When is a NAS not a NAS?

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When is a NAS not a NAS?

DS1515+, DX213.
When is a NAS not a NAS? When it's a server!

I see the recent trend to push Synology to make more and more powerful units. Reviews slating them as weak, when comparing specifications to comparable units, offered by the competition in the market. I remember the reaction to the introduction of the 1517+ units when the reviewers saw they still had an Atom CPU. Same again when the 2019 year units came out.

So what you can end up with is a forced upward trend, cpu power, memory and ultimately power consumption and price! Their products aren't exactly inexpensive to begin with.

Some people still, just, want a NAS. Something capable of storing their files, serving their media and maybe, providing access to personal cloud services.

I understand that some want mega horsepower to run multiple VM's, loads of IP cameras etc. Would they be better served by a Server? The distinction between them is becoming blurred.

What do you folks think?

Do Synology get it right? By staying with their policy of providing hardware adequate to its intended task? Or should they be more like Qnap and batter the competition with sheer horsepower?
Perhaps it's not just hardware Synology is thinking about. It's also their DSM (and SRM) on the software market. That OS itself it already award-winning and demand may has risen to have that OS served for many purposes as wel.

You do have a point. For example with all the stuff I'm running on my NAS'es I really can't call it a 'NAS' anymore.

  • Obviously SMB file server
  • MailPlus
  • CalDAV
  • CardDAV (under the Calendar app)
  • WebDAV
  • Drive
  • CloudStation sharesync (to 2ync my 2 nasses)
  • LDAP (so we can use the same login on all the NAS'es and Syno routers in the internal networks)
  • DNS (for split-zone DNS, as I own a public domain)
  • Docker (Virtual DSM as a proxy in my network to my NordVPN connection)
  • Web server
  • PhotoStation
  • UPNP media server
  • Note Station
My DS218+ is a mini, home server that also has NAS capabilities. If it wasn't then I'd still be trying to security patch (post-EOL) an old Mac Mini server and using the DS215j for NAS and photo backups.

Synology has made virtually all packages available to all units, regardless of the performance impact. As such people can try these features and decide whether they need to upgrade to get the better performance rather than hide features until after purchase of a suitable device.

But the point of when is a NAS not a NAS is pretty much the response to the RS819: it's a NAS. And mostly the 'j' series too. For serving media files then faster hardware is almost a given.
Well I think NAS units today can be called "servers" in most cases. For a long time already they are more then just storage devices hooked on the network. The fact that they have NAS as their title is just so we can make a difference from DAS or SAN devices. Considering that DAS and SAN devices are dependant on a lot of other HW, unlike a NAS, is also something to consider. So NAS can hold its own considering it is a device with its own HW and SW.

On the matter of horsepower, well thats something that in certain cases could be better (compared to some other vendors), but still so I want an hdmi on my nas? No, why? Still I'm sure there are others that do need/want it.

Better cpu or more ram is always welcome, but in most cases not needed. This is one reason why Syno has a large offering of models. Could some of them be better/more powerful? Sure. Will they? Guess we can hope and wait.
It is also about power consumption. "Real" servers will foot your electricity bill and for those you need a proper rack unit or "special" conditions, since their hardware is more powerful and tends to heat more.

Synology vs. some server (i.e. HP Proliant) in the same price range? While that server has better HW, you're not getting any OS and no GUI to configure services, so setting it up is both time consuming and requires some specific knowledge that end users mostly lack, so they pay someone to set it up and then maintain it at extra cost.

There is still J series for just "network storage", and plus series for VM-s...

CPU wise, ARM is getting stronger and suits more needs than before, so why not put those in "basic" home use oriented models?

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At this point it seems reasonable to reset, mode 2, or otherwise accept what Synology providence gives you.

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