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So I am tired of being a cheapskate and using limited capability storage solutions. I need to get a real NAS that will not be limited for a while.

Anyone have experience with recent Synology NASs? I am looking specifically at either the DS413 or the DS412+. Any experiences positive or negative with these units or the Synology software interface would be appreciated.

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I use that now for time machine backups now. I need a system where I can consolidate all the personal family files as well as my work files and have access to all of them from anywhere. Right now that would be a little under 4Tb of data. It will need to be pretty stable and have good fault tolerance to drive failure.

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I've been looking pretty seriously at the Synology units myself; they seem to be well built and reliable with very robust software. Additionally from what I've read, their Customer Service is really good (to the point that they'll SSH into the device if you let them, and try to troubleshoot the issue themselves)

 

You can try a live demo of their software here: http://www.synology.com/products/dsm_livedemo.php

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I looked at the 413j on their website. That looks like a very nice solution, the cloud system looks attractive. $400 on Newegg as well. Looks like less ease of access to installing/removing drives is the drawback.

 

The convenience of a NAS trumps any cost issue for me, which is not a whole lot at $400-500.

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I am far behind on coming up with a solution for my house as well, Jim.  I was foolishly hopeful for some kind of SSD Thunderbolt array after they showed off TB with that type of prototype 2 years ago.  I am at the point where I may hire someone to set something up that is workable and will work for my family, or at least bribe Grahame with bacon and Diet Coke so he can help me do it myself.  Please post your progress and I am going to check out this Synology stuff.

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Newegg also has a 10% off coupon for WD Red's today:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=22-236-344&nm_mc=EMCWL-022013&cm_mmc=EMCWL-022013-_-index-_-Item-_-22-236-344

I do worry whether Newegg has improved their hard drive shipping, they've been terrible in the past.

Thanks for that. Bought. I've never had problems with newegg shipping.

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I have used a Synology DS211J for a few years now and have had a very good experience. It looks like it is one generation old now, so no longer offered, but it uses the current OS. It is a 2 bay system with a 2 x 3TB capacity. I currently have 2 x 1TB HD's, I think they are Hitachi models of some sort - there is a large compatibility list they maintain and they recommend buying from that list. Doing this, mine has 1TB of storage and they back each other up with some sort of redundancy via Synology's proprietary system, some sort of almost RAID 0 hybrid something or other.  I have two external portable 1 TB hard drives and back up the NAS nightly to that and store one of them off site in my office, rotating them once in a while. Maybe overkill ... Anne laughs at me. But I'm anal, and it makes sense to me. 

 

I use it to store and serve 600-700 GB of music to my PWD (via DNLA) in the basement, and my (formerly your) SB Touch (via the Synology SB server) in the dining room. It backs up my wife's MBA wirelessly, and my Dell laptop, and stores all of our photos. 

 

I don't use half of what else it can do. It seems to me it is almost a mini-computer running some form of Linux, so they can write their own apps to make it do what they want. 

 

One hard drive failed at some point, it beeped and flashed an LED at me. I looked up the LED flashing pattern, which informed me of a hard drive failure. I bought another HD, installed it, and in an hour or two, it had rebuilt the data on the new drive.

 

They've stayed mostly up to date with Apple's stuff. Once, when Mountain Lion (or was it Lion? -- 1-2 yrs ago) was released, its Time Machine app couldn't back up for a few wks until they updated their app, then it started working again when they updated their OS. Not sure if they were slow to update, or if Apple was slow to release info so that they could update. Otherwise, they seem to keep up pretty well.

 

Sometimes for some reason, I have to log Anne's MBA back into the Synology the Time Machine networked hard drive. Not sure why.  Maybe there was a power outage when I wasn't around?

 

Otherwise, it's been all good. Highly recommended, though it's the first and only NAS I've ever had. So I can't really compare it to anything.

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lol, really?  What have they done?

In the past they've shipped hard drives similar fashion to this:

 

CpsWQ20.jpg

 

allowing the HD's to bounce around and cause DOA's. Sometimes you got them well packaged and sometimes you didn't. I hear they've gotten better recently, so I'm going to go ahead an pick up the WD Reds.

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I have a Synology DS1511+ I think is the model - I've been pretty happy with it for the most part.  The web interface is quite noob friendly and it's pretty loaded feature wise.  It's also pretty quiet and is light on power usage.  I'm running it with 5 x 2TB Hitachi drives.

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In the past they've shipped hard drives similar fashion to this:

allowing the HD's to bounce around and cause DOA's. Sometimes you got them well packaged and sometimes you didn't. I hear they've gotten better recently, so I'm going to go ahead an pick up the WD Reds.

 

I, too, have had a number of hard drives shipped to me in that fashion from Newegg.  I haven't ordered a hard drive from them in the last year however, so I don't know how they package drives now.  I've since then bought all my hard drives from Amazon (direct from Amazon; not 3rd party).  They've provided solid packaging in my experience.

As a side note, I've noticed Amazon's prices for hard drives fluctuate (sometimes significantly) throughout the week and even during the day.  A few days ago the 3TB Reds were being sold for $150 direct from Amazon.  I checked earlier today and an Amazon affiliate were selling for $160 but it seemed like there was no option to buy directly from Amazon.  Now they're in stock again but priced at $163.

Edited by Nanoha
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So I didn't end up purchasing the WD Reds after all, but I did pick up the DS1812+ that I'm hoping will be a good replacement for my pair of aging HP Mediasmarts. I tossed in a couple of old drives to test it out and so far I'm really liking it; the software is amazingly well done especially when you consider it's all inside a browser. I'll do a couple of transfer tests and failure mode testing to see how well it reacts to that later.

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Performance should be good I can max out a gigabit connection with the DS1511+ on single transfers.  One thing to note, when uploading and downloading to the Synology at the same time the overall throughput drops to less than what it'd be if only doing transfers one direction at a time.  That's likely due to the Atom cpu in use, but on the flipside that cpu is always why the units don't use much power.  It's a trade-off I'm willing to make, and is something that might not affect you at all depending on your usage patterns.

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Performance should be good I can max out a gigabit connection with the DS1511+ on single transfers.  One thing to note, when uploading and downloading to the Synology at the same time the overall throughput drops to less than what it'd be if only doing transfers one direction at a time.  That's likely due to the Atom cpu in use, but on the flipside that cpu is always why the units don't use much power.  It's a trade-off I'm willing to make, and is something that might not affect you at all depending on your usage patterns.

That mirrors what I experienced in my testing as well and it's a reasonable tradeoff for the power usage. The scheduled power off and power on times is a nice touch along with the fact that the error alarm is a nice beep and not a klaxon like my raid cards.

Edited by Nebby
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Curious what folks do - knowing that HDs inevitably fail, given long enough use, do folks wait until they fail, then replace them, knowing the backup(s) (I only have a 2 bay device) will recreate the data? Or do you proactively replace them after a set period of time, say 5 years, even they have not failed? Or do you replace one at a time in a rotation every few years?

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