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

26 septembre 2022 à 18:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hardware Used in today’s Tests

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

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

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

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

  • QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS with QTS 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

 

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New QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 POWERHOUSE NAS Revealed

9 septembre 2022 à 18:00

The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS – THINGS JUST GOT SERIOUS!

If you have been holding out for the perfect desktop NAS in 2022/2023 and avoiding the temptations of older systems on sale or recent releases that didn’t quite tick the right boxes for you –  then you might have done EXACTLY the right thing now that the QNAP TS-hx74 series has been revealed!  I have been following NAS for quite a few years and although I personally find the subject very interesting, I appreciate that many others see NAS drives are functional ‘setup-and-forget’ devices that you might need to research every 5-7 years when you need to upgrade (much like when you buy a new TV and have to suddenly understand what’s new/futureproof). However, occasionally, a solution comes along that genuinely changes things dramatically and much like it’s predecessor QNAP TVS-x72XT series back in 2018, the new QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 desktop NAS systems are genuinely insane in the amount of future-proofing they bring to the table! Alongside being the first commercial NAS systems to introduce the use of Intel 12th Core processors (i9, i7, i5, i3 and Pentium), these are the amount the first range of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe SSD and PCIe Gen 4 x16 upgradable NAS drives in the world right now. Add ZFS Support, GPU Card upgradability, up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory and 2.5/10GbE and you are looking at an insanely capable range of systems coming from QNAP here. Let’s discuss EVERYTHING we know about the TVS-hX74 NAS series and what makes them so OP in 2022/2023.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Hardware

As previously mentioned, the QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 are the follow-ups to the popular TVS-472XT, TVS-672XT and TVS-872XT released in the closing stages of 2018. In the 4 years since their initial release, that thunderbolt 3 product series ended up being diversified into a standalone 10GbE version and a 5GbE version – all of which using 2/4/6 Core, 8th Gen Intel Core processors and PCIe 3 architecture. The newer 4, 6 and 8-Bay x74 series have pretty much ramped up every element of their predecessor’s architecture (even the USB ports) and although the CPU is the main reason for this tremendous upscaling of the result of the hardware architecture, you do still get some fantastic hardware under the bonnet generally. That said, it’s worth highlighting that the scaling of the hardware between each capacity tier (and even sub-versions at each tier) means that depending on which system in the series you choose, some hardware options might not be available. The TVS-h874-64GB 8-Bay version is the full Intel i9 16 Core version with full PCIe4 support and 10GbE, whereas the most affordable tier is the TVS-h474-8G 4-Bay with PCIe 3/4 architecture, a Dual Core Pentium Gold and 2.5GbE. Let’s quickly compare the hardware architecture of the three NAS systems and their sub-versions:

Feature TVS-h474 TVS-h674 TVS-h874
Front
# of SATA Bays 4x SATA 6x SATA 8x SATA
M.2 NVMe Bays 2x M.2 (Gen 3×2) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4)
CPU Intel Pentium Gold G7400 Intel i5 12th Gen i5-12400

Intel i3 12th Gen i7-12100

Intel i9 12th Gen i9-12900

Intel i7 12th Gen i7-12700

Intel i5 12th Gen i7-12400

Cores 2-Core / 4 Thread i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

i3 4 Core / 8 Thread

i9 16 Core / 24 Thread

i7 12 Core / 20 Thread

i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

CPU Speed 3.7 Ghz i5 Max 4.4Ghz

i3 Max 4.3Ghz

i9 Max 5.1Ghz

i7 Max 4.9Ghz

i5 Max 4.4Ghz

Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 710 Intel UHD Graphics 770

Intel UHD Graphics 730

Intel UHD Graphics 770
Memory 8GB Default 16/32GB 32/64GB
Memory Max 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot)
PCIe Slots 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 3×2) i5 / i3 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4) I9 / i7 / i5 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4)
Rear
Network 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE

2x 10GbE (Intel i9 Only)

HDMI 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS)
USB 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C)
Fans 1x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU
Expansions 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay
Size 188.2 × 199.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 264.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 329.3 × 279.6 mm
PSU 250W 250W 350W
Warranty 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr)
Check Online Availability CHECK CHECK CHECK

So, let’s dig a little deeper into those CPUs.  With QNAP slowly revealing more and more PCIe 4 upgrade and expansion cards (such as the 2x10GbE+2xPCIe4 NVMe Combo card QM2-2P410G2T and the Dual Port 100GbE QXG-100G2SF-CX6), the necessity for their business class and desktop enterprise solutions to utilize these cards is going to be tremendously important. However, PCIe 4 bandwidth is what makes these cards possible, as a single PCIe4 lane provides approx 2,000MB/s compared with the 1000MB/s of PCIe3 – even when you add x4 or x16 lane multipliers that form the architecture of PCI slots, that still means a difference of 16GB vs 32GB of potential bandwidth. The barrier for many though is that PCIe4, although established in many motherboards and accessories, is not quite as widely supported in server-class CPUs till around 2021 onwards. This (alongside a hugely powerful onboard embedded graphics component) is what continues to push QNAP to utilize the Intel Core family of CPUs in this product tier over the years. With CPUBenchmark scoring for these CPUs ranging from 6,600+ to 36,000+, you have some series Xeon/EPYC challenging processors here and when you consider these are DESKTOP solutions, not rackmount, that is especially impressive!

Comparing the full range of five early 2022 released 12th Gen Intel Core processors available, it becomes abundantly clear that the 8-Bay system and it’s options for the i5, i7 and i9 are the most powerful option, scaled according to it’s larger capacity for storage and throughput (with a higher equipped 350W PSU compared with the 250W in the 4/6-bay tiers). Interestingly, with the exception of the Intel Pentium Gold processor, the rest of the processor family has a hugely impressive 4-5Ghz turbo/burst performance level available per core and the 6-16 Core architecture (and upto 24 threads) means that everything from high-performance database creation, heavy Virtual Machine deployment, video editing and large scale surveillance is going to be an absolute doddle!

Next up, we need to discuss the SSD support on the TVS-hX74, as this is another excellent advantage to the support of PCIe 4. In the last 2 years or so, we have seen huge commercial availability of PCIe 4 x4 m.2 NVMe SSDs in the market and with it, drive media that can hit over 7,000MB/s (7GB/s) throughput! All of the TVS-hx74 NAS systems have 2X m.2 NVMe SSD slots internally (though the TVS-h474 is PCIe Gen 3, the 6 and 8-Bays are PCIe 4×4), which means that you have the option to either use the M.2 bays for SSD caching, RAW storage pools of RAID enabled PCIe4 SSD media or a combination of the two with QTier (currently not supported in the ZFS system QuTS, but is available in EXT4 QTS) which combines them into 1 mixed media storage pool that intelligently movs files between the HDDs and SSDs to where they are most appropriate for access (i.e more frequently accessed media is moved to the SSDs so it further speeds up access for the end user).

PCIe 4 Support really is the main thing that sets this NAS family apart from the QNAP NAS solutions released in recent years. Alongside the increased PCI lanes made available the system/chipset so you can add more ports, memory and hardware in general, it also affords higher bandwidth to them that you would normally expect. Most 2021/2022 generation desktop NAS are PCIe Gen 3, and the bulk of 2020 and earlier NAS are PCIe 2. Typically, only Business class and rackmount solutions would prove exceptions to the rule. Below is how each PCIe tier compares in availability, transfer speeds and sclaed multiplication:

The rest of the system architecture is quite comparable to the rest of desktop NAS systems. The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with 2x PCIe upgrade slots (one at x4 and the other a CPU direct x16), a 4 fan architecture (1x for PSU, 2x for storage and 1x for the CPU+Memory+SSD+Network controller), HDMI and 3x USB. The HDMI is a little disappointing, arriving at HDMI 1.4b architecture, so that means 1080p at 60FPS but 4K at 30FPS (though internet/network streamed media is unaffected and this CPU can handle 8K). The USB Ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2, so that means the connection of 10Gb/s storage and peripherals, as well as KVM support with the HDMI port and allowing 2x expansion devices from QNAP that arrive in x2/x4/6/8//12/16 Bay scaled configurations – all of which support the latest generation of 22TB WD/Seagate hard drives.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Software

Although already touched on above, it is worth reiterating that the QNAP TVS-hX74 arrive with a choice of the QNAP QTS EXT4 File system software/GUI AND the option to choose the ZFS based QuTS Hero software/GUI at no additional cost. The software found with the ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 can be broken down into 2 sections. namely those of the advantages that QNAP QTS already bring to a business user, and then the widespread system and storage advantages that QTS hero and ZFS bring as well. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2022/2023 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security. To learn more about the EXT4 QTS 5 platform, you can watch my full review below:

QNAP File Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD and caching configuration
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rdparty devices and create a completely customizable and scaled backup network between your devices
  • QuDeDupe / Deduplication tools – Allowing you to conduct backups between multiple devices and directories, but allows same-data in numerous locations to be only held once (but recorded in all locations) to allow smaller backups and lesser bandwidth consumption. Once again, remember that you will need to upgrade to 16GB of memory in order to take advantage of these more advanced ZFS utilities in practice.

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Above are a few of my software overviews that cover the general GUI and system of QuTS Hero on the TS-h886, as well as RAID rebuild and storage management overviews of the system to give you some idea of what the TS-x73A range can and cannot do:

Space Saving Efficiency – Inline data deduplication, compression, and compaction reduce file size to conserve storage capacity and optimize performance.

Intelligent Memory Cache – Main memory read cache (L1 ARC), SSD second-level read cache (L2 ARC), and ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) for synchronous transactions with power fail protection are simultaneously supported to boost performance and security

RAID Z – Multiple RAID levels allow flexible capacity utilization. RAID Triple Parity and Triple Mirror deliver higher levels of data protection.

App Center – Apps for backup/sync, virtual machines/containers, content management, productivity, and more features can be used to expand the application potential of these NAS

All in all, the fact that the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with the option of the ZFS or EXT4 versions of the QNAP Software and GUI is a large part of what makes these NAS appealing.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 Series – How Much Will the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS Will Cost?

Details regarding the pricing and availability of ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS are still unconfirmed. On the one hand, the fact that QNAP has revealed information on these solutions likely means that release is not hugely far away, however, we are still very much living in a pot-pandemic world as far as technology is concerned and although the global supply chain and production lines in the east are better than they were, they are by no means ‘back to normal’. Additionally, the hardware shortages as a result of poor semi conductor availability will likely means that even when this series is released, that available quantities will be a small % of demand. Most likely this NAS series will arrive in Q4 of the year and approx £850-3000+ (hardware configuration and local currency/tax dependant).

 

 

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

27 juillet 2022 à 01:33

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Choose Synology NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

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

PROS of Synology NAS

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

CONS of Synology NAS

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

Why Choose QNAP NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

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

PROS of QNAP NAS

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

CONS of QNAP NAS

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

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

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

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS $500+

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 21/05/20

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

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


Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS $750+

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 29/06/22

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

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


 

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

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

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS $599+

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 18/04/22

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

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


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

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 13/11/20

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 15/12/20

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 24/05/21

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots. The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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


 

What About Moving from Drobo to Asustor or Terramaster NAS?

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


 

Should I Move From Drobo to TrueNAS Core?

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

TrueNAS Written Review

TrueNAS Video Review

 

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