I always advocate cloud storage for off-site media and storage, and my libraries have grown so much over the years that single hard drives in my desktop don’t cut it anymore. My old Drobo’s were too slow and I had an Apple XServe file server sitting around, and while it seems to be the perfect option, the machine is as loud as a Boeing 747 during take-off… Research led me to the Synology NAS (Network Attached Storage) units and users were raving about them in unison.
At first I thought, a 2-bay unit like the Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage (DS213j) would tide me over for a while, but I
convinced myself reasoned quickly that a more powerful device like the Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS412+ (Black) would be more sufficient for my needs.
The 4-bay unit sounds almost perfect for everyday needs with up to 16TB of storage, but I figured I’d rather spend a $100 more on a 5-bay unit with room to grow and I invested in a Synology DiskStation 5-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage (NAS) with iSCSI/DS1513+ (DS1513+)
Pretty much all being equal, the Synology 1513+ unit allows for managed add-on storage via eSATA with the Synology Disk Station 5-Bay Expansion Unit for Increasing Capacity Network Attached Storage (DX513), which should leave me with enough room of my growing needs of local storage.
The Synology Disk Station DS1513+ is very compact in size and very quiet
Adding additional Hard Drives is a snap. To start, I added Three 4TB Western Digital Red drives in a Synology SHR (similar to RAID5, but more efficient) setup, which are NAS certified, i.e. run cooler and more quiet than desktop drives: WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache – WD30EFRX
Transfer speeds are ridiculously high, even with only one Gigabit LAN connection (The Synology 1513+ offers 4 Gigabit connections for simultaneous connections). Jumbo packets (your router/switch needs to support them) seemed to make a huge difference with some file transfers. The unit runs very cool, and has redundant fans, which suck the air through the device, in the rear.
The OS/software gets controlled via browser and is very well thought-out and easy to deal with, it took me merely one afternoon to set everything up for multiple users and remote access – admittedly I’m familiar with the procedure of networking and port-forwarding etc. and have set up file servers before.
The Synology Disk Stations offer much more than dumb storage, as they have, just like a full blown file server, a processor, RAM and OS built-in and the possibilities are endless for home and small business use. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go with the 1513+.