Synology DS411j NAS Honest Review

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by blevins321, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #26
    There's a lost sale. I just had the DS411J and 4x2TB drives in my cart and went to their website to check up on this. Found the same thing that you did; doesn't support streaming to ATV's. I'm done, I'll keep my system running the way it is.

    Damn, and here I was planning on having a lot of fun setting this thing up. But I guess my wife will be happy. :D
     
  2. Philgr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Lakes - UK
    #27
    Its Landed, let the set-up and fiddling begin :cool:
     
  3. Philgr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Lakes - UK
    #28
    Well very impressed so far, have formatting the drive in a raid 5 - which gives me 5.9Tb of storage,

    TimeMachine is up and running, fingers crossed its more reliable with the NAS than my last attempts to use it.

    Currently ongoing is the transfer of my Music and and Movies, I'm going to leave iTunes running from my iMac but have the media in the NAS, and then use home Sharing for my Apple Tv and iPad etc..

    Im having a play with the download Station which so far I'm pretty impressed with, especially the iPhone / iPad integration.

    Still trying to decide how i set up the folder shares, and having a mess about with the other functions

    So far very impressed with my purchase :cool:

    Phil G
     
  4. worthingtc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #29
    Phil

    Since you are doing much the same install that I will do when I get back from my deployment, do you mind if I ask a question or two when I start my process?

    iTunes Server, Time Machine, Storage for shared files, and probably a couple other things...

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff
     
  5. Philgr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Lakes - UK
    #30
    No problems at all, just PM me or post to this thread

    Im still very much finding my feet with it, and still have some way to go until I'm happy with how i have it set-up

    Im off to a sunnier climate tomorrow for a week so no more fiddling for a bit.

    Phil G
     
  6. gpapava macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
  7. kkleo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #32
  8. kossibeibe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #33
    Good stuff guys,

    Keep the posts regarding this device in this topic please! One potential buyer here aswell.

    The DS-411+ / II is more powerfull indeed but really looks like an overkill for me.

    Found this nice site about this NAS:

    http://macsynology.wordpress.com/

    Very usefull and it's all about this particular NAS!
     
  9. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #34
    All the Synology units share the same firmware and software capabilities. Maximum volume size, overall speed, and number of drive bays are the only differences between them. High end models also contain different network connection types. HERE is a comparison between the 411j and 411+II.

    The 411+II has a faster processor and more RAM. This allows the RAID overhead to be significantly reduced. For a home user it is indeed overkill, but for a business with multiple current accesses, it can be very appealing. In addition, the maximum number of users and folders is increased due to the extra processing power.
     
  10. OddyOh macrumors 6502

    OddyOh

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    #35
    fan noise?

    Thanks for the detailed review. How are you finding the noise level, if any? I have two Drobos, a 1st Gen and a 2nd Gen, and they're kinda louder than I like.

    Also, when you upgrade a hard drive in your NAS, can you still read/write to it, or does your storage have to go 'offline' while it relays the data to the new drive? Drobo keeps your data available all the time, but it's slow.

    Thanks!
     
  11. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #36
    I don't notice the noise at all, and it's in a small den office without a TV or anything. Only time I hear it is when it first turns on (fans at full speed for about a minute) and when it wakes from sleep (hard drives unparking themselves).

    Don't know for sure about the hot plug capability. I'll test this later tonight so we'll know for sure from now on :)
     
  12. OddyOh macrumors 6502

    OddyOh

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    #37
    Cheers. I just skimmed a setup guide and I think you have to shut down to replace a drive. Not a big deal, I think that's the main difference between something like this and Drobo.
     
  13. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #38
    This is a problem that is common to all NAS products at the moment. They use the Firefly media server which only supports music. Personally, I'm connecting my storage to a Mac Mini running iTunes for a no compromises system.
     
  14. Craigy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #39
    Has anyone had any bad experiences with Synology Hybrid Raid?

    I'm going to set my system up next week with 2 x 2TB 5400 drives and was going to use Raid 1 as I'm familiar with it. SHR seems more flexible but I'm concerned on if it's as reliable or as fast as Raid 1.
     
  15. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #40
    Can the DS411J do wireless backups with a home wifi network if connected to a wireless router for my Macbook pro?
     
  16. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #41
    If the 411j is connected by Ethernet cable to the router yes. It doesn't have wireless capability out of the box, but I think you can buy a USB dongle if you really want it.

    But yes your MBP can connect wireless to it if the unit is plugged into your router. For Lion 10.7 Time Machine to work you have to download the latest beta firmware for it. The final new version I'd think would be available soon.
     
  17. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #42
    That's what I meant, thanks.
     
  18. crazyxzer0 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #43
    Thanks for the review! I initially was swayed into a multi-bay storage unit like the Drobo but ultimately ended up here now looking at Synology NAS.


    Looks like the 411J will be a great addition! I can get rid of my 2x1TB externals and 320GB time Machine and replace it into one!
     
  19. worthingtc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #44
    2 Month Review of 411J

    Well, I have had the Synology DS411J for about two months now and I have been very satisfied. I will fully admit that I am not using it to its potential but we'll work up to that in time.

    I initially had a problem with one of the bays--it would not spool up the drive. I contacted technical support--which took two days for a reply--and had to send in a host of information before they asked me to send it back to them. The complete turn around took about 2 weeks and I was without a backup solution, but they did send a brand new unit back to me and it works perfectly.

    I am using Time Machine on our three Macs and backup to 4 1.5Tb drives with some storage partitioned for our own personal NAS use. The backups happen without our realizing and I haven't seen any degradation in performance on my wife's new iMac but I have the 2008 iMac and it does slow down a bit. I need to look into that and see what I need to fix on the Mac.

    I attempted to use he surveillance station and it worked fine but I could not get through my router's firewall and decided to give up. It was cool, but probably more of a gimmick that I would never use.

    I am going to set up the VPN connection next and hopefully that will work and allow me to access our information securely from wifi hotspots around the city.

    All accounts were simple to set up along with permissions. The partitioning of the volumes and drives was very easy and well explained in the documentation. When I added a fourth drive, it went in seamlessly and I was very pleased.

    I have no issue with noise; although I do know when it starts up. But that is only because it is sitting next to me on a shelf.

    When we access data on the drives from our network I have seen no issue with speed or latency. I have not attempted to play movies over the network, but I will give that a shot one day.

    Overall, I am very happy. It may be a little more expensive than some models, but when I am ready to expand and do some more things with it, the capabilities are there. I would definitely recommend this for someone with multiple computers who needs a reliable backup solution with expansion capabilities.
     
  20. BoulderDash macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #45
    Hi there,
    Your review, and others like it, have convinced me to not go the Drobo FS route... and instead go the Synology DS411j route. Can you please let me know if what I plan to do will work?

    What I would like to do is purchase a DS411j to store all of our family's music, photos, and movies ("content" from here forward). Then, I can point each iMac's iTunes and iPhoto accounts to the DS411j for their content (as opposed to keeping any of each iMac's content on any of the iMacs an AppleTVs, themselves).

    Does the below schematic seem correct?

    [​IMG]

    On the DS411j, I would create three folders (i.e. "Family Music," "Family Photos," and "Family Movies") in it's top-level directory and drop everyone's related files into the appropriate folder... correct?

    Then, I would just make sure that each iMac always remains connected to the DS411j over the Ethernet network... correct?

    Since the AppleTVs are synced to one of the iMacs, and the iMac would always be connected to the DS411j for its content, the AppleTV would always be able to stream anything sync'ed from that iMac (photos, movies)... correct?

    Thank you so much in advance for proofing this. I have spent a couple of days reading news and posts about Drobo, and I think the DS411j is what really fits my needs best. One last thing: can one add drives to the DS411j "on the fly" ("hotswap" or "dynamically")?

    Have a great day,
    BD
     
  21. hibernian56 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #46
    Nice network Map

    Setup looks fine from a hardware point of view even with the Linksys (I have two in the attic that my dearly beloved MADE me replace as they seemed to turn me into a lunatic trying to get them to work).

    Anyway, the folder structure sounds good, I have a ReadyNAS NV+, basically the same setup except Mac Mini's (Office cast off's) instead of ATV's. iTunes served from one Mini, all media on the NAS, backed up every night to a couple of USB drives.

    One thing you might want to check out is setting Read / Write privileges & guest account (give it a nicer name though, don't want people feeling left out!!). The reason for this is that my Brothers wife managed to wipe most of one of my shares (nearly 450GB of movies) during her last visit, but of course, it wasn't her.. Backups prevent F*ckups which prevents Breakups.
     
  22. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #47
    Welcome to the party :). Your setup seems pretty sound. Pick one iMac to be the server, and you can leave it on all the time with "wake on ethernet" enabled. It'll sleep but wake up when needed.

    Unfortunately no, you have to shut down the unit to change a drive. The higher DS411+II and business class ones support it but not the 411j.
     
  23. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #48
    I just bought a DS212j and it should be arriving in the mail shortly.:D

    One thing I would like to do with it is to place all my ebooks in a centralized folder and be able to access them from anywhere. I guess I can just place them in a file and make a subfolder for each author. But, is there a slicker, prettier way of doing this? Where the book's metadata and cover could easily be displayed with the book?
     
  24. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #49
    Take a look at the Calibre project HERE. It's a Java-Based e-book manager and converter that can handle meta-data. I don't think they do any mobile devices yet, but there isn't any reason that you couldn't place the Calibre library on the NAS to share it among systems.
     
  25. kas23, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #50
    Thanks for the reply. I have all my eBooks organized on Calibre and it even has it's own built-in server. But, for the server to work, Calibre would need to be fully loaded onto the NAS and running. I don't think that possible on a Synology NAS (probably a Mac Mini though).

    Now, there is also Calibre2opds (http://calibre2opds.com/) which can accomplish the same thing, without a copy of Calibre running on your NAS. You just put a .bat file in your eBooks folder and all the metadata is replicated. It looks like the perfect solution, but needs Java Runtime Environment for it to work. Can you load Java onto DiskStation?

    EDIT: now have calibre2opds serving up my eBooks via placing my whole calibre library and calibre2opds catalog into Web folder (Web Station).
     

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