Synology drives only (DS1522+) - OUCH!

Mike-48

Occasional Visitor
I'm looking to replace my NAS, while keeping the old one around for backups. At the top of my list was the DS1520+, which seemed the one to buy until I heard the DS1522+ is expected this year. Then, I thought the latter would be better -- two years' more software maintenance -- but looking at the spec sheet, Synology will fully support it only with Synology hard drives. This seems to be a gouging move, as they are priced at about twice the reputable competition (WD Gold, WD Red Pro, Seagate Ironwolf Pro). So now, I'm thinking (especially as I have drives on hand), I'd be better off with the older model.

Thoughts? Comments? Am I missing anything? What do other Synology users think about this money grab?

Thanks!
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
I bundled my NAS into a PC DIY build to getaway from this sort of thing a few years ago. It comes down to convenience and flashy UI if that's what you're looking for.

It just does data storage though. Once you get away from the marketing and flashy options that you don't use 99% of the time it's basically a low power disk holder with a NIC to share on the network.

When I built mine I picked up 4 x 8TB WD Reds for $160/ea and threw them into the case and setup Raid 10 with just the SATA cables and skipped the RAID card completely and just used the OS (linux) to do the raid. I put in a 5GE Ethernet card and can pull 400MB/s + off the "NAS".

The issue with most off the shelf systems is they're over priced and under perform because they're basic. When you try to update them it costs an arm and a leg to do it it with their marketing prices and sometimes captive options to upgrade. You're also confined to the small case which also isn't very efficient in keeping the drives cool.

You already know it costs a bit for drives so that shouldn't be a shocker. Putting something together isn't that difficult as you just take the PC and then make the array and share the folder.
 
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Clark Griswald

Very Senior Member
Synology Extended Warranty
This is a "new" offer from Synology, so you can purchase now and add (at additional cost) an extra two years of coverage. When new model is released, and last years model is suitable for you, then buy old model with extended warranty.
Regarding the Upgrade Path/Cost:
I bought my NAS and 4-10TB WD Reds new, yet bought Synology memory Like New from Amazon at 1/2 the original price. I did the same with 2-512GB Samsung 970 EVO Nvme sticks. All memory and drives are Synology approved so no warranty issues, if needed.
Recently Synology has taken a Dark Side approach towards HDD and memory approval. I noticed in a Synology forum, more members are getting "Non-Supported Drive" "Drive Critical" warnings with hdds.

@Tech Junky with his "I put in a 5GE Ethernet card and can pull 400MB/s + off the "NAS"
does stomp the heck out of my puny built-in 1Gbe, but Synology might play catch-up in the next round, and include faster connectivity? Although, that is what many hoped for and didn't get in the *20 models.
 
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Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
@Clark Griswald

Benefits of DIY is you fit the devices / network to your max speeds w/o paying through the nose for upgrades. That 5GE 4=port card was $200 and supplies connectivity to the cable modem / ISP with 2 ports bundled for 2GE available bandwidth. 1 more port goes to the AP / POE for 2.5GE and the last one is a spare for when I need to bulk copy things at max speed to my laptop when I don't feel like waiting. WIFI though hits 1-1.5gbps which isn't bad but, more is better right?

NAS boxes are frustrating though when it comes to the pricing and upgrades you can do with them. QNAP makes some good networking gear though as that's what the 5GE NIC is and I used their QCA2600 wifi card as an AP before upgrading to AX and it worked like a champ too. I originally has a crappy 2-bay QNAP before really getting into DIY things with tech and it worked fine but, just didn't do much more than storage. The PC though I run Plex off it for OTA / DVR and that was one of the motivations to collapse 5-6 devices into a single box. 1 PC handles - Router / Switch / firewall / AP / DVR / VPN: (whole network @ line speed) / NAS / Raid 10 (no Raid card needed - OS based)..... I forget what all I have running on there sometimes because it's never an issue to deal with. I could boost the output of the NAS though by adding another drive to the array and be pushing 600MB/s which would be about the max for 5GE since it tops out at 625MB/s. I have 5 in there now for the 400MB + 1 hot spare in case something takes a dive.

Also, the NAS boxes tend to use legacy RAM which costs more DDR3 is quite expensive compared to DDR4. Not to mention the CPU's even on the more high end NAS devices still don't handle much more than average data push/pull from the box yet they deploy all of these apps to them for some reason. If you're spending anything more than $200 on a NAS enclosure you should really consider just building something instead.
 

Clark Griswald

Very Senior Member
I leaped from a WD pseudo nas to the 918+, and I'm barely pushing the capabilities, yet looking forward to making the 918 a "backup" for the DS1621xs+ when it gets replaced by a newer model. I should have the GT-AXE16000 paid off by that date, and can maintain my debt cycle with Amazon.
 

Mike-48

Occasional Visitor
My DS414 is the thing I'm replacing with the DS1520+ or DS1522+, by the way. I am not a frequent updater. I try to avoid GAS (not always successfully).

I realize these NAS boxes are smallish computers at relatively high cost. Ease of administration, small size, low heat and noise profile etc., of the Synology devices make them worth it for me. I have built and configured computers before, but at 73, there's just not room in my life for that right now. With two computers, two laptops, two phones, and three tablets in our house (plus the requisite networking gear), I already feel like my second career is in IT! :)

Thanks to all for the comments!
 

SAL9K

Regular Contributor
I've been using a DS712+ w/ WD Red's for almost ten years, 24x7! It's been one of the best purchases I've ever made in technology. I moved away from trying to spec a QNAP/Synology for doing more CPU intensive things (like running Plex transcoding) and instead acquired an entry level Intel NUC7i5 for medium server lifting, and the Synology for file serving only (which is really limited by the 1GbE, more than anything). I personally don't think it's a money grab for Synology to enforce some drive type limitation, it's probably a support nightmare to address peoples drive issues.
 

SAL9K

Regular Contributor
Synology Extended Warranty
This is a "new" offer from Synology, so you can purchase now and add (at additional cost) an extra two years of coverage. When new model is released, and last years model is suitable for you, then buy old model with extended warranty.
Regarding the Upgrade Path/Cost:
I bought my NAS and 4-10TB WD Reds new, yet bought Synology memory Like New from Amazon at 1/2 the original price. I did the same with 2-512GB Samsung 970 EVO Nvme sticks. All memory and drives are Synology approved so no warranty issues, if needed.
Recently Synology has taken a Dark Side approach towards HDD and memory approval. I noticed in a Synology forum, more members are getting "Non-Supported Drive" "Drive Critical" warnings with hdds.

@Tech Junky with his "I put in a 5GE Ethernet card and can pull 400MB/s + off the "NAS"
does stomp the heck out of my puny built-in 1Gbe, but Synology might play catch-up in the next round, and include faster connectivity? Although, that is what many hoped for and didn't get in the *20 models.
Non-supported drive warning?! That would be annoying as heck. I may have to reconsider my pro-Synology position, based on how in your face those are.
 

Mike-48

Occasional Visitor
I've been using a DS712+ w/ WD Red's for almost ten years, 24x7! It's been one of the best purchases I've ever made in technology. I moved away from trying to spec a QNAP/Synology for doing more CPU intensive things (like running Plex transcoding) and instead acquired an entry level Intel NUC7i5 for medium server lifting, and the Synology for file serving only (which is really limited by the 1GbE, more than anything). I personally don't think it's a money grab for Synology to enforce some drive type limitation, it's probably a support nightmare to address peoples drive issues.
Thanks for the comments. I've used WD Reds with good results, too. I assume by now you've replaced the original set; if not, it may be time!

I also have little interest in running compute-intensive stuff on the NAS itself. I don't have a video library, and any audio computing is done with a fanless NAS I put together to be a Roon Core (server).

As long as I've been using them ( < 10 yr) Synology has had approved drive lists. That's not a problem for me. What does bother me is that the sole contents of that list for many new products are Synology-branded drives with high price tags. The drives reportedly are made by Toshiba and have a few firmware changes. Unless Synology NAS products will operate well and be supported with other Enterprise-grade drives, this seems overly restrictive, though I understand that it may lower the support burden for Synology. It reminds me too much of the days of "Windows ain't done until Lotus won't run" and other monopolistic practices in the IT industry.

Having four new drives on the shelf that are approved for the 1520+ but not for the 1522+, and likely won't be approved for future products, I've been "convinced" to replace my NAS a couple of years earlier than I planned.
 

SAL9K

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the comments. I've used WD Reds with good results, too. I assume by now you've replaced the original set; if not, it may be time!
I bought four 2TB Red's at the same time, and have never replaced the original two in the DS712+; they have 79,656 hrs each (> 9yrs), with 0 SMART errors! I can't believe it myself sometimes :) I have had zero problems with both the NAS or drives, it's amazing.

I hear you about the drive lockdown issue, it does raise my eyebrows too. I'd like to read more user experiences with using non-approved drives on the newer Synology boxes, to see what kind of user burden (annoyances) crop up in practice. As it relates to the extra expense of using Synology re-branded drives, for NAS+router stuff I tend to focus on the $/hour operating cost of ownership for things I consider utilities, E.g. $500/79656 = 0.6 cents/hr, which is pretty dang cheap IMO! I personally don't understand the $ rationale for skimping on something like a WiFi router or NAS, like when someone says I wouldn't get that, it's $30 more, as it's a wash in the long run. I value reliability, low-power, small footprint, closet-able stuff, it's different for everyone I suppose.
 
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Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Let's jump back to reality here. This is a 5-bay NAS for ~$700. Just for the enclosure / CPU / RAM. At least that's what the 1520+ is listed for right now.

For $700 you can build a PC or take the NUC + DAS approach for cheaper.

Here's a 5-bay + 2-bay NAS/DAS for $330

Want two 4-bay devices $389

5+4 - $429

5+5 - $467

5-bay Synology DAS - $470

5-bay DAS (USBB 3 - 5gbps) - $177 - IF you're using a NUC that's 24x7 just hook this up an share the drives. If you want Raid do it in the OS fairly easily. This saves you $500+

For what you're doing do you really need to waste more money on a NAS?

If you want room to expand here's a 8 bays storage tower for $226 and you just plant some components inside and you're good to go.

Take off the price of the drives / add a HBA for additional SATA ports - $700 for an I3 / ADL / 8GB RAM - https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hdRtC6

5-port HBA - $37
6-port HBA - $50

Want to roll Plex OTA into the box you can get a quad tuner PCI card for $145 but they used to be $89. Instead get the 4K external version with ATSC3 for $199

Plus if you have faster speeds than 1gbps pic a NIC that meets your needs vs what's soldered into the NAS; Or put it on a USB NIC. I went 5GE 4-port for $200 though and put it to full use occasionally to grab bigger files to my laptop in a R10 setup pulling 400MB/s+ over Ethernet.
 
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SAL9K

Regular Contributor
All that stuff, in a custom setup is most definitely going to be cheaper $ (and faster) for sure, but only so much as how you choose to prioritize time; as they say, Linux is free only if you believe your time isn't worth anything ;)
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
For a basic setup it should take about 20 mins to setup / add a share / leave it alone.

Want raid... add another 5 minutes using MDADM commands / FDISK to code the disks as Raid members.

If you don't do updates and reboot periodically you just leave it sitting in a corner somewhere until you need to do maintenance. Sure, it might take you an hour to fit all the pieces together rather than just taking it out of the box and slapping some drives into it and spending 5 minutes setting up permissions / running a FW update.

If you want to make it complicated you can but, for basic file storage / plex streaming w/ fast transcoding it's a much better solution.
 

Mike-48

Occasional Visitor
I bought four 2TB Red's at the same time, and have never replaced the original two in the DS712+; they have 79,656 hrs each (> 9yrs), with 0 SMART errors! I can't believe it myself sometimes :) I have had zero problems with both the NAS or drives, it's amazing.
I replaced the 4 HGST drives in my DS414 after 7 years. Some things for your consideration:
  1. I never saw any errors or warnings, either. But when I put the old drives into an external USB dock and tested them with HD Sentinel on my Windows PC, it reported that 2 of the 4 were near failure. I moved all four into an enclosure used for noncritical stuff, and within six months, the two failed.
  2. I hope you have the NAS backed up. I've been told that, when replacing old disks one at a time & letting the NAS rebuild, the added stress on the remaining "old" drive(s) during the rebuild may cause them to fail sooner. So one failure can lead to a cascade of misery.
  3. These drives are warranted for 5 years. Not everyone will have the same viewpoint, but I prefer to replace drives before they fail.
 

Mike-48

Occasional Visitor
All that stuff, in a custom setup is most definitely going to be cheaper $ (and faster) for sure, but only so much as how you choose to prioritize time; as they say, Linux is free only if you believe your time isn't worth anything ;)

I'm 73 and have been using computers since 1967. I have used a lot of paid software, a lot of free software. More operating systems (including Linux) and languages than I can count.

Free software can make tough tasks trivial. It can -- often -- make easy tasks painful. Pulling teeth without Novocaine.

At my age, time is worth a lot, because of projected scarcity.
 
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SAL9K

Regular Contributor
Yep, a backup is absolutely necessary. I’m not too worried about even a double drive failure, as I only have about 1TB of back up to restore. That is interesting that the SMART data on your Synology didn’t report anything, hmm, I do the extended SMART test monthly and it reports no errors.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
I bought four 2TB Red's at the same time, and have never replaced the original two in the DS712+; they have 79,656 hrs each (> 9yrs), with 0 SMART errors! I can't believe it myself sometimes :) I have had zero problems with both the NAS or drives, it's amazing.
.
I have a pair of 2TB WD Red drives that are a shade over 67000 hours without any reported errors too :) They do backup hourly to another NAS, and to the cloud, but I'm willing to run them until they pack it in.

Code:
Device Model:     WDC WD20EFRX-68EUZN0
Firmware Version: 80.00A80
User Capacity:    2,000,398,934,016 bytes

ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   178   174   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       4083
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   030   030   000    Old_age   Always       -       70386
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   009   009   000    Old_age   Always       -       67031
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       26
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       19
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   152   152   000    Old_age   Always       -       146264
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   114   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       33
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged
 

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