Freenas or Synology

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CarlisleUnited, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. CarlisleUnited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
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    Nederland
    #1
    I have a lot of data, mainly media, stored on my computer and would like to use to have the security of a RAID system so i don't lose any of it. I have been looking around for NAS systems for a while now and will make the purchase when HDDs come down in price again soon. The question that remains now is what NAS system I am going to be using. I've been looking around the market for a while now and the most appealing system to me is the Synology 411j, mainly becausee I do want to have more than 2 drives and DSM 3.2 looks like a nice OS to use. The other option is to make my own Intel Atom based system and run Freenas. It looks to me like Synology will be releasing the 412j soon (they just updated the 211 series to 212) and Intel will be releasing the D2500 & D2700 soon so will be waiting for those before deciding. The big question now is which is the better option? I assume performance wise the custom build is going to rule supreme but DSM 3.2 looks much more userfriendly. What do you folks recommend?
     
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
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    Winnipeg, MB
    #2
    I recommend Synology all the way. Search "DS411j Honest Review" for a review I wrote a few months ago. The added benefit to Synology (or any commercial solution) is support if something were to go wrong. Plus, Synology and QNAP are always quick to release updates to any operating system issues. An example of this is the broken Time Machine issue with Lion. Synology, at least, had a new beta version out within 2 weeks.
     
  3. 1911 macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    #3
    Re: FreeNAS or Synology

    I'll agree with blevins321, you can't go wrong with any Synology Disk Station. Do some research at the Synology website, you should be impressed with the feature set.
    Then when you have an old box to retire, install FreeNAS to a USB thumb drive then Rsync your Synology data to the FreeNAS box. I've had this setup for quite a while with zero issues. Then for redundancy, Synology has Amazon S3 builtin.
    It's easy to sleep at night knowing your data is safe.
     
  4. dampfdruck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #4
    Hello,

    I recently setup a storage box using "openfiler". I also tested FreeNAS but found that RAID 10 on openfiler scales better under load than the ZFS on FreeNas did.

    I decided against a vendor box like QNAP or Synology because that would make me dependent on vendor support. If something goes wrong with the openfiler box, I can simply go to the next shop and get a replacement part. I don't have to wait for a vendor to respond. Downtime would be much much shorter.

    A word of warning: I found the openfiler UI rather buggy. You need to know your Linux volume management CLI commands to get it to work.
     
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #5
    I got a Synology 1511+ and have been nothing but thrilled with it! The NAS is great, the support is there - great community as well.

    I actually had one of my drives break in my year of usage and was able to hot swap it a few days later after a replacement was sent. No data loss during that week and the NAS still kept up with its regular usage demands of playing media, OS X backups, adding files, etc.

    Synology is also pretty quick to update its software when needed - like when Apple changed the rules about what it requires for a network based Time Machine backup.

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Synology to anyone - and I also wrote a review on Amazon stating the same.
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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  8. durham macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    #8
    Hi
    This post has been very useful for me. I have been looking at the NAS route and Synology has looked like a good option. However, one quick question for me is whether i go down the NAS route, Mac Mini server route or iCloud. My priorities are:
    (i) backing up family photos (17,000 and counting), family videos and itunes music
    (ii) making these all accessible to all the Macs in the house (three at present)
    Clearly, the RAID NAS storage is good for my first priority, but what would work best for the second? Any advice welcomed.
    Many thanks
     
  9. Cakeove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    #9

    Synology is the way.

    I have a ds-410 with 4x2TB seagate drives, time machine and file server for my macs in the house, iMac 27 2011, MacBook air 11 2011 and base Mac mini 2011 for home theater.

    Data transfer reach 940MBps with gigaethernet connected to the iMac...

    Very stable solution, upgrade and functionality are awesome. Expanding the volume is so easy and secure. I also perform several tests removing a HDD and check the redundancy and data integrity
     
  10. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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  11. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I've been using a Synology DiskStation DS1511+ since they were first released.

    The price has recently been reduced to just over $800 which is a bargain considering the speed, stability and security I have experienced since day one.

    I highly endorse this model.
     
  12. CarlisleUnited thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nederland
    #12
    Brilliant advice from everybody thank you! The only thing that can still sway me from the synology is getting media (i.e. video) directly on to the AppleTV 2 without needing to have a computer running iTunes. As far as I know this is impossible right now. Anybody know otherwise?
     
  13. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
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    Winnipeg, MB
    #13
    Same with any NAS. Only iTunes can play DRM media. However if you want to view your own videos, you can jailbreak and install XBMC to play media directly off the NAS.
     
  14. naples98, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

    naples98 macrumors member

    naples98

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Houston
    #14
    This thread helped me with my decision. I'm looking at buying the Synology DS212j for my home network, probably with a RAID 1 setup. Any recommendations for hard drives to use?
     
  15. durham macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2011
    #15
    Thanks everyone. the advice is much appreciated
     
  16. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
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    Winnipeg, MB
    #16
    I prefer the western digital green myself. Quiet and efficient.
     
  17. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    I use Seagates, the Synology site lists recommended drives.

    PS you can use the Synology as a AirPlay player plus the DS Audio app will allow playback without iTunes running (it's not as nice / pretty as iTunes though)
     
  18. Adambomb13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    #18
    I bought the Synology DS410J with Seagate SV35.5 Series™ SATA 1-TB Hard Drive four of them in a RAID 6, I love the reliability but the drives I choose are SLOW, but its about safe storage, right :D
     
  19. riverfreak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Earth, mostly.
    #19
    How do you know it's a disk I/O bottleneck and not network?

    Also: I've read about very slow transfer speeds with AFP shares and Lion (specifically on the 1511+.) Can anyone on this thread address?
     
  20. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #20
    I have a 411j..uses the same software as the 1511. The beta firmware they released for testing when Lion came out was indeed sluggish, but the final version a few days later was great. Current speeds seem to top out at 35 write and 75 read for me. Enterprise units would be much faster though.
     
  21. lali macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #21
    For added peace of mind, on top of an NAS, suggest you buy a bare drive with sufficient space, copy the content that is important to you, and leave it at a relative's place. I have that system going with my in-laws and it is an additional peace of mind

    Thanks
     
  22. jmhays macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #22
    I also have a Synology 1511+ and think it is excellent. I upgraded from a 4 bay NetGear NAS and the Synology is much easier to manage. It is also faster for file transfers as well. The great part for me is the expandability of the 1511+. Synology has built into the 1511+ two eSATA connections that can be used to connect two seperate 5 bay units for a possible (not recommended) 45TB of storage between the three units.

    I have my Synology 1511+ connected to my router which is also where my two AppleTV 2s are connected. I do not need to have my computer running to access the movies I have ripped onto the Synology. Using Handbrake you can rip your movies into the MP4 format for the AppleTV. I have done this and also ripped movies into the MKV format that can be used on the AppleTV (once it is jailbroken with aTV from firecore.com) or many of the other streaming devices like the Tivx.
     
  23. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #23
    I have a netgear nvx and find it rather loud. Did you have a similar readynas and would you recommend synology over it again.?
     
  24. Lailoken macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    #24
    I've tried both... Synology for sure.

    I tried FreeNAS for a bit, using a existing box I had with ample performance and memory. But the issues I had was with problems with permissions and buggy UI. (I had to constantly log in remotely and fix it by hand... I could just as well have set up my own Linux box to do this.).

    Synology on the other hand was a pleasure to set up a complex raided system, and the permissions and file sharing worked out of the box.

    Synology's new DSM 4.0 OS also makes the competition look like toddlers.

    I'd have loved to support FreeNAS, but I do enough Linux tinkering at work... I want zero hassle at home.
     
  25. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #25
    I'll sit firmly planted in the FreeNAS arena in this case. I've been running it for several years now on two different sets of hardware and a few different drive setups.

    I use it to store all of our digital media as well as personal files we want "mostly" protected. It is currently serving files for OS X, Windows, and Linux without a problem, I've done iSCSI with it previously during testing. It currently has 6 x 2TB drives and 2 x 1.5TB drives installed.

    I can get over 100MB/s read and write to the shared volumes on it without a trouble and it just chugs along. I've had dedicated Windows servers, Linux boxes and a Hitachi DF600 storage array in place and this outperforms them all, is more energy efficient (not hard when comparing to a DF600) and is very easy to manage and maintain.
     

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