A tale of two NAS - Budget and MidRange and the performance delta between them

Archaea

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
10,658
I have owned a trusty old Qnap TS-231P for the last few years. It's now a EOL product, meaning support will soon dry up. 2 bay, 1.7Ghz Arm dual core process 1 GB DDR3 RAM. I've used it a few LAN parties and it holds its own. Really an impressive piece of kit for under $200 on the hardware.
I threw a couple of Western Digital Elements 10TB shucked USB 3 drives in it on the cheap. 2 disk mirror in RAID 1.
I have the NAS connected via dual NICs and LACP. It'll hold steady at max upload/download of two nics if multiple people are pulling or pushing to it at the same time at LAN party. I do not have encryption enabled or do anything other than use it as a file server.


The Church I go which I also volunteer for IT duty for wanted to put together a NAS for surveillance cameras and general storage for a small domain of workstations. Probably a half dozen machines, and probably 8 video cameras or so.
I suggested a 2 bay cheapie like the one I have - from either Synology or Qnap, but it was feared it wouldn't be enough by my partner in this decision and so we went with a Synology 920+ NAS which is a 4 bay unit. We bought four 8TB Seagate IronWolf NAS drives. 4 disk SHR RAID (Synology's proprietary RAID technology) That's what I agreed to after discussion and we both figured it should be wholly sufficient.
Turns out, the purchaser, without asking me of my opinion, went ahead and bought an extra 4GB of Synology branded RAM for $99 (bringing the total RAM to 8GB from the original standard of 4GB) AND purchased two 500GB NVME 970 EVO SSDs for volume caching performance. Neither of these were necessary at all IMO, but he said he wanted to make sure it would be future proof, and like I say he bought the extra without asking me -- it just showed up for me to install.

I just finished building this new powerhouse NAS this weekend. (Took forever to build the array and verify integrity on the 4, 8GB drives). The Synology 920+ has a dual core Celeron, better hard drives actually rated for NAS/SAN use, and 8GB of RAM, vs. my QNAP, and I setup the SSD Caching with a RAID 1 500GB Cache on the single ~21TB volume. I set the QNAP to use adaptive network option which uses both NICs.

As a test I copied a 16GB temp folder of random stuff from my hard drive SSD ( samsung 960 evo) - anything from pictures to videos to install files from my desktop PC to the beasty Synology and compared that speed vs. my few year old Qnap.

Here are the times:

Synology 920+ (dual core Celeron, 4 spindles SHR RAID, 8GB RAM, 500GB Raid 1 NVME SSD Cache array) - 6:24
Qnap TS-231P (dual core Arm, 2 spindles RAID 1, 1GB RAM) - 6:29

You can't fix 1GB LAN speeds - and that's the bottleneck -- all that fancy hardware got us nowhere.

The bad news:

My QNAP setup costs about $550-$600. ($150 hardware NAS + $400 in drives) - ~9TB storage
The Synology setup cost about $1700. ($550 hardware NAS + $800 in drives + $100 in RAM, + $200 in SSD) ~21TB Storage

What a waste.

The good news: ???
To test the SSD caching - I did the same folder copy three more times on the Synology to see how the caching helped. Same folder. Copied it over thrice. By the third copy the copy only took 5:01. SOOOOO -- the SSD Caching isn't totally useless. Someone might find advantage in it. But I don't think it will be very valuable for our particular use case.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,336
Yeah people tend to forget about the pipe it all has to pump that data through. They get way too wrapped up in the fancy hardware. "Oh wow I know, I'll put SSDs in my NAS for top speed, they are good for 550MBps and I'll go RAID0 too!"

..99MBps all day long...
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
27,459
You should have 2x1GB ports for teaming on the back of that 920+. Not that it will make a huge difference.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,459
This is why I've been waiting on 10gbe to come down in price.... I can sustain ~1GB/s (sequential) on my RAID, but my 1gbe maxed at like 120MB/s... Almost quicker to to plug in a USB disk drive and copy files.
 

Archaea

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
10,658
You should have 2x1GB ports for teaming on the back of that 920+. Not that it will make a huge difference.
It’s on with both units, but I only tested copy in from a single PC so I got 1Gb to both. Thing is. My old qnap can already darn near saturate two 1GB NICs from two to three PCs. I’ve tested that in the past. Not quite saturate, but very close. We are talking 185mb/s to 190mb/a throughput from my testing and that’s with budget drives in the qnap. So I didn’t expect to do much different there. I suppose the extra hardware would be nice if I was hosting a web server with it, but that’s not the current plan. The SSD won’t help the surveillance camera feeds, and the amount of redundant file copy activity to this thing from a half dozen PCs won’t matter boo to a real world use case.

As to Synology, vs Qnap OS interface. I’m not sure yet. This is the first Synology I’ve used. I’m more accustomed to the Qnap. The Qnap at first blush seems to have a lot more options, but I’m impressed with SHR Raid on the Synology and its agility to use different size drives and grow your RAID array with disk replacement without first rebuilding the whole array.
 

jmilcher

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
4,793
So I have a 920+. 4x14 tb shucked drives, 2 x 500 Gb nvme cache ssd’. 20 gb of ddr4 ram. Other than the limited transfer speed (which my entire network is 1 GBE anyways,)this has been a power house. I liken Synology to buying Apple products. You are also paying for the software, integration and ease of use. Anyways I’d say for my use case it wasn’t a waste at all. In fact it let me reduce and offload other hardware I was using. And it sips power.
 
Last edited:

likeman

Gawd
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
748
can't really trust QNAP to secure there QTS os and don't support hybrid raid or BTRFS (i guess they haven't worked out how netgear readynas and synology have been doing it for years), so i have mostly ignored them (you can 8 bay units for a really good price but that's no good if someone can just easy compromise it)
 

IceCaveMan

n00b
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
40
The Synology setup cost about $1700. ($550 hardware NAS + $800 in drives + $100 in RAM, + $200 in SSD) ~21TB Storage
For comparison I purchased Synology 10 GIG NAS this week w/cards for machines:

$799 Synology DS1621+ 6-Bay NAS RAID
$129 Synology add-in 10G card (Synology 10Gb Ethernet Adapter 1 RJ45 Port (E10G18-T1)
$854 (6x$159) Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB NAS Hard Drive 7200 RPM 128MB Cache CMR SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal HDD ST4000NE001
$499 10Gig Network Switch - Netgear XS508M
$279 (3*93) ASUS XG-C100C 10G Network Adapter Pci-E X4 Card with Single RJ-45 Port
$2,560 Total

Can't report on performance as items are in delivery. But this will be 10 GIG network...for additional $850. Might not have been within budget but FYI. The Synology DS1621 has option for 10 GIG network card.

(I doubt your church's security system needs the extra performance)
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,336
can't really trust QNAP to secure there QTS os and don't support hybrid raid or BTRFS (i guess they haven't worked out how netgear readynas and synology have been doing it for years), so i have mostly ignored them (you can 8 bay units for a really good price but that's no good if someone can just easy compromise it)

Just switch off all the web/outside facing services. All the NAS I install get 95% of the services and apps installed removed or switched off.
 
Top