NAS Recommendations


I'm looking for recommendations & personal experience with low - mid range NAS systems. Types, brand, value for money, reliability etc.

I have a client with around 600gb of data that was originally sitting on a Netgear Ready NAS NV series. It became a bit unreliable so i moved the data from the NAS back onto a local PC of the client (the main PC).
Staff are now complaining access the shared files from this PC is to slow & cumbersome. They are only a 3 client network, all running Windows 7, 100mbps/1GBPS through a gibabit switch.

Budget is not great, maybe up to $500 or so, but i NEED it to be reliable.

I'd be interested from past experiences what's good & what's not so good.

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I'm not sure if this qualifies as NAS but we got a couple of DROBO units for a small business and were not happy with them.  They had reliability problems and were a little frustrating to use.  We lost some data rather than pay to have it recovered.
Take a look at the Synology and Qnap units.

Synology has a leg up on the user interface but either are quite reliable.  I would recommend you go with something from the business lines or better though.  

With these NAS the performance is all about how much processor power and RAM the units have.  You can get benchmark comparisons and reviews from a number of manufactures and models here,

I would probably suggest 4 bay but the budget may be that you have to stay with a 2 bay model.  I use a DS212+ at home and its pretty good but if somebody is streaming a movie off it you can definitely notice.  It has now been replaced by the DS213+  (around $425) now which is faster,  I think the processor was bumped up a notch.

Those DROBO are overpriced and quite low performing,  not a surprising comment.  But so are many of the low end units from the big brand names.  Outfits like Synology and Qnap are focused on these small servers and have been at it now for several generations of hardware.

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Also going to vote for the Synology and QNAP ranges...have clients with both and no issues to report

The one extra the Synology units have is Cloudstation - kind of like an internal 'Dropbox' where you install the client on the users pc and all documents stored are sync'd with the share on the Synology nas you can then store heavier data on the client pc and not worry about speed issues etc...
cuadminAuthor Commented:
Any experirences with Netgear? ReadyNAS NV+?

I've not had a lot of experience with NAS products but have a client who has a Netgear NAS & i'm trying to decide whther to push on with what they have or recommend they purchase another unit.
The current NAS has been a bit flaky on the network & has a single 2TB hard drive only. It cost them around $400 apparently.
I'm using Lenovo (Iomega) with WD RE4 X 2 1 TB drives in RAID 1 and it works quite well.

About $100 bucks for the NAS  and $220 for the drives.

You could use their Red line and get bigger and cheaper.

I recommend a UPs if you want to use the cache though,it protects the data in case of a power outage.

Decent cloud use for free for one year too.
Have used the readynas models in multiple  locations without issue.
What does flaky mean?
Latest firmware installed?
cuadminAuthor Commented:
The client was saying it was dropping off the network regularly & inaccessible.
 I've installed the latest firmware today.
To be honest i've never had an issue with the Netgear models - used the Duo's, Pro's and NV's without any real problems...

Note that just because the NAS drops doesn't always point to the device itself...could be a switch issue

I'd check the logs on the NAS as well just to see what it reports before throwing it out
The Readynas units are not bad but it is getting long in the tooth.  The V2 model is not too bad but the original NV units are not up to the speeds you get with newer Atom based NAS unit.  But of course the price becomes a issue,  the DS412+ is a good performer but its also $650 or so plus drives.

Given the NV is there now and more or less free its certainly worth checking out.

Something else to check is the power management settings.  It's been some time since I've looked at these so I forget exactly what the NV does,  but check what it may do If its  hibernating or powering down drives or anything like that impatient users might consider the few second wait to mean its not working.

Could also be a issue with the drives used in it.  Consumer drives do not always play nice with NAS units.  A drive problem would show up in the logs so that would be easy to spot.
cuadminAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for your advice. The client has decided to give the current NAS another go & if it causes too many issues, we'ved decided to go to the Synology line.
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