Synology Disk Station DS1010+ vs IOMEGA StorCenter IX4-200D

Disk Station DS1010+

  • Award winning management interface
  • Flexible RAID volume formats (SHA, RAID+)
  • Performance
  • Dual GB Nics
  • VMWare Certified
  • iSCSI, NFS support
  • Expandability
  • Synology support
  • IPV6 Support
  • iPhone/iPad Apps
  • Link Aggregation for better performance
  • Memory : DDR2 1 GB (Expandable, up to 3GB)
  • Price
  • Power consumption (68 watt avg)
  • No integrated Synology Cloud functionality

I've been researching home/small business NAS units lately, and I can't seem to find a better bang for the buck than the Synology Disk Station DS1010+, they actually call this the DS1511+ now.

One thing that stands out on the Synology is the Disk Station Manager software which is currently at version 3.2 (only about a month old) and they have had an incredible number of revisions over the last several years.

Unique to Synology is the proprietary Hybrid RAID (SHR) which allows different physical disk sizes in the RAID volume to be combined and without losing any drive space. The SHR also allows for excellent RAID volume creation time, 8TB volume can take as little as 30 mins.

The DS1010+ is one of the top rated NAS devices in most performance comparisons that I've seen, I recommend searching for some benchmark comparisons like the one shown here.

  • Dual GB Nics
  • VMWare Certified
  • iSCSI, NFS support
  • Cost
  • Low power consumption avg 30 watts
  • Iomega abandoned for other models
  • Performance
  • Dated interface
  • Unit reconstructs and verfies RAID array to often
  • No 3TB support
  • No Cloud functionality
  • No IPV6 Support
  • No iPhone/iPad Apps
  • Cannot expand memory (only 512mb)

I've blogged about the Iomega Storcenter IX4-200D NAS units that I have in my Lab, at the time of purchase I thought they were the best bang for the buck. The Iomegas have served me well and have handled all of the different network and storage configurations I have thrown at them but I honestly don't trust them.

More than once on both units I have had the NAS start rebuilding the RAID 5 array for no apparent reason, sometimes after heavy use and sometimes after what seems like little or no use. The unit will sometime rebuild and sometimes say verifying the RAID array. The rebuild process can take around 40 hours to complete with 4 2TB Seagate Barracuda Low Power 5900RPM drives. The verification can take about 12 hours with no degraded performance during the process. When the RAID array is being reconstructed the performance is horrible during the entire 40 hour process, it's so slow that the VCenter service will not start (probably due to timeout) which causes a lot of headaches.

During one month I had the RAID array rebuild 3 times and finally on the third time it reported that a drive had failed and it could not rebuild. This made me think that this had been the problem all along, a drive was failing and causing the inconsistencies. I replaced the drive (I always have a spare on hand) and the NAS reconstructed the RAID array. A few weeks later the NAS started reverifying the array, I haven't had it rebuild since the drive replacement but I'm worried about all of this activity. A couple weeks later I get the other Iomega NAS reconstructing the RAID array.

Two of my co-workers have the same Iomega IX4-200D NAS and have reported the exact same behavior with their units. I often wonder if it is a result of the drives that are in the unit (the Seagate LP Barracudas) or some incompatibility with VMWare ESX(i). We are all using our NAS devices in a similar fashion.

The deal breaker for me with the Iomega NAS has been Iomega themselves, Iomega seems to have completely abandoned their customers who purchased these devices. Shortly after the IX4-200D released, Iomega released the IX4-200D Cloud Edition, to my surprise they didn't offer any of the new features to the original IX4-200d NAS owners. Since Iomega released the IX4-200d, they have only released four small updates to the management software and the last one was about a year ago. The Cloud edition received a brand new shiny interface and integrated cloud functionality on what appears to be the exact same hardware (same processor speed, ram amount) it also added support for 3TB drives. At a minimum I would expect Iomega to add the 3TB drive support to all of its products.

Since the Cloud edition was released Iomega has released an entire new line of home/small business NAS devices  - the px series.

Overall I am very dissatisfied with Iomega, I will not buy another Iomega product unless Iomega does something significant to improve upon this disaster they have created. I would not recommend Iomega devices to anyone who is looking for a company to stand behind and support the products they sell.

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