Tag Archives: Hitachi

Happy Birthday to Me

Nas Layout

Nas Layout

You know its your birthday when you pick up a Synology DS716+ NAS Server for under £200, well £188 from Amazon in the Lightening Sale.

I own a few Synology units (current set up to the right) and have owned various others dating back to 2010/2011 and for the most part they are spectacularly good. I re-purpose the older units within my network, the oldest is a DS211+ currently the Media NAS. The newest is the External Hitachi Touro HDD which does a weekly image of the Main NAS. I did want to buy an 8 Bay NAS to Raid 6 it, but this were a killer deal.

This particular model (DS716+) has been replaced with the Synology DS716+II, so it were EOL (End of Lined) or Discontinued hence the price.

Speculation of Change

There has been a little speculation as why they updated the model to the Mk2 (II) given the lack of serious updates. Some have speculated that Synology maybe taking their lead from other NAS players in the market who release multiple versions of the same NAS with different specs. They currently already do this, but I don’t buy that as reason here, lets look at the DS216 which does have various flavours.

DS216 SE Marvel Single Core 800mhz, 256mb DDR3 (Buy Here £103.04).
DS216 J Marvel Dual Core 1.0ghz, 512mb DDR3 (Buy Here for £129.44).
DS216 Play STM Dual Core 1.5ghz, 1gb DDR3, +HW Encoder, +Transcoder (Buy Here for £191.99).
DS216 Marvel Dual Core 1.3ghz, 512mb DDR3, Hot Swappable, USB Clone, Upgradable Ram, Released Feb 2015 (Buy Here for £213.99).
DS216+II Intel Dual Core 1.6ghz, Burstable 2.48ghz, 1gb DDR3, +HW Encoder, +Hot Swappable, +USB Clone, +eSATA Port, Upgradable Ram, Released June 2016, (Buy Here for £259.94).

Synology Diskstation DS716

Synology Diskstation DS716

You can see the spec changes and price point between flavours is quite dramatic, just looking the DS216 and DS216+II and the change is huge, now lets look at the DS716+I and DS716+II.

Synology DS716+I: Intel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core (Released Jan 2015), clocked at 1.6ghz and burstable to 2.08ghz, Released Jun 2015. (Buy Here for £357.84)
Synology DS716+II: Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core (Released Jan 2016), clocked at 1.6ghz and burstable to 2.24ghz, Released Apr 2016. (Buy Here for £378.56)

Everything else is nigh on identical, as best I can tell it is identical apart from the little print (shown on the right). In all likelihood that’s the same chip just modified a touch by Intel.

I tend to agree with the few who say due to the stellar success of this model (and the chip), it exhausted the chips availability thus Intel discontinued the chip and brought forward the next iteration and thus opening a new stockpile of chips.

Hard Drives for NAS Servers

Retired Deskstars

Retired Deskstars

I always choose hard drives carefully, after having been burned quite badly simply by choosing the cheapest big brand (begins with S). So for the last 6yrs maybe 7 yrs with spinning drives I have always run HGST Deskstars (I briefly used Samsung F4’s too) and not had a single disk failure.

Its quite ironic that back in the day around the late 1990s and early 2000s, I were around when IBM Deathstars were vaporising into dust. IBM Deskstars and Travelstars (along with its HDD business) were sold to Hitachi in 2003 who turned it around quite dramatically. This is an interesting post, showing a tear down of a deathstar. Hitachi were then bought out by Western Digital (WD) who appear to have used Hitachi Magic to improve their WD Red NAS Drives, rather than degrade Hitachi’s Legacy.

The above image is one of my retired Hitachi Deskstars (before the HGST rebrand), this batch ran continuously in a 2 Bay NAS then into a 4 bay Synology NAS before being retired. This were the final disk to be replaced on my replacement cycle hence its a few months overdue a refresh. After 3 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 3 days continuous operation not a single error or bad sector. All the others are similar, no errors, no bad sectors, nothing but perfect service.

Back Up and Contingency Plans

There have been a few stories in the media recently about various companies back up plans being entirely inadequate, the biggest being Marco Marsala. One such company is within the Domain Circle which is HEG which own various companies including Heart, Domain Monster and the company at the centre of the back up fiasco 123-reg. What these companies have in common is that they are some how “I.T. Professionals” in charge of YOUR websites and domains and should know better.

Back Up Failure

Borrowed from BrassBolts

This is a perfect example of why I invested quite heavily in my home back up processes, and I used to be a “hosting company” which used to be a Reseller of services by a company called DonHost way way way back. Back then with a 64kb ISDN Line, I used to download nightly back ups of all client sites, and when the back ups started taking over 12 hours, I moved to bi-nightly downloads and so on.

This were in addition to the hosting companies daily, weekly making around 31 days worth of back ups (7 days, and 4 weeklys = 11) and the weekly “off site” back up to a non accessible hosting account with another company which had its own back ups too.

Non-Accessible Back Up

This non-accessible back up, is technically against lots of hosting companies T&C these days but it weren’t back then. Many hosts include a clause that you can only use a certain percentage of your storage for “storage” that is files not linked publicly by a web page hosted within the account.

This is to limit peoples illegal file sharing, but affects legal use too.

I think this a croc, if I pay for storage, I don’t expect the company to tell me, I can’t keep legal items in there. Obviously illegal stuff and things which breach rules is one thing, but to say I can’t store private files and then want to double the charge to allow me to store private files is a croc, but that’s another issue.

Synology NAS Units

Anyway fast forward 15 or so years, and now I use Synology NAS Units with Hitachi Touro External Hard Drives which perform nightly, weekly functions for local back ups. Many Synology units have a USB port which can be mounted and included in back up scripts, I have a rugged USB Waterproof Pen in there with important files on. The USB drive is stored around 8ft away in a cupboard.

Once I can get fibre (NOT cable, I don’t trust Virgin after the Virgin Media cView issues), I will start to use cold storage like Amazons Glacier or similar, but stuck on ADSL the upload speed limits me, but with fibre there is no excuse not to use a service like this.

Not ideal or business purposes but Google Drive is 1tb for £60 per year, and Google Photos allow unlimited free hi resolution image storage. These should be used for non sensitive data, always worth using.

Hitachi Reliability

In addition to my own storage, I want to touch on hardware Hitachi, I were around when IBM Death Stars (which went on to become Hitachi Deskstars) were literally melting and vaporising themselves, but now Hitachi Reliability is Legendary. I make a point of buying the same drive from multiple sources or on various different days so they are the same drive but different batches. I were also a little irked when Western Digital took over Hitachi, I feared WD would take over Hitachi’s tech but seems WD bought Hitachi for the technology to improve their own.

When you are building your storage needs and requirements, you should research the brands you use. I am a fan of  2tb Samsung F4 Drives, and Hitachi Deskstar’s. I try to replace critical drives every 2 yrs, but I have some Samsung F4s in my media units which have 50,000+ hours of 24/7 running, and some Hitachi’s in similar conditions and they have 0 faults, and clean profiles.

Given how much effort I put in both my person and my business it astounds me that companies 10 to 1000s of times bigger than I were can make sure reckless actions.

Bottom line is, learn from their mistakes and take steps, losing everything is horrible!