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Don't most NAS devices has USB 3.0 nowadays as well? Why not just get a NAS and connect over USB when, on the rare occasion, you do require this extra performance?My DS213/214 has this functionality - but you never tested it, as far as I'm aware. Or with SSDs, either.
I'm failing to see the appeal. And no Thunderbolt support for Windows? Wowzers.
It does look like a nicely made piece of kit, but I can't see anyone choosing this over a NAS.
I don't know of any NAS devices that can use a USB port to directly attach to another computer to share data. I've only known the USB ports on NAS devices to be used to attach printers or other USB drives - never to another PC.
I was curious about your claim that the DS213/214 supported this, so took a look at their Quick Start Guide... exactly as I expected: "The Synology DiskStation offers USB ports for adding additional external hard drives, USB printers, or other USB devices." A USB device is not another computer.... so I wish you luck in making that work.
I'm surprised to hear about the Thunderbolt support for Windows. I know it's new for Windows - they must be working on it. Especially now that the PC/laptop manufacturers are starting to rollout models with Thunderbolt.
You know what, you're right.
I had mis-understood the functionality of the USB ports when I first looked into it. That's a shame, isn't it?
I still stand by the fact that it's only very rarely you'd notice these improved transfer speeds over what 1Gbps Ethernet offers. You'd have to be doing some serious amounts of data transfer on a fairly regular basis to consider this over a NAS, in my opinion. Even consider using iSCSI.
Might have a word with Synology, let the know they're missing a trick here...
For me, I need the low-latency of a direct attached solution for my photo library and all my other media files... so a NAS (or even iSCSI), although convenient, doesn't offer me the speed I need without spending a bunch more money.
You're both spot on! Most won't miss the speed difference, but for those who need it then it is a brilliant solution. Very niche though.
The Drobo 5D should be nice piece of kit. It combines multiple disk drives into a single giant drive, which can cope with a single drive failure (you just pop it out and replace it with a new one).
In reality it has cost me a fortune in additional drives, and has proven extremely unreliable. I purchased a Drobo 5D with five 3TB WD NAS drives. This is what happened:
1) The USB cable supplied with the Drobo 5D didn't work. Drobo support blamed my USB 3 card and recommended a list of expensive cards. Fixed with a new USB cable.
2) The Drobo has a “feature” whereby it cripples itself if it goes over 95% full and the transfer speed plummets to about 2MB/sec. The problem I had is that I was using an encrypted partition (Truecrypt) that can't reduce in size! I couldn't copy the data off the Drobo because it was so slow so the only solution was to upgrade my 3TB drives to 4TB drives.
3) I bought two 4TB drives (Seagate ST4000VN000) from two different sources and put them in. This gave me the space but file access speed varied enormously, some files were 60MB/sec and some were still 2MB/sec. Drobo support said my new drives were faulty and recommended some nice expensive ones to buy. I pointed out that the chances of two drives from different suppliers being faulty in exactly the same way was unlikely, and asked if there were any compatibility issues with these drives. I'm still waiting for an answer to that several months on. The Seagate drives work fine on their own in the main computer.
4) I bought three 4TB drives (WD WD40EFRX) and they worked fine for a few months. Then one day a red light appears indicating a drive has died. I reboot the computer and the Drobo recovers, but takes 2 days for it to rebuild. I buy another 4TB WD drive to replace the one which produced the red light as I no longer trust it.
5) I ask Drobo support if they think the problem was with the drive or the Drobo. They ask for diagnostics but when I send them the file produced by the Drobo they say they it has missing information and ask me to reboot the Drobo. I do that and it no longer comes up. It's now a very expensive doorstop.
6) Drobo support say that it will take 10 days to replace it as it has to be shipped to Germany, and I have to pay the postage.
So to summarise, so far I have bought a Drobo 5D and 11 large and expensive multi-terabyte disk drives - and have zero Drobo storage.
I do not recommend this product.
Anything that benefits from lots of transfer between the computer and drives would be better with a DAS over NAS. Try running VM on the drive and see the difference. Open an iPhoto or Aperture library and compare the two.
It won't make a huge difference for streaming movies or your iTunes library, but there are a whole host of instances where the speed is welcome. Think of how much nicer it is to have a SSD than a spinny disk.
Drobos aren't mass-market devices. They're too expensive for the average home user and that's not their target market. I have three Drobos here and so far I've had no problems with any of them. I guess I'm lucker than some.
Mine lasted 1 year and died a few weeks after the warranty expired. I'm never buying one again.
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