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Synology DS511+ or QNAP TS-559 Pro II


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I have a Drobo Pro and I think I'm finally ready for a "upgrade". I'm really happy I got the Drobo Pro but now I need something that has a little more horsepower. I got my Pro right when it came out and had only minor issues, mostly my fault, with it. I know I should of got the Elite but I was, and still is, out of my price range. So here we are in 2012 where iSCSI is the major thing and just about every device supports it and you can upwards of 150Mb/s transfer rate. That means the only feature that differentiate between all of the available products are the add-ons the device or the OS/Apps. Side note: having access to the OS, wow. We are in the future.


The main two uses for the NAS would be for an iSCSI target for my WHS 2011 and a little VMware/Hyper-V testing (more like breaking :)). I like the fact that they are both VMware/Hyepr-V certified and support clustering. I also like how they have apps and mobile phone support. But when it comes down to it I don’t want to replace my WHS since it so integrated with my network. I have a client that has the Synology and it a breeze to set up and actually a lot of fun to use. I feel like the QNAP is akin to that old bank that barely has an online presence one ATM down the street whereas the Synology is like Chase (remote check deposit anyone?). They both work but is more fun to use which means you will actually use it. In the same token you set it up them up once and never touch them again until you upgrade. Hence my dilemma.


I have about 5Tb of data I'll be moving.


My list of difference between the two are below and what I think about them:


DS1511+ [Amazon]: $895


RAM: 3Gb - Purchased 1Gb

eSATA: Yes* - You can use it to add-on their[DX510] ($492) expansion bay or a eSATA drive. Can’t be used for iSCSI volume or added to a drive pool. Only NFS share.

SATA 6Gb/s: No

Wattage: 68W Load 30 Idle


USB: 4


Apps/OS Features:

Apps: Yes - Dont see any I would use

OS Feature: Same




TS-559 Pro II [Amazon]: $904


RAM: 3Gb – Purchased 1Gb

SATA 6Gb/s: Yes

eSATA: Yes x2 – You can plug any eSATA drive in and add it to the pool.

Wattage: 44W Load 22 Idle

LCD: Yes – It’s a cool feature but not a deal breaker.

USB: 5 – 2 are USB 3


Apps/OS Features:

Apps: Yes – Only one I would use is Asterisk.

OS Feature: Same


My questions about them:

1. Can you use an external drive connected to the eSATA drive on the TS-599 as an iSCSI target or add it to one of the storage pools? On the Drobo it’s only a NFS share.

2. Is Synology Hybrid RAID better than Qnap Online RAID? SHR seem to be the more expandable.

3. How does Time Machine work between both of them? Can I reserve a quota for the backups?

4. Does any have experiences with both that they can shed some light on why you would choose one or the other?



Thanks for the help.

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I've no QNAP experience so can't compare, but as for Synology...

eSATA: Yes* - You can use it to add-on their[DX510] ($492) expansion bay or a eSATA drive. Can’t be used for iSCSI volume or added to a drive pool. Only NFS share.


I've had the 1511+ with the 510 expansion bay for about a week now. The bay can be used for iSCSI. I'm using the DSM 4 beta so this may be a reason for the difference (I never used DSM 3.2 which is the version shipped on it). I have a block level single-LUN iSCSI set up on it using all 5 drives in the bay. It's a target for my WHS 2011 (for backups). I was also able to set up both other iSCSI target types on it without a problem but went with Block-level across all drives and have been running that for a few days. I could also configure all 10 drives as one big pool for both iSCSI and a file volume.


I did have problems setting up a working iSCSI target from my Windows 7 desktop to the 1511 (whether or not I used the DX510). I think this is more of a problem with something on my Windows 7 PC. I eventually gave up trying to get it to work since I didn't really want only want iSCSI from WHS.


Quota setup for Time Machine are possible but not for the way I use my Macs and the NAS. You can limit a TM backup size per ID but not per computer. A entire volume is assigned to time machine and only one volume can be assigned to Time Machine so all Macs/IDs share the volume for TM backups. Quotas are ID based. I use the same ID on all the Macs and want one Synology ID per person, not computer, so a quota would be meaningless for me.


I didn't find much performance difference between RAID 5 and SHR but in my configurations SHR would have been doing RAID 5 since all the drives were the same size. Doing a raid rebuild was slow when it ran as a background task but disk performance was comparable to a healthy drive during that time. Still, it was a over day to rebuild the 5 X 2TB RAID 5. I also kept all drives in each disk group of the same type. Don't really have too (per Synology) but it makes me more comfortable and I suspect performance is based on the slowest drive in the group.


For what it's worth, I have the base 1GB of RAM and it's been fine. Usage is typically < 40% of RAM when backing up to the iSCSI target and streaming a couple files or copying files from a couple PCs. I don't run a lot of their apps, and for services just WebDav and Network Backup beyond what's enabled by default.


I'm a fan of the Synology but since I've never used QNAP I'm not saying it's a bad choice. I started with the DS212j and became a fan so went with the DS1511+ w/DX510 when I decided to consolidate space. SATA III would have been nice but I'm reusing existing drives which are SATA II anyway. I wouldn't have any plans to upgrade to SATA III until I needed new drives for other reasons. Plus, the way I'm using it I'm not maxing out SATA II speeds. USB 3 was harder for me to leave out but decided since my only need was "possible" future expansion I'd go without.


Good luck with your choice. I don't think Synology will dissappoint you but hopefully someone has QNAP experience for comparison.

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Thanks for the reply.


Can you plug in an eSATA drive (not the DX510 bay) to the DS1511 and copy a file to it? I want to know easy it is to do and if you have to restart it.


The more I think about it I know I wouldn't use USB3 since I don't have any USB3 bays or enclosures.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Luzer, I was wondering what you don't like about your Drobo since the Pro was one of the units I was thinking about buying and now you have me wondering if I should get one of the units you mentioned.





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