Synology has introduced its first-ever list of validated disks and won’t allow other devices into its enterprise-class NAS devices. And in a colossal coincidence, half of the disks allowed into its devices – and the only ones larger than 4TB – are Synology’s very own HAT 5300 disks that it launched last week.
Seeing as privately held Synology is thought to have annual revenue of around US$350m, rather less than the kind of cash required to get into the hard disk business, The Register inquired if it had really started making drives or found some other way into the industry.
The Taiwanese network-attached-storage vendor told us the drives are Synology-branded Toshiba kit, though it has written its own drive firmware and that the code delivers sequential read performance 23 per cent beyond comparable drives. Synology told us its branded disks will also be more reliable because they have undergone extensive testing in the company’s own NAS arrays.
So to cut a long story short, if you want to get the most out of Synology NAS devices, you’ll need to buy Synology’s own SATA hard disk drives.
The new policy applies as of the release of three new Synology NAS appliances intended for enterprise use and will be applied to other models over time.
The new models include the RS3621RPxs, which sports an unspecified six-core Intel Xeon processor and can handle a dozen drives, then move data over four gigabit Ethernet ports. The middle-of-the-road RS3621xs+ offers an eight-core Xeon and adds two 10GE ports. At the top of the range, the RS4021xs+ stretches to 3U and adds 16GB of RAM, eight more than found in the other two models.
I guess HDD vendor lock in is a really really good reason to not buy Synology then.