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  • ganeshts - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I hope we don't have readers chiming in about how they can build a better DIY NAS than the one presented here :) Reply
  • hodakaracer96 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I for one, was hoping for fire and water testing :) Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Some good "tests" on youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm4J_1jFxik
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yszTblXpwgY
    Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't bet money on this product surviving an actual fire. Insulation seems too thin Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I hope you are kidding :) ioSafe's products have been proven to work - they have many real world success stories. Quite sure they can't have big-name customers if they don't prove that they can really protect the drives as per the disaster specifications quoted. Just for reference, a picture of one of the 1513+ units subject to both fire and water damage is in our CES coverage: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7684/synology-dsm-50... Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Well, looking at the youtube videos of fire test I am not really impressed. Surely, it will probably survive a mild and short fire with not much material to burn, but being in a serious blaze and buried in blowing embers it will not last long. A regular NAS unit put in a small concrete cellar with no flammable materials in it has better chances of surviving.

    And this probably has to do with how they test their products, which I can logically assume is safe controlled fires carefully estimated to not exceed the theoretical damage the unit can handle. But how many houses did they torch to test their products in real life disaster situations? My guess is zero :)
    Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    I mean, it will most likely survive a plastic trash can full of paper catching fire and burning out next to it, but will it survive an actual blaze disaster? I highly doubt it.

    In other words, I don't doubt the product will survive what they claim it can survive, I doubt that the disaster specifications they quote reflect real world fire disasters well enough. They will probably suffice for "fire accidents" but not really in "fire disasters".
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Does this convince you?

    http://geardiary.com/2009/08/04/could-your-hard-dr...

    As for real-life situations, they are claiming protection for the following fire situation: 1550°F, 30 minutes per ASTM E-119

    I remember reading a post about some statistics regarding how fast fire services respond to hourhold fires, and ioSafe's protection circumstances fall within that. Anyways, this product is targeted at SMBs / SMEs who have buildings as per fire marshal codes. Any blaze in such a situation is probably going to be controlled well by building sprinklers.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    It is the 1550 F number that bothers me. That's below 850 C, and even wood and plastic burns at almost 2000 C using air as oxidizer. Most of the stuff that is flammable burns around 1950 C, so targeting the product at 850 C pretty much excludes direct fire damage. E.g. if you have a wooden cabin and if it burns to the ground, the data is very unlikely to recover.

    That is why I drew a line between "accident" and "disaster". This product will do in the case of fire accidents, but in the case of a fire disaster its specs are just not enough.

    So, it is a "fireproof" product for buildings with anti-fire sprinkler installations and with good accessibility for fire services. In short, it doesn't protect in the case of fire disasters, but in the case of fire accidents and the water used to put them out.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Hi ddriver-
    The average cellulose building fire temps are between 800-1000F for about 10-15 minutes. We've been in many fires and have a record or zero data loss for fire disasters in the real world. Most of the building damage is actually caused by firefighter hoses - not the actual fire. The absolute temperature (1500, 1700, 2000...) is not as important as the duration actually. Think of a pot of water boiling on the stove - as long as there's water in the pot, the pot doesn't melt because the endothermic action of the boiling water (212F) keeps the pot from melting. The flame temp could be anywhere between 800 and 3000+? and the water would still boil at 212F (assuming sea level pressures). You could use an aluminum pot (which melts at 1100) and still be ok. Once the water runs dry, then you'll ruin the pot. It's actually the same with all fire safes (and ioSafe). There's water chemically bound to the insulation that works to cool the inner chamber and keeps it at survival temps. Our fire test standards is hotter and longer than typical building fires and the systems we sell typically can go double the standard just to be conservative.

    The fire protection technology is not new. We use the same proven techniques that have been around for 100 years. What unique about ioSafe is how we combine fire/water protection with active computers – managing the heat produced during normal operation while protecting against extreme heat possible during a disaster.

    As Ganesh has said, we test both internally and externally (with the press watching and recording!) in both standard and (ahem) very non-standard ways at times - we've NEVER failed a demo. One of these days, I'm sure a gremlin's gonna pop up and we'll get recorded by the press as failing a disaster demo (because a HDD refuses to boot) but that's the risk we take. Our stuff's legit.

    And btw, a cellar is a great place for tornados and fires but not so good for water main breaks or river floods – we’ve seen it all :)

    Robb Moore, CEO
    ioSafe Inc.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the input. BTW, where I come from, "cellar" does not imply "basement" - our cellars are usually on floor levels, tiny room, around 1 m^2 for general storage purposes, no water mains no nothing. Closer to what you may call "pantry" in the US. Cultural differences... me'h. Nothing to burn and nothing to flood in there. Plus noise in the cellar bothers nobody.

    Never failed a demo - which exactly proves the point I make earlier about being careful with controlled fires. That would create the illusion your products are flawless and someone's gonna buy one expecting it to survive his fancy wooden and lacquer soaked cottage burning to the ground which I am willing to bet it will not. You should really draw the line between "office fire accidents" and "fire disasters" just for the sake of being more realistic and not deceiving consumers, deliberately or not. People are impressed by big numbers, and could easily be impressed by the 1700 F number, absent the realization most flammable materials burn at significantly higher temperatures. Every engineer knows - there is no such thing as a flawless product, the fact you never had a failed demo only goes to show you never really pushed your products. With those zero failed demos you will very easily give consumers the wrong idea and unrealistic expectations, especially ones who are not educated on the subject. You SHOULD fail a few demos, because it will be beneficial for people to know what your products CAN'T HANDLE. A few failures in extreme cases will not degrade consumer trust as your PR folks might be prone to believing, it will actually make you look more honest and therefore more trustworthy.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I mean better you cross that line with a test unit than some outraged consumer going viral over the internet how your product failed and he lost his life work ;) Reply
  • robb.moore - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Hi ddriver-
    As mentioned, our fireproof tech relies on proven methods that are over 100 years old. Appreciate the heated skepticism though. As an engineer myself, I agree that no product is flawless and everything (including our own products) have their limits. I take back the "never failed a demo" comment. We did some gun demos with shotguns (passed) - got a bunch of flack for ONLY using shotguns so we redid the demo with fully auto AR-15's - blew holes completely through the product and of course failed...sometimes. Fun demo though.
    -Robb
    Reply
  • Phil Stephen - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    ddriver: I'm a firefighter and can confirm that, based on the specs, these units would indeed withstand a typical structure fire. Reply
  • zlobster - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    Dear Mr. Moore,

    I'm really glad that you actually follow up with the public opinion.

    I'll try to use the opportunity and use it to ask you whether you are planning to build a unit with non-Intel CPU, rather with AMD/ARM/Marvell/etc.? A unit that can handle the latest industry standards for on-the-fly encryption without sacrificing the performance even a bit?

    Also, besides the physical integrity and resiliency tests that you are conducting, do you do similar penetration-testing for data integrity? I mean, with well-known independent hacker/pen-testing communities? With all the fuzz around govt. agencies putting backdoors virtually everywhere, it's of extreme importance for the piece of mind of extreme paranoics (like me), to know how hack-proof your devices are.

    Regards,
    Zlob
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Hi Zlop-
    We're constantly working on new products. The 1513+ does use an Intel chip but our other NAS (2 bay), ioSafe 214 uses a Marvell chip. We realize that encryption can be important in many situations and we're always interested in balancing features, cost and speed for our products. Can't make direct comments though on what we have in the pipeline except stay tuned! :)

    In regards to "hack-proof", the most "hack-proof" systems (aka CIA, etc.) don't exist on the internet at all. They're fully contained offline in secured facilities. In fact, ioSafe systems are used in situations like this where offsite backup (online or physical relocation) is not allowed or impractical but the end user still wants a disaster plan.

    Obviously, there's a balance between security, accessibility, cost and speed. If you put an ioSafe system online, no firewall, never update OS/firmware, all ports open with standard admin passwords - expect mayhem. If you put an ioSafe system in a bank vault, offline and turned off it's obviously pretty secure but inaccessible - not very useful. Security can be complicated. Striking the right balance is different for every situation. Our NAS systems are based on the Synology platform which in turn is a custom Linux kernel so it's as safe as you make it generally (like all connected systems) and is susceptible to hackers if setup incorrectly. We're very happy to help you with configuring your device if you have any questions at all about the tradeoffs.

    Ultimately though its under your control. You're in charge of opening or closing doors.

    Robb Moore, CEO
    ioSafe Inc.
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I second that, for this price... I really want to know it it would last the rated time under fire. Should try it under propane {bbq tank 2300+ C} and and Nat. Gas/wood based flame {1900+ C} To simulate household/industry gas line. Reply
  • bsd228 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Well for the $1000 extra, one could buy a 30"x72" inch gun safe that can also be used to store the regular Synology (or a DIY NAS) plus guns, camera gear, and any other valuables. Harder to steal as well- they weight 500-1000lbs. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Maybe; but good luck using the NAS with the door shut... Reply
  • smorebuds - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    l0l Reply
  • bkleven - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Most modern safes have a small hole in the back for cabling, which is usually intended to bring electricity into the safe to power humidity control equipment (and that is usually just a heater). When you are forced to place a safe in a location that is not climate controlled it's pretty important to prevent condensation from occurring anywhere inside.

    I've never looked into the impact that hole has on fire protection (I presume there is some impact) but obviously flooding is an issue unless you spay foam it or use some sort of grommet.
    Reply
  • bsd228 - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Cannon, for example, provides power and a cat 5 connection on most of their safes. It's not a problem. Reply
  • Beany2013 - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I doubt the floor of my flat is rated to half a ton of spot weight. Nor that of most SOHO offices in houses or houses converted to office buildings (as with a lot of small town businesses).

    It's a pretty practical solution, though, I'll grant you, if your floor is rated for it.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Engineers have another word for power supplied into perfectly insulated boxes - "ovens" :)
    Great for baking bread, not so good for computers.

    Plus, if it gets hot enough inside, it'll actually cause the insulation to kickoff prematurely rendering the safe useless in a fire. It's a non-trivial balance between heat produced during normal operation and heat resistance during a fire event. DIY and proceed with caution.

    Robb Moore, CEO
    ioSafe Inc.
    Reply
  • Essence_of_War - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Nice review! I certainly don't think I could roll my own one of these!

    I had a question about some of the time scales you present in the misc/concluding remarks section.

    Have you considered testing/reporting RAID1 or RAID10 rebuild times? Or are they so much (and consistently so) faster than the RAID5 times that it isn't particularly interesting?
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    How does a device like this ensure good thermal transfer such that the hard drives don't overheat under regular use, while still giving good thermal isolation so they don't melt in the event of a fire? Reply
  • jmke - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    well they have active cooling, check the cooling fans. In case of fire you can see that white stuff "DataCast Insulation" will keep the heat of the fire under control, converting to gas (and thereby taking up the heat)

    I tested the smaller brother (ioSafe 214) with fire and water and filmed it. http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/article/1000593/...

    others have put them in cars , houses, etc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OygRpR4qtcM and the drives survive.

    During normal operation the active cooling keeps the drive well within the safe limits.
    If you want to enjoy data disaster recovery service make sure that you take HDDs from the qualified lists.

    you can also just launch up Ubuntu and mount the Synology drives like this to copy your data.
    ideal would be a second unit to just plug and play the drives...
    Reply
  • Herschel55 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Folks, a normal DS1513+ diskless on Amazon is $780. This is $1600, more than twice the amount. For this price I would invest in a true DR solution that mirrored a normal DS1513+ to a cloud service like S3 or Glacier, or even another DS1513+ offsite. The latest Synology DSM supports all of the above and the strategy covers ALL disasters, natural or otherwise. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    This is a 5 bay device, which is usually configured in a RAID5 equivalent. With 4-6TB drives, that's 16-24TB capacity. Finding a cloud provider and Internet uplink capable of transferring that amount of data in a reasonable timeframe is not trivial. Reply
  • robb.moore - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    You're right in the mark Gigaplex. With this unit, 90TB is possible with 2 expansion bays. For people concerned about recovering quickly, it can take months (maybe a year?) to stream 90TB back. And for many cloud providers, they might offer to ship a single HDD back but not an entire array.
    Robb Moore, CEO
    ioSafe Inc.
    Reply
  • jmke - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    ioSafe is the 3rd party backup copy;
    1st onsite, 2nd offsite, 3rd copy on the ioSafe.

    with almost everything digital, the ioSafe is the equivalent of a... safe :) a high quality classic "fire and waterproof" safe will set you back ~$500-600. Add in the cost of the DS513+ and you get where the price comes from...

    if you can backup offsite reliably! then surely do, ioSafe offers an alternative solution, never bad to have other options :)
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Thx jmke. With this particular system (especially setup on HA), it's viable for many SMB's that the 1513+ be used as primary and maybe glacier or another offsite service be used for maybe a smaller set of tier1, hyper critical files. It's possibly the best of all worlds for RPO/RTO, cost, etc. And if a backhoe takes out your internet connection, you haven't lost all DR capabilities.
    Robb Moore, CEO
    ioSafe Inc.
    Reply
  • Gonemad - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Add some layers of kevlar, a spring-mounted cage, and a internal UPS that calls for 5-minutes safe shutdown. Bulletproof, explosion resistant, power outage resistant. Or shove it in a safe for good measure. I bet there is a market for it. If you change the drives to flash ones, you get even better explosion resistancy. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Where are the grill/swimming pool tests? Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Ganesh, did you check to see if this "disaster-resistant" Synology make-over is also "resistant" to SynoLocker (i.e., patched against it)? Someone encrypting all of my files would certainly qualify as a disaster to me! ;) Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Our review unit came with DSM 5.0 installed, so that is immune to the SynoLocker exploit.

    That said, the lesson from the SynoLocker episode for me was that we might be better off not exposing the unit to the Internet at all. We might end up losing a lot of nice features of DSM, but I think it is worth the peace of mind. In addition, security vulnerabilities exist everywhere. Today, Synology has been exploited - tomorrow, it might be some other NAS vendor.

    I also suspect that the use-case for ioSafe 1513+-like devices involves storing of sensitive data - no IT admin in his right mind would leave ports open from such devices for access from an external network. It would probably be through a VPN or something similar.
    Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Sadly, I know of some "admins" who do not have the same regard for security. To them, it is just about reacting to the latest request, like "I want to access my files from home and everywhere else". They open it up, and then leave the default basic authentication as-is.

    From experience, I would wager the percentage of those types of admins are a bit higher than you might expect of such a position.
    Reply
  • gizmo23 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    LACP: I thought we moved on to 802.1X about 5 years ago Reply
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Something this big would quickly bake if you had it running in a sealed safe. Reply
  • jay401 - Friday, August 15, 2014 - link

    Is it also EMP proof? :) Reply
  • Howard - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I don't know about anyone else, but the "3-2-1 rule" sounds really dumb, especially when the "1" means that you should have the data in TWO different physical locations. Reply
  • jaden24 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    But can it survive a fire, a flood, and still serve up the game Crysis? Reply

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