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Should You Buy a 2-Bay or 4-Bay NAS Drive in 2021?

26 juillet 2021 à 01:57

Choosing Between Buying a 2-Bay or 4 Bay NAS

For many users who decided to make the switch from subscription-based Cloud services and to their own private NAS server, it can be tricky to understand exactly what they need in terms of storage and power. Network-attached storage NAS has evolved rapidly over the years and now there is a tremendous range of solutions that vary in size and ability to choose from, often resulting in the most expensive servers not always being the most capable. One of the first hurdles that many users encounter when choosing their first NAS drive is choosing between a 2-bay NAS and 4-Bay. With the majority of NAS brands out there offering most standard solutions and across different hard drive scales, choosing between these different sized NAS is not as straightforward as one might think. So today I’m going to talk to you about the differences between each, which one is the best value, their advantages and hopefully help you decide which one best suits your storage needs. Let’s start.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Storage, Expandability and Capacity

On the face of it, it seems pretty obvious that a 4-Bay NAS model with its increased storage bays will be the better storage option overall. How on earth can a NAS device that is 50% less in media bays possibly compete?!? Well, in recent years the largest available capacity in hard drives has massively increased and therefore the total potential terabytes available for each media bay has grown drastically. Yes, you could fully populate a four-Bay NAS with 4TB hard drives, but you could always just use a single 12TB hard drive at a lower price per TB in 2021 and regardless of whether you use RAID 0 or RAID1 with two disks, still have a huge capacity in a 2 Bay NAS. Additionally, these days a number of brands provide the same level of external enclosure expandability on both the 2-Bay and 4 Bay NAS systems (eg DS920+ / DS720+ and TS-253D / TS-453D), therefore 2-Bay NAS does not have the lower metaphorical glass ceiling that it once had in terms of additional storage down the line. Indeed, you can even expand a RAID 1 to a RAID 5 on a 2-bay but spreading it over both the NAS and expansion enclosure at once, to provide an excellent way to still increase the storage on your 2-Bay later on and not feel trapped within its dual media design architecture.

However, this is not quite as cut and dry as it appears. Despite the improvements in 2-Bay NAS architecture in recent years, there is always going to be one big day 1 advantage in the flexibility of 4 Bay NAS that 2-Bays cannot really match. That is that you do not necessarily need to fully populate a 4-bay on day one and many users go ahead with just putting two hard drives inside a 4-Bay NAS in a RAID 1 at the start. Not only does this give you exactly the same level of storage and performance that you would find in 2 Bay NAS, but it also allows you to add drives to this partially populated NAS and expand its storage pool from a RAID 1 to a RAID 5, increasing the total storage gradually throughout the lifespan of the system, WITHOUT buying a whole expansion chassis. This allows flexibility in how much storage you use now and how much you need to graduate to later at a minimal cost at the start. In summary, although 4 Bay NAS is still technically the better storage, flexibility and capacity option, a 2-Bay is not necessarily as inferior as it once was.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Price and Value

This is an often underestimated factor in choosing between a 2-bay or 4-bay NAS system. Many people assume that a 4-Bay NAS costs more money to buy and even more money to populate. Although this is still technically true, it is hardly any more expensive to operate a 4-bay NAS 24×7 than a 2-bay. As far as actual day 1 costs go, notwithstanding the flexible storage installation mentioned in the previous subject, 4-Bay NAS systems allow you to use smaller capacity hard drives in order to match the same storage on larger hard drives. What this means is that a 4-ay NAS allows you to install four 4TB drives inside in a RAID5 and arrived at a lower price per terabyte than 2x 12TB drives. Depending on how you scale your storage and the number of drives you use, 2-Bay shares and 4-Bay NAS can retail at a similar price point and will differ only depending on the drive you choose and the RAID configuration you opt for.

Likewise, returning to the point of the cost of 4-bays as being more expensive than 2-bays, the newest generation NAS drives will often barely be more than $100-150 difference in their prices between 2 and 4 bays and are largely identical in CPU, Memory and ports in every other way. 4-Bays may seem like a bigger chunk of money (especially for those already feeling stretched on a prosumer 2-Bay) but if you are prepared to perhaps drop the capacity you have in mind 1-2TB  (i.e purchase 4TBs, not 6TBs)  to compensate this price difference, the result will be that your 4 Bay NAS can achieve much higher read and write speeds with more drives being accessed simultaneously, whilst also opening the door to dual-drive redundancy configurations (i.e RAID 6) and will ultimately provide a more responsive, higher performing and data safe NAS for all of your needs.

In summary, the savings available in choosing a two-bay over a four-bay can easily be countered in the grand scheme of things by scaling the capacity or architecture of the HDD you choose to put inside. The money saved in a 2 bay might well be money you need to spend a year or two down the line.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power, Performance and Speed

As mentioned, using 4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will likely provide better performance than two drives in a RAID 1 environment. This performance can be measured by traditional direct read and write activity between your client hardware and your NAS, or it can be measured by the performance of individual applications and services from within the network-attached storage drive itself (i.e the NAS software and services). When looking at buying your first NAS, many will overlook 2-Bay’s simply because of this performance boost available in the 4-Bay alternative models. However, enterprise-grade/Pro hard drives Seagate ironwolf Pro or EXOs) will often provide performance benefits in a RAID 1 environment that can surpass the use of standard hard drives in a RAID 5. Of course, Pro series drives cost $40-50 more per drive, but also have longer warranties, data recovery services, more onboard cache and faster rpm to increase that read and write speed, so you get more for your money ultimately. Additionally, if you plan on taking advantage of 10Gbe, either with a port already on your NAS or as an upgrade down the line via PCIe, then you are much, MUCH better off with a 4-Bay NAS, as a 2-Bay (even if populated with the latest generation SATA SSDs) cannot fully saturate 1,000MB/s.

Finally, it is worth discussing that a large number of modern 4-Bay NAS systems in 2021/2022 arrived with dedicated SSD caching bays. These bays do not replace the existing SATA hard drives and are parallel media bays that allow you to install M2 NVMe SSD to improve the internal performance of your NAS by copying more frequently accessed files partially or fully onto the SSD to reduced access time to these more popular pieces of data. Although a handful of 2 Bay NAS systems have arrived on the market with support of dedicated SSD caching bays (Lockerstor 2 and DS720+), the feature is still more available on foUr Bay solutions and for many users that want to graduate the utility of their NAS from home to prosumer and inevitably into business use, the ability to upgrade internal performance in this way can often sway buyers to opt for a 4-bay NAS.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power Use, Noise and Deployment

Unsurprisingly, the bigger the NAS drive, the more power it will consume. When comparing like-for-like deployments in similar architecture on 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS, the latter will always use a little bit more. This is the reason that you will generally find that the PSU on a 4-Bay NAS is always of a higher what rating. However overall, unless you are pushing the system particularly hard, the simple act of adding two more SATA hard drives will generally make a minuscule difference and is hardly a reason to compare these two overall – A PSU power rating is the MAXIMUM draw it can make, not the amount it will be using constantly! However, in terms of vibration generated when the system is in operation and the rise in assisted fan operation as usage increases, generates more heat which makes a noticeable impact on the ambient noise generated when you are running a 2-Bay vs a 4-Bay.

The power difference will still remain rather small as these are still quite small components but if you are especially sensitive to noise then the increased drive and fan-based sound will annoy you. Additionally, this increase in ambient noise generation scales accordingly if you use larger capacity drives or more enterprise-level hard drive builds. So therefore if you are looking at a 2-Bay NAS with bigger capacity hard drives, it will still generate a comparable level of ambient noise that a 4-Bay would when populated with standard class NAS media or smaller capacities. Now that brands like Seagate and WD have reshaped their respective portfolios for NAS hard drive media in a way that ALL large capacity hard drive (eg 10TB and above) are Pro class (i.e noisier), it makes the lines increasingly blurry between 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS noise levels. Below is an example of the noise difference between a standard class and pro class drive noise generation in just a single drive. It may seem a tad irrelevant, but it’s important if you are a user looking to go for a smaller NAS with BIGGER drives:

WD Red NAS Hard Drive Noise Test WD Red PRO NAS Hard Drive Noise Test

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Conclusion

So as you can see, the difference between a 2-Bay and a 4-Bay NAS is a great deal more than the number of available hard drives you can use. Each kind of NAS system can have its performance, capacity, ambient noise and power consumption scaled in a multitude of ways in order to facilitate the best possible network attached storage solution for you. Users on a tight budget might all too soon end up purchasing a 2 Bay NAS without realising that a 4-Bay has scalability that can save you money down the line. Likewise, users who like to invest a little bit more long term or prefer their NAS investment to be a little bit more spread over the lifespan of their product will tend to err towards a 4-Bay solution, without realising that a 2-Bay is still quite viable in the short term and modern scalability of NAS means taht a 2-Bay NAS is not quite the dead-end it once was! Below I have detailed some of the BEST examples of 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS Synology, QNAP and Asustor that are great examples of margins between each tier has become spectacularly narrow.  If you are still unsure on how to proceed, be sure to take advantage of the free advice service here on NASComapres using the boxes at the bottom. We (me and Eddie the web guy!) answer every email and do it without profit in mind (i.e it’s absolutely free), so though it might take an extra day for us to reply, we will get back to you with recommendations on the best solution for you.

Synology DS720+ 2-Bay – $399+

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay – $559+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 2/6GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

QNAP TS-253D 2-Bay – $389+

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay – $549+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

Asustor Lockerstor 2 2-Bay – $379+

Asustor Lockerstor 4 4-Bay – $499+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe

 

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

New Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives Released

14 juillet 2021 à 14:00

The HAS5300 Hard Drives – New SAS Media from Synology Revealed

Yes, that’s right. Synology has now released a range of SAS (12Gb) hard drives in the HAS5300 series. Last year, when Synology first revealed that they were going to start producing their own range of SATA hard drives for their Diskstation and Rackstation NAS servers, many were a little dubious. Fast forward to 2021 and the HAT5300 8TB, 12TB and 16TB drives are quite well established and aside from some early concerns about hardware locked compatibility and global hard drive shortages caused by Chia (GAH!), Synology’s move towards producing complete 1st part equipped solutions for business is progressing quite smoothly. However, the HAS5300 SAS series of hard drives has clearly been developed to address a glaring inconsistency in their series of devices released in 2020/2021 that featured BOTH SAS and SATA compatibility, but in some cases might have had more streamlined compatibility listings! The HAS5300 is a 7200RPM, SAS interface connected and 256/512MB cache equipped range of hard drives that, although rather similar to the HAT5300 range in terms of performance, durability and operational environment, still allow users looking at the XS and SA systems that are SAS ready to remain truly first-party in their components. So, what do these SAS hard drives have to offer? Are they much different to their SATA alternatives (as we are still talking HDD, not SSD) and should you consider them in your next Synology Solution in 2021/2022? Let’s take a look.

What Are The Specifications of the Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives?

When looking at the specifications of the Synology HAS5300, it needs to be highlighted that much like the HAT5300 series that came before, Synology is not manufacturing/constructing these drives in-house. The Synology HAS5300 drive is built on top of the Toshiba MG08 series. They have added their own Synology DSM specific firmware to keep the system media tailored to the enclosure they are inside, as well as allow supporting internal Firmware update functionality within the Synology Storage manager of DSM 6.2/7.0. Synology has worked with Toshiba on the HAT5300 series before, because of the high endurance workload rating (550TB per Year) on this series and the impressive 230-262MB/s performance benchmark they provide. That said, many users will leap onto the work SAS and think these are going to massively outperform SATA. However, we are still discussing mechanical hard drives here and though the interface allows an impressive 12 Gigabits per second, these drives are still going to comparable to mechanical enterprise hard drives. Why Synology didn’t focus more on SAS SSDs (or hurry up on a U.2 SSD Flashstation solution already) over these HDDs is a little puzzling. Nevertheless, they arrive in three capacities and each can be compared against the Toshiba model ID below:

HAS5300-8T = MG06SCA800E

HAS5300-12T = MG07SCA12TE

HAS5300-16T =MG08SCA16TE

Here is a full breakdown of the specifications of each Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drive:

Hardware Specifications HAS5300-8T

HAS5300-12T

HAS5300-16T

Where to Buy
General Capacity 8 TB 12 TB 16 TB
Form Factor 3.5″ 3.5″ 3.5″
Interface SAS 12 Gb/s SAS 12 Gb/s SAS 12 Gb/s
Sector Size 512e 512e 512e
Performance Rotational Speed 7,200 rpm 7,200 rpm 7,200 rpm
Interface Speed 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s
Buffer Size 256 MiB 256 MiB 512 MiB
Maximum Sustained Data Transfer Speed (Typ.) 230 MiB/s 242 MiB/s 262 MiB/s
Reliability Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) 2.5 million hours 2.5 million hours 2.5 million hours
Workload Rating 550 TB Transferred per Year 550 TB Transferred per Year 550 TB Transferred per Year
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years
Power Consumption Supply Voltage 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%) 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%) 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%)
Active Idle (Typ.) 6.62 W 4.36 W 4.46 W
Random Read / Write (4KB Q1) (Typ.) 9.87 W 7.80 W 8.12 W
Temperature Operating 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F) 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F) 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F)
Non-operating -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F) -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F) -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F)
Shock Operating 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration) 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration) 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration)
Non-operating 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration) 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration) 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration)
Vibration Operating 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz) 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz) 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz)
Non-operating 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz) 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz) 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz)

 

What Are The Benefits Of The Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives?

A heavy focus from Synology when you even casually glance at the specifications pages on the HAS5300 NAS HDDs is on sustained performance and durability. This is completely understandable, given that these drives are for their more enterprise-led systems that will likely be working hard 24×7 for their whole system life – so you would only want to install hard drive media that can maintain any promised performance highs CONSISTENTLY as they are accessed – regardless fo the NAS server hardware or RAID configuration. In their pages, Synology state that their HAS5300 drives run on firmware optimized for critical workloads that matter. They allow Synology systems to repair degraded RAID arrays up to 27% faster than similar-class and capacity drives

Another thing that Synology are keen to highlight in the HAS5300 series is that along with that enhanced durability of these data centre-class drives over similarly priced Pro series drives from WD/Seagate (550TB vs 180/300TB annual workload rating), these drives utilize Synology specific firmware onboard, which can only be a good thing. Not only does this mean that drives can be updated in their internal firmware CONSIDERABLY easier than other drives, thanks to be manageable in the DSM software GUI – but also that rather than the drive featuring NAS/Server parameters that need to be a fraction broader for different Windows and Linux server architecture, the HAS5300 are geared SPECIFICALLY for Synology NAS systems.

I am still not completely in love with the idea that some of Synology’s latest systems have tighter compatibility/support options and the HAT5300, HAS5300 and SAT5200 are the only available drives (for the most part – 3-4 exceptions), but given Synology’s move in the last 2+ years to produce first-party options for any/all upgrades/accessories on their systems, this is still not a massive surprise! The only other question about the HAS5300 series I have is if/when Synology will introduce an SED (self Encrypted drive) or SIE (Sanitize Instant Erase – i.e. complete, fast and utter format) model of their own-brand drives, as these are available on the original Toshiba models that this series is built upon and given the grown demand for encryption on business class SAN/NAS systems, this seems to be a little slow coming.

When Will The Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives Be Released?

The Synology HAS5300 Hard drives for NAS are now officially released, but I can imagine that stock will not be fully available in any kind of bulk available quantity for a week to two. Regarding pricing, it does seem rather different depending on where you look, with the Synology HAS5300-8T being listed in some stores at around £298 ex.VAT and the HAS5300-16T being listed at around £556 ex.VAT. How this will translate into dollars and euros, as well as their availability will become clearer in the next few days.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

 

How To Create A Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

12 juillet 2021 à 01:10

How to Setup a Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

As Many of you may have heard, Microsoft has formally announced that Windows 11 is coming and after several high-profile presentations and numerous published references online, you are now able to begin the formal process of testing this new operating system to see if it brings any impressive improvements to your existing Windows 10 machine. When it is fully released later this year, you will be able to purchase Windows 11 for your new PC build or upgrade from your existing copy of Windows and onto this new software revision. Many of us have horror stories of bench testing a new OS either in beta or alpha release form, as it can often result in our working processes and workflow to suddenly wobble and fall over. When it comes to testing an entire operating system, not just an individual application or service, it is highly recommended that instead of upgrading your existing system blind, that you choose to run this operating system as a virtual machine. Also more commonly referred to as a ‘VM’, it is a virtual equivalent of a regular PC. Although you still need a physical bare-metal computer to host this VM and software for it to live within, known as a hypervisor, a virtual machine is an incredibly small alternative to a standard computer with all of its hardware specifications merely being a fractional and digital version of the physical computer that it lives within. A virtual machine can exist as a duplicated virtual version of your physical computer or as an entirely new computer that allows you to bench test Windows updates and whole system versions like Windows 11 without putting your existing setup at risk.

Why use a Synology NAS to host a Windows 11 VM?

In the last few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people that are using a Synology NAS to host one or more virtual machines. Not only because a NAS can be remotely accessed locally via the network or anywhere in the world via the internet, but it features a dedicated virtual machine hypervisor software that allows the system to efficiently host multiple VM and allow users to simply connect via a single portal tunnel and deploy the VM for use. Additionally, NAS VM software such as Synology Virtual Machine Manager allows you to take snapshots to revert a VM to a previous version, configure hardware assets and resources on the system up/down to improve your VM/bare-metal server as needed and also allows you to duplicate virtual machines very quickly and turn one successful VM deployment into many. Therefore if you have a Synology NAS with available resources to spare, it makes a lot of sense to test out windows 11 on your NAS with its free and inclusive software.

What You Will Need to Run Windows 11 on Your Synology NAS as a VM

In order to deploy a Windows 11 virtual machine on your Synology NAS, you are going to need a few things. These include:

  • I Synology NAS, obviously. But a Synology NAS with at least a 4 core Intel or AMD 64-bit x86 processor and at least 4GB of memory
  • A Windows VM beta image. There are numerous methods online to get the windows 10 ISO image file that I will discuss in this guide, that there is also the option to get a Windows 11 licence code directly from their website as long as you have an existing and authenticated copy of Windows 10 available.
  • It is recommended that you have at least 50GB of storage available for the test and likely more if you want to give Windows 11 an extensive preview experience.
  • Ideally, a desktop or laptop computer in order to conduct the steps in setting up the VM as it is a little bit more tricky (the UI) to perform with just a mobile device like a phone or tablet.

That is about it, everything you need to deploy a Windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS will likely already be in your possession if you are reading this guide. I recommend at minimum that you should have a mass such as DS920+ or DS1621+ in order to install this VM and still have sufficient system resources to run the NAS simultaneously.

Setting Up the VM software on Your Synology NAS Drive

The first thing we need to do is set up the virtual machine manager software on your Synology NAS. If you already have Synology VMM (Synology Virtual Machine Manager) on your NAS, you can skip this step and head to the next one. Otherwise, head into the DSM GUI on the NAS and onto the app centre.

From here, scroll down and find or use the search box, for the Synology virtual machine manager tool. It should allow you to click within a single button and it may ask you to install further applications such as the replication tool and system tools, go ahead and allow these as these will help you run the virtual machine fluidly.

After the application is installed you need to open it from the available list of apps and before you can proceed with the tool you will be asked to quickly check that you have sufficient resources available on your NAS in CPU and memory, as well as the system asking if it can create a new virtual network switch configuration. Click ok and allow it to do this as it ensures that the windows 11 VM can access by the network and the internet after it is deployed. If successful, you will be greeted with the Synology virtual machine manager user interface with a list of options on the left-hand side of the screen and a few hints and tips displayed in the middle of the screen. Next, you will need to get a copy of Windows 11 beta which can arrive in numerous forms.

Setting Up the Windows 11 ISO Image

As mentioned earlier, Windows 11 is currently available from numerous sources across the internet (for example) and alongside the ability to download the digital image of the software, more commonly produced as an ISO (which can be mounted vertically or burnt to a physical DVD if you want to install Windows 11 on a physical computer instead). Alongside this, you can use your existing copy of Windows 10 to connect with the Windows beta program (shown above, by searching for ‘Windows Insider Programme‘ in the settings menu) and it will provide you with a Windows 11 licence and means with which to test Windows 11 on your existing system. There are numerous other methods online and a quick Google search will provide you with numerous download sites where you can get hold of Windows 11 beta. For this guide, I have downloaded Windows 11 beta as an ISO at 4.54GB. it downloads as a single file and this is the file that you will need to transfer over to the NAS.

Once you have downloaded your Windows 11 ISO, simply access your NAS file manager as you normally would and then drag and drop the windows 11 ISO file into a NAS directory that you have access to. Depending on your upload speed this can take from seconds to minutes, As soon as that is done, make your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager tool and continue with the installation of Windows 11 on your soon to be created brand new virtual machine.

Creating Your Synology Virtual Machine for Windows 11

Once you have made your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager application. Select the side bar option called ‘Image‘. 

At the top, you will find an option that allows you to add a new image. Select option and when prompted, select the option Synology NAS.

The list of available options on screen will be the ones that you have on your NAS and you just need to browse through the folders to find the one where you uploaded the windows 11 virtual machine ISO earlier. Click this ISO and then go-ahead to the next step.

Now head up to the top of the menu at ‘virtual machine’ and click create.

Then select the option for Microsoft Windows as the Virtual Machine Type

Then select the storage volume on your Synology NAS that you want the Windows 11 Virtual Machine to live/run-in

Next, You need to assign how much storage in GB/TB that you want the windows 11 Virtual Machine to use

Next, you need to assign the Windows 11 Virtual machine to a network. Synology Virtual Machine Creates a new virtual network when the software is installed, so you can use this or create a new one if you choose.

At this point, the virtual machine creation window will appear. You will need to assign CPU cores and Memory amounts to this VM. It is recommended that you dedicate at least 2 cores of your x86 64bit CPU and 2GB of memory, however, Windows 11 will run much, MUCH better if you can assign more hardware to this VM. Just remember that in order for the NAS to run smoothly (and there for the Virtual Machine Manager Hypervisor software to run well), you should leave sufficient CPU/Memory to the NAS.

From here you will need to connect the Windows 11 ISO/image you added earlier (should appear in a drop-down) and it is recommended that you use the Synology Windows Guest Driver ISO into the 2nd mounted drive too (as shown). You can also assign USB ports to the VM to allow you to connect devices physically to the NAS and then they will be accessible/visible to the Windows 11 VM.

Next you will need to let the Synology NAS know which users can access the Windows 11 VM. A list of the current NAS users/groups will appear and you can put a tick next to the users whose login credentials will allow access to this VM.

Then you need to confirm that the settings are correct, then you can confirm and the Synology Virtual Machine Manager will create the VM with the Windows 11 ISO/Image mounted for the first time setup.

When the Synology Virtual Machine manager displays the VM as available/powered off, you can power it on from the options at the top and connect to it in the web browser

When you connect to the VM at start up, much like a physical PC, the system will read from the mounted ISO/Image (as a normal PC would boot from the DVD drive to check from media) and you will boot straight into the Windows 11 installation screen.

If you are using the Windows 11 ISO/Image and do not have a product key, but still want to test out the Windows 11 system, you can click the option at the bottom to install without a licence.

Then just select the version of windows you want to install:

Then the area of storage you created in the VM setup on the Synology NAS will appear and you can select it to install the Windows 11 operating system on to.

From there installation will begin and it will be a relatively fast process, depending on the power of the VM resources you gave it and the speed of the storage media in your Synology NAS

After this, the VM will reboot and then go straight into the Windows 11 Setup tutorial

If you do not want to supply your Microsoft associated account details to this VM and Windows 11, you can do it without entering them by clicking the option to sign in another way

Then clicking the offline option:

Then just entering local/offline security information. However, do remember that this will limit some features of Windows 11 that require a Microsoft account.

Then you can proceed with the setup and the system will apply the settings you created:

The Windows 11 desktop will then be displayed and you can go ahead and have fun with your new VM

By default, Windows 11 will display via the web browser in a lower resolution (in case it cannot be displayed to users with older tech. But you can change this quickly by right-clicking and selecting display options

Then you can increase the resolution, which will make the screen bigger in your browser VM access too:

Additionally, if you want to access the VM OUTSIDE of the browser, the best way to do it is with the Remote Connection tool on a local PC:

And remember to keep an eye on memory and CPU use on your Synology NAS whilst the Windows 11 Virtual Machine is running

And there you have it. You now have a windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS hypervisor software:

 

If you have already installed Windows on a brand new computer before, then all of the steps necessary to install Windows are very familiar to you. Even then, you may need a refresher, so use the video below for my guide on how to set up Windows 101on a NAS after the virtual machine and ISO have been created. Although this guide is for Windows 11 on a Synology NAS, the steps for setting up a VM are are remarkably similar to other brands.

And there you have it, you can now test out Windows 11 as a virtual machine on your NAS without fear of it leading to problems on your existing Windows 10 PC. It is worth remembering that this is still a beta of Microsoft’s brand new operating system and therefore you can expect there to be a few hiccups along the way. Additionally, bear in mind that the performance of the VM will also be hinged in a big way on the hardware resources of your NAS and depending on the amount of resources you assigned to the VM ,and therefore the amount of resources you left to your NAS to run in the background will dictate how well Windows 11 will run. So do bear that in mind

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Synology Photos VS Photo Station and Moments – ALL the Differences

8 juillet 2021 à 14:22

Synology Photos Upgrade from Moments & Photo Station – Should You Upgrade?

When Synology first announced the development of DSM 7 (almost 3 years ago now), one of the biggest changes that was noticed was the move by Synology to consolidate their existing Synology Photo Station and Moments applications into a single, all-purpose tool – Synology Photos. Throughout the previews and reveals of development on DSM 7.0, Synology photos would be continued to be highlighted, with each update showing improvements in GUI, shared space management and filtering through your decades of photos being made much easier. Now DSM 7 is officially here, many users who have made the switch from DSM 6.2 (and therefore migrating from Photo Station and Moments and into Synology Photos automatically) have raised queries about how some processes are handled by the newer photo software, what it improves upon in the older apps and some areas where it appears to have taken a few steps back – at least in this DSM 7 release build. So today I want to talk about the difference between these three applications, what parts of your existing DSM 6.2 Photo Station & Moments data will be migrated and what features of Synology Photos have yet to arrive. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether to make the jump from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, as right now the upgrade is not mandatory and you do not need to switch over if you do not want to.

What Are the Differences Between Synology Photos, Moments and Photo Station?

So, first and foremost, it is worth remembering that Synology Photos is not a completely new application in terms of what Synology has been providing in Photo Station and Moments previously. Indeed, Synology Photos is designed to centralize all the photo and image management of the NAS Drive in a single portal. The design of Synology Photos is certainly more heavily influenced by Moments in its GUI and layout, but with an important difference. The management of shared photos and albums is now switchable in the interface and allows you to manage your private/home collections parallel to your professional photography albums, shares and catalogues of images. THIS kind of design in the UX is much more equivalent to what Synology Photo provides. Below is a chart detailing the features of Synology Photos, along with from which predecessor application each design/element were incorporated:

Synology Photos

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

Target users Professional photographers,
Home users
Professional photographers Home users
DSM 7.0 Supported Not supported Not supported
Display style Folder view,
Timeline view
Folder view Folder view (view only),
Timeline view
Search features Keyword search,
Quick filters
General search,
Advanced search
Keyword search,
Advanced search
Virtual albums Supported Available in Shared Albums and Smart Albums Supported
Conditional albums Supported Supported (equivalent to Smart Albums) Not supported
Collaboration method Shared Space,
Shared albums
Album permissions Shared Photo Library
Detailed metadata information display Supported Supported Not supported
Auto-created albums Supported Not supported Supported
TV cast AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app) DS photo for Android/Apple TV,
AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app)
Not supported

So, on the face of it, Synology Photos seemingly does a very good job of consolidating the existing features of Moments and Photo Station 6. But let’s talk about what happens to your data when you migrate over, what parts of your existing NAS photography collections are migrated over.

Which Parts of Photo Station & Moments Can Be Migrated Over to Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Like any big firmware update on your photo, computer or console, upgrading the firmware on your Synology NAS from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0 can be slightly unnerving, as it can often lead to some applications no longer functioning the same or (very much in the case of switching from Photo Station and Moments to Synology Photos) the collections of albums, tags, shares and more being lost in the migration. Synology maintains that the majority of Moments and Photo Station metadata, shares and structured folders/albums in each application will be successfully maintained in the switch to Synology Photos in DSM 7. In cases where it is not possible, this can be down to file extension support changes in DSM 7, changes in supported AI services in the Synology Photos launch version or imply that a feature has been discontinued. Below is a breakdown of the data that will be migrated between Synology Photo Station and Moments into Synology Photos:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Folder structures in Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Manually created albums (will be transformed into folders)
  • Shared albums and smart albums (will be transformed into conditional albums)
  • Album permissions (will be transformed into folder permissions)
  • General tags
  • Location tags (will be transformed into general tags)
  • Settings to exclude certain file formats from indexing and conversion
  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Manually created and shared albums in My Photo Library and Shared Photo Library
  • General tags
  • Edited facial recognition results and groupings

Additionally, Synology highlight that the contents of the migrated shared albums and smart albums might be changed slightly due to changes in package design. Additionally, there may be an interruption of some shared albums/collections from your NAS drive as the share links of albums will be regenerated during the migration. The original URLs will no longer be available. As smooth as the bulk of all this sounds, it is worth mentioning that the launch version of Synology Photos does have some features missing from Photo Station 6 and Moments that, although might appear in a further update to the applications soon, are DEFINITELY worth knowing about before migrating from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 – as a couple of these might be dealbreakers for you when upgrading.

Which Features of Photo Station & Moments are NOT Currently Supported on Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Despite the beta phase of DSM 7.0 and Synology Photos back in December, the Release Candidate last month and the now full release of the firmware update and app, it has to be said that there are still a few features of Photo Station 6 and Moments that are NOT available in Synology Photos at launch. It has to be highlighted that it seems that Photo Station features are the ones that seemingly have had their wings clipped more. This appears to be largely as some features have been amalgamated into the wider DSM 7 system, but there are certainly a bunch of missing features in Synology Photos that many users are scratching their heads over. There are tiny features like the Photo Auto recolour in Moments and Slideshow control, that are arguable quick old skool and forgivable in the update. However, some remarkably cool/useful features of Moments and Photo Station that are missing in Synology Photos, such as the world map view of your collection and AI-powered subject recognition (though facial recognition is still available and enabled in a settings menu) being absent are actually rather annoying! Below is a full breakdown of the features that WERE in Moments and Photo Station, but NOT in Synology Photos right now in Summer 2021:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Account system of Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Personal Photo Station (its photos and videos will be migrated)
  • Descriptions hit counts, and watermarks of albums
  • Comments, color labels, and area highlight tools in Shared Albums
  • Map view!!!!!
  • Results of facial recognition (people tags) and ratings of photos
  • Portfolio
  • Theme
  • Log
  • Blog
  • iFrame embedment
  • Settings to restrict users from public sharing
  • Photo sharing via social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
  • Speed, music, and transition effects of slideshows
  • Subject recognition!!!!!
  • Integration with Synology Drive Server and the direct viewing of files under “/home/Drive”
  • Moments Select and Similar Photos
  • Auto Color and Rotate

That said, Synology has been keen to highlight that some of the removed features from Synology Moments and Photo Station 6 may be redesigned and relaunched along with future updates of Synology Photos, so we hope that the bulk of the features above make it eventually.

If You want to learn more about what Synology DSM 7.0 bring to your NAS (not just how it will impact for good/bad on your existing Photo Station and Moments setup into Synology Moments), why not read my FULL video review of the Diskstation Manager 7.0 below:

Synology DSM 7.0 Review on NASCompares

Alternatively, you can Read the full DSM 7 review below:

Synology DSM 7 Review – The Quick Conclusion

Let’s not mince words, the Synology DSM 7 software is easily the best experience you are ever going to have when accessing your decades of data! From huge upgrades in the graphical user interface, the layout of options and even managing to improve the already exceptionally user-friendly design, DSM 7 is unquestionably the king of network software right now. Aside from a few areas of design conflict between DSM 6.2 services and DSM 7 UI, questionable changes on USB compatibility and contention over migration between in photo station and Synology photos, DSM 7.0 still very much rules the roost when it comes to the best you can get in network-attached storage software in 2021/2022.

PROs of DSM 7.0 CONs of DSM 7.0
Genuinely Impressive Latency

Very Appealing GUI

Unbeatable First Party App Support

Near Perfect Single EcoSystem

Makes DSM 6.2 Look Dated

Fast RAID Repair and RAID6 Improvements

Surveillance, VMs, Backups and Media Handling all still 10/10

Feels JUST as Secure & Safe as Ever

Hyper Backup & Cloud Sync Still Support MANY Clouds

Active Insight, Active Backup, C2 & HybridShare = Business Win

Reduced USB Support Currently

Some 3rd Party Applications have not migrated well

Synology Photos Still Lacks some Photo Station Services

Hybrid Share ONLY Supports Synology C2 (Paid Sub)

Occasional Conflict of DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 Designs at times

Synology Drive File Pining & Active Backup Still not Available for Mac

 

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Synology DSM 7.0 FULL Review – Almost Perfection!

6 juillet 2021 à 16:20

Review of The Synology DSM 7 Software and Services

It’s been more than 3 years in development but finally, users are getting the chance to experience the full and official version of Diskstation Manager 7 (DSM 7) on their Synology NAS drives. Many users chose to invest their money and their data in a Synology NAS because the brand has an incredible reputation in the industry for their software and services, included with the hardware purchase – with DSM being one of the biggest draws. What once started as a slightly rudimentary network file manager tool, has now evolved dramatically over 20 years into its own fully-fledged equivalent operating system with applications, multi-user management and a wide range of inclusive software and services. The latest full version, DSM 7, was first previewed way back in 2018 at Synology’s annual launch event and has been in constant development all this time. With numerous massive changes between DSM 7 and DSM 6.2, ranging from the way applications are handled and backend tweaks to performance and security throughout, DSM7 is the equivalent of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for many users, and I am pleased to say that it accomplishes ALMOST everything it promises. Today I’m going to give a full and detailed review of Synology’s DSM 7.0 system software update, the highs, the lows and ultimately whether now is the time to upgrade your Synology NAS to this new and impressive version.

Synology DSM 7 Review – The Quick Conclusion

Let’s not mince words, the Synology DSM 7 software is easily the best experience you are ever going to have when accessing your decades of data! From huge upgrades in the graphical user interface, the layout of options and even managing to improve the already exceptionally user-friendly design, DSM 7 is unquestionably the king of network software right now. Aside from a few areas of design conflict between DSM 6.2 services and DSM 7 UI, questionable changes on USB compatibility and contention over migration between in photo station and Synology photos, DSM 7.0 still very much rules the roost when it comes to the best you can get in network-attached storage software in 2021/2022.

 

PROs of DSM 7.0 CONs of DSM 7.0
Genuinely Impressive Latency

Very Appealing GUI

Unbeatable First Party App Support

Near Perfect Single EcoSystem

Makes DSM 6.2 Look Dated

Fast RAID Repair and RAID6 Improvements

Surveillance, VMs, Backups and Media Handling all still 10/10

Feels JUST as Secure & Safe as Ever

Hyper Backup & Cloud Sync Still Support MANY Clouds

Active Insight, Active Backup, C2 & HybridShare = Business Win

Reduced USB Support Currently

Some 3rd Party Applications have not migrated well

Synology Photos Still Lacks some Photo Station Services

Hybrid Share ONLY Supports Synology C2 (Paid Sub)

Occasional Conflict of DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 Designs at times

Synology Drive File Pining & Active Backup Still not Available for Mac

 

—- Synology DSM 7.0 Review Contents —-

Synology DSM 7 Review – ALL PARTS

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-0-full-review

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 1 – GUI, Settings & Storage

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-1-user-interface-settings-storage-management

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 2 – Multimedia & Backups

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-2-multimedia-backup-management

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 3 – Cloud Gateways, Active Insight and CMS

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-3-cloud-gateways-active-insight-and-cms

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 4 – Business Applications & Conclusion

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-4-business-applications-conclusion

 

Synology DSM 7 Review – The New User Interface

DSM 7 makes a very early positive impact on the user after the update has been installed, with the new login screen and improved login options. The previous DSM 6.2 login screen was clear and functional, but might have been a bit tame (though customization was possible to a small degree). Synology has scaled up the new login screen on this new diskstation manager software to remember a much more modern and slick UI, with the username and password entry being separated across slides – rather than together. Whether this is a layered security measure or this was necessitated by those using OTP login (2 step authentication etc) or Synology’s own secure signin application, it’s still a very, VERY clear UI straight off the bat!

As mentioned, Synology has released together with DSM 7, the secure sign-in application for Android/iOS to allow ‘in-house provided’ 2 step authentication into the NAS. Although this is a nice extra and I can see a lot of larger businesses who use the Synology NAS platform for their teams/staff using this, I think most other users will continue to use their existing authentication tools (e.g Google Authenticator) for simplicity across their own software environments. However, these are still very much supported in DSM 7 (as they are in DSM 6.2) with increased OTP support on this update.

The login speed of DSM 7 is still something I think deserves ALOT of attention. The localized feel of DSM 7 is something that is impossible to ignore. It is easy to forget that when you are interacting with the Synology NAS via your web browser (Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, etc) that you are only accessing a portal/tunnel to the NAS via the network/internet – which given the responsiveness of the GUI, moving windows, changing tabs, crisp quality of the layout and low latency is easily where a lot of work in DSM 7 development went. Not just reducing any delays, but doing so whilst still maintaining the same/higher level of secure and encrypted transmission. A quick look at the range of supported applications on DSM 7 shows that pretty much all of the applications that people use on a Synology NAS are available here (with a few applications being renamed e.g iSCSI Manager>SAN Manager, whereas others have been merged together, e.g Synology Photos).

The applications listed in the Synology Application center are all where you would expect them to be for the most part, though HybridShare still remains in the Beta category (which is actually quite advantageous when I was reviewing the final version as the Synology C2 Cloud Beta capacity was still available for testing). Much like DSM 6.2, in DSM 7 you can install numerous applications at the same time and still use the rest of the system, with a few minor exceptions where key background services needed to be installed/downloaded and this prevents simultaneous app installation for a period.

The only gripe I could find with regard to DSM 7 and application installation was first that Plex Media Server (currently version 1.22) was still in the Beta applications list and installation was not quite as clear cut as other applications (understandable for a 3rd party app) and some users have raised complaints that their existing Plex Media Server setup in DSM 6.2 was in need of fix/repair during migrations to DSM 7.0 (I did not experience this personally, but I have used DSM 7 in beta for a while and larger changes may have occurred in other versions of this software. Additionally, the range of 3rd Party applications that are supported has been noticeably trimmed down. This might well be because DSM 7 is such a modified/changed platform over DSM  6.2, that these applications are in need of re-tooling by their respective brands, but still – some of the lesser-known apps were still used in the absence of docker/container alternatives.

The control panel of DSM 7.0 is very similar to DSM 6.2, with a few small changes in where options are located (both in the primary menu and sub-menus), and once again the simplicity, ease and user-friendly design of the Synology Diskstation Manager Settings menus are top-notch – however, I can still see more seasoned storage professional having gripes with more customizable and configurable options being heavily buried or unavailable outside of SSH. Nevertheless, it is a VERY clear layout and intuative.

The resource monitor in DSM 7 has also received an update and is now a fraction more information than its predecessor, with more historical data options and ways to par down the stats to get more information. It’s a smaller upgrade over DSM 6.2 resource monitor, but always a change for the good to have more system health and consumption of the hardware info at hand.

Talking of system hardware, it is worth discussing another area of DSM 7.0 that some are less happy with. The USB support (i.e the range of compatible USB devices) that you can connect to a DSM 7 enabled NAS is far less than previously, with numerous network adapters, office hardware and lite client devices no long being supported. Synology has highlighted that in some cases this is because they need updated drivers/software from manufacturers to work with DSM 7.0, but in other cases, we have already seen a trend of reducing compatible USB devices on Synology DSM. Luckily the majority of USB storage devices are compatible (2 connected in the image below), but EXT3 is no longer supported in DSM 7.0.

The system also has improved logs/records windows that are available to track the goings-on within the system and has incorporated a lot of this into the security center – providing updates/notifications to the end-user to pre-empt any potential vulnerabilities that open up.

Along with numerous backend improvements in DSM 7 and the improvements of encryption in a bunch of areas, the system still has the same Security Advisor and Antivirus scanning systems built into the software. These can be set up the first time and then can do their high on a schedule, regular as clockwork. They seem a little thin on details, but they do their job and that’s what counts.

All in all, the user interface and interaction with Synology DSM 7.0 is a big, big upgrade over DSM 6.2 in design and responsiveness, though there is the occasional blip where you can see the layout/structure of DSM 6.2 at odds with DSM 7.0 – but this will likely be ironed out as the bulk of Diskstation development shifts over to DSM7 exclusively. When we first explored the DSM7 GUI and system interaction at the beta stages (video below) the clear improvements in operation speed and latency were clear:

Synology DSM 7 Review – Storage & File Management

Moving aside from shiny graphics, modern UX and responsive browser access, let’s take a good look at the storage and file management of DSM 7 and what has changed from DSM 6.2 The storage manager in DSM7 has been given a lot of attention, with the overview being given a large graphical overhaul. The more topographical list of storage pools, volumes and SSD cache bays is exceptionally clear and gives you the bulk of important information you need to know immediately. On the whole, I much prefer this new UI in the storage manager, however, I did notice that the layout of the NAS storage bays and SSD cache bays would only display correctly if I was using a web browser at 90-100% screen size. Anything less (as I believe most people use 70-80% on Laptops and MacBooks) and the SSD cache bay would display incorrectly.

Changing the zoom (tested on numerous browsers) to closer to 100% would resolve this, but it does seem like an odd thing to have missed at the design stage. Still, it is an incredibly pedantic point I know!

The drives tab shows us a slightly more familiar list that shows us the available storage drives on the system, along with SSD caching bays (as appropriate to the NAS hardware) and from here you can find out a wealth of information on each drive.

Information on each drive includes its health, SMART tests, temp, initialization status, model ID, serial, RAID group and much more. Once again, if you use Seagate Ironwolf Hard Drives, you have the option of utilizing the Health Management tool too.

Once Hard drives are configured to a RAID (and yes, Synology Hybrid RAID is still an option on plus series devices and below), you can then examine a lot of the newer options of DSM 7 with regard to RAID management and how extra drives are handled. The has already been a lot of mention of the RAID 6 performance when degraded/rebuilding in DSM 7 (video tests coming soon), but there is also the new fast repair option that allows users to only have to factor the build of areas of the drives where data resides. In practice, that means that during a RAID rebuild, the areas of the drives (As dictated by the parity blueprint etc) that contain data are built, and the rest is just zero’d (whereas a normal RAID rebuild would build each block one by one, even the empty ones). This is also joined by the already available RAID resync/rebuild priority control to allow the scaling of resources as needed.

In the event of a new drive being inserted into a NAS with DSM 7, there is an improved display of options of what you can do with this drive with the existing RAID array, making the initialization of a drive to the system much more intuitive and easy to conclude.

Outside of the storage manager, when it comes to interacting with your NAS, its volumes and contents at a file/folder level, the File Station application still provides all the functionality you are going to need. Perhaps looking a tad dated compared with other DSM 7 improvements in UI and the Synology Drive application, but still a very functional tool.

You can still create, control, modify and clone shared folders very quickly and this is still especially true on BTRFS systems – as well as when mounting C2 cloud storage using the Hybrid Share application (covering later). Though I would also highlight that DSM 7.0 requires at least 1GB of memory to fully utilize the system software smoothly and although it IS available as an update to more modest hardware systems like the DS120j (512MB memory), if you are running a DS218play and above (2GB memory) with DSM 7 and BTRFS, I would expect resource utilization to rise up notably.

Another change that is mostly cosmetic is the change by Synology in making the iSCSI Manager tool (for creating logical targeted storage on the NAS that can be added to remote client systems much more natively) into SAN Manager. The integration of SAN tools into NAS in recent years has grown dramatically and although SAN manager and iSCSI Manager are mostly the same in utility and layout, they have made a few changes to the available options and defaults that make it easier to create your next business target and LUNs.

Synology Drive is another application that has changed very little in design between DSM 6.2 and DSM 7, but that is more likely because it has already evolved significantly in the last few years. Originally promoted as the Synolgoy NAS based alternative to the 1-portal UI available in Google Drive and Dropbox (i.e 1 window, can option all/most file types), but has now become a behemoth of a tool for home and business users to backup, sync and access their NAS in a far, far more native way. As mentioned earlier, its design is far, FAR more preferable to that of File Station and it would have been nice to see a similar level of design and access be afforded to File Station in DSM 7.0 as found in Synolgoy Drive.

The client application for Synology Drive (that you install on your client computer) allows you to sync folders between your NAS and your system and allows you to interact with your NAS data (multiple users can share team folders too) without the web browser and inside your own native computer OS. However, the popular file pinning and file streaming on-demand feature is still only available on Windows client machines and although there was mention of support of Mac OS in DSM 7 in 2021, this is still yet to arrive (also the same for Mac OS support in Active Backup Suite).

For those users who have made the jump from Google Drive and DropBox and onto Synolgoy NAS, the Synology Drive Client app and those additional file management services in Windows context menus are incredibly popular and it is a shame that the Mac OS functionality was not ready at release. Here is a video below (base don DSM 6.2) that gives you a better idea of how file pinning and file streaming on Drive works.

 

 

—- Synology DSM 7.0 Review Contents —-

Synology DSM 7 Review – ALL PARTS

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-0-full-review

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 1 – GUI, Settings & Storage

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-1-user-interface-settings-storage-management

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 2 – Multimedia & Backups

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-2-multimedia-backup-management

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 3 – Cloud Gateways, Active Insight and CMS

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-3-cloud-gateways-active-insight-and-cms

Synology DSM 7 Review Part 4 – Business Applications & Conclusion

https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-review-part-4-business-applications-conclusion

 

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Best NAS and Drives For £500 in 2021

2 juillet 2021 à 02:00

The Best NAS and Hard Drives for the Home on a Budget of £500

If you are looking at buying a NAS drive (whether it is to move away from the likes of Google Drive or Dropbox, or to just have all of your data in a single controllable location), then it can be a rather intimidating task. For many users, the very, VERY first hurdle they encounter is the price tag! NAS systems, although not massively expensive, do always seem a little more expensive than you think – especially given the modest internal hardware used inside sometimes when compared again DIY PCs. Add to this the fact that these devices ALSO need to be populated with storage media and you can be looking at a price tag that can easily spiral out of control. Add to this that a lot of users simply do not want/need all the enterprise features and just want a system that can be used as a backup for all of their desktop and mobile devices, is as secure as possible, can support a good level of 4K/1080p media over DLNA/Remotely (e.g Plex), feature a little bit of camera connectivity for security, Provide a intuative and user-friendly photo album access and all the while having a system that runs smoothly and quietly in the background! Although most NAS systems support all these features to a small/large degree, you will all too often find that the price point and scale of these NAS systems are wildly different! So, today I wanted to highlight the BEST three NAS drives in 2021 that not only provide ALL of the features mentioned (and can run them all at once with ease), but also allow you to purchase the NAS and Hard drives for less than £500. Each solution has its own particular advantages and although each one might better suit a different kind of user, all three are by far the best that each brand can provide (including Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives) for this modest price point.

IMPORTANT – Most home users who look at buying a NAS and Hard Drive media at this price point are usually quite focused on Plex Media Server support, as although they will use the myriad of other features and software that these devices arrive with, the lion share of its use will be for a Plex Media Server NAS for their friends and family to connect and enjoy movies, boxsets, albums and their photos. So I have focused a little more on these system’s multimedia abilities than most other services.

If you just want to skip to the end, all three NAS are below, otherwise, scroll through my top 3 NAS for the buyers on a budget! I would recommend you purchase one of the following Three NAS drives:

— Short Version —

Synology DS220+, NAS – Designed to be network/internet-only access, VERY user-friendly, most expensive of the 3, good for Mac users and excellent first Party Software

QNAP TS-251D NAS – Designed to be Network/Internet/HDMI, pretty user-friendly, PCIe upgrade option for a later date, Good for Windows/Android users

Asustor Nimbustor 2 NAS – Quite user-friendly, Best CPU, Best Memory, Network/Internet/HDMI 4K, 2.5Gbe connection (the rest have 1Gbe), Good for Android/Windows users

NASCompares Top 3 Budget NAS for £500 (including Drives and Tax)

Synology DS220+ NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £472 TOTAL

QNAP TS-251D NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)

= £495 TOTAL

Nimbustor 2 NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £465 TOTAL

 

— Long Version —

All three have their own dedicated browser software access, dedicated mobile applications, backup applications and surveillance software. Below is alot more information about each device.

Best £500 Synology NAS for Beginners – DS220+ and Seagate 4TB Seagate Ironwolf

Synology DS220+, Intel J4025 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/6GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB) = £472 TOTAL
The DS220+ NAS is one that budget buyers have been using as a Plex media server for a lot of 2020/2021. Although the device might look a little modest compared with the more powerful DS920+ or even DS720+, even at this price point it features multiple ports and connections. It is the surprisingly powerful and efficient Synology software that the DS220+ arrives with that means that you are getting a number of key plex options covered by this NAS drive. Arriving with the popular Intel Celeron J4025, the DS220+ from Synology is one of the most popular NAS drives that they have released in a very long time. If you want to stay within the £500 budget, including hard drives and tax, you will be able to find this device for just over £300 tops and that gives you another £200 that you should be able to get a couple of 2TB or 3TB Seagate Ironwolf hard drives for your NAS.
What makes the DS220+ such an impressive device is that it gives you everything you need in a modern device for plex, at a remarkably affordable price. Featuring a transcoding engine (embedded graphics) on that CPU, that Plex pass users will be able to utilise, the performance of media on the DS220+ is pretty impressive for such an affordable NAS drive. Add to that the fact that it is a two-bay device with support of BTRFS as its file system for stability, SHR for a more fluid RAID system that allows you to mix and match drives to increase storage later down the line and an overall sense of stability and user-friendliness in this device. Sure, there are more powerful Synology NAS drives out there for use as a larger scale backup or powerful Plex media server, but at this price level, it is not only the most affordable fully-featured NAS you can buy, but also one of the best examples of what Synology is all about – all for under £500 that includes storage and tax.

 

 

NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 QNAP NAS for Ultimate Access – TS-251D and Seagate 8TB Seagate Ironwolf

QNAP TS-251D, Intel J4055 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DDR4 2400hz Memory, HDMI 2.0 4K, PCIe Slot 2×2, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)= £495 TOTAL

As soon as you mention any kind of NAS drive for home or business and Synology, you will of course then mention QNAP. These two brands have been producing great NAS drives for use as local/remote backup servers for years now and the most cost-effective QNAP drive that allows you to get both the device and a good amount of storage space for under £500 is the TS-251D device. The QNAP TS-251D has exactly the same internal CPU+RAM hardware as the previously mentioned DS220+ NAS, with the added benefits that it is a pinch lower in price and features several hardware advantages that, even a budget Plex NAS user, may factor into their media server now or later that are damn near irresistible.  Featuring such advantages as an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port to connect your TV directly to your NAS (for media, surveillance, VM use and more) and enjoy media at almost 0-second latency speeds (which is especially useful for 4K playback), the QNAP TS-251D NAS even features a PCIe upgrade slot that will allow you to increase your network speeds at a later date. These kinds of hardware options, as well as the transcoding support at 1080p and 4K at less than £500 including tax and storage, is genuinely impressive. At this price point, you are able to get this and maybe a couple of 2 or 3 Terabyte Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives, still leaving you with around £10-20 leftover!
As mentioned, the internal hardware is identical in traditional spec to that of the DS220+, with the same Intel Celeron J4025 CPU and 2GB of DDR4 memory, though in the TS-251D you can expand all the way up to 8GB of memory (the Synology oddly limiting you to 6GB at 2+4GB), further highlighting the upgradability of this NAS and allowing you to buy a budget NAS drive today that can become a much more powerful and useful NAS later. On a software level, QNAP has the QTS platform that is much more catering to Windows and Android users in its design. Whereas Synology try to keep things to Network/internet-only access, the QNAP gives you far more customization in and out of their core system, and the TS-251D gives a much greater balance of access for local, access and internet/network connectivity.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 Asustor NAS for Performance – Nimbustor 2 and Seagate 6TB Seagate Ironwolf

Asustor AS5202T, Intel J4005 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DD4 2400Mhz Memory, HDMI 2.0a, BTRFS. 2.5G, 3yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 3TB)= £465 TOTAL
One NAS brand that has REALLY accelerated it’s customer awareness this year is Asustor. The release of the Nimbustor series really shook up the NAS world with its incredibly affordable price point, despite featuring some of the very best hardware available on this list. At our £500 price point for a Plex NAS, you can buy the Nimbustor 2 and 4TB of storage (including TAX) with £30-40 leftover, which really does make this tough to beat. from a hardware point. Arriving with an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, the J4005 at 1.5-2.7Ghz per core and 2GB of DDR4 memory, in PLEX that translates to some fantastic performance, supporting 1080p and 4K playback, along with a good chunk of 1080p transcoding and lower-end 4K.
What makes the Nimbustor 2 so much better than the TS-251D or DS220+ for Plex power buyers is that despite me including it in my budget Plex NAS list, it actually provides a great many features that even £1000+ NAS drives do not. That powerful Gemini lake dual-core processor promises that you will get great plex performance (though less than a modern Pentium Gold or higher i3/i5/i7). Alongside this, all of the file system or hardware features from the TS-251D and DS220+ are here in one form or greater. Such as BTRFS support and that HDMI 2.0 output, that lets you playback 4K Plex media locally to your connected TV at 60FPS. However, it is in terms of future connectivity that the Nimbustor 2 really succeeds. Although it is the most affordable NAS on the list today, this device arrives with two 2.5Gbe ports. These ports are completely backwards compatible with regular 1Gbe RJ45 connectivity (found in all homes and offices), but allow your Plex media server NAS to take advantage of greater network speeds in your network environment as your surrounding network and internet equipment evolved over the years. With file sizes getting bigger and bigger, yet our demand for data getting faster and faster, options like 2.5Gbe in the Nimbustor 2 and PCIe upgraded NICs (network interface cards) on the TS-251D are definitely worth consideration. The Nimbustor 2 NAS, despite its low price point, even arrives with a fully-featured and gamer inspired graphical user interface and operating system, ADM. So notwithstanding some great performance as a Plex media server, it also arrives with a myriad of backup and file streaming options available to you.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review
I go into alot more detail if you watch the video below, In short, I focus on this primarily because of their affordability (including hard drives and tac), as a Plex Media Server, but also because they will do EVERYTHING else on your too list. They may seem a pinch higher $ than you might have wanted to spend, but in terms of future-proofing, smooth access and ease of use, these are pretty much as good as it gets right now at this price point.

If you interested in how each NAS system and its software perform/present themselves, take a look below at my video review of the Synology DSM 7, QNAP QTS and Asustor ADM NAS GUI and system software:

Synology DSM Software

QNAP QTS Software

ASUSTOR ADM Software

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS

I hope this helps you with choosing the right NAS for your home and family. Thanks for reading!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Synology DSM 7 is RELEASED! 5 Reasons You Should Upgrade Your NAS

29 juin 2021 à 18:00

Synology DSM 7.0 Now Available – 7 Reasons to Upgrade from DSM 6.2

As many of you might well have heard, after several long years of waiting, Synology DSM 7.0 (the NAS software, GUI and storage services platform from the brand) has finally been officially released. It’s been a long road and one that I have been following on and off for almost 3 years since its initial reveal, with DSM 6.2 receiving several key updates in the meantime and many users are pondering whether to upgrade their existing Synology NAS server to the latest version. Synology will continue to maintain DSM 6.2 (as some systems are not able to use DSM 7 yet), though obviously, this will decrease over time as DSM 7.0 becomes the Synology’s focus. so, today I wanted to discuss 5 reasons why you should upgrade to DSM 7.0 on your Synology NAS today. If you are still on the fence about it, worried about how some applications or services will deal with the migration, below is the latest videos and articles on DSM7 from NAS Compares that will convince you whether to proceed or play it safe.


Recommended DSM 7.0 Articles:

The Synology DSM 7.0 FULL REVIEW – https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-0-full-review/

How Well Does DSM 7.0 Run on Different Synology NAS – https://nascompares.com/2021/06/18/synology-dsm-7-0-how-well-does-it-run

Synology 2021 – Focus on DSM 7.0 – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/07/synology-2021-focus-on-dsm-7

DSM 7.0 Early Impressions – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/17/synology-dsm-7-0-beta-early-impressions


 

Synology DSM 7.0 – The Responsiveness and Fast Login Speed

Synology DSM and their NAS platform, in general, has always been praised for its responsiveness. Whether accessing your NAS through a web browser, mobile application or general network device, DSM has always managed to give you a tremendously confident sense of ‘local’ when accessing the system GUI. It can be all too easy to forget that when you are interacting with a Synology NAS and DSM through the web browser, that you are not accessing anything connected directly – it is all being conducted via the network, local WiFi or Remotely via the Internet. Synology DSM 7 was always very responsive and (unless you are connecting on a weaker network or using a particularly weak system heavily) it only ever seems to have the slightly larger latency than the PC I would be using to access it on. However, DSM 7 has really managed to find some extra hears in there and one of the first things you will notice when you make the upgrade to DSM 7 on your NAS is that the system is even more responsive.

As mentioned, DSM 6.2 was no slouch, but DSM 7 manages to tweak a number of back end settings and responsive input points (such as the login screen verification, sub/context menus when in use, moving between multiple windows) to make general navigation significantly higher in feedback/reaction. Although this is clearly at its most noticeable when you first log into the system (and this was featured at its initial preview back in 2018), it is a speed of access that persists pretty consistently and only really starts to dip when the system is under particular stress. Also, DSM 7 has a recommended memory minimum of 1GB, however, it can still be downloaded officially from Synology for systems like the DS115j and DS220J that feature 256MB and 512MB respectively – with comparable performance still maintained. So, although it feels less important than the rest of the reasons here, a good reason to upgrade to DSM 7 is to enjoy a much more responsive and reactive Synology NAS GUI!

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much Clearer and Intuative Storage Manager

For many users, the intimidation of managing their storage system on day 1 or day 1000 never really goes away. As robust as a Synology NAS system might appear, the fragility of your storage, once it is displayed as ‘all your data spread across many hard drives’, can be rather disconcerting – especially when your data is mission-critical! Over the years, many brands have gone one of two ways about their storage management GUI – either they have gone SUPER technical, in order to make sure the end-user has all (too much?) information at their fingertips. Otherwise, many brands and their software (including Synology DSM 6.2) provide a more generalized display of the information of their storage architecture. This will include largely text-based displays, but presented as tabs and blocks of information that relate to individual disks, storage pools and volumes (with context menus for maintenance). Synology DSM 6.2 has always had a little bit of an identity crisis when it comes to the storage manager and this si something that DSM7 has resolved by providing a much better selection of graphical representations of the NAS, Drives, SSDs and makes the whole display about 10x more intuitive to the data storage novice.

This way of displaying storage information more graphically is something that Synology had already begin to integrate with the SSD caching bays, displaying how the cache was being utilized, displaying hit rates and utilization – but in a much more visually understandable form and it is good that this has been implemented across the system in a much broader way. If you have been using your NAS for a few years already, then chances are that the benefits of this newly designed storage manager will be a little lost on you, but for those setting up a brand new Synology NAS or are still a little green on the subject of RAID, storage pools and volumes – it will be massively useful.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Improved Cloud Connectivity and Storage Mounting

There was a time when users would have to make a choice between NAS or cloud services (such as Google Drive and Dropbox) for where their data would live, with one inevitably being more suitable than the other. However, in more recent times, the benefits of having BOTH in place has been heavily emphasised, with the ease of access globally of a cloud combined with a centralized local server to ensure constant connectivity and security where it matters most. Although cloud connectivity existed in Synology DSM 6.2, it has to be noted that it has been substantially improved in DSM 7.0. A great deal of these improvements are focused on the use of Synology’s C2 platform, as well as how this storage appears to a local NAS user.

Click to view slideshow.

One that we already knew about but is nice to see a move from beta to full release is the Hybrid Share application. Hybrid Share, which combines C2 storage flexibility and synchronization capabilities with on-premises bare metal (NAS) solutions, and C2 Identity, a hybrid cloud directory as a service to simplify cross-site domain management. Together with platform improvements such as supporting up to 1 Petabyte volumes for super-large tasks, DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. A 2 step verification tool similar to Google Authenticator, but dedicated to Synology NAS solutions. Other new additions to the C2 cloud platform (that can be used within DSM 7.0) are C2 Password, C2 Transfer, and C2 Backup are standalone solutions that address modern needs to protect passwords, share sensitive files, and back up any endpoints and common SaaS cloud services – which were already well supported in DSM 6.2 in Active Backup 365/Google Workspace.

Although a few of these features are still accessible in DSM 6.2, the full complement of services is only available on DSM 7.0 and rolling out one by one between now and mid-July. So, if you already factor Synology C2 into your storage setup, you will be improving the access and security of your storage environment by upgrading. Though do remember that at the time of writing, several of the enterprise-grade XS, SA and FS systems are still awaiting the DSM 7.0 upgrade choice, so you may be forced to wait.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much, MUCH Better RAID 6 Handling & Fast Repair

Anyone that has ever lost data from a NAS will have learnt two very important things, 1 – RAID is not the same as a Backup and 2 – Sometimes 1 disk of failure protection is not enough! Synology has always provided RAID 6 support to any NAS system with more than 4 Bays (even the more modest J series), but even if you are prepared to overlook the capacity drop of switching from RAID 5 to RAID 6, there is the added negative of the performance drop that you can endure. RAID 6 requires the system to create double parity architecture in the configuration/storage pool, which can result in the CPU having to work a little harder to write data, reducing the performance AND increasing resource use. Likewise in the event of a single drive (or even two) drives failing, this results in much slower system performance as the RAID configuration need rebuilding with new drive media. Synology DSM 7.0 however not only provides a much more rapid RAID rebuild system but also promises vast improvements on performance on a RAID 6 during its degraded state whilst you await rebuilding too!

Although the improvements to degraded RAID performance are good (especially appealing to integral business data users), the faster rebuild option is a much more universally appealing addition in DSM 7 to considering upgrading now. Unlike normal RAID rebuilding in DSM 6.2 (which incidentally also can have its priority scaled up as needed to marginally increase build time) which rebuilds the data block by block, regardless of whether there is data in that area of the array, the new Synology Fast Repair will only need to rebuild the areas of the storage pool where the data actually resided. So if you have a 4 Disk RAID, that is only 20% full/used, the fast repair option will only need to build that area and not the empty area of space. Although no one likes to dwell too much on RAID failure and it’s an odd reason to consider upgrading from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, it’s still a very interesting feature that will significantly reduce the lesser performance associated with RAID rebuilding.

Synology DSM 7.0 – It is Much More Secure

Although I have already partially touched on this, Synology has really ramped up the security settings and default parameters of DSM 7.0 noticeable. That is not to say that DSM 6.2 isn’t safe but given the increased cloud connectivity and improvements in control that is present in DSM 7 (as well as the improvements made with their C2 platform), you definitely get the feeling that the ways and means of accessing your system have been tightened considerably. These include:

  • Enhanced the password policy. Passwords must exclude username and description, include both upper-case and lower-case letters as well as numerical digits. The minimum password length is eight characters.
  • Added the ability to delegate predefined administrator roles to non-administrator user accounts and allow them to manage certain services and system settings, offering more flexible permission management.
  • Added the ability to require imported users to change their passwords after their initial DSM logins.
  • Enhanced LDAP client authentication performance by reducing the number of queries sent with a caching mechanism.
  • DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. This brand-new authentication system makes two-factor effortless and straightforward to use (FAST FORWARD IN THE VIDEO BELOW TO 01:40)

  • The following services and packages now support UPN logins: Synology Assistant, Hyper Backup, Synology Mail Server, Synology Calendar, and Shared Folder Sync.
  • Enhanced domain database synchronization performance by syncing only altered data.
  • Added the ability to block USB and console ports.
  • Enhanced QuickConnect connection process to strengthen security.
  • Provides only TLS 1.3 support for the Modern Compatibility option for TLS/SSL profile level.
  • Added the ability to set 2-factor authentication is mandatory for specific users or groups.

So, as you can see, it’s a good combination of making existing working practices with your NAS much stronger AND introducing more system security defaults. With an increased concern in 2021 about ransomware and intrusions on public/private clouds becoming ever more lucrative to hackers – this impressive pile of security improvements on your NAS might tip you over the edge from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0

BONUS Reason to Upgrade – DSM 7.0 is Widley Supported!

Although this one doesn’t really count, I DO think it is worth highlighting. Namey that the support of DSM 7.0 as an upgrade from DSM 6.2 is very, VERY widely available. It came as no surprise that it would be supported on Plus series devices, such as the DS918+, DS218+ or DS1821+. However, the fact that much, MUCH older J series devices (with 32bit ARM processors and 256MB memory are also eligible for the upgrade is massively impressive! Below is the current range of Synolgoy NAS that can now be upgraded to the fully released DSM 7.0 official upgrade:

21-series: RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, and DS1621+.
20-series: RS820RP+, RS820+, DS1520+, DS920+, DS720+, DS620slim, DS420+, DS420j, DS220+, DS220j, and DS120j.
19-series: RS1219+, RS819, DS2419+II, DS2419+, DS1819+, DS1019+, DS419slim, and DS119j.
18-series: RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS1618+, DS918+, DS718+, DS418, DS418play, DS418j, DS218+, DS218, DS218play, DS218j, and DS118.
17-series: RS217, DS1817+, DS1817, DS1517+, and DS1517.
16-series: RS2416RP+, RS2416+, RS816, DS916+, DS716+II, DS716+, DS416, DS416play, DS416slim, DS416j, DS216+II, DS216+, DS216, DS216play, DS216j, DS216se, and DS116.
15-series: RS815RP+, RS815+, RS815, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, and DS115j.
14-series: RS2414RP+, RS2414+, RS814RP+, RS814+, RS814, RS214, DS414, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214+, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, and DS114.
13-series: DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, and DS213j.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the enterprise-level hardware will have DSM 7.0 upgrades rolled out in Q3/Q4 of 2021, but if you are curious about upgrading your 2020/2021 Series PLUS NAS to DSM 7.0, below are four videos showing how the DS220+, DS920+, DS220j, DS1821+ and DS1621+ handle DSM 7.0:

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

6 Things You Can Do With Your NAS Other Than Backup Storage

23 juin 2021 à 16:00

Cool Things You Can Do With Your NAS other Than Backup Storage

The main motivation for most users who purchase a new network-attached (NAS) storage device is often a means to create an alternative to Cloud services, backup several devices safely and really just to make sure that there is a mean to keep their data safe and sound, but also within reach when needed. The majority of NAS brands perform this function well and if you are looking for a NAS just to do these functions, then you will always be successful, regardless of the unit you choose. However, there is actually a huge number of things that a NAS can do and with the evolution of modern NAS hardware from brands like Synology and QNAP, most users do not even realise the cool things they can do with their system to maximize their investment or simply to have a little fun. So today I want to go through some of the best things you can do with a NAS drive that are more than just using it as a simple backup storage system. Let’s go!

Important – All of the things below that I recommend for your NAS drive are available on the majority of NAS systems from Synology, QNAP, Asustor, WD My Cloud or Terramaster. However, the extent to which they can be done and the overall performance that you will achieve will be based on the power of the NAS drive that you own and the number of simultaneous processes that you run. So if you are already using more than 90% of the existing hardware to run a large-scale simultaneous backup operation, that will not leave a vast amount of resources to run anything else. So just bear in mind that the extent to which the below fun things you can do with your NAS also depend on the hardware resources at your disposal.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own NetFlix

Probably the most well-known thing about NAS that is popular for home users is that you can use the system to watch media over DLNA in your home. However, a lot of users do not realise the extent to which you can enjoy movies and box sets on your NAS. It’s one thing to have a big pile of files that you can access in a breadcrumb file/folder level over the network. It is another thing entirely to create a complete slick and well-designed user interface, with all of your decades of TV shows and movies displayed in a form similar to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, this is exactly what you can do if you take advantage of PLEX media server or Synology Video Station. These applications allow you to index (ie scan and catalogue) your existing collections of media, then they search online databases for box art, reviews, cast lists, trailers and more, which then allows you to automatically present this information on your smart TV, tablet, console or phone in beautifully designed and intuitive software menus. Indeed, Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station are available on the majority of everyday internet-connected media devices and both of these applications are free or included in the cost of your NAS. Find out more about Plex media server on your NAS using the media you own, as well as connecting online multimedia services, in the video below.

It is also worth highlighting that your own personal Netflix on your NAS experience is not limited to just been connected to by you, as you can allow family and friends to access your NAS with this sleek and intuitive user interface anywhere on the network or remotely via the internet too.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own Google Drive Shared Cloud

Most users think of a NAS as a giant hard drive that they connect to their devices remotely in order to back up their data. In most cases, a home user who purchased the NAS did so to move away from Cloud services like Dropbox and Google. However, some users are still blissfully unaware that you can use a NAS to host your very own version of Dropbox or Google drive for hundreds or thousands of users if you choose. Taking advantage of the file and space management services of a NAS in conjunction with online browser-based access and you can present areas of storage on your NAS to users with their very own login information, area of space that can be changed on the fly, controlled file types/sizes and the whole thing presented as an easy web browser-based cloud platform. Although this is available on the majority of NAS brands using their own software and client, Synology Drive provides this in the best way and is by far the most similar in design, ability and execution to DropBox and Google Drive. Find out more about Synology drive below:

The number of simultaneous or concurrent user that you can provide individual private cloud space to is only really limited by the NAS and the total available capacity, but even very very modest NAS systems at a few £100 can support hundreds of users at once. 

Use Your NAS to Setup a Enterprise-Grade Surveillance System at Home or Work

Most people who are even vaguely aware of modern NAS will hear the word surveillance thrown around quite a lot. They sort of know that they can have some cameras about the place that can send recordings to their NAS drive, but above and beyond that, they don’t really know much about it, don’t know how easy it is and ultimately decide not to really look into it. However in the most modern examples of network-attached storage, not only do the big brands all include surveillance software that is genuinely on par with the best and most premium grade NVR and CCTV software (Milestone and Axis Nvr), but also the cost of IP cameras that connect to your home or office network cost way, WAY less than you think. Even the compatible range of cameras that you can use that are supported arrive in the thousands of models and as long as the camera supports ONVIF, it will work. Many affordable Wi-Fi cameras and even solar-powered cameras that connect to your NAS over the network internet can be purchased for as little as £30 and once connected to the NAS surveillance software, with its remote access architecture and easy-to-use graphical user interface, you can set up a surveillance and protective security system in your home/business for very little money than you already spent on the NAS. Here is how Synology Surveillance station and QNAP’s QVR Pro software compare. Just remember that both of these programs are included with the cost of your NAS, which brings any expense on your NVR setup even lower:

The maximum number of cameras you can run at any one time, the total picture quality and the size of recordings generated will depend on the power and size of your NAS, but even affordable one day NAS solutions can be quite effective as a surveillance network video recorder.

Use Your NAS to Create a Virtual Machine for Work, Rest and Play

The use of virtual machines (VMs) used to be something that was only deployed and understood by big business. However, in 2021/2022, they are now being used to a highly productive and effective degree by even small home users as remote connecting systems. In essence, a virtual machine is a digital image of a physical computer. It needs to live within the confines of another computer, in this case a NAS, but its hardware specifications are represented as digital equivalents and this virtual version of a computer can be accessed remotely via the network or internet. Many users who purchased network-attached storage devices simply for backups will one day find out that they are using a mere fraction of the total available hardware inside their NAS. A great way to take advantage of this hardware available and put it to better use while your NAS is on 24×7 is to create a virtual machine within the NAS and then use it for business use, for personal centralised computer use or even or numerous fun tasks. These can include testing an operating system that you’ve never used before, running a legacy operating system like Windows 98 or XP in order to play old games or software, or even create light Linux VMs to deploy bespoke custom applications and retro games via emulation software like Retroarch and LaunchBox. Virtual machines are now painfully easy to deploy and all of the current modern NAS brands include their own first past the VM software. Take a look below at how Synology and QNAP compare in virtual machine support on their mass.

A particular stand out of this is QNAP with three separate virtual machine tools (Virtualization Station, Linux Station and Container Station) and within each of them, the ability to simply download numerous virtual machine images (from within the software GUI) for near-instant deployment in around 2 clicks of the mouse. Taking care of the entire setup and allowing you to just start having fun or doing business with your new virtual machine.

Use Your NAS to Farm and Plot Chia Coin Cryptocurrency

Although many people would agree that the latest change in the cryptocurrency market towards more environmentally friendly methods is a good thing, there are plenty who would argue that the Chia cryptocurrency wave that is massively affecting the storage market right now is pretty dreadful. The appeal of taking advantage of high-performance SSD and high durability hard drives in order to plot and farm potential Chia coin is constantly growing in popularity and for those users that want to jump on this potentially lucrative bandwagon, many are not even aware that they already have the hardware to do so. As long as you have a NAS that supports multiple hard drives in a RAID storage array and allow the installation of containers, then your NAS can be used in the Chia crypto processes. Executing it is by no means straightforward and although it is easier on some NAS browns than others, it still does require you to have a decent amount of available storage space and a fairly decent array of default resources in the NAS at your disposal. Nevertheless, once you overcome over the initial steeper learning curve, afterwards your NAS is largely self-governed and you don’t have to interfere with the system in the running of Chai based processes. Take a look below at how to set up your chia machine on a QNAP NAS (QNAP UK have a great video on this):

It is also worth highlighting that QNAP even has a third-party app that you can install on your system to marginally make this process even easier. It is available in the unofficial app center, but worth a look:

Use your NAS for Medical Science and Human Innovation

Sometimes users can tend to feel a little guilty that the NAS they use simply for storage and backups is left on for days, weeks or months at a time. There is of course the matter of when your electricity bill arrives, which is arguably quite a small some thanks to modern efficient design, but there is nevertheless the feeling of the environmental impact and the fact that you are leaving a system to run idle between the sporadic times that you need access to its resources. NAS drives are not alone in this (though there is arguably more wasteful resource computer hardware out there) but to combat this there are actually several more altruistic ways in which you can use your NAS to help others and maybe the betterment of society. Currently, there are several different installable apps or deployable containers that you can install and run on your NAS system that (although modest in their power consumption) will allow the idle time that your NAS is left on to be used for a better purpose. From research into deciphering genetic and DNA coding to algorithms breaking and medical research, there are numerous different charitable and positive organisations out there that are able to take advantage of the aggregated extra hardware of hundreds and thousands of different machines remotely in efforts to achieve their goals.

If the idea of donating the unused resources of your NAS for more human benefiting methods interests you, use the links below to find out more (Click Below):

 


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Synology DSM 7.0 – How Well Does It Run?

18 juin 2021 à 01:10

How Well Does Synology DSM 7.0 Run on Different NAS Drives

It’s been a long road and we’ve waited close to 3 years since its initial reveal, but the release of the DSM 7 RC, the latest generation of Synology software and services, is here and Synology users new and old are getting ready to upgrade to significantly improved software platform. Unlike previous firmware updates that predominantly focused on improvements in stability, tweaks to security and adding features to existing services, this new Synology firmware update is genuinely massive by comparison (a tad like moving from Windows 8 to Windows 10). Of course, even though the software will be near enough the same for all Synology users, the extent to which it will perform, the applications available and how well DSM 7.0 runs on your NAS will depend a great deal on the NAS system you own and it’s hardware. One look at the download section from Synology reveals that the software is available across most NAS servers, big and small, released in the last 6 or 7 years, which is quite impressive given that even the lowly DS115j support it. So today I am selecting many of the latest and most popular NAS solutions from Synology and testing the extent to which they use DSM 7. From 1-bay dual-core ARM to Quad-Core 8-bay Ryzen, there is a huge degree of options to go through, so let’s get started.

How DSM 7.0 was Tested for Each Synology NAS

In order to make sure that each NAS was tested with a fair degree of comparison, each NAS tested below is using the same version of DSM 7.0 (Version: 7.0-41882). Additionally, each system used the exact same test files and were distributed throughout the system indexes identically. The following parameters for tests were measured:

  • The speed with which the user’s login was verified and access to the DSM 7 GUI was granted
  • How responsive the desktop GUI was and how quickly the system allows access & configuration via the control panel
  • How quick and responsive file management in file station was conducted
  • The performance and responsiveness of photo media in Synology photos
  • The indexing and playback speed of Synology Audio Station media
  • The playback and responsiveness of videos in the Synology Video Station Player (plus transcoding where supported)
  • Access and responsiveness of two live camera feeds in Synology Surveillance Station
  • Performance and Responsiveness from the NAS in DSM 7.0 when most/all of the above services and actions are conducted simultaneously

So, as you see, a fairly standard range of software and services to measure how different NAS systems from Synology handle and operate DSM 7. As tempting as it might be too to measure DSM using virtualisation or ISCSI benchmarks, the range of different capacity NAS, CPU choices and network connectivity in all these systems make any comparison between them largely incomparable. I consider the above services an acceptable benchmark for most home and prosumer users who want to take advantage of the DSM 7.0 and are curious about whether to upgrade or not. Let’s get started.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS120j – Should You Upgrade?

The Synology DS120j is a remarkably modest NAS system in size, capacity and internal hardware. This is precisely why it really surprised me when I saw that it too would feature a DSM 7.0 upgrade.

CPU Model Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 800 MHz
Hardware Encryption Engine YES
System Memory 512 MB DDR3L non-ECC

It performed surprisingly well and below you can find the video detailing how well it performed:

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS220j – Should You Upgrade?

By far the most popular cost-effective entry in the Synology desktop portfolio is the DS220j 2 bay NAS box. Arriving with the popular Realtek CPU, but just 512MB of DDR4 memory, it is a fairly low powered server drive and despite the clear need for Synology to look after this popular tier of affordable solutions, even here I am surprised that it supports DSM 7.0 – but in a good way. 

CPU Model Realtek RTD1296
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 1.4 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine YES
System Memory 512 MB DDR4 non-ECC

Indeed, Synology themselves do highlight that DSM 7.0 operates at its best when using at least 1GB of memory to ensure that all of the system services operate to the best of their ability, which is double that of the default memory in the DS220j. Nevertheless, despite a few limitations in Synology Photos and the system slowing down a pinch when simultaneously using surveillance cameras, it performed surprisingly well and you can find out more below in the video.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS220+ – Should You Upgrade?

For many users, the Synology DS220+ is the entrance point for those who are looking at multimedia use or who were looking to migrate away from Cloud services like Google Drive, Google Photos and Dropbox, in favour of their own private cloud that is still rather capable. The DS220+ is also the most affordable solution in the brand’s current modern releases to feature an Intel Celeron processor and DSM 7.0 is definitely able to take advantage of this.

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4025
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 2.0 (base) / 2.9 (burst) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Total Memory Slots 1
Maximum Memory Capacity 6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB)

Although there are numerous individual apps and services built into Synology DSM 7 that are available on pretty much any NAS, there are several more SMB (Small-Medium Business) products on the platform that require an x86 64-bit processor minimum. Services and features such as Virtualisation and more enterprise level backups from Active Backup Suite immediately become available at this tier of Synology NAS hardware. Unsurprisingly, DSM 7 ran well on the DS220+, multitasking beautifully even with the default 2GB memory. Likewise, the Synology Photos application performed very well, even when it was live recording from two IP cameras in surveillance, transcoding a 1080p video file, playing back an audio file and duplicating 50GB of data – all at the same time. For more information on how the DS220+ performed with DSM 7, watch the video below.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS920+ – Should You Upgrade?

The Synology DS920+ 4 bay NAS system is BY FAR the most popular desktop NAS in the brand’s portfolio. This NAS is also considered the last genuinely prosumer grade solution in the portfolio, before things get a little bit more business and enterprise at the higher tiers. The system hardware on offer in the DS920+ give you access to the entire range of Synology software and services available in DSM 7.0 that you find in all other NAS systems in this article so far, but also so provides additional information, settings and functionality in the storage manager. 

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4125
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.0 (base) / 2.7 (burst) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 4 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Total Memory Slots 1
Maximum Memory Capacity 8 GB (4 GB + 4 GB)

DSM 7 alongside general improvements in access time and responsiveness of the system compared with DSM 6.2, also makes vast improvements in caching in a number of ways. From the general intelligent memory utilisation of the system and in the case of the DS920+, its 4GB of memory and how DSM 7.0 takes advantage of the NVMe slots. DSM 7 should run perfectly on a Synology DS920+ and in our comparison testing, this was well established with the system performing all tasks incredibly quickly and simultaneously with little to no aggressive increase in hardware resource consumption. As before, I recommend you check out the video below for more information on just how the DS920+ performed with DSM 7.0:

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS1621+ & DS1821+ – Should You Upgrade?

Synology introduced the AMD embedded Ryzen processor to their range of SMB solutions in late 2020 and despite the development cycle of DSM 7.0 taking several years prior to this, it is completely supported on these newer gen CPU devices. The V1500B processor is found on the DS1621+ and DS1821+, among many others in the last year or so and given the business class services and and office collaboration tools included in DSM 7.0, its performance on these new small-medium business class servers is remarkably important for Synology’s continued growth into pre-existing SaaS integrated environments (whether to replace or exist in parallel as bare-metal)

CPU Model AMD Ryzen V1500B
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.2 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 4 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed 4 GB (4 GB x 1)
Total Memory Slots 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2)

Although only the 6 bay NAS was tested in the video below, it shares a near identical hardware architecture to the 8-bay desktop alternative and several rackmount Ryzen powered rackstation solutions. This was the best example of DSM 7 that I tested in the videos and it was easily the least resource impacted NAS of all. Although CPU utilisation spiked briefly during video playback, this was largely due to the non-embedded graphics CPU of this system than anything to do with a DSM7. Below is the video of how how this NAS handled DSM 7.

 

Choosing A Synology NAS – Need More Help?

So, there you – DSM 7.0 is currently in Release Candidate with a full and stable release coming VERY soon. Stay tuned for more extensive content on Synology DSM 7.0 when the full official release lands and if you need any further assistance on whether to upgrade, or 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.

Learn More About Multiple Backup Strategies on your Synology NAS in the Guide Below:


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Synology Upgrade Cards Guide – 10G, NVMe, 25Gbe and More

14 juin 2021 à 16:00

A Guide to Synology PCIe Upgrade Cards

There comes a point in the lifespan of most Synology NAS drives, big or small, that the performance, bandwidth and general throughput that the device is capable of hit a bit of a glass ceiling. Perhaps it is those rather restrictive 1Gbe ports in 2021, hardware features like M.2 slots of more modern systems that are sadly missing from your own older release or simply that your own external network hardware environment has scaled up noticeable and your Synology NAS is now a bottleneck? Sometimes replacing the NAS with a newer model is the only answer, but sometimes the operational lifespan of your NAS can be noticeably extended by installing a PCIe Upgrade card. Synology NAS for Prosumer/SMB users and above (typically 5-Bay upwards) have included PCIe upgrade slots for many generations previously and the range of Synology Add on cards available have grown to meet demand. So today I want to go through the current range of cards, which what each type can do, what it cannot do and help you choose the right PCIe Upgrade Card for your Synology NAS Server.

Important – An upgrade card in your Synology NAS does not AUTOMATICALLY mean you will achieve the maximum reported speed/performance (i.e installing a 10Gbe PCIe Upgrade Card does not immediately make your data externally accessible at 1,000MB/s. Upgrades, ranging from network interface improvements to internal SSD performance cards, will only provide you with the BANDWIDTH the achieve that speed, you will still need high-performance media and/or multiple media drives in a RAID to fulfil this bandwidth. So, in water simple terms, the majority of cards will increase the WIDTH or the pipe, but you still need to make sure you provide enough water and pressure to go through it!

Additionally, sometimes you are best served to increase the memory on your Synology NAS in order to get better performance on key applications and services. Use my Synology NAS Memory Upgrade Guide to help choose the right Synology or Unofficial Memory for your needs.

Synology Copper 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

Likely the first Synology Upgrade card that you looked at and certainly one that is favoured by users who are scaling up from a small home/business/shop solution and into something with noticeably higher bandwidth, 10Gbe network cards are becoming increasingly affordable. There are two main versions of 10G on the market, fiber optic-based (know as SFP+ and we will touch on that later) and copper-based (typically known in tech as 10GBASE-T). Most users who are scaling up from 1Gbe for the first time will opt for copper-based 10Gbe on their Synology NAS, as it uses near-identical cables to the typical RJ45 found in all their other kit (the only small difference being that in order to use 10Gbe at longer distances, you should use a Cat 6 cable, whereas most 1Gbe devices arrive with Cat 5/5e – looks IDENTICAL and will still work regardless, it’s just a latency thing). Synology has released several versions of 10Gbe copper cards over the years, refreshing the range every few years to ensure the best controllers are used and supported by the newer NAS systems. Synology has two different dedicated 10GBASE-T PCIe upgrade cards in the E10G18-T1 and E10G18-T2, which are 1 port and 2 port respectively. Both are PCIe Gen 3 x4 and x8 respectively (but will still work on PCIe Gen 2 x2 slots and above without a bottleneck (pre-2017 series devices). Additionally, like all the cards in the Synology PCIe Upgrade Guide today, drivers for these cards are already included in the Synology DSM software.

Currently Available 10GBASE-T 10Gbe Cards

E10G18-T1 1-PORT CARD – $163 E10G18-T2 2-PORT CARD – $309

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • Supported on pretty much ALL Synology NAS with a PCIe Slot since 2010/2011 series
  • Auto-Negotiation Enabled (so will scale to 1G-2.5G-5G in line with clients
  • Dedicated onboard Aquantia Controller
  • 5 Year Warranty is first class at this level
  • Quite Expensive for 1/2 Port 10G Card in 2021/2022
  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+, RS1219+, DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS3018xs, DS1618+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, RS3617xs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+
  • 16 series:RS18016xs+
  • 15 series:RC18015xs+, DS3615xs
  • 14 series:RS3614xs+, RS3614RPxs, RS3614xs
  • 13 series:RS3413xs+
  • 12 series:RS3412RPxs, RS3412xs, DS3612xs
  • 11 series:RS3411RPxs, RS3411xs, DS3611xs

Synology 25Gbe E25G21-F2 Upgrade Card

A relatively new add on for the Synology PCIe Upgrade range (thanks to their embracing of SAN protocols in a bigger way in DSM 7.0, even renaming iSCSI manager to SAN Manager), the new E25G21-F2 card is a fibre optic-based 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 2-Port (so potential 50Gbe) card that is designed specifically for Synology NAS systems. Clearly (and as mentioned in my introduction) this card opens the pipeline for 2500/5000MB/s speeds, but you will need some SERIOUS storage media configurations in your NAS in order to saturate it! Supporting a range of ethernet connectivity and transceiver types (including Optical SR, LR and DAC hardware), this card is clearly designed with massive 12-Bay+ Xeon equipped and large distance setups in mind. The Synology E25G21-F2 card also supports auto-negotiation (i.e backwards compatible and will automatically switch to) 10Gbe SFP+, so for those who are considering upgrading their rackmount to 10Gbe over fibre and have a decent budget to play with, might benefit to spend a little more on this 25Gbe alternative, as there is only around $120-150 between them). Unlike other PCIe cards in this list, the compatibility of the E25G21-F2 25G card is a little thinner, largely down to the forced need to have a PCIe Gen 3 x8 slot (potentially 8000MB/s card-to-board bandwidth), which only really appeared on Synology systems since 2016/2017 onwards. Additionally, you are going to need at least 12-14 Enterprise-grade (Pro/Data Center) Hard Drives or 8+ Pro class SSDs in order to make the most of this card on your fiber network. A very impressive card, but as upgrades go, arrives with a number of high price system/media caveats too.

Currently Available SFP28 E25G21-F2 Card

E25G21-F2 2-PORT 25Gbe CARD $369

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • 25Gbe and potential LAG/Trunk 50Gbe is just awesome
  • 5-year Warranty and Still Supported by older systems as far back as 2017 Series
  • Can be used as a 10Gbe x2 Port card and then scaled up as your network hardware environment grows
  • Although Supported by some SMB systems (e.g. DS1821+), they will NEVER reach the full performance this can offers
  • 25GBASE-T Copper – Never say never!
  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, DS3018xs
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, DS3617xs

Synology Fiber 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

Much like the previous card, the range of fibre 10Gbe cards that Synology offer are ONLY available in 2-Port builds in 2021/2022. You can use some 3rd party 1-Port SFP+ cards, but in recent years Synology has become very strict on upgrades on their systems being 1st party (highlighting that it’s difficult to support NAS users who run ‘unsupported’ configurations – make of that what you will). The two available 10Gbe cards are the 2017 series E10G17-F2 and 2021 series E10G21-F2. Both cards are PCIe Gen 3 x8, support low and full height profile installation, and both have 5 years warranty – however, the 2017 series card is around £50-60 cheaper. This is because the newer card uses a better heatsink, and seemingly supports more offload protocol/setups. In most cases, however, either card (as long as it is on the compatibility lists below) will be sufficient for a potential 2,000MB/s external throughput.

Currently Available SFP+ 10Gbe Cards

E10G17-F2 2-PORT CARD – OLD GEN – $230 E10G21-F2 2-PORT CARD – NEW GEN – $269

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • 10G SFP+ Still has a lot of flexibility in its deployment
  • Glad to see the old card still available for a small £ saving
  • PCIe Gen 3×8 is excellent and more than this card needs
  • No inclusive DAC type cables, even as an optional purchase
  • Not Supported outside of NAS, so you will likely buy 3rd Party Cards for your client hardware – so might be easier to just buy +1 of those

Synology E10G17-F2 and E10G21-F2 Compatibility Below (Blue = Both, Red = E10G17-F2 ONLY:

  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+, RS1219+, DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS3018xs, DS1618+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, RS3617xs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+
  • 16 series:RS18016xs+
  • 15 series:RC18015xs+, DS3615xs
  • 14 series:RS3614xs+, RS3614RPxs, RS3614xs
  • 13 series:RS3413xs+
  • 12 series:RS3412RPxs, RS3412xs, DS3612xs
  • 11 series:RS3411RPxs, RS3411xs, DS3611xs

Synology SSD Caching and Combo Upgrade Cards

In the latest desktop NAS releases from Synology, we have seen the appearance of dedicated M.2 NVMe slots that allow you to install super-fast PCIe based SSDs inside, which you can then combine with your slower (but larger capacity HDD RAID) in a system known as caching. In brief, this utilizes the much, much faster SSD access speed towards storing copies of more frequently accessed data (typically hundreds/thousands of smaller files) and thereby improve performance – both in general feedback/utility and general Read and Write. Older generation devices before around 2017/2018 (which the exception of around 2-3 devices) did NOT arrive with this feature and in efforts to allow users to have this feature, Synology has released a couple of versions of this hardware in PCIe add-on form. The latest of these is the M2D20 2xNVMe card (also supports the larger 22110 M.2 SSD too). Support and compatibility on your NAS are more centred around the CPU inside than the PCIe, but this has allowed a number of users to take advantages of the improvements in caching that are being rolled into DSM 6.2 and DSM 7.0. It is also worth highlighting that the previous generation of this card, the M2D18, is still available and is a PCIe Gen 2×8 version that is better suited to the 2016/2017 series Synology SMB systems, though only supports to 2280 length m.2 SSD. Synology NAS users could always choose to occupy their available SATA SSD bays and use SATA 2.5″ SSDs, but these do not quite provide the same level of boost and still require you to lose an available storage bay. See a little more on this in the video below:

However, in mid-2020 the next generation in this hardware arrived from Synology in the form of the new E10M20-T1 PCIe Card. This PCIe Gen 3 x8 card provided 2x 22110 M.2 NVMe SSD bays for caching AND it included a 10Gbe Copper ethernet port TOO! This card allows users to enjoy super-fast caching AND 1,000MB/s external connectivity AND only use a single PCIe slot. This is especially useful, given the bulk of SMB solutions that had neither of these features would typically have only a single PCIe upgrade slot available. If you can spare the budget, I STRONGLY recommend choosing the E10M20-T1 over the M2D20 (even after the price increase). As usual, it is worth highlighting that 1) the card only officially supports Synology’s own SNV3400 & SNV3500 SSDs and 2) you cannot use this card in a NAS system that already has m.2 slots (i.e you cannot add this and have 4x NVMe SSD slots. Still, it’s a very well made card and highlight recommended for significantly boosting an older generation SMB NAS that can get a PCIe upgrade.

Currently Available SSD Cache and Cache+10G Combo Cards

M2D18 2x NVMe 2280 Card – $169 M2D20 2x NVMe 22110 Card – $219 E10M20-T1 2x NVMe 22110 +10G – $289

Pros & Cons of Synology SSD and SSD+10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • M2D20 & E10M20-T1 both are PCIe Gen 3×8 and support 22110 M.2 NVMe
  • 5year Warranty on both cards
  • Easy Install and No Drivers Needed for Instant Ue
  • M.2 ONLY Card is too close to the M.2 SSD+10G Card in Price to Justify
  • Lack of ability to use the NVMe M.2 Slots for Storage Pools

Synology M2D20 and E10M20-T1 Compatibility List:

  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS2818RP+, DS3018xs, DS1618+

Synology M2D18 NVMe SSD Support:

  • FS series:FS1018
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, DS3018xs, DS1618+

Synology M2D18 SATA SSD Support:

  • FS series:FS2017
  • 19 series:RS1219+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS818RP+, RS818+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+

So, there you have it. Those are the best available PCIe Upgrade Cards currently available and supported on Synology right now. I hope you found this guide useful. If you need more help in choosing the right card, or just want some free advice on your data storage setup, use the free advice section below. It is GENUINELY free, ran by humans (me and Eddie) and although it might take an extra day or so to respond when it gets busy, we will respond to all enquiries. Thank you and have a great week!

 


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Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

11 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

Welcome back to the final part of my Synology vs QNAP NAS comparison, where I go through the main differences between the two biggest brands in the world of NAS in 2021/2022. So far we have covered the brand’s rhetoric, the hardware, the graphical user interface (GUI), how they approach storage, mobile applications, multimedia sharing/streaming and desktop clients! In this final part, I will be moving into much more business-led subjects to compare the Synology DSM NAS systems and the QNAP QTS NAS devices and then conclude with which areas either brand excelled, failed or are identical. Both brands have a fantastic range of backup tools for home users to enjoy (with Synology Hyper Backup and QNAP Hybrid Backup Sync being the too most popular of course), but we are seeing a real emergence of cloud integration on either platform, as software as a service (SaaS) grows in viability – with either brand shouting loudly how they are the perfect bare-metal system to run parallel (bare metal = hardware server that is sync’d with your cloud services, among other things). So today I want to discuss their support of SaaS services, Virtual Machine self-hosting and migration from the likes of VMware and Hyper-V and a better look at Surveillance on each platform, AI-supported services and more. It is ALOT to pack into our final part before we conclude, so let’s get started.

LINK to PART I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

LINK to PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Backup Tools

This is an interesting area to compare the Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS Software and services, as although at a balance it looks like the two brands provide the same functionality, there are a few tiny differences that (if you are not aware) may annoy yours later. As touched on early, the Synology NAS platform arrives with Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite, whereas QNAP arrives with Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector. BOTH Synology and QNAP across their respective two apps each provide support of:

  • Multi-site backups that can be scheduled, have filters applied, utilize deduplication and support NAS-to-Cloud/NAS/USB/Folder operations
  • Can Backup VMs from VMware and Hyper V and (in the right format) restore the VM image on the brand-specific VM app on either brand NAS
  • Support Version retention on regular bare metal backups and VM backups
  • Guide you through a 3-2-1 Backup System using 1st party resources and applications only
  • Supports numerous backup protocols/methods that include RSync, RTRR, Differential backups and TCP BBR

So, that just about covers 95% of traditional and most frequently asked backup methods. However, this is where the brand’s differing ideas of what users want/need step in. The Synology Backup applications are definitely the better looking of the two, with the Hyper Backup tool being the more chewable/easy one of the two, supporting quite a few cloud platforms (which obviously giving their own C2 service a decent bit of space – can’t blame them), and active Backup Suite ramps things up a bit for business, allowing a larger degree of business targets/sources to implemented. One particularly attractive feature of Synology Active Backup Suite is the Google Workspace and Office 365 addons that are license-free (ie provisionally free) that allow you to connect and sync your cloud software services with the NAS to act as a SaaS local syncing system (besides subscription costs and security, internet downtime is the biggest Achilles heel of Office 365/Google Workspace). This is available on QNAP too (with BoXafe) but requires additional license fees for cloud connections. To counter this, although both Synology and QNAP support inline deduplication, the QNAP ZFS based QuTS Hero platform provides it to a much better degree right now, with additional QuDeDupe software and inline compression too (with saving in data being visible analytically) and even handles encrypted backups better with localized client software that you can install on your business devices.

There are lots more that could be covered here (Synology Drive and its client apps, QSync Pro and its improved mobile client-to-NAS services, etc) but these are when we move into the subject of synchronization, file streaming and are less about backups and more about remote level access and synchronicity in your storage. Although the QNAP Software is still very good for numerous backup methods, ZFS and its file transmission benefits still shine and the support of more kinds of 1st/3rd party external storage and cloud are available – the Synology Backup tools and services are a tad better divided between home and business needs with which services are included in Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite respectively.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Active Backup Suite, Hyper Backup, Licence Free Office 365/Google Workspace Sync and Synology C2

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Hybrid Backup Sync, Many More Cloud Services Supported and Hyper Data Protector has Better Retention Policies

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Surveillance

Many users who are on the verge of buying a new NAS drive for home or business will often justify the purchase (to themselves or their finance manager) by factoring in that alongside the backup software safety, the multimedia streaming potential and potential saving versus long term cloud storage by ALSO considering using it as a Surveillance system. Both Synology and QNAP provide a genuine business class surveillance software package with their respective systems that allow you to utilize numerous IP Cameras, IP Speakers, network door locks and bring it all together with a single standalone security deck/feed that can be accessed locally over the network or remotely over the internet. Although both brands have done an incredible job with their respective software, over recent years we have seen a real divergence on how each brand has proceeded in their respective software. One very, VERY clear difference is that QNAP Surveillance gets spread across browser and local client app (windows, mac, phone, etc) less evenly, with adding cameras, extensively changing camera alert functions and customizing the setup being almost exclusively done in the web browser GUI but the local client allowing full camera access, PTZ control and actioning being almost exclusively on the client apps. Whereas Synology and Surveillance Station allow ALL of this to be done on the browser client and MOST of it to be possible on the desktop client app too. The Mobile client for QVR Pro and Surveillance station is a little more limited, but in terms of full software access,  think the Synology platform keeps it a little more even. Here is a breakdown of the main benefits/PROs of each surveillance NAS software:

PROS of Synology Surveillance

PROS of QNAP Surveillance

Considerably Better Browser Access & Controls

Beter 3rd Party Software integration with the Surveillance station API

Better Camera Feed Accessibility in the Browser & Clients

Fast Search Runs remarkably Smoothly

LiveCam converts a Mobile to Live NVR IP Camera Feed

Share Live Feeds to YouTube for Fast/Easy Sharing

 More Camera Licences (8x in QVR Pro)

Technically 3 Surveillance Platforms to Choose that vary in complexity

Better Client App Control and Analytics

Local KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) Support

AI Surveillance services can be added on Integrated CPU NAS, Google TPU card or a GPU Card

USB Web Camera Support

CONS of Synology Surveillance

Only 2 Camera Licenses included

AI Surveillance Services are ONLY available on the DVA3221 NAS

Practically no KVM setup on Diskstaiton NAS systems

CONS of QNAP Surveillance

QVR Elite for QuTS Hero Only has 2x Licenses

Camera Feeds Cannot Natively be used and controlled by QVR Pro in the Browser

Bulk of AI Supported Services are Annual Subscription Fee-Based

Straight away, despite a rocky start, QNAP and QVR Pro grab a lot of the PROs back with their QTS QVR Pro version arriving with 8 Camera licenses (at the time of writing) which is massive compared with the 2x that Synology provides (bear in mind, a camera licence will cost between £30-50 depending on how big a multipack you buy). Likewise, the support of keyboard, video and mouse (thanks to QNAP NAS having HDMI on a large % of their systems) provides the means to interface with the system for surveillance if your network fails and the recordings are needed. Finally, a big, BIG appeal is that the AI-supported surveillance services that are growing in popularity in modern business class NVRs are available on QNAP NAS that has a decent enough embedded graphics CPU (i.e. an i3 and above), the google TPU M.2 Coral upgrade or a graphics card installed – whereas Synology has locked AI surveillance into ONLY two of their NAS systems that have a GPU card installed by default (and cost ALOT). These AI-supported services are pretty niche of course (facial recognition, people counting, zone management and object recognition) but still. many will find this hugely appealing. Here is my video breakdown comparing the two popular surveillance services for QNAP and Synology:

It is worth highlighting however that the AI-supported services on the QNAP QVR Platform are not technically ‘completely free’ and before you think that the Synology DVA3221 near £2K box is an overspend, it is worth highlighting that in order to use all the same AI-powered services on the QNAP NAS platform, you will need a NAS that either has a decent embedded CPU (starting at just over £1K for the QNAP TVS-472XT to start with) and/or a GPU card installed. Then you have to factor in the licences. Not just the camera licences (although both the DVA3221 and any QTS NAS have 8 camera licences for adding camera) but the license to use the AI services on the QVR Surveillance software. Somewhat annoyingly, QNAP has put each of the AI services (tracking faces, people recognition, AI recording analysis, Smart AI Door unlocking, etc) behind individual licenses that (for the most part) are all ‘annual’, so you will need to renew them (see below for current pricing and terms). This is quite a bitter pill to swallow in the long term and although the saving versus the Synology DVA system seems good at first, if you want to run a 4 Bay AI-Powered Surveillance system on the QNAP NAS system with 4-8 cameras, it ends up costing just as much (maybe even more once you factor in the annual fees) and only partially mitigated by the flexibility of the system you want to use.

Overall, it is pretty clear that QNAP gives the end-user ALOT in terms of surveillance for their money (although that licensing model structure gets a thumbs down from me), as well as allowing access to many modern AI CCTV services that Synology either choose to not pursue or only allow on a select few systems. Maybe you are reading this in the future and Synology have opened up this logic to allow ‘Synology supported GPU Cards’ to be installed, which would certainly give this comparison a different outcome, but there is no denying that the QVR Pro surveillance platform allows more flexibility in its setup. Alongside this, the QVR to software right now has a lot more camera licences included (though this drops to x2 on QVR Elite on the QuTS Hero platform – which though admittedly has higher performance on the local client integrated, is a bit of a shame) and many will end up seeing the potential savings being enough to overlook that Synology Surveillance station is the better Surveillance tool in terms of the GUI, supported service add ons and in how user-friendly it can be.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Better Surveillance Software Overall, Especially in the Web Brower GUI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Camera Licenses, QVR Pro has KVM Support, Wider AI Surveillance Support and Upgrade Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Virtual Machines

It wasn’t such a long time ago that the use of virtual machines (VMs) was exclusively in the business sector. The ability and utility to create a virtual and remotely accessible version of a computer (giving you need a terminal in order to utilize them in most cases) was simply not of use to the average home or even small business user. However fast forward to 2021/2022 and you find that they have accelerated in popularity, thanks to businesses requiring centralized data storage for both the convenience of duplicating computers AND to simplifying the backup/restore process. Then you have the simple appeal for prosumer or small business users to be able to create an emulated version of their own computer in order to access it anywhere in the work, run test with software/updates that they are hesitant to run on their core system OR simply to allow them to create an accessible VM of an operating system that can be run parallel to that of the core hardware (i.e. a Linux/Unbuntu VM that runs in a window, on a Windows/Mac matching). Most high-end business users in recent years have used one of two popular 3rd party client TOOLS for this, VMware vSphere and Hyper V (with other smaller tools like VirtualBox popping up). Where a NAS can be integrated into this is actually pretty cool, such as:

  • A NAS can be used as a backup target (with versioning, snapshots, etc) for the virtual machine, so you have a local restorable copy
  • A NAS can be used to run the core VM files as a remote target, whilst still using the 3rd Party Software
  • A NAS can have the 3rd Party VM data sent over to it and then the NAS can host the Virtual Machine in its very own premium VM Software
  • A NAS Can combine all three of the above to create a backup access point to a VM (in supported formats and correctly imported) that allows remote accessing VM users, in the event of disconnection or forced restoration, to switch over to the NAS based VM and continue working

Now it is worth highlighting that BOTH Synology and QNAP have excellent VM hosting applications, in Virtual Machine Manager and Virtualization Station respectively, which perform all of the above services, however, they do it in slightly different ways (involving other applications in the system that are integrated) but for VMware/HyperV, the restoration is arguably handled smoother with the Synology Virtual Machine tool and Active Backup Suite tool working together to allowing exclusive integration with Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as the temporary disaster recovery solution allows you to instantly restore services to the Synology storage server even when the production environment is down. QNAP have very similar services to this, but not the same fast, easy and integrated pass-over system. For a better understanding of the GUI of Synology Virtual Machine Manager vs QNAP Virtualization Station, take a look at the video below:

There are several very unique and arguable superior elements to the QNAP VM software that are worth highlighting. First off there is access to a VM marketplace from within the app that allows you to install Virtual Machines directly on the QNAP NAS without having to obtain the VM Image/ISO independently. These include firewall and network management virtual images such as Pfsense, RouterOS and Zabbix, but there is also a 3-click Windows VM installation option too. This allows users who just want to try out a Windows 7/8/10/Server VM before committing fully to a NAS based VM environment for business/home use and includes a 90-day trial (you can use your existing windows registered key/login if you want. Alongside this, there is also the improved VM-to-Hardware integration available on Synology Virtual Machine Manager and QNAP Virtualization station that allows you to connect USB ports to a VM and allow that virtual desktop environment to access physical local USB devices, however, QNAP takes this a noticeable degree further with the support of PCIe-to-VM connectivity that allows you to connect a Graphics card (or other suitable PCIe to that VM architecture) and allow the virtual environment to scale up considerably (perhaps for video editing or gaming, if the CPU is appropriate). Then there is the flexibility of setup on the QNAP, with Virtualization Station supporting a KVM environment and QVM (QNAP Virtual Machine) to allow a NAS with connected Keyboard, HDMI Video monitor and Mouse to have a local VM that can ALSO be accessed remotely too. Finally, QNAP has a dedicated Ubuntu application that allows you to create VMs of version 18, 19 or 20 of Ubuntu (the free Linux alternative to Windows and MacOS) in around 3-4 clicks of the mouse! This is a very rare occasion in this Synology vs QNAP comparison where I can genuinely 100% say that QNAP spent much, much more time working on 1st party support and Synology keeping it a little more openly supported with 3rd parties – though, given the maturity of the likes of VMware, this is understandable. This is also demonstrated on the subject of container image and deployment (if a VM is an entire OS, then a Container is an application or program that is running without an OS to live on to off) where the QNAP platform has its own Container Station application and download center/marketplace and Synology use the industry popular Docker tool.

Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager is a fantastic tool and definitely one that has enterprise users in its sights! With that improved integration with existing enterprise VM software providers in the market, they have made a very clear decision that their free VM software still has a business feel, whereas QNAP has shaped their VM tool to something more accessible for all tiers (though lacking the snap cloud-to-local VM deployment – which is a real shame). Much like AI surveillance on the QNAP platform, a few of the biggest features of Synology Virtual Machine Manager are license/subscription fee-based (which is a shame, but understandable given the target demographic and its scope when FULLY deployed, these include:

Synology VMM

(Free)

Synology VMM Pro

(License Required)

Supported Operating System Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM
Cluster Management Included Included
QoS Settings Included Included
CPU Overcommit Physical CPU threads x2 Physical CPU threads x4
Max Virtual Switches 4 4096
Max Snapshots per VM 32 255
VM Share Links per Host 1 16
Remote Replication Plan Not Included Included
Remote Storage Migration Not Included Included
Run VM on Remote Host Not Included Included
High Availability Not Included Included
Live Migration Not Included Included

Overall, it is going to be a case of whether you are coming into the subject of virtual machines as a completely fresh start, coming from a moderately experienced background or are looking for a system to integrate into your already well established VMware or Microsoft VM environment. QNAP and Virtualization station provides a huge array of self-hosted VM deployment options, connecting with numerous 3rd party download centers to easily pull a VM image onto their system, restore an existing VM image, convert VMs into QNAP supported images and then allows you to integrate a greater deal of hardware resources towards them (GPU card, KVM, etc). They are certainly supporting those bigger VM platforms out there and allow backups, snapshots, faster restoration and making big moves into that SaaS and reducing downtime practices that businesses want, but this is where the Synology Virtual Machine Manager tools shine. With a grander focus on those Hyper-V/VMware VSphere established systems and presenting themselves as a failure and support system, they make their integration a great deal easier for companies to choose. They still take a big advantage by allowing a VM live backup to be stitched over to Synology Virtual Machine Manager as a viable recovery and restoration option, which is likely going to be the clincher for many.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Synology Virtual Machine Manager is VERY intuative, Cloud VM-to-Local VM Migration & Restoration

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – QNAP Virtualization Station supports more OS/Formats, 3 Click VM download & Install, Dedicated VM tools for different VM Images and has Better Hardware Configuration Options Overall

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Conclusion

It’s been a very, VERY long road but we can finally look just how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS for NAS (as well as all the hardware and services in between) compare. There has been a long-running theme all the way through that where Synology has focused on FIRST-PARTY (i.e. Synology-brand) software and hardware priority, then supporting THIRD-PARTY services/hardware when they haven’t got a viable alternative in-house – to mixed degrees of popularity. Whereas QNAP has been a much more level playing field where they have released their own innovative hardware/software (occasionally a little too quickly) and singing its praises, but also tried to keep customization and flexibility for 3rd parties as open as possible and shouting loud-and-proud about that too – which can be a tad overwhelming for the less tech-savvy. Both brands have done an incredible job evolve their platforms as much as they have in 2021/2022, especially when Microsoft, Google and Amazon are pouring BILLIONS into the SaaS (and PaaS and IaaS – Platform and Infrastructure as a Service) in order to create entirely streamable ecosystems for businesses, with NAS brands like Synology and QNAP not only integrating with them but also thriving alongside them as a local/bare-metal failsafe.

These are all very lofty ideas and ones that most home or small business users will likely have little time for right now (aside from where NAS fits in with their Google/Office 365 office tools like documents, email and spreadsheets at a pinch) and for those users, who the NAS stands on its own two feet is what is going to matter most. Synology is earning its position in the market as the complete 1st party software and hardware package in 2021/2022, with a genuinely groundbreaking range of available services, but still managing to make NAS accessible for all in DSM 6.2/7.0. That said, the trends we are seeing in those sub-enterprise services that are slowly receding in support of popular 3rd party hardware, software and services, making using a Synology NAS alongside your own existing setup in a frictionless way cannot be ignored and leading some to think Synology is shifting their industry position towards something higher.

QNAP NAS on the other hand, although maybe trying to cover too many bases at once, is still trying to cover as much as it can to appear to their audience. Their support of considerably more 3rd party platforms/software/services, even when they have their own software available, is certainly admirable and aside from rather aggressive pricing on their QVR Pro surveillance platform, are still the better choice for those who want a much more adaptable and customizable platform. Its a pretty understandable fact that most people who buy a NAS will be arriving with an existing collection of software in their daily workflow (Office 365 for docs, Gmail for their email, Plex for their media, Chromebook for their commute, Skype/Whatsapp for their communication, TB3 for their editing, etc) and it has to be said that QNAP keeps a more open platform to adapt a NAS into this mix than Synology – occasionally less intuitively and not without a little setup-friction, but certainly to more customizable results.

Unsurprisingly, I am going to tell you that both Synology and QNAP NAS are good NAS brands and have earned their place at the top of the industry (whilst both making their own respective moves to integrate into the next tier – ie SaaS providers, Hyperscale environments and Boundless cloud storage), but there is no denying that no one brand has managed to do EVERYTHING to perfection. So, if in double, below is how I would recommend QNAP and Synology NAS to you, for each user case scenario and I hope this guide and my recommendations help you with your next big data storage purchase.

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

9 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

We continue with our comparison of the two biggest brands in Network Attached Storage (NAS) and after comparing how each brand presents their platform, how they differ in releases and hardware, then finally the web-based GUI. Today we are going to cover how Synology and QNAP NAS systems storage/configure your data storage, how they can be accessed via mobile devices and how each brand handles multimedia, shares files and presents that information in their range of applications. Both brands have evolved MASSIVELY in these areas as the hardware and software demands of NAS buyers have increased, with Synology once again choosing the streamlined, user-friendly and premium feeling (if a little limiting at times) approach, whilst QNAP is taking the customizable, configurable and wider supporting (if occasionally confusing for newbies) approach. So, let’s crack on with Part 2 in this Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS comparison.

If you missed part I or Part III, you can find them here below:

LINK to PART I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

LINK to PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Mobile Based GUI and Apps

Both Synology and QNAP have a wide range of mobile applications for iOS and Android – this should not be at all surprising! However, we are not just talking backup tools to make sure you do not lose your photos (although both have that backup tools, sync tools and file management tools that make mobile phone-based NAS access exceptionally easy and intuative), as both Synology and QNAP have applications that allow you to have tailored access to the NAS system depending on your access needs at the time (i.e a app specifically for photos, music, video, surveillance etc. The most popular apps are:

NAS Access Type
System Management DS FInder QManager
NAS File Management DS File & Synology Drive QFile, QSirch
General Phone Backup DS Cloud QSync Pro
Photography DS Photo, Moments & Synology Photos QPhotos & QuMagie
Video Streaming DS Video QVideo
Music Streaming DS Audio QMusic
Surveillance DS CAM & Synology LiveCam QVR Pro Client,
Downloading DS Get QGet
eMail Synology MailPlus QMail Client
Notes & To-Do Lists DS Note QNotes3
NAS-VPN Manager Synology VPN Plus QVPN
NAS Router Manager App DS Router QuRouter
Other/Misc Synology Secure Sign in – Login 2 Step Authentication

Synology Chat – Synology Chat Service App

OceanTV Client – Karaoke Mobile Client

QContacts – Contacts and Connections Database

QRemote – HDMI enabled NAS Remote Control

DJ2 Client – Livestream NAS Manager

QMiix – Alternative to IFTTT client

KoiCast & Koi Talk – Video and Internet Call Client

Over the years, I have reviewed the majority of the core applications for system management, file management, backups, photos, music and video. Here are how each one faired and each video should give you a better understanding of how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS allow you to access your NAS drive o nthe go via your mobile in a much for data relevant way (click the video title to open in a new window on Youtube or watch them here in the article)

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS File Management

NAS File Management

Photography

Photography

Video Media

Video Media

Music Media

Music Media

Surveillance and Camera Access

Surveillance and Camera Access

 

Even at a casual glance, it is clear that the Synology applications are more uniform across the board and have a greater degree of similarity to 3rd party applications (eg Synology Drive and Google Drive, Synology DS Video and Plex, Synology Chat and Skype), whereas QNAP applications (more recent apps are similar) seem to have noticeable differences in GUI and layouts that then require a pinch more time to learn individually. However, the QNAP mobile applications are almost all more customizable and allow a greater degree of control and customization – both in the individual applications and how they allow the end-user to control the NAS too. Despite the pros and cons in how each NAS brand has developed and executed their mobile applications, I would say the BIGGEST deciding factor for the end-user will be which platform they will predominantly access the NAS with – Desktop users will find the QNAP platform more geared towards desktop access, whereas the Synology Platform has spent more time bringing the mobile and desktop application experiences to the same standard and an exclusively mobile-based user or even one who will access 25% vs 75% mobile vs desktop will find the Synology platform considerably more intuitive and smooth.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Intuative and Streamlined UI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Apps and Greater Control

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Storage Options and GUI

Synology and QNAP are both storage targeted platforms. Sure, they have different ways of displaying that information, different ideas on how the user can control and access it and even differ pretty wildly on the whilst storage trends they choose to support in their ecosystems BUT they are both going to give you a remarkably evolved and capable network storage system for keeping your data safe. Much like the apps, GUI and access discussed up to this point, Synology and QNAP have shaped the storage options and configurations on their system very different in recent years and now have several unique and brand-specific factors to their systems that might well make the decision between them 10x easier.

Both QNAP QTS and Synology DSM NAS Drives Provide the following Storage Features:

  • Both NAS Systems Support Snapshots
  • Both NAS Systems Support Rsync, RTRR and Multi-Platform Backup Setups (Cloud, USB, NAS, etc)
  • Both NAS Systems Support Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) on all hardware (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems Can Connect to the Cloud
  • Both NAS Systems Support USB Drives
  • Both NAS Systems have Varied Expansion Options (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support SSD Caching (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems Support SATA Hard Drives up to 18TB and 20TB
  • Both NAS Systems SATA SSDD Storage Pools
  • Both NAS Systems Support EXT4 amoung others  (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support RAID Hot Spare Automation, which is when a spare HDD/SSD is initialized by the system but is unavailable for storage. Then, in the event of a drive failure, the system will automatically integrate the spare drive into the RAID for rebuilding

So, regardless of whether you buy Synology or QNAP NAS, you have a great deal of storage support available. However, there are a large number of brand SPECIFIC storage services and options that ONLY one brand of the two have. Let’s start with the Synology NAS DSM exclusive options.

Synology NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • Synology Hybrid RAID – SHR is the fluid RAID system that allows you to mix the drive sizes and types in order to get the best possible capacity and storage as you upgrade the drives in the system lifespan
  • Synology systems for the most part (CPU and Memory dependant) arrive with BTRFS that is a file system that supports lower resource-consuming background snapshots, file self-healing and faster-shared folder cloning (other benefits too)
  • Synology C2 – Synology has its own first-party cloud service that can be synced with your Synology NAS with HybridShare (DSM 7.0) and allows a disaster recovery backup (subscription-based)
  • Synology Active Insight (Subscription Based) allows intelligent storage health and Synology monitoring send to admins and appropriate users with recommendations on resolution, repair or replacement
  • Synology has its own range of HDDs and SSDs in the HAT5300 (SATA 3.5″ hard drives), SAT5200 (2.5″ SATA SSDs) and SNV3400/SNV3500 (M.2 NVMe SSDs) that feature east firmware updates, high endurance. Some recent 2021 systems have compatibility largely reduced to just the Synology HDD range

So, as you can see, a large range of first-party prioritize storage that is still quite a capable list of support services, formats and hardware in terms of storage in a Synology NAS. None fo the above is currently supported/available from QNAP NAS, however, they have their own range of very unique and QNAP-ONLY available storage options. They are as follows.

QNAP NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • QNAP NAS QTS and QuTS allow users to use NVMe SSDs for storage pools and volumes
  • QNAP NAS QuTS here allows ZFS as a file system choice which includes triple parity RAID, RAID 5/6 builds that take minutes, RAID ReSilvering, inline data compression (space saver) and inline data deduplication (saves 1 copy of files that are located in multiple locations in realtime)
  • QNAP Hybrid Mount and vJBOD allows you to connect many, many cloud storage providers (Synology HybridShare only allows Synology C2 cloud at the time of  writing)
  • QNAP allows installation of HDDs/SSDs from Seagate, WD, Toshiba, etc on ALL of their NAS systems
  • QNAP has DA Drive Analyzer for real-time storage hardware health reports and automated background RAID repair with connected media drives (still in beta at the time of writing)
  • QNAP NAS QTS allows QTier, which allows the user to create a single storage pool that is comprised of HDD+SSD media and then the NAS system learns which files are accessed most and moves them to the fast storage media internally (not the same as caching with copies the files and more suitable to smaller files)
  • Much, MUCH larger degree of storage expansion chassis on QNAP, both in terms of the number of NAS hardware systems that CAN be expanded AND the range of expansions that arrive with USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB Gen 2 and a range of external SAS based connections that can go up to 5,000MBs+ externally

The QNAP Storage options unsurprisingly are a great deal more open (wider HDD/SSD support on all their hardware, wider cloud support on their cloud gateway software, expansion chassis and connections), however, Synology and its focus on the 1st party R&D results in stronger and more evolved ‘in house’ results (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, their own range of media that has unique options, btrfs integration on all apps, etc).

Why Choose Synology NAS? – BTRFS, Synology Hybrid RAID and Ease of Use

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – ZFS, Better Encryption Options, HybridMount/vJBOD and Better Expansion Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Multimedia

Alot of home user and Prosumer users will look at purchasing a NAS for their multimedia collection. With digital media being largely mainstream and the decline of optical media in the last 15-20years (with the ease of transferring your DVDs and Blurays being incredibly easy and affordable), the appeal of buying a NAS as your very own ‘Netflix’ is pretty appealing! Unsurprisingly both Synology and QNAP have evolved a great deal in the area of multimedia streaming and sharing in recent years and although the core business of ‘playing files on your DLNA Smart TV, Amazon firestick, phone, home cinema, etc) is technically very similar on both QNAP and Synology, each brand has definitely gone their own way with regard to presentation, 3rd party hardware support and how photos/music/video are handled internally. I will also add that both Synology and QNAP support Plex Media Server, Emby, Jellyfin, iTunes and traditional file/folder level DLNA media streaming to a largely identical degree (with a few differences simply down to the hardware in each NAS release). Below are guides on both Synolgoy and QNAP and how they compare in terms of photography, music playback in the GUI and video streaming.

First, here is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Photography:

Synology Advantages

Support of Live Photos/Gifs in the Browser/Apps

Excellent Cross-App Support with Drive

Synology Photos (beta) merges Photo Station & Moments

Very Attractive and Easy to Control GUI

Better Geo Location Recognition/Map View

Better Multi Face Tag Searching

QNAP Advantages

Album+File/Folder Browsing in QuMagie

Better AI Recognition in QuMagie

Allows Custom Photo Directories

Multimedia Console Allows Better Indexing/Thumbnail Generation

Better Cross-Software Tag Support

Next, this is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Music and the browser GUI:

Synology Advantages

Support of DS Audio Skill on Amazon Alexa Voice Recognition

GUI Very Appealing

Better Config Options

Better Album Thumbnail Utilization (especially Mobile)

QNAP Advantages

Album/File+Folder Browsing

Better DLNA Streaming

Support of Local Speaker Connections

More 3rd Party Audio Applications

Support of more Formats, codecs and Compressions

 

Finally, we have how both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Video Media in the GUI:

Synology Advantages

Video Station/DS Video have VERY easy to use GUI

DS Video App available on FireTV / Amazon Firestick

Comparable to Plex and Emby

Intuative Setup for Libraries and Metadata resource connections

QNAP Advantages

Supports HDMI Out

More Media Server Players available

Better offline Transcoding Options

Cayin player option for H.265/HEVC 10bit Support

There is no avoiding that QNAP (for the most part) have a more ‘meat and potatoes’ user interface when it comes to music and video media, which is something that Synology have really poured money into with Synolgoy Video Station and Audio Station being comparable to Freemium services like plex Media Server and Whatsapp (thanks to enhanced metadata scraping and 1st party apps on Amazon FireTV and Alexa voice support in DS Video and DS Audio). In Photography, I think QNAP overall do a better job with their QuMagie platform allowing a greater degree of control, recognition, file/folder access and keeping it as 2 separate apps – at least at the time of writing!). Likewise, the multimedia console application on QNAP QTS is an absolute winner for me as the means to completely control ALL multimedia indexing, sharing and transcoding from a single portal point. It comes down to simply what kind of media you plan on watching, what device you want to watch it on and how much customization you plan on making!

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Video Station, DS Audio Alexa Voice Support – Choose for Amazon FireTV, Alexa and ‘Netflix-level’ video streaming

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Multimedia Console control is Unparalleled, QuMagie provides better AI recognition and Custom Directories as standard. Also, H.265/HEVC 10bitplayback better with CAYIN player option

 

Click Below for PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

7 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

If you are looking at buying a new NAS drive (either as a first-time buyer or you can considering jumping from one brand to another), then the software that brands like Synology and QNAP include with your NAS purchase is always going to be an area of consideration. Many people just take for granted that the NAS system they buy will have ‘some kind of software’ included and that is enough to swing it for them to choose one NAS brand or the other. However, the reality is that QNAP and Synology are actually incredibly different systems in terms of the software design, priority of use, how that impacts the learning curve to the end-user and ultimately how suitable it will be for your needs. Even if you are a NAS Buyer that is going to mostly/exclusively use 3rd party software on your PC/Mac/Network Media hardware – you will still need to interact with the NAS software and graphical user interface (GUI) at the start and from time to time. So, although I have compared these two brands many, many times in the past, I rarely compare their software. This is because it evolves incredibly quickly and something set in stone today might well have changed within a month! So, let’s go through each of these popular NAS software systems and see how they compare, their strengths, their weaknesses and see if we can figure out which one is best for you!

Important – This is PART I of a three-part guide where I will compare the Synology NAS and QNAP NAS Platform on their software, their hardware and give you a better idea of how each brand tackles all the modern elements of network-attached storage in 2021/2022. This guide primarily covered Synology DSM 6.2 and QNAP QTS 4.5, however, DSM 7.0 and QuTS Hero will be referenced where appropriate. Despite the latter two platforms being available in beta at the time of writing or only higher-tier devices, I wanted to focus on the former as they are the ones that a larger number of users have used or will be using in the near future.

LINK to PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

LINK to PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Priorities

Before I go any further into this comparison of Synology DSM and QNAP QTS, it is worth just briefly talking about the company priorities of each and how this impacts their software, hardware and usability between different users. In short, Synology seemingly has three consistent core brand traits.

Synology NAS Brand and DSM Focus

First Party Priority in Hardware and Software – If they have a software/hardware tool that can do the same as a 3rd party alternative, they will always prioritize their own. In some cases (eg VMs, Cloud services, etc) they will also allow 3rd party support, but the clear emphasis on their own products in bare metal or DSM is undeniable. In other cases that will not support 3rd party alternatives, as they build their systems around their own products (eg newer rackmount releases and Synology HDDs, Memory upgrade modules, Synology C2 in HybridShare. etc)

Software Over Hardware – NAS systems are generally treated with a degree of scepticism by PC builders due to their arguable more modest specifications (CPU, Memory, etc) for the price tag. Although this is something that can be argued against with the fact that NAS are 24×7 systems that are storage prioritized, the Synology NAS systems do typically arrive with more modest specs than others (1Gbe for the most part, fewer upgrade options – especially in the 3rd party). The biggest reason for this is because the Synology NAS solutions are a much more software+hardware combined package than any other brand, with Synology investing considerably more in their software than anyone else. Later in the article, I will go through some stand out apps from them, but there is no denying that Synology PRIMARILY focuses on software and then get to work making sure the hardware in their systems can make the most of it.

Hiding/Removing Some Configuration/Customization options for Performance & Stability – This is likely the biggest area of contention for buyers of Synology NAS servers. The DSM platform is an incredibly slick system that (especially for something that you are accessing remotely over the network/internet) is fantastically responsive. Indeed, it is often easy to forget that the GUI and assets that you are managing are not local. Although a lot of credit has to be given to Synology for their R&D, it is also worth remembering that this is achieved in a number of hidden ways that people are less keen on. On the good side, they do this with intelligent memory caching and flushing all the time (with the system using more memory than strictly needed if it is available, then quickly flushing/emptying it when more current RAM demands rise), as well as (particularly in DSM 7) much better browser-based WebSocket tweaking than any other brands to increase latency and responsiveness. However, they also achieve this by forcing some (not all) applications to work from strict indexing rules (i.e files and resources you want to access for X application need to be in PRECISELY this directory and no other). So, sometimes using a certain first-party app (eg Synology Moments/Photos) mean you cannot store your data in any other location without missing out. Additionally, deeper levels of control and customization on some applications and services will be unavailable, so the high performing (if fractionally rigid) system software can operate as fast as possible. Most users will not even notice these things and unless you are a particularly adept IT enthusiast or run an especially nuanced network at work, these things can be forgiven by most.

QNAP on the other hand, although similar in a number of ways has a broader and more open platform. This typically means that a user who wants to create an especially bespoke setup, has lesser-known file formats to content with, wants to use their own software (with the NAS as a storage target) or just like to ‘have it their own way’ might prefer the QNAP QTS NAS ecosystem. Their brand priorities can be summarized as:

QNAP NAS Brand and QTS Focus

Balanced 1st Party and 3rd Party Software – You definitely get the feeling very early on when using QNAP NAS QTS software that they are trying to support as many types of user and utilities as possible – something that can come across as either incredibly versatile or a bit of a bombardment! QNAP and QTS have plenty of first-party applications included in the price of the NAS hardware (ranging from file management, smart multimedia management and backups, to business class services in VMs, Surveillance and Cloud Hybrid/Gateway tools to cover just a portion of them), but their support of 3rd party storage systems, software and being able to adapt to them is a big part of why some users choose them over Synology. The arguable rigid structure of Synology that maintains stability at the occasional cost of flexibility is absent here in favour of a much more open playing field for the end-user to shape the system towards their existing hardware/software. Just don’t expect it to be as easy in 1-2-3.

First To Release NAS Hardware – If you were to look at some of the BIGGEST innovations in the last 5 years of network-attached storage, then 95% of them were done by QNAP first! Late last year we saw  QNAP unveil the TS-2490FU All NVMe U.2 and ZFS rackmount whilst everyone else in NAS was still pushing SATA/SAS EXT4/BTRFS solutions, QNAP introduced combined 10Gbe and NVMe SSD Combo cards first in their QM2 series, and QNAP changed the editing experience for many professional in video post-production with Thunderbolt-enabled NAS – in short, QNAP has been the first to the punch for most fo the game-changer in NAS as we know if for years. However, this is not always the best foot forward and some of their ‘first to the market’ innovations have taken time to really reach their peak. By that, I mean that some solutions arrive on the market in a somewhat barebones form that gets fleshed out over time, or is released in a form that (12-18 months later when brands like Synology jump on board) look limited/rough around the edges. QNAP are STILL the most innovative brand on the market, but occasionally a few of the more groundbreaking hardware could stand to be in the oven for a little longer. Below is an excellent example of this in how each brand approached 10G+NVMe combo cards, with the QNAP QM2 card and the Synology E10M20-T1 – released almost 18months+ apart, but with very, VERY clear build differences

Software Development On the Fly – Very similar to the hardware releases from QNAP getting there before everyone else (though a touch less polished), the same can be said for the application and service. However, the main difference is that 1) the software is included in the cost of your NAS, not a paid add-on/release and 2) these software innovations can be marginally excused with the label ‘beta’. On the one hand, the fact that QNAP has one of the most open and available beta programs allows users to experiment/test these new innovations very early and therefore take advantage of the benefits super early. On the other hand, that means that you can/will introduce quite a lot of beta software into your system – something that business users will be somewhat reluctant to do. Betas and Trials in NAS software (like any other platform for that matter) ARE a good thing and this has led to QNAP having a lot of services very early. Such as QNAP HybridMount, a hybrid cloud/NAS mounting system (not connect/sync, but actual localized integrated cloud storage) that allows you to bolt-on cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, etc and access with your NAS app services. Likewise, vJBOD allows you to bolt your NAS storage to a bigger storage platform like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Backblaze, etc and allows a cross-platform hybrid storage solution for an enterprise user. The list can go on for ages (QVR Face AI-Powered surveillance, BoXafe Cloud service sync with Google Workspace and Office 365, ZFS equipped QuTS Hero for systems that to-date only had EXT4, DA Drive Analyzer for enhanced drive health and failure prediction and more), ALL of these tools were in Beta for an extensive length of time (or still are) and although that means earlier access, this can sometimes result in a less cohesive platform compared with the controlled smoothness of Synology and DSM, which Does use Betas and Trials, but in a much, MUCH more controlled and limited fashion (eg DSM 7.0 beta).

The idea of Synology keeping thing concise/easier to understand (if a little limited to adapt) and QNAP giving you as much information and control as possible (occasionally to its own detriment) is a theme you are going to see over and over again when comparing DSM and QTS. In the past, I would often compare them like this: Synology is more like Console Gaming platforms (Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Switch, etc) and QNAP is more like PC ‘master race’ gamers. Synology/Console is a much more fixed and stable platform, games will have FPS locked by high, little mod/customization, higher price tag typically, BUT are much more reliable, have more uniform shared experiences and ultimately result in a smoother experience. QNAP/PC gaming on the other hand can require a higher learning curve for the components, require a little more configuration and results can differ from user to user (based on their hardware environment) BUT is better value for money, can result in SIGNIFICANTLY better performance and is considerably more adaptable and flexible. There are pros and cons on either side but the end-users expectations and willingness to invest in the setup will dictate a lot of the results!

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Smooth, Accessible, Easy to Learn

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Adaptable, Capable and Wider Support Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Web-Based GUI

For most users, this will be the first real ways they interact with their new NAS system. The majority of users will access their NAS exclusively via mobile (with Some users evening using a mobile phone to initialize their NAS too – only available on Synology NAS) but to date, you still cannot match the configuration and control options that are available on the web-based GUI for both NAS brands. Synology DSM and QNAP QTS allow the user to access the NAS system over the network (or remotely with 1st party internet access portals in quickconnect and myqnapcloud) and over the years, these have started to resemble full operating system level control panels. Indeed, even though early versions of each looked the same with a different colour palette, now they are as distinct as Mac OS and Windows!

Something between them is always going to be consistent (as it would be foolish to reinvent the wheel and make their system unintuitive) such as the options button at the top left, desktop shortcuts, notifications at the top right, etc. But even a click look at a recent overview of DSM 7.0 in Beta and QuTS Hero will give you a good idea of how QNAP and Synology allow the user to control their system via the web browser.

 

The Synology DSM design feels very similar to that of Mac-based systems (especially in DSM 7.0), whereas the QNAP QTS design feels a little more ‘Android’ in how applications and options are presented. Of the two, I would say that Synology definitely feels a pinch more responsive and reactive to your clicks and mouse/keyboard commands, with QNAP QTS still feeling smooth for a network GUI (but when the screen gets busy, you feel a pinch of delay when flicking between apps and windows. QNAP QTS counters this by providing much more information on each screen (both graphical and analytical) that saves time selecting numerous areas of interest for the answer to your query as found in DSM from time to time. Of course, depending on your skill level or desire for clarity – this can be both a blessing and a curse. For example – the resource monitor on the Synology DSM software is concise, breaks the display into CPU+MEMORY+DISK+Bandwidth and if you want a little more information, you can dig a little deeper into each (with a lite CPU+Memory bar visible on the desktop at all times).

The QNAP QTS Resource monitor on the other hand provides a greater degree of information straight off the bat, allowing you to dig considerably deeper into the background processes (monitor/close as appropriate), but still providing more information per screen than any on the Synology DSM platform. Even the on-screen default resource monitor (clicking the speedometer dial at desktop) is more detailed than the actual DSM Resource monitor primary screen. If you are easily intimidated or just want to know how much memory ‘X’ app is using, then the QNAP offering will seem very ‘TMI’. However for those of you who use the resource monitor to see how far they can push the system, find out how much the system vs apps are using, troubleshoot or want to kill background processes – the QNAP Resource monitor will be exceptionally handy.

The logic that both Synology and QNAP provide to the end-user even in something as arguable pedestrian as a task manager will give you a decent idea of how they will be for you in practically every interaction moving forward. Below is a video on how each system compares in its graphical user interface, configuration and initial setup (users, folders, shares, etc):

In short, it comes back to that idea of control and customization. The Synology DSM Control is going to appeal more to new NAS users and those who want the system to just-shut-up-and-do-its-job! Whereas the QNAP QTS platform will throw more information (sometimes too much!) at you in the hopes that you can create a more bespoke and controllable environment.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Easy to Use and Intuative

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Better Analytics and Control

 

Click Below for PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Plex Media Server vs Synology Video Station for NAS

4 juin 2021 à 15:00

Plex Vs Synology Video Station on a NAS in 2021/2022

One of the most popular reasons that users choose to buy a network-attached storage (NAS) device is for use as a media server. The appeal is pretty clear. With most users now owning decades of media (either in digital form or ripped from optical media at home), the ability to enjoy these box sets and Movies on the latest devices can be complicated. Despite this, streaming all of your multimedia from a NAS to all of your TVs, phones, tablets and other devices are growing increasingly popular and a lot of this is thanks to the increasing affordability of NAS from brands like Synology and QNAP and free software from companies like Plex and Emby. The most popular NAS for home media tends to be Synology, with its support of numerous media server applications and its own premium video service app too. This combined with the oversaturation of third-party online streaming services that ask you to pay a subscription (such as Netflix) with little control or right to ownership of the media you watch means that many users just want to enjoy their own unique media collections. So now that a lot of users are choosing to switch from the likes of Netflix and Prime Video towards an in-house media server, the next question is which piece of software they should choose. The most popular private media server app right now worldwide to counter the likes of Netflix is Plex Media Server, software available in host and client form that allows you to transform your media collection into a glossy, slick and informative UI that genuinely rivals big online streaming platforms. Synology on the other hand would likely prefer users to stick with their own fully-featured media server application, Synology Video Station, which they have invested well in and developed to an impressive standard that easily rivals that of Plex. So today I want to compare these two media server choices and help you decide which one is the ideal media server choice for you.

Important – ‘Free’ Vs Paid Media Server Services on a NAS

Before going any further, it is worth addressing the elephant in the room, namely that a number of key media server services that are included with Plex Media Server are locked behind a paid subscription service known as Plex Pass. Whereas Synology Video Station is an application that is included with your NAS on Day 1 at no additional cost. All that said, neither service can technically be called free, as both still require you to purchase a Synology NAS. Additionally, it is still worth highlighting that some more recent Innovations in Plex online services and utilisation of hardware transcoding (the ability to use the CPU’s embedded graphics or an available graphics card to adapt files on the fly to make them better suited to a client) is not available on the free tier of Plex, but ARE available by default in the Synology Video Station application. You can still utilise software transcoding on Plex for free and this will deal with a large degree of transcoding requirements, but the fact that you have to pay extra within the Plex app to utilise the hardware already available on your NAS is something a number of users find difficult to accept. Throughout this article, any feature that is only available as a paid Plex Pass feature will be highlighted as such.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Installation and First Time Setup

Installation of either the Synology Video Station or Plex Media Server application is near enough identical. Both are readily available in the Synology app centre and can be installed within two clicks. Both media server applications do not require your multimedia files to be stored in a pre-designated/directory location and the sources for TV shows, Movies and more can be scanned and indexed by each media server application after they are installed. In fact, the initial installation on both is incredibly straightforward and there is really only one main difference between them. That difference is that whereas the Synology Media application uses your original NAS login credentials, Plex will require you to set up an account with them online in order to use the software, even if you only intend to use your Plex Media Server on the local network/DLNA. As Plex is a third-party application, this is a little understandable if a tiny bit annoying for some. 

It is also worth highlighting that both media server applications will receive regular updates during their lifespan and this is treated slightly differently too. As Synology Video Station is a first-party app, as soon as an update is available, you will be notified immediately in the app centre and even have the opportunity to apply these firmware updates automatically. Plex updates on the other hand will almost always need to be installed manually, as the available default Plex application on the Synology app centre is updated considerably less frequently and as soon as you setup Plex for the first time, it will ALWAYS inform you that there is a new update available straight away. The Plex Media Server application itself will tell you when an update is available regularly at the top right and in the settings menu, but requires you to download the latest Plex server update to a connected computer and then you need to upload this update directly to the Synology NAS app centre manually. It is only a small inconvenience really, but does mean that regular updates on your media server of choice are handled more easily and with likely more frequency on Synology Video Station rather than Plex.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – GUI, Media Support and Browsing

The user interface of Synology Video Station and Plex Media Server are quite similar when viewed on a client device, such as a console, TV and Amazon Fire TV stick. With all of your available Movies and Boxsets clearly shown and the metadata collected by each media server application creating a great user interface for your connected users. 

However the back end/server view of each media server application is considerably different and where the Synology Video Station application is designed exclusively around video media options and configuration (as Synology have a wide range of applications for different Media types and general NAS server maintenance already available), Plex, on the other hand, is a far better equipped tool for a complete server, with the bulk of server maintenance and customisation options built into the single Plex GUI. If you are something of an IT novice, the wide range of options that Plex Media Server throws at you for system maintenance can be a touch intimidating and because Plex is designed around many different kinds of media support (something we will touch on later) it’s configuration needs to be noticeably broader than the video-centric options in the Synology official video application. These additional options, if you take the time to go through them, will definitely lead to a better media server user experience and a far better multimedia streaming system overall, it’s just a question of how bespoke and how elaborate you want your media server to be.

As mentioned, there is a clear difference in the multimedia types supported in Plex Media Server or Synology Video Station. In terms of handling of video Media, they are near enough identical with some exceptions with regard to specialist audio handling for certain dense Media. However, much like the back-end server control mentioned earlier, Synology Video Station only handles video media and relies on alternative applications such as Synology moments, photo station, Synology photos, audio station and download station to play and obtain other kinds of multimedia. Plex Media Server is a much more diverse multimedia tool with support of your photo collections (AI-assisted too), album collections, podcast streaming and several online video streaming services included. In both cases, it makes a lot of sense why they are designed this way, but some users may prefer their media server to be more of a Swiss army knife and others may want their video streaming, music streaming and photo streaming to be different services for different devices and clients. Neither Plex or Synology Video Station really gain any advantage here but simply show how they are different in their architecture. If you want simplicity in the user interface, go with Synology Video Station. If you want simplicity in your media server as a whole, go with Plex Media Server.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Meta Data Scraping

The scraping of metadata in a media server is precisely what separates a bog-standard selection of files and folders on your screen from a slick graphical user interface that is engaging, informative and a joy to use. When we talk about metadata, we are talking about thumbnails, box art, media descriptions, cast listings, review scores, trailers and more. When we say scraping, that is the process of the software accessing numerous online databases to retrieve and store this information locally to the NAS. The result is your years of TV and movie collection being transformed into something near identical to Netflix and Amazon Prime video in presentation. Metadata ultimately benefits connected users and their client hardware devices, with both Plex and Video Station being very similar in how they look to a client device, albeit with a few branded differences in colour and config.

However, on the server-side, both Synology Video Station and Plex have gone a different way with metadata scraping at a setup level. Of the two, Synology Video Station is definitely the less option-heavy and although this is thanks in many ways to a lot of key options being found in the general server GUI outside of the app, it is still pretty thin on the ground for configuration of your video media server. This is not an enormous surprise given how Synology have generally erred towards keeping things as user-friendly as possible and this is often done by simplifying configurations and sitting numerous settings to system default. The options for scraping metadata on the Synology are surprisingly thin on the ground and some more advanced options require you to sign up to some resource database websites to obtain a two-way key. Despite this, Synology still manages to scrape a tremendous amount of metadata without this key and resource linking. Indeed, although the number of supported databases for metadata listed on the Synology Video Station app is few and far between, it was still able to find the same level of metadata found on the Plex Media Server application and displayed all of the test media perfectly. 

Plex Media Server has access to significantly more online databases and although the system will generally ask you to select which one individually you wish to scrape for metadata in each library, it does do it with a high degree of accuracy. It also manages to scrape this metadata for more than just your Movies and applies this also to your music collection and podcast collection too within the app. Metadata scraping via Plex Media Server also does not require any kind of log-in to these individual databases and is largely automated off the bat, with users being able to switch designated databases for each Media type and folder on the fly. Of course, this all doesn’t guarantee accuracy and will still always be based on the format and layout of your Media in many cases (tv shows listed as S01E01 for season 1, episode 1, etc), but nevertheless, it has to be said that with more available resources and less configuration required for each of them, that Plex Media Server has the broader and more likely to succeed position on metadata scraping.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Playback and Transcoding

This is one of the most important parts of any media server in the grand scheme of things – multimedia playback and transcoding. This is typically the action of changing a media file into a version that is more acceptable to the client device that you are enjoying it on (TV, Phone, Console, etc). This extends to but is not limited to, changing the resolution, changing the bitrate, changing the file format and ultimately compressing a file into a smaller version in most cases. Because Plex and Synology Video Station are available on the same NAS system, it means that media variations with regard to codecs, compressions and file types will be equally supported at the default level. If a file can be played back in its original version on Plex, it can be played back on Synology Video Station. However, it is when these files need to be adapted with transcoding that we see clear distinctions between each of them. Transcoding is something that remote accessing client users will likely use without even realising it, as they might well be on a limited data connection (speed or coverage at the time) or using a smaller device (such as a phone) to playback a monster 4K 60FPS movie that is overkill on that hardware. So, transcoding is at its best when you do not notice it is being done OR it is adaptable in as many ways as possible to cover all your likely scenarios.

When the NAS needs to perform a transcode on a file on the fly (eg, so you need to convert a video file into a better-suited version for the client watching device upon request and without delay) it will typically do it with software transcoding or hardware transcoding. Software transcoding is when the system uses the raw resources of the CPU and memory inside the NAS to convert the file. Hardware transcoding is when the NAS system features a graphical component (such as embedded graphics featured on a CPU) or an available graphics card that is installed – as these are designed for handling video files and/or graphical manipulation tasks, and will therefore utilise considerably fewer resources. Plex Media Server only provides hardware transcoding in the paid subscription service Plex Pass and then needs to be enabled in the encoding section by selecting the option ‘make my CPU hurt’. Software transcoding is available for the free version of Plex Media Server but is far less efficient and will result in much higher-end Media in 4K and 1080p playback consuming the majority of hardware resources to transcode or will simply not play at all. 

Synology Video Station on the other hand, because it is a native first-party app, has full access to the hardware transcoding element of the NAS and therefore allows users to take advantage of it easily and immediately, and at no additional cost. This has been one of the driving forces behind the popularity of Synology Video Station application, as although the majority of NAS brands have their own video player, Synology is the only one that manages to merge the slick meta-data supported graphical user interface found in Plex but still manages to provide the free and unlimited limited access to the hardware resources you would expect after spending several $100s on a NAS. That said, the way that Synology handles the subject of transcoding in its user interface is a little peculiar, especially for users who are trying to balance the best possible playback vs the most appropriate transcoding level on the fly/manually. 

When you wish for the NAS system to transcode a file in the Video Station user interface, you are presented with the options for adjusting the picture quality to high, medium, low, very low, etc. This is exactly what one might expect from a brand that wants to consistently keep things as simple as possible, however, for those who want to select a specific quality level to playback the file or want a better idea of the best quality level in future should be for other files, this will be extraordinarily limiting. Plex Media Server on the other hand allows you to switch between an automatic transcode option that changes the file to the recommended quality level for the client and connection, or you can specifically switch one of numerous video quality levels that break down into both resolution and bitrate in several places. Overall, the ability for Video Station to be able to take advantage of hardware transcoding at no additional cost and with little or no intervention from the end-user is still ultimately the best thing here. I just wish they gave uses a better degree of control and choice as found in Plex Media Server.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Client Support

Having a slick and well-performing media server is always good, but if you cannot watch the media inside it on the devices you regularly use, then it’s all a bit pointless. Most people are already well aware that the multimedia collections they have on a NAS can easily be streamed over the local area network via popular methods such as DLNA and UPnP (digital living network alliance and universal plug and play). However, they are much more file and folder, breadcrumb level streaming and in order to enjoy the pretty GUI of Plex and Synology Video Station, an official client app needs to be available on the respective app centre or made unofficially and manually installed. This is an area where Plex Media Server almost completely wins over Synology Video Station, as it simply cannot compete with the variety and accessibility of the Plex client availability in popular app centres. 

Full credit to Plex, they have really taken the time to make sure their platform is available on pretty much any modern device, in what multiple client or media server application forms. They also take the time after an official update of services and then push these updates across each available downloadable client. This is largely impossible for Synology to compete with and they instead opt for a much more targeted client support regime, supporting all modern mobile phone OS’, desktop operating systems and some of the major sofa accessible app centres on TVs and streamers like Amazon fire TV. In  8 out of 10 cases, your device will support both Plex and Synology Video Station, but this is by no means total and sometimes a hardware client (such as an off-brand Android phone, tablet or media box) that you hope to support Video Station will sadly not. 

It is once again worth mentioning that Synology separates different multimedia types towards their own individual client apps, for example, DS Audio or Audio Station for music and DS Photo for photography. Indeed, some of these apps are quite advanced with practically unique connectivity to the likes of Amazon Alexa (something currently impossible on any other NAS platform without a 3rd party application like ‘my-media’ Alexa skill. But this, unfortunately, does not make up for being truly overshadowed by the wider degree of support available on Plex across numerous clients and smart Home devices – though the latter does require a Plex Pass. For sheer volume of connectivity on the clients, Plex wins by an absolute landslide.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Conclusion

Throughout this comparison of Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station, it has become abundantly clear that one tool is designed around being a Swiss army knife of features and functions, whilst the other performs a smaller but key range of services exceptionally well. Those who have been using Plex Media Server for a number of years are highly unlikely to make the jump to Synology Video Station, as it may feel less feature-rich and perhaps a tad bare-bones. However, those users who are new to the idea of private NAS based multimedia streaming would do very well to try out Synology Video Station first, as I genuinely believe when it comes to concentrating on video streaming services, it is genuinely one of the best platforms out there – albeit clearly restricted to just Synology NAS devices. Plex Media Server attempts to do many things in its pursuit of being the go-to media server of choice for those jumping ship from Netflix and succeeds in most cases, it is just worth remembering that in recent years the platform has perhaps tried to diversify a tad too much. 

PLEX MEDIA SERVER

Synology Video Station

Best for Mixed Media

Best for Ease of Access on Client Hardware

Best for Transcoding Control

Best for Add On Services

Best for Metadata Sources

Best for Price

Best Performance for Transcoding

Best for Ease of Use

Best for Ease Setup

Best for Updates & Firmware Revs

Thanks for reading and I hope this guide helps you choose the perfect multimedia server for streaming with your friends, family and colleagues. If you are still lost on the right NAS, multimedia software or ideal backup system for your needs, then take advantage of the free advice section below. This is a completely free and unbias service to help work out their ideal data storage solution for you. It is manned by my myself and EddieTheWebGuy, so although replies may take an extra day or so, we will answer your email and have your best interests in mind! Have a great week.

If you are thinking of buying a NAS for Multimedia, Please use the links below:

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

 

Buying a NAS for Video Editing – Get it Right First Time

31 mai 2021 à 16:00

Buying a NAS for Video Editing – A Buyers Guide

Whether you are a professional, semi-pro or hobbyist video editor, the appeal of moving your editing suite over to a NAS based environment can be quite high. Although not quite as straightforward as utilising traditional an internal SSD or external storage on USB and thunderbolt, video editing on a NAS can bring a significant number of advantages and improvements to even a low-level post-production environment focused on editing video privately or commercially. It can be frightfully intimidating to understand which components you need to buy, let alone know how to create the ideal video editing set up on a NAS for multiple connected clients on windows and mac systems. So today I wanted to take some time and talked about why you should edit video on a NAS, why you shouldn’t and the key considerations when making the move towards network-attached storage for your video editing workflow.

Ready to Edit Video on a NAS Drive? Below is my FULL GUIDE to Edit on a NAS (Click Below):

What are the Benefits of Video Editing on a NAS

Network-attached storage (NAS) has been around now commercially for more than 20-years and it has only really been in the last few years that the viability of editing dense media, such as 1080P and 4K raw, has become particularly viable. NAS brings a number of unique advantages to video editors that apply to both the process of rendering in post-production AND general good working practice with your data. Key benefits of using a NAS in your video editing workflow are:

One Area of Storage, Accessible by Many at Once – Multiple users can connect to the same storage device, internal and external backup routines can be managed by the device and connected storage

Diverse Connectivity – Multiple types of connection are available for users to interact with the device

Security Advantages – Encryption and multiple security access options are available on the storage side

Easy Distribution – Completed projects can be distributed to the network or internet without requiring an additional cloud storage platform

Mixed OS Support – Different OS and file structures can communicate with the same storage device without being incompatible

Scaled Storage Options – Storage capacity is scalable with the ability to gradually add hard drives and SSD as you need them and even attach additional enclosures – ie you are not limited on day one with a preset storage capacity

Users & Group Access Controls with Custom Privileges – Each user can have their own login with access to different areas of the system storage being allowed/denied on the fly

AJA Speed Test from 4x Synology HAT5300 Hard Drives in a RAID 5 over 10Gbe NAS Connectivity Below:

What are the downsides of Editing on a NAS?

Of course, editing on a NAS is still not perfect for everyone and although it features numerous benefits to those working in post-production, there are still several hurdles that may be too much for some users. Below are several reasons why you may not want to use a NAS for video editing:

Top Speed Potential – Like-for-like a NAS will not quite hit the same top performance of a direct-attached storage device (DAS)

Arguable More Expensive – NAS costs more than a traditional DAS

Not Strictly Plug-n-Play – NAS is not as straightforward or feature the same level of plug-and-play that a regular DAS does

Additional Equipment (e.g Switches) – In order for multiple users to access a NAS at the same time, it can sometimes require additional hardware

Steeper Learning Curve – NAS systems have a marginally higher learning curve when it comes to setting up and maintenance when it comes to external network security

Overall, a NAS is still fantastic for video editing, but all the advantages that it brings for multi-editor environments and improving your workflow are not without a little friction at the start. That said, these are small in the grand scheme of things and most can be overcome with even a small amount of IT knowledge. Below are guides on how to setup your Synology or QNAP NAS for Video Editing for the first time:

Important Considerations When Choosing a NAS for Video Editing

In order to cover every aspect of how you can adapt a NAS into your video editing workflow, I have broken the whole thing down into several key considerations. Each one was selected based on its recurrence in the enquiry section here on NASCompares and I strongly recommend that you check the suitability of each in your setup before proceeding with purchasing any NAS solution for business class post-production, low-level video editing and even just for simple one-off tasks involving video.

Video Editing on a NAS – Size, Capacity and RAID

Let’s start with something straightforward and easy to understand, namely the subject of storage space and capacity. The amount of storage you’re going to need in a NAS that you plan on using for video editing may seem simple at first. Depending on whether you plan on utilising the NAS to its fullest in terms of editing, distribution and archiving, or simply plan on using the NAS for just the editing, you will need to make sure that you have enough storage for current projects and long-term storage. Typically, it is recommended that you work out how much data you generally create per year and times it by x5. However, capacity is only a small part of the importance of storage on your video editing NAS.

Here is a Guide to Understanding Each of the Main RAID Types (Click Below to read in a new tab)

In order to improve the performance of the NAS for optimal video editing, it is recommended that you use a NAS setup that features multiple hard drives or SSD in order to take advantage of both the redundancy and multi-disc access performance benefits available in RAID (redundant array of independent disks). A single hard drive can provide around 150-260 Megabytes per second of performance on average, but with each additional hard drive you add to a NAS system, it increases the overall performance by around 70-150MB/s per drive (more so with SSD). Although hard drives are traditionally slower than more expensive SSD, this can be negated via the use of multiple hard drives in a RAID and provide a much better price per terabyte investment. This also means that the NAS is able to store more projects for editing and archiving overall.

Finally, there is the consideration for the number of bays available on the video editing NAS. If you intend to take advantage of the performance and redundancy that RAID provides, you will need to ensure that you buy a NAS system that allows enough bays for you to populate with hard drives or SSD. However, you may also need to consider adding more drives later in your NAS drives life, whether to increase capacity later or just do improve performance when you need it. So it never hurts to consider partially populating a NAS in order to give yourself a little more flexibility later with your capacity, whether it is installing four hard drives in an 8 bay NAS or choosing a NAS that has the option of expandability with an externally connected expansion chassis.

Video Editing on a NAS – Noise and Distance from the NAS

Another massively overlooked area in using a NAS for video editing, and one that when overlooked can lead to enormous irritation, is avoiding ambient noise that some enterprise NAS devices generate. One of the biggest differences between editing using an SSD inside your Mac or Windows system compared with editing on an external device like a NAS/DAS is that due to the larger array of storage media combined with external enclosure design, the clicks, hums and vibration can create a noticeable increase in ambient noise. This can obviously vary based on the NAS and drive media you choose to use, but still nonetheless the general rule of thumb is that high performance in a NAS will equal a larger volume in in operational noise. If you are running a less noise prohibitive workflow, take advantage of professional headphones or maintain a decent distance from the system, you should be perfectly fine. However many users do not realise that video editing on a NAS enclosure can be rather noisy. To give you an example, below is some examples of general ambient noise generated from just a single NAS based hard drive when in operation:

Audio/Noise Tests of FOUR Popular NAS based Hard Drives:

Seagate Ironwolf Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgXtQ1nGMI0/

WD Red Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf23exhPDXg/

Seagate EXOS Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW4FIWX1QKo/

Western Digital UltraStar Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THYPA5FMiD4/

 

Video Editing on a NAS – Hard Drives, SSDs, or Both in your NAS

Most people are already well aware that although hard drives bring a tremendous amount of storage potential at an affordable level, they pale in comparison to SSD when it comes to performance. Solid-state drives provide read and write speeds that practically no modern traditional hard drive can match. That is the main reason that a lot of people rely on SSDs inside their modern computers for operating systems and general high-performance file handling. However, when it comes to network-attached storage the gap between hard drives and SSD performance can be closed significantly via the utilisation of RAID (redundant array of independent disks – mentioned earlier), which allows a user to install multiple hard drives inside I NAS and because each Drive is being read and written to at the same time, it results in something that far surpasses that of a singular hard drive in speed. In short, if you look at the price of per terabyte of an SSD as around 4-5x that of a regular hard drive, you can still achieve these speeds by simply using 4-5 hard drives instead, but actually having more capacity available to you, as well as the option of a safety net that most RAID configurations offer by default. So do not assume that video editing on a NAS will be better just because you spent more money on SSDs. If you did choose to spend significantly more money in fully populating a NAS with SSD only, this could potentially over-saturate the connection between your NAS and your editing computer, so if you are running a 10 Gigabit connection (i.e 1000MB/s), on a NAS fully populated with SSD, you cannot actually exceed 1000 megabyte per second – so you would have wasted a lot of money on SSD to start with.

Of course, there is the third option of utilising both storage media in an intelligent way. The act of using a mixed media storage configuration can be realised in either taking advantage of a tiered storage system that moves data inside to whichever storage media is the most beneficial (i.e more regularly accessed on SSD, least accessed on HDD – known on QNAP NAS as QTier), or SSD caching that moves a copy of more frequently accessed data from the hard drive RAID storage array onto a smaller but higher-performing area of SSD storage media. The benefits of SSD caching on video editing are negligible unless you are utilising many, many smaller files and need these files more frequently accessed at any given time. Ultimately, this all means that you are not locked in on utilising just one kind of storage media on your video editing setup and it is recommended that you investigate the benefits of either or both in order to maximize your investment in a NAS for video editing.

Video Editing on a NAS – Buying a NAS with 10Gbe

For those who are looking at purchasing a NAS system for video editing, the appeal of 10-gigabit ethernets is largely inarguable. One of the biggest problems when it came to editing video and even photos on a NAS until recently was that you simply could not get the bandwidth and performance through it that you would need in order to edit a big single file. This changed when 10-gigabit ethernet became available, but more so when you became affordable. You can now pick up some 10Gbe NAS systems for as little as £200-300, which might leave you feeling that a NAS for video editing can be spectacularly cheap. However, it is so much more complicated than simply having a 10Gb port on your NAS to allow video editing in any seamless form. Indeed, there are several key factors that a lot of 10G buyers either overlook or consciously cheap-out on, which inevitably leads to slower performance. These are as follows:

Choosing the Right NAS CPU

As mentioned, there are several very affordable 10Gbe NAS systems out there that highlight how competent they are at file server handling. However, not all CPUs are built the same and unless you are using an x86 64-bit CPU, you are not going to get the performance needed to edit video smoothly. Most affordable alternative systems arrived with ARM-based processors (Realtek, Marvel, Annapurna, etc), in 32-bit and 64-bit. These CPU are designed for maximum efficiency but low heavy performance handling and along with featuring lesser power frequencies, cannot handle larger instructions particularly well. Video editing is an intense operation with numerous read-write actions happening in the background that is often unknown to the editor (caching, editing multiple streams on a timeline, etc) and an ARM processor is just not up to the task. This can be marginally mitigated with improved memory, but even this is like sticking a plaster on a shotgun wound! You need to opt for 10Gbe NAS that have either an Intel or AMD based processor that is 64-bit in architecture in order to ensure smooth editing of your videos personally or professionally. I recommend at last an Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Ryzen or Pentium at the very least.

Choosing the Right Amount of NAS Memory

Although nowhere near as important as selecting the right CPU in a 10Gbe NAS solution, Memory still needs to be considered when setting up the device for video editing. This is because although a chunk of memory will be used by the NAS for individual video editing instructions and operations, the NAS will also need additional reserved memory for running background system operations, backup routines and any additional apps you have installed from the brand respective app centre (surveillance, snapshots, cloud synchronisation, etc). The majority of budget 10Gbe NAS solutions arrived with 2GB of memory (sometimes non-upgradable and soldered via individual memory chips to the motherboard), though I strongly recommend that video editors use at least 8GB of memory if you have at least two editors. There are also differences in memory types and frequency, but these are less vital in video editing NAS and generally the better CPU your NAS has, the better the memory it will include.

Choosing the Right Amount of Terabytes for Storage to MAX 10Gbe

Having 10G on a NAS does not mean you INSTANTLY guarantee 1000MB/s performance. The number of hard drive SSD bays that the NAS has is actually an extremely important part of setting up a NAS for 10G editing. Individual SATA hard drive or SSD arrives with speeds ranging from 160-550MB/s, with faster drives obviously being the more expensive. But if your system has multiple drive bays, with the right RAID configuration you can read and write from multiple disks at once and this multiplies the performance possible. This also means that cheaper, larger but slower hard drives can get a great deal closer to the performance of SSD if they are used in larger configurations of 6 or 8 bays. The performance of 10Gbe does not guarantee 1000MBs, it simply opens the channel to push that much data through. Utilising a NAS with more Drive bays and drives inside will allow you to maximize this connection and fully saturate 10Gbe for video editing.

Factoring Upgrades on your Client PCs and Macs

An often-overlooked factor, just because you buying a 10Gbe equipped NAS does not guarantee you 10G performance with all of your connected devices externally. 10Gbe on a NAS arrives in an available ethernet port in copper or fibre connectivity, 10GASE-T or SFP+ respectively. However, you still need to make sure that other devices in your network involved in connectivity and video editing also have this connection. Typically that means that you either need to upgrade your network switch to include one with 10Gbe on board and/or you need to upgrade the video editing workstations in your home/business environment with 10Gbe connectivity. Typically these connections arrived as either thunderbolt external adaptors or PCIe upgrade cards (not suitable for MacBooks, Mac minis or laptops). There are lesser connections such as 2.5G and 5G that allow USB upgrades by providing 250-500MB/s, but if you want to take advantage of 10GBe, you need to look at applying upgrades to any devices involved with video editing. Below is a guide to 10Gbe Upgrades:

Just remember that regardless of the hard drives you use, the memory you install and the number of hard drives you install inside, these all primarily affect internal performance and it is only by upgrading your ethernet connectivity to greater than 1Gbe that you will see external performance improve – VITAL for video editing!

Video Editing on a NAS – Buying a NAS with Thunderbolt

Although by no means a new way to edit video on a NAS, connecting to a NAS via thunderbolt is still a comparatively recent method and one that is largely only available from QNAP. In many ways, utilising a Thunderbolt 3 equipped NAS for video editing is largely identical to 10Gbe and is heavily dictated by many of the factors detailed above (CPU, memory, connectivity, etc). However, Thunderbolt NAS eliminates a lot of the client upgrade hurdles for many users, particularly Mac users, allowing them to connect directly with the NAS over TB3/USB-C for performance speeds much greater than traditional Gigabit LAN. Many users have edited video on local thunderbolt storage for years, more commonly referred to as DAS (direct-attached storage), a thunderbolt NAS allows multiple users to connect via thunderbolt and edit video on the same storage enclosure. The reality though is that thunderbolt NAS does not provide the same level of performance and throughput as a regular thunderbolt DAS enclosure. This is because it is utilising network protocol in its connectivity (in order to ensure that multiple users can connect at once – something a DAS drive cannot do). It can still provide potentially thousands of megabytes per second depending on the media inside and CPU, but there is a notable disparity between a DAS of the same scale. Additionally, whereas the majority of thunderbolt DAS (LaCie, G-Tech, Drobo, etc) are almost completely plug-n-play and appearing as an external drive immediately upon connection, Thunderbolt NAS requires a little more work in order to appear as an available drive on your Mac or Windows system. Most of these connection hurdles only need to be configured during the first time setup and then saved for the future, but it can still be a notably intimidating move to switch to a thunderbolt NAS for video editing. Nevertheless, thunderbolt NAS is still one of the best options out there are for video editors who work in a team and need to share the same storage array for backups, live editing, distribution and managing multiple archives in house.

Choosing A NAS for Video Editing – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS for video editing, or looking to upgrade/migrate from an existing DAS/External drive setup. However, there is still so much that you may need to know ranging from software compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, Shoadowfiles 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.

Learn More About Multiple Backup Strategies on your Synology NAS in the Guide Below:


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Replacing your WD My Cloud NAS – Synology or QNAP NAS?

21 mai 2021 à 16:00

WD My Cloud NAS or Synology/QNAP?  Which Brand Should You Buy?

For many users, the first NAS they ever owned was the affordable and sturdy WD My Cloud NAS drive. From students and teachers to console gamers and small business, the WD My Cloud range of NAS devices was one of the earliest attempts by hardware manufacturers to bring the arguably tricky subject of home server ownership in an affordable and easy to use way. Indeed, in previous years I have recommended the WD My Cloud Pro P2100 and PR4100 NAS systems for use in Plex, low-level surveillance and prosumer home network storage. However, in the last few years brands like Synology and QNAP have absolutely dominated the home and small business NAS market with a large portfolio of solutions that effectively surpass the majority of WD NAS’ in every possible way. So, we sadly face the fact that given WD has not released a new generation of their My Cloud series for a number of years and desirability has begun to fall, many users are deciding on where to go with their data, whether it’s in a new NAS or upgrading on an older WD My Cloud system. Today I’m going to discuss which NAS brand you should choose when upgrading from a WD NAS and which manufacturer deserves your data.

Is WD My Cloud NAS Still Ok to Use?

It is important to highlight that this article is not about me saying the WD My Cloud range is bad, because it really isn’t and it is still one of the best bang for your buck NAS solutions you can buy right now in 2021 – as well as being remarkably user friendly for the first time NAS user! Additionally, with the majority of WD solutions arriving with bundled hard drives, a simple streamlined user interface and considerably better high street availability than any other brand, they are still a good solution. However, like most technology, the evolution and expectations in what it can do in the eyes of buyers change rapidly and although most other brands have pushed software and hardware innovation to some incredible lengths, the WD My Cloud NAS range has remained quite steadfast in its refusal to adapt. Although WD My Cloud is sturdy, safe, robust and makes no promises it cannot fulfil, in terms of what you can do with it and how you can evolve the system in its lifespan is tremendously limited. This along with some third party app brands not updating their applications for the WD NAS OS system has led to an increasing lack of support of these popular software platforms. Ultimately, the majority of people reading this are owners of a WD My Cloud NAS that are now looking to upgrade to something with a little more future-proofing and modern innovation. However, don’t overlook the fact that you can still use your WD My Cloud NAS as another tier of your backup strategy, by synchronising over the network or internet with numerous application methods available from WD themselves and others brands. 

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Software – Synology

Unsurprisingly, if you have been researching the subject of NAS and thinking of upgrading from a WD My Cloud NAS, then the name ‘Synology’ and its incredible software will almost certainly have appeared on your radar. Although the brand is not as establish or steeped in years as Western Digital, Synology is still over 20-years old and has produced hundreds of NAS solutions in their portfolio. The main difference between Synology and WD when it comes to NAS software is twofold. The first major difference is the first party software on offer. WD and it’s NAS OS have surprisingly thin software add-ons available, with most of the system abilities being classed more as day-to-day services – RAID functionality, USB backups, synchronised backups and low-level account control. WD-OS is very functional but it has not changed much in the last 5-6 years in terms of innovation and most of its key abilities are considered rather rudimentary in 2021/2022. Synology on the other hand includes its DSM (Diskstation Manager) software platform with every NAS, which is is the equivalent of an entire operating system comparable to a desktop OS that can be accessed via the web browser and numerous mobile apps. The Synology supports all of the services that the WD My Cloud does, but has also evolved every one of them into a central data ecosystem. The range of first-party services, applications and add-ons that Synology provide are extensive and cover surveillance, virtual machine deployment, intelligent multi-tier backups, bespoke email server deployment and more. Alongside this, DSM also provides applications that attempt to wrestle the user away from third-party desktop client apps for business. Examples include Synology Chat that serves as an alternative to Skype, Synology Office which serves as an alternative to Google Docs/Office 365, Synology Video Station is a popular alternative to Plex Media Server as well as an alternative to the slick and easy UI of Google Drive and Dropbox with Synology Drive. The evolution of Synology software where is genuinely unparallel and although QNAP is always getting closer, it is still going to be very impressive for the end-user when switching away from WD My Cloud NAS OS to DSM.

The second reason that the Synology NAS software platform is significantly superior to the WD NAS software is the support of third-party applications. WD NAS OS does have access to a small apps centre that includes easy installation of a few third-party applications. Although the majority of these have been all but abandoned in terms of updates and utility in recent years, one popular 3rd party application that most users a few years ago purchased the WD My Cloud NAS for was Plex media server. However updates on the Plex media server application on the WD NAS platform have slowed down and because this is a third-party application, you are heavily reliant on the manufacturer to develop updates for the WD NAS platform – something that has become increasingly less frequent from 2020 onwards. Synology NAS on the other hand supports significantly more third-party applications in it’s app center, as well as numerous custom apps that can be installed manually. There is certainly a few bits of bloatware in this application centre that can be overlooked, but nevertheless, there is still a good 30-40x third-party applications here that are worth your time and updated with more frequency than those found on the WD NAS platform. Equally, as the popularity of Synology NAS has increased, so has the amount of time that developers have spent on both the first and third-party applications for this platform and this combined with the improvements in mobile applications has led to the Synology NAS range being wildly superior to that of WD NAS My Cloud in software. Add to this that Synology also provides the option of BTRFS as a filesystem choice option with its file self-healing and lower resource-consuming snapshot creation, as well as the Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration for allowing mixed hard drive capacities, and the Synology NAS software is easily the preferred upgrade choice for those moving away from the WD My Cloud NAS platform for apps and services.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Performance – QNAP

The performance of a NAS drive will often be dictated by both the internal and external hardware available. The quantity and number of hard drives you install inside will always provide something of a performance boost, but overall the performance will always be dictated by the primary components that the brand chooses to use and the external connectivity that a system features by default. Each one of the WD My Cloud range of devices are very efficient, make the most of the hardware inside and are designed for smooth running with little or no intervention by the end-user at any point. However, it has to be said that the hardware featured inside pales in comparison to that of QNAP alternatives in the last few years. With the WD My Cloud series largely concentrating on an Intel Pentium processor from 2015/16, alongside several ARM processors in 32-bit and 64-bit, they are certainly comparable to a number of QNAP NAS systems in the TS-X31K, TS-51D and TS-53D Series. Unfortunately, they soon get surpassed in comparison to the wide array of more modern processors available in QNAP desktop systems that can range from Pentium Gold, Newer Gen Celeron and Ryzen, to Intel Core i5, i7 and Xeon. This disparity also extends to the memory available, with most WD My Cloud systems arriving with between 1-2GB of memory that cannot be upgraded – where has QNAP arrive with vast memory upgrade options and many models arriving with 4GB and 8GB by default.

The difference between QNAP and WD My Cloud is made even more clear when you learn that the majority of QNAP NAS systems also include M2 storage upgrade slots internally that allow you to install SSD in SATA or NVMe that can be used for an area of superfast storage, tiered storage for data to be scanned and moved to the most appropriate media source or for caching to allow frequently access data to be copied over to the SSD for improved performance in the files that need it most. Although the use of SSDs for intelligent caching is by no means a new feature of NAS, it is still something that WD My Cloud NAS has yet to integrate and something that QNAP NAS has applied to the majority of their hardware portfolio. So, with both the baseline level of hardware AND the upgradability of the internal hardware found in a QNAP NAS to be better than that found in WD My Cloud NAS, it’s a great upgrade for those that are interesting in improved internal performance in their next NAS purchase.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Connectivity – QNAP

The connectivity between the network-attached storage device and your local network hardware environment will massively dictate the speed at which your client devices can access your data for home or business use. Although there are a handful of more enterprise-level WD NAS solutions available, all of the WD My Cloud Feature 1Gbe with no means with which to upgrade that connectivity. Some NAS in the My Cloud range are a little better with dual 1Gbe RJ45 connections, but even then this is a small all edition that in 2021/2022 is less desirable than it once was. However if you are looking for the best possible external connectivity in a modern NAS when choosing from or upgrading from a WD My Cloud NAS, then QNAP have easily the best selection of external connectivity on even their modest hardware solutions available.

Rear of the WD My Cloud Pro PR4100

Rear of the QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay

Even on the 1/2-bay NAS solutions, you can find 2.5Gbe connectivity on a number of QNAP solution, which then scales progressively throughout their portfolio to multiple 2.5Gbe connections, 5Gbe connections and 10Gbe very easily while still maintaining a price point that remains compatible with that of even the biggest WD My Cloud solution. Then you have the fact that a number of QNAP solutions can be upgraded via PCIe or USB upgrade adaptors for more numerous external connectivity or at the enterprise level with larger bandwidth connections such as 25Gbe and 40Gbe of PCIe Gen 3 NICs for just a few £100s. Finally, there is the growing collection of Thunderbolt 3 equipped NAS systems from QNAP that allow a marginally more plug-and-play connection between the NAS and a thunderbolt 3 USB-C equipped client device. Ultimately QNAP NAS wildly outpaces the WD My Cloud range in terms of external connectivity and is arguably better for its external bandwidth than most NAS brands on the market today.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Plex – Synology

As mentioned at the start of this article, many users purchased the WD My Cloud Pro NAS system as it was remarkably proficient at Plex Media Server, thanks to its choice of Pentium Processor and hardware transcoding in Plex as standard utilization. However, due to Plexnot frequently updating the WD NAS Media Server application in line with how the platform has evolved over time, the WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 and PR4100 have grown increasingly less proficient at Plex Media Server, leading to guides and support walkthroughs being needed to bridge the gap more informally and this has been one of the largest driving force for users wishing to trade away from a WD NAS and onto something a little more modern. When it comes to buying a NAS that is primarily used for Plex media server, for the sheer simplicity and Performance it is hard to argue with a Synology NAS as a better Plex media server. Although many would argue that a QNAP NAS would serve as a better Plex media server due to a higher class of CPU, the Synology NAS platform tends to get more out of the hardware at any given time in terms of efficiency which for most users and Plex media server is highly desirable for a stress-free, set up and forget architecture.

Here is my FULL Guide on Synology NAS for Plex in 2021 (Click Below):

The performance of Plex media server on a Synology NAS when compared with that of a WD My Cloud NAS though is not quite as clear-cut as you might like though. For a start, in order to take advantage of hardware transcoding on the Synology, you are going to need a paid Plex Pass, which may come as a real disappointment given that earlier revisions of Plex media server on the WD My Cloud allow Plex to use this CPU and hardware transcoding for free by default. However, the performance of this older Pentium in hardware transcoding is of a similar level to the software transcoding of the much newer Celeron found in the Synology recent diskstation releases – so this advantage can be largely negated. One final point that, although not applicable to everyone is still worth considering when looking at a NAS for Plex media server, is how the system utilises the hardware resources available between both the Plex application, other software services and the system in general. Plex media server in its recent 1.23 version consumes the majority of the hardware available on the WD My Cloud Pro system with even modest playback of 1080p media and is all but consumed by 4K files, leaving little or no resources for the rest of the NAS and it’s applications. The majority of Synology Plus Series Diskstation NAS systems, by comparison, thanks to using more modern hardware architecture and upgradeability in their design result in a smaller percentage of resource consumption buy Plex media server and therefore more fuel in the tank for other services too.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Business – Synology

When network-attached storage was in its infancy, it was presented as a means for prosumers and small-medium business users to have an alternative to subscription-based Cloud services (DropBox, Google Drive, etc) with improved customizable security and larger capacities. Due to the nature of data and how it is the centre of all kinds of business in the last few decades, the idea of a business having its own server is hardly a new thing, given the importance of data retention and GDPR. However, the expectations from a business in what a server can do at even the most modest level have grown rapidly and a simple hard drive connected to the internet will simply not do! As mentioned earlier, the software available on the WD NAS OS platform is starting to look a little underwhelming in 2021, whereas Synology has invested heavily in software development for the NAS systems likely more than any other brand. This extends to more than the brand trying to ape popular business software and extends to numerous business class advantages and functions in even the comparatively small hardware options by comparison.

A business user already knows that a Synology NAS will be able to store the data in a centralised manner. However, Synology DSM also features business class surveillance with the Surveillance Station 8 platform that can easily rival that of enterprise-class NVR/CCTV utilities like Milestone. There is also the Active Backup Suite software that is included with every Synology NAS that is a licence free multi-platform backup and synchronisation tool that extends from NAS and server utilisation to Office 365 and Google workspace platforms. Moving forward there is also the Synology Virtual Machine Manager platform that not only allows you to deploy VM (virtual machine) images directly from your NAS, but also allows synchronisation and third party software OS migration from the likes of VMware and Hyper-V in just a handful of clicks. Thanks to services like these used in conjunction with the first party communication tools such as Synology Chat and Synology Mail, spreadsheet and document editing with Synology Office and even data pinning and on-the-fly streaming locally with Synology Drive for Mac and Windows – Synology provide an extensive range of business tools in their NAS software that is still a few steps ahead of practically any other brand.

Should I Choose Synology or QNAP NAS?

So, if you have reached this far in the article, you are likely wondering whether you should switch from a WD My Cloud NAS towards either a Synology or QNAP NAS? It’s a valid question, as both brands (especially in recent years) managed to carve their own very distinct design, the priority of build and available utilities for different end-users. Synology will always be the software optimized choice over hardware (60/40) and manages to get the very most possible out of comparatively less hardware in their own first-party applications. QNAP NAS on the other hand has more of a hardware focus (again 60/40) which means that they have a better 1t and 3rd party hardware balance when it comes to using their system in your environment. Synology is a solution that wants you to do things its way and in return gives you a smooth if safe and predictable outcome. QNAP NAS manages to be exceedingly customizable and adaptable and for those who take the time to tweak it, setup it up from scratch or adapt it to their 3rd party environment, can achieve much better results overall. Below is two videos that focus on each brand and key consideration on QNAP and Synology before you buy. Take a look:

 

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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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Synology RS2821RP+ NAS Review – Bigger and Better?

18 mai 2021 à 16:58

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Hardware Review

Synology has really spent the first half of 2021 concentrating on their enterprise and SMB solutions, haven’t they? In just over 5 months we have seen 5 or 6 new Rackmount solutions arrive in their portfolio and although each of them is similar in software and arguably comparable in hardware, none of them provides the level of storage that the RS2821RP+ Rackstation that we are reviewing today can. The Synology RS2821RP+ is the latest in their small-medium business 16 bay solution series and much like other Rackstations that the brand has released into the market this year, the RS2821RP+ uses the popular embedded Ryzen processor, features ECC memory, PCIe upgradability and does this while supporting the full range of DSM applications. Arriving with twice the storage potential of the RS1221+, this solution with its £3000+ Price tag can be a touch intimidating for some. So today we will take a closer look at what this rather monstrous sized rackmount NAS includes, what it is capable of and ultimately whether the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS deserves your enormous data? 

Synology RS2821RP+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

It is reasonable to say that when it comes to having a huge storage array, competent hardware and business class software, that the Synology RS2821RP+ does deliver on a number of its promises. Indeed, despite the huge similarity in internal hardware between the RS2821RP+ and other recent rackmount releases in 2021, the RS2821RP+ manages to still stand out with its unparalleled level of storage against the majority of solutions in the Synology portfolio. The price tag, edging closer to a number of Xeon powered solutions, may seem a touch high for some and given the difference between this 16-bay and the £1200+ 12-bay being relatively small – that price tag does seem a tad overly ambitious. That said, much like other rackstation NAS solutions of late, the jump from Intel Atom C3538 to embedded Ryzen V1500B was long overdue and although may seem fairly predictable and pedestrian now in, still remains a firm favourite. If the software and services of Synology Diskstation Manager appeal to you, you need storage in the hundreds of terabytes and you need a solution that is both scalable and centralised, you would be hard pushed to find a better solution from Synology right now without spending £5,000-10,000 without drives.

 

Synology RS2821RP+ PROS Synology RS2821RP+ CONS
  • Ryzen Powered Solution
  • Massive Scale Synology System at £3k
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB (UDIMM, not SODIMM too)
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
  • 4GB Memory by default seems a bit small
  • Synology Hard Drive Exclusivity is still an Opinion Splitter!
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike desktop alternatives and requires a PCIe Upgrade Card

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

 

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Retail Packaging

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the packaging that this rackmount NAS arrives with. The Synology RS2821RP+ is a solution for business and hardly something you’re going to see sitting on the shelf of your local PC shop. However, I will take a small moment to highlight that Synology did not scrimp on the protection in transit and the RS2821RP+ arrives in multiple layers of the cardboard, as well as being surrounded in the usual rigid hard foam to protect it from motion and shock damage. That said, let’s be realistic though – the box itself is underwhelming in the extreme.

Opening the shipping carton however shows us an impressive level of protection surrounding the entire RS2821RP+ chassis and ensures that short of a forklift truck arm penetrating the box, that this system can withstand even the harshest typical logistics. 

Inside we find and the Synology RS2821RP+ chassis itself and a small box of accessories. In recent years we have seen Synology scale back on the number of included accessories with their systems, with them sighting that most business users will have the default cabling already in place. For the most part, I agree, however, I don’t quite agree that rackmount devices should arrive with optional rail kits. Rackmount servers like these, especially 3U chassis’ like the RS2821RP+, will almost certainly live in a rack cabinet and regardless of sliding or fixed rails, will need them. Why Synology continues to make rail kits and optional extra still confounds me.

The unit itself is pretty massive and aside from its 3U height is also an impressively deep chassis in order to facilitate active cooling and ambient airflow throughout the full length of the chassis. Inside the accessory box, we find a light pamphlet on first-time setups that is significantly less useful than the online portal, as well as information on the 3-year manufacturers included warranty, screws for individual hard drives or SSD to be installed, power cables and that’s about it.

As mentioned, there isn’t a great deal to talk about in terms of external packaging on this but nevertheless, there are still the small branded touches for this box that are part of how Synology market themselves. Most brands would just wrap a label on a default one size fits all carton, and at first glance, it looks like Synology did that. However, a closer look at the box shows that it is printed with information dedicated to the RS2821RP+ NAS unit precisely and its little things like this that make Synology stand out in the presentation stakes. Let’s take a look at the unit itself.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Design

The chassis of the Synology RS2821RP+ is one that many are already familiar with, largely because it has featured on each iteration of this product series and serves as the template for most of the Synology SMB rackmount solutions. lacking any kind of real-time LCD panel or connected interfaces like USB or HDMI, this system communicates either by using sound alerts, multiple LEDs or almost exclusively via the Synology DSM user interface and applications. 

The front of the RS2821RP+ rackmount NAS is 95% made up of 16x 3.5″ SATA storage bays. These allow ventilation to be passed around the storage media inside, as well as further ventilation panels featured in the middle of each tray and at the top of the front panel.

These areas of passive ventilation work together with multiple active cooling fans throughout the whole system and this is how the RS2821RP+ maintains efficient working temperatures, gets away with passive heat sinks on components (instead of inefficient CPU fans) and ultimately allows the system to achieve the reported 2,220MB/s performance benchmark stated on official pages. The right storage media and external connectivity always play their part of course, but NAS servers at this scale and with this sheer volume of storage will generate a comical amount of heat, which is the kryptonite of high-performance in storage. It does mean that the system will also be insanely loud, but no one buys a rackmount NAS solution and expects it to be whisper-quiet. Each corner of the RS2821RP+ front panel features handles for moving the device in an appropriate rack cabinet, as well as a power and mute button.

Although the power button is pretty obvious, many users don’t actually realise that the mute button is simply to disable alerts that may come from the system as warnings occur. It always seems odd to me that rackmount solutions should feature a mute button and desktop solutions do not, despite the fact that most users will rarely be in close proximity to a rack-mount but will be to a desktop NAS solution. Nevertheless, this button is designed to silence warning alarms on the NAS without having to log in via the system software user interface.

The 16 bays at the front of the system each have their own dedicated LED notification light which allows users at a glance to see when drives are active, having status abnormalities or are completely unable to respond to the system. The Synology RS2821RP+ does not technically need the full 16x storage bays to be occupied in order to use the system and indeed you can run it with a single drive if you chose. This would be rather foolish however and somewhat underutilising the storage potential of this system, but nevertheless, some users may choose to partially populate the RS2821RP+ in an expandable storage configuration that allows them to add more drives as time goes on and their data requirements grow. This flexibility is especially useful when using Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), which I am pleased to confirm is available on the RS2821RP+.

Each tray also features a locking mechanism that allows you to ensure a drive is not removed by accident. This is not a key lock arrangement and will not stand up to any kind of physical abuse, but nevertheless is still useful when making sure that non-hotswap and hot-spare discs are not removed in error. Unlike a number of desktop SMB solutions, the Synology RS2821RP+ does not arrive with screwless click and load plastic trays. Instead, this rack mount system arrives with metal trays that support screwdriver installation of SATA hard drives and SSD. Once again, arguably metal trays generate noticeably more noise when in operation but in the case of this rather hefty rackmount, that would rather be a case of locking the door after the horse has bolted. Installation is quick and easy, with SATA SSD being available for use in caching or raw storage pools and volumes.

Generally, I would always recommend that a NAS system uses network-attached storage class hard drives (Seagate Ironwolf/WD Red/ Toshiba N300) and although the RS2821RP+ is not really an exception, at this kind of volume I would strongly recommend the use of PRO class NAS hard drives such as WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf at the very least. Otherwise, go for Western Digital Ultrastar, Seagate EXOS and WD Gold SATA hard drives to really get the best possible performance that this system is reported to be capable of, even in a RAID 6 or SHR-2.

However – according to the Synology Compatibility pages for the RS2821RP+ NAS, only Synology HAT5300 3.5″ Hard drives and SAT5200 2.5″ SSDs are primarily supported by the NAS. There are a few exceptions in a Toshiba, Seagate and Ultrastar drive being added at the time of writing this review (see image below) and Synology have been observed in bending this rule in some places if a user is migrating from an existing NAS with alternative drives (or a chosen capacity is unavailable in the Synology portfolio). However, if you are in any doubt, I would recommend contacting Synology directly to check, as this is the kind of potentially prohibited support that would be a real pain, years down the line!

Removing all of the trays inside the RS2821RP+ and taking a look inside will show us each of the 12 dedicated SATA ports. As is the expected standard these days, separate power and data connection wire cables are long gone and replaced here with dedicated combination SATA ports and little to no exposed wiring visible. Equally, there is plenty of ventilation visible in order to facilitate that horizontal active airflow mentioned earlier.

The sides of the RS2821RP+ chassis are suitably nondescript for a rackmount, although a couple of areas can be highlighted. One side of the rack mount chassis features too small patches of ventilation, likely for side-mounted sensors and the wiring towards the front of the chassis. The other side is much more sparse but features an ejector button at the top.

This ejection button allows the end-user to access the removable internal fans for maintenance when the system is in operation. These fans can be removed even when the system is in operation, cleaned and then reintroduced into the system with immediate reactivation. The RS2821RP+ is not really designed to have its external chassis opened regularly, as a big part of the consistent successful performance is by using a controlled airflow environment for low temperatures. Nevertheless, I’ve always kind of liked this small token gesture by Synology in allowing maintenance without too much intrusion of their rackmount solutions.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The external connectivity of the Synology RS2821RP+, much like recent Synology rackmount solutions in 2021, will please some and annoy others due to Synology seemingly continuing to play-it-safe with the level of hardware on offer to bridge with your network environment. Once again, there is a huge amount of passive and active cooling visible, but it would be overstating it to say that the external connections available here are in any way groundbreaking.

The ventilation covers more than 80% of the rear of the Synology RS2821RP+ and this leads to a fantastically noisy environment with the reported ambient noise when the system is in operation at 53.5 dB(A). You know that bit when you’re on a plane and it is taxiing onto the runway? Well, that bit just before the plane begins to move and the pilot ramps up the engines is not unlike this rackmount when it is in full operation. Not exactly deafening but certainly impossible to work around in any kind of close proximity.

One area that Synology has received notable criticism for in 2020/2021 is their continued use of 1Gbe / Gigabit connectivity on all of their SMB solutions. Greater connectivity at 10Gbe is available on their SA and XS series devices, as well as the ability to upgrade this system to 10Gbe with numerous first-party supported cards (the most recommended being the E10M20-T1 combo card), but the continued use of gigabit LAN on Synology solutions has become a tad underwhelming. In their defence, they do provide four 1Gbe LAN connections on the RS2821RP+ which opens the door to link aggregation and failover support, but still, 100-109 Megabytes per second connectivity by default seems wildly unsuitable to this 16-bay solution, especially at over £3000+.

Equally, the Synology also arrives with USB connectivity as found on all of their NAS solutions. However, the USB ports on the RS2821RP+ are still just USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) connections, something that is looking a tad dinosaur in 2021. Additionally, Synology is quite strict about the supported range of compatible USB devices that their Synology NAS systems will work with and along with the lack of support of any kind of KVM setup, you cannot even officially use increased network interface adaptors over USB on this device to enable 2.5Gbe or 5Gbe connectivity. Support of large USB storage, office peripherals and UPS’ are still more than possible, but it’s still a tad underwhelming.

Lastly, there is the expandability of the Synology RS2821RP+ with the device arriving with an external mini-sas (12Gb/s) connection to connect the RX1217 or RX1217RP 12-bay expansion device. This ability to create a potential 40-bays of storage between the RS2821RP+ and a connected expansion is always going to be welcome for business and the fact they aren’t using more limited eSATA connectivity (as seen in the RS1221+ or RS820+) remove the potential for a bottleneck. This level of expandability was absent in smaller embedded Ryzen solutions from the brand and is therefore particularly welcome here.

Another popular feature of the RS2821RP+ that you would have expected is the inclusion of redundant power supply units (RP). The system arrives with two removable 550W oblong PSU modules that are connected in unison when the RS2821RP+ is in operation. This means that in the event that the power supplier fails (not uncommon in 24×7 utilisation and the PSU is arguably one of the most fragile parts of a storage server), the second unit will continue to maintain the device’s operation and audio alerts and push notifications will be sent to appropriate admins in order to replace the PSU as quickly as possible. These PSU can be exchanged individually without having to power down the device and many system admins will tend to keep a spare PSU on a shelf in order to facilitate this transition when needed.

These twin PSUs are included by default and are covered by the manufacturers 3-year warranty, as well as included with any additional warranty extensions you purchase. They are specific to each NAS model and you are unable to utilise the PSU from another Synology Rackstation model or another storage server due to this unique design. Each PSU is surprisingly petite for such a large watt rating and even then, is quite high for just needing to support 16 SATA storage devices and a single PCIe slot. Nevertheless, a big chunk of this power likely goes into operational cooling which the RS2821RP+ has in spades.

As mentioned, the Synology RS2821RP+ external connectivity and general ports are not exactly groundbreaking for this series of rack-mount devices. Nevertheless, this is a functional, if rather safe, arrangement on the rear of the device. Next up, we will take a look at the inside of this device to examine the internal hardware on offer.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Most rackmount NAS servers are quite similar to likewise scaled desktop solutions. There are differences in how chips are placed and certainly the controller board used in rack-mount devices will be wider, so active airflow can cross all the heatsinks, but generally, they can be compared to traditional computer mobos. The Synology RS2821RP+ controller board is surprisingly small for such a large system and although you likely (and rightly!) assumed that the majority of the internal chassis was occupied by the storage media and cooling, it is still a relatively compact controller board inside. 

Accessing the internal hardware are of the RS2821RP+ is done via the removal of several screws dotted around the rear of the chassis. Whether you are doing this for maintenance, for PCIe upgrades or simply for reviewing the thing like me, this is a pretty straightforward way to get to the nuts and bolts of the Synology RS2821RP+ system. Efficient operation and low impact cooling are observed in great quantities inside the RS2821RP+ chassis and all components are sufficiently spaced out to ensure that airflow is consistently passed over the key processors.

The contents are remarkably similar to that of the half-sized RS1221RP+, however, the RS2821RP+ takes advantage of improved memory modules and the systems greater height facilitates taller network cards too. The CPU does not need active cooling/fan coverage and is kept at a good operational temperature with a comparatively large heatsink on top. There are numerous smaller heatsinks for individual controllers handling lesser processes, but the main CPU of the RS2821RP+ is where it all happens!

The CPU, as mentioned, is the AMD Ryzen V1500B processor. This is an SMB server-grade SoC version of the Ryzen series that is quad-core in architecture, with 2.2Ghz available per core. Although this CPU is not graphically embedded (as you might find on a Celeron or Pentium) it is exceptionally proficient at file handling and in previous tests with single and dual-port 10Gbe cards on the DS1821+, we were able to comfortably exceed 1,000MB/s and can easily see it reaching the RS2821RP+ reported 2,220MB/s top-end speed (note – that was with 16 SSDs in a RAID 0, so could be larger with an increased number of bays at our disposal in an expansion).

The above speed was achieved using the RS2821RP+ fully loaded with Synology SAT5200-960G SATA SSDs (2x 10GbE network environment), but the write speed was a little less impressive at just under 1,200MB/s. The V1500B processor has an excellent floating-point, AES-NI encryption (a more efficient and higher speed upgrade on traditional AES 256bit) and also allows higher quality memory to be used in the RS2821RP+ than in the RS2818+ NAS that came before it.

The RS2821+ NAS arrives with some excellent memory options (both in comparison to the RS2818rp+ and just generally) at 4GB of DDR4 ECC that can be upgraded over two slots up to an impressive 32GB of memory. Let’s break that down a bit. First off, the default memory available is the same as the 4GB that its predecessor arrived with – so not massively impressive, but worth noting. Next, there is the fact it is a maximum 32GB DDR4 memory in the RS2821+ (whereas the RS2818RP+ had DDR4 upto 32GB too but it was non-ECC). DDR4 consumes less power and faster in comparison with DDR3 with the clock speed of DDR3, in this case, being 1600MHz, while the clock speed of DDR4 is 2400MHz on this device. As positive as all this sounds, 4GB of memory on the RS2821RP+ does seem a little low for a 16-Bay system that could comfortably accommodate a 2x 10Gbe NIC or 1x 25Gbe SFP+ NIC upgrade. In those setups, 4GB will potentially be an early bottleneck. Additionally, the RS2821RP+ uses UDIMM memory (not the SODIMM found in the RS820+ or RS1221+) which is a fraction more expensive but allows higher performance.

Finally, there is the use of ECC (error-code correction) memory in the RS2821RP+. For most businesses, it’s mission-critical to eliminate data corruption, which is the purpose of ECC memory. ECC is a type of computer memory that detects and corrects the most common kinds of memory data corruption. Memory errors occur as a result of electrical or magnetic interference inside the computer. This interference can cause a single bit of DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) to spontaneously change to the opposite state. Electrical and magnetic interference is present as background radiation and is largely unavoidable the longer your system is operational. Generally, ECC memory is more expensive and there can be a slight slowdown when compared to non-ECC memory. The other components in the system, such as the CPU and motherboard, must also support ECC memory. Though most modern ECC memory is considerably better and the reported difference in performance is as low as 2-3%. In industries such as the financial sector and the scientific community, ECC memory is essential to maintain data integrity. Most server memory is ECC memory, as well. ECC memory further reduces the number of crashes, which is very important in multi-user server applications. So, kudo to Synology including this is a mid-range solution for SMB. This combined with the performance increase between the Ryzen SoC in the new RS2821+ over the Intel Atom C2538 in the previous RS1219+ (see comparison below) make the newer device a noticeable jump up in terms of internal hardware and performance.

Overall, the available hardware in this compact rackmount is ticking alot of positive boxes for me and, although the lack of the now VERY brand associated NVMe bays is annoying (forcing you to invest another £250+ on the E10M20-T1 combo card or £200+ M2D20 m.2 NVMe SSD card), it has to be stated that the RS2821RP+ still brings a good degree of performance to a genre of storage (affordable SMB large scale storage) that has largely only arrived with weak hardware in the past to maintain a half-decent price vs return. How does that translate to software though? What does Synology provide in DSM for the RS2821RP+ NAS?

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Software

Although the hardware featured in the Synology RS2821RP+ is arguably less impressive than the Xeons and SAS based storage connectivity found in the Synology FS, UC, SA and XS ranges, this system arrives with support of the entire Synology diskstation manager range of applications and services. Although this system software supports numerous third-party platforms and popular business integrated platforms, Synology is at its best when you purchase their solutions to utilise both the hardware and the software. SMB solutions like the RS2821RP+ aren’t designed to simply be brainless areas of storage and the heavier price tag is because they promise a range of software to replace paid subscription or outdated service programmes that exist in your business environment for handling files, communicating with clients and colleagues, managing multi-site backups and forming the basis of a surveillance system too. Alongside this, recent releases in the Synology portfolio have championed their support in the field of virtual machine deployment, both utilising and hosting virtual environments in existing third-party tools such as VMware and Hyper-V, as well as primarily using Synology own Virtual Machine Manager application. Below is a breakdown of recommended apps for small and large business users considering the RS2821RP+ as their next big business purchase:

First-Party Applications included with your NAS system
Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

The DSM platform has evolved a great deal over the last few years and has become practically an entire reason to buy a Synology NAS on its own. You can, of course, try out the Synology DSM software platform before investing in a NAS, by visiting the link below and trying DSM 6.2 for yourself:

Alternatively, you can test Synology DSM 7.0 Beta in an online demo by visiting below (Officially Releasing in Summer 2021):

As always, a full software review of the DSM 6.2 platform on the RS2821+ NAS is currently in process and I hope to have this to you here on the blog very soon or on the YouTube channel in due course. Stay tuned.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Conclusion

If you came to this review hoping that you would read that the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS is the best thing since sliced bread, then you may be disappointed. It is not that it is a bad NAS, it really is a good NAS and a solid release from the brand in 2021. Indeed, this system sits at a fine place in their portfolio, allowing buyers to spend their budget towards storage and away from unnecessary power. What’s the issue then? It is simply that it is not a particularly groundbreaking system off the back of their previous rackmount releases in the last 6-months and although it still stands as a notable upgrade over its predecessor, the RS2818RP+, the continued use of 1Gbe, the default inclusion of just 4GB memory and a slight whiff of Synology playing safe all add to this solution being good but not great.

If you want a server to wrap the popular Synology diskstation manager software around to improve your business and create the perfect in-house data eco structure, I have no hesitation in recommending the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS. But for this system to fulfil its potential, expect a few upgrades early on in the memory, network interface ports and connectivity in general within the first 2 years of ownership. Another solid, if overly safe solution from Synology NAS.


Synology RS2821RP+ PROS Synology RS2821RP+ CONS
  • Ryzen Powered Solution
  • Massive Scale Synology System at £3k
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB (UDIMM, not SODIMM too)
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
  • 4GB Memory seems a little low
  • Synology Hard Drive Exclusivity is still an Opinion Splitter!
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike desktop alternatives and requires a PCIe Upgrade Card

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Choosing A NAS Server – 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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How to Connect Directly with a Synology NAS Without a Switch or Router

12 mai 2021 à 01:39

Connecting DIRECTLY With Your NAS without Using a Switch or Router

Let’s all be honest for a second about one of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of network-attached storage, namely the speed, external security and method with which you can access your data. Having secure yet unlimited access to the data locked in your NAS from anywhere in the world is all well and good, but often all you want is the quick and easy connectivity more often found in traditional DAS and USB style storage. You want to enjoy the benefits of the software, maybe have the option of remote access and even still share are all the lovely data inside your NAS with multiple users, but you want it via direct connectivity with the NAS over a single cable, not having to play around with routers and switches. Add to this that many users are now taking advantage of connectivity such as thunderbolt and 10Gbe, and you find that it is genuinely desirable to be able to access your NAS via a much more direct method. In today’s article, I am going to show you how to set up a direct, one cable connection between your NAS drive and your Windows PC. The majority of the steps can also be applied to other operating systems, such as Linux and Mac, but this guide should show you how to set up a direct-attached storage style of connection with your NAS, whether you want to access the NAS software GUI or see the NAS Drive storage within the file management tools of your operating system natively (Windows File Explorer, Finder, etc)

Important – This guide is based on the assumption that you have set up your NAS system storage already. This includes physically installing the disks, powering on, installing the system firmware, creating an account, created and completed your RAID storage pool, created at least one volume and created at least 1 shared folder. I appreciate that this is alot of the first-time setup stuff, but don’t worry. Below are video guides for the first time setup of Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS.

Additionally, it is worth remembering that the speed at which you can interact with the NAS will be heavily dictated by the connection you choose to use. If you connect with the default network interface connection on a NAS and desktop PC of 1Gbe, you will reach speeds of a little over 100MB/s. However, speeds in the thousands of megabytes are possible if you take advantage of 10Gbe, thunderbolt and more recent high-bandwidth card upgrades. Practically no NAS in the market today allows direct data access over USB (a couple of exceptions from QNAP in the TS-x51A series).

Directly Connecting to a NAS – What Do You Need?

In order to take advantage of this guide, you will need the following items:

  • A NAS system set up and ready, including volumes and at least one shared folder (for Drive Mapping)

  • At least one available network interface port available on the NAS, so keep this in mind if you want to maintain network and internet connectivity for others at the same time (so, that needs 2 LAN connections)
  • A client computer, in this case, a Windows machine with an available ethernet port. If your client computer does not feature a physical ethernet LAN port, there are numerous USB to network adaptors available on the market TN for less than £30
  • An additional RJ45 ethernet cable. It is recommended that this method described today it’s not used with a cable more than 20M long, which is still a huge amount of length anyway and should not be a problem
  • The network management and first-time setup tool available for free from your NAS brand manufacturer, such as the Synology Assistant, Qfinder Pro and Asustor Control Panel

Let’s begin.

The first thing you need to do is connect the Ethernet cable to the rear of the NAS via an available network port. Remember, if you want to maintain network and internet connectivity between the NAS and other users, you will need to ensure that you use a second available network port instead.

Next, you need to connect the other end of that Ethernet cable to your computer. You will know that both systems are able to see each other, as any available LED lights on either port will light up green and/or orange, depending on the type of connectivity.

Next head over to the network connections area of your Windows PC to ensure that this connection between the NAS and your computer has been acknowledged. You can reach this area either by clicking network connections in your start menu on the bottom left, or typing network connections into the search bar. The connection should be a different one to your internet connection.

Next, you need to open the NAS brand’s proprietary application that you used when setting up your NAS drive for the first time (ie Synology Assistant or Qfinder Pro). Once you open the application, use the search or scan option and it will then check the network connections available to your computer for the NAS. If your NAS is connected to the internet still and your computer also has a secondary connection with the internet, your NAS will likely be listed twice. One connection, likely starting with IP 192. is your NAS listed on the internet, and the second connection that likely starts with 169. or 10. by default, will be the NAS connected directly via the cable you just attached.

From here you can now interact with your NAS via a direct means of connection, rather than relying on an available network or the internet. Much like traditional connectivity, you have numerous means to interact with the device. If you double click the listed NAS drive on the client software, it will open up the GUI and NAS software in your browser window in a new tab and allows you to interact with the software just as you would via more remote connectivity. Once again though, bear in mind that unless your NAS has a secondary ethernet connection that is linked to an available internet service, your NAS will remain offline (as in no-internet) and features such as automatic firmware updates and new apps will not be possible to download.

Alternatively, many users who connect via this method do it so that they can interact with them with their native, proprietary file management applications, such as Mac Finder or Windows File Explorer. Predominantly, there are two main ways that people do this. The easier but slightly lower performance option is known as creating a Mapped Network Drive. This creates an additional visible storage drive on your computer, but some client software will not allow interaction with mapped network drives. The other way to make your NAS appear via your native file management tools in a far more usable, higher-performing but slightly more complicated way is via the use of iSCSI Targets and LUNs. These utilise a system of creating container areas of storage on the NAS server that are then connected to your computer and visible like any other connected drive with all of the connectivity and usability of localised storage in your PC software.  

How to Map A Network Drive to Directly Connect With Your NAS

First up, let’s go through how to create a mapped network drive. First, you need to right-click on the NAS that appears on the NAS brand client software you used earlier. Then click the option labelled ‘map network drive‘, or simply ‘map drive‘.

Once you click it, a new window will appear inviting you to enter the login credentials of your NAS system, these will need to be the login details of an account that has access to the shared folder you want to mount on your computer. It is recommended that you do not use the Admin account for your NAS to do this.

If your login details are correct, the NAS will then ask you to select which one of your available shared folders on the NAS you want to connect via mapped network storage. If you have multiple shared folders, you can connect multiple by repeating this process. Otherwise, simply select the shared folder that you want to interact with locally and click next/ok.

Next, you will need to assign a drive letter to this mapped network drive. The reason for this is so the computer system can assign an identity to the NAS storage that you are connecting with. For example, predominantly the main storage drive in any computer that houses the files for the operating system will typically be labelled as C: drive, whereas an optical drive (CDs, DVDs, etc) is generally labelled D:. So you simply need to select a letter that you want this NAS drive to be identified as. Once you’ve done that, click next

You may be asked to confirm or verify the network settings of this drive. Generally, the settings displayed will be correct as these were used to find the NAS in the first place but double-check the settings nonetheless. After this, you simply need to confirm the settings and it will then add this mapped network drive straight away, allowing you to interact locally with your computer’s file management software (no need to format or sync, it will just appear).

And there you go, that is how to assign your NAS as a mapped network drive locally. From there you can save this drive to favourites or create a shortcut as you see fit.

However, if you want to connect with your NAS in a more native and universally software supported way, then you will need to look into iSCSI targets and LUNS. Below I will take you through each step in creating a LUN on your NAS in order to better connect with your PC file management software and applications. These steps are from a Synology NAS, but the steps are quite universal across most known NAS brands and should be easy to adapt as needed.

How to Connect An iSCSI LUN Drive to Directly Connect With Your NAS

First, you need to head into the iSCSI manager, also known as SAN manager on Synology DSM 7.0

This tool is the one you will need to use in order to create a container of storage that can be interacted with in a more native way on your OS. The process of creating a target (the funnel with which your storage will be visible) and a LUN (the actual container of storage) has simplified considerably over the years and in modern NAS can be done quite easily and by even the most novice of users. If you are going to create a business class setup, or want to create a very unique iSCSI Target identity, you should go ahead and select the target option and then create. However, if you just want to set up your LUN quickly and easily, you can skip this and select the LUN tab and then click create, as the system will create a default target during this process.

After you click create LUN, you will be asked to name the area of storage, which storage area on the NAS you wish to use (if you have multiple) and give an available capacity (based on provisioning, you can exceed the total available NAS storage if you choose, to expand it later), otherwise just leave the other setting as their defaults.

Next, you will be asked which iSCSI target you wish to attach this LUN to. As mentioned, but default the system will create one during the LUN creation process (listed as default), so go ahead and choose this or any other target you have previously set up.

Next, you can choose which user(s) has access to this LUN and their respective iSCSI tool equipped systems. If you are going to be the only one using this NAS directly, you can leave this at defaults. However, maybe check that your default account (not just admin) has access privileges)

On the last screen, you will simply need to confirm that all the settings you have created are correct and then click confirm. The system will quickly create your iSCSI LUN (though larger capacity LUNs might take longer)

The LUN is now created and you can use the SAN Manager / iSCSI manager to edit and change the settings and access to this whenever you need.

Next, on your Windows PC, you need to head to the Start menu of your computer and then look for/type iSCSI Initiator (which should be available by default in recent windows updates, otherwise is free and available from the Microsoft update center), then run the application/service.

When the iSCSI initiator is open, click the Discovery tab at the top and get ready to configure your PC to see the Target you create on the NAS.

From the Discovery window, select the Discover button and then you will need the IP Address of your NAS (those numbers in the URL window when interacting with the NAS in the web browser)

I the next window, you have several options and things to do. First, you need to enter the IP of your NAS (do not include https://), add the port number of your NAS (if you have not manually changed this, you can leave it as the default one on your screen) and if you are concerned about people on your local area network access the iSCSI target and the LUN(s), you can head into the security options in order to add an additional login security layer (CHAPS).

You also have the choice of selecting different network adapters (if you have more than one on your PC, along with further security settings and defaults you can change). It is advised not to change these unless you know what you are doing or have an experienced IT/Networking person on site.

Next, on the iSCSI initiator window, click back to Targets and your newly available iSCSI target (the pathway) to your NAS will be available, but shown as ‘inactive’. In order to activate and use this iSCSI target, you need to click the connect button and from there a pop-up window will appear.

You can enable/chaps again here, but you can also enable multi-path usage here. If you plan on multiple users or services interacting with this iSCSI target, it is advised to tick this box. Then click ok/confirm

The iSCSI target and the LUN will now be accessible and connected. Next, you need to head back to the My Computer / This PC / My PC window and from there select the ‘Manage’  tab at the top

An administrative window will appear. From here you need to double click the Storage choice

Next you need to double click Disk Management and then you will be shown a list of the connected drives on your PC, as well as available drives (like the iSCSI LUN) that are yet to be connected

If you have followed these steps correctly, there should immediately be a pop-up window to acknowledge that the iSCSI LUN is found and if you want to add it. It is important that you DO NOT SELECT MBR as a drive choice, as this is generally a drive for a system operating system and will stop your PC booting correctly. So select the other one and click ok/confirm

After confirming this, you will need to begin in adding the drive to your system. Right-click the newly appeared drive (likely in black as it is not formatted or connected yet) and select New Simple Volume

You are now in the initialization and storage setup wizard. You will be asked to confirm the storage space (you can leave this as default if you do not know what you are doing). Then you will need to select a drive letter for this LUN to be identified as. On.y available drive letters will be selectable.

Next, you will need to give the drive a name (it can be left as the default New Volume if you like). you can choose the file system (this can be default for most users) and if you want to use this area of storage straight away, yo ucan format it. Do not format this drive if it already has data on it that you want to access (ie you are connecting a 2nd user to an existing LUN). Then click Next

Finally, you will be asked to confirm the settings you have created and click confirm. If you selected to format the drive, this may take extra time (depending on if you selected quick format or not)

Now the iSCSI LUN is visible to your Windows PC and in a much, MUCH more user-friendly way for your file manager and PC software to interact with (i.e Video Editing, Steam Gaming, VM files, etc)

And there you go, that is how to add an iSCSi LUN to your Windows PC from a NAS (in this case a Synology NAS). It is with highlighting that this will work almost identically with a QNAP NAS with the iSCSI manager on QTS and QuTS Hero.

Still need help? Feel free to use the NASCompares free advice section below for completely free, unbias and unpaid support for your data storage needs. It is managed by me (Robbie) and Eddie, so replies might take an extra day or so – but it’s free and we just want to help! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe.

 


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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:

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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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