NetApp FAS series vs. Synology DiskStation

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
NetApp FAS series
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
NetApp's FAS series systems offers a storage array system for enterprises.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
NetApp FAS seriesSynology DiskStation
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
NetApp FAS seriesDiskStation
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
NetApp FAS seriesSynology DiskStation
Considered Both Products
NetApp FAS series
Chose NetApp FAS series
NetApp stacked nicely and gave enterprise-level usability for snapshot-based backups. Our previous RPO was several hours. It was selected prior to me arriving at the company, but It was selected for the hardware refreshes due to its compatibility with several other vendors, …
DiskStation
Chose Synology DiskStation
Synology meets a different need. Smaller companies do not need the scalability of the NetApps, Equalogics, Isilons.
PowerVault was too complicated for customer self-support. Synology met the storage capacity needs, and was easy to set up and use.
Top Pros
Top Cons
User Ratings
NetApp FAS seriesSynology DiskStation
Likelihood to Recommend
8.3
(13 ratings)
8.8
(21 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Usability
8.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
9.8
(5 ratings)
9.6
(12 ratings)
User Testimonials
NetApp FAS seriesSynology DiskStation
Likelihood to Recommend
NetApp
It is very easy to use with NFS. Creating new volumes and mounting to servers such as ESXi or Linux is a breeze. It does also support CIFS but it is far less intuitive and requires much more effort. Replicated data is also very simple and robust in the form of SnapVaults or SnapMirrors. This data is either immediately or periodically replicated to a peer FAS in the cluster for retention.
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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
NetApp
  • The selling point for NetApp FAS is the application and data protection integration capabilities they provide.
  • We have been able to use NetApp FAS in a variety of use cases with a standard set of management tools.
  • NetApp FAS has evolved over the years from just NAS to also include block protocols. At this time they support almost all industry standard protocols.
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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
NetApp
  • Deduplication job runs at certain times and creates a large CPU overhead for the system
  • Management of a volumes, disk groups, LUNs, etc. is a burden to manage and is not efficient with storage capacity
  • Upgrades are complicated and not "non-disruptive"
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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
NetApp
No answers on this topic
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
NetApp
It does have a really nice and easy to use web interface to do pretty much anything you need with it. It was very simple to configure our volumes and luns and connect them to our VMWare environment using the interface. It has options to rename, shrink, grow, and other things with our luns and volumes. It was nice and easy to read graphs to see where you stand on your storage usage at a glance.
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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
NetApp
NetApp support in Brazil is managed by its partners. We know in other countries, such as the US and NO, they have support directly from Netapp. We have a very good NetApp partner working with us since the beginning, on both the implementation and daily support. Very few cases needed to be escalated to NetApp support, most of the cases are handled and satisfyingly closed by the partner.
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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
NetApp
NetApp stacked nicely and gave enterprise-level usability for snapshot-based backups. Our previous RPO was several hours. It was selected prior to me arriving at the company, but It was selected for the hardware refreshes due to its compatibility with several other vendors, like CommVault and VMware.
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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
NetApp
  • The speed of file recovery is the biggest positive impact. Recovering from a ransomware attack in minutes is something you can certainly brag about.
  • Integration with products like Exchange and SQL can certainly speed up normal day to day processes. Not just in backup recovery situations either.
  • Redundant paths make migrations and updates very easy with no downtime.
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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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