Synology DS411slim Nas box
The little big store
Review As technology progresses further into the twenty-first century, the most obvious trend is the miniaturisation of just about everything. While these changes have taken most aspects of new technology by storm, conventional storage however, has been left wanting.
Synology's DS411slim four bay Nas relies on 2.5in drives
Sure, we’ve now got terabytes that fit in the palm of your hand, but with the exception of a few proprietary flash-based devices, most storage still complies with the same form-factor standards set down nearly twenty years ago.
Unfortunately, Synology’s new DS411slim is not quite revolutionary enough to break the mould entirely, but it is a deviation from the norm. All squeezed into a space smaller than your typical radio alarm clock, you’ll find a four-bay Nas box with a 1.6GHz CPU, 256MB of DDR3 and an array of useful external ports. These include both a front and rear USB 2.0 port, along with Gigabit Ethernet and that ever-handy eSata interface.
In order to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat within the confines of 120mm x 105mm x 142mm, Synology has downsized to 2.5in drives (not actually included though). Having been impressed by earlier products, I’ll admit initially had mixed feelings about this one. Given Synology’s respectable performance track record, would this baby Nas be able to keep up with the rest of their current line-up?
USB and eSata provide linking to external storage devices
In line with expectations, the build quality is excellent and the case itself is very well designed with straightforward usability in mind. Drive removal is as simple as sliding the trays out of the back and removing the traditional four mounting screws. Rinse, repeat and reverse to instal new drives.
Next page: Performance charts
Compared to the Proliant microserver - 4+1 Sata bays, near-silent, raid 0+1+JBOD, 1GB ram, 250GB hd included and dual core amd cpu and ati graphics, easily runs windows, *nix or freenas. £150 after £100 cash back from ebuyer.
A little bigger of course, but WAY better value.
You're completely missing the point (several in fact):
that old PC may be cheaper, but is is also way noisier, consumes way more power and produces more heat. I have several NAS boxes humming along quietly in an almost closed cabinet. The equivalent amount of PCs would not fit in there and instantly overheat when they would.
A bit like taking your big car that seats 5 (or 7) to get some bread at the local bakery 500m away, instead of taking your bike. Overkill. Buy that bike now....
Nothing particularly "loathing" about jbod
Nothing particularly "loathing" about jbod
Jbod on a NAS with metadata on your media player main drive is the best way to store media. If the disk dies, oh well, whatever, you just get rip again from the original media.
With JBOD + metadata elsewhere the drives spin down when not in use and only the drive which contains the media being played at a particular time is spun up. Also, you may find yourself in a situation with multiple clients and multiple streams - junior version 1 refusing to watch the same movie as junior version 2 (and so on by induction). In that case if you organize media by topic/age group you will end up with flawless performance even if everyone in the house decides to be a movie junkie at the same time.
The price is also reasonable. If you assemble a DIY in a decent living room case using a mini-ITX motherboard (though that will hold 8-10 drives, not 4) it will cost about the same. Ditto for power usage. The numbers are pretty decent, but not out of the ordinary. A DIY system with a Via CPU can easily match them. The couple of DIY NAS-es I have in the house definitely manage similar numbers :)
You're missing several advantages:
No 1 is that if the PC develops a fault, say PSU goes bang or memory fails... easy swap with replacement parts, so I can be back online within 15 minutes. you try doing that with a failed synology.....
No 2 free NAS software such a FreeNas supports far more than an off the shelf solution. try the following features, Upnp, CIFS, NFS, Itunes, RSync, Unison, iSCSI, Support for UPS'es, Samba, Dynamic DNS, BitTorrent, AFP and SNMP, amongst other features. it also supports the use of PuTTY for those who like to Telnet in.
No 3 is i can choose to put in a specific hardware raid card such as adaptec or more than one, dependent on the number of PCI slots, and configure the disc arrays exactly how i want, not have synology tell what I can and can't do.
No 4, the home brew NAS is upgradeable, more memory? faster processor? higher spec board? no problem.
No 5 One of my freenas boxes has a 64 bit PCI server motherboard, allowing the use of 64 bit PCI raid cards, I've bench marked its data throughput and its in well in excess of 200MBit/s (provided you have a gigabit card of course) which is more than what the Synology can do.
at 2.5", it's not much of a nas. For a fraction of the price you can get a 4TB dual disk simple NAS and trump this thing's storage, or for roughly the same price (chassis and drives) a 4 bay expandability 3.5" model with all the bells and whistles. I really don't see the point of this unit, as slight noise increase of a 3.5" unit shoudl be irrelevant considering a NAS likely would not be in the same room anyway (network cables can go anywhere... I have my NAS in a closet).
Also, I gravitate to the QNAP line. They have significantly more software features beyond what Synology offers, and i actually use several of them... For a price within a few bucks on a $500-900 setup, I'll take the QNAP.