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Plex vs Emby on your NAS Drive – Which Should You Choose For Your Media Server

14 mai 2021 à 01:03

Choosing Between Plex and Emby on a NAS in 2021/2022

Despite the fact that network-attached storage NAS has a vast number of services and utilities for home and business use, many users predominantly use their NAS for a media server. From streaming multimedia to numerous devices in the home, to sharing their entertainment collection with friends and family worldwide, the advantages in using a NAS as a centralised location for all of your movies, box sets, music and photos are pretty obvious. Many users choose to buy a NAS as a viable alternative to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime video in order to watch the media they own, rather than pay monthly for media they can only rent without choice. In recent years, creating a private media server with your own collections of TV shows and more has become increasingly easy and even manages to provide the slick, detailed and appealing design of internet streaming giants. Two of the biggest media server applications for NAS drives in 2021 are Plex and Emby, two free media server applications set are available 4 pretty much all the client and playback devices in your home, your bag and your pocket worldwide. Both services not only package your own media in the most appealing way possible, but also the connections to online media databases and the scraping of metadata can allow you to transform your decades of multimedia into your very own personal Netflix. However, each kind of media server application for NAS has its own advantages and disadvantages, with some people preferring the more user-friendly plex or the more customisable Emby. Today I want to compare the Emby and Plex media server programs for NAS and figure out which one is best for your own personal multimedia collection.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Installation

After you have set up your NAS for the very first time, you will have the option to install more applications on your device and make the most of all of those terabytes of storage you have to play with. Both Plex and Emby are completely free applications that are supported by the majority of modern NAS brands, with installation being possible within minutes. However, it is worth highlighting that although Plex media server is an available application in practically all NAS app centres from Synology, QNAP to Asustor and WD, Emby in most instances needs to be downloaded directly from the official website and then installed manually in the NAS system software. This is by no means difficult and only adds around a minute to the initial installation, but the result is that many users are not even aware that they can use Emby due to its apparent absence on most NAS application stores.

After its initialisation, both the Plex and Emby media server software will ask you the location of the media on your NAS, categorise it by type, configure how much metadata scraping and from which sources you want the media server software to perform it. Metadata is crucial in how the media server software creates a beautifully graphical user interface of thumbnails, media descriptions, cast lists, reviews and just overall makes your multimedia collection into your very own fully-featured personal streaming service! However one of the earliest differences between the Emby and Plex media server software is that Emby allows you to scrape from multiple sources at once and then it will select the best result for your media (so, a larger capture area), whereas Plex asks you to choose one source from several choices and then pull the metadata from that single source. There are exceptions in some of the background data that Plex pulls from multiple metadata sources, but in the majority of cases and where graphical details are considered, you have less flexibility in Plex than you have in Emby.

Once your media collections are complete and metadata scanned and applied, you can create multiple users to connect with your media server and stream those lovely box sets and movies. Another early advantage of Emby media server free version is that it allows you to create multiple users on a single NAS that each have a custom level of media access and NAS control. This allows you to share the contents of your NAS with some users but prevent them from changing all or accidentally deleting any of your content. Plex media server has this but unfortunately is part of the premium Plex pass service that requires an additional fee.

Overall I think it is safe to say that the initial installation is definitely easier and a lot more straightforward on the Plex media server application, however, the Emby media server application is a great deal more customisable and arrives with numerous features at the setup that are either absent on Plex or require a paid subscription. 

Plex vs Emby Media Server – User interface

The difference in the user interface of your media server NAS depending on whether you use Plex or Emby is notable, but more on a backend/server level. The actual front-end that connected clients use when browsing your multimedia on their phones, Amazon Fire TV, consoles and more is is quite similar with each type of media being clearly distinguishable and the scraped metadata immediately doing its job to create a smooth, slick and intuitive user interface for your connected users and devices. Indeed, logos aside and use of green vs orange, the UI for a connected client/user is largely the same.

However, the back-end where you customise your Plex or Emby media server, adjust user privileges, produce Analytics, adapt the system behaviour and just generally control your entire media server are very different indeed. Plex media server is the slightly more user-friendly option of the two, as you might have expected. The areas related to users, the server, file handling and connected services are all clearly indicated and although the number of configurable options on Plex is a fraction lighter than those found in Emby, they are easy to follow and for the most part, do not require any kind of technical understanding.

Where options can become technical in areas of DLNA configurations, port forwarding, checking on system resources and monitoring connected devices, Plex has hidden most of the technical aspects behind an ‘advanced tab’ option. As you might expect, some more useful and popular aspects are only accessible with the Plex pass subscription and although most of these can be ignored, the fact they hid the task manager, adding multiple users and system resource monitor behind a subscription service seems a little mean to me

Emby by comparison throws a whole lot of options and choices at you immediately when entering the system & software settings of this media server. If you have ever used the back end of a WordPress website, then the general server admin user interface will seem very familiar. Although much like Plex, it also provides an advanced tab that hides some information deemed more technical from the user, even the standard options and configurations of Emby are a few steps above the novice tier and despite descriptions and clarifications of what each setting is for are available, can still be a tad intimidating for those less tech-savvy. Emby media server makes up for this by being incredibly adaptable and if you are willing to take the time to configure it and navigate each of the settings available, you can easily create a farmer custom and ultimately better media server for your needs.

Overall I prefer the flexibility and customisation found in the Emby media server over that of Plex because it allows a wider degree of customization to the end-user. Little options such as saving metadata and grouped media background files locally to the NAS in custom locations to be used in other ways (info files too for other media players and resources). Then you have the much more open worldwide supported functionality towards subtitles and metadata downloading where you can be more regionally specific to your needs and wider simultaneous support of metadata sources at once means that although the Plex media server is incredibly user-friendly by comparison, after a while the advantages of the Emby system become abundantly clear. You should take the time to learn your way around your new media server with Emby.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Client Applications

Although both Plex and Emby are available as media server applications for multiple NAS host platforms, in order to watch and enjoy the multimedia on your NAS, you will need to utilise the client applications of each software. The majority of modern internet-accessible household entertainment devices have access to either their own dedicated app centre (Google Play Store, iTunes, etc) or provide the ability to manually install third-party applications. Both the Emby and Plex multimedia client apps are available for numerous hand-held, desktop, home cinema and console platforms. However, Plex has by far the larger coverage of these devices and the majority of devices in your home probably have access to the Emby client app but certainly have access to Plex.

The advantage that Plex has in client support is further improved by the fact that a number of key devices do not feature the Emby client app in their native app centre, leading to many users having to manually install the application (mentioned earlier). It’s a very small distinction and one that generally has little to no impact in the grand scheme of things, but many devices will ask you to confirm and accept liability when installing applications from outside of their official app centres. This can all too often make users give Emby a miss and stick with the presented security that the Plex client app provides. Overall Plex most certainly winds in terms of client support and availability over Emby.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Playback

Once you have your Plex/Emby media server NAS ready and installed all the proprietary clients on your entertainment devices, the next big deciding factor is simply going to be playback. The performance of your NAS multimedia server is something that theoretically you should NEVER think about and if a media server is doing its job properly, you should never notice any performance problems. As both Plex and Emby media server are third party applications (i.e neither have 1st party hardware and rely on a NAS or custom PC server build for installation) this leads to an additional layer between the software and the server hardware that does all of the tricky media handling, transcoding and tweaking to ensure that the multimedia client applications playback faultlessly. So, it is worth mentioning that technically, both Plex and Emby will never outperform the native NAS video application on the hardware itself (see Synology Video Station vs Plex/Emby videos below).

Generally, if either Plex or Emby is installed and deployed on a NAS system, they will playback files pretty much the same and any differences between them is barely noticeable in the case of playing back media in its original file format. The user interface of the player as well as the location and navigation on both media software clients is intuitive and everything is where you might expect it to be. One small difference between them that is worth a brief mention is that Emby has a stats for nerds button that allows real-time playback and media information to be displayed on the screen. This is an incredibly niche and largely overlooked feature, but still pretty cool for those that want to know the quality of the multimedia they are watching.

In the event that you need to adapt files to be better suited to destination device hardware, network strength and screen size, the system will need to utilise transcoding. As mentioned, if you are using older client hardware, using a device with fewer supported formats, streaming over a more limited connection or just generally want to view a more compressed version of a file, both Plex and Emby support this functionality. However, both media server platforms only provide software transcoding in the free versions and in order to take advantage of hardware transcoding (i.e use the NAS system embedded graphics or a graphics card) you will need 2 views Plex Pass or Emby Premiere on a monthly subscription. Nevertheless, in testing when trying to play HEVC/H.265 10bit files that required transcoding or forcing the system to transcode files on the fly, the Emby application was notably the more responsive and executed these transcoding actions marginally quicker on almost every occasion (even with just software transcoding). Both platforms allow the numerous different transcoding formats to choose from but Plex would take those extra few seconds longer to continue playing the file after each instruction. It’s a small edge, but the Emby Media Server did do a slightly quicker job which will likely be felt in exceedingly high format media (whilst still considering the base level NAS hardware of course).

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Metadata Scraping & Plugins

The thing that sets Plex and Emby media players apart from regular DLNA multimedia streaming and basic file servers is the awesome graphical user interface that ultimately allows you to turn your bog-standard decades of multimedia collected over the years into your very own personal high-quality media centre. Premium media server applications like Plex and Emby are able to utilise resources found on numerous film and TV databases such as IMDb and then use this to present your own collections alongside box art, descriptions, cost lists, published reviews and even trailers. The information gathered from these third-party databases for use in Plex and Emby media servers is known as metadata and the act of collecting the appropriate resources for your personal collection is known as scraping. Despite their similarities, these two media server programs approach the subject of metadata scraping slightly differentially and the resulting implementation makes a difference on your media server. 

Plex media server has access to all of the usual official TV and movie online databases, as well as review sites and casting information. It also has access to some third-party and unofficial databases that allow users to have a more bespoke user interface on your Plex media server. Likewise, the Emby media server has access to practically the exact same resources for all of this metadata. However, the big difference is that whereas Emby allows you to aggregate and apply metadata from all of these sources at the same time (with the system prioritizing metadata from multiple sources for a single media file by priority of source), Plex asks you to select just one source for that metadata for it to scrape at any time for each category. This is a small but significant difference as it ensures that more obscure media in your collection has a higher chance of having its metadata found and applied automatically. 

If your collection is made up of popular classic media and all from reputable sources, then this will be little or no difference for you as Plex will no doubt find all of the metadata appropriate to your media. However, if you have slightly harder to come by media in your collection (older recordings of non publicly released content that has been found on older film forums and Reddit sharing for example), unique versions or simply multimedia that is formatted in a less common way, you are far likely to find the metadata applied initially on an Emby based setup overall. 

Emby is made significantly more attractive when it comes to custom content over Plex when you also factor in plugins. Services from data and coverage upgrades, the IP TV streaming, add-on media services and smart home upgrades are available to be downloaded and installed on the Emby Media server in it’s very own app/plug-in center. Plex Media server seems to have largely abandoned this feature (available in a more open form in earlier versions of plex and now largely cut off) in favour of connecting plex with numerous online content sources for shows and movies, though many question the appeal of this as they are not exactly premium service and ones that can still be accessed online easily outside of plex. There are newer innovations for Plex (such as the recent Plex Arcade from emulation service at an additional cost) but these are all seemingly paid extras or small diversion services that Emby provides in a better way in the plug-in center.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Free Vs Paid

Both Plex and Emby require you to create an account with the respective media server developer. This allows you to access long-term software updates, access numerous software add-ons and also enables remote access over the internet to your NAS multimedia server collection. Both Plex and Emby media server do not require any kind of payment to use the base-level services and features of their programs, but both platforms have a premium level subscription service for around £5-10 a month that allows access to more fully-featured services and functionality, such as hardware transcoding, trailers and more.

VS

Now, it is important to highlight that you do NOT need a paid/premium account for Plex or Emby in order to enjoy all the main range of services on offer. In most cases, the Plex Pass and Emby Premiere add ons are related to things that require 3rd party services, are something that only a small % users might use or are genuinely things that have seemingly required technical/design implementation in the media server platform. However, that still does not make them ALL justified and overall. Here is a breakdown of which services are included on Emby and Plex that are either Free or Paid:

X = It is included in the appropriate FREE/PAID service

Feature Plex Emby
Free Plex Pass (PAID) Free Premiere (PAID)
Camera Upload X X
Remote Streaming X X
Local Streaming X X
Full Playback (Local & Remote) Web App, Non-mobile Android (Fire TV, Android TV), Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, TiVO, and Game Consoles Mobile Android and iOS Apps – require Unlock fee or Plex Pass Web App, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs Android (including Fire TV, Android TV), iOS, Emby Theater, Game Consoles – require unlock fee or Premiere
Media Optimizer X X
Hardware Transcoding X X
Live TV X X
DVR X X
Mobile/Folder Sync X X
Multiple Users X X
Parental Controls X X
Photo Albums X
Lyrics X
Library Sharing X More Options X
Trailers and Extras X X
Cloud Sync
Multiple Users X (All accounts except Managed Users require Plex online account.) X (All accounts are local. Emby connect account is optional)
Smart Home Unofficially Alexa and Google Assistant
Other Content Movies, TV, Web Shows, Podcasts, and News Podcasts

Even at a casual glance, it is abundantly clear that the bulk of the services that are on offer from Plex is either ONLY available in the paid Plex Pass tier OR are only available in a more limited/streamlined capacity at the free tier. This also applies to Emby too in a number of key areas too, however, there are certainly some odd choices. Hardware Transcoding (which requires the software to understand the complexity of many hardware platforms) is understandably only in the paid version of Emby and Plex, however the fact that the dashboard resource monitor AND ability to add more users requires the paid subscription service on Plex is a little harder to justify!

The 2021/2022 Price of a Plex Pass Subscription

Parental controls on Plex being locked behind a paywall is also a little disappointing too, especially when cross-referencing the certification and suitability of media in your collection via metadata must arguably be very easy indeed. Emby is by no means perfect though, with the client application for game consoles not being in the free tier being a real shame. However, taking everything into account, when it comes to both the free AND paid services on each media server, I think Emby and Emby Premiere give you more than Plex and Plex Pass on your NAS system.

The 2021/2022 Price of a Emby Premiere Subscription

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Conclusion

Both Plex media server and Emby media server for NAS are great applications that manage to give you that great feeling of owning your very own Netflix style streaming service, however as good as Plex is, it is arguable gotten a little too comfortable as the de-facto media server of choice in the last few years and allowed a few more fringe services like Emby and the slightly more technical Jellyfin to close in and (in some ways) surpass them. With Plex trying to merge more entertainment streams into their service (3rd party online sources, podcasting, emulated games roms, etc) they might have lost their focus a little and in doing so make their platform less immediately desirable to the new NAS media server user. Emby is still a media server service for NAS that has a few early hurdles for some (either by its absence in the default app center of your NAS brand, or the more layered setup options on day one, but if you are happy to spend a little more time at setup, Emby will most certainly allow you to create the better Media Server solution on your NAS in 2021/2022.

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS or looking to upgrade/migrate from an older NAS Drive. However, there is still so much that you may need to know to range from operating system compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, ideal software and the best backup methods. If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

 

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Synology NAS – Recommended Backup, Redundancy and Data Recovery for Beginners

7 mai 2021 à 01:41

The Best Methods of Backup, Redundancy and Data Recovery on Synology NAS for Dummies

Backup, backup, BACKUP! It’s something I am prone to say at the beginning and end of my videos whenever I talk about NAS Drives and integrating them into your home and business environment. Most people THINK they have a robust and secure data storage solution, yet only a fraction of them actually do. Most people will be happy/convinced their data is perfectly safe when they buy a Synology NAS drive, that they have a rugged, intelligent and reliable backup solution in place! They then start to back up their phones to the NAS, their PC’s and Macbooks to the NAS, their home media, their photo albums, their precious and irreplaceable memories! All of that data is sent to the Synology NAS to be kept safe as a ‘backup’. HOWEVER, they then start to delete the photos from their phone, delete those files from their laptop, Free up room on that USB drive by moving the data over to the NAS – Congratulations, your NAS is NO-LONGER A BACKUP! The minute the data is deleted from any other device, the NAS becomes the ONLY place that data exists and is now JUST as unsafe and prone to loss/damage as it was when it stayed on your phone, computer or USB drive. It is incredibly important that people practice comprehensive and intelligent backup strategies that feature multiple tiers, multiple locations and/or failsafe/safety nets along the way that can give you at least a little warning before the worst can happy. Today I want to go through all the different ways in which you can backup, protect, failover and ultimately SAVE the DATA on your Synology NAS server. Let’s go through all of them and find out which ones best suit your Synology NAS storage setup.

Important – Below I detail 10x methods to provide redundancy (eg a failover), backups, data recovery and/or time managed versioning (so you can recover a file to a specific point) that can ALL be done on a Synology NAS with DSM 6.2 or DSM 7 in 2021 onwards. However, some are free and included in your Synology NAS by default, whereas others can arrive with a small, medium or very large price tag. It is important to remember when setting a price tag on your Data Storage Solution that you think of how much it would cost to LOSE your data. NOT the cost of storing it, but the cost to you/your business if the data in your Synology NAS was gone. So, whether it is photos of your child when they were mere months old, your entire business portfolio or the customer accounts for 2021/2022 – you need to FOCUS on the cost of LOSING your data when deciding how much you will spend!

Creating or Increasing Your RAID Level and Redundancy

The Hard drives or SSD inside your Synology NAS are typically bunched together in a RAID group, each of which provides a different level of safety net and overall storage. This RAID will typically form a storage pool and this is the basis on which your data (in one of more volumes) lives inside your Synology NAS. Storage pools can be changed from one RAID type to another without losing existing data. For example, you can create a RAID 1 storage pool on your Synology NAS and later change it to RAID 5 if you install more drives. This article provides instructions on changing the RAID type of existing storage pools on your Synology NAS. Before you start changing the RAID type of a storage pool, please refer to the Drive Requirements and RAID Type Requirements and Limitations sections below for details on the relevant requirements and limitations.

Before you start:

Before changing the RAID type, please note the following:

  • Make sure the status of your storage pool is Healthy.
  • When adding new drives to a storage pool, the new drives must be larger than or equal to the smallest drive in the storage pool and all drives must be of the same drive type.
  • The RAID type of RAID Arrays in a RAID Group cannot be changed. The RAID Group feature is available on specific models only.

To change the RAID type of a storage pool:

  1. Launch Storage Manager.
  2. Go to Storage Pool.
  3. Select the storage pool that you want to change its RAID type, and click Change RAID Type from the Action drop-down menu.
  4. Select the RAID type that you want to change to. Click Next.
  5. Select the drives to add to the existing storage pool. Click Next.
    Note: All data on the newly added drives will be erased. Please make sure to back up your data in advance.
  6. Follow the wizard to finish.

Below is a video guide on how to set your Synology NAS RAID Storage Pool for the first time, as well as Create a Volume:

To add a drive to a storage pool:

Before you start, make sure the status of the storage pool you intend to expand is Healthy. If the storage pool status is not healthy, please follow the recommended actions shown beneath the status to fix drive issues. Afterward, follow the steps below to add a drive to a storage pool:

  1. Power off your Synology NAS. Note: Skip this step if your Synology NAS supports hot-swapping.
  2. Insert a new drive into an empty drive slot.
  3. Power on your Synology NAS and launch Storage Manager.
  4. Go to the Storage Pool page and select the storage pool you want to expand. Click Add Drive from the Action drop-down menu.
  5. Select the drive you want to add from the list. Only drives that meet the type and capacity requirements will be listed.
  6. Follow the wizard to finish the process.

To expand the volume size:

Once a storage pool contains sufficient capacity, the size of its corresponding volume can be expanded either automatically or manually, depending on the storage pool type.

  • Single-volume storage pool: For a storage pool that supports a single volume, the volume size will be expanded automatically once the storage pool capacity has been expanded.
  • Multiple-volume storage pool: For a storage pool that supports multiple volumes, the volume size can be expanded manually once the storage pool contains sufficient capacity.

Make Sure You Check Your Synology NAS RAID and Storage Health Periodically

You can learn more about each drive’s information and health condition by going to Storage Manager > HDD/SSD. Each drive is color-coded to indicate its overall status:

  • Green: The drive is in good condition, or its warning status has been suppressed or disabled.
  • Orange: The drive is in abnormal status. Please pay attention to the drive’s health status and allocation status.
  • Red: Critical issues have been detected on the drive. Please replace the drive immediately.
  • Blue: The drive is processing one or multiple tasks.
  • Gray: The drive is disabled.

A drive’s overall status shows the relatively more serious status between the drive’s Allocation status (i.e., the condition of the storage pool that the drive is assigned to) and its Health status (i.e., the condition of the drive itself). For example, if a drive’s allocation status is Not Initialized and its health status is Warning, its overall status will be Warning as this is the more serious status.

To learn about health statuses:

The health status indicates the drive condition.

Health Status Definition
Healthy The drive is in good condition, or its warning has been suppressed or disabled.
Warning The system has detected issues or an increase in bad sectors on the drive. We recommend monitoring the drive even though it may still be working properly.
Critical The system has detected one or more critical issues on the drive. Please replace the drive immediately.
Failing The system has detected severe issues on the drive. Drive integrity may not be guaranteed. Please replace the drive immediately.
Access Error The system has detected severe issues on the drive. Drive communication errors may have caused the drive to disconnect from the system, or these errors have resulted in severe read-write failure. Please replace the drive immediately.

To learn about allocation statuses:

The allocation status indicates the status of the storage pool where the drive is assigned to.

Allocation Status Definition
Not Initialized The drive can be assigned to a storage pool. DSM is not installed on the drive.
Initialized The drive can be assigned to a storage pool. DSM is installed on the drive.
Normal The drive is assigned to a storage pool. DSM is installed on the drive.
Hot Spare The drive is assigned as a hot spare drive.
System Partition Failed The system cannot access the partitions of this drive.
Crashed The system has removed the drive from the storage pool. To continue using the drive, please do the following:
  1. Select a drive.
  2. Go to Action > Deactivate to deactivate the drive.
  3. Restart your Synology NAS or remove and reinsert the drive.
Deactivated The drive is deactivated.

To view a drive’s general information:

  1. Go to the HDD/SSD page.
  2. Select a drive and click its upper-right icon to expand the drive information.
  3. Here you can learn information regarding drive location, storage pool, allocation status, health status, temperature, serial number, firmware version, and more.

To view a drive’s health information:

  1. Go to the HDD/SSD page.
  2. Select a drive and click Health Info.
  3. Go to the Overview tab to find out how many hours the drive has been powered on, and to view its current temperature, reconnection/re-identification count, and bad sector count.
  4. Go to the S.M.A.R.T. tab to perform diagnostic tests on the supported drive and view the S.M.A.R.T. attributes. In the S.M.A.R.T. Test section, you can run an S.M.A.R.T. test immediately and view the test results and schedules; in the S.M.A.R.T. Attribute section, you can view the details of the S.M.A.R.T. attribute values.
  5. Go to the IronWolf Health tab to perform diagnostic tests on the supported drive.
  6. Go to the History tab to view and export the health diagnosis results and to view the history of the major S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

The S.M.A.R.T. test and the IronWolf Health test can be scheduled to run automatically on drives. Please note that these tests are supported only on certain models.  Below is a video guide on how to check your RAID and Drive Health:

Setup Snapshots on Your Synology NAS as Soon as Possible

Snapshot Replication is an expert of data backup and recovery. Businesses need data protection to prevent data loss from accidental deletion, application crashes, data corruption, and viruses.

Note:

  • The “snapshot” feature is a point-in-time copy stored in the same volume used to record the whole data status at the time upon being taken. Snapshots use only a small amount of additional storage space, and do not have a performance impact.
    With the snapshots, if a user accidentally modifies or deletes data on a volume with snapshots, you are able to quickly restore the data back to the previous time at which the snapshot was taken. In addition, it allows users to recover their own deleted or modified files in shared folders without assistance from the administrator.
  • The “replication” feature is a mechanism to sync the taken snapshots of shared folders or iSCSI LUNs between the sources and destinations. If the replication source fails to run normal service, you can perform a failover and protect your data with the replicated snapshots.

Snapshot Replication helps you manage and monitor the snapshots and replication tasks on your Synology NAS.

Depending on the functions supported by your Synology NAS, Snapshot Replication helps you accomplish the following tasks:

  • Take and manage snapshots of shared folders and iSCSI LUNs.
  • Configure scheduled snapshots and retention settings. These settings will determine when and how the snapshots should be taken, retained, and/or removed.
  • Create and manage replication tasks for shared folders and iSCSI LUNs.
  • Configure scheduled replication to periodically run the syncing for your replication tasks.
  • Restore data from snapshots, and perform failover/switchover of replication tasks between the source and destination.
  • View the logs of the events related to snapshots and replications.

Note:

  • The snapshot and replication features are available for the following targets only:
    • Shared folders located in volumes using the Btrfs file system
    • iSCSI LUNs created as Standard LUNs with storage acceleration or Advanced LUNs
  • Snapshot Replication has defined the limits of the following maximum numbers of retainable snapshots:
    • 1024 snapshots for each shared folder (or 256 on certain Synology NAS models)
    • 256 snapshots for each iSCSI LUN
    • 65536 snapshots in total in the system (or 4096 on certain Synology NAS models)

    For more information on the maximum snapshot number, please refer to the specifications of your purchased Synology NAS models.

  • To improve replication performance, you can go to Storage Manager > Volume to select a Btrfs volume containing replicated targets, and set Record File Access Time Frequency to Monthly or Never in the Edit window.
  • Features related to iSCSI LUNs have been moved to iSCSI Manager since DSM 6.2. Corresponding features in previous DSM versions can be found at Storage Manager > iSCSI LUN.

Below is another video guide, which covers a large number of backup options, but will also show you how to set snapshots on your Synology NAS, as well as adjust retention and versions long term:

Create a Routine of Local USB Backups on your Synology NAS

USB Copy helps you copy files between your Synology NAS and external USB/SD storage devices. This package comes with multiple copy and file organization strategies to ensure efficient storage usage and easy location of files.

Note:

  • Only USB/SD devices with file systems recognized by your Synology NAS (e.g., FAT32, NTFS, ext3, ext4, and exFAT) are allowed for data copy.
  • Not all Synology NAS models support the HFS+ file system. USB Copy will not be able to export data to a USB/SD device using this format if the external device is inserted into a Synology NAS which does not support HFS+: the external device may enter read-only mode in such a situation.
  • Only the admin and the users belonging to the administrators group can access this package.

Create USB/SD Copy Tasks

You can customize each copy task for an external USB/SD storage device, and import/export files between your Synology NAS and the USB/SD device. When the USB/SD device is inserted again for copy, your Synology NAS will recognize the matched device and apply the same copy settings.

  1. Insert an external USB/SD storage device to your Synology NAS.
  2. Click Create (the plus icon) on the upper left corner.
  3. Select the desired task type: Photo/Video ImportData Import, or Data Export.
  4. Specify basic task information and select a copy mode:
    • Multi-versioned: Each time the task runs, a folder will be created and named with the run time. All source files will be fully copied to the destination.
    • Mirroring: Each time the task runs, all changes made in the source folder will be copied to the destination, making the destination folder a complete mirror copy of the source.
    • Incremental: Each time the task runs, newly added and modified source files will be copied to the destination.
  5. When you choose the Multi-versioned copy mode, you can set up rotation policies to delete older versions:
    • Enable backup rotation: Select to rotate versions by the following conditions:
      • Rotate from the earliest version: Delete the earliest versions when stored versions exceed the maximum limit.
      • Smart Recycle: Select to start rotation when the maximum limit is exceeded. The system will rotate versions that do not meet any of the conditions below; when remaining versions still exceed the limit, the system will rotate the earliest versions:
        • Hourly versions from the past 24 hours: Keep the earliest version created each hour.
        • Daily versions from the past 1 day to 1 month: Keep the earliest version created each day.
        • Weekly versions older than 1 month: Keep the earliest version created each week.
      • Number of versions: Specify the maximum number (between 1 and 65535) of versions to keep.
  6. When you choose the Incremental copy mode, three more settings will be available:
    • Remove original file structure (i.e. flatten all files) in the destination folder: Select to copy files without copying the source file structure, and to further sort out the files according to the selected file organization or renaming policy.
    • File conflict policy: Choose Rename or Overwrite to deal with the situation when files with the same names are copied to the destination.
    • Delete source files after copy completes: Select to have files in the source folders deleted after they are copied to the destination.
  7. Configure execution settings:
    • Copy data whenever the USB/SD storage device is plugged in: Select to auto-perform this copy task when the matched USB/SD device is inserted to your Synology NAS.
    • Eject the USB/SD storage device when copy completes: Select to auto-eject the USB/SD drive when this copy task completes.
    • Enable schedule: Select to run the copy task based on specified conditions.
  8. Deselect unwanted file types and extensions to copy only needed files. You can also create filters through the text field:
    • Specify the full filename (Template: NAME.FILE_EXTENSION).
    • Specify the file extension (Template: *.FILE_EXTENSION).
  9. Click Apply to finish the setup.
  10. To run the task, do one of the following:
    • Click Run on the management interface.
    • Press the Copy button (for models with the hardware Copy button).
    • Plug in the USB/SD device to your Synology NAS (with Copy data whenever the USB/SD storage device is plugged in enabled).

Note:

  • Photo/Video Import tasks only run in the incremental copy mode. The imported photos and videos will be renamed with modification time and sorted into folders by modification date.
  • You can manage scheduled copy tasks at Control Panel > Task Scheduler.
  • When a copy task is scheduled for multiple runs, keep the storage device mounted to your Synology NAS and do not select Eject the USB/SD storage device when the copy completes. The device will be ejected when there are no more pertaining tasks in progress.
  • Files and folders should follow the naming rules below for successful copying:
    • Filenames should not start with “._” or “.SYNOPPSDB”.
    • Filenames and folder names should not be or contain any of the following: “@eaDir”, “#recycle”, “desktop.ini”, “.ds_store”, “Icon\r”, “thumbs.db”, “$Recycle.Bin”, “@sharebin”, and “#snapshot”.
  • A partition on a USB device can only support multiple copy tasks with, however, certain limitations on the destination path:
    • Tasks cannot share the same destination path.
    • A task cannot use a destination path if a part of that destination path is already set as the destination path of another task.
    • A task cannot have its destination path be included in the destination paths of other tasks.
  • If the file system of your backup destination is exFAT/FAT32, a file with filename containing the following characters might overwrite other files with the same filename during automatic renaming: \ / | : < > ” * ? \r \n. This is because the characters are considered to be invalid characters and the system will automatically replace them with a random character that’s recognizable by the system. For example, a file named A|A might overwrite files named A>A or A?A after they all are renamed to A-A.
  • When you run a copy task, the hardware Copy button of your Synology NAS (for models without this button, see the Power LED indicator instead) will continue to blink until the task ends. You will also hear a short beep and a normal beep at the beginning and end of the task.

Set up Tasks for Hardware Copy Button

If your Synology NAS comes with a hardware Copy button, through Copy Button (associated with the frontal USB port) and SD Copy Button (associated with the SD slot) you can copy data between your Synology NAS and any external USB/SD storage devices inserted into the frontal ports.

To enable a task for hardware Copy button:

  1. Sign in to your Synology NAS and open USB Copy.
  2. Select Copy Button or SD Copy Button on the left panel, depending on the device type.
  3. Go to Overview to enable the Copy-button task, and then go to Task Settings and File Filter to specify relevant settings.

Note: The Copy Button tab only works with USB devices inserted into the frontal USB port.

If you still need help, use the Video Guide below to walk you through the steps on how to setup a USB backup routine on your Synology NAS:

Backup and/or Sync Your Synology NAS to Google Drive, DropBox and OneDrive

With Cloud Synchronization, you can seamlessly sync and share files among your Synology NAS and multiple public cloud services.

Create New Connections

To sync files among your Synology NAS and public cloud services, you need to create connections on Cloud Sync to link to the service provider by using your user credentials.

To create a new connection:

  1. On the Cloud Sync user interface, click on the Create icon at the bottom-left corner to start the wizard.
  2. Choose one of the following public cloud services to sync files with and click Next.
    • Dropbox, Baidu Cloud, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, Amazon Drive, MegaFon MegaDisk, and HiDrive: Sign in with your user credentials.
    • WebDAV: Input the server address, your account and password. Server address should follow the formats specified below:
        • Input http or https URLs of the intended WebDAV server, with custom port number after the colon (optional), e.g. http://mywebdavserver.synology.me:5005 or https://mywebdavserver.synology.me:5006

      Note: Please note that the entered address cannot contain “.” or “..“.

      • Cloud Sync will connect to the server via http if the URL does not imply http or https.
      • If port number is not specified in the URL, Cloud Sync will access port 80 in http connections, and port 443 in https connections.
      • Path can be appended to the URL, e.g. https://mywebdavserver.synology.me:5006/webdav/folder
    • Yandex: Input your account and password.
    • Google Cloud Storage: Sign in with your user credentials, then Project ID and Bucket name.
    • IBM SoftLayer: Input username and API Key, and choose location and Container in the next page.
    • RackSpace: Input username and API Key, and choose location and Container in the next page.
    • OpenStack Swift compatible cloud services: Input the identity server address and choose the KeyStone protocol version which the server supports:
      • Version 1.0: Input username and API Key
      • Version 2.0: Input username, password, Tenant ID or Tenant name (optional).
      • Version 3.0: Input username, password, Tenant ID or Tenant name (optional), and Domain ID or Domain name (optional).
      • You can choose the location and Container on the next page after passing the identity service
    • S3 storage: Select a server (Amazon S3, Amazon S3 China, or input a server address directly), then input the Access key, Secret key and Bucket name. If users want to enter user-specified S3 service hosts, they should enter something like “s3.amazonaws.com”, or “api.suite-stockage-cloud.sfrbusinessteam.fr” in the S3 Server Address field.
    • hicloud S3: Input Access key, Secret key, and Bucket name.
    • SFR NAS Backup: Input Access key, Secret key, and Bucket name.
    • Microsoft Azure: Select a server, input the Blob Storage Access key, and select a Blob container.
    • Backblaze B2: Input keyID and application key, and select a Bucket.
    • Alibaba Cloud OSS: Input Access key and Secret key, and select a Bucket.
    • Tencent Cloud COS: Input Secret ID and Secret key, and select a Bucket.
    • JD Cloud OSS: Select region, input Access key and Secret key, and select a Bucket.
  3. Once authentication has been successful, fill in the following fields and then click Next.
    • Task name: This name will show on the connection list.
    • Local path: Select a local folder. All directories and files within this folder will be synced to the remote folder.
    • Remote path: Select a remote folder. All directories and files within this folder will be synced to the local folder.
    • Sync direction: Select whether you want the sync to be Bidirectional,Download remote changes only, or Upload local changes only.
    • Check the box next to Data encryption to enable client-side data encryption.
    • Check the box next to Don’t remove files in the destination folder when they are removed in the source folder. if needed.
    • Schedule settings: Go to this section to enable your schedule for file syncing.
  4. To further adjust your sync settings, click Advanced settings.
    • You can prevent certain files from being synced by unchecking any folders you don’t want synced, by setting a max file size limit, or filtering out certain file names or file extensions:
      • By folder: Uncheck any sub-folders you don’t want synced.
      • By maximum file size: If a file is bigger than your specified size, it will not be synced.
      • By file name: Any file with the designated file name will not be synced.
      • File extension: Any designated file extension will not be synced. Add *.[extension] to the table, e.g. *.iso.
  5. Click Apply to save your settings.

Here is another brief Video Guide that will walk you through how to backup/sync your Synology NAS with a cloud storage provider:

Stay 1st Party and Connect Your Synology NAS to Synology C2 with Cloud Synchronization

You may already be aware, but Synology has its own premium cloud platform/service in the form of Synology C2, which can be synchronized with your NAS using the same steps as those detailed above with Cloud Sync and/or Hyper Backup. Synology C2 Storage plans are tailored to different users with features, storage and prices to match their size and needs. Whether you are a home user looking for an easy-to-use cloud backup plan, or a system administrator in search of secure cloud storage with optimized space utilization, Synology’s pricing plans can meet your needs. In order to start using the Synology C2 Cloud service for backups and Syncing, sign in to DSM with administrator privileges and install Synology Hyper Backup. Create a backup task and select Synology C2 Storage as the cloud destination. You will be asked to sign in with the Synology Account you wish to use to manage C2 Storage for Hyper Backup. After login, you may start the 30-day free trial if eligible or purchase a C2 Storage plan.

Back up data on your Synology NAS to Synology C2 Storage

  1. In Hyper Backup, click on the + icon in the bottom left corner and select Data backup task.
  2. Choose Synology C2 Storage as your backup destination.
  3. Enter your Synology Account and password. Then, follow the instructions to finish creating your backup task.
  4. If you have not used Synology C2 Storage before, you will receive a 30-day free trial so you can try it out.
  5. Select a region and plan.
  6. A credit card is required for creating a backup plan. You will not be charged during the free trial period.
  7. Confirm your subscription to start using C2 Storage.

Monitor backup tasks and browse data on the C2 Storage portal

  1. After you have created a backup task, you can sign in to the C2 Storage portal to monitor your task and browse the data stored there. You can see the storage usage, the top five tasks that take up the most space, and all of the tasks backed up to Synology C2 Storage.
  2. To browse your data and retrieve them directly to your computer, click on the “browse” icon to launch the C2 Storage web explorer.
  3. In the web explorer, click on the “download” icon to download a file.
  • Plan I
    Plan I protects your data through daily backups with a default retention policy. C2 Storage for Hyper Backup will retain 11 backup versions (one latest, 7 daily, 3 weekly) going back 30 days. Regardless of the cumulative size of your backup versions, only the source data size on your Synology NAS is counted toward your C2 Storage usage.
  • Plan II
    Plan II lets you customize your backup schedules and retention policies. All your backup versions count toward your total C2 Storage usage. However, Plan II-exclusive deduplication helps you cut back storage use by reducing duplicate data across different versions.

Each Synology Account can activate a one-time 30-day free trial. Try all the great features that C2 Storage offers before deciding whether it is the solution for you. Backup storage on C2 Storage can be purchased using one Synology Account and shared with multiple Synology NAS, increasing the flexibility of storage use. You can upgrade your backup plan at any time if more space is needed. Use the Video guide below for a view of the Synology C2 User Interface and see how to create a sync/backup with a Synology NAS, as well as see how versioning is handled:

Setup a 2nd NAS and Connect Both Devices for NAS to NAS Backups

Here is a Synology guide, or you can read it also from their web site.

Also, you don’t need RAID on a old NAS any more because it will not be your main point of access any more.

1. Install Hyper Backup

If Hyper Backup has not been installed on your Synology NAS yet, please follow the below steps:

  1. Log in to DSM and go to Package center. Search for Hyper Backup and download the package.
  2. Make sure your Synology NAS is running DSM 6.0 or above. For users of older DSM versions, Hyper Backup is not supported.

2. Create a backup task

This section shows you how to create a backup task to a remote Synology NAS or file server.

    1. Open Hyper Backup.
    2. Click the + icon on the bottom left corner, and select Data backup task.
    3. On the Backup Destination page, select Remote NAS device if you would like to back up to another Synology NAS. To back up to file servers, please select one of the options in the File Server section. (Please note that rsync copy only supports single-version backup.) Click Next after choosing your destination.

    1. On the Backup Destination Settings page, select Create backup task and enter the information required to connect with the other NAS device or file server. As the procedures of backing up to both the aforementioned destinations are similar, only the step-by-step screenshots of remote Synology NAS backup are provided here for your reference. Enter the IP address and account information of the remote NAS to connect with it, and select a shared folder as the backup destination. You can also change the name of the Directory under which you can find your backed up data.

If the backup destination you selected is an encrypted shared folder, please make sure it has been mounted already. Otherwise, it won’t be displayed in the shared folder list.

    1. Select any source folder(s) to back up the contained data. Encrypted shared folders, if selected, must stay mounted during the backup process. In cases where the source and destination are in the same volume, the system will mark such source folders with orange exclamation marks.

    1. Select the application(s) you would like to back up.

    1. Specify the backup settings below to fit your needs:
      • Task: Name the backup task.
      • Enable task notification: Select to have you informed of the task status via email, SMS, or push service.
      • Enable configuration backup: Back up the system configurations (e.g. user credentials). This setting is enforced on all backup tasks by default.
      • Compress backup data: Compress backup data to reduce the usage of destination storage. More backup time is needed if this option is selected.
      • Enable backup schedule: Select to schedule when the system should automatically perform the backup task.
      • Enable integrity check: Select to schedule an automatic integrity check, which examines stored data and detects corruption, to run at a specific time to ensure data reliability. Index check is enabled by default, while you may set a limit on the time spent on data check.
      • Enable client-side encryption: Select to protect the backup data with password from unwanted access on the destination side. Please note that the password used for encryption here will be required for restoring the data backed up in this task. Therefore, losing this password will cause permanent data loss.

    1. Select Enable backup rotation to set up the rotation scheme:
      • From the earliest versions: Delete the earliest existing backup versions once the specified Number of versions is exceeded.
      • Smart Recycle: The system will retain every backup version until the specified number of versions is exceeded. When rotation is triggered, the system will first rotate the versions that do not meet any of the conditions; if all the existing versions meet the conditions below, the system will rotate the earliest version:
        • Hourly versions from the past 24 hours: The system keeps the earliest version that is created each hour.
        • Daily versions from the past 1 day to 1 month: The system keeps the earliest version that is created each day.
        • Weekly versions older than 1 month: The system keeps the earliest version that is created each week.
      • Number of versions: Set the upper limit of possible retained backup versions.
      • Timeline: Display the possible result of backup retention according to your backup schedule and rotation scheme.

  1. Click Apply to complete the setup.
  2. To perform the backup task immediately, follow the Backup Wizard’s instructions and click Yes.

 

If you want to create a synchronized backup between your Synology NAS and a NAS from another brand, you can use the video guide below to walk you through the steps easily:

Connect 2 Identical NAS Setup for Failover Using a Dual Controller/SHA on your Synology NAS

The term “high-availability” refers to a server layout solution designed to reduce service interruptions caused by server malfunctions. Synology High Availability (SHA) employs two hosts to form a “high-availability cluster” in which one host assumes the role of “active server” and the other host acts as a standby “passive server.”

In a high-availability cluster, data on the active server is continuously replicated to the passive server, so mirrored copies of all files will exist on both hosts. Therefore, in the event the active server crashes or malfunctions, the passive server can take over all services, minimizing system downtime.

Before you start

Please read the following sections carefully before trying to create a high-availability cluster.

Hardware Requirements:

  • SHA requires two identical Synology NAS to act as active and passive servers.
  • Two different Synology NAS can act as active and passive servers, but with limitations.

System Requirements:

  • The active and passive servers must be identical models and both support Synology High Availability.
  • The same version of DSM and package must be installed on both hosts.

1.png

The illustration above is for reference only. Your model and DSM version may differ.

Volume and Disk:

  • The drive capacity of both hosts must be identical to avoid data inconsistencies.
  • The active and passive servers must have the same number of drives. In addition, drive position must be identical.
  • The hosts cannot contain any SHR format volumes. Go to Storage Manager > Volume to make sure no SHR volumes exist.

2.png

The illustration above is for reference only. The number and size of disks in your environment may differ.

Network Environment:

  • Both hosts must be assigned static IP addresses as the cluster connection. Make sure that the IP addresses of both hosts are accessible and belong to the same subnet; otherwise, errors might occur when performing a switchover to the passive server. To change network settings, log in to each host and go to Control Panel > Network > Network Interface, select the network interface and click Edit.
  • Both hosts must have the same number of LAN ports. If the hosts are equipped with additional network interface cards, these network cards will also count as additional LAN ports.
  • Synology High Availability does not support the following: DHCP, DHCP server, IPv6, PPPoE, and Wi-Fi. Please ensure that the above are all switched off before creating a high-availability cluster.

Cable the hosts

In this section, we’ll explain how to connect both hosts so that a high-availability cluster can be created. Please see the following steps:

  1. Use a network cable to connect the two hosts to each other. This connection shall serve as the Heartbeat connection between the two hosts, facilitating communication and allowing data to be replicated from the active server to the passive server. This connection must meet the following criteria:
    • Use the same network interface on both hosts. For example, if one end is connected to LAN 1 on one host, then the other end must be connected to LAN 1 on the other host.
    • Use the fastest network interface on both hosts. If the hosts are equipped with 10GbE add-on network interface cards, this connection must use them.
    • Connect the two hosts directly, without passing through any switches or routers.

    3.png

  2. Use network cables to connect the two hosts to the network using the remaining network interfaces. Make sure these connections are active and belong to the same network. In order to prevent service interruptions caused by network failure, we recommend deploying multiple switches in your network environment so that each host in the high-availability cluster can be connected to a separate switch.
    4.png
  3. The hosts are now ready to create a high-availability cluster. Please continue with the steps below.

Create a high-availability cluster with the hosts

Once the two hosts are connected properly, you can follow the steps below to create a high-availability cluster.

  1. Log into the host that you want to assume the role of the active server with an account belonging to the administrators group.
  2. Open Synology High Availability.
    5.png
  3. Click Create high-availability cluster to start the cluster creation wizard.
  4. Click Next.
    6.png
    7.png
  5. Select which network interfaces to use for the high-availability cluster’s cluster connection and Heartbeat connection. Then click Next.
  6. Enter the credentials of an account belonging to the administrators group on the passive server. Then click Next.
  7. Specify a name for the high-availability cluster and the IP address with which you’ll be able to access the cluster resources. The wizard will display the available IP range; please select an IP address that has not been used by other services in the network. Then click Next.
  8. The wizard will check if the system meets all the requirements. Click Next when the verification is done.
  9. If there are existing data, volume or LUN detected on the active server, you can choose to keep the data or erase it all. Click Next to continue.
  10. Confirm the settings you previously made. Then click Apply.
  11. Tick the checkbox after reading the instructions and then click Yes.
  12. The wizard will start to create the high-availability cluster. Creation time varies depending on your environment.
  13. Once finished, you’ll see the cluster status on the Cluster page.

Below I set up an SHA Environment on two Synology DS920+ NAS Systems. Take a look to see how using a high availability environment can allow your storage to withstand a whole system failure:

Use Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drives with FREE Data Recovery Services Included

Most Seagate drives now include Rescue Data Recovery Services matching the duration of your warranty — helping you defend against power outages, natural disasters, user error, viruses and more. With an industry-leading 95% success rate against unexpected data loss and access to world-class data recovery experts, you can focus on what’s important and rest easy knowing your files are safer. Not available in all countries.

Below is an EXTREME demonstration of me causing exceedingly large amounts of damage to a Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive and how the Rescue Recovery service was able to assist:

 

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Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS Drive Comparison

22 avril 2021 à 01:39

The Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS Compared

The choice for businesses that are making the move away from third-party cloud services, or those looking to add a NAS to the existing multi-tier data strategy, has never been larger than in 2021. Right now, for businesses looking at a reliable desktop solution to wrap their business data around it’s pretty exhaustive, with many brands and hundreds of distinct solutions all vying for your money. Two brands that have maintained a comfortable dominance in this SMB tier of the storage industry are Synology and QNAP, so today I want to take a closer look at their two respective 8-bay NAS solutions, the Synology DS1821+ and QNAP TS-873A. Each one providing the full range of software services advertised by each brand, they also provide very similar hardware architecture at a comparable price point. However, each brand has a markedly different understanding of what they think business users look for in a 8-bay NAS solution in 2021 and it is in HOW they provide that hardware and software to the end-user that really separates these two NAS solutions. So today, I want to compare the DS1821+ and TS-873A NAS, show where your money goes and ultimately help you decide which one deserves your data.

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – What Can They Both DO

Despite each brand taking a very different stance on what you need for your storage in 2020/2021, there is still a large amount of cross over in the software and utilities that each provides with your NAS purchase. With their own respective first-party applications for backups, multimedia, surveillance, VMs and more, you are going to get a remarkably well-featured device, whichever one you choose to invest in. Both Synology DS1821+ and TS-873A systems provide/support:

  • Both units feature the AMD Ryzen V1500B processor for a good price vs hardware balance
  • Both can Stream and Transcode on the fly (so, live) 1080p HD or 4K media, with superior performance natively and mid-range performance in Plex, however, both do this by using software transcoding, as the main processor is not graphically embedded
  • Both the Synology DS1821+ and TS-873A NAS support AI-supported photo and ‘thing’ recognition supported to a very high degree from the free branded software included
  • For Business users who currently enjoy the use of G Suite or Office 365, both of these NAS provide excellent means to backup your mass cloud accounts (as well as natively sync, dupe and configure rules on the fly)
  • Both the TS-873A NAS and DS1821+ NAS support snapshots, for more incremental and version protecting failsafe in efforts to protect you from Malware and Ransomware attacks, by allowing multi-versioning storage history to browse through and restore
  • Both units are DLNA certified so can be accessed, browsed and played from by popular DLNA devices, such as Amazon Firestick, Alexa, Google Home, Chromecast, DS1821+ TV, Bose, Sonos, iPads, etc, as well as connectivity between these platforms with IFTTT

  • Both are multi-bay, RAID enabled devices NAS devices that support JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 (as well as Synology Hybrid RAID too for their Plus series range), as well as supporting the very latest SATA based 16TB and 18TB NAS Hard Drives from brands like WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf, Western Digital UltraStar and Seagate EXOs media. As well as the Synology solution supporting their own first-party HAT5300 HDDs.
  • Both devices run on their own proprietary operating system that can be accessed remotely or locally. These include regular updates to the firmware, security patches, applications and more. Ranging from multimedia, home and multi-tiered backup applications, to more business end tools such as Surveillance software, Virtual Machine deployment and business-class backup and synchronization tools.
  • Both the TS-873A and DS1821+ use and can be accessed equally by a multitude of mobile applications such as DS File, DS Video, Moments, DS Photo, DSCam and DS Music that are created by and constantly improved by Synology. As well as QFile, QMusic, QuMagie and QManager from QNAP for iOS and Android.
  • Both NAS are completely compatible with Windows, Android and Mac systems, as well as acting as a bring between software platforms to share and distribute files for migration and file sync (with improvements in newer DSM 7.0 later in 2021 to Mac Finder file streaming and file pinning
  • Both units can be used as a mail and/or business servers, providing excellent 3rd party CRM and first-party CMS systems. There is the Synology collaboration Suite of applications Chat, Drive, Mail, Calendar, Office and Active Backup Suite. Whereas on QNAP there is the QMail, Hybrid Backup Sync 3, Virtualization station and BoXafe tools
  • Both systems support the NVR use with QVR Pro and Surveillance Station applications, support numerous cameras and arrive with at least 2 camera licenses with your purchase (8 Camera Licenses with the QNAP)

So, regardless of whether you buy the TS-873A or DS1821+ NAS, you are going to have a remarkably functional NAS drive. But, let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between these two devices.

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – DESIGN

The physical design of a NAS is far less important than that found in a PC, laptop, phone or indeed any device that is regularly seen/interacted with, but it still has to be said that a number of users will keep a NAS system in their local office environment and in line of sight. The design of a NAS, aside from vague factors of appearance, also has to factor in elements such as cooling, general ambient noise and physical space. Once again, Synology and QNAP go in very different directions in terms of physical design, with the DS1821+ and TS-873A utilising familiar hardware design found in the portfolio of each brand.

Click to view slideshow.

The Synology DS1821+ features a much more understated and discreet chassis, as well as being the physically less imposing of the two by a small percentage. The Synology has a design that blends easily into the background of other hardware devices in your environment, as well as being the lower noise level option of the two in this comparison full. All real-time information from the system at a glance (so, outside of logging in remotely with a client) is provided via a limited, but still useful selection of LEDs that denote system activity, access and drive utility. The chassis that is featured on the Synology DS1821+ has been used in numerous other releases in the last few years and although shows little change throughout all of those versions, is still a very popular model aesthetically and it’s understandable why Synology would be reluctant to change this recognisable brand chassis. In fact, the front panel aside from LEDs and drive bays is tremendously understated, aside from a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (5Gb/s) for adding backups over a DAS connected drive to your storage strategy.

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TS-873A by comparison to the DS1821+ is noticeably more rugged and industrial in its aesthetic. Although both devices are predominantly metal in design, the QNAP is that little bit more metallic overall. The system uses a modified version of their popular 8-bay chassis design and on this enclosure, along with LEDs, it features a Real-Time LCD panel to provide system information at the touch of a button to the end-user. This panel provides information on network interfaces, storage health, system temperature along with a few others. Much like the Synology DS1821+, the TS-873A also features that front-mounted USB port, however, this one includes a fractionally more interactive one-touch copy button and also impressively is USB 3.2 Gen 2 in architecture (10Gb/s). The design of the QNAP TS-873A is certainly noticeably bulkier and arguably more industrial than that of the Synology DS1821+. Ultimately, despite more hands-on and direct access options being built into the design of the QNAP TS-873A chassis, I feel that the understated and discrete Synology DS1821+ provide the better design. Likewise, the QNAP TS-873A solution is seemingly the more typically power-hungry and marginally louder in ambient noise level when in operation in like-for-like hardware environments. This is still a minor point however when comparing these two chassis and involves a large degree of consideration to the network environment of most SMB users.

Result – You Should Buy the Synology DS1821+ NAS

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – INTERNAL HARDWARE

The internal hardware featured inside the Synology DS1821+ and QNAP TS-873A system again is rather similar and both devices are using a similar degree of component choice in their architecture. Though there are a couple of notable differences internally that show how each brand has prioritised the available PCIe lanes (x16) from that Ryzen CPU. Below is a breakdown of the internal/external hardware and we will go through those main key differences between them.

Core Hardware
Model SYNOLOGY DS1821+ NAS Drive

QNAP TS-873A NAS Drive

Processor model AMD Ryzen V1500B AMD Ryzen V1500B
Processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Processor clock 4-core 2.2 GHz 4-core 2.2
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) YES YES
Memory
System memory 4 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM 8 GB DDR4 SODIMM
Pre-installed memory modules 4 GB (4 GB x 1) 8 GB (8 GB x 1)
Total memory slots 2 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2) 64 GB (32 GB x 2)
Storage device
Number of Disk Slots SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″ SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″
M.2 disk bay Yes, NVMe (Caching) Yes, NVMe (Caching or Storage)
Disk hot swap support YES YES
External port
RJ-45 Network ports 4 x 1Gbe 2 x 2.5Gbe
RJ-45 10GbE network port N/A N/A
USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps port 3 1
USB 3.2  Gen 2 10Gbps port 0 3 (2x A and 1x C)
eSATA port 1 0
PCIe
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot 2 x Gen3 x4 slots
Noise value* 22.2 dB(A) 23.0 db(A)
Timer switch YES YES
Wake on LAN YES YES
Power supply/transformer 250W 250W
Power consumption power* 59.8 W (Access)

26.18 W (HDD Hibernation)

54.06 W (Access)

25.66 W (HDD Hibernation)

Warranty 3 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage 3 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage

Although both have tremendous similarity in their specifications above, the QNAP has clearly made a more diverse range of hardware choices with the available architecture. The first big stand out are those M.2 NVMe bays found on the DS1821+ and TS-873A. In either case, these devices enable you to install two superfast NVMe SSD inside the system that allows you to leverage their high-performance, high IOPS and low latency to improve access and I/Os in a number of ways inside the slower but larger capacity hard drive RAID array in the main 8 SATA storage bays. However, although both the btrfs Synology and ZFS QNAP both hugely take advantage of improvements in SSD caching, only the QNAP TS-873A allows you to also use these NVMe bays as a raw storage pool instead. The benefits of using super-fast NVMe SSD for raw storage inside the system, as well as allowing faster potential bandwidths connections (10G, 25G) externally to be further saturated, are going to be hugely appealing to content creators and those that work in the media industry. It should be highlighted that you will still need to factor the specific PCIe architecture on these ports and RAID considerations in your hardware setup in the TS-873A, to take advantage of this performance though. Likewise, because the PCIe lanes of this CPU, the NVMe slots on the QNAP are PCIe Gen 3×1 (1000MB/s), so if you do use them for raw storage, remember that you will only see a maximum 2000MB/s performance with a pair.

Likewise, in further upgradability, both systems feature a PCIe upgrade option to improve hardware in the TS-873A and DS1821+ in the lifespan of the system. The Synology DS1821+ has the higher-performing PCIe connection at Gen 3 x8 (8000MB/s potential card-to-host throughput), but the QNAP has two PCIe slots at PCIe Gen3 x4 each (so, 2x 4000MB/s cards). User preference will obviously play a part, but it is worth remembering that without expansions, a 8-bay will only really saturate a single 10Gbe port card with maybe a little more in the tank to justify a 2x 10G NIC (with expansions enclosures, 2000MB/s would be possible). Additionally, it’s worth remembering that the DS1821+ largely supports the Synology first-party range of cards more than any other (along with a handful of intel and Mellanox). Whereas the QNAP TS-873A supports a much larger range of PCIe upgrade cards (3rd and 1st party) that along with standard network cards, even include graphics cards, SSD storage cards and Wi-Fi 6 upgrades.

The TS-873A is clearly the better internal hardware option overall compared with the DS1821+. The simple fact that the QNAP provides everything that the Synology does internally, then provides them more so is inarguable and for me, the QNAP TS-873A wins this round.

 

Result – The QNAP TS-873A wins for better overall available internal hardware

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – EXTERNAL HARDWARE

When I say external hardware, I really mean the ports and connections of these two devices. How you plan to interface with the Synology DS1821+ or QNAP TS-873A NAS in your home or business environment may well impact which of these two solutions is best suited to your needs. Both systems can be accessed via the internet and via the network by multiple users at any one time, as well as arriving with numerous third-party client applications and first-party tools to utilise your data in the best way possible. But external connectivity of the Synology or QNAP NAS does differ quite a lot on both (again, on Day 1 and Day 1000) and later in the systems life, once you introduce peripherals on your client devices, the way you use the NAS might well change.

In terms of network connectivity, the Synology DS1821+ arrives with four individual Ethernet ports at one-gigabit each. That means that you can utilise these ports for separate connections, failover architecture and link aggregation to combine the total network bandwidth up to a potential 4Gbe maximum. For those that want greater than this level of network connectivity, you will have to look at occupying that available PCIe expansion slot with something a little more hardcore down the line (10Gbe, 25Gbe, etc), but as it stands the system will a maximum for 400MB/s+ out of the box. Alongside this, the DS1821+ also features two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (5Gbps) for external storage and a small range of network peripherals. Finally, we find eSATA expansion ports that allow you to connect two of the official five-bay DX517 expansion chassis and allows a total 18 bays of storage across the whole system once attached.

The QNAP TS-873A on the other hand provides similar yet greater levels of connectivity compared with the DS1821+, but does it in a noticeably different way. For example, the QNAP TS-873A features just two network interface ports, but these are 2.5Gbe and translate to 2.5x the ones found in the Synology, resulting in a maximum 500MB/s+ external throughput. The TS-873A also features several USB ports in USB 3.2 Gen 2 & 1 architecture, allowing you to connect a larger selection of both storage and network adaptors. These USB ports (as well as the PCIe slots) are also used for expansion devices and allow the QNAP TS-873A to attach several supported expansion devices (4/8/12/16 Bay chassis) and to a larger total number of drive bays than the maximum available on the Synology DS1821+. Ultimately, in terms of network connectivity, the Synology provides a familiar and standard range of external ports and connections, whereas the QNAP provides a more modern and higher performing selection of connections that nonetheless may not be completely supported by your existing hardware environment. On balance, I think the QNAP TS-873A provides more in this section than the Synology DS1821+

 

Result – You Should Buy the QNAP TS-873A NAS

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – Performance

The performance of each of the NAS systems can be measured in a few separate ways and, once again, the Synology and QNAP ethos towards internal and external architecture is very, very present here in the DS1821+ and TS-873A. In terms of traditional 1Gbe external performance, these two NAS systems are near enough identical, as both have both the general internal architecture to push through 100MB/s+ with ease. Though it should be highlighted that although both systems have the internal drive space of 8 Drives in a RAID to saturate their respective 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe connections with a supported switch via Link Aggregation, the QNAP provides a better single cable connection overall. With the use of sufficient drive media and the combining of all available network connections in link aggregation, the Synology DS1821+ will max out at 400MB/s+ with 4 ports, whereas the QNAP will provide 500MB/s+ with 2 ports.

Things are quite different in terms of 10Gbe support however. Neither system arrives with a dedicated 10Gbe port and requires the installation of a 10Gbe network upgrade card. As these are 8-bay NAS systems, there is not quite the throughout to justifying a 2x 20 Port setup, but over 1x 10Gbe, the Synology DS1821+ NAS seemingly provides a solid 1000MB/s over both Read and Write, thanks to that PCIe Gen 3 x8 support. The QNAP TS-873A arrives with a solid 10Gbe performance also that will like in the 1000MB/s in both read and write too, however, the winning factor once again is that the QNAP also can reach 500MB/s read and write WITHOUT a 10Gb upgrade, thanks to those 2x 2.5Gbe ports.

Memory utilisation between the two systems is noticeably different too, as the TS-873A features the resource-hungry ZFS platform and its impact on memory consumption. That said, the QNAP arrives with twice the memory by default at 8GB and although this is not ECC class memory, that will not inhibit performance internally. If you are going to rely on third-party software and the NAS as a target to drive for your in-house software, the QNAP is the better for internal performance (the same goes for throughout on btrfs vs ZFS). However, if you are purchasing the NAS system for its performance in its own first-party applications, the Synology DS1821+ will be the more desirable and long-term choice. Of course, you will need sufficient external network hardware in your home/office environment to take advantage of 10G, 2.5G or link aggregation at all, but ultimately it means that in a base level 1Gbe setup, things are pretty even and in a perfect setup, the QNAP TS-873A will win overall in performance externally.

 

Result – You Should Buy the QNAP TS-873A NAS

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – STORAGE

This is probably the biggest and clearest distinction between these two devices and Synology and QNAP have clearly drawn a line in the sand with what they are prepared to offer at this £850-950 price tag. Both systems allow the installation of hard drive and solid-state drive media, as well as supporting expansion devices that allow you to add further storage to your system storage pool. But the media types supported, range of performance and extend to which you can use that storage is wildly different comparing these two devices. The Synology DS1821+ provides 8 SATA hard drive bays that can also support 2.5 inch SATA SSD. This main storage area allows you to create any one of a range of traditional RAID configurations, as well as their own fluid proprietary configuration known as Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR). The core system utilizes btrfs as the de facto file system and although you can switch the system to ext4, a number of key Synology applications demand btrfs running. Btrfs presents a number of unique benefits to the system that includes file self-healing, faster-shared folder duplication and reduced impact made on the system resources when generating snapshots, allowing a greater number of snapshots of your storage to revert to, as well as less system slow down when they are created. As mentioned, you can attach expansion devices and the DS1821+ allows the connection of two eSATA expansion devices that are JBOD and cost around £300 to £400 each. Finally, you find internally the two m.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install M2 superfast PCIe 3×4 SSD and utilise their fast performance, high IOPs and low latency towards the main RAID storage array with a sophisticated NAS storage intelligent caching. Synology has been improving their internal caching system for a number of years and has reached the point where the bulk of their new generation hardware all include NVMe M.2 SSD bays to improve that internal slower but larger and more affordable hard drive array on their systems. Unfortunately, Synology does not allow these NVMe bays to be used for raw storage pools and those of you that wanted to use this super-fast storage in conjunction with perhaps a 10Gbe upgrade card will be left disappointed. There is a huge amount of storage potential here and the benefits of upgrading the performance with NVMe are desirable, if optional. And let’s not forget about Synology hybrid RAID and the benefits that it brings to a more scaled approach to populating your NAS over the years.

Unlike Synology and btrfs, QNAP has provided TS-873A with the ZFS (Zettabyte file system) version of their software, QuTS hero. ZFS presents a number of huge improvements to that of ext4 and is considerably more industry-supported at the enterprise level than btrfs, which is seen to still be a little young by comparison. Benefits of ZFS include considerably faster performance, RAID building and RAID rebuilding thanks to the filesystem removing the volume layer in its architecture and allowing data to be directly written to the storage pool. There are also many real-time file benefits with inline data compression and inline deduplication across the whole file and folder structure, though remember you will need 16GB to take advantage of deduplication. Many of these benefits of inline file transmission are promised in updates to DSM 7.0 (currently in beta) but seem to be more app-specific to Synology Drive and less about the system as a whole.

 There is no fluid RAID system comparable to SHR but you do have all of the traditional RAID configurations, as well as RAIDZ and triple parity options that allow up to 3 disks of disaster redundancy. Expansions on the QNAP TS-873A are connected via the available USB port which although on the face of it does not sound as fast as eSATA on the Synology, thanks to a range of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) JBOD and SoC RAID expansions in the TR and TL series, it means that expandability is technically larger, and faster thanks to the majority of their NAS expansions featuring hardware RAID. Overall, in terms of storage, you will be unsurprised to hear that I choose the QNAP TS-873A over the Synology DS1821+. There is just a larger degree of flexibility available both in terms of hardware and the filesystem on offer. You cannot fault these Synology Hybrid RAID and I wish Synology would let users access those M.2 NVMe bays as a storage pool, but the DS1821+ is still a good NAS for storage. It just does not bring the larger degree of fluidity and media support available in the TS-873A currently.

 

Result – The QNAP TS-873A – Both Have Similar Day 1 Storage, but the QNAP has better long term storage options

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – PRICE

Regardless of whether you are buying the DS1821+ or TS-873A for home or business use, the matter of price will always play some part in your decision. Once again, it has to be noted that the Synology has been available to buy for several months longer than the QNAP, which has given the DS1821+ enough time to develop slightly more flexible pricing. That said, even at launch, the Synology DS1821+ still arrived at around $100-140 less than the QNAP TS-873A did when revealed. Of

SYNOLOGY DS1821+ NAS Drive

$949

QNAP TS-873A NAS Drive

$1049

course, this price difference can still be reflected in the greater network connections (2.5G over 1G), ZFS and 50% more available memory in the base model of the TS-873A. Therefore this becomes less about price and more about value, to see which one gives you the most for your money. In terms of value, I think the QNAP brings you a more noticeable degree of hardware for your money over software development, where is Synology has directed more of that into the impressive software of the SMB, arguable playing a tad safe on the hardware.

 

Result – IT’S A TIE! The QNAP for Long Term Value, Synology for Software vs Hardware Balanced Value & Price

 

Synology DS1821+ vs QNAP TS-873A NAS – CONCLUSION

Despite the fact that the Synology DS1821+ and QNAP TS-873A were released 3 to 4 months apart, they really do bring a different hardware focus to the end-user. The Synology DS1821+ brings a sense of simplicity, ease and familiarity in their solution, with a big focus on keeping things both user-friendly and highly functional. It does this with a greater focus on first-party software and hardware decisions that may not be for everyone. In contrast, the QNAP brings more innovation, scalability and upgradability in their systems life, whilst allowing their focus to be a tad more balanced towards third-party and first-party 50/50 utilisation. However, this can all too often lead to confusion or less focused/intuitive software design than that found in the Synology platform. So, ultimately it comes down to whether you want to use your own pre-existing third-party services or want a solution that delivers a complete hardware + software solution in 2021

 

Best NAS for Plex Media Server = Synology DS1821+ NAS

Best NAS for Surveillance = Synology DS1821+ NAS

Best NAS for Virtual Machines = QNAP TS-873A NAS

Best NAS for Photographers = Synology DS1821+ NAS

Best NAS for Video Editors = QNAP TS-873A NAS

Best NAS for Business = QNAP TS-873A NAS

 

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NAS Drives Vs DAS Drives – Choosing the Right External Drive for You

18 avril 2021 à 01:35

NAS Drives Vs External DAS Drive – Which Should You Use?

How much data have you generated over the last few years? Whether in your personal life or professional life, you have almost certainly generated hundreds of Gigabytes of data in one form or another, some of it essential and some of it pointless. Having an efficient, safe and reliable means of storing your data, as well as maintaining an appropriate backup strategy, is incredibly important. Most people will admit to having collections of USB keys dotted around their home or office over the years, but for the more long term storage and more integral data storage, many users favour the use of Cloud Storage, network-attached storage (NAS) and/or the use of larger external drives (DAS). Today I want to focus on the differences between using a NAS and an external storage drive, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each and ultimately which one is best for you and your data.

What is an External Drive (DAS)?

External hard drives come in many forms, big and small, and although easily the oldest storage method of the two, DAS (Direct Attached Storage) is still by far the easiest and most affordable option. An external drive is one or more media drives (HDD, SSD, M.2, etc) that are contained in an external enclosure. Is connected to your PC, Mac or other OS directly via a single cable such as USB or thunderbolt. The majority of external hard drives that use DAS are quite low in software ability, can only be accessed by a single user at a time I’m and for the most part, cannot have their internal storage increased overtime (i.e an expansion). An external drive that uses DAS can also take advantage of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) in order to provide larger total storage capacity, as well as improved access speeds and even allow safety nets for if one or more of your drives fails. External drives are simple, affordable, quite portable (in smaller examples) and can be powered by the connected computer.

What is a Network Attached Storage Drive (NAS)?

A network-attached storage device, or NAS, is similar to an external drive in a number of ways. It is an external enclosure that is used to store large amounts of data, takes advantage of performance and failover benefits with RAID and can be used for live access and backups. However, unlike a simple USB external drive or RAID equipped DAS system, a NAS allows remote access without being directly point-to-point connected with the storage system. That means that the data on a NAS can be accessed virtually anywhere in the world, as well as providing numerous security and credential methods to ensure that access is easy yet safe. Another big benefit of NAS is that it can be accessed by multiple users at once, in the hundreds or thousands of simultaneous users depending on the NAS you buy. Often compared with cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, a NAS is a centralised network storage alternative that does not require a monthly subscription, is not shared by unauthorised users and is completely controlled and configured by you.

NAS Drives Vs External DAS Drives – Price and Value

Easily one of the earliest stumbling blocks for those looking at improving and upgraded storage for backups and day-to-day access, the price tag of NAS and external drive DAS systems is surprisingly vast. Though this needs to be examined as two separate things – PRICE and VALUE. The arguably more simplistic and more diverse range of external drives in DAS enclosures results in a wider range of budget options, as well as a smaller overall cost when compared with like-for-like NAS systems of similar terabyte storage and scale. External drives can retail 4 pennies per gigabyte less than a NAS and such differences scale further as capacity options rise. Therefore the PRICE of DAS storage is much more palatable for home/single users.

However, in terms of VALUE, the NAS is the better option of the 2. This is because of the features and functionality available in a NAS, with dedicated backup tools, integrated software, a manageable GUI over apps and the web browser and a tremendous fluidity and customisation in its deployment, the NAS just gives you more for your money compared with external DAS drives. Additionally, the NAS can still be interfaced and accessed using your local file system/file manager thanks to support in the majority of OS’ of Mapped Network drives, Live Sync software and iSCSI – You just have to remember that all of these extras still bump up the price and a potential steep.

NAS Drives Vs External DAS Drives – Speed

Understanding the speed difference between direct-attached storage (DAS) systems and NAS systems is a lot more complex than it seems. At a casual glance, the faster of the two is clearly direct-attached storage, thanks to connections like USB and thunderbolt allowing tremendous direct performance benchmarks in the hundreds/thousands of Megabytes per second (MB/s). Whereas NAS systems will typically be connected via gigabit network ethernet and in their lowest states, will only provide the performance of around 100 and 109 Megabytes per second. The keyword there though is the lowest state. As there are numerous factors that affect the total potential performance of a DAS or NAS system.

The first big factor is the number of storage media bays that the enclosure has. With larger enclosures that support multiple drives whilst utilising RAID configurations, both systems can provide quite an impressive internal performance benchmark. This internal performance will likewise increase for both NAS and DAS if you move away from hard drives and into solid-state drives. Internally, both systems will provide a similar level of performance. however, it is that external performance and the interface used by either the DAS or NAS system that largely dictates the overall speed enjoyed by the end-user.

I mentioned earlier that DAS takes advantage of numerous connections with two of the most popular in 2021 being USB and Thunderbolt. However only in the last few years have both home and business users being enjoying a larger array of external connection options that NAS offers. Although a single standard ethernet connection on a NAS, s previously mentioned, will only offer just over 100 Megabytes per second, this can be doubled or quadrupled via the use of link aggregation available on numerous affordable NAS system. The network interfaces themselves can be upgraded from 1Gbe LAN/Ethernet to 2.5Gbe, 10Ge and greater via remarkably affordable upgrade cards and adaptors, meaning a NAS can then perform thousands of Megabytes per second, that can be shared by multiple users at once. Finally there is more modern NAS system releases that take advantage of 25Gbe, 40Gbe, 100Gbe and even Thunderbolt3 for your NAS. You may need to upgrade the default connections on your client devices or switch, but ultimately the result is that NAS is able to provide performance rivalling and exceeding that of DAS. It just costs a wee bit more sadly.

NAS Drives Vs External DAS Drives – Complexity and Difficulty

There is no question that direct-attached storage (DAS) is infinitely easier to use than that of network-attached storage (NAS). The almost entirely plug-and-play nature of USB drives and even RAID equipped enclosures when connected directly with a PC or Mac system is painfully simple and has largely been this way for over 20-years commercially (especially with systems that feature RAID controllers internally – AKA ‘SoC RAID or Hardware RAID). Network-attached storage on the other hand does require a pinch more I.T knowledge at the initial set up stages. That said, setting up a NAS for use in the home or business is considerably easier than it has ever been, often on a similar level to DAS boxes that require the connected system to create/support the RAID (known as JBOD DAS enclosures), but it will never be as straightforward as a DAS.

If You Are Still Unsure about RAID – Use the Guide Below more to learn more (or watch my 4 min video HERE):

That said, when it comes to creating a backup strategy that is semi or completely automated, as well as sharing larger files with remote users easily, a DAS solution requires several additional pieces of third-party software or the inclusion of third-party cloud platforms integrated into the software environment (unless you want to post the drive to a colleague). You cannot simply attach a file to your email (10-25MB limit) and although cloud based software service platforms like GSuite and Office365 try to meld storage and sharing with less complexity (i.e instead of sharing the file, you share the link to the file on the cloud storage), it does this with an unavoidable degree of set up and subscription fees too. Whereas a NAS, when it has been initially set up, allows you to share files safely, securely and easily within two clicks. You can even create multiple shared folders that appear on your connected devices but are visible and accessible remotely, giving NAS based storage the appearance of local DAS devices. 

If you are interested in learning more about how how to make a NAS drive have the appearance to Windows File Manager and Mac OS Finder of a locally connected drive, there are some guides below

How To Map Network Drive Accessible Over Internet – https://nascompares.com/how-to-map-network-drive-accessible-over-internet

 

NAS Drives Vs External DAS Drives – Home or Business

Although NAS and DAS have their own advantages and disadvantages, whether you are a home or business user also makes a big difference too. Some creative professionals who work independently or simply require fast and easy access to their data for editing will likely prefer direct-attached storage, particularly thunderbolt for 4K video editing and high-risk photography work. Likewise, users with large but frequently accessed collections of data that does not need to be updated or retrieved remotely will see little benefit in a network-attached storage system. Finally, users who just need up to 1-2TB of data for one person access will find direct-attached storage infinitely more useful than NAS.

That said, pretty much everyone else will be able to make more use of NAS and to a greater level of volume than simple DAS. If your home or business environment contains multiple client hardware devices ranging from phones, tablets, laptops to desktop Windows PCs and Macs, the ability to create a multi-tier backup and sharing solution in a NAS cannot be understated. Additionally, home users that want to create their own personally owned version of Netflix and Disney Plus, will find streaming to local and remote client players an absolute joy compared with having to constantly move around the same dumb external drive full of movies. Add to that the software, GUI and numerous applications that allow your devices to enjoy media remotely in a tailored fashion from the NAS (DLNA, Plex Media Server, UPNP, etc), plus those ranging from surveillance, office tools, virtual machine files and more, it will be clear that the flexibility of a NAS to prosumers and businesses is first class. Just make sure that you know that will actually use all these features before spending your money. Treat a NAS as an investment that needs to grow its usefulness and a DAS as a singular fast storage purchase that has a day 1 glass ceiling.

 

If you are looking to buy the right NAS – Use my guide below:

Thanks for reading. Do you still need help? Use the NASCompares Free Advice section here – https://nascompares.com/contact-us. It is my free, unbias community support system that allows you to ask me questions about your ideal setup. It is NOT a sales platform, NOT a way to push hardware you don’t need and, although it is just manned by me and might take a day or two for me to reply, I will help you any way I can.

 

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Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS Drive Comparison

16 avril 2021 à 01:10

The Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS Compared

Do you remember when 10 Gigabit ethernet was the cutting-edge and at a premium price? It doesn’t seem so long ago that investing in a 10Gbe setup for home or business could cost 5 figures, even in its most modest form. Fast forward to 2021 and not only has 10Gbe become something you can set up for less than a £1000 for up to to 5 users, but also the entirety of network-attached storage as an industry has embraced 10 Gigabit ethernet at a surprisingly low tier. All of the popular brands available have modest desktop 10G solutions in their portfolio, though Synology and QNAP have arguably been the most aggressive in this field of late with numerous SMB hardware arriving on the market to feature the 10x standard ethernet connection. Today we want to compare are the BTRFS ready Synology DS1621xs+ and ZFS equipped QNAP TVS-672X device,to discuss what makes them different and ultimately which one deserves your data.

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – Quick Conclusion

Both solutions are among the very best that Synology and QNAP have ever released in 6-bays and in their current generation of solutions represent the best price vs hardware options for 10Gbe in a desktop form. That said, both the TVS-672X and DS1621xs+ seemingly feature hardware architecture that either brand have already featured previously in other releases in the 2-3 years previously and many will question the utility of purchasing an 8th Gen i3 or 2016 generation Xeon in 2021. However, in terms of network-attached storage, both of these processors tick a lot of boxes in terms of performance, efficiency and capability. Therefore both brands have had a significant amount of time to perfect their respective software and utilities to harness each processors core strengths. Of the 2, the QNAP TVS-672X is definitely preferable for content creators, video production, in-house virtualisation and surveillance. With better upgradeability internally, a noticeably more powerful and graphically enabled processor and larger total memory expandability, the TVS-872X NAS is a system that for those that want to edit files on the NAS over 10Gbe and more is damn near irresistible. However, the Synology DS1621xs+ is still the better option for general data backup utilities, ease of use, first-party applications and ultimately the confidence it brings to buyers with its first-party priorities and 5-year warranty. As always, this fast becomes a question of your priorities – hardware or software? You decide.

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – What Can They Both DO

Despite each brand taking a very different stance on what you need for your storage in 2020/2021, there is still a large amount of cross over in the software and utilities that each provides with your NAS purchase. With their own respective first-party applications for backups, multimedia, surveillance, VMs and more, you are going to get a remarkably well-featured device, whichever one you choose to invest in. Both Synology DS1621xs+ and TVS-672X systems provide/support:

  • Both units feature the AMD Ryzen V1500B processor for a good price vs hardware balance
  • Both can Stream and Transcode on the fly (so, live) 1080p HD or 4K media, with superior performance natively and mid-range performance in Plex, however, both do this by using software transcoding, as the main processor is not graphically embedded
  • Both the Synology DS1621xs+ and TVS-672X NAS support AI-supported photo and ‘thing’ recognition supported to a very high degree from the free branded software included
  • For Business users who currently enjoy the use of G Suite or Office 365, both of these NAS provide excellent means to backup your mass cloud accounts (as well as natively sync, dupe and configure rules on the fly)
  • Both the TVS-672X NAS and DS1621xs+ NAS support snapshots, for more incremental and version protecting failsafe in efforts to protect you from Malware and Ransomware attacks, by allowing multi-versioning storage history to browse through and restore
  • Both units are DLNA certified so can be accessed, browsed and played from by popular DLNA devices, such as Amazon Firestick, Alexa, Google Home, Chromecast, DS1621xs+ TV, Bose, Sonos, iPads, etc, as well as connectivity between these platforms with IFTTT

  • Both are multi-bay, RAID enabled devices NAS devices that support JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 (as well as Synology Hybrid RAID too for their Plus series range), as well as supporting the very latest SATA based 16TB and 18TB NAS Hard Drives from brands like WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf, Western Digital UltraStar and Seagate EXOs media. As well as the Synology solution supporting their own first-party HAT5300 HDDs.
  • Both devices run on their own proprietary operating system that can be accessed remotely or locally. These include regular updates to the firmware, security patches, applications and more. Ranging from multimedia, home and multi-tiered backup applications, to more business end tools such as Surveillance software, Virtual Machine deployment and business-class backup and synchronization tools.
  • Both the TVS-672X and DS1621xs+ use and can be accessed equally by a multitude of mobile applications such as DS File, DS Video, Moments, DS Photo, DSCam and DS Music that are created by and constantly improved by Synology. As well as QFile, QMusic, QuMagie and QManager from QNAP for iOS and Android.
  • Both NAS are completely compatible with Windows, Android and Mac systems, as well as acting as a bring between software platforms to share and distribute files for migration and file sync (with improvements in newer DSM 7.0 later in 2021 to Mac Finder file streaming and file pinning
  • Both units can be used as a mail and/or business servers, providing excellent 3rd party CRM and first-party CMS systems. There is the Synology collaboration Suite of applications Chat, Drive, Mail, Calendar, Office and Active Backup Suite. Whereas on QNAP there is the QMail, Hybrid Backup Sync 3, Virtualization station and BoXafe tools
  • Both systems support the NVR use with QVR Pro and Surveillance Station applications, support numerous cameras and arrive with at least 2 camera licenses with your purchase (8 Camera Licenses with the QNAP)

So, regardless of whether you buy the TVS-672X or DS1621xs+ NAS, you are going to have a remarkably functional NAS drive. But, let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between these two devices.

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – DESIGN

The physical design of a NAS is far less important than that found in a PC, laptop, phone or indeed any device that is regularly seen/interacted with, but it still has to be said that a number of users will keep a NAS system in their local office environment and in line of sight. The design of a NAS, aside from vague factors of appearance, also has to factor in elements such as cooling, general ambient noise and physical space. Once again, Synology and QNAP go in very different directions in terms of physical design, with the DS1621xs+ and TVS-672X utilising familiar hardware design found in the portfolio of each brand.

Click to view slideshow.

The Synology DS1621xs+ features a much more understated and discreet chassis, as well as being the physically less imposing of the two by a small percentage. The Synology has a design that blends easily into the background of other hardware devices in your environment, as well as being the lower noise level option of the two in this comparison full. All real-time information from the system at a glance (so, outside of logging in remotely with a client) is provided via a limited, but still useful selection of LEDs that denote system activity, access and drive utility. The chassis that is featured on the Synology DS1621xs+ has been used in numerous other releases in the last few years and although shows little change throughout all of those versions, is still a very popular model aesthetically and it’s understandable why Synology would be reluctant to change this recognisable brand chassis. In fact, the front panel aside from LEDs and drive bays is tremendously understated, aside from a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (5Gb/s) for adding backups over a DAS connected drive to your storage strategy. 

(Pictures below are of the near-identical TVS-672N)

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TVS-672X by comparison to the DS1621xs+ is noticeably more rugged and industrial in its aesthetic. Although both devices are predominantly metal in design, the QNAP is that little bit more metallic overall. The system uses a modified version of their popular 6-bay chassis design and on this enclosure, along with LEDs, it features a Real-Time LCD panel to provide system information at the touch of a button to the end-user. This panel provides information on network interfaces, storage health, system temperature along with a few others. Much like the Synology DS1621xs+, the TVS-672X also features that front-mounted USB port, however, this one includes a fractionally more interactive one-touch copy button and also impressively is USB 3.2 Gen 2 in architecture (10Gb/s). The design of the QNAP TVS-672X is certainly noticeably bulkier and arguably more industrial than that of the Synology DS1621xs+. Ultimately, despite more hands-on and direct access options being built into the design of the QNAP TVS-672X chassis, I feel that the understated and discrete Synology DS1621xs+ provide the better design. Likewise, the QNAP TVS-672X solution is seemingly the more typically power-hungry and marginally louder in ambient noise level when in operation in like-for-like hardware environments. This is still a minor point however when comparing these two chassis and involves a large degree of consideration to the network environment of most SMB users.

 

Result – You Should Buy the Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

 

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – INTERNAL HARDWARE

In all my years of comparing Synology and QNAP NAS solutions, rarely have I come across two solutions that have such wildly different CPU choices. Despite the fact that both of these solutions are 6 bays, feature quad-core x86 processors, DDR4 memory and PCIe upgradability, it has to be said that the difference between the Intel Xeon processor in the DS1621xs+ and the Intel Core i3 in the TVS-672X is pretty wild. There are other numerous differences that I will touch on below, but most of them stem from that original processor, it’s PCIe lanes, it’s handling of graphics and various network utilities that they help make possible.

Core Hardware
Model SYNOLOGY DS1621xs+ NAS Drive

QNAP TVS-672X NAS Drive

Processor model Intel Xeon D-1527 Intel Core i3-8100T
Processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Processor clock 4-core 2.2 GHz (burst ti 2.7Ghz) 4-core 3.1Ghz
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) YES YES
Memory
System memory 8 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM 8 GB DDR4 SODIMM
Pre-installed memory modules 8 GB (4 GB x 1) 8 GB (8 GB x 1)
Total memory slots 2 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2) 64 GB (32 GB x 2)
Storage device
Number of Disk Slots SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″ SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″
M.2 disk bay Yes, NVMe (Caching) Yes, NVMe (Caching or Storage – PCIe Gen 3×2)
Disk hot-swap support YES YES
External port
RJ-45 Network ports 4 x 1Gbe 2 x 1Gbe
RJ-45 10GbE network port 1x 10GBASE-T 1x 10GBASE-T
USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps port 3 1
USB 3.2  Gen 2 10Gbps port 0 4 (2x A and 2x C)
Other Ports? eSATA x2 1x HDMI 2.0 4K
PCIe
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot 1x PCIe Gen 3 x16 Slot

1 x Gen3 x4 Slots

Noise value* 25.2 dB(A) 23.8 db(A)
Timer switch YES YES
Wake on LAN YES YES
Power supply/transformer 250W 250W
Power consumption power* 62.85 W (Access)

34.26 W (HDD Hibernation)

45.60 W (Access)

26.52 W (HDD Hibernation)

Warranty 3 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage 2 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage

Immediately, we can talk about the Intel Xeon processor featured in the Synology DS1621xs+. The data center and NAS server industry have taken the Intel Xeon processor as it’s go-to CPU of choice when things head towards big business and enterprise. The performance of Xeon family processors, both internally and externally, in transmission and throughput is largely unparallel to anything else, particularly when taking advantage of 10Gbe and fibre-based connections. The majority of Xeons however lack embedded graphics, resorting to utilising raw processing power to handle even basic graphical data manipulation, and the Xeon D found in the DS1621xs+ is no exception. Synology has been using this particular Xeon processor for over 4 years now in a number of solutions in their XS series and although the processor still performs well, the idea of investing in a CPU first launched in 2016 may be a tad off-putting. it does open the door to DDR4 ECC memory, along with much longer R&D time for Synology to adapt their popular DSM software, GUI and business applications to make the most of it, But nevertheless, with more modern generations of Xeon in other solutions released this year (both in the XS and SA series), this processor could be better in 2021.

  Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1527 Intel® Core™ i3-8100T Processor
Product Collection Intel® Xeon® D Processor 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i3 Processors
Vertical Segment Server Desktop
Processor Number D-1527 i3-8100T
Status Launched Launched
Launch Date Q4’15 Q2’18
# of Cores 4 4
# of Threads 8 4
Processor Base Frequency 2.20 GHz 3.10 GHz
Cache 6 MB 6 MB Intel® Smart Cache
Max Turbo Frequency 2.70 GHz 3.10 GHz
Embedded Options Available Yes Yes
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 128 GB 64 GB
Memory Types DDR4, DDR3 DDR4-2400
Max # of Memory Channels 2 2
Processor Graphics ‡ N/A Intel® UHD Graphics 630
Graphics Base Frequency N/A 350 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency N/A 1.10 GHz
Graphics Video Max Memory N/A 64 GB
Graphics Output N/A eDP/DP/HDMI/DVI
Scalability 1S Only 1S Only
PCI Express Revision 2.0/3.0 3
PCI Express Configurations ‡ x4 x8 x16 Up to 1×16, 2×8, 1×8+2×4
Max # of PCI Express Lanes 32 16

In contrast, the Intel core i3 featured in the QNAP TVS-672X, although no less used generally across the NAS industry, is much more commercially known and a well regarded and utilised processor by creative professionals, gamers and Power PC use. In fact, QNAP utilise the Intel core series more than any other brand and have been utilising this series in one form or another for almost a decade of releases. Its handling of files and performance is at a similar level to that of the Xeon featured in the DS1621xs+, however, it also features a highly proficient embedded graphics component that when utilising data with visual components (such as virtualisation, live camera feeds in surveillance, multimedia use or editing video files) will maintain peak performance for significantly longer compared with the Xeon. This processor also opens the door to a larger amount of memory that can be installed in the TVS-672X, double that of the DS1621xs+ at 64GB over 32GB, though this is not ECC Class memory, which some heavy-data turnover businesses will be a dealbreaker.

How each system takes advantage of the PCIe lanes present in either processor is also an important factor when considering the DS1621xs+ or TVS-672X as your next NAS purchase. The PCIe lanes available on a processor largely dictate the number of hardware services and the quality of their architecture that a NAS can factor in. The more CPU PCIe lanes available, the more hardware you can use. These CPU PCIe lanes will be occupied by network connections, storage bays, caching bays and more, ultimately deciding the specifications possible on any device. After all of the expected hardware mentioned has been decided on the NAS, that leaves a little bit left for traditional PCIe upgrade slots and both systems have gone a slightly different way on this.

The Synology DS1621xs+ arrives with a single PCIe gen3 x8 slot that supplies bandwidths of up to 8000MB per second between an upgrade card and the host device. That means that this Synology NAS can comfortably accommodate many first-party network upgrades and even a number of third party upgrades from 10Gbe, to 25Gbe and even 40Gbe network connections. Although the supported range of upgrade cards on the Synology NAS platform is a tad stricter than those on the QNAP system (bigger emphasis on Synology-brand cards), that is still an impressive upgrade slot and allows tremendous bandwidths to be saturated by the DS1621xs+ and at least two connected expansion boxes.

However, that Intel i3-8100T processor in the QNAP TVS-672X takes things substantially further as well as bringing a number of very system unique to the end user. Firstly, the system has two available PCIe slots for 1st and 3rd-party upgrade cards. One slot is PCIe gen 3 x4 and the other is a whopping PCIe gen3 x16 slot. So, that is an enormous degree of bandwidth available between multiple upgrade cards and the NAS system. The other unique nature of PCIe upgrades on the TVS-672X over the DS1621xs+ is that the QNAP NAS system supports many, many more kinds of PCIe card, including numerous graphics cards for virtualisation and surveillance, multiple Wi-Fi 6 upgrade cards for improved network capabilities and even high performance and PCIe-SSD storage upgrade cards that allow how much faster storage pools to be created alongside in-built RAID storage – via caching or QTier.

 

Lastly, both systems arrived with M2 NVMe slots inside that allow you to install super-fast SSD inside. Primarily this hardware advantage is provided with a focus on caching, presenting the performance benefits of SSD towards more regularly accessed files living on the slower but larger hard drive array. However, as noted in previous comparisons, QNAP have provided users with the ability to utilise these NVMe SSD caching bays for storage pools too if they choose. This means that those who are editing directly on the NAS or via a 10Gbe supporting network will be able to use the much faster NVMe SSD storage pool for editing and the larger hard drive array for archival or long-term storage. It is also worth touching on that although both systems support M.2 NVMe SSD bays, the QNAP TVS-672X utilises slots that are a fraction lower in bandwidth than those in the Synology. They have been a little more transparent in recent years about the extent to which these dictated M2 NVMe slots can perform and although they are NVMe, you will not be able to exceed 2000 MB per second per slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 – 2000MB/s). Configurations involving multiple SSD for RAID performance boosts and improved file/block setups can increase this, but nevertheless, even though you can use these NVMe SSD for both caching and storage, the QNAP does supply them in a slightly reduced form. 

For me, the internal hardware of the QNAP TVS-672X just gives so much more. even if you choose to ignore the Intel i3 processor, which you really shouldn’t, the larger memory capacity, greater PCIe upgrade options and multi-purpose NVMe SSD bays would still win the day here over the DS1621xs+ in terms of internal hardware. The TVS-672X is clearly the better internal hardware option overall compared with the DS1621xs+. The simple fact that the QNAP provides everything that the Synology does internally, then provides them more so is inarguable and for me, the QNAP TVS-672X wins this round.

 

Result – The QNAP TVS-672X wins for better overall available internal hardware

 

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – EXTERNAL HARDWARE

Despite both of these systems providing 10Gbe connectivity as standard on their respective hardware, the remainder of the connections available beyond this is fairly atypical of what each brand have been marketing in recent years. 

The Synology alongside the 10G copper connection and PCIe slot previously mentioned, also arrives with two 1Gbe LAN connections. A previous iteration of this device when first revealed around 18 months ago (known then as the DS1620xs) presented this system with 2.5Gbe ports. However, this was seemingly scrapped in favour of a 10Gbe and dual 1Gbe architecture. The USB ports are chiefly designated for external storage and a small array of supported accessory devices. Despite the growing trend in improved USB to network adaptors in the last two years, you are still currently officially unable to connect an affordable 2.5G/5G to USB adapters on the Synology. Overall this is a fairly safe selection of connections that, aside from the popular 10Gbe port, is all a bit underwhelming if I am honest in 2021 in terms of external connectivity.

The QNAP TVS-672X by comparison, despite physically appearing near enough identical to the thunderbolt version that arrived way back in 2018 (the QNAP TVS-672XT), still manages to provide an impressive selection of ports almost 3 years later. There is an absence of the 2.5Gbe connections of some of their recent releases, but after that, we find a lot to be impressed by here externally. There is the 10GBASE-T port, two 1Gbe ports, an HDMI port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) ports and the previously mentioned PCIe upgrade slots. The inclusion of HDMI and support of a KVM (Keyboard, Video & Mouse) setup is something that QNAP have championed for a long time and have been improving their parallel HDMI software and GUI platform (HD Station) for years now. The HDMI is still only usable by a handful of first-party applications, but there is a large homebrew community that port existing linux and windows tools towards the QNAP and HD Station platform. The USB Ports available cross both the 5G and 10G versions of USB 3.2, as well as arriving in USB Type A and Type C, and these can be used be external storage, expansion options, control peripherals and 2.5/5G network adapters too. As good as all this external connectivity sounds, it is worth remembering that the QNAP TVS-672X can be quite a hungry beast, as well as the metal chassis making a pinch more ambient noise in comparison to the Synology DS1621xs+

Unsurprisingly, I would have to say that the QNAP TVS-672X bring alot more external hardware and connectivity overall compared with the Synology DS1621xs+, as well as arriving as a much more customizable an flexible platform to connect with. Though, in a straight 10Gbe only performance comparison in these 6-Bays, general performance and throughout will be near enough identical.

 

Result – You Should Buy the QNAP TVS-672X NAS, Much More External Connectivity

 

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – STORAGE

This is probably the biggest and clearest distinction between these two devices and Synology and QNAP have clearly drawn a line in the sand with what they are prepared to offer at this £850-950 price tag. Both systems allow the installation of hard drive and solid-state drive media, as well as supporting expansion devices that allow you to add further storage to your system storage pool. But the media types supported, range of performance and extend to which you can use that storage is wildly different comparing these two devices. The Synology DS1621xs+ provides 6 SATA hard drive bays that can also support 2.5 inch SATA SSD. This main storage area allows you to create any one of a range of traditional RAID configurations, as well as their own fluid proprietary configuration known as Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR). The core system utilizes btrfs as the de facto file system and although you can switch the system to ext4, a number of key Synology applications demand btrfs running. Btrfs presents a number of unique benefits to the system that includes file self-healing, faster-shared folder duplication and reduced impact made on the system resources when generating snapshots, allowing a greater number of snapshots of your storage to revert to, as well as less system slow down when they are created. As mentioned, you can attach expansion devices and the DS1621xs+ allows the connection of two eSATA expansion devices that are JBOD and cost around £300 to £400 each. Finally, you find internally the two m.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install M2 superfast PCIe 3×4 SSD and utilise their fast performance, high IOPs and low latency towards the main RAID storage array with a sophisticated NAS storage intelligent caching. Synology has been improving their internal caching system for a number of years and has reached the point where the bulk of their new generation hardware all include NVMe M.2 SSD bays to improve that internal slower but larger and more affordable hard drive array on their systems. Unfortunately, Synology does not allow these NVMe bays to be used for raw storage pools and those of you that wanted to use this super-fast storage in conjunction with perhaps a 10Gbe upgrade card will be left disappointed. There is a huge amount of storage potential here and the benefits of upgrading the performance with NVMe are desirable, if optional. And let’s not forget about Synology hybrid RAID and the benefits that it brings to a more scaled approach to populating your NAS over the years.

Unlike Synology and btrfs, QNAP has provided TVS-672X with the ZFS (Zettabyte file system) version of their software, QuTS hero. ZFS presents a number of huge improvements to that of ext4 and is considerably more industry-supported at the enterprise level than btrfs, which is seen to still be a little young by comparison. Benefits of ZFS include considerably faster performance, RAID building and RAID rebuilding thanks to the filesystem removing the volume layer in its architecture and allowing data to be directly written to the storage pool. There are also many real-time file benefits with inline data compression and inline deduplication across the whole file and folder structure, though remember you will need 16GB to take advantage of deduplication. Many of these benefits of inline file transmission are promised in updates to DSM 7.0 (currently in beta) but seem to be more app-specific to Synology Drive and less about the system as a whole.

 There is no fluid RAID system comparable to SHR but you do have all of the traditional RAID configurations, as well as RAIDZ and triple parity options that allow up to 3 disks of disaster redundancy. Expansions on the QNAP TVS-672X are connected via the available USB port which although on the face of it does not sound as fast as eSATA on the Synology, thanks to a range of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) JBOD and SoC RAID expansions in the TR and TL series, it means that expandability is technically larger, and faster thanks to the majority of their NAS expansions featuring hardware RAID. Overall, in terms of storage, you will be unsurprised to hear that I choose the QNAP TVS-672X over the Synology DS1621xs+. There is just a larger degree of flexibility available both in terms of hardware and the filesystem on offer. You cannot fault these Synology Hybrid RAID and I wish Synology would let users access those M.2 NVMe bays as a storage pool, but the DS1621xs+ is still a good NAS for storage. It just does not bring the larger degree of fluidity and media support available in the TVS-672X currently.

 

Result – The QNAP TVS-672X – Both Have Similar Day 1 Storage, but the QNAP has better long term storage options

 

Synology DS1621xs+ vs QNAP TVS-672X NAS – CONCLUSION

Both solutions are among the very best that Synology and QNAP have ever released in 6-bays and in their current generation of solutions represent the best price vs hardware options for 10Gbe in a desktop form. That said, both the TVS-672X and DS1621xs+ seemingly feature hardware architecture that either brand have already featured previously in other releases in the 2-3 years previously and many will question the utility of purchasing an 8th Gen i3 or 2016 generation Xeon in 2021. However, in terms of network-attached storage, both of these processors tick a lot of boxes in terms of performance, efficiency and capability. Therefore both brands have had a significant amount of time to perfect their respective software and utilities to harness each processors core strengths. Of the two, the QNAP TVS-672X is definitely the preferable for content creators, video production, in-house virtualisation and surveillance. With better upgradeability internally, a noticeably more powerful and graphically enabled processor and larger total memory expandability, the TVS-872X NAS is a system that for those that want to edit files on the NAS over 10Gbe and more is damn near irresistible. However, the Synology DS1621xs+ is still the better option for general data backup utilities, ease of use, first-party applications and ultimately the confidence it brings to buyers with its first-party priorities and 5-year warranty. As always, this fast becomes a question of your priorities – hardware or software? You decide.

Model SYNOLOGY DS1621xs+ NAS Drive

QNAP TVS-672X NAS Drive

Processor model Intel Xeon D-1527 Intel Core i3-8100T
Processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Processor clock 4-core 2.2 GHz (burst ti 2.7Ghz) 4-core 3.1Ghz
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) YES YES

 

Best NAS for Plex Media Server = QNAP TVS-672X NAS

Best NAS for Surveillance = QNAP TVS-672X NAS

Best NAS for Virtual Machines = QNAP TVS-672X NAS

Best NAS for Photographers = Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

Best NAS for Business Software = Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

Best NAS for Video Editors = QNAP TVS-672X NAS

 

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The Best Rackmount NAS for a Plex Media Server

12 avril 2021 à 01:19

Choosing the Best Rackmount NAS for Plex

The lines between home NAS and Business NAS hardware has been getting increasingly blurred in the last year or two, with more enterprise hardware (such as U.2, NVMe and Xeons) all appearing in desktop solutions, as well as rackmount solutions beginning to arrive at price points that could easily be considered desktop accessible. No other area of NAS rackmount NAS usage growth in 2020/2021 has surprised me more than the gradual increase in users who want to host a Plex Media Server solution on a rack-based server. Maybe it is their impressive cooling system, low height build or their comparatively more impressive upgradability when compared with desktop solutions that make them attractive to Plex Media Server prosumer users. Needless to say, rackmount solutions will always tend to arrive at a higher price stage by around 10-20%, but also will likely allow you to increase the maximum memory, network connectivity, storage expandability and more – so in many ways, you are paying more to allow yourself increased scalability down the line. Today I want to talk about a few Rackmount NAS solutions that are well suited for Plex Media Server use. Each solution is selected for its specific reason (budget, power, size, playback, etc) and may not necessarily mean that the most expensive is in fact the best one for your needs. So, let’s take a look at some of the best rack NAS solutions for Plex Media Server in 2021.

What Kind of Rackmount NAS Qualify for this Plex NAS List

Before we go any further, it is worth remembering that not all NAS are suitable for Plex. The Plex Media Server application is supported and accessibly by hundreds of Rackmount NAS solutions, but in some cases, the solution will be too efficient (i.e too low powered) to run Plex comfortably or will be TOO powerful and therefore just be overkill/a waste. So, below are my parameters when choosing a Plex NAS:

  • Only 64bit x86 Processors will be considered
  • 4Bay Minimum, 12-Bay Maximum – Anything larger than that is just too OTT
  • Only SATA Hard Drive Supported NAS (No, SSD, U.2, SAS, etc)
  • Has to Playback 4K and 1080p (transcoding is debatable)
  • Available Unpopulated (does not force you to buy HDD pre-installed)
  • Has to have been released in the last 18 Months

The above is pretty much what I would recommend to anyone looking to invest in a rackmount NAS for Plex. So, let’s take a look at 5 recommended rackmount NAS systems for Plex from Synology and QNAP.

Best Affordable Rackmount NAS for Plex – The QNAP TS-451DeU NAS

0- 72TB, 4-Bays, CPU, 2-8GB DDR4 Memory, HDMI 2.0 & 2.5Gbe Ports, 3yr Warranty, $650+  

Hardware Reveal – https://nascompares.com/2020/02/13/brand-new-qnap-ts-451deu-rackmount-nas-for-business

What We Said 04/1/20:

We have seen many new releases announced in 2020 from QNAP and now they are fleshing out their 2021 portfolio, there did seem to be ALOT of business and not enough pleasure! The TS-451DeU fixes this by giving you a great middle-ground for home and/or business users, finding an affordable hardware package that is genuinely tough to beat. The TS-451DeU NAS features everything you want in the latest generation of NAS, especially from an innovative brand like QNAP, but does it without commuting you to hardware that you may never use or feel doesn’t have a place in your budget. What you find here is not a NAS that will blow your socks off, but rather a petite and affordable Plex server for those of you who are drawn to the rackmount solutions over rackmount.

Click to view slideshow.
QNAP TS-451DeU PROS QNAP TS-451DeU CONS
  • Great Choice of CPU
  • HDMI 2.0 at an affordable level – always good
  • Supports pretty much the entire QNAP app catalogue
  • Very Compact and low noise
  • Arriving at a good price point for a standard Intel 4-Bay
  • Good as a first NAS if you want all the features
  • EXCELLENT home multimedia NAS at this price point
  • VERY Good Surveillance NAS for Home or Small Business
  • Expandable with TR-004U and more QNAP expansions
  • CPU is a little weak for solid Virtual Machine Use
  • Lacks the PCIe Upgrade slot of the TS-251D

 


 

Best Mid-Range Rackmount NAS for Plex – The Synology RS1221+ NAS

0- 144TB, 8-Bays, AMD Ryzen V1500B 4-Core CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 4x 1Gbe Ports, PCIe 3×8, 3yr Warranty, $1300+  

Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/2021/02/11/synology-rs1221-nas-review

What we said 02/11/21 – The RS1221+ NAS is a device that is designed with a more minimalist deployment in mind, yet still manages to provide this whilst maintaining a decent level of hardware inside too. Half-depth/compact rackmount NAS has long been associated with low-level hardware inside and a “you-get-what-you-are-given-and-be-grateful’ kind of attitude in recent years and it is only in the last year or so with very, VERY competent solutions such as the Synology RS1221+ that we can expect a lot more from these more petite solutions. The lack of NVMe caching bays by default, slightly weak storage expandability and the continued appearance of 1Gbe is a little disappointing, but this needs to be balanced against a great CPU, great CPU, great PCIe expandability and (of course) Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM) being a continued hot selling point of all their hardware. If you are looking at buying a complete solution (i.e hardware & software for your business collaboration, security, backups and asset sharing with clients), the RS1221+ is a fantastic solution. But those who are looking for a bare-metal solution to wrap their existing software and services around might find the RS1221+ a little limiting. Another great release from Synology, if a little ‘safe’.

Click to view slideshow.

 

Synology RS1221+ PROS Synology RS1221+ CONS
  • Rackmount Equipped Ryzen Powered Solution
  • 30cm Compact Rackmount is always attractive (RP ver. larger)
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
  • Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike desktop alternatives

 


 

Best Performance Rackmount NAS for Plex – The QNAP TS-h1277XU NAS

0- 216TB, 12-Bays, Ryzen 4-8 Core 3/5/7 CPU, 32-128GB DDR4 Dual Channel Memory, 2x Copper 10Gbe Ports, 2x 10Gbe SFP+, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3yr Warranty, $4000+  

What we said in 2020 – I have reviewed many QNAP NAS systems over the years and typically I find that although the hardware changes, the software between each NAS really seems similar. Yes, an intel CPU will open the doors to more powerful software and an HDMI enabled system will allow a number of direct video access applications to be deployed. However, in the case of the QNAP TS-h1277XU and it’s Ryzen 7 3700X, things are wildly different. On the face of it, you would be forgiven to think that this is just another QTS system, but the speed and fluidity of the entire system being based on the new ZFS QuTS Hero platform makes everything just feel incredibly responsive. Alongside this, the inclusion of a vast array of storage management benefits and RAID functionality that up until now was considered out of reach outside of FreeNAS is incredibly apparent and presented in an incredibly intuitive and user-friendly way. Right now, the next step in data storage is for your internal network speeds to match that of your external internet speeds, from site to site and office to office. Now systems will always struggle to compete with Cloud services with regard to start-up prices being much smaller on the cloud, and upload/download speeds worldwide getting bigger.

The TS-h1277XU is by no means a cost-effective solution and does not pretend to be. The TS-h1277XU is a powerful, fast, rugged and reliable storage system and is easily in my pick for one of the best NAS I have used this year. If you can afford it, you will not regret it. A genuinely incredible piece of engineering, allowing you to leverage towards power rather than capacity, it is still a spacious device, even in this modern age of 16TB and 18TB hard drives in the market. This is a powerful, compact (if somewhat expensive) solution that should allow you to not only stop worrying about your data, but also wonder why you never had a number of these features at your fingertips before. With comparatively instantaneous RAID builds, incredibly future-proof expandability in terms of storage and internal upgrade connections, you can certainly see that QNAP poured a lot of love, work and money into this solution. If you think you are ready for a ZFS NAS, the QNAP TS-h1277XU is arguably one of the very best in the market in the world right now and will even challenge the likes of FreeNAS in the field of ZFS, whilst still bringing the utility and ease-of-use of QTS onto the powerful and multi-functional file system. But damn, that price tag!

PROS CONS
  • 4 x 10Gbe LAN Ports (2x Copper / 2x SFP+)
  • 8 Surveillance Camera Licences
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports (10G)
  • ZFS File System
  • PCIe Gen3 x8 and x4 Slots
  • Huge DDR4 Memory Capacity
  • 10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
  • Expandable in a lot of ways
  • Quite expensive for a 12-Bay
  • Arguable TOO much hardware for Plex that will never be used

 


 

Best Powerful Synology Rackmount NAS for Plex – The Synology RS1619xs+ NAS

0-64TB, 4-Bays, expandable to 16 Bay MAX, Xeon D1527 4-Core CPU, ECC DDR4 Memory, 4x 1Gbe LAN, PCIe Slot, NVMe SSD Bays, 2x PSU, £1600+ ex.VAT  

Synology RS1619xs+ Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/synology-rs1619xs-rackstation-nas-review

What makes Synology impressive in the field of business over the last 2 years, is that they spend more time and money on their applications than any other NAS brand. The result is that 1, the DSM software gets much, much greater results from the hardware than 3rd party apps or other NAS brands with their own software, and 2, they are not just selling hardware but a complete storage solution that fills pretty much every modern need for your data in business. I know this sounds too good to be true, but they really have gone the extra mile on this software. The RS1619xs+ provides you with the hardware platform to make the most of their software platform. Add to this that the RS1619xs+ arrives with 5 years of warranty and 3 years of the Synology Replacement Service (SRS) for next day, no quibble, replacement in the event of hardware issues AND access to the Synology premium support services and you are looking at a solid and very grounded data storage solution indeed
What makes the RS1619xs such an appealing server in 2018 is that it manages to give you everything that Synology as a brand promises, in such a compact form. Because this is a hardware geared device, it is more expensive than most typical 4 Bay NAS – but as always you need to work out your priorities and decide where to leverage your spending. Synology has had a history of providing far too modest a hardware spec, in favour of software spending.
However, this new RS1619xs+ gives you a solid and reliable helping of both hard and software to push your business use to the top tier. More affordable units such as the RS818+ or RS819 give you the 4 bays of RAID storage, but internal hardware that would reach it’s limit long before you do! The Synology RS1619xs+ represents more than just a rackmount NAS with better than average hardware, it represents Synology listening to their critics and answering with a device that ticks all the boxes – Price, Power, Software, Capacity. One of the best things they have put out to market in years!
Synology DS1621xs+ PROS Synology DS1621xs+ CONS
  • 10Gbe Equipped!
  • 4-Bay Xeon Solution!
  • Dual NVMe M.2 cache
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc RAIF F1)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 5yr Warranty
  • 1x 12-Bay Expandable
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit unnecessary
  • No SHR Support
  • NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage

 

Best Mid-Range QNAP Rackmount NAS for Plex – The QNAP TS-873AU NAS

0- 144TB, 8-Bays, Ryzen V1500B 4-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Ports, 2x NVMe, PCIe Gen 3×8, 3yr Warranty, $1700+  

Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/11/09/qnap-ts-873au-nas-hardware-review

What we said in Nov ’20 – The QNAP TS-873AU is a solid enough piece of kit that brings a great balance of hardware and software to SMB NAS buyers in 2020/2021, as does the rest of the TS-x73AU range in general. Being the first to utilize the Ryzen V1500B that is appearing on competitor devices more and more and the year goes on has given them more time to adapt its utility in their hardware portfolio than most. On the one hand, that is a very good thing, as it has allowed them to shape their software portfolio and hardware standards around it to update a number of solutions that had been around for 2+ years already. On the flip side though, whilst the system tries to be as customization and adaptable as possible in its upgrade path for users, it manages to feel like it lacks something in its specifications. That is by no means a large complaint – the TS-873AU supports the entire library of 1st and 3rd party applications across their catalogue, as well as the service and utilities that those new to NAS (that just want a setup and forget solution) will value. You just cannot help but feel that the £1600+ price tag attached to this 8-bay rackmount is a pinch high, without 10Gbe, SSD Caching Bays, ZFS or HDMI – the things that have made QNAP so popular this year.

Click to view slideshow.

This Rackmount NAS ticks a lot of boxes and although in some ways it leaves me feeling wanting, it is still a decent rackmount solution for small/medium business users looked to strengthen the backbone of their data in-house. The CPU still leaves me pleased and the inclusion of high upgradability in PCIe 3×8, UDIMM class DDR4 Memory and Network interface ports will always score high points from me, as well as the high level of support that the TS-873AU brings in QT right now. Just make sure you factor in if/when you are going to upgrade the system, as the price tag on this rackmount NAS could easily accommodate some of their other NAS in the portfolio that will allow you to shift your budget potentially towards more suitable areas of your business (eg 10Gb, KVM support, caching, etc). A good NAS, but a pricey one for that hardware on day 1.

QNAP TS-873AU PROS QNAP TS-873U CONS
  • 2.5Gbe LAN Ports
  • 8 Surveillance Camera Licences
  • PCIe Gen3 x8 slot
  • Virtualization Support is unparalleled
  • DDR4 Memory
  • 10Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
  • Hugely Expandable
  • Quite compact for a rackmount
  • Quite expensive
  • Lacks HDMI
  • Similar internal architecture in units like the TS-h973AX and TS-873A feature ZFS

 


 


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Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS Drive Comparison

4 avril 2021 à 01:20

The Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS Compared

The choice for businesses that are making the move away from third-party cloud services, or those looking to add a NAS to the existing multi-tier data strategy, has never been larger than in 2021. Right now, for businesses looking at a reliable desktop solution to wrap their business data around it’s pretty exhaustive, with many brands and hundreds of distinct solutions all vying for your money. Two brands that have maintained a comfortable dominance in this SMB tier of the storage industry are Synology and QNAP, so today I want to take a closer look at their two respective 6-bay NAS solutions, the Synology DS1621+ and QNAP TS-673A. Each one providing the full range of software services advertised by each brand, they also provide very similar hardware architecture at a comparable price point. However, each brand has a markedly different understanding of what they think business users look for in a 6-bay NAS solution in 2021 and it is in HOW they provide that hardware and software to the end-user that really separates these two NAS solutions. So today, I want to compare the DS1621+ and TS-673A NAS, show where your money goes and ultimately help you decide which one deserves your data.

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – What Can They Both DO

Despite each brand taking a very different stance on what you need for your storage in 2020/2021, there is still a large amount of cross over in the software and utilities that each provides with your NAS purchase. With their own respective first-party applications for backups, multimedia, surveillance, VMs and more, you are going to get a remarkably well-featured device, whichever one you choose to invest in. Both Synology DS1621+ and TS-673A systems provide/support:

  • Both units feature the AMD Ryzen V1500B processor for a good price vs hardware balance
  • Both can Stream and Transcode on the fly (so, live) 1080p HD or 4K media, with superior performance natively and mid-range performance in Plex, however, both do this by using software transcoding, as the main processor is not graphically embedded
  • Both the Synology DS1621+ and TS-673A NAS support AI-supported photo and ‘thing’ recognition supported to a very high degree from the free branded software included
  • For Business users who currently enjoy the use of G Suite or Office 365, both of these NAS provide excellent means to backup your mass cloud accounts (as well as natively sync, dupe and configure rules on the fly)
  • Both the TS-673A NAS and DS1621+ NAS support snapshots, for more incremental and version protecting failsafe in efforts to protect you from Malware and Ransomware attacks, by allowing multi-versioning storage history to browse through and restore
  • Both units are DLNA certified so can be accessed, browsed and played from by popular DLNA devices, such as Amazon Firestick, Alexa, Google Home, Chromecast, DS1621+ TV, Bose, Sonos, iPads, etc, as well as connectivity between these platforms with IFTTT

  • Both are multi-bay, RAID enabled devices NAS devices that support JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 (as well as Synology Hybrid RAID too for their Plus series range), as well as supporting the very latest SATA based 16TB and 18TB NAS Hard Drives from brands like WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf, Western Digital UltraStar and Seagate EXOs media. As well as the Synology solution supporting their own first-party HAT5300 HDDs.
  • Both devices run on their own proprietary operating system that can be accessed remotely or locally. These include regular updates to the firmware, security patches, applications and more. Ranging from multimedia, home and multi-tiered backup applications, to more business end tools such as Surveillance software, Virtual Machine deployment and business-class backup and synchronization tools.
  • Both the TS-673A and DS1621+ use and can be accessed equally by a multitude of mobile applications such as DS File, DS Video, Moments, DS Photo, DSCam and DS Music that are created by and constantly improved by Synology. As well as QFile, QMusic, QuMagie and QManager from QNAP for iOS and Android.
  • Both NAS are completely compatible with Windows, Android and Mac systems, as well as acting as a bring between software platforms to share and distribute files for migration and file sync (with improvements in newer DSM 7.0 later in 2021 to Mac Finder file streaming and file pinning
  • Both units can be used as a mail and/or business servers, providing excellent 3rd party CRM and first-party CMS systems. There is the Synology collaboration Suite of applications Chat, Drive, Mail, Calendar, Office and Active Backup Suite. Whereas on QNAP there is the QMail, Hybrid Backup Sync 3, Virtualization station and BoXafe tools
  • Both systems support the NVR use with QVR Pro and Surveillance Station applications, support numerous cameras and arrive with at least 2 camera licenses with your purchase (8 Camera Licenses with the QNAP)

So, regardless of whether you buy the TS-673A or DS1621+ NAS, you are going to have a remarkably functional NAS drive. But, let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between these two devices.

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – DESIGN

The physical design of a NAS is far less important than that found in a PC, laptop, phone or indeed any device that is regularly seen/interacted with, but it still has to be said that a number of users will keep a NAS system in their local office environment and in line of sight. The design of a NAS, aside from vague factors of appearance, also has to factor in elements such as cooling, general ambient noise and physical space. Once again, Synology and QNAP go in very different directions in terms of physical design, with the DS1621+ and TS-673A utilising familiar hardware design found in the portfolio of each brand.

Click to view slideshow.

The Synology DS1621+ features a much more understated and discreet chassis, as well as being the physically less imposing of the two by a small percentage. The Synology has a design that blends easily into the background of other hardware devices in your environment, as well as being the lower noise level option of the two in this comparison full. All real-time information from the system at a glance (so, outside of logging in remotely with a client) is provided via a limited, but still useful selection of LEDs that denote system activity, access and drive utility. The chassis that is featured on the Synology DS1621+ has been used in numerous other releases in the last few years and although shows little change throughout all of those versions, is still a very popular model aesthetically and it’s understandable why Synology would be reluctant to change this recognisable brand chassis. In fact, the front panel aside from LEDs and drive bays is tremendously understated, aside from a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (5Gb/s) for adding backups over a DAS connected drive to your storage strategy. 

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TS-673A by comparison to the DS1621+ is noticeably more rugged and industrial in its aesthetic. Although both devices are predominantly metal in design, the QNAP is that little bit more metallic overall. The system uses a modified version of their popular 6-bay chassis design and on this enclosure, along with LEDs, it features a Real-Time LCD panel to provide system information at the touch of a button to the end-user. This panel provides information on network interfaces, storage health, system temperature along with a few others. Much like the Synology DS1621+, the TS-673A also features that front-mounted USB port, however, this one includes a fractionally more interactive one-touch copy button and also impressively is USB 3.2 Gen 2 in architecture (10Gb/s). The design of the QNAP TS-673A is certainly noticeably bulkier and arguably more industrial than that of the Synology DS1621+. Ultimately, despite more hands-on and direct access options being built into the design of the QNAP TS-673A chassis, I feel that the understated and discrete Synology DS1621+ provide the better design. Likewise, the QNAP TS-673A solution is seemingly the more typically power-hungry and marginally louder in ambient noise level when in operation in like-for-like hardware environments. This is still a minor point however when comparing these two chassis and involves a large degree of consideration to the network environment of most SMB users.

Result – You Should Buy the Synology DS1621+ NAS

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – INTERNAL HARDWARE

The internal hardware featured inside the Synology DS1621+ and QNAP TS-673A system again are rather similar and both devices are using a similar degree of component choice in their architecture. Though there are a couple of notable differences internally that show how each brand has prioritised the available PCIe lanes (x16) from that Ryzen CPU. Below is a breakdown of the internal/external hardware and we will go through those main key differences between them.

Core Hardware
Model SYNOLOGY DS1621+ NAS Drive

QNAP TS-673A NAS Drive

Processor model AMD Ryzen V1500B AMD Ryzen V1500B
Processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Processor clock 4-core 2.2 GHz 4-core 2.2
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) YES YES
Memory
System memory 4 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM 8 GB DDR4 SODIMM
Pre-installed memory modules 4 GB (4 GB x 1) 8 GB (8 GB x 1)
Total memory slots 2 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2) 64 GB (32 GB x 2)
Storage device
Number of Disk Slots SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″ SATA 3.5″ & 2.5″
M.2 disk bay Yes, NVMe (Caching) Yes, NVMe (Caching or Storage)
Disk hot swap support YES YES
External port
RJ-45 Network ports 4 x 1Gbe 2 x 2.5Gbe
RJ-45 10GbE network port N/A N/A
USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps port 3 1
USB 3.2  Gen 2 10Gbps port 0 3 (2x A and 1x C)
eSATA port 1 0
PCIe
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot 2 x Gen3 x4 slots
Noise value* 25.2 dB(A) 20.3 db(A)
Timer switch YES YES
Wake on LAN YES YES
Power supply/transformer 250W 250W
Power consumption power* 51.22 W (Access)

25.27 W (HDD Hibernation)

45.89 W (Access)

21.89 W (HDD Hibernation)

Warranty 3 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage 3 years, which can be extended to 5 years coverage

Although both have tremendous similarity in their specifications above, the QNAP has clearly made a more diverse range of hardware choices with the available architecture. The first big stand out are those M.2 NVMe bays found on the DS1621+ and TS-673A. In either case, these devices enable you to install two superfast NVMe SSD inside the system that allows you to leverage their high-performance, high IOPS and low latency to improve access and I/Os in a number of ways inside the slower but larger capacity hard drive RAID array in the main 6 SATA storage bays. However, although both the btrfs Synology and ZFS QNAP both hugely take advantage of improvements in SSD caching, only the QNAP TS-673A allows you to also use these NVMe bays as a raw storage pool instead. The benefits of using super-fast NVMe SSD for raw storage inside the system, as well as allowing faster potential bandwidths connections (10G, 25G) externally to be further saturated, are going to be hugely appealing to content creators and those that work in the media industry. It should be highlighted that you will still need to factor the specific PCIe architecture on these ports and RAID considerations in your hardware setup in the TS-673A, to take advantage of this performance though. Likewise, because the PCIe lanes of this CPU, the NVMe slots on the QNAP are PCIe Gen 3×1 (1000MB/s), so if you do use them for raw storage, remember that you will only see a maximum 2000MB/s performance with a pair.

Likewise, in further upgradability, both systems feature a PCIe upgrade option to improve hardware in the TS-673A and DS1621+ in the lifespan of the system. The Synology DS1621+ has the higher-performing PCIe connection at Gen 3 x8 (8000MB/s potential card-to-host throughput), but the QNAP has two PCIe slots at PCIe Gen3 x4 each (so, 2x 4000MB/s cards). User preference will obviously play a part, but it is worth remembering that without expansions, a 6-bay will only really saturate a single 10Gbe port card with maybe a little more in the tank to justify a 2x 10G NIC (with expansions enclosures, 2000MB/s would be possible). Additionally, it’s worth remembering that the DS1621+ largely supports the Synology first-party range of cards more than any other (along with a handful of intel and Mellanox). Whereas the QNAP TS-673A supports a much larger range of PCIe upgrade cards (3rd and 1st party) that along with standard network cards, even include graphics cards, SSD storage cards and Wi-Fi 6 upgrades.

The TS-673A is clearly the better internal hardware option overall compared with the DS1621+. The simple fact that the QNAP provides everything that the Synology does internally, then provides them more so is inarguable and for me, the QNAP TS-673A wins this round.

 

Result – The QNAP TS-673A wins for better overall available internal hardware

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – EXTERNAL HARDWARE

When I say external hardware, I really mean the ports and connections of these two devices. How you plan to interface with the Synology DS1621+ or QNAP TS-673A NAS in your home or business environment may well impact which of these two solutions is best suited to your needs. Both systems can be accessed via the internet and via the network by multiple users at any one time, as well as arriving with numerous third-party client applications and first-party tools to utilise your data in the best way possible. But external connectivity of the Synology or QNAP NAS does differ quite a lot on both (again, on Day 1 and Day 1000) and later in the systems life, once you introduce peripherals on your client devices, the way you use the NAS might well change.

In terms of network connectivity, the Synology DS1621+ arrives with four individual Ethernet ports at one-gigabit each. That means that you can utilise these ports for separate connections, failover architecture and link aggregation to combine the total network bandwidth up to a potential 4Gbe maximum. For those that want greater than this level of network connectivity, you will have to look at occupying that available PCIe expansion slot with something a little more hardcore down the line (10Gbe, 25Gbe, etc), but as it stands the system will a maximum for 400MB/s+ out of the box. Alongside this, the DS1621+ also features two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (5Gbps) for external storage and a small range of network peripherals. Finally, we find eSATA expansion ports that allows you to connect two of the official five-bay DX517 expansion chassis and allows a total 16 bays of storage across the whole system once attached.

The QNAP TS-673A on the other hand provides similar yet greater levels of connectivity compared with the DS1621+, but does it in a noticeably different way. For example, the QNAP TS-673A features just two network interface ports, but these are 2.5Gbe and translate to 2.5x the ones found in the Synology, resulting in a maximum 500MB/s+ external throughput. The TS-673A also features several USB ports in USB 3.2 Gen 2 & 1 architecture, allowing you to connect a larger selection of both storage and network adaptors. These USB ports (as well as the PCIe slots) are also used for expansion devices and allow the QNAP TS-673A to attach several supported expansion devices (4/8/12/16 Bay chassis) and to a larger total number of drive bays than the maximum available on the Synology DS1621+. Ultimately, in terms of network connectivity, the Synology provides a familiar and standard range of external ports and connections, whereas the QNAP provides a more modern and higher performing selection of connections that nonetheless may not be completely supported by your existing hardware environment. On balance, I think the QNAP TS-673A provides more in this section than the Synology DS1621+

 

Result – You Should Buy the QNAP TS-673A NAS

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – Performance

The performance of each of the NAS systems can be measured in a few separate ways and, once again, the Synology and QNAP ethos towards internal and external architecture is very, very present here in the DS1621+ and TS-673A. In terms of traditional 1Gbe external performance, these two NAS systems are near enough identical, as both have both the general internal architecture to push through 100MB/s+ with ease. Though it should be highlighted that although both systems have the internal drive space of 8 Drives in a RAID to saturate their respective 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe connections with a supported switch via Link Aggregation, the QNAP provides a better single cable connection overall. With the use of sufficient drive media and the combining of all available network connections in link aggregation, the Synology DS1621+ will max out at 400MB/s+ with 4 ports, whereas the QNAP will provide 500MB/s+ with 2 ports.

Things are quite different in terms of 10Gbe support however. Neither system arrives with a dedicated 10Gbe port and requires the installation of a 10Gbe network upgrade card. As these are 6-bay NAS systems, there is not quite the throughout to justifying a 2x 20 Port setup, but over 1x 10Gbe, the Synology DS1621+ NAS seemingly provides a solid 1000MB/s over both Read and Write, thanks to that PCIe Gen 3 x8 support. The QNAP TS-673A arrives with a solid 10Gbe performance also that will like in the 1000MB/s in both read and write too, however, the winning factor once again is that the QNAP also can reach 500MB/s read and write WITHOUT a 10Gb upgrade, thanks to those 2x 2.5Gbe ports.

Memory utilisation between the two systems is noticeably different too, as the TS-673A features the resource-hungry ZFS platform and its impact on memory consumption. That said, the QNAP arrives with twice the memory by default at 8GB and although this is not ECC class memory, that will not inhibit performance internally. If you are going to rely on third-party software and the NAS as a target to drive for your in-house software, the QNAP is the better for internal performance (the same goes for throughout on btrfs vs ZFS). However, if you are purchasing the NAS system for its performance in its own first-party applications, the Synology DS1621+ will be the more desirable and long-term choice. Of course, you will need sufficient external network hardware in your home/office environment to take advantage of 10G, 2.5G or link aggregation at all, but ultimately it means that in a base level 1Gbe setup, things are pretty even and in a perfect setup, the QNAP TS-673A will win overall in performance externally.

 

Result – You Should Buy the QNAP TS-673A NAS

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – STORAGE

This is probably the biggest and clearest distinction between these two devices and Synology and QNAP have clearly drawn a line in the sand with what they are prepared to offer at this £850-950 price tag. Both systems allow the installation of hard drive and solid-state drive media, as well as supporting expansion devices that allow you to add further storage to your system storage pool. But the media types supported, range of performance and extend to which you can use that storage is wildly different comparing these two devices. The Synology DS1621+ provides 6 SATA hard drive bays that can also support 2.5 inch SATA SSD. This main storage area allows you to create any one of a range of traditional RAID configurations, as well as their own fluid proprietary configuration known as Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR). The core system utilizes btrfs as the de facto file system and although you can switch the system to ext4, a number of key Synology applications demand btrfs running. Btrfs presents a number of unique benefits to the system that includes file self-healing, faster-shared folder duplication and reduced impact made on the system resources when generating snapshots, allowing a greater number of snapshots of your storage to revert to, as well as less system slow down when they are created. As mentioned, you can attach expansion devices and the DS1621+ allows the connection of two eSATA expansion devices that are JBOD and cost around £300 to £400 each. Finally, you find internally the two m.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install M2 superfast PCIe 3×4 SSD and utilise their fast performance, high IOPs and low latency towards the main RAID storage array with a sophisticated NAS storage intelligent caching. Synology has been improving their internal caching system for a number of years and has reached the point where the bulk of their new generation hardware all include NVMe M.2 SSD bays to improve that internal slower but larger and more affordable hard drive array on their systems. Unfortunately, Synology does not allow these NVMe bays to be used for raw storage pools and those of you that wanted to use this super-fast storage in conjunction with perhaps a 10Gbe upgrade card will be left disappointed. There is a huge amount of storage potential here and the benefits of upgrading the performance with NVMe are desirable, if optional. And let’s not forget about Synology hybrid RAID and the benefits that it brings to a more scaled approach to populating your NAS over the years.

Unlike Synology and btrfs, QNAP has provided TS-673A with the ZFS (Zettabyte file system) version of their software, QuTS hero. ZFS presents a number of huge improvements to that of ext4 and is considerably more industry-supported at the enterprise level than btrfs, which is seen to still be a little young by comparison. Benefits of ZFS include considerably faster performance, RAID building and RAID rebuilding thanks to the filesystem removing the volume layer in its architecture and allowing data to be directly written to the storage pool. There are also many real-time file benefits with inline data compression and inline deduplication across the whole file and folder structure, though remember you will need 16GB to take advantage of deduplication. Many of these benefits of inline file transmission are promised in updates to DSM 7.0 (currently in beta) but seem to be more app-specific to Synology Drive and less about the system as a whole.

 There is no fluid RAID system comparable to SHR but you do have all of the traditional RAID configurations, as well as RAIDZ and triple parity options that allow up to 3 disks of disaster redundancy. Expansions on the QNAP TS-673A are connected via the available USB port which although on the face of it does not sound as fast as eSATA on the Synology, thanks to a range of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) JBOD and SoC RAID expansions in the TR and TL series, it means that expandability is technically larger, and faster thanks to the majority of their NAS expansions featuring hardware RAID. Overall, in terms of storage, you will be unsurprised to hear that I choose the QNAP TS-673A over the Synology DS1621+. There is just a larger degree of flexibility available both in terms of hardware and the filesystem on offer. You cannot fault these Synology Hybrid RAID and I wish Synology would let users access those M.2 NVMe bays as a storage pool, but the DS1621+ is still a good NAS for storage. It just does not bring the larger degree of fluidity and media support available in the TS-673A currently.

 

Result – The QNAP TS-673A – Both Have Similar Day 1 Storage, but the QNAP has better long term storage options

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – PRICE

Regardless of whether you are buying the DS1621+ or TS-673A for home or business use, the matter of price will always play some part in your decision. Once again, it has to be noted that the Synology has been available to buy for several months longer than the QNAP, which has given the DS1621+ enough time to develop slightly more flexible pricing. That said, even at launch, the Synology DS1621+ still arrived at around $100-140 less than the QNAP TS-673A did when revealed. Of

SYNOLOGY DS1621+ NAS Drive

$799

QNAP TS-673A NAS Drive

$899

course, this price difference can still be reflected in the greater network connections (2.5G over 1G), ZFS and 50% more available memory in the base model of the TS-673A. Therefore this becomes less about price and more about value, to see which one gives you the most for your money. In terms of value, I think the QNAP brings you a more noticeable degree of hardware for your money over software development, where is Synology has directed more of that into the impressive software of the SMB, arguable playing a tad safe on the hardware.

 

Result – IT’S A TIE! The QNAP for Long Term Value, Synology for Software vs Hardware Balanced Value & Price

 

Synology DS1621+ vs QNAP TS-673A NAS – CONCLUSION

Despite the fact that the Synology DS1621+ and QNAP TS-673A were released 3 to 4 months apart, they really do bring a different hardware focus to the end-user. The Synology DS1621+ brings a sense of simplicity, ease and familiarity in their solution, with a big focus on keeping things both user-friendly and highly functional. It does this with a greater focus on first-party software and hardware decisions that may not be for everyone. In contrast, the QNAP brings more innovation, scalability and upgradability in their systems life, whilst allowing their focus to be a tad more balanced towards third-party and first-party 50/50 utilisation. However, this can all too often lead to confusion or less focused/intuitive software design than that found in the Synology platform. So, ultimately it comes down to whether you want to use your own pre-existing third-party services or want a solution that delivers a complete hardware + software solution in 2021

 

Best NAS for Plex Media Server = Synology DS1621+ NAS

Best NAS for Surveillance = Synology DS1621+ NAS

Best NAS for Virtual Machines = QNAP TS-673A NAS

Best NAS for Photographers = Synology DS1621+ NAS

Best NAS for Video Editors = QNAP TS-673A NAS

Best NAS for Business = QNAP TS-673A NAS

 


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Portainer : LA solution pour les conteneurs Docker (gratuite)

4 mai 2021 à 07:00
Par : EVOTk

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