Synology DS1512+

Years ago, in 2006 I bought a Infrant ReadyNAS NV. The thing has been ROCK SOLID in storing my 2.8 terabytes of archives, music, pdfs, backups. Everything. Love it. Though it is getting long in the tooth. It’s 360mhz processor, lack of software updates, support for just 2 Terrabyte drives, Ext3 filesystem, lack of software support……there is a list of things it doesn’t do that I’d like it to do. Though it has NEVER lost any data. A failed drive? Replace, it rebuilds, and we go on.

So, I decided to upgrade the NV to something new. Not that I plan on getting rid of the NV, but I’d like 2 copies of my stuff. So, I looked into Netgear (who bought Infrant) and their line of NASes. Not really cutting edge. Solid I’m sure. I also looked into Synology. They have a LOT of NASes they sell, and have some amazing software and even iOS apps to monitor the units. SOLD!

So, I get a unit on the 15th of March along with 3 2 terabyte seagate hard drives. Put the drives in, made a volume, updated the Synology software. Everything looked great. Awesome web interface, a speedy 2.1 gigahertz processor, FIVE drive bays. I’m in love.

Next up was to copy my ReadyNAS NV stuff to the Synology unit. I chose to use RSync on the ReadyNAS unit to make sure everything was copied, and that if I did any changes to the NV (cause I was still going to use it while it was backing up) the second pass of Rsync would catch any changes. So, I started the RSync job on Thursdays the 15th.

It finished on Saturday the 24th. It was slow (the ReadyNAS’s fault). The second pass of Rsync took like 20 minutes and caught all the changes I had made. Awesome. Ok, so next up was to power down the ReadyNAS, rename the Synology unit and reboot the Synology unit. Renaming it and rebooting it would make it show up as the old unit on my network and my iTunes share and network paths should, in theory, work without any tweaks.

Disaster…, I rebooted the Synology unit. And it never came back. It now blinks a steady BLUE power light. Scanning their support FAQ, if you take the drives out and power it up again, it should blink blue then beep and go solid. It doesn’t. It died. WTF! So, I email their tech support (actually before I did the taking the drives out). Nothing. Seems their tech support doesn’t work weekends…..which I think is unacceptable. I also posted in their forum my plight….seems at least 2 others right now, with newer units, have the same problem. Reboots or power back ons that just hang.

So…..what do I take away from this so far? Synology has shitty tech support. No support on the weekends? At all? Not ONE person in the company can be bothered to check and reply to the emails over the weekend? Terrible. A unit that is a week and 2 days old DIES when you simply reboot it? And I’m supposed to maybe have some sort of reliance on this product?

I would SERIOUSLY, as of right now, NOT RECOMMEND SYNOLOGY PRODUCTS. Go somewhere else. Netgear’s stuff is solid but doesn’t have the bells and whistles of Synology. But at least they have people replying to emails on the weekends and have members of their support staff monitoring and replying to forum posts.

I’m giving this a 0 out of 10 right now. I left a 1 star review on Amazon, and have contacted them through Amazon (still no reply). If it isn’t fixed by Monday, I will be filing a complaint with Amazon to get my money back.

UPDATE 3/29: After several emails with their support, and bitching about it, seems they will ship me another one to replace the unit. I did get the unit up at home on Monday. Passed the self test, and then I powered it down, and put the drives in, and it worked perfectly. So, I powered it down, brought it to my studio….and it did the blinking blue light thing again. I called their support, and they were like “it needs to go back from where you bought it”. And I was like “But I bought it FROM YOU through Amazon”. Ugh. So, after being disgusted on the phone with them, and having the unit completely unplugged again, I plugged it in, and it started working. I powered it down, and put the drives back in, powered it up and it works!

It’s a great little unit when it is working. The software is awesome, including the iOS apps for streaming music. Very cool. And you can remotely stream music as well. VERY COOL. Except that I’m worried about if I have to power it down or turn it off.

So, I’m going to revisit my rating of it. I’m going to give it a 5 out of 10. When the unit runs, it’s awesome. EXT4, awesome web interface, remote access, it’s FAST. However, their quality control seems suspect (a couple of other people on the Synology forums had similar issues with the XX12 series of units) and their tech support leaves a LOT to be desired (no email support over the weekend, no 800 number for support). I’d hold off buying a unit for a few weeks until they figure out what is the matter with these units. I suspect it is some sort of software issue with their DSM4 software.

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