  • Two Surveillance Solutions (with 4/8 Camera Licenses included)
  • The Best Backup/Synchronization solution in ‘Hybrid Backup Sync 3’
  • Technical information far more readily available
  • Lower price compared with Synology in terms of hardware
  • Regularly updated software and Detailed GUI/APPs – FULL Review HERE
  • Desktop and Rackmount options are available
  • Much better business options and definitely the best for virtual machines

CONS of QNAP NAS

  • A more android feel towards apps and stability means some users will be put off
  • Lacking the BTRFS and SHR support of Synology
  • Higher typical Power consumption
  • Often a fraction noisier due to chiefly metal chassis
  • Much larger range of devices can lead to confusion
  • Most units arrive with 2-3 Years warranty, but longer will cost you more
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS

Choosing to replace the Drobo 5N2 5-Bay NAS with a Synology is actually a surprisingly easy choice. Right now at the time of writing, there are two very clear Diskstaiton devices that you can choose (if you want to stay at this kind of storage sale). The Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS (originally released in 2020) and the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS (released in June 2022). The former has been in the market for long enough that multiple deals are available and if/when the DS923+ arrives on the scene, it will likely become increasingly affordable – in spite of this, the hardware inside is great and it’s a solid fully featured NAS. The latter choice, the DS1522+, is the latest 2022 generation release from the brand, has great default system hardware and plenty of scalabilities and upgrade options to add to the system’s utility in years to come. Find out more about them both below:

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS $500+

Intel Celeron 4-Core J4125, 4/8GB Memory, 1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 21/05/20

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. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS $750+

Ryzen R1600 Dual Core, 8/32GB ECC Memory,4x1GbE, Optional 10GbE for $150, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 5x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 29/06/22

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.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The QNAP TS-464 and TS-h973ax

If you decide to move away from the Drobo 5-Bay 5N22 and towards a QNAP, then I recommend opting for either the 2022 generation TS-464 NAS (as it is really is the best hardware vs scale vs price point the brand has ever released) or the incredibly mutli-facited QNAP TS-h973ax, which as 10GbE, 3 kinds of storage media supported across 9-Bays and the choice of file system at initialization of ZFS or EXT4. Here is more information on these two NAS and what we said about them when reviewed:

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS $599+

Intel Celeron 4-Core N5105, 4/16GB Memory, 2×2.5GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, PCIe Gen 3×2 Upgrade Slot, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 18/04/22

The TS-464 comfortably arrives with the best hardware in its tier of the NAS market and that is something that QNAP has always been quite good at. Even if you rewind just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability that the TS-464 provides is frankly incredible and, fast forward to 2022, is still pretty unmatched. A Desktop 4-Bay NAS (eg Prosumer RAID 5 storage) has always been the next confident step for users who are tired of their hands being tied by subscription cloud services from Google, OneDrive and DropBox, who are looking for their own competent, flexible and fully-featured private server. In the TS-464 NAS, you find a system that is unquestionable the best hardware for your money you can possibly get right now. In software, things are a little less straightforward. QTS 5, although massively software and service-rich, arrives as a complete operating system in your web browser with multiple mobile/desktop clients and hundreds of applications and apps that can be installed at the touch of a button – which can all too often be something of a steep learning curve for many. Lacking the chewable, user-friendly nature of many of their rivals, QNAP and its software/service still have a tendency to be a bit of an information overload that can quickly intimidate the novice. However, for those that are looking for a system that is completely customizable in how/when/where you want data presented to you, as well as a wide degree of 3rd party support, QNAP and QTS 5 still manages to provide a huge degree of brand-unique service that are simply not available elsewhere. Just be prepared to invest your time wisely in its setup and more time ensuring the system is perfect for your needs.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


QNAP TS-h973ax 5/9-Bay NAS $999+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 8/32GB Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2×2.5GbE, 5x SATA HDD, 2x SATA SSD, 2x U.2 NVMe SSD, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 2yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 13/11/20

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solution from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others. Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straight forward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one! 

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The DS1821+ NAS

Replacing or deciding against the Drobo B810n 8-Bay NAS system and opting for a Synology is, if anything, considerably easier than moving away from the 5N. Synology has a great history of 8-Bay NAS devices and the 2021 generation DS1821+ is a fantastic choice of NAS system. It supports the full range of DSM applications, has scalable storage, can be expanded by ten more drives, has in-built m.2 NVMe slots, a high bandwidth PCIe Upgrade slot and still manages to be very petite. Here is more information on the Synology DS1821+ and what we thought of it at review:

Synology DS1821+ 8-Bay NAS $1,100+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 4/32GB Memory, 4x1GbE, 8x SATA HDD, 2x NVMe SSD for Caching, PCIe Gen 3×8 Upgrade Slot, SHR or Traditional RAID, BTRFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 15/12/20

What you have here is a solid piece of hardware that very much lives up to everything Synology promises, even if some of those promises aren’t to everyone’s taste. With a hardware architecture that we have already tested to notable success in the DS1621+ previously, we already knew that this NAS would be able to do everything it promised. Many users looking to spend their annual business budgets on an improved or extended data storage solution will find the balanced position of hardware vs software found by the Synology DS1821+ to be quite desirable, as well as the scaled potential to upgrade external performance via PCIe and storage via eSATA. However, there is no ignoring that despite the fact this 2020 release excels in many things, it also arrives with a little bottlenecking in a number of others. The continued default utilisation of 1Gbe on the newest generation by Synology is somewhat perplexing and although I have continued admiration for Synology’s engagement with intelligent M2 NVMe cache utilisation and providing a solution that allows more flexible upgrade paths, I know that there are still users who just wish they could use that super fast NAND for raw storage pools and have better than gigabit connections out by default. It has never been a secret that buying a Synology NAS solution was always a largely ‘software over hardware’ purchase, and the DS1821+ is still a fine example of that balance. However, with other brands closing the gap in what they can offer the SMB (Small/Medium Business) user, while still providing superior hardware and similar warranty coverage, there is the tiniest feeling that the DS1821+ is a NAS that sits on its laurels a bit. Hugely upgradable and still with that award-winning and fantastically intuative DSM software, the DS1821+ is about buying a solution you can adapt within its lifespan and not one that will knock your socks off on day one. A solid and dependable data storage solution, if a little safe, at the end of 2020.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The TVS-872X NAS

Unlike the previous QNAP suggestions I have made when moving away from a Drobo, when it comes to choosing a QNAP alternative to the Drobo B810n, I would currently recommend the 2020 released TVS-872X (a modified version of the also still available Thunderbolt 3 NAS, the TVS-872XT). Although this NAS has been around a while (and likely due an upgrade to a new version very soon), the QNAP TVS-872X is a 10GbE equipped 8 bay, with NVMe SSD slots, two very high bandwidth PCIe slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4K HDMI, optional ZFS or EXT4 and after all of that – it has an Intel Core i3 or i5 Highly powerful CPU than can also be accompanied by up to 64GB of DDR4 memory. This is a beast of a system that arrives with a surprisingly modest price point when compared to most other NAS of the same scale or hardware – and the fact it is a little older means that the price is improved further in many shops. Again, QNAP are very likely to release a newer, more powerful and ultimately more expensive version of this product family soon, but it is STILL a great NAS that holds it’s own in 2022. Here is what we thought of it at the review:

QNAP TVS-872X 8-Bay NAS $1,999+

Intel Core 8th Gen i3/i5 4/6-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, 2x PCIe Gen ([email protected] 3×16 and [email protected] 3×4) Upgrade Slot, 8x SATA Bays, Audio In/Out, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 24/05/21

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. 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.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


Why Not Use Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox instead of a NAS?

Do not think that 3rd party cloud services are bad, they really aren’t! In fact, you should always consider adding a 2nd or 3rd tier into your backup strategy at home/work, and synchronization of files/folders on your NAS with the cloud is a good means to ensure you have another backup in place. Additionally, most NAS feature a variety of 256bit encryption options, password protection, 2 step verification and more to allow secure access is ensured to the NAS and the content, even via the cloud. Additionally, bg NAS brands like Synology and QNAP have been supporting Hybrid Cloud services that not only allow cloud storage to be bolted onto your NAS storage for shared usage and access, but also both brand support backup and synchronization with cloud collaborate services, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. So there is DEFINITELY still a valid and useful place for 3rd party cloud services in 2022, however, I rarely advocate the use of these cloud services as a PRIMARY storage location. They ARE convenient and you can get a limited amount of space included for free, but I generally have three core reasons that I do not recommend cloud as a first-tier storage.

 

COST – The cost of most 2-year subscriptions costs about the same as if you just purchased even a small-scale NAS on day 1. It might seem like just 5 or 10 bucks a month, but over 2 or 3 years, it all adds up and moreover, after that time you either need to keep on paying every month or still buy a NAS or DAS system for the data to live on. Might as well buy the NAS sooner rather than later as it will be inevitable eventually.

ACCESS – NAS provides more apps, file-level tailored use and can be better adapted into popular 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI, APPLE TIME MACHINE and DLNA supported devices. A cloud provider severely limits the kind of access you have on a regular basis.

PRIVACY – NAS provides full individual user control and access, as well as admin controls. Plus the NAS can be fully disconnected from the Internet/Network at your discretion. A cloud provider has a relative pre-set safety protocol that, when cracked on one or two occasions, opens up mass hacking

This is not to say that data on your NAS is completely inaccessible. Any NAS brand can only really stay 1 step ahead of the hackers, patching exploits as they are found (no different than any online service really), but a NAS is a means to create a secure, customizable and ultimately bespoke data storage solution.


 

What About Moving from Drobo to Asustor or Terramaster NAS?

Obviously, as NAS is such a popular and highly evolved area of the tech industry (despite it still also remaining quite niche compared with traditional computers and laptops), Synology and QNAP are not the ONLY brands in the market! Indeed, if you have been looking at moving away from Drobo and saw some affordably devices from Asustor or Terramaster, you will likely wonder why I have not covered them as much in this article (though I DO cover them and their solutions in the video embedded in this article above). Although both brands have been providing some great hardware (both for the price AND just generally) in 2022, these brands do not provide the full range of software and services (especially 1st party developed) that QNAP and Synology do. Their respective software in ADM and TOS aren’t bad, indeed they are very good and very responsive with many apps, they just are not on the same level as Synology DSM and QNAP QTS/QuTS right now. You can find out more about their software in the software review videos of each below:


 

Should I Move From Drobo to TrueNAS Core?

Many Drobo users, after using their systems for many years and (after becoming increasingly proficient) started to feel its limitations, might have heard about the free and DiY NAS server platform ‘TrueNAS’ (aka FreeNAS) and considering making the switch towards it after Drobo. It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that when it comes to TrueNAS is a fantastically capable software for managing your storage. It even manages to swerve the downfall of being ‘too enterprise’ but arriving as an open source free software platform to be enjoyed by businesses and storage enthusiasts. There is no avoiding that it IS quite a technical mountainous learning curve if you are arriving at it from a position of zero storage or network experience, but the last few big TrueNAS system updates have gone a long way to update some UI elements to be more intuitive, software wide help notes available at all times and the community support is as on-point at it has ever been. If you are a home users looking for a hurdles setup or a day-1 deployable system for your small business, then TrueNAS may be too big a jump for you and you would be better off with a traditional off-the-shelf NAS system. However, if you have the know-how, you have the willingness to get your hands dirty and already have the hardware in mind/in-house, then TrueNAS stands in a class of it’s own and thanks to some very unique architecture choices that are almost utterly unique to this platform, it’s pretty unparalleled in its scope. Just please, PLEASE remember that a Drobo NAS is a ‘turnkey’ solution (aka, ready to go out of the box) and TrueNAS Core and TrueNAS Scale involve ALOT more setup and a much higher learning curve. You can buy TrueNAS-ready systems, such as the iXsystems series of devices, but these are still rather expensive compared with the modest Drobo and still require ALOT of tech knowledge to make the most of. You can find out more about the TrueNAS software platform in my written and video review below:

TrueNAS Written Review

TrueNAS Video Review

 

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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.  

 

Synology DS1522+ vs DS920+ NAS Drive Comparison

10 juillet 2022 à 01:12

Comparing the Synology DS920+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

The Synology DS920+ NAS was first released in the Summer of 2020 and it has been, arguable, one of the most popular NAS drives that the brand has ever produced. In the two years since then, it has continued to remain popular, has become much more affordable (a regular pop up in seasonal sales) and is pretty much the brand’s ‘go to’ prosumer and feature-rich solution for many. Whereas, the new Synology DS1522+ have arrived with very different hardware specifications than what many expected, features significant improvements in scalability throughout the system, optional 10GbE and is different to the DS920+ in so, so many ways more than just simply having an extra HDD bay! So, if you are in the market to buy a new Synology NAS drive and are looking at a solution with a decent amount of longevity and future-proofing in its specs, these two systems are clearly going to stand out from the crowd (though for different reasons, that we will get into). Today I want to compare the DS920+ and DS1522+, look at the strengths and weaknesses of each and hopefully help you decide which one deserves your money and your data! Let’s start.

Note – Depending on when you are reading this, the availability of the DS1522+ or DS920+ 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 DS920+ NAS

The 4 and 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 these two volumes system, allowing one to two expansions, greater network connectivity (arriving with 2x or 4x LAN ports) 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 DS920+ NAS first arrived on the scene with some great hardware advantages over the rest of the plus series 2020 systems (DS720+, DS420+, etc), arriving with a 4 Core Intel Celeron Processor that featured integrated graphics, 4GB 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 base level architecture of the plus series and specifically 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 DS920+, 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 DS920+.

Though both systems feature DDR4 memory, the DS920’s maximum 8GB of memory is beaten by the DS1522+ 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 (arriving with 8GB by default).

NAS Model DS920+

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 4GB DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed (4GB On-board) 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 100W External 120W External

Next up, let us discuss storage on the 5 drive DS1522+ and 4 drive DS920+, as these two systems are near enough identical on that one. Both arrive with SATA storage bays, though you can deploy either NAS with as little as a single drive 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. However, in terms of expandability, these systems have one key difference, with the DS920+ supporting a single expansion (allowing a maximum 9 bays of storage) whilst the DS1522+ supports two DX517 expansion chassis and reaches a total potential 15 bays of storage. As both systems support the latest version of Synology DSM, the maximum volume, simultaneous volumes, active storage shares and hybrid storage support are largely identical. Much like previous comparisons of the DS920+ and DS1520+ that were released a couple of months apart, the initial 1 drive bay difference between the 4-bay and the 5-bay isn’t a vast amount, but the scalability with those expansions makes much more of an impact (especially if you are looking at using caching with those NVMe Bays or want to scale up your network connectivity and want to ensure it gets saturated).

Model DS920+

DS1522+

Size (Height x Width x Depth) 166 mm x 199 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm
Drive Bays & Storage 1x SATA 5x SATA
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 15 (DX517 x 1) 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 DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS. Both systems arrive with 1GbE RJ45 LAN ports, which can be combined via link aggregation/Port Trunking to allow up a larger degree of network connectivity. But the DS920+ arrives with 2x 1GbE and the DS1522+ arrives with 4x 1GbE. This is only really a big deal if you are looking at smart switch supported environments or have larger shared bandwidth concerns though. 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 E10G22-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 DS920+ 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 a very similarly 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 either.

Model DS920+

DS1522+

RJ-45 1GbE LAN 2 (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 1 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 2.24 kg 5.1 kg

Overall, I think the differences between the DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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 DS920+ is going to be better suited to home and prosumer users overall.

Expected Performance of the Synology DS1522+ vs DS920+ NAS Compared

The performance of Synology DSM services and supported 3rd party connected appliances is going to be very similar on both the DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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 226.01MB/s – 225.84MB/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 DS920+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Synology has clearly done a lot of thinking in the two years between the release of the DS920+ and DS1522+, deciding to change the latter into something more ‘business-y’. When the DS920+ first arrived, it did so to almost universal praise (barring a few concerns at the time about 1GbE) and it has pretty much always been in the top 3 NAS since its launch for most users. Although the details regarding a DS922+ or DS923+ are still not available at the time of writing, many wonder if it would emulate the change in direction that the brand has taken on the DS1522+ and whether the DS920+ is now even more attractive. 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 a 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 DS920+ 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 DS920+ 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.  

QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive Revealed

8 juillet 2022 à 01:10

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive

QNAP has been remarkably loud with their 2022/2023 generation of NAS releases in the first half of the year, with updates to practically all the home/Prosumer/SMB solutions in their portfolio. However, it appears that things have not stopped there, with the reveal of a new mid-range NAS series that (based on the hardware on offer) is a change in what many might have been expecting. The new QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS manage to arrive in the brand’s more cost-effective external chassis (such as the TS-251+ and TS-451D2), but feature internal and external hardware choices that put them much, MUCH closer to the TS-453D and TS-464! This new series arrives with 2021/2022 generation Intel Celeron J6412 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 Memory by default, 2.5GbE ports, M.2 NVMe SSD slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) and looks to be lower in price than the TS-x64 series. So yeah, these new TS-253E and TS-453E are going to be extremely appealing to users who want the best bang for their buck, but do not want to waste their time on ARM-powered systems. let’s talk about everything we know about these new and honestly quite intriguing NAS drives.

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Hardware Specifications

The hardware that the QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E arrive with is very much the star of the show here. In the last 10 years of QNAP NAS (indeed, much the same as all other NAS brands in fact), the food chain of NAS drives has changed very little. This used to go:

  • Enterprise (Xeon Powered)
  • Large Business (Intel/AMD Powered File Server Processor)
  • SMB (Small Medium Business – Same as above, only more affordable and scaled-down)
  • Prosumer (Intel Celeron/Pentium Powered Quad-Core)
  • Home (Intel Dual-Core)
  • Value (64bit ARM Powered)
  • Cost-Effective (32bit ARM Powered)

HOWEVER, the TS-253E and TS-453E significantly break this mould and seem to be hovering between the Value, Home and Prosumer tiers significantly. Alot of this is to do with the expectations of the end-user and what they demand from a solution at a given price point. However, even bearing this in mind, the TS-X53E series is much, MUCH closer to the Prosumer tier than many would have expected and is a big jump from the dual-core Intel that many would have assumed would arrive here (this has been replaced on the fact of it with the TS-262 and TS-264 – but that is a story for another article!). Let’s take a closer look at those specifications.

Model QNAP TS-253E NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel UHD Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
floating point Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
hardware acceleration Yes Yes
system memory 8 GB ON-Board DDR4 8 GB ON-Board DDR4
maximum memory 8GB 8GB
memory slot N/A N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 2 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot N/A N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
HDMI output 2x HDMI 1.4b 2x HDMI 1.4b
LED indicator Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4 Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4
button Power, USB Copy, System Reset Power, USB Copy, System Reset
Dimensions (HxWxD) 168.5 × 102 × 225 mm 177 × 180 × 235 mm
Power Supplier 60W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 70mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

As you can see, the hardware inside is a decent jump up from the TS-251D, TS-451D2 and TS-x51+ series that have been available for at least the last 3 years or more (closer to 5-6 years in the case of the 51+ series). If we were to focus on the major areas that stand out, the CPU choice is #1. Back before the TS-x64 series was revealed at the start of the year, I volunteered online that I would like to see either the N5105 or J6412 Intel Celeron on the next-gen of Solutions from QNAP and Synology, but highlighted that the J6412 might be a little too new. Fast forward to now and the J6412 CPU is exactly what we have here. An embedded graphics, quad-core Intel processor that rates very well on CPU benchmark (at 3930 at time of writing), which is higher than the Intel J4125 on the TS-X53D series and only a tiny pinch behind the N5105 in the TS-X64 series – I will go into more detail on this later in the article).

That CPU is also accompanied by 8GB of DDR4 memory in both the TS-253E and TS-453E by default. As good as this sounds, it does arrive with a fly in the ointment though. Despite this CPU supporting upto an impressive 32GB of DDR4 memory at 3200Mhz, the 8GB inside the TS-253E and TS-453E is non-upgradable (likely soldiered to the controller board). So, 8GB by default IS good (and I hope this doesn’t bump the price up noticeably), but it’s a shame that this is as high as it gets. Another cool feature that is here is the inclusion of two m.2 NVMe SSD bays. That means that this affordable quad-core Intel NAS will also have the option of adding super fast SSDs for intelligent caching OR as standalone storage pools if you want. Due to the PCI lanes/chipset of this CPU+NAS combo though, these slots are PCIe Gen 3 x2. This still means up to 2,000MB/s throughput being possible with the drives though.

The other interesting and unique addition to the TS-253E and TS-453E is the inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10Gb or 1,000MB/s performance to a supported storage device). Not only is this something we have not seen much of the Prosumer/SMB tier outside of Ryzen systems till now, but the fact that the front port is a one-touch copy button and is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port is going to be remarkably interesting to users who like to maintain a local USB backup on their much, much bigger storage volumes via Hybrid Backup Sync and more. Additionally, there is an HDMI output (x2, but you can only use both in a mirrored or stretched screen setup) that can output 1080p at 60FPS and 4K at 30FPS, as well as two USB ports for connecting external peripherals for a KVM setup.

Overall, you have to be impressed by the hardware that this more affordable/value series NAS is arriving with and it is certainly going to be a tempting choice for those that looked at the TS-453D and TS-464 and thought it was a little pricey. But how does the new TS-X53E NAS series compare with the recently released TS-X64 range? Let’s compare.

The QNAP TS-453E vs TS-464 NAS Drive – How Do They Compare?

As mentioned earlier, the most interesting thing about the TS-253E and TS-453E is that they are very close to (and in some cases exceed) the hardware of the recently released TS-464 and TS-664 NAS Drives. Before this, the fully-featured/prosumer tier that the TS-X64 range occupies would have a ‘half hardware’ type release with half the cores, half the memory and half the ports (such as the dual core, 2GB and 1x LAN QNAP TS-251D). Whereas in the case of the TS-X53E range, most of the popular elements reserved for the prosumer tier are available and presented in a more value-designed package (likely reflected in the price too). If you only want the TLDR:

Main Differences Between the TS-x53E and TS-x64 Series

  • The TS-X64 Series has a PCIe Slot
  • The TS-X53E Series has faster M.2 NVMe slots (PCIe 3×2 vs 3×1)
  • The TS-X64 Intel N5105 has slightly high graphical handling and higher burst/turbo clock speed
  • The TS-X53E Intel J6412 is more efficient and also supports more memory
  • The HDMI on the TS-X64 is HDMI 2.0 (4K 60FS), whereas the TS-X53E has HDMI 1.4b (4K 30FPS, 1080p 60FPS)
  • The TS-X53E arrives with 8GB as standard, whereas the TS-X64 arrives with 4GB that can be upgraded to 16GB
VS

What the TS-x5ED and TS-x64 Series Have in Common

  • Both have a 4 Core / 4 Thread Intel Celeron CPU with Embedded Gfx with a base speed of 2.0Ghz
  • Both use DDR4 Memory
  • Both have 2x 2.5GbE
  • Both have 2x USB 3,2 Gen 2 (10Gb)
  • Both have m.2 NVMe, SATA bays, HDMI out and Support the same ver of QTS 5

However, the main area of focus here is the CPU Difference. The N5105 in the TS-464 is overall better than the Intel J6412 in the TS-453E, but not by a huge degree! The graphical handling on the N5105 is a pinch better (encode, decode etc) and has a little more resources on board to get the job done. Additionally, the N5105 has a higher burst/turbo clock speed too. But again, only marginally (0.3Ghz). The difference between them is really small and it is going to be VERY interesting to see how this CPU choice is going to compare in things like Plex Media Server and QVR Pro on either of these product families.

Those are the MAIN differences, but there are a few much smaller differences. Below is a breakdown of their respective specifications and how each compares.

Model QNAP TS-464 NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.6GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel® UHD Graphics Intel® UHD Graphics
floating point operations Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
CPU Benchmark
system memory 4 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 4 GB) 2666Mhz 8GB DDR4
maximum memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) 8GB (FIXED)
memory slot 2 SO-DIMM DDR4
For dual DIMM configurations, identical pairs of DDR4 modules must be used.
N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x1 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot 1x Slot: PCIe Gen 3 x2 N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) port 0 0
HDMI output 1. HDMI 2.0 2x HDMI 1.4b
Power Supplier 90W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 120mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Software Specifications

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E will be arriving with QTS, the brand’s software and services platform that is included with every QNAP NAS system. Given the hardware that the TS-X53E arrives with, it will almost certainly not feature the ZFS platform QuTS. QTS is currently in version 5 and I have made a full review of their latest software release in the video below, but below is a breakdown of the key applications that it includes (which can be accessed/used via the network/internet via your web browser, as well as via client apps for desktops and mobile).

QNAP Software and System Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNAP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD vs HDD use, moving files to the appropriate storage media (not currently supported on QuTS Hero, just QTS)
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rd party devices and create a completely customizable and scaled back up network between your devices
  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and QVR Elite – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 2 camera licenses for QVR Elite and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Here is my full review of QTS 5.0 for QNAP NAS:

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

The QNAP TS-253E & TS-453E NAS – Price & Release Date

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS are being listed on numerous official regional sites by the brand, so the release of these NAS drives cannot be especially far away. Regarding pricing, although no official prices have been listed online, we can assume that a) they will be lower in price at launch than the TS-464 and TS-264, and b) that they will be a pinch higher than the pricing of the TS-251D and TS-451D2. So, somewhere between the $350-400 mark (not inc your local TAX). However this is an estimate and until we see further availability of the TS-464 and the rest of that range arrive globally, it is hard to estimate the price of the new TS-253E and TS-453E at this time. You can use the links below to take you to updated prices and where to buy page over on the NASCompares seller area to see if/when they become available.

QNAP TS-253E NAS 2-Bay

QNAP TS-453E NAS 4-Bay

 

 

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WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 Hard Drives – Which Should You Buy in 2022/2023?

6 juillet 2022 à 01:02

Seagate Ironwolf or WD Red or Synology HAT5300 HDDs – Best for your NAS?

Choosing the right hard drive media to go inside your Network Attached Storage (NAS) server can be a lot more complicated than you might think. A long time ago (about 20 years at least) buying hard drives was much easier, as the technology was significantly less evolved. The difference between one hard drive and another could be the capacity, physical, size or the interface – that is about it! But much like any other kind of technology, over time hardware designers were able to improve it, make it more efficient, increase the storage, speed up the access and all the while sticking with the same 3.5″ physical scale. The result of all this development was that tailored/designed drives arrived that were geared internally towards specific tasks (thereby allowing designers to focus the HDDs development towards one specialization more than others). Fast forward to 2022/2023 and you find that the HDD market is considerably more diverse and brands have much more layered portfolios of drives and one big, BIG area of hard disk development was with NAS/Server HDD media. These are drives that are designed to be on 24×7, be prepared to spin up very quickly with little notice, be better suited to being deployed in larger quantities together (i.e RAID configurations made up of many drives) and all the while combating vibration and increased temperatures to maintain a healthy and stable level of use at all times. Today I want to look at three hard drives that are designed for large-scale NAS deployment (such as 8-24-bay rackmount and 8-12+ bays desktop NAS systems), as all three are the current popular choice for this kind of NAS system. There are the long-established HDD vendor drives, the WD Red Pro series and Seagate Ironwolf Pro range, and there is the NAS-brand labelled Synology HAT5300 series (built on Toshiba MG06/06/08 Enterprise series, but with Synology firmware in services included). With a new generation of NAS Hardware arriving from Synology in 2022/2023, as well as a change in support and compatibility listings by the brand in several of their releases, now is a very good time to take a look at how these three NAS HDDs compare in design, utility, performance and value. With WD and Seagate having a considerable amount of history in their Red Pro and Ironwolf Pro ranges respectively in the NAS industry, many users are still unsure about the Synology HAT5300 and whether they should make the switch, design its shift in architecture towards a more enterprise build (arguable closer to Ultrastar and Seagate EXOs, than Red or Ironwolf). Let’s take a closer look at these three drives and hopefully help you decide which one deserves your data!

WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 – Capacity

Let’s be honest, next to ‘price’, the overall capacity of a hard drive is going to be of importance to the majority of NAS buyers. Yes, you can take advantage of RAID and multi-bay NAS systems in order to bolster the available capacity available to you (as well as the redundancy and performance of course), but you are still going to need to factor in the capacity on offer. The Synology HAT5300, WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro series all arrive in multiple capacity versions (with prices scaling appropriately of course) and you will find that as the drives increase in capacity, their internal hardware and design get decidedly beefier. That said, it would be remiss not to highlight that Synology and their HAT5300 (and HAS5300 SAS drives, which we will not really factor in this comparison) have not been in the market as long as WD/Seagate and although they have made a solid start in presenting a portfolio of HDD and SSD drives, the range of capacities on offer from the HA5300 range is pretty sparse. Just to give you a little perspective on this, here is how the three HDDs compare in available drives on offer:

Capacity Synology HAT5300

WD Red Pro

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

1TB
2TB
 ✔ ✔
4TB ✔  ✔ ✔
6TB  ✔ ✔
8TB ✔  ✔ ✔
10TB  ✔ ✔
12TB ✔  ✔ ✔
14TB  ✔ ✔
16TB ✔  ✔ ✔
18TB  ✔ ✔
20TB  ✔ ✔
22TB  ✔ (Revealed but release TBC) ✔ (Revealed but release TBC)

As you can see, the WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives current provide 10 different capacities from 2TB to 20TB for PRO NAS deployment (with the 22TB versions of their respective ranges announced and arriving soon). This does not include the non-pro versions of these series (won’t touch on these further, but worth highlighting) and with that, a NAS Buyer can scale their budget quite well across multiple bays and their budget. For example, a user could opt for 4x 10TBs in a RAID 5 and get 30TB of usable space, or instead opt for 8x 6TB drives in a RAID 6 and get 36TB – this allows a buyer to spend more of their budget towards the NAS hardware than the drive media, or visa-versa. Now, Synology only currently provide 4 different capacities (with the 4TB drive being added in mid-2022) and although it makes sense that the brand would want to develop in this area in a wave-by-wave release strategy (continuing to invest and develop as the series is embraced), for many the lack of smaller capacities AND the lack of the 18TB and 20TB tier is a little problematic. Toshiba recently unveiled their MG09 18TB Enterprise HDD and in a recent roadmap reveal, plans for 20TB and 22TB HDDs in the next 12 months, but right now it is impossible to ignore that in terms of available capacities, the WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro and considerably more fleshed out in their respective ranges.

WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 – Price

Alongside capacity, the price tag that the Synology HAT5300, WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro hard drives arrive with is going to be a big continuing factor on which one populates your large-scale NAS server. Although all three brands have their RRPs stated on their respective product pages, there have been several factors in the last 12-24 months (the pandemic, the rise and decline of chia crypto, semiconductor shortages, droughts in Taiwan, trade wars, actual wars and more) than have led to supply levels of large scale HDDs to be significantly reduced. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the price points for these hard disks to significantly increase (often a noticeable degree above the original RRP). As each HDD capacity in the WD, Seagate and Synology series’ have their own price based on the internal hardware to support that much data, comparing their price is a little tricky. Additionally, prices and availability differ quite wildly between countries, as stock levels and the ease of the supply chain are being affected differently by the factors mentioned earlier related to shortages. So, below I have listed the prices of each brand’s drives. Note – these prices are calculated at how much per Terabyte (TB) and in order to keep it fair, I have picked the newest/largest drive from each brand as the price average (as smaller drives have a typically less accurate series-wide price per TB overall). I picked Newegg, SCAN and Amazon.de for the prices, as they had pricing AND stock of all drive capacities on all brands in stock at the time of writing for each region and therefore gave a more accurate market pricing for comparison (14/06/22 – date of writing):

Region / eShop Synology HAT5300

WD Red Pro

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

Newegg (US) – avg price per TB $39 per TB $26 per TB $25.45 per TB
SCAN (UK) – avg price per TB £38 per TB £31.90 per TB £27.20 per TB
Amazon (DE) – avg price per TB €46.81 per TB €38.90 per TB €31.45 per TB

The price of the Seagate Ironwolf Pro series is noticeably lower than both the WD Red Pro and Synology HAT5300 (especially in Germany and other parts of Europe) and although these prices are an average based on the largest current available drive from each brand, if you look at the lower capacities you will find that this average price per TB is still pretty accurate throughout. The WD Red Pro is reasonably proved and on offer periodically (not quite as often as the Seagate admittedly) and in the US is much more competitively priced. The Synology HAT5300 series however is consistently the highest price of the three. Now, it needs to be factored in that the design and durability of the HAT5300 (as mentioned earlier) are much more comparable to that of the Seagate EXOs and WD Ultrastar series of HDDs for data centers, which no doubt affects the price. Equally, unlike Seagate and WD who produce their HDDs internally, the Synology HAT5300 is built on Toshiba MG06/MG07/MG08 and no doubt that results in Synology having to factor in an additional profit margin into their production and sale. We WILL be shortly discussing how this more enterprise design AND the Synology NAS universal selling points benefit this drive over the WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives, but when it comes to price point, it definitely goes Seagate 1st, WD 2nd and Synology in 3rd.

WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 – Hardware

As mentioned in the introduction, NAS hard drives are the result of HDD development improving over the years and then splintering into multiple specialised storage deployments (eg surveillance needing heavy write, cold storage needing endurance, laptops needing low power use and NAS servers needing 24×7 use). The Synology HAT5300, WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives are all very, VERY much designed with heavy-duty NAS deployment in mind and although you CAN use them in smaller systems and even desktop PCs, it would be a tremendous waste of their utility and design (like using a chainsaw to cut a slice of bread). Now all three branded drives have specialised internal hardware/firmware that maintains the drive in particularly vigorous and large-scale deployments (all the way up to 24 bays and higher), so I won’t really be giving any one brand an advantage for vibration, temperature, balance or spin up/spin down utility – all three of the Synology HAT5300, WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro have their own specialized components inside for this that it would be extremely difficult to compare one way or another here. The fact they have them is good enough for me. However, this is certainly going to be where the more enterprise design of the HAT5300 will stand out against the Pro design of the WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf:

Hardware Synology HAT5300

WD Red Pro

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

Balance Control ✔ ✔ ✔
Vibration Sensors & Control ✔ ✔ ✔
Max Transfer Speed (best of range) 272MB/s 272MB/s 285MB/s
CMR (y/n) ✔ ✔ ✔
Seal Method Helium Sealed Helium Sealed Helium Sealed
Platters 9x 9x 9x
RPM (max in range) 7200 7200 7200
Cache 512MB 512MB + OptiNAND Flash 256MB
Workload Rating/Durability 550TBW per yr 300TBW per yr 300TBW per yr
On/Off Cycles 600K 600K 600K
MTBF (hours) M=Million 2.5M 1M 1.2M
Warranty 5years 5years 5years

Now, the officially reported transfer speed of each drive is not something we are going to dwell on. 1) the difference is tiny, 2) different scale/power/RAID configs will result in varied transfer rates and 3) I have personally tested all three and even in sustained Read/Write activity, they ALL hit 260-207MB/s consistently. However, we DO need to discuss durability and on-board caching. The Synology HAT5300 arrives with a SIGNIFICANT increase in its durability rating, with almost DOUBLE the annual workload rating (eg how many Terabytes the drive can have written and re-written per year) compared with the Seagate and WD HDDs. This also means that the drive has a significantly higher mean time between failure (i.e expected failure rate between deployment>drive-dies>replacement) at more than double. Now, although a lot of durability and sustained use is why Synology seemingly opted for the Toshiba MG series as the base for their branded drive series, but the drive also has Synology specialised firmware onboard. This results in two key benefits to Synology NAS users. The first is that the drive can have it’s specific spin, cache, access and load cycles tailed to Synology NAS system operations, whereas Seagate and WD have to be a little more open in their firmware to suit ‘all’ NAS servers. Pretty much all modern NAS drives run on one form of Linux or another (as well as TrueNAS of course, let’s not overlook FreeBSD etc) but this more precise firmware gearing in the HAT5300 means it will likely always be the most efficient drive for Synology NAS of the bunch. The other benefit of the HAT5300 in Synology NAS deployment is that the drive’s onboard firmware can be updated via the Synology DSM user interface and storage manager (without powering the device down), whereas the WD and Seagate HDDs require you to remove drives individually from the system (and RAID Pool of course if already in use) and update the firmware via a PC/Docking station. Although HDD firmware updates are much, much less frequent than many other types of technology and typically very small improvements, this is still something that the more data storage savvy user will want to stay on top of.

The Seagate and WD Drives on the other hand are considerably similar, with both drives having 7200RPM, 300TB annual workload and quite comparable MTBF. However, the WD Red Pro drive pulls ahead thanks to its 512MB of memory on the largest capacities and (more importantly) its inclusion of WD’s new OptiNAND technology. This is a recently developed HDD design choice (being included in their larger tiers currently and likely continuing into the 22TB+ tier) where alongside the nine platters of storage, the drive also features a small area of flash storage on board that is designed to store metadata and other indexing data using by the connected client system. Not to be confused with hybrid drives (optical drives that featured a decent-sized chunk of SSD space for the likes of an OS for large-scale caching), OptiNAND means that important table and micro-associated data that the drive needs to consult when the bulk of the platter houses data is accessed is accessible much, much more quickly and when drives are getting to this large scale of 18-20TB of storage, these increases can make a small but important difference. The Seagate Ironwolf Pro SSD is still an excellent drive, but leases out to WD and Synology’s branded drive, as the other drives have a largely better hardware offering included.

WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 – Noise

If you have EVER worked with larger-scale HDDs and enterprise-grade drive media (not just these three HDDs, but the EXOS, Ultrastar and Gold series too), then you will know that these drives can be particularly noisy. This noise stems from the larger drive needing more horsepower under the bonnet to hit that expected Read/Write performance levels sporadically – something that is particularly important when it comes to large population NAS/Server use being 24×7. The result is that these Pro and Enterprise drives will vibrate more than most, hum loudly when in operation and continuously click with the rapid movement of the arm/actuator inside as it has to rapidly access a large number of internal platters. We have discussed this at length on NASCompares previously over on YouTube and you can check out examples embedded below of noise testing that was performed on all three HDDs (you can open them in a separate TAB if you click the title or watch in the browser:

Synology HAT5300 Noise Test WD Red Pro Nosie Testing Seagate Ironwolf Pro Noise Testing

Now, the impact of noise in your home or business NAS environment is tremendously subjective. As these three drives are all too often designed for deployment in 8-12 bay desktops and 16-24 bay rackmounts (both largely metal chassis), the result is that in most cases you will NOT be able to hear the NAS HDD, as it will be drowned out by the noise of the multiple high RPM fans on the NAS or their impact on the metal chassis. However, if you plan on deploying these Pro/Enterprise drives in systems with LESS than 8-Bays and plan on being in the same room as the system, then you will DEFINITELY hear them. In order to test these drives, I took a large-scale, 9-platter version of the Synology HAT5300, WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro, then installed them in a modest 4-Bay NAS (as this would largely eliminate the fan noise and multiplying factor of a metal chassis) and instead opted for the largely plastic DS920+ NAS. The noise level was recorded using a phone+microphone 20cm from the DS920+ The drives were recorded during a ‘Benchmark Test’ selected in the DSM 7.1 Storage Manager, over 25-30 seconds, Below were the results:

Synology HAT5300

WD Red Pro

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

As you can see, the difference between them was very, very small and the Seagate and Synology were similarly noisy (though even then at this db(A) range, this is still very small. Overall, I don’t think you can choose between the Synology HAT5300, Seagate Ironwolf Pro or WD Red Pro in terms of noise, as they are all ultimately very noisy drives when in single/RAID deployment regardless.

WD Red Pro vs Seagate Ironwolf Pro vs Synology HAT5300 – Verdict

Overall, the Synology HAT5300 is still the most enduring hard drive here (thanks to that enterprise tier design) and the one that will likely be the most useful in a Synology enterprise NAS drive deployment (factoring in that firmware, ease of update and potential for bundle deals). However, it is still a much, MUCH more expensive drive that is available in fewer capacities and still only hits 16TB at the time of recording. In terms of getting the job DONE, the WD Red might not be the lowest price, but with its onboard flash in the larger capacities, a larger amount of onboard cache, fastest reported warranty turnaround and larger variety of smaller capacities that cover both Pro and normal, the WD Red Pro is the middle ground choice that ticks all the boxes and will be the one you know will shut up and do the job! The Seagate Ironwolf is by FAR the best value for money, with the best price point in and out of special offers, as well as inclusive three YEARS of data recovery services thrown in, Health management software onboard and almost always releasing the biggest capacity drives first (and at the best price) – the Seagate Ironwolf Series is the most accessible and storage services choice in 2022.

Synology HAT5300

WD Red Pro

Seagate Ironwolf Pro

  • Synology NAS Firmware
  • Fewer Synology NAS Support tickets raised with the brand with HAT5300 drives vs 3rd Party Drive Setups
  • HDD/SSD Firmware Can be updated within Synology DSM without system power off or disconnecting HDD.
  • Bulk Buying & NAS+Media Business purchases are much more likely to get discounts or savings via Deal Registration with Synology Distributors
  • Warranty/Support/Officially Supported Use only in Synology Hardware
  • Higher Price Point per TB
  • Fewer Capacity Options
  • All modern/standard capacities are available
  • Non-Pro Drives are also available
  • Good Reputation online (aside from the SMR business)
  • Faster Warranty Replacement turnaround reported online
  • OptiNAND (onboard flash module) mean that vital metadata and microdata is available FASTER
  • Wide NAS Hardware Compatibility
  • Less Competitive Pricing outside of seasonal Promos (Black Friday, Prime Day etc)
  • WD Red Pro vs WD Gold vs Ultrastar overlap can be confusing without deep-diving into data sheets
  • Seagate Ironwolf Health Management onboard to add to existing drive health and S.M.A.R.T tests + Interface available in almost all NAS Brand GUI to config easily
  • 3yrs of free Rescue Data Recovery Services (fully featured with multiple data recovery  delivery options, forensic and mechanical recovery included)
  • Lower Price point on all capacities overall
  • Non-Pro drive options
  • Regularly on offer
  • Higher Power consumption on average
  • Noisiest overall (when you factor in ALL capacities) in operation

If you want to check the price and availability of HDDs in your region, you can visit one of the retailers listed below. Clicking these links will result in a small % of whatever you spend going back to NASCompares, which will allow us to keep making great content. Thank you



*Stats come from Synology themselves upon request, see this article on Synology HDDs in 2022 HERE

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

New Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Revealed

27 juin 2022 à 01:15

New Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Revealed

Synology has really been on a roll recently with revealing their 2022/2023 solutions, with 7-8 different solutions being unveiled and (for the most part) released in the last 3 months or so. The Synology RS3410 NAS that today’s article covers is the latest addition to the brand’s quiet but steadily growing Flashstation server series. Started more than four years ago, Synology has gradually added several desktop and rackmount solutions to this area of their portfolio and the FS3410 is the SECOND entry into this product family this year (the other being the FS2500 affordable 1U rackmount released much earlier in 2022). Although very similar to the rest of the enterprise solutions from Synology in terms of software (all arriving with DSM 7.1 and supporting the full range of features and services), the flashstation series is specifically aimed at SSD populate, flash storage practical applications and has a few NAND durability considerations thrown in for this more high performing but endurance aware media. This new flashstation server is designed to sit in the middle of the existing pack of FS systems (so, FS2500 > FS3410 > FS3600 > FS6400 Flashstation, scaling upwards) and arrives with support of SATA SSD media in the Synology SAT5200 and SAT5210 media range. Let’s discuss the hardware, compatibility, availability and pricing we will expect from the new Synology FS3410 Flash Rackmount server.

What are the Hardware Specifications of the Synology FS3410 Rackmount NAS

The specifications of the Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS are (somewhat unsurprisingly) quite beefy, arriving with an EIGHT CORE Xeon processor, 16-128GB of DDR4 ECC RDIMM memory, dual 10GbE onboard and the option to add two high-performance PCIe cards (that can be scaled up to dual-port 25GbE fiber cards). Flash media servers NEED to have high-end surrounding components as the media inside (particularly when you factor RAID) can reach some truly astonishing performance levels – so it is imperative that you remove any potential bottlenecks that may impede that tremendous throughout. The CPU inside IS rated at over 10K on CPUBenchmark, can hit 2.7Ghz per core when needed in burst and is a 16-thread processor – meaning plenty of vCPUs in virtualization when needed. It is highlighting however that this processor isn’t the newest and was first launched back in 2016. This is not too unusual, as server processors do tend to be revealed and released to distribution a long time before they are fully utilized in mainstream server systems. Still, that is still quite an older CPU than some of the embedded Ryzen or Intel Xeon Silvers that Synology has been using lately. Nevertheless, this CPU will be highly proficient at pushing those 24 bays of SATA SSD storage to their high-performance potential.

In terms of the connectivity and scalability of the Synology FS3410 NAS, the rest of the specifications are quite solid. Those PCIe upgrade options (both PCIe Gen 3 x8), the two copper 10GbE ports (10GBASE-T) and four ethernet ports provide a great range of connectivity available on this device and mean that, when fully populated, it allows you to hit a reported 356,500/129,400 iSCSI 4K random read/write IOPS and 6,970/3,536 Sequential Read/Write (RAID F1, Synology SAT5200-960G SATA SSD installed in all bays).

Click to view slideshow.

Here is how the rest of the specifications of the Synology FS3410 pan out. It’s quite a solid build, 2U in height, Redundant PSU equipped and full depth.

processor
Processor model Intel Xeon D-1541
Number of CPUs 1
processor architecture 64-bit
processor clock 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
Memory
system memory 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs
Pre-installed memory modules 16 GB (16 GB x 1)
Total number of memory slots 4
Maximum memory capacity 128GB (32GB x 4)
storage device
number of disk slots twenty four
Compatible Disk Types* (See All Supported Disks) 2.5″ SATA SSD
Disk hot-plug support YES
Remark
  • Synology only guarantees the full functionality, reliability, and performance of Synology hard drives listed in the compatibility list . The use of unauthenticated components may limit certain functions and result in data loss and system instability.
  • Compatible disk type refers to the type of hard disk that is confirmed to be compatible with the product after actual measurement, not the maximum speed limit of the hard disk slot.
External port
RJ-45 1GbE port* 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 10GbE port 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
management port 1
Maximum number of LAN ports 15
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2
PCIe
PCIe expansion 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link)
file system
internal disk
  • btrfs
  • EXT4
external disk
  • btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
Remark You can install the exFAT Access package for free from DSM 7.0’s Package Center. If you use DSM 6.2 or earlier, you need to purchase exFAT Access in Package Center.
Exterior
Dimensions (rack unit) 2U
Size (HXWXD) 88mm x 482mm x 724mm
weight 15.0 kg
Rack Mount Support* Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 )
Remark Rack kit sold separately
other projects
system fan 80mm x 80mm x 4pcs
fan mode
  • full speed mode
  • low temperature mode
  • silent mode
Replaceable system fan YES
Power auto-recovery YES
Noise value* 46.1 dB(A)
Timer switch YES
wake on lan YES
Power Supply / Transformer 550W
Dual power supply YES

One last thing to note about the FS3410 Flashstation is that, much like many of the recent Synology enterprise and hyper-scale solutions released/planned by the brand in 2022/2023, the compatibility of drive SSD media is listed on the official pages as Synology SAT5200/SAT5210 SSDs only. That means that using non-Synology branded media in this system will place you in a position where the brand might not be able/willing to assist you with support. The Synology SAT5200/5210 series of SSDs ARE high in durability, though their performance is a little under alternatives from WD, Western Digital Ultrastar and Seagate – so some users might be less keen on this.

HOWEVER! It is also worth noting that solutions like the Synology FS3410 are intended for a very high-end class of business user and typically those users prefer a single provider/all-in-one solution and THOSE users are going to be more than happy with Synology providing a range of their own storage media in conjunction with this device, as well as prefer it all to be an in-house solution (warranty, support, replacement, on-site tech help, etc). Therefore the stricter compatibility on this server is less of a barrier than normal. Let’s discuss where this system sits in the Synology Flashstation portfolio.

How Does the Synology FS3410 NAS Compare with the FS2500, FS3600 and FS6400 Flashstation?

As mentioned, the Synology FS3410 Rackmount is the latest addition to the Flashstation portfolio. Over the years, we have seen some hugely impressive servers join this product family and having a much more fleshed-out range of solutions so that businesses can cater their budgets towards the area that they need it most, is always going to be appreciated. The FS3410 sits between the FS2500 and FS3600 solution in terms of power, features, hardware and pricing (and quite far behind the FS6400 MONSTER Flashstation server).

Here is how the four Flashstation servers compare in terms of their hardware. The hardware scales i na numebr of different directions (capacity, CPU power, eternal connecctivity, scalabilty and more) and therefore allows the end user to pour their budget towards the areas of flash storage that their business solution is needed for.

FS2500

FS3410

FS3600

FS6400

Hardware
processor
Processor model AMD Ryzen V1780B Intel Xeon D-1541 Intel Xeon D-1567 Intel Xeon Silver 4110
Number of CPUs 1 1 1 2
processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 3.35 (base frequency) / 3.6 (max overclock) GHz 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz 12-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 3.0 (max overclock) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI)
Memory
system memory 8 GB DDR4 ECC UDIMMs 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs 32GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs
Pre-installed memory modules 8 GB (8 GB x 1) 16 GB (16 GB x 1) 16 GB (16 GB x 1) 32GB (16GB x 2)
Total number of memory slots 2 4 4 16
Maximum memory capacity 32GB (16GB x 2) 128GB (32GB x 4) 128GB (32GB x 4) 512GB (32GB x 16)
number of disk slots 12 twenty four twenty four twenty four
Maximum number of disk slots to install expansion units 48 (RX1217sas x 2) / 72 (FX2421* x 2) 48 (RX1217sas x 2) / 72 (FX2421* x 2)
Compatible Disk Types* (See All Supported Disks) 2.5″ SATA SSD 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 2.5″ SAS HDD*
  • 2.5″ SAS SSD*
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 2.5″ SAS HDDs
  • 2.5″ SAS SSD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
RJ-45 1GbE port 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 1GbE port* 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 10GbE port 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
management port 1
Maximum number of LAN ports 15
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2 2 2 2
expansion port 1 1
Remark
  • This product’s 1GbE port MTU value is limited to 1500.
  • In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
  • This product’s 1GbE port MTU value is limited to 1500.
  • In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1. In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
PCIe
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (x4 link) 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link) 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (x8 link) 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link)
Dimensions (rack unit) 1U 2U 2U 2U
Size (HXWXD) 44mm x 481.9mm x 555.9mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm
weight 8.3 kg 15.0 kg 14.9 kg 17.26 kg
Rack Mount Support* Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-01 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 )
Remark Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately
Power Supply / Transformer 350W 550W 500W 800W
Recommended number of virtual machines (see more) 16 (see more) 24 (see more) 32 (see more)
Recommended number of Virtual DSMs (license required) 8 (including 1 set of free licenses) 16 (including 1 free license) 24 (including 1 free license) 32 (with 1 set of free licenses)

When will the Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Be Released and How much will it cost?

The Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS is already appearing on the official Synology Taiwan pages and will likely appear on the global (i.e U.S, Europe, etc) within the next few weeks. Regarding pricing, this IS an enterprise product and will be priced as such. The flashstation series has always had a price tag that is considerably HIGHER than the rest of the Synology portfolio, but considerably LOWER than most other flash server solutions in the enterprise sector (HP, EMC, Netapp, blah, blah). Given the Synology FS2500 has a $3500 price tag, the FS3600 has a $6500 price tag and the top dog FS6400 has a $12000 price tag, I think we can see the Synology FS3410 Flashstation arriving around the $4500-5000 mark (tax and your local region making all the difference). I look forward to sharing more on the FS3410 Flashstation and other units in this product series later in 2022/2023.

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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.  

How to Mesh the MR2200ac & RT2600ac with Your Synology RT6600ax Router

24 juin 2022 à 01:34

What You Need to do to Mesh Your RT6600ax, MR2200ac and/or RT2600ac Routers Together

As you may have already heard, Synology has rolled out the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 for all their router devices, now available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac), as well as a slightly tweaked update for the RT6600ax (which already arrives with SRM 1.3). The result of this (which is great news to many) is that alongside the benefits of SRM 1.3 in vLANs, tagging, SSID creation, improved GUI and layout, you can now MESH YOUR SYNOLOGY ROUTERS! This was one of the few software limitations that the new Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router had at launch, especially when many buyers were considering the RT6600ax as a replacement for the RT2600ac router that was in the middle of their existing mesh system. So, today I want to guide you through a few of the ways that you can update your older Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac routers in order to allow you to mesh them with your brand new RT6600ax device.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT #1 – The SRM 1.3 Firmware update for RT2600ac and MR2200ac Router is still a ‘release candidate’, which means that although it is pretty much was the final version of what the software update will be when it is eventually released (likely in August or so), it is still not a ‘final’ release, so be sure to backup your router configuration in the control panel if you choose to proceed with this update. Additionally, SRM 1.3 will not be available to the RT1900ac router series.

IMPORTANT #2!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #3! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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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.  

Synology SRM 1.3 Update for MR2200ac and RT2600ac Routers FINALLY!!!

23 juin 2022 à 00:00

Synology Release SRM 1.3 for the RT2600AC & MR2200ac Router for Adding RT6600ax Mesh Setups

Good news for those of you who have been considering upgrading their existing Synology router mesh setup OR those who already own the previous releases in the Synology Router series with the announcement of SRM 1.3 for the RT2600ac and MR2200ac devices. Synology Router Manager (SRM) 1.3 was released with the newest device in the brand’s router lineup, the RT6600ax, but not made available for the previous generation devices immediately. The newest version of SRM includes multiple improvements to the GUI, included applications and services, added vLAN support and (most important of all) now means that those of you who have an existing MR2200ac Mesh network in place can now connect with the RT6600ax (that many opted to replace the RT22600ac in their existing set ups). Updating your Synology MR2200ac and RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 SHOULD be very easy as soon as the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 is available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac) as you will be able to manually download and update your system OR head into the control panel and allow the router to check the Synology update database and update directly.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #2! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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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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