A Guide to the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now
If you have been looking at getting a NAS for your business, then I think it is safe to say that 8-Bay is where things get SERIOUS. Up until this point, most NAS system can typically fall into home use, budget use, small business and effective storage for a small group of users and their data. However, 8 drive (hard drive or SSD) NAS systems are where you start to see the NAS brands flex their muscles a bit. 8-Bays have typically been the jumping-off point from Desktop to Rackmount servers (slightly less so in recent years admittedly), thanks to the larger degree of storage on offer allowing greater performance, capacity and redundancy – So you start to see hardware appearing inside/outside that can greatly enhance the system’s utility. Features such as 10-gigabit ethernet, Xeon processors, considerably more memory and ultimately a system that can support a much wider number of users and processes than the systems that came before it. NAS brands very early on championed the inclusion of 8-Bay desktop servers in their portfolios, recognizing the need for a desktop server for compact deployment that could challenge the traditionally high power of rackmount solutions, so there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS systems on the market to choose from – all with their own distinct hardware and software capabilities, yet all at comparable pricing. Today I want to highlight to you the best three 8-Bay NAS to buy in 2022 out of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) that are currently available on the market. These are systems that I choose, based on their value, scalability and overall power. Let’s begin.
What Have All the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?
It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 8-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 8-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:
- Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
- All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
- All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
- All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
- The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
- All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
- All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
- All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
- All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
- All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
- All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data
So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 8-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.
Best Hardware+Software 8-Bay NAS Combo – The Synology DS1821+
0-320TB, 8-Bays, 2x NVMe Cache Bays, Quad-Core Ryzen V1500B 2.2Ghz CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 4x 1Gbe Port, 1x PCIe 3×8 Upgrade Slot, 5yr Warranty
Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1099
Hardware Review – LINK
YouTube Video Review – Watch
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.Click to view slideshow.
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.
Dual NVMe M.2 cache
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
Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage
Best 10GbE Performance 8-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TVS-872X
0-160TB, 8-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 2/4/6 Core Intel Pentium/i3/i5 CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, 2x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 2yr Warranty
Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799
Hardware Review – LINK
YouTube Video Review – Watch
If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots.Click to view slideshow.
The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.
High Virtualisation Use
10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
CMS and CRM systems included
Media Center support across numerous apps
8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect
The Fastest & Most Powerful 8-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TVS-h1288X
0-160TB, 8x HDD Bays, 4x SATA SSD Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 6 Core Intel Xeon W (Embedded Graphics) CPU, 16-128GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 10Gbe Port, 4x 2.5GbE, 3x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 3yr Warranty
Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899
Hardware Review – LINK
YouTube Video Review – Watch
When reviewing a business class piece of kit, it is important to stay RELATIVE! You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Ford Focus as equals, as they have a very different audience in mind and a very different price tag – therefore Value and ROI are always relative. That said, the TVS-h1288X is, hands down, the most impressive desktop NAS drive I have ever handled – and I do not say that lightly! QNAP has been working overtime these last 2 years to not only introduce their ZFS series to the SMB and Enterprise marketing, with gradual but compelling results – but it is only now in the TVS–h1288X system that they have successfully merged it into another core area of their business – content creators. Whether you are on board with the ‘optional thunderbolt card’ nature behind this device, you cannot fault the sheer weight of hardware on offer here and how it is perfectly tuned and appropriate for the storage, performance and safety benefits of ZFS in QuTS Hero included with this device.Click to view slideshow.
Yes, it is a hungry beast of a device in terms of power, but right now THIS is the NAS system to beat in the market right now in desktop form. There are still the odd hurdle for surveillance users to jump and the fact this range starts at 8/12-Bay is an odd choice – but with a 6-core Xeon processor that features high grade embedded graphics, upto 128GB of DR4 ECC memory, 3 storage tiers of scaling speeds, a combined external bandwidth of 30 Gigabits per second (so 3,000MB/s) and that is without even the inclusion of a Thunderbolt update that can allow upto 4 more Thunderbolt users to enjoy simultaneous access for photo/video editing – You simply cannot fault the ambition behind the TVS-h1288X and it leaves most of its 8-Bay competitors in its dust – just maybe raid the piggy bank before you buy it though
2.5Gbe LAN Ports
6 Core GPU enabled Xeon with over 15,000 CPUBenchmark Score
3 Tier Storage System
ZFS File System
PCIe Gen3 x8 and 3×4
Thunderbolt is Optional – many will appreciate the choice (upto 4 ports)
Larger 22110 NVMe Gen3 x4 Support
Upto 128GB ECC DDR4 Memory
5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gb/s
10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
Expandable (TR-106T and TR-1082T soon)
HDMI is 1.4b (30FPS 4K)
Shame we haven’t got 4/6 Bay options as found in TVS-682/882
Surveillance Software versions and licenses are a bit confusing
Noise/power levels are comparable to a small rackmount
And there you have it. Those are the three best 8-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 8-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 8-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 8-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!
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