Need advice NAS acquisition advice for Francesco Cinque: small biz, 1500 EUR

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Need advice NAS acquisition advice for Francesco Cinque: small biz, 1500 EUR

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1
Operating system
  1. macOS
  2. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Usage type: small biz

Preferred form factor /

Number of bays: 6-bays or more

Do you have any existing drives that you plan on using? Yes

Prefered RAID array setup for this NAS: not sure

This NAS will be used for: multimedia

Max budget for this setup: 1500 EUR

Number of users that will utilize this NAS: 1

Any preferred network connectivity? /

Where will this NAS be used: LAN and over the Internet

Any special network requirements: /

Special cloud provider connectivity: /

Additional information:
Hi guys, I'm a Qnap user and I want to switch to Synology. Currently I have a TS-451a, it's a 4 bay and I've upgraded the ram to have extra speed. Now I have no more space into the disks and the system is too slow for my needs.

I'm a professional photographer and I shoot with high resolution cameras (Leica). Each picture is about 100Mb and when I post process the images they became from 300mb to 1tb for each image. I need to move those files quickly and have access from anywhere into the world. I will place it ad home, where I have a real cat6 cabling made of 100% copper, no aluminium at all (I don't have a 10g switch, only 1gb Fritzbox 7530 for the moment).

1 disk failure is not enough for me, I would like to be protected at least against 2 disks failure.
Reading online I was looking at those models:

DS1621+

DS1621XS+

DS1821+

Using the SHR2 or the RAID6 (depending on your suggestions).

I use both MacOs and Windows (but I prefer MacOs) and it would be a nice touch integrate a cloud backup service. For example all my documents are stored into Dropbox. Would be a nice thing to synchronise them automatically.

My budget is around 1000-1100 euros for the NAS. Regarding the disks actually I have 4 WD red 3TB but I suppose I need to buy new one beause I can't just pull out the QNAP and insert them into the Synology, right? The idea of the SHR looks really appealing to me. I like the fact that when a disk fails I can replace it with a bigger disk and use the extra space. For example on the Qnap I've swapped 3 disks already and everytime I was forced to buy 3Tb disks otherwise the extra space would be wasted.
 
Hi, welcome to the forum.

Between the DS1621+ and DS1821+ the only real differences are the 1821+ has two more drive bays and one extra USB3 interface. (select the highlight differences box)

So compare the DS1621+ against the DS1621xs+.

Do you want and AMD Ryzen or Intel CPU? From comparison sites they seem similar though the AMD is a lot less power hungry. But the xs+ comes with a copper10GbE interface which may be a useful feature if you add 10GbE to the Mac for a direct connection (Thunderbolt adapter? or new Mac with it added). Of course you could later add 10GbE via the PCIe expansion slot in all these NAS.

You might find the DS1821+ is a good starting point with having more drive bays, newer lower power CPU, but with the option to expand the interfaces and RAM as needed. It's better to have drives in the main unit because it is not advised to span a RAID array between main and expansion units (too many points of failure: single eSata cables and each unit has a power supply, motherboard, etc).

With SHR you can have an array that isn't limited to the usable space of the smallest drive. But the higher end NAS, e.g. the xs+, don't support SHR so you should consider if using SHR will become an issue later on when migrating to a different Synology NAS.

I don't like telling people how to spend their money, hence the may's, can's, could's, and should's :)

For syncing cloud storage to the NAS then you'd be looking at the Cloud Sync package.

I use this to sync my Dropbox account to the NAS. I then use Synology Drive and client apps to sync to my Macs and mobile devices. If a specific Mac/iOS app (usually mobile apps) doesn't offer linking to the NAS (WebDAV, SFTP, etc) and insists on Dropbox or other services then I can still maintain a single set of files. I don't really use the official Dropbox app/agent as it has become very bloated and there is a three device limit on the free account.
 
when I post process the images they became from 300mb to 1tb

Do you mean up to 1GB? If you have multiple files that are up to 1TB in size you are going to need a hell of a lot more storage than 4 x 3TB drives (12TB total), especially if you want more than one drive redundancy.

Very rudimentary maths - say you have 5 x 1TB files, 20 x 250GB, 500 x 1 GB, 4000 x 250MB - then you will need c. 12 TB total. Before the redundancy. In which case you may want to look at the Synology expansion units.
 
Additional information:
Hi guys, I'm a Qnap user and I want to switch to Synology. Currently I have a TS-451a, it's a 4 bay and I've upgraded the ram to have extra speed. Now I have no more space into the disks and the system is too slow for my needs.

I'm a professional photographer and I shoot with high resolution cameras (Leica). Each picture is about 100Mb and when I post process the images they became from 300mb to 1tb for each image. I need to move those files quickly and have access from anywhere into the world. I will place it ad home, where I have a real cat6 cabling made of 100% copper, no aluminium at all (I don't have a 10g switch, only 1gb Fritzbox 7530 for the moment).

1 disk failure is not enough for me, I would like to be protected at least against 2 disks failure.
Reading online I was looking at those models:

DS1621+

DS1621XS+

DS1821+

Using the SHR2 or the RAID6 (depending on your suggestions).

I use both MacOs and Windows (but I prefer MacOs) and it would be a nice touch integrate a cloud backup service. For example all my documents are stored into Dropbox. Would be a nice thing to synchronise them automatically.

My budget is around 1000-1100 euros for the NAS. Regarding the disks actually I have 4 WD red 3TB but I suppose I need to buy new one beause I can't just pull out the QNAP and insert them into the Synology, right? The idea of the SHR looks really appealing to me. I like the fact that when a disk fails I can replace it with a bigger disk and use the extra space. For example on the Qnap I've swapped 3 disks already and everytime I was forced to buy 3Tb disks otherwise the extra space would be wasted.
SHR would be a blessing to you not only for dual-disc redundancy, but also the fact you could up-size your storage medium, even mix-and-match sizes on-the-fly without losing space. You're only running 3TB WD Red discs and if they're HDDs that's a troublesome size. You could easily pack 4-12TB HDDs into a DS920+ or 5-12 TB HDDs into a 1522+ and make things sing!

As to cloud storage Synology offers their C2 service but for my money it's overpriced. You might want instead to take a look at Backblaze B2, which is very reasonably priced in comparison, natively supported in Synology's ecosystem, and if you should have a major disaster they will physically ship your data to you (with a big, but refundable deposit) to repopulate your system. Oh, and guess what they use for that? A Synology NAS. … yeah, OK, but I thought it was interesting.

The Synology DSM is generally quite a lot easier to use than the QNAP, but the QNAP allows more tinkering than the Synology. I suspect as a photographer you'd be more interested in the things just working than in taking on a new hobby, which is a good reason to go with the Syno.

There are many extraordinarily good video reviews of the various options you addressed above at NAScompares.com You might want to check those out. Those fellows are knee-deep in these things and store and host tons of media files, which sounds right up your alley.

One other thing, Backblaze for several years has published HDD stat's to the public giving all kinds of really useful data when choosing your storage. You might want to check that too, it's in the blogs at backblaze.com.

HTH,
7
 
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Do you mean up to 1GB? If you have multiple files that are up to 1TB in size you are going to need a hell of a lot more storage than 4 x 3TB drives (12TB total), especially if you want more than one drive redundancy.

Very rudimentary maths - say you have 5 x 1TB files, 20 x 250GB, 500 x 1 GB, 4000 x 250MB - then you will need c. 12 TB total. Before the redundancy. In which case you may want to look at the Synology expansion units.
Exactly. I've shoot most of my photographic career with Canon. Older sensors had smaller file size, but now the camera brands are increasing megapixels and the result is a bigger file. Bigger file in output means also a bigger file in post process. Of course not every image is 1 Tb and not all the images post processed are stored. An image from a wedding, for example, it's not important for me (I just keep the original file). However an image of a reportage from a remote location, then yes.

Now I've filled all the 9Tb (4 disks-1) of my Nas (I also have other disks not backuped in a full tower) and it's a pain to use. I always need to move files, delete the older/unessentials. It's something that I really don't like and I think is the time to increase storage and performances.

Do you want and AMD Ryzen or Intel CPU? From comparison sites they seem similar though the AMD is a lot less power hungry. But the xs+ comes with a copper10GbE interface which may be a useful feature if you add 10GbE to the Mac for a direct connection (Thunderbolt adapter? or new Mac with it added). Of course you could later add 10GbE via the PCIe expansion slot in all these NAS.
I'm not interested on a specific CPU. I just want a system that works and it's fast.

Do you want and AMD Ryzen or Intel CPU? From comparison sites they seem similar though the AMD is a lot less power hungry. But the xs+ comes with a copper10GbE interface which may be a useful feature if you add 10GbE to the Mac for a direct connection (Thunderbolt adapter? or new Mac with it added). Of course you could later add 10GbE via the PCIe expansion slot in all these NAS.
I'm not interested on a specific CPU. I just want a system that works and it's fast.
You might find the DS1821+ is a good starting point with having more drive bays, newer lower power CPU, but with the option to expand the interfaces and RAM as needed. It's better to have drives in the main unit because it is not advised to span a RAID array between main and expansion units (too many points of failure: single eSata cables and each unit has a power supply, motherboard, etc).

With SHR you can have an array that isn't limited to the usable space of the smallest drive. But the higher end NAS, e.g. the xs+, don't support SHR so you should consider if using SHR will become an issue later on when migrating to a different Synology NAS.
What if a disk fails with SHR? Let's for example say that I choose the DS1821+ and I fill it with different disks and SHR.
How is managed the failure of a bigger and smaller disk? Is a RAID 6 more reliable? I guess.. if they don't support SHR on high end NAS.

Another thing related to the DS1821+. Let's say that I buy the NAS and 4 disks. I begin to copy all my files from the QNAP to the Synology. Once the QNAP disks are empty I format them, insert the old disks into the new Synology and then change RAID settings. Is that possible or you suggest to do it in another way?

The Synology DSM is generally quite a lot easier to use than the QNAP, but the QNAP allows more tinkering than the Synology. I suspect as a photographer you'd be more interested in the things just working than in taking on a new hobby, which is a good reason to go with the Syno.
Nailed it. I'm an IT guy but I am tired of tinkering and losing my time. In this period of my life I'm really appreciating things that just works (no brain), that's why I moved from Win to Mac Os and this is one of the reasons why I want to try Synology.
-- post merged: --

SHR would be a blessing to you not only for dual-disc redundancy, but also the fact you could up-size your storage medium, even mix-and-match sizes on-the-fly without losing space. You're only running 3TB WD Red discs and if they're HDDs that's a troublesome size. You could easily pack 4-12TB HDDs into a DS920+ or 5-12 TB HDDs into a 1522+ and make things sing!
Let's say that I want to start my new system as SHR. Is that possible to use it for a certain period of time, then I change my mind and I decide to switch to RAID6. Is it something possible or that make sense for you?
 
I'm not interested on a specific CPU. I just want a system that works and it's fast.
I got that the first time :D But there are people that do care. Also the xs+ has higher capacity/concurrency figures on some packages which I guess mostly aren't relevant too.

What if a disk fails with SHR?
You have to replace a failed drive with one that is the same size or bigger. When replacing with bigger then you'll need two of the bigger size before you realise their additional capacity.

You have probably seen this, it's really for new RAID builds but there are links in there to expanding storage (and replacing drives.

Is a RAID 6 more reliable?
I've not used it. It is said that traditional RAID variants may be slightly quicker than SHR but I've no way to test it. But SHR does give you more flexibility for expanding storage without replacing all drives.

SHR-1 (i.e. one drive for redundancy) is like RAID 1 and RAID 5, depending on the number of drives you use. SHR-2 is like RAID 6.

Regarding moving the drives from the QNAP post-data migration: you can re-use the drives in Synology NAS but there will be constraints based on the size of your new drives.

If your new drives are <=3TB (the old ones being 3TB) then you can add the old drives to the new storage pool and expand its capacity. If the new drives are >3TB then you cannot add them to the new storage pool but you can always create another new storage pool on the new NAS.


The DSM OS is on a separate partition that is replicated across all drives, so DSM will still run when all but one drive is removed. Things to note are:
  • It is possible to move a Shared Folder on one volume to another, including from a volume on one storage pool to a volume on another.
  • When you install packages from Package Center then these are installed onto a specific volume, if you have only one storage pool with one volume you don't get a choice of where, obviously. If you want to remove/delete a volume of storage pool but keep the packages then you'll have to backup and restore to another volume, or do manual under-the-hood things via SSH.
Ultimately, if you have spare bays and spare drives then you have options for using them, just be aware that if later you decide to delete a volume then there may be some steps to manage packages.
 
If your new drives are <=3TB (the old ones being 3TB) then you can add the old drives to the new storage pool and expand its capacity. If the new drives are >3TB then you cannot add them to the new storage pool but you can always create another new storage pool on the new NAS.
Unless my volume is set as SHR, right?
 
Much was said already, but just wanted to say/ask about the data transfers. So atm you are not 10G capable on the "client" side (mac). With the size of your files, it would be highly recommended that you invest in 10G especially if you will be going for a 10G capable NAS. While a 1G connection will be more than enough to transfer your 1G file in about 10sec, the question is, will that be fast enough for you.
 
There is SMB multi-channel support in macOS* from Big Sur onwards and coming to DSM 7 soon(ish) or so. So that should speed up 1GbE connectivity, though you’d need a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter to add the 2nd wired interface, but you could use wired plus wireless on the Mac.

But I’d now be planning to invest in devices with greater than 1GbE, or at least future upgradability. For now I would definitely compare the price of the plain + models with extra 4GB RAM + 10GbE expansion module + 5 year Extended Warranty** vs the off-the-shelf xs+.

*doesn’t seem to be in Catalina when using smbutil as there is no multichannel command.
**if you can’t find a price then assume 10-12% of the NAS RRP.
 
Not with SHR nor SHR2, at least in DSM 6.2 and later
Which bit are you replying to? If I'm wrong, everyone is here to learn, then it would be helpful to provide the corrected information

Whatever, there's plenty of details about managing storage pools (that's your RAID arrays in Synology parlance) here:
 
SHR is not the "same" as RAID 1 or 5, nor is SHR-2 the "same" as RAID 6. They are similar but there are very significant differences.

The main difference is that in SHR you can mix sizes and use all of the capacity. For example, you could install 4-5TB drives: 5+5+5+5=20, then decide to swap in a 12TB for 5+5+12+5=27TB. In RAID you'd still be at 20TB, but in SHR you'd be at 27TB. I get the impression you really don't want to spend the time on a technical discussion of how SHR does this, but you can find it at Synology if you're so inclined. You could even drop in 5+4+18+8 if you wanted and all of it would be available to you.

Now with SHR-2 of course your capacity is cut because you are providing for the failure of two disks, so (5+5) & (5+5)=10 vs. 20, likewise (2+2+2+2) & (2+2)=8 vs 12 because you have 2-discs set aside for failure.

Is a RAID 6 more reliable?
No.

Synology quick & easy FAQ on SHR & SHR-2

Fwiw,I experienced this thing kitting out a new NAS with 4-SSD's for storage. The batch I got all failed within 30-days. I was not exactly thrilled and the NAS was about 350-mi from me, but SHR-2 handled it like a champ. It had two SSDs failed on the 4-disc box (DS920+) on my arrival. I pulled 1-disc and inserted a new one; when that was done I R&R'd the next, then encountered the others also going and ended up replacing the entire 4-disc array. I never lost any data nor suffered any corruption.

No you can't switch RAID<—>SHR. For the life of me I can't figure out why anyone wanting to simplify this stuff and maximize their available storage capacity regardless of drive size would even consider going from SHR to RAID-x. but to each their own.

Synology very short KB article on why not and how-to

I'm an IT guy but I am tired of tinkering and losing my time.
Then go 10GbE (DS1621xs+). I'm guessing your setup is or will be fully 10GbE end-to-end without bottlenecks. The others in your OP are all 1Gb devices. No matter what, that's as fast as they're going to go. That really does seem to answer the question.

Unless… you're not sure where the "speed you need" is at? Is it in moving the files to-and-from the NAS? In that case 10GbE is it. Or is it in some sort of on-the-NAS processing? If that's it, the CPU matters whether you want it to or not, but you already know that.

All of these boxes are good, but if you're actually considering one of the 1GbE boxes. maybe you should look at the DS1522+ which would still give an option to go to 10GbE and maybe not hit the budget quite so hard.

The rest is just setup.
In SHR you have to use a drive that is the same size or bigger. You cannot add smaller drives after the array has been created.
Sure you can. But as fredbert:
You have to replace a failed drive with one that is the same size or bigger.

It's the old story, "How fast can I go?"
"Depends, how much money do you have?"
 
The main difference is that in SHR you can mix sizes and use all of the capacity. For example, you could install 4-5TB drives: 5+5+5+5=20, then decide to swap in a 12TB for 5+5+12+5=27TB.
This sounds like JBOD as there 4x5=20, whereas SHR-1 it would be 3x5=15 plus 1 drive for redundancy. But then in JBOD you can't swap a drive because there's no redundancy builtin.

@Francesco Cinque have a look at the DSM knowledgebase as there is a lot about the different RAID types and how to create, expand, and repair them. In DSM Storage Manager is the bit to look at, start here:
 
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Sorry guys for the late reply. I've read all of your suggestions and -first of all- I want to thank you for the tips.

Making a short recap:

-The 1621 and the 1821 are basically the same device but with the addition of 2 extra bays. The 1621XS+ has better specs but it costs (at least in my country 1000€ more);
-The SHR 2 gives me more flexibility then the RAID6 but it's not supported on XS+ devices;
-The 10G is only supported by the XS+, unless I buy a network card which is quite expensive (300€).

At this point I think I will go for the 1821+. With the SHR2 I have the possibility to reuse my old drives (4x3TB) in addition to new drives that I'll buy.

Regarding the connections, a 10G device would be better but at the moment my network and my Mac are still on 1Gb, so I don't think the extra cost make sense. I will upgrade with the extra network card once my home network is ready to embrace the 10G.

Two important questions:

- May I connect the Mac with a USB cable? I already do it with my QNAP and it's lot faster than the home network;
- Should I consider to buy extra ram or an SSD for caching? Or the device is fast enough?

Oh, one more thing:

Please also consider the rack mount unit. I already have a Unifi Dream Machine SE on my furniture and I'm planning to buy a rack cabinet. Is the RS1221+ better than the DS1821+? I see that the price is very close.
 
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May I connect the Mac with a USB cable?
No. The USB ports only support storage devices (KB article w/ further info). You could connect your device to Ethernet using an adapter, like this USB 3*, this USB-C*, or this Thunderbolt GbE* all on Amazon. We have experience with the first two and they work fine on our 1-GbE LAN. We do not have any experience with the Thunderbolt product.

*The hyperlinks provided are for reference only. They are not a solicitation nor do they generate any sort of revenue nor referral/

Regarding the connections, a 10G device would be better but at the moment my network and my Mac are still on 1Gb, so I don't think the extra cost make sense. I will upgrade with the extra network card once my home network is ready to embrace the 10G.
For what it's worth the DS1522+ comes stock with 4-1GbE ports. To go to 10 GbE requires obtaining and installing an optional (extra cost) 10GbE port card from Synology. The DS1621+ does have that 10GbE port built-in up front, so you pay for it going in. However, the DS1821+ only has 1GbE ports and cannot be upgraded to 10GbE, so that move would require a new NAS.

Please also consider the rack mount unit. I already have a Unifi Dream Machine SE on my furniture and I'm planning to buy a rack cabinet. Is the RS1221+ better than the DS1821+? I see that the price is very close.
Even the least expensive rack mount break your stated budget. If you want to make best use of even the cheapest Synology rack mount your budget should probably be closer to 3,500 EUR. And don't forget, you're also going to need to backup all of this data onsite, offsite and maybe with a cloud provider.

Number of bays: 6-bays or more
If you are absolutely stuck on, and committed to 6-bays, the DS1522+ won't do. Although I can't see why 6-bays is a "requirement" from your prior posts ... more like "space" is the issue. The DS1522+ will accommodate 5-16TB HDDs without an expansion unit (compatible HDDs). That's 75-TB at no additional hardware cost. Even if you go straight 5-16TB, that would leave 48-TB of absolute storage and 32-TB of fail-over. (The actual single-volume capacity of this unit is 108TB.)

Just for some perspective, if you did kit a DS1522+ out with 5-16TB HDDs using SHR2 that would give you enough space for about:

9,600,000 photos, 640 days of video, 8,000 HD movies, 272,000 hours of MP3 audios, or 560 hours of 4K video ... PER DRIVE.​
That is:​
  • 28,800,000 photos;
  • 1,920 days (5-1/4 years) of video;
  • 24,000 HD movies;
  • 816,000 hours (34,000 days / > 93-years) of MP3 audios; or
  • 1,680 hours (70 days) of 4K video;
    • All on single 5-bay NAS with 5-16TB HDDs using SHR-2 off-setting two of the discs for dual disc redundancy.
Those are staggering numbers, and that's with only five drives. Maybe the GbE speed and space, and especially budget, are all worth some added thought.
 
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You may have right about the amount of storage. It costs more (for each TB) in the second option.

OPTION N°1
DS1522+ 900€
5x Seagate Exos 16TB 1500€
-----
TOT: 2100€
Storage 48TB
(SHR 2/RAID 6)
43€ for each TB

OPTION N°2
DS1821+ 1100€
4X WD Red 6TB (SHR2) 580€
+ (4x 3TB that I already have)
-----
TOT: 1680€
Storage 24TB
(SHR 2/RAID 6)
70€ for each TB

OPTION N°3
DS1821+ 1100€
4X Toshiba N300 10TB (SHR2) 920€
+ (4x 3TB that I already have)
-----
TOT: 2020€
Storage 32TB
(SHR 2/RAID 6)
63€ for each TB

However, the DS1821+ only has 1GbE ports and cannot be upgraded to 10GbE, so that move would require a new NAS.
Are you sure? I see on the Synology website that there is the possibility to buy extra cards:
 
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Are you sure? I see on the Synology website that there is the possibility to buy extra cards:
Good catch! Sorry, I missed that looking at the specs.:oops:

Larger capacity drives are normally going to cost less per TB than lower capacity drives. Also, across the industry the 3TB drives tend to be short-lived, 4TB were much better. However, 12TB and up seem to have the best lifespans. You can see more about drive lifespans in this Backblaze Drive Stats blog. They publish their drive stats every quarter and have for some years. It's a very valuable resource, and it's free to everyone. You can use that as a starting point to compare drive durability against the Synology compatible drives for the DS1522+and the DS1821+. Unfortunately the Backblaze blog is very skewed to HDDs and only beginning to have limited SSD data.

Remember, the Synology compatibility charts specify not only drive brand, model, and size, but also the firmware iteration and exact NAS model. Just because it works on a DS920+ does not mean it's compatible with a DS1821+, etc. This can be really important as it can be tricky to specify the firmware for third-party drives you buy; and if you use third-party drives as many of us do, you assume all responsibility and liability for keeping the firmware compatible — and updated* if needed. Synology assumes that position for their (expensive) drives and provides automatic mechanisms for updating the firmware of their drives.

So be certain whatever drives you buy are (a) on the list, (b) match the drive brand+model+size, (c) are listed for the exact NAS you get, and (d) have the correct firmware.

*Synology has some manufacturers they work more closely with and Synology may be able to update their drives but, those relationships are not set in stone and do come-and-go without notice.
 
Where did you eventually end up, if you don't mind my asking?
Hi 7Natives, first of all thanks for the suggestions and the time dedicated on my problem/doubts.

In the end I've decided to go for the 1821+, selling my old Qnap and all the 3tb disks (4x).
I've also purchased 4 Seagate Exos 14TB, setting them as SHR2. In the future I will add 4 extra disks. I know that I've lost half of the disks capacity but I need the extra redundancy (saftety) over the storage space.

Oh I almost forgot, the budget allocated in the end was 2100 euros for the NAS+the disks. I've exceed the initial predictions.

I still have 4x3tb disks. Do you think is worth putting them inside the new nas or it makes no sense in terms of performance/space?
 

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