• What a Difference a NAS makes

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    #2340318

    Hey Y’all,

    Just thought I’d pass along my experience with a couple of NAS devices for what it’s worth.

    I’d been using a WDMyBook 3TB NAS for several years. About 4 weeks ago I could no longer get a good backup, either wouldn’t complete or wouldn’t verify. At first I thought it was the backup drive so I reformatted that, unfortunately that was also a 3TB drive and it took 30 hours to format using a USB3 dock! Well that didn’t solve the problem. So it must be a problem with NAS so I reformatted that, yep another day shot. I finally got it restored using my last good backup, yep that old belt and suspenders habit of having a couple of generations of backup paid off.

    However, knowing that this device is suspect I decided to do some research and I decided on a Synology DS220+ and 2 Segate 4Tb Iron Wolf drives to setup a Raid 1 NAS box.

    Well I couldn’t be happier. Not only was the DS220+ a snap to install and configure but the speed puts the old MyBook to shame! Every time I’d attempt to access the MyBook for the first time after a reboot/restart of the computer it would take forever to scan the drive with that slow bar creeping across file explorer. Now with the DS220+ the files just snap right on the display.

    In the way of full disclosure the MyBook is pretty much plug and play. You only have to set up the shares and user accounts. Where as the DS220+ is an empty box and you have to purchase and install (completely tool less and a snap) the drives yourself. You then connect it to your router and do some configuration to select the RAID level you want, establish a Static IP address (not required but IMHO the way to go), and then setup the shares and user accounts. Also the whole setup set me back approx. $420 USD as compared to a 4Gb MyCloud (replacement for MyBook) at $400 with no Raid and not nearly as much control and only a single Ethernet port vs the 220’s two!

    Believe me, you don’t have to be a techno geek to set this thing up it was a snap. That said there is a whole lot more I can be doing with this unit that I’ll explore in the future. For now I have what I was after a fast and reliable network storage device that both my better half and I can access our vast photo library and other shared files quickly and reliably.

    HTH ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!
    Computer Specs

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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    • #2340353

      Can you actually use the two ethernet ports on a standard router or do you need something flash with port consolidation ability?

      cheers, Paul

      • #2340446

        Paul,

        I don’t really know as that’s one of the features I haven’t looked into. I did read in one review about how that can be used as fall over if one of the ports fails. Along that line I was looking at deals on mini PCs on Amazon today and many had dual ethernet ports and I’ m wondering how that is used. I also remember reading some where about tying them together for greater bandwidth. However, can’t see how that would work since the limiting factor is what my ISP provides. :cheers:

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        • #2340458

          I also remember reading some where about tying them together for greater bandwidth. However, canโ€™t see how that would work since the limiting factor is what my ISP provides.


          @RetiredGeek
          , it’s the bandwidth of your home network, not the ISP bandwidth.ย  If you have a Gigabit router that supports Link Aggregation Group (LAG), you can get (supposedly) 2 Gigabit speed out of your NAS.

          Personally, I prefer the redundancy of RAID 10, which is why my NAS is DIY; I could build a RAID 10 box the size I wanted cheaper than I could buy one.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

          • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by bbearren. Reason: clarity
    • #2341399

      Well, I’ve done some further testing and this has turned out to be a much more serious upgrade that I expected. To backup the NAS to a HD in a USB 3.0 dock took 1:43! It used to take 4-5 hours! It it all done via Powershell & Macrium Reflect so I know that the process is identical, i.e. no human variables involved. I’ve also noted in normal use how much faster file explorer responds to requests to access NAS folders pinned to my Quick Access list.

      Moral: One Happy Customer.

      A little investigation showed what I think are the two main reasons for the speed difference.
      The MyBookLive is SATA II and Applied Micro APM82181 @ 800 MHz processor w/256Mb ram vs the DS220+ w/ SATA III and Intel Celeron J4025 @ 2-2.9 GHz processor w/ 2GB DDR4 ram.

      Here are the full specs of both devices for those who are interested.

      WD MyBookLive 2012
      
      By default, the NAS's flash memory is used to store the WD My Book OS system.
      
      CPU               Applied Micro APM82181 @ 800 MHz
      RAM               256 MB
      Flash             512 kB
      Operating system  WD My Book OS
      SATA              II
      
      LAN ports    1 x Gigabit Ethernet
      Wireless     no
      Protocols    AFP
                   CIFS/SMB
                   FTP
                   NFS
      P2P support  no
      Media server DLNA
                   UPnP
                   iTunes
      			 
      Synology DS220+		
      
      CPU:  Model	Intel Celeron J4025
            Architecture	64-bit
            Frequency	2-core 2.0 (base) / 2.9 (burst) GHz
      Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI)	
      Memory: System Memory	2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
              Free Memory Slots	1
              Maximum Memory Capacity	6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB) *
      Notes	
      Please select Synology memory modules for optimum compatibility and reliability. Synology will not provide complete product warranty or technical support if non-Synology memory modules are used for memory expansion.
      Synology reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier's product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
      
      Storage:
      Drive Bays	2
      Compatible Drive Type* (See all supported drives)	
         3.5" SATA HDD
         2.5" SATA HDD
         2.5" SATA SSD
      Maximum Single Volume Size*	108 TB
      Hot Swappable Drive	
      Notes:	
      "Compatible drive type" indicates drives that have been tested to be compatible with Synology products. This term does not indicate the maximum connection speed of each drive bay.
      Each internal volume (may consist of multiple drives) is expandable up to 108TB.
      
      External Ports:
        RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port	2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
        USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port*	2 (The USB 3.0 standard was renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 1 by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) in 2019.)
        USB / SD Copy	
      Notes:	
      File System - Internal Drives	
                       Btrfs
                       EXT4
                    External Drives	
                       Btrfs
                       EXT4
                       EXT3
                       FAT
                       NTFS
                       HFS+
                       exFAT (exFAT Access is purchased separately in Package Center)
      	 
      

      HTH ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

    • #2341560

      Reading through the manual, yes I still read those things, I discovered that there is an Android (also iOS) app to access my NAS. Cool, I can now upload photos from my phone to my NAS while traveling. No more running out of space or having to carry devices to do backups on the go as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection. I can also share photos of past trips with my fellow travelers if requested. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2341750

      I’m impressed with Synology NAS; I have five running at present. One point very much irritates me: they have no repair service at all. I had one NAS fail for unknown reasons, just outside warranty. No way would Synology look at a repair, paid for, or sell me a main board (it was diagnosed by Synology as likely the connection to ethernet area, but that was it); the NAS was junk. That part of Synology disappoints, but the overall system is superb.

    • #2341800

      I can thoroughly endorse @RetiredGeek’s enthusiasm with his Synology NAS. I bought a DS214Play 6 years ago to replace my Netgear NAS which had reached effective EOL. The ReadyNAS was good for its time, but the 214Play was a massive improvement, for not a lot more money than a same brand replacement. That applies to speeds, capacity, reliability and capability. Even though it is now 6 years old (incredibly) it has been totally reliable and still meets all of my needs. You do have to get used to the fact that most of the functions come from separate apps that are downloaded (free) from the Synology site, but the capabilities are massive, and far beyond my needs.

      The only tip I would add is to make sure you buy NAS grade disks. I did not on my previous NAS and they failed, because of the increased usage that a NAS gives them.

      Chris
      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #2341842

      Hey Y’all,

      The latest feature I’ve discovered is the ability to have your disks and/or the entire NAS power down after a set period of inactivity saving both energy and wear and tear on the drives. Of course this comes with WOL (wake on lan) so it will power up automatically when you need access, with the attendant lag of course. You can also set it to power the entire unit down and then turn it on again on your schedule. I set it for midnight and 7:00am, no need to have it running when I’m sleeping. Of course I’ll have to remember to reset this when we travel to allow for different time zones.

      Along with these power saving features it allows you to connect it to a UPS via USB and have the UPS shut the NAS down when the UPS battery is running low or a specified amount of time after MAINS power is lost. When setting it up it even had a drop down with all the main UPS vendors for you to select from so it knows how to setup the interface.
      SynologyUPS

      Chris had it right the capabilities are massive.

      ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      • #2341876

        @retiredgeek I have mine set with operating times rather like you, butย  also the disks hibernate after 10 mins of inactivity. That saves power but, more importantly, reduces wear on the disks. If I come back to the NAS after hibernation, it takes perhaps 20 secs to wake up, but I regard that as a small price.

        Chris
        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #2342288

      Installed a DS220J and 2 Seagate 4Tb Iron Wolf drives a couple of months ago and all I can say is, love it, love it, love it!

    • #2358903

      In case anyone is still watching this thread, I just upgraded the HDDs in my 6 year old DS214Play from 2 x 3TB to 2 x 4TB (Seagate Ironwolf). I did this because of the age of the disks (although they still tested as healthy) and to get a bit more storage. The process went like clockwork. Rebuilding the SHR raid took about 6-7 hours per disk and the new capacity popped up when the process was finished.

      So – I have a 6 year old NAS with plenty of storage, running quickly for all my needs and still getting regular software updates from Synology without performance degradation. That’s longevity for you.

      Chris
      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2387182

      Hey Y’all,

      I recently enabled the feature for the NAS to send me status messages via Email. Most are noise telling me that it has reconnected to the UPS when it powers back up after sleep but this morning I got this:

      Dear user,
      
      The following is your monthly report regarding the health of disks on CxxxxxxMxxxxx. You can also check the health of individual disks at Storage Manager > HDD/SSD > Health Info.
      
      No problem detected with the drives in DSM.
      
      Sincerely,
      Synology NAS 
      

      Very Cool! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      • #2387185

        @retiredgeekย  Yes. I’ve used it for a long time, and that was one of the signals that led me to the precautionary replacement of my HDDs described in my previous post.

        Chris
        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

      • #2387187

        I run a mail server on the NAS for all local information messages. Keeps it all local so I don’t miss anything during an internet outage.

        cheers, Paul

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