Synology alternative

I am extremely dissapointed with some stuff synology has been doing or hasnt been doing that I need to look at alternatives going forward.

  1. They started to lock down third party drives, the prices of synology branded HDDs are ridicolous.

  2. Their rack-mount offerings are stupid, they are always extremely loud and have not enough expension - its usually 10Gbit OR ssd cache, also the CPUs in the 16 bay rack units are from 2021, so 2 generations old by now.

  • but they dont make desktop systems with more than 12 drive bays.

The problem is i am VERY happy with DSM and synology drive , no update has ever broken anything and synology drive has been rock solid for me and freelancers and such - I really like it a lot. thats worth a ton of course.

So now I am rocking around 60T useable storage in a 8 bay, actually 2 of them for redundancy. but I need to at-least double that in 2024 due to feature&longform demanding that, I try to keep a tidy NAS with quick LTO offloads after project completion.

So I have naturally been looking at qnap, my experience with their os has been… difficult, but maybe its better now… their hardware is sooo much better on paper, so much more flexible with qtier storage and such, it just is something my inner hardware nerd would rather invest money than into a boring synology.

The biggest feature for me is still a solid and fast sync client for remote artist, so it has to be just as good as synology drive with 2FA and everything …

maybe something like truenas or whatever can be my saviour?

You can get up to 24 drives on a desktop unit, if you use an expansion chassis. I have that one an older unit and has worked seamlessly.

Use this as base unit:
Use this as expansion unit:

Regarding the drive lockdown, I want to say there’s a work around. The product manager from Synology was on a LogikLive a few months ago and that topic came up. Not sure what the answer is though. I think there may be an override (at your own risk).

Regarding noisy rack mount units - that’s a shame, but nothing new. Most 2U rack mount units use very small fans to move a lot of air and are noisy. I guess they’re meant for machine rooms. My Nexis has a noise level of 78dB SPL on the back. Took a lot of work to make that acceptable in the office.

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While Synology is a bit boring in the hardware department, it sure the feck is amazing in the software department.

Doesn’t Synology typically upgrade their machines every 3 years? As in, looks like the RS series ought to receive a 2024 update?

I believe the last 2 digits in the model number are the year (per the LogikLive discussion). So these models would be '22 vintage and if Randy is right, due for an upgrade soon.

QNap is a bit tarnished by their security incident a few years ago, though they seem to have taken the at pretty serious since they’re regularly emailing security advisories now. Seems a bit of a coin toss.

I personally run truenas and have found it to be completely rock solid but it definitely isn’t as immediately feature rich as synology’s offering.

I’m not sure how advisable it is, particularly in a production environment, but it is possible to run DSM in a VM. Could be a win/win!

thanks everyone.

So yea idk expension chassis depend on the base model and are either some propretary port or sometimes (in my case) just esata which… is meh.

I guess I am kinda stuck with the big 16bay rack unit, maybe ill just hold off for 2024…’ they sre from 2021 after all.

I would really love to see more storsge tiering snd jusr generally more performance, nvme prices beign so low i would love to just throw in 8x 4tb 990pro in raid0 as a storage tier or whatever else…

wouldn’t it be rad if they fit Highpoints?

Kind of all depends on how you tier your hot, warm, and cold storage.

There is the part where you have too many other things to worry about, and so you just all make it NVMe for ok money. But in many cases, if you have decent direct attached hot storage, then a medium speed NAS for the warm stuff is good enough for bulk.

So an extension unit with esata connector and a good NAS OS that doesn’t take days to setup can make sense. Truenas sounds good, but I’m tired of more IT projects to worry about.

I generally use direct attached or onboard NVMe for the active jobs, the Synology as the medium tier for all the files, combined with some direct attached faster RAID. And LTO for archive, with LucidLink for the overnight offsite backups.

Id rather have onboard pciE bifurcation and onboard slots / less stuff to worry about but yea basically that.

For me having a PC run ubuntu for a local file server that i can throw whatever hardware i like in it, NVME, PCIE cards, Raid HDD, its just so cost effective, so upgradeable, and so easy to manage i love it. I feel not cornered into one vendor and then getting disappointed at some point as i invested down a path. i still have Synology NAS but at this point its a backup and surveillance system - yes love love the software but performance is pretty poor to use as my main server - i do have a on older unit. @finnjaeger what do you use to share files with artists on synology? just a remote login to the file server using synology’s file sharing or something else?

I manily use synology drive as a dropbox replacement that I self host, no stupid monthly bills, no limits, and i have great controll over permissions and such, where I want to mount it on the client side and best of all i can sync multiple synologies that way, so freelancers that have a synology can mount a shared folder on their side and its like we sit in the same office.

We run these or the older version in some cases

Native app for backup to B2 - behaves well these days. Upload about 600GB per night.

Fibre SAS to LTO deck and runs Archiware for backup and archive. Runs about 400MB/s

Filled the rear SSD bays for some faster shares on larger jobs or a cache area.

What about this : 58db not too noisy for so many drives, and pretty good hardware no?

I have many synologies and one Qnap, …Qnap os is horrible.

yea i dont like QTS as much as DSM but honestly I wouldnt even want to have a disk based nas in 2024.

this peaks my interest, lots of PCIe slots for many network cards and very flexible expansion and general POWER compared to that pesky synology.

the biggest issue is they are locking drives now that one you linked you HAVE to buy synology HDDs they only supporrt a few weird 4TB drives from other companies, very odd.

and then for third party SSDs there is no TRIMM support e.t.c .e.t.c the list of them hating their customers just goes on and on and on and on

I always thought that the 3rd party list was submitted by customers,… There use to be short reports as well, like which firmware etc. ( now called view+). therefore if the list is short then there’s not been much testing, ie checkout the third party list for DS118,… I think the idea of selling Synology drives means they will support the drives too if they fail etc, they would never do that with 3rd party drives, nobody would. The TRIMM thing could be an update issue, … and I don’t see the point of using ssd’s in a NAS performance is down to your network, HDD’s are so much faster these days. I do find my QNAP to be faster though…

I started using Synology around 2010ish, use to get full telephone support and remote support into the NAS, for free, was great. Its now so huge that there is a lot FUD out there…

For me NAS is about raid 6, protected large storage, cctv, ddns, Time Machine (several NAS’s, but planning to doit all in 2, by upgrading drives etc) , it will never be my framestore, think I would have to spend 2-4x for something like that or custom build, I expect (10gb n/w) 300-700mb/s using HHD in Synology, my 8 bay QNAP gives me 700-1000mbs, but I do my best to stay clear of the os, …it more of a secondary back or where I keep 6month older LTO backed up projects or reel stuff and mostly powered off…

Also as I work in 2 locations I also have Synology routers in each using SRM VPN Plus Synology app, … works seamlessly I find it amazing, should try it, my NAS’s sync so smoothly and seamlessly by time I go to my second location my files are already there…

its a big thing they are starting to use dsm tomlock stuff down… nor something i like to invest a lot of money in, especially with flash

but what level of no support, there was never any support, …but recovering data from a drive via Synology SHR or Raid has got to be there no?, …I’m skeptical about this ,…

None of my drives are Synology will it suddenly stop working when I upgrade DSM one day? or will I not be able to upgrade my drives?

its more that newer units and right now the larger units just refuse the drives untill you bypass the whitelist from what I understand, many peopke are angry.

ok, …well that’s really stupid, their sales will slump if they stick to that… QNAP must be so pleased…

Does this mean older Synology units second hand value will rise ;)?

thats my main issue and why I am looking at qnap as well.

And then synology does not offer a Full All-NVME solution and going woth sata seems stupid