HPE MSA vs. Synology DiskStation

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
HPE MSA
Score 9.3 out of 10
N/A
HPE MSA (modular smart array), formerly HP StorageWorks MSA, is a series of storage appliances, from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a product line built for a modest budget, available as the HPE MSA 2052 hybrid flash array, the HPE MSA 2500 SAN storage appliance, and the MSA 1050 SAN storage.N/A
DiskStation
Score 8.9 out of 10
N/A
DiskStation is a line of network-attached storage (NAS) solutions from Synology headquartered in Taiwan.N/A
Pricing
HPE MSASynology DiskStation
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
HPE MSADiskStation
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
HPE MSASynology DiskStation
Considered Both Products
HPE MSA
Chose HPE MSA
The dual controller configuration of the HPE MSA trumps the Synology DiskStation's single controller configuration. For that alone, I would select the HPE MSA. Without that setup, any controller issue or firmware upgrade is disruptive to the systems the SAN is providing storage …
DiskStation
Chose Synology DiskStation
We had used an HPE MSA for one of our offices, the ROI was not as good as the Synology DiskStation due to the price. It required more of a setup needing to have a Windows OS to manage it. While the DiskStation just needed a few clicks to set up. There was no additional software …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
HPE MSASynology DiskStation
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

No answers on this topic

Medium-sized Companies
Dell Compellent (discontinued)
Dell Compellent (discontinued)
Score 9.1 out of 10
Dell Unity XT Unified Storage
Dell Unity XT Unified Storage
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Dell Compellent (discontinued)
Dell Compellent (discontinued)
Score 9.1 out of 10
Dell Unity XT Unified Storage
Dell Unity XT Unified Storage
Score 9.6 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
HPE MSASynology DiskStation
Likelihood to Recommend
9.0
(3 ratings)
8.5
(23 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
-
(0 ratings)
9.7
(7 ratings)
User Testimonials
HPE MSASynology DiskStation
Likelihood to Recommend
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The HPE MSA is best suited for basic SAN requirements. Having dual controllers provides redundancy and allows for firmware upgrades without incurring downtime to the environment. It provides enough IOPS for most workloads be it VMWare or servers requiring storage. For applications such as MS SQL or Exchange, other SAN solutions would be better. Plus the lack of storage snapshot capabilities is also a detriment to the product line. Lack of any reporting capability is also an issue especially when determining workload capabilities.
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Synology
The Synology DiskStation is well suited as a NAS solution, easy enough to mirror a Windows file server shares setup. Access to the Hyperbackup utility eliminates the need to purchase a tape backup solution. A portable USB drive can be used as the initial backup target. For air gap purposes can connect Hyperbackup to the various cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, GCP to copy backup data there. Utilizing it as a backup solution has also been great, instead of purchasing a tape solution, tapes and an offsite tape repository. Active Backup for Business is another excellent backup utility for physical servers, VMWare virtual machines, etc. Restoring files is fairly intuitive. Until Synology introduced the dual controller setup, using it as a SAN was less appropriate as there was occasional downtime when the controller had an issue but this was less important for the scenarios we were using it for. It would be more of a concern if we had used it for things that require more robust uptime requirements. Overall we are happy with the features of the Synology DiskStation.
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Pros
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Functions well as a disaster recovery cluster repository
  • Since the space is a spinning disk, it is inexpensive
  • All of our VMs are stored in a mass storage repository on the system, but we could carve out specific LUNs if needed.
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Synology
  • Synology DiskStation offers lots of options for creating links to share files or request that some uploads files. It makes it really easy to just share a link that can have an expiration or a set number of times it is accessed.
  • We always had enough storage on our Synology DiskStation, we never had to worry about something being too big to upload or share.
  • Love how you can create folders that are shared and also have some that are private. This makes it so easy to have shared collaborations with coworkers or clients, but also allows you to have a private place to save things that only you need.
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Cons
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Firmware upgrades. We have had major issues on two occasions, causing extended downtime. HP was quick to help and resolve, but I am not sure why our simple implementation caused an issue that should have been picked up by testing prior to release. Once was bad, twice painful. The end result is that we purchased a unit solely to test firmware upgrades on, not really great for us!
  • Support life span. Units go end of life support after around 4 years, a little too short for us.
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Synology
  • While BTRFS is a more advanced file system than ext4, it also is in a perpetual state of development, with many features not fully functional and a plethora of bugs. Synology has managed to overcome many of these limitations by placing BTRFS on top of a LVM, but there are much better file systems that Synology could have used, such as OpenZFS.
  • DSM's built-in backup software, HyperBackup, while robust, oftentimes runs into issues. Specifically, backups can be working fine for months or years, and then suddenly the backups will fail. Sometimes these failures can be resolved, but oftentimes the backups need to be completely restarted. Fortunately, even when the backup fails, the existing backups are still accessible, it is just that new backups can not be performed.
  • The underlying Linux OS provides significant benefits, but also adds a fair amount of complexity. Most of that complexity is wonderfully hidden by the DSM interface, but when certain problems arise, delving into the Linux command line is not out of the question.
  • Perhaps the biggest issue with Synology DiskStation is Synology's support. The issue isn't that the support is bad, but it can be frustratingly slow when dealing with a major issue. Synology does have a very active community that is always willing to help, but nothing beats first-party support.
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Likelihood to Renew
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
It is a functioning Replication system for us and checks all the boxes that the auditors are looking for. Further, it is inexpensive and the storage we purchased was cheap. HP has a good reputation in the industry that plays into the decision also.
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Synology
It provides us with great ROI compared with other solutions. It is also a versatile product, having NAS and SAN product lines depending on the business requirement. Furthermore, the implementation of dual controller lines would allow us to consider it for more critical applications to supplement the more enterprise-level SAN solution. It also is a wonderful backup solution, having all the applications available after purchase of the appliance without the further need to purchase additional software or licensing.
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Usability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Synology
The Synology DiskStation is fairly easy to use, but maybe a challenge for those who not super IT savvy. With some trial and error, you can pretty much figure out how to configure the NAS the way you want it configured. I would say it is easy to use once it is set up and maintaining the device is likewise pretty straightforward as well.
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Support Rating
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Synology
Unfortunately, the one time I've had to reach out to DiskStation support, it did not go well. My NAS appliance wasn't appearing on the network, and no matter what the support team tried, they could not get it back online. Instead of offering to send me a new unit, they told me to go buy a new one - obviously, this was a disappointing response and not very eco-friendly either! Fortunately, through some internet research of my own, and some ingenuity, I figured out I could restore my NAS to factory settings by removing all the drives and resetting. Only then did I realize I had a bad disk. I had to experiment for a while to figure out which one it was. Once I had done that, though, I was able to get the latest DiskStation loaded back on, no thanks to the DiskStation support crew. If notifications were rock solid, I suspect I would have caught the bad disk before it because an OS problem, but I never received a bad-disk notification.
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Alternatives Considered
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The dual controller configuration of the HPE MSA trumps the Synology DiskStation's single controller configuration. For that alone, I would select the HPE MSA. Without that setup, any controller issue or firmware upgrade is disruptive to the systems the SAN is providing storage to. Furthermore, HPE's support is better than what Synology currently provides. The lack of phone support on Synology's part slows down the troubleshooting of issues compared to HPE. Furthermore, HPE's engineers are able to do a remote session and can work on the problems directly compared to Synology's support.
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Synology
Synology DiskStation packs a punch with the latest and greatest feature set which goes above and beyond many other vendors. It allows for a turn-key solution to cover almost every use case in the SMB market leaving other vendors behind.
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Return on Investment
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Increased up time. Better user experience.
  • Good value for money. ROI high.
  • Peace of mind. Just knowing that you rely on the solution to meet storage performance needs is great.
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Synology
  • It has helped us go from printing things out to file them away to going 100% digital with our files and documents because we have a secure place to save stuff.
  • We are organized. I can't really put a value or number to how amazing this is for us, but when we deal with so many documents and files it can be so hard to keep things organized, but with Synology DiskStation, we have all our files in specific places and it helps us stay organized and definitely saves time because things are so easy to find.
  • One negative thing has been that our Synology DiskStation relies on us either being plugged into the network in the office or having a strong internet connection at home. With the pandemic and everyone working from home, we have had "outages" where we were not able to sync our data, and things were lost and we had to start over.
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ScreenShots