Deficit of Synology NAS

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Deficit of Synology NAS

78
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NAS
DS412+
I am re-posting this, want to hear your comments/solutions:
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Synology NAS may be market leader and most popular now, I like it too. But here I observed some improvement may needed:

  1. USB 3.0 is not acting as USB3.0 transfer speed (i.e. not >100MB/s but USB2.0) ;
  2. Because of above mentioned deficit, it is useless transfer data via ext. HDD vs. LAN;
  3. Even use a HDD as internal 2nd volume pool, the data copying is low (~50MB/s);
  4. NAS HDD is in EXT4 format, which is not directly readable by WIN or MAC (special software needed), also HDD needs to be formated by DSM to be readable by DSM, if format by normal Linux in EXT4, not readable by DSM!;
  5. No reliable or intelligent app to monitor HDD health;
    (e.g. recently I heard striking noise, or heavy punching/rotational noise in the NAS, but everything reported OK). It should add certain sensor and dect and identify which HDD is failing.

WISH:
  1. NAS benchmarking software is high appreciated, in order to compare the performance of each NAS (esp. for hardware upgrading or after apps/firmware installed) ;
  2. A lot APPs, but not really private/local cloud, e.g. "Active-backup" still need to login to Microsoft OneDrive account; Thus not practically useful.
  3. DS Photo app cannot synchronize with iPhone and most importantly cannot avoid duplicates;
 

jeyare

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re 1: USB3: which Syno NAS model pls.?

re 2-3: I'm lost in the description, could you pls describe the purpose?
What specific HDD (re slow transfer speed)?

re 4: Ext is native Linux File system, then if you need to read even write to such disk, you have to use additional Win SW. But why? Do you need a repair the disk? Then better way is use Lnx OS than Win. Do you need transfer data? Then use the NAS as data host through LAN/WAN and you don't care about File systems, you will see just Shared directories.

re 5: If S.M.A.R.T, features are insufficient, there are plenty of Lnx commands (SSH), or by Docker deployed solutions. How much disk do you have in the NAS? How frequently you need to see more advanced information from S.M.A.R.T metrics?

re wishes:
re NAS benchmarking software - what is your primary target- to benchmark what? Or compare what?
re private/local cloud - Did you tried Syno Drive?
re Active-backup. Try to write your expectations pls.
re DS Photo - DS Photo is not synchro tool, there is another way, like Moments.
 
78
11
NAS
DS412+
re 1: USB3: which Syno NAS model pls.?
as you seen my tagline is DS412+ (not so advanced as yours thru:)

re 2-3: I'm lost in the description, could you pls describe the purpose?
What specific HDD (re slow transfer speed)?
Here I am referring to a normal PC HDD e.g. WD green/red/black serie with 7200RPM for example. I did several tests copying files (e.g. 1GB) via the USB3 port to ext. HDD, the speed is <40MB/s, comparing to speed > 100MB/s( ~160MB/s) if copying same file via laptop USB3.0 to ext. HDD.
The purpose is to fast transfer data to build NAS, although Gigabit Ethernet would be better(yet only ~75MB/s), but people mostly use laptop without LAN port. In short, the USB3 port is useless.

re 4: EXT4 is native Linux File system, then if you need to read even write to such disk, you have to use additional Win SW. But why? Do you need a repair the disk? Then better way is use Lnx OS than Win. Do you need transfer data? Then use the NAS as data host through LAN/WAN and you don't care about File systems, you will see just Shared directories.
For instance, if people would like to take one HDD out of a 2-bay NAS(SHR as default) and fly to another location, it is not directly readable by Windows or macOS (license to buy) thus data transfer is not easy.
On the other side, as confirmed also HERE, Linux formatted EXT4 HDD will not be readable by DSM. In short, DSM's EXT4 has compatibility issue.

re 5: If S.M.A.R.T, features are insufficient, there are plenty of Lnx commands (SSH), or by Docker deployed solutions. How much disk do you have in the NAS? How frequently you need to see more advanced information from S.M.A.R.T metrics?
For normal people, they would like to know which HDD(e.g. in a 4-bay NAS) is making striking noise or even failing, or which HDD is hindering total performance.

re wishes:
re NAS benchmarking software - what is your primary target- to benchmark what? Or compare what?
As said, it is to check if upgrade to another NAS/or add RAM more beneficial? and if more running threads/apps in NAS hinder the performance very much? etc. esp. Gigabit would not be Gigabit if without enough CPU/RAM support.

re Active-backup. Try to write your expectations pls.
as said, I don't want to uplaod my document to MS server, but instead I prefer to backup to my local NAS using this function.

re DS Photo - DS Photo is not synchro tool, there is another way, like Moments.
DS Photo can upload/backup iPhone Photos, that would be enough, why so many IOS app and in NAS? haven't tried Moments yet, not in favor of running too many apps/processes on this tiny PC. May try another day, but the main purpose and apps need to be prioritized concerning CPU/RAM/Net bandwidth.
 
Last edited:

jeyare

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clear enough now :cool:
Part no. 1 of my answer

1. NAS: Network attached storage is not an USB stick. You have to count with this, in the primary purpose for data availability or backup, even for advanced features as system or APP servers for you.

2. With one of the primary purpose: network availability, you have to count (in many cases, except RS/XS series with 10Gb ports) with lower performance of data speed as for USB3 stick attached directly to PC Mainboard bus. USB3 max. Theoreticall speed of the USB3 is about 5Gbps. For the USB3 attached (external HDD or SDD) storage you have count with 3 main bottlenecks only:
  • USB3 to SATA addapter in the storage box
  • HDD/SDD performance ( +SATA II/III disk Bus)
  • Mainboard architecture or components of your PC,laptop, ...

NAS speed bottlenecks are x-time bigger :
  • NAS HW: CPU, RAM, ...
  • HDDs/SSDs
  • used redundancy model = RAID
  • LAN infrastructure Router, switch, wires, WiFi AP, Vlans, ...
  • WAN infrastructure - no need more explain
  • kind of network addapters in your devices (laptop,...) connected to wired or wireless network.
Then when when you are thinking about NAS project you have to count about the speed to/from NAS bottlenecks also.

3. Disk performance. It is not easy as you wrote.
Just think about >3x more writting performance in comparison of WD Black and Green/Blue editions. SATA II vs SATA III bus in the disk speed difference is about 3 to 6Gbps in max. theoreticall speed (still just at disk side) This is significant point if you have 60MBps or 200MBps base from disk benchmark point of view. Do not mention about lifespan or durability.
Then, do not compare a standard disk, everytime just precisely defined disk.
 

jeyare

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The purpose is to fast transfer data to build NAS, although Gigabit Ethernet would be better(yet only ~75MB/s), but people mostly use laptop without LAN port. In short, the USB3 port is useless.
To be sure, there is still large group of people, that use their Ethernet port/ports to LAN. So many reasons there:
  • the wired LAN is more stable than WiFi and the wired LAN allow their users a speed bosters like Link aggregation, etc.
  • location 20m from the switch or router has still the same network speed as 2m from the AP (try to measure your speed behind a wall)
  • there is no time to write all of them
then large group of the people use USB-c/Eth addapter with their laptops to obtain this wired advantages, when is applicable.
But you can invest to Fast (802.11ac) Mesh WiFi network to obtain similar (no same) conditions like 1Gbps wired for your environment. With MU-MIMO and 160MHz STA wireless architecture more than 1Gbps. But think about, if all of the main devices (even laptops) are capable to use the “ac” network. And think about all the mentioned bottlenecks above.
 

jeyare

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For instance, if people would like to take one HDD out of a 2-bay NAS(SHR as default) and fly to another location, it is not directly readable by Windows or macOS (license to buy) thus data transfer is not easy.
On the other side, as confirmed also HERE, Linux formatted EXT4 HDD will not be readable by DSM. In short, DSM's EXT4 has compatibility issue.
No, no.
Etx2,3,4 is readable in Win environment, try ext2fsd or some other tools.

There is different scope for “take away” single disk from SHR (RAID) and use it as external disk for laptop. So there is no workaround, because it is not supported in the storage world.

In the last point about external HDD with ext4 - no experience from my side. I dont have any external HDD more than 5y.
 

jeyare

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For normal people, they would like to know which HDD(e.g. in a 4-bay NAS) is making striking noise or even failing, or which HDD is hindering total performance.
here is complete description of the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic
re striking noise, so ask the guys here about their point if view:)
what about SSD with no noise?
 

jeyare

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re active backup - what exactly are you missing in Synology packages?
there is robust pack of them from minimal to x-time layered
 
78
11
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DS412+
thanks for sharing your view. Yet too many theoretical things like from Sales.

For customers, if a Synology NAS specs a USB3, then it should perform as USB3, at least speed >100MB/s not as USB2 of my testing value ~40MB/s, Hereby I comparing to same HDD connecting to my laptop USB3 port with 166MB/s.
even a Gigabit LAN with USB-c port dongle only reach max. 75MB/s of my test.

FYI.: this article( in my o.p.) with testing data, tells How fast is USB 3.0 really?
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It is really confusing the customers nowadays, that products marketing with theoretical values which customer can never obtain, e.g. USB3 => 5Gbps? WiFi 802.11.ac => 877Mbps/1.3Gbps? car's MPG and even the current 5G speed...
 

jeyare

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life is not just black or white
for a precise help, I still miss an exact description of your problem
- NAS DSM ver
... described bottleneck
then we can open discussion about - How to.

till now it was just theoretical description based on your feeling how "normal people do"
PS: this is not official Synology support centre, then "the sales approach" is not main driver of the discussion, even protect Synology is out of this idea.
 
78
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Sure my DSM ver. is uptodate at the latest ver. l DSM 6.2.2-24922.

On the other side, maybe you could share your USB3 and GigaBit LAN transfer speed? just as bench-marking for me?

regards
BTW: great forum here, thanks for the informative discussion.
 

fredbert

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BTW: great forum here, thanks for the informative discussion.
Yes, and with this in mind please don't take offence with what I might have said by the time I finish writing this ;)

I've seen a number of comments on the official 'community' and here (but mostly there) where people don't get the fact that the NAS is a server. Sure it's usually a small desktop one but still a server. If you had a dataroom full of racks and they were populated with HP Proliant (showing my age) servers, would you expect to pull a disk from a RAID and stick it in your PC? Well obviously there's a lot of people that do because they ask why they can't just do it, but really no you can't without some effort.

The purpose built NAS is an appliance that has been constructed from selected hardware and software and with a particular task to do. It's not a general purpose server either, so there will be compromises and the buyer will need to select a higher spec NAS to do more general tasks. Or the buyer can spec, build, and maintain every aspect of a server themselves so that it really meets their needs.

As for datasheet performance: expect it to be ideal world performance in tailored conditions for that one test. Don't expect datasheet numbers are generated when other jobs are running.

So back to speeds of USB3: my recent experience of transferring TBs of data between USB3 disks (WD Blue and Green .... 5400rpm [Blues were only 7200rpm at 1TB and below]) was that the DS218+ was twice as quick USB to USB than my 2014 MacBook Air and was getting, I think, 70-80MB/s might've been more. It was as good, or better, as I've seen for these disks as Mac internal SATA. The same MBA USB3 interfaces run >400MB/s read/write on a Samsung T5 SSD.

The intelligent app for detecting disk knocking is your ear!!! Place a tube to your ear to fine-tune detection :LOL:

There are some benchmarks on Geekbench. You can monitor resource usage for packages from DSM itself. There's more Resource Monitor info on some models, my DS218+ has a more fine detailed Services tab unlike my DS215j. Alternatively there's the command line and you can use to get process usage

top -o %MEM
top -o %CPU

If you can find the modules and want to try upgrading the DS412+ RAM, there's a guide on iFixit. You might find the slowness you have seen is contributed by RAM usage.
 
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@ fredbert, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I did upgrade the RAM and it works but no significant improvement noticed.
 

Rusty

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@ fredbert, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I did upgrade the RAM and it works but no significant improvement noticed.
i have 4Gb in my 412 and it works really well and fast.

@iStone what would be a significant improvement for you?
 

jeyare

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Back to USB3 transfer speed (lost in description):
  • USB3 is just the name of 3rd major version for Universal Serial Bus standard
  • the USB3 standard has definition of max. speed = 5Gbps (625MBps), this is just theoretical speed of bus, not a real speed of device connected to the bus
  • there is also USB3.1 ver (called also USB-C) with possible 10Gbps (1250MBps)

Then there are main bottleneck definitions for the real USB3 data transfer speed:
a) performance limitations of device where you have data stored
b) performance limitations of device where you would like to data move in
c) adapters/converters/disk controllers between a) & b), like SATA to USB, etc. ... try to find identical environment :)

Independent disk controller can provide better performance as basic (frequently low cost, part of main board) utilized by CPU only. But some vendors can surprise me (positively). One of the reason, why a small factor board in the NAS is worse than PC (in case of USB3 transfer).

The disk performance is another point. I will provide sample of mentioned Western Digital Blue range disks here. There is no "normal" disk, just clearly defined.

Example no 1:
WD Blue 5400rpm 160GB HDD with SATA II 8MB buffer with avg 360Mbps (45MBps) for sequentilal large files W/R (write/read)
but same HDD with random speed test of 4k blocks can provide only avg 7Mbps (0.84MBps) W/R
... pretty far from 3Gbps SATA II theoretical speed

Example no 2:
Same WD Blue 250GB HDD, but: with 7200rpm with SATA III 16MB buffer
will provide
avg 664Mbps (83MBps) for sequentilal large files W/R
avg 9Mbps (1.06MBps) random speed test of 4k blocks W/R
... pretty far from 6Gbps SATA III theoretical speed

Example no 3:
rocket star of WD the Gold 1TB HDD, with 7200rpm with SATA III 128MB buffer
will provide
avg 1200Mbps (150MBps) for sequentilal large files W/R
avg 22.72Mbps (2,84MBps) random speed test of 4k blocks W/R
... still pretty far from 6Gbps SATA III theoretical speed

Example no 4:
Samsung 840EVO 256GB SSD, with SATA III 3 GB Turbowrite cache
will provide
avg 2784Mbps (348MBps) for sequentilal large files W/R
avg 450Mbps (56.2MBps) random speed test of 4k blocks W/R
... better, but still pretty far from 6Gbps SATA III theoretical speed

As you can see, there is most important point - chosen block structure (except SATA bus):
  • small block (4096 B) will save your usable data space, but will make a heavy pressure to your disk performance
  • bigger block (256kB - 4MB) will up side down this problem ... common SSD block size, e.g. Samsung SSD 840 EVO has blocks of size 2048 KB
This is the reason, why two "similar" benchmarks approach will be always different on identical disk (but different format).

Then there is no "normal" disk definition. You still need to think about the exact purpose:
  • low cost, but pretty slow disk
  • costly, but without a guarantee of the performance (the block setup can slow down the performance)
  • midway between the cost and usable data space (chosen block size) and final performance

Then if you put faster HDD/SDD to "USB3" box it will provide just small portion of USB3 potential.
Yes, of course there is a question who will put such slow disk to USB3 box. Many of vendors/users :) .

Finaly:
still if you have strong performed SSD with SATA III and 4MB block size in your USB3 box (wit super trouper adapter from SATA II to USB3 in the box) your performance in the NAS will be slow. Why?
Because all of the Syno NAS under RS/XS range are assigned to Retail and really SME. I think, that USB3 performance is not a main driver of Synology evolution. And the USB3 is not main connection side of the NAS (network attached storage).
But this is not an apology of Synology side. Just my point.

Valid for SD card also.
And another point is used File system.

You can find some statistics here. If they are useful? I don't know, because there is still main point - your approach to many of mentioned bottlenecks.
 
78
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DS412+
@Rusty
I upgraded 1G to 2G only, read somewhere 4GB would be unstable for my DS412+, great it works for you.
In general, I don't install too many apps in this tiny PC(sever as @ fredbert said). I used to have a DS211, after update to DSM 6.0 the whole interface was loading very slow. Since then I have the concern about benchmarking...

Now for DS412+ and 2G RAM, I didn't install many apps, refreshing and loading DSM interface is OK smooth. The real challenge would come if Iater I attach a webstation or a VPN server..

But I am interested how you define yours with DS412 & 4G RAM as fast quantitatively?

In general, I am interested if advanced CPU/RAM could boost USB3 and Gigabit LAN transfer speed. Because at the end of day, the basic use of DS station is data access, for this, transfer speed(USB/LAN) is king, for me the fast way to fill the HDD and setup the DS station still is:
  1. Format the HDD in EXT4 with DSM;
  2. Attach to PC and transfer via USB3, which is the highest transfer rate( 166MB/s) vs. GigaBit LAN( 75MB/s)
or if you have a HDR 4K movie of 16GB in size, it is also better to get the HDD out of DS station and use PC to transfer. ( haven't tried Link Aggregation yet)

It is really pity Synology DS Station's USB3.0 ports cannot perform the real USB3.0 speed(my experience =166MB/s! ) even for the plus version.


regards/
 
Last edited:
78
11
NAS
DS412+
Back to USB3 transfer speed (lost in description):
Many thanks for your explanations. fully agree with you that.
May I have a simple question:
would you mind making a small test with your 1813+ (spec linked), I am really curious (no joking) :
what is the transfer speed for:

  1. USB3.0 port
  2. eSATA
  3. single Gigabit LAN
  4. LAN with Link Aggregation(s)
  5. DS Internal from one drive transfer to another drive (maybe simply SSH)
BR/
 

fredbert

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In general, I don't install too many apps in this tiny PC(sever as @ fredbert said)
You're welcome ;)
The real challenge would come if Iater I attach a webstation or a VPN server.
The RT2600ac runs various VPN service types and it has 512MB RAM. For some packages it's the CPU that will limit performance, especially if there is no hardware support for a needed function and this has to be performed in software ... encryption.

I'll bore people with this again ... the ClamAV feature (clamd and persistent Perl processes) in Mail Server will take a lot of RAM even while idle, I see in the region of 400-500MB and this was the same when I ran a small mail server on Mac Server (Snow Leopard).

I just looked on my DS218+ as it sits there doing not much and Mail Server is the top of memory usage. Web Station is well down the list, below AFP and Indexing Service. Usage will increase when active but having these packages installed isn't going to grind the NAS to halt.
 

jeyare

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you can add a memory upgrade, but CPU is more important in small factor for the disk operations
 

jeyare

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making a small test with your 1813+ (spec linked), I am really curious (no joking) :
what is the transfer speed for:
  1. USB3.0 port
  2. eSATA
  3. single Gigabit LAN
  4. LAN with Link Aggregation(s)
  5. DS Internal from one drive transfer to another drive (maybe simply SSH)
BR/
you welcome, yes I can do it, but take into consideration, that it will be just numbers:
- RAID configs, disk configs, switch, wired LAN, ...
 

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