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Review and experience of my Synology DS420 + after several months of use


asaf_b
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Hello everyone!

I saw that there is a review of the DS920 + here and I wanted to share with you my comprehensive review after several months of using the cheaper model - the DS420 +, and also add a brief comparison between it and the qnap ts-453d which is actually the previous server I had.

 

First of all, what is a NAS?

NAS is a shared computer whose sole purpose is to give access to your information to the family, or even to anyone you want in the world with the permission you define. It's safe, fast, and not dependent on the internet, and if you're also taking dedicated hardware really (but really!) Simple to work with, and a bonus - for certain types (which the DS420 + includes) you can do much more than just Files.

 

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Before we explain what is new we will explain in general what exists in this world.

The vast majority of NAS servers are not satisfied with a single hard disk connection, for two reasons - the first is to upgrade future volume easily and the second is to reduce the risk of information loss if one disk crashes. A hard disk mechanical is a relatively inexpensive product in the storage world, but due to being mechanical it is not reliable enough to let it store for you all the sensitive information for a long time, so NAS servers are very common to see arrays of 2 or more disks that work in parallel for one backup The second (a concept called RAID).

The DS420 + boasts the option of connecting 4 discs, which is amazing for any home consumer, and definitely future proof for the vast majority of users.

 

As for the rest of the specs, Synology went for a very solid and stable product, with features that were recently only for the more expensive series in previous models:

  • Processor - This is the most important thing in my opinion since it is the thing that will work the hardest in any action you take which is beyond file sharing, a powerful processor opens the door for you to stream movies through Plex, add support for image processing and recognition, install heavy applications like live surveillance cameras and more. The processor here is a huge upgrade from the processor of the previous model (the DS418Play) and is an Intel Celeron J4025 dual-processor, With speed Up to 2.9Mhz, a processor that will greatly satisfy most major home uses.

  • RAM - There is 2GB of memory Built-in, which is more than enough for reasonable use, and for those who want to go wild there is an option to expand to 6 GB formally (informally show that you can expand to much more, and your friends have already purchased Of 16GB for testing, why? Because it's cheap)

  • 2 LAN connections. Why 2? Because our information is important to us. The 2 connections enable both Fail Over and Link Aggregation operations. Simply put - the connections know how to work in parallel and with full backup in case one connection falls. In addition 2 connections give a lot of extra play to tools like a firewall in case you want to have some fun, or even a certain compartmentalization with VLANS in case you want to share sensitive information only to part of the house.

  • 2 Connections M.2 2280 NVM - Imparts insane caching capabilities - Significantly improves performance for deterministic reading and writing (movies, videos, and so')

 

I pampered my NAS with an upgrade of 2 disks Of the company in the model SNV3000, I will see later the improvement in performance.


 

Slots M2:

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Rear: 

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fore: 

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Box:

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התקנה

In this section I will divide the installation "process" into 2:

  • physically - It was necessary to connect the box to electricity, connect the disks (I put WD RED - the recommended series for NAS) to one of the 4 drawers that the box has, and it was necessary to connect the dots net. Overall - simple to the ridiculous level.

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  • Software - This is the icing on the cake. As a man who has done quite a bit in the field, I set aside two days for this stage, because I know that Kinfog of a machine This is one of the reasons for the plump salaries of the world's storage people.
    in practice? Took me between half an hour and an hour. Synology's user interface is amazing and accompanied me throughout the process, giving me the option to choose at most stages whether I am an "advanced" or a "beginner" user by choosing the recommended parameters for myself. An insanely comfortable experience that ends up with a few Next buttons, and - Checkboxes.
    After creating the first Storage Pool and Volume, all that is left is to choose your favorite sharing protocol (or several) - SMB, NFS, AFP, then give permissions to your devices and the story is over.

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uses

The corner of creativity. There are an infinity of things that can be done with a box that can provide up to 64 terabytes of data with a store Dedicated, from dedicated applications for users who like the "Install and Forget" method to installing Docker or Hypervisor with servers Open source for a little bolder users.

 

In the "Install and Forget" department I found a lot of very convenient solutions that the DS420 + ran very easily:

  • Synology Photos - A new app is coming out soon with DSM7, this is an app that is similar in behavior to Google Photos, only that it is managed at home. There are currently 2 Designed for this purpose - Moments and Photos Station and in the near future should be merged into the new app. The app allows Automatic upload of From the phone, face recognition, indexing by location, date, tags, etc.
    Significant benefits from Google Photos are first and foremost the quality of the upload - if you did not notice, Decreases the image quality if you want unlimited volume, and if you want an original quality upload, you will find that you run out of space very quickly and will have to pay money to increase the volume. Here, in fact, the quality is maintained and the cost of storage is relatively negligible. Another advantage is privacy, the photos are kept in your home and not in an unknown place.

  • Audio Station - Takes everything said for Photos and does the same for Spotify, this time with monthly savings of money. At a time like this most of us are at home I think it's a shame to pay money for my services When you can do them locally at home as easily as Synology offers.

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  • Plex Server - Not a Synology product, but fully supported here as well. Adds to the device the ability to be Netflix local. An amazing and convenient product that allows indexing of , Adding content to the movie automatically, and streaming it to all the devices in the house - phones, smart TVs, streamers. I used the app directly on the NAS for a while, then switched to a dedicated Plex computer to enable streaming with encoding of For 2 devices in the receiver - here already the CPU of the DS420 + could not withstand the load. But for single streaming (with 1080P encoding or without 4K encoding) the server was fine.

  • Synology Drive Server / Client - A very nice tool that allows horizontal backups of all your devices to the server. Another super convenient tool that enjoys the advantage of freebies and privacy over solutions The others in the market.



 

In the "daring" department I will show my use of the house at the moment:

As a compulsive junkie, I could not miss the curiosity from Proxmox - a virtualization server that provides a layer of hypervisor on the hardware. So I decided that if I was Beyond Synology, it might be worth upgrading the whole house so that Proxmox will be the core.

 

I currently have 7 servers installed on 4 virtual containers (I will detail some of them immediately) that work directly with the NAS.

 

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In practice - the NAS provides For the servers, and weekly backup for all the servers so that if I fail I can restore the servers with the click of a button.

 

The services I am currently running are:

  • Ad Blocking Service - PiHole - I will not focus too much on this, but this is a service that can also be installed on Synology without an additional computer. A general solution for blocking advertisements for any computer that connects to the home network, which in my opinion should be mandatory at home.

  • Media server and movie management automation:

  • Jacket - An application that connects to torrent sites (with the help of your user) and scans them in order to open an interface for other services in your home to download the relevant content (in my example - And series)

  • Deluge - A very cute torrent download client, in my case it downloads all the torrents directly to NAS sharing.

  • Sonarr + Radarr - warp (Sonarr for series, Radarr for movies) that provide a convenient search interface for content by popularity, genre and other filters. And manage the content download with interface To Jackett and Deluge. At the end of the download, they perform a Hard Link (copy of the file without doubling its volume) to another folder on the NAS, which is the ready-to-watch movies and series folder.

  • Bazarr - The last finish in the chain - automatic download of subtitles from well-known sites in the country. The app launches with the other apps I described, and once the transfer of the movie is complete its purpose is to look for suitable subtitles and download for sharing on NAS alongside the movie.

  • Plex - As I described in the previous section, using NAS to stream movies and series at home.





 

I have prepared for you a small sketch of the architecture:

 

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General impression and comparison

As one who has moved from QNAP to Synology I can say that the product feels better and safer. He is missing things that I am less interested in (essay) For example) but those who are not as interested as me will get a product that feels more finished, which is very important when you store all your sensitive files in one place.

I personally think everyone needs some sort of backup solution in their home - if that Drive, external disk with connection Or go all the way with a NAS server.

The first two solutions are cheaper but much more limited than a NAS server, and for those who are thinking of maybe taking advantage of the Corona period and enjoying a media server will greatly benefit from this upgrade.

In my opinion, those who have to choose between QNAP and Synology 0 will have to answer the question - how much are you willing to mess with the device in exchange for extra features? How much are these extra features necessary? (For example the HDMI connection may be really necessary if you want to use the server as a streamer, I personally did not find it useful). 

Both products are great and in both you will achieve similar results, It personally took me longer to configure my QNAP from 0 compared to the Synology interface.


 

Upgrades I made

Like I said before, I installed 2 components To my server to improve the IO speed on my server.

In addition, I also upgraded the server with an additional 16GB of RAM according to the review here: https://nascompares.com/2020/04/06/synology-nas-memory-upgrade-guide-2020-edition/

 

SSD:

Since all the metadata of the movies, family photos and the movies themselves are on NAS, I wanted to improve access to them so that it would be easier to index the photos or have the photo upload speed and movie information higher (usually takes two seconds to upload photos when there are many movies) .

Connecting the kits took a few minutes (opening the slot and assembling), but their formatting took a very long time (if I remember correctly about 8-10 hours). At this time the server was working as usual of course. 

The configuration was simple and guided just like most processes in Synology, there is an interface that recommends the cache size and type according to how the system is used and the total volume, and then starts with the index:

 

Overview of usage and volume of information for selecting the cache volume:

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Guided selection for the type of caching:

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The indexing process:

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The upgrade was not cheap, but I must say that you see a significant improvement after the upgrade. Skipping between time points in the movie will be at record speed, scrolling We will be immediate and without waiting and most interesting - upload News has improved by almost 50 percent according to my test.

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If there are any questions about my use or anything else on the server, I would be very happy to answer here.

 



 

Edited By asaf_b
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