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  • SeeManRun - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    I do not understand why someone would buy a NAS with only 2 bays. They keep making these products, so obviously people are buying them, but if you are technically savvy enough to know you need a NAS, wouldn't you want one with more bays?
    I have been toying with building my own, and I could not bother for less than 6 drives in a RAID 5 solution.
    Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    I was wondering this exact thing. Plus, what's the marginal cost for an extra bay or two anyway? I'd expect the hard manufacturing costs for a 2 drive unit would be 80-90% of the 4 drive unit? Reply
  • kelstertx - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    I agree too, but the thing that comes to mind in favor of a 2 bay over 4 bay is if you wanted separate arrays for redundancy. A 2 bay with Raid 0 for size, and a second 2 bay with the same config lets you do backups and upgrade arrays as drive sizes get more affordable -- without having to wipe out your only array of data. Nice NAS boxes should allow addition of more drives and automatic resize for you, but this one can't even rebuild its own array from a failed drive in Raid 1, so it probably can't be trusted to resize either. So if basic storage was reliable, a pair of 2 bay boxes gets around the issue of trusting advanced things like recovery and resizing. Just guessing tho... I'd still get a 4 bay myself. Reply
  • Integr8d - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Why not get a 4-bay and create two separate volumes for disks 0 and 1 and then 2 and 3? As far as I know, these are all software raid. I own an 8-bay Synology that uses no hardware for the storage math. And it's all resizable. So I'd think that RAID 0 on two volumes within the same box should be no problemo.

    The question on my mind is what RAID 0 even buys you in these systems. Unless you're running dual or quad Gig-E or 10Gig, what are you buying, besides a larger volume (and the added possibility of something going wanky)? I think that for the average user, four drives, with two each in RAID 1, makes more sense.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    increased writes and read speeds on RAID 0 even with 2 drives..

    I myself would slap 2X 4GB drives in Raid 1. You wont get Double write but you would get double read speeds.
    Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    You don't see read improvements in RAID1. Nothing tangible or useful anyhow. But that's what he's getting at; modern hard drives can saturate gigabit ethernet with sequential reads. There isn't really a need for RAID0. Reply
  • Doomtomb - Monday, December 02, 2013 - link

    You'd slap 2x 4GB hard drives together? My flash drive has more space than that. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - link

    Pretty sure he meant TB, not GB, which is the norm with home-based NAS. Reply
  • ace240 - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    You might expect that, but you'd be wrong. One example:
    DS213j (entry level Synology 2-bay NAS): $199
    DS413j (entry level Synology 4-bay NAS): $379
    Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Those are retail prices to consumers. My question ran to, how much did Synology have to pay to include those two extra bays? My guess is, unless they upgraded the cpu / networking / other chipsets to support more simultaneous clients (which would not be a necessity for me), a unit built on the same platform as the 2 drive unit but just offering space for 2 more drives should not cost much more. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    It's not just the extra "physical" bays, it's the extra support for the extra features as well as the additional CPU grunt and RAM you generally get with these upgraded units. These add up to additional premium that you undoubtedly see in review results whne jumping up from entry level 2-bay to 4-6-8 bay SOHO NAS units. Reply
  • otherwise - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    For the two NAS' ace240; the software; CPU; and Memory is the same. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    What they charge and how much it costs them to make are separate things. Reply
  • Solandri - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    But addressing the GP's original question, the cost to make these things does not matter. People keep buying the 2-bay NASes because the manufacturers keep pricing them 4-bay NASes substantially higher.

    The price premium was big enough for me to build my own 4-drive homebrew NAS. For non-techy people (e.g. my parents) I just get them a 2-bay off-the-shelf NAS.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    I'm sure you're right on actual cost. But the 4 bay ones start $200 higher than the 2 bay NAS's. So it makes a lot more sense to buy a 2 bay NAS in RAID 0 and if you want your data backed up beyond that to just use the cloud or external hdd's. Reply
  • easp - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Why do people continue to think that products are or should be priced on marginal cost? The up-front engineering and product development costs are often a significant consideration.

    These engineering efforts are generally focused on an entire product family, and the overall economics of the product family are often predicated on the fact that some of the members of the product line will have larger margins, and others will have smaller margins. Moreover, it is the lower-end items that tend to have the smallest margins, so taking the low-end products as the baseline further distorts the conclusions.
    Reply
  • brucek2 - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    This website caters to many hardware enthusiasts who frequently build their own systems, including servers and/or storage systems. If a manufacturer is going to arbitrarily add phantom costs to build(s) with certain configurations, it means that enthusiasts who want those configurations will be more likely to build vs buy in those cases (or switch to the more cost effective configurations.)

    I have no problem with manufacturers recovering their R&D and making profits. It just sounds in this case like both the hardware BOM and the R&D are very similar for the two models, leading to what I feel is a legitimate question why one would be priced at double the cost of the other.
    Reply
  • easp - Thursday, December 05, 2013 - link

    Enthusiasts often make the mistake of thinking that they are the target market for every product they see. They aren't, particularly when they don't value their time very highly. I'm guilty of the latter (I buy cheap Xyzel NASs when they are on sale for the purpose of running debian), but I try hard to avoid the former.

    As to your sense that both hardware BOM and R&D are very similar for the two models, my original point is that reaching that conclusion suggests deeply flawed assumptions. R&D (and marketing costs) costs aren't distributed equally across all members of product families. Some models will have lower prices, lower cost of goods sold and lower margins, while others have higher cost of goods, and disproportionately higher margins and final selling price.

    If it helps, look at it this way, if every tier in a product family bore an equal share of R&D and marketing costs, with consistent margins, then the higher-tier models would be somewhat cheaper, but the lower-tier models would be more expensive.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Difficult to say. With four drives instead of two, you get more heat, more vibrations, more mass. You might hit some design threshold, where all of a sudden you need to have a wider base, use different screws for fixation or add another cooling component.

    I also think that there are actually plenty of customers who are happy with even a single drive in one of those. Just something to put movies and music on for all family members, and if the drive fails, so what. Its not like anybody made backups of his videotapes in the last century. So for the mass market, it probably makes sense to have a inexpensive 2-Bay unit, plenty of people will check for the cheapest unit which supports what they plan to do.
    Reply
  • puremind - Saturday, November 30, 2013 - link

    Why would you want an extra Bay if you are not prepared to purchase extra drives anyways? Reply
  • emacjohnson - Sunday, December 29, 2013 - link

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  • OzzieGT - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Cloud backup...I use cloud backup, I don't need 6 drives. That's just insanity. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Data caps. I can't back up 5+TB of data via the internet, and even if I could, it would take well over a month. Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    the idea behind a good cloud backup system is file revisioning. You upload the bulk of your data one time, and only the files that have been changed or added, are uploaded each day. Reply
  • ace240 - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Err, money?

    A 2-bay NAS with 2 drives is almost exactly half the cost of a 4-bay NAS with 4 drives. If money is no object, get as much storage as you like. I love my 2-bay NAS -- spending $1000 was out of my budget to move to get 4 bays w/ 4 drives.
    Reply
  • swizeus - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Actually there is footprint thing though. For everyone who wants a lower profile NAS it will go with the 2 bays. Just want a centralize storage, not too much data going on anyway Reply
  • SetiroN - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    This.
    Home NAS devices are a joke and it's ridiculous to spend money on them.
    To someone with any actual storage needs, anything less than RAID 6 is a joke and devices with 6+ slots actually cost more than 3x 2-slot, which doesn't make any sense.

    Unless you want to spend a silly amount of money, you're much better off with something self built, although it does require a little expertise.
    Reply
  • hero4hire - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Zfs then? Reply
  • Namisecond - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    It actually makes a lot of sense to me. You mention it yourself: RAID 6.

    A 2 drive NAS is only going to support JBOD, striping and RAID 1. Fairly easy to implement as far as hardware goes. Once you get to 4-bay and plus units, you start getting real redundancy with RAID 5 and 6, with hot swap spares and data error correction. This stuff doesn't come cheap.

    If you want to see the difference between them, take apart a 2 port NAS. It's a single circuit board with a few low level IO chips. Take apart a Synology DS1511 or something similar and it's a full blown micro server on the inside with a real RAID controller card.

    Even building your own unit isn't a cheap affair, especially if you factor in your own time. Up to a 4 or 5 bay unit, you may actually save some money building your own. Try building your own 8 or 12 bay unit and watch your build cost skyrocket.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Not everyone is using their NAS to store thousands of DVD/BlueRay rips or tens of thousands of high megapixel raw images from their SLR. If you're just using one because you want your backups on something a bit more fault tolerant than a USB drive sitting on your desk and with a faster restore capability than pulling an entire system image down from the cloud, a 2 bay option is more than plenty.

    I built my current NAS with a 4 bay mITX enclosure; but after a year I'd give even money odds that the system will be old enough I'll decide on a precautionary replacement before needing to add a 3rd data drive. The 4th bay is almost certainly going to remain empty unless I undergo a lifestyle change and greatly accelerate my rate of data retention.

    In particular I suspect that 2 bay NASes sold with drives preinstalled are primarily marketed to people who want an appliance; not something they can tinker with. For them smaller is almost universally better since it takes up less room on the shelf in the corner where their modem and router are. If it fills up in a few years they wouldn't know how to add more disks to it, and the price the local computer shop would gouge them for labor to work on is high enough to make just getting a new one seem really appealing.
    Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    You nailed it with the appliance reference. There's a lot of people out there who know enough, or have been screwed by a lack of backups when disaster struck before, that want a simple redundant backup solution. They don't have 20TB of blu-ray rips, they just want to keep their documents/family photos/etc. safe from hardware failures. I bought a cheap 2 bay Iomega ix2 for my parents when Newegg had them on sale for $80 and it's already saved me from a data related headache. For myself I built a much more capable home server, but our needs are completely different. Reply
  • JeffS - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    I have been using a 2-bay Synology NAS for years now. It draws very little power, takes up minimal space in my networking closet, and was ridiculously easy to configure. Even this older NAS supports 2 TB drives, and I'm running them in RAID 1. Just the other day, one died on me, and I was alerted by an alarm and yellow LEDs. I popped in a new drive, the RAID rebuilt, and I was good to go. When I've got 10,000 images from my cameras on a system, I do not want to tinker with it- I just want it to work. This little 2-bay box let me remove the local storage from all of the PCs in the house and put it in a place where I can easily back it up and where there's redundancy. Access is slower than on a local drive, but it's not bad over gigabit wired Ethernet.

    In short, I have enough other things to tinker with that I don't want to fuss with my NAS. The software is polished & convenient, and all I really need is redundancy in a small footprint, so a 2-bay unit is perfect for me.
    Reply
  • Namisecond - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    Might want to check your data for corruption after a drive goes south. RAID 1 doesn't offer data correction. Reply
  • Duodecim - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    I'm very technical, and I want a 2-bay NAS or enclosure. Two reasons:

    I don't trust cheap non-battery backed RAID controllers, nor their rebuild procedures; RAID adds complexity with dubious benefits in a lot of end-consumer situations. You'd be better off manually sync'ing disks or creating snapshots (by means of hardlinks like rsync or Time Machine, or by means of filesystems like btrfs and zfs) and having the benefit that you can retrieve files that you accidentally deleted. Even if the RAID itself works fine, if you knock over the NAS, lightning strikes, you burn down your house or somebody runs off with all your gadgets, you better have backups somewhere else – you'd be better off with 2-bay non-RAID enclosures in different places than putting all your eggs in one basket.

    The other reason is the added heat, noise, power consumption and space when running a loaded 4, 5 or even 8-bay enclosure. That's assuming your data fits in a 2-bay enclosure, of course.
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    You are exactly right about snapshots vs raid. When you share data with the family and especially kids, being able to restore previous versions or accidentally deleted files is the biggest benefit. Then having 2 nas boxes means if one dies due to its power supply or some other hardware (non disk) problem, you have a redundant backup. Do people really need raid 6 for their torrent files? For photos yes but really for your ripped off media? No. Reply
  • Namisecond - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    Depends on what you're torrenting...For any archival purpose, RAID 6 is recommended. It really sucks when that snapshot you took turns out to be unreadable because 1 of your mirrored drives was going and spread the corruption to the other drives. Reply
  • easp - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    1. Two bay devices are significantly cheaper, and accommodates enough storage for me now.
    2. Buying excess capacity now is foolish, because it will generally be cheaper when I actually need it. Moreover, I'd rather age out older drives and replace them, rather than keep them around and add to them.
    3. Having two two-bay devices provides me with more redundancy than one four bay device. I generally duplicated data between devices, rather than between drives in the same device.
    4. I'm not convinced that the upsides of RAID5/6 make up for the downsides, especially since I don't need 4-5 drives worth of raw storage.
    Reply
  • CSMR - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    For a lot of people 1 bay is sufficient. Most people's family data will fit on 4TB. Having a NAS is just as advantageous in this situation.

    Just because you are technically savvy does not mean you have more than 4TB of data you need to put on your network.
    Reply
  • puremind - Saturday, November 30, 2013 - link

    Against 4+ bays:
    -Bulkiness
    -Cost of upgrading hard drives
    Increased cooling need

    With 2 bay:
    You ALREADY get access to all of the features that NAS has to offeI, i.e. DNS, Home Media Streaming Server, Android Apps to access media and files from your smartphone, detached storage that your laptop can access wirelessly from you sleeping room to stream HD content to your home cinema.

    That's why 2bay is so popular. Consumers don't buy NAS systems for redundancy but for the features and convenienceof accessing all bulky media wirelessly. It is a kind of storage extension for laptops that can't afford that kind of space and bulkiness.
    Reply
  • Silma - Sunday, December 01, 2013 - link

    I agree absolutely it is an enigma for me.
    A non-tech person would be better buying a LaCie (or whatever) 2-mirrored drive solution which he would plug in directly.

    Tech people would be better off with much more hard drive.
    I did study the market 3 years ago and came to the conclusion that I would have to build it myself to stay within budget.
    So I bought 6 1.5 TB hard drives (best GB/$ at the time) plus an LSI raid controller, and configured the drives in RAID 6 for maximum availability. This setup was less expensive than an enclosure with 0 drive and a much less powerful much slower raid system.

    Today I don't think anything has changed. What's more I don't see any enclosure specialized in 2.5 (e.g. SSD) but I didn't research much.
    Reply
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  • xdrol - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Someone please enlighten me. Why does a NAS platform need a H.264 _encoder_? Reply
  • OzzieGT - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Transcode content into H.264 for devices which might not be able to read the native format. Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Are there really devices out there that can't do H.264 Full HD? Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Bandwidth constraints? You probably don't want a 1080p video streamed to your smartphone (which probably may not support the original H.264 profile) in full bit-rate. Transcoding to a smaller bitrate is often the reason why people use media servers. Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Aren't we talking about like 10 Mb/s? What modern wifi couldn't handle that? Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Blu-ray uncompressed MKVs can go up to 54 Mbps for non-3D titles. Couple this with multiple streams being played via different mobile devices simultaneously -- it still makes sense to transcode to a lower bitrate in situations (read, small screens) where the quality difference is not noticeable. Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    People are storing uncompressed Blu-ray on their two-bay NAS? Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Why not? 4 TB + 4 TB in RAID-1 will get you a pretty big library, considering that the average Blu-ray size without the extras and stuff will probably be inbetween 20 - 30 GB. Reply
  • Namisecond - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    when your wifi software reports a connection at 54mb/s your actual throughput is not going to be or anywhere near 54mb/s. Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    What do you mean by "Full HD"? If you mean capable of handling the h.264 spec for higher quality settings, then no, there are almost no devices with cheap, fixed function decoders than can do that. You would be relying on software decoding only that would be pushing even high end quad-core portables to its limits (and sometimes, even that is not enough). Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Also, there is a problem with transcoding such files with these Atoms: the hw decoder may not be able to handle your format either, so you would end up using the weak cpu for decoding Reply
  • Jaybus - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    So you would have the even weaker smartphone do the transcode? Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    By "Full HD" I simply mean 1080p. My three year old phone can handle that.

    What device doesn't have hw-accelerated video decoding? And who would own such a device for media display if it can't handle such a simple task?

    Asking a NAS to do it seems out of character.
    Reply
  • brucek2 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Even if there's never a bandwidth problem inside your home, there's almost surely going to be one when you're traveling outside your home.

    I also think you are overestimating what 3 year old and older devices can do. I'm sure there are plenty of streams that have been labeled "1080p" that they can play, but I'm equally sure there are plenty of 10+gb bluray rips they can not.

    Finally, if your primary consumption is via a multi-format capable device like a HTPC, you may not know for sure or want to deal with making sure all your files are decodable in hardware by all your devices. That's why you have a transcoder in between for those cases when you are going out to less capable devices to make sure that the bandwidth used and the format sent is going to work for that application.
    Reply
  • robinthakur - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    There are many many devices (such as PS3, 360 etc) which cannot access MKV containers where transcoding is the only option from a NAS or building an XBMC frontend box, which is still quite expensive and leads to one more power hungry device on the network. Being able to run XBMC with a media output from the NAS itself would actually be a much better solution for me as long as the CPU isn't getting hit constantly and the deive is near silent. Some people use Android based XBMC, but if you need lossless HD Audio, codec support and proper refresh rate support, your best, quietest, smallest option is actually a Mac mini running XBMC, but they do cost... Reply
  • YaBaBom - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Think users who have laptops/tablets/phones--if they have different devices with different capabilities, it's nice to be able to transcode the content from a high-bitrate original to something that best fits the mobile device. Plex does this automatically via software encoding on Windows boxes--i was really hoping to read that it could use the hardware encoder to do the same thing for multiple users (My old Core2Duo server struggles to do this for just one stream). Reply
  • Nephelai - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Two pc's each with a data disk. /robocopy once per week. Job done. NAS /shrug Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    For the average household, 2 PCs at idle will probably consume upward of 40 W (minimum -- assuming they are Atom / Brazos based ones). This one, at load, consumes less than 35 W. You will still miss the mobile app data access functionality and lot of other perks provided by a NAS. Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    "However, we never got around to publishing a dedicated review due to severe usability issues with the firmware."

    No idea how that logic works out. Sounds like it should be a negative review.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    That was for the Thecus N4800, not the N2560 ; The latter being a 2-bay NAS -- as I mentioned in the summary -- can be an ideal backup target. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    "The Thecus N2560 is a 2-bay NAS, and most users are going to use it in a RAID-1 configuration." Based on what? I would only use RAID 0 for a 2 bay NAS. If you mirror you lose half your storage and gain no speed.

    I've never had a hdd fail on me, so that's not really a concern. But even if I did all the data is backed up to external hdd's as well as the NAS.

    What good is a NAS if you have to buy 2 to hold all your stuff? Makes much more sense to have external hdd's as data backup.
    Reply
  • Gumby_ - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    For a lot of home users and I'd hedge a guess that for the majority purchasing a 2 bay NAS enclosure, it IS their backup device as well as network attached storage. Should it be? No, is it, probably. Running raid0 would be insanity for this use case. Reply
  • ChoppedBroccoli - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    2 bay NAS with two 1-3TB drives in RAID1 + a service like crashplan is what I am going for (and seems what the majority of users should probably go for).

    With this you get the following:
    * Disk drive failure protection
    * Location disaster protection via offsite backup (either Crashplan's servers or your house can burn down)
    * 1-3TB of backup space (more than enough for the majority of people)
    * Ability to do time machine/windows backups to a partition on these drives wirelessly
    * Ability to stream this data to any mobile device

    Basically these 2 bay NAS systems really shine when you have a cloud backup service running on the NAS itself.
    Reply
  • zach1 - Saturday, November 30, 2013 - link

    So do you, at anandtech, have something against the nexus 5 or something? Reply
  • Xajel - Sunday, December 01, 2013 - link

    @AnandTech, I would love to see a roundup review for Home NAS, 2 & 4 bays... most NAS makers actually target Small offices rather than homes, making the NAS expensive and not friendly enough for the home user... I believe the market for Home only NAS is big but they need to know how to make it works and function... most home users want it for backup, storage and media streaming... no need for these advanced networking things required by business and small offices... Reply
  • eek2121 - Sunday, December 01, 2013 - link

    I will never buy another Thecus product, after their lack of support for their W12000 product left us high and dry. Support was so bad, we even got the certain (major) vendor we purchased it from to give us a $100 gift card and cease carrying the product altogether. They shipped the remaining units back to Thecus and immediately discontinued selling the product. Reply
  • eek2121 - Sunday, December 01, 2013 - link

    btw...I just want to add, don't buy Thecus's windows storage server solutions. I'll give you a hint: It does not come with a Windows Storage Server license (regardless of what various companies like newegg, etc. claim) and you cannot buy one from Thecus. Where does that leave you? OSless. Reply
  • azazel1024 - Monday, December 02, 2013 - link

    Interestingly my server at home, which is based around a G1610 Celeron, mATX board, 8GB of 1.25v DDR3 1600 and a pair of Intel GbE CT NICs, a 60GB SATAIII SSD for the boot/app drive and a pair of Samsung F4EG 2TB drives in RAID0 idles only slightly higer than the Thecus NAS does and actually STREAMS at lower power consumption (by 1W, but still lower).

    A heck of a lot more capable...pretty much the same price when all was said and done for the hardware.

    It'll saturate both GbE links (running Windows 8, so SMB3.0 loveliness) for 240MB/sec reads/writes.

    Back-up is my desktop, which has all of the data mirrored (but of course isn't on all the time and also is a much higher spec machine).

    NAS are interesting, but I just don't see the place for them except

    A) Needing a set spec machine
    B) Not wanting/needing/able to build and roll your own server
    C) going for a lower end 1 or 2 bay unit

    Looking at the price of a 4 bay unit, my server suddenly goes from price parity to much cheaper, and I have room for 2 more disks in my server than what a 4 bay machine has. More than that if I don't mind a cheap RAID card, which doesn't add much cost.

    You do have to deal with "managing" a "real" computer then and it doesn't build itself, but the cost is much lower and until you get to a very high end NAS (costing MUCH more), it generally isn't as capable in terms of overall through-put, number of users, etc. At that, a slight increase in price on the "server" hardware would easily get a core i3 or i5 to increase that capability substantially, low hot data on the SSD(s), etc.

    Again, unless you are looking at limited IT support ability (personally or for your company) or going for a very budget NAS, I don't see the point. They are more limited and they tend to cost more (sometimes substantially). For the right build, they also don't tend to save much power (mine idles at 19w and active runs at 31w. With the proper 80+ Gold or Platnium PSU, it would likely idle more like 14-15w and active run around 28 or so).
    Reply
  • no_nonsense4857 - Monday, December 02, 2013 - link

    For a person using an external HDD and robocopy to perform scheduled synchs isn't a 2bay NAS a good value for money option in addition to the streaming capabilites and also RAID 1 option.

    I never knew what NAS is until a year back.

    I am looking for a backup solution which has redundancy and can be scheduled. All other additional features are perks for which i do not care much and would be happy if they are taken off and the product is discounted.
    Reply
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - link

    It depends. If it is a real budget 2-bay, yes. However the one reviewed isn't particularly low cost (at least in my opinion).

    15 minutes of time with synchtoy and task scheduler and all my back-ups are scheduled for my desktop to my file server.

    It probably isn't quite as straight forward as some of the NAS OSs are for things like scheduled back-up if you are a very novice user of Windows or other OSs, but it is not an advance process at all for setting up a basic windows server and setting up scheduled back-ups.

    If you really don't need much, then your best bet is going for pretty much the lowest price NAS you can, that has at least some hardware reliability. If you want anything more than that, you are probably best off building your own, unless you are generally just a basic computer user and it would be beyond your capabilities.
    Reply
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - link

    Ganesh, for the mobile data access...why would you be missing that? On my home network I can access anything over Wifi with any of my SMB clients. On the road, if I cared to (I have set it up before, but it isn't currently setup) I can setup my server with Webdav and do port forwarding from my router and hit it with the same iOS client I use to access my data on my home wifi network (iOS File Browser. Awesome and cheap app).

    I fail to see any thing at all that this NAS can do that my server can't. My server is also a lot more capable, for example I have it running my Calibre server, which I haven't seen any NAS which has the functionality built in, so I can access my library anywhere. I can do other webserving off it if I want to. It does all my back-ups and I even RDP in to it on occasion when I want to run something a lot faster while using low spec hardware (admittedly, when I usually want to do that, I'll wake my desktop and RDP in to that).

    If there happens to be something on my desktop, say I just transcoded a large video, and I want to get it on the server to access it from something else, again, like a large movie, it takes just a few seconds over the dual GbE link. Half the time, or probably less, than it would to almost any dual bay NAS, or most any NAS (are any NAS OSs currently running SMB3.0 and capable of SMB multichannel? I am not aware of any, yet).

    If I want higher bandwidth to the server, I can link aggregate my two Intel GbE NICs AND re-enable the realtek GbE onboard NIC and connect it up to the switch for 2Gbps of max speed to my desktop and 3Gbps of total through-put to the server. Though the disk array isn't capable of saturating that. I could setup part of the SSD in caching mode though and in that case, the smaller frequently accessed files (which wouldn't be much since it is generally the big files that are being accessed on the server) could easily saturate all links. With the native Windows SMB/disk caching, the disk array probably could handle 3Gbps writes for a period of time though (perks of 8GB of RAM in the machine).

    I get the use case for A) a user who doesn't have the spare time to roll their own B) A user who is a novice computer user/one who has set computer use cases and doesn't deviate so wouldn't technically be able to setup any of it C) Needs to roll multiple instances of the same hardware and OS and want it to be more or less identical for support reasons

    Outside of those three, it is generally not cheaper or as capable as rolling your own file server. At least in the instance of the reviewed NAS or other higher end 2-bay NAS. If you don't need the capabilities of a higher end NAS AND you go with a lower end 2-bay NAS because of this, then that is probably a better bet as you aren't paying for features you don't need and probably would be at least slightly cheaper than rolling your own inexpensive server.
    Reply
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - link

    Ganesh, for the mobile data access...why would you be missing that? On my home network I can access anything over Wifi with any of my SMB clients. On the road, if I cared to (I have set it up before, but it isn't currently setup) I can setup my server with Webdav and do port forwarding from my router and hit it with the same iOS client I use to access my data on my home wifi network (iOS File Browser. Awesome and cheap app).

    I fail to see any thing at all that this NAS can do that my server can't. My server is also a lot more capable, for example I have it running my Calibre server, which I haven't seen any NAS which has the functionality built in, so I can access my library anywhere. I can do other webserving off it if I want to. It does all my back-ups and I even RDP in to it on occasion when I want to run something a lot faster while using low spec hardware (admittedly, when I usually want to do that, I'll wake my desktop and RDP in to that).

    If there happens to be something on my desktop, say I just transcoded a large video, and I want to get it on the server to access it from something else, again, like a large movie, it takes just a few seconds over the dual GbE link. Half the time, or probably less, than it would to almost any dual bay NAS, or most any NAS (are any NAS OSs currently running SMB3.0 and capable of SMB multichannel? I am not aware of any, yet).

    If I want higher bandwidth to the server, I can link aggregate my two Intel GbE NICs AND re-enable the realtek GbE onboard NIC and connect it up to the switch for 2Gbps of max speed to my desktop and 3Gbps of total through-put to the server. Though the disk array isn't capable of saturating that. I could setup part of the SSD in caching mode though and in that case, the smaller frequently accessed files (which wouldn't be much since it is generally the big files that are being accessed on the server) could easily saturate all links. With the native Windows SMB/disk caching, the disk array probably could handle 3Gbps writes for a period of time though (perks of 8GB of RAM in the machine).

    I get the use case for A) a user who doesn't have the spare time to roll their own B) A user who is a novice computer user/one who has set computer use cases and doesn't deviate so wouldn't technically be able to setup any of it C) Needs to roll multiple instances of the same hardware and OS and want it to be more or less identical for support reasons

    Outside of those three, it is generally not cheaper or as capable as rolling your own file server. At least in the instance of the reviewed NAS or other higher end 2-bay NAS. If you don't need the capabilities of a higher end NAS AND you go with a lower end 2-bay NAS because of this, then that is probably a better bet as you aren't paying for features you don't need and probably would be at least slightly cheaper than rolling your own inexpensive server.
    Reply
  • SerinaxD - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - link

    this looks incredible~ Reply

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