New to NAS - Synology 1 Bay or 2 Bay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by E3BK, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    I decided it's time to upgrade to a NAS so I've been doing some research.

    Initially, I thought about getting the LaCie Network Space Max. The reviews are mixed but the price was right. But can you put a price on keeping your data safe? So then I thought about buying either a QNAP or Synology NAS. From the posts & articles I've read/researched, it's mostly subjective but many like the Synology NAS, which I did too.

    Now, since I'm new to the world of NAS, I really wasn't sure if I need the 1 bay or 2 bay model of the Synology DiskStation, DS110j vs DS211j. This is for my home network so do I really need RAID? It's mostly to store my media files, backup my MBP, store torrents, remote access, etc.

    If I get the single bay, is it easy enough to upgrade/expand to a multi-bay later and just copy the files over? Or should I just save a little more and the the 2 bay now?

    I was looking at the WD Caviar Black 1.5GB HDD to put inside it. It seems to be reliable.

    Thoughts? Your advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2006
    Niagara County, NY
    I say go 4-bay. I just got one (DS410) this summer, using it essentially the way you are planning, and I love it. The four bay units allow for redundancy, just in case a disk goes bad. Plus, you always end up down the road needing more space than you planned on. Why not just get extra up front?
  3. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    either get the 2 or 4 bay version. Single bay isn't going to be enough down the road.
  4. E3BK thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    Thanks for the responses, blunti & gonyr. The 4-bay + the 4 drives would be out of my price range right now.

    If I buy the 4 bay and just put 2 drives in it for now, can I add the other 2 later?
  5. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2006
    Niagara County, NY
    I'm pretty sure you can. By the way, synology has great forums on their site. You could probably find a much more definitive answer there.
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yep, you can :)
  7. kkleo macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2011
    2 bay to start with and 4 bay if you can afford it
  8. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    Yes, you can.

    I started off with a 2 bay DS210J with a single 750GB drive. I then wanted to move to a mirrored 2TB solution, so I added the first 2TB drive. The NAS asked me if I wanted to mirror the existing volume onto the new one, which I did. I then pulled the 750GB drive and added the other 2TB drive and it asked me if I wanted to use it to replace the missing half of the mirror, which I did. It then told me there was unused space on the drives and it could extend the volume to fill it.

    End result was a data migration from a single 750GB disk with no loss of data and no need to copy the data off the original disk first. Can you tell I like my Synology NAS?
  9. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    I've got the same unit although with 2 x 1TB drives (mirrored). I'll be getting 2 x 2TB drives now that they've fallen in price, and will swap a drive at a time and let the NAS do it's magic.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd go with either a 2 or 4 bay NAS, and avoid the single bay, as I don't think you get the best bang for your buck.
  11. Raggs macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    London UK

    I recently posted a similar question to the forum as well on NAS storage and whilst some recommended the synology and QNAP systems i was also recommended the Buffalo Linkstations as well. They are cheaper if cost is an issue than the other two and they come with mixed reviews on Amazon!

    Just something to think about! I think i will go with the QNAP as i like the look of it and its interface!

    Cheers :D
  12. an-other macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2011
  13. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I realize this thread is old but just doing research here I'm in the OP's shoes, first time buyer looking to get a NAS. I was thinking of gettingthe 212j but have read would be better to go with the 213j as its 2-bay. Do you guys think that's a good choice for an entry level NAS?
  14. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    212j and 213j are both two bay drives (hence the 2 at the beginning of the model). 12 / 13 represent the tear. 213j is the more recent version. Both will run exactly the same software though. I didn't look up the hardware changes between the two.

    Personally, I would go with a four bay unit even if you only populate it with two drives to start. I might even populate all four bays with smaller drives so that you can start out with a RAID5 solution. RAID 5 is the happy place for Home NAS - sufficient protection from drive failure at acceptable loss of capacity (one drive dedicate to redundancy).

    RAID0 - no redundancy - actually increases the chance of data loss - improved read/write speed
    RAID1 - 50% total space dedicated to redundancy - protection from a single drive failure - slight drop in write speed
    RAID5 (with a four drive unit) - 25% space dedicate to redundancy - protection from a single drive failure. Good not great performance
    RAID10 - 50% dedicated to redundancy - improved read/write - protection from a single drive failure
    RAID6 (with a four drive unit) 50% space dedicated to redundancy - protection from two drive failure. Similar to RAID5 performance.

    I have a RAID0 set that I use for a scratch disk (fast write), but for general storage purposes, RAID5 makes the most sense.

    RAID1 is not the same thing as a backup - it's really intended for mission critical systems where you can't afford to have the server down. With RAID1, if you accidentally delete the file, it disappears from both drives - it's not a backup. It's not very likely that you have a system in your home that needs RAID1 protection.

    Anyway, Synology devices are very easy to use and work well. Any of their devices are a good choice to get your feet wet. More drives are better.
  15. bobright, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013

    bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I appreciate the well thought out response. I have been breaking my head over the past couple days just trying to figure out of all of this, and the different directions that I can go.

    I kind of was leaning toward a RAID1 (not for a fullblown backup) but for storage of video for streaming purposes to my iPad, iPhone, and Raspberry Pi/HDTV. Is there much that can go wrong just storing video, malware etc? Is this not a good idea? I wouldn't mind that a file would get accidentally deleted on 1 drive and carried to the other. Hopefully rare but say both HDDs were to crap out on me, it would suck having to rip movies again with a big collection but I could live with that. I am just tired of having to hook up an external to the Pi, disconnecting/connecting to my iMac to add content in which my iMac doesn't have a lot of space dealing with HD video, and then hooking it back up to the Raspberry Pi. It's a lot of hassle.

    Now, I have a 1TB iMac that has all my music (good size iTunes library lots of rare stuff tape rips etc would hate to lose this), photos (not much not a big photo guy don't take a lot of them), and documents (hardly any). I currently do manual backups monthly via CCC to a 1.5TB External HDD always making sure its bootable and I keep it off site. This is working okay for me now so I was thinking of just continuing to do this. The iMac is not even halfway full data wise and if I don't store video on it instead placing them on the RAID1 I don't see myself filling it up anytime soon. I figure once I max out my storage years down the line I'll deal with that then.

    What are your thoughts on going this route? I could always do a manual backup of my RAID1 which has my video to an external and store that w/ my iMac CCC clone offsite as well right--in case something mucks up on the NAS?

    Going RAID5 with a 4 bay looks awesome but unfortunately its out of my price range, as it is I'll be getting the NAS first and HDD at a later time. I am not a HUGE power computer user either all my data compiled together is probably around 1.5TB. I look forward to your input. Thanks!

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