There are many storage options for today’s photographer. I spent many of hour researching, reading reviews, and asking what my fellow photogs use. I decided to go with the Synology Diskstation DS712+. Here’s a review, and why I chose to go with Synology.
With cameras today getting more and more megapixels, and video becoming very popular, we need a high capacity, reliable, and versatile storage system. Like most things in photography, the options available are overwhelming. The biggest name in the game is probably Drobo. Drobo has many great features, but the biggest downfall is the proprietary system. If something fails you will have to go to Drobo to get it fixed. I didn’t even consider Drobo because of a recent post written by Scott Kelby. Follow this link to read why he is leaving Drobo. I haven’t used drobo, but based on many reviews it seems they aren’t reliable and pretty slow.
My first option was from Wiebetech. RTX400 Qr 4BAY 0GB Sata FW400 FW800 Esata USB Us Raid Power. I read the reviews from Scott Bourne over at his site Photo Focus. This seems like a great option but the price for me seemed a little high. Remember the price doesn’t include Hard Drives.
My next consideration was the G-Technology G-SPEED Q 4TB High Speed RAID Array w/ eSATA, USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 Interfaces for Video Editing Applications 0G01792. This company and system is most famously used by commercial photographer Chase Jarvis. Check out his review and process here. The link provided does include 4 1TB HDD. I almost pulled the trigger on this until I researched a bit more and found Synology.
The Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) is just that. Network Attached Storage. Basically it hooks to a router and can be accessed from several computers on your network. It can also be hooked up to a wireless router and you can access your files wirelessly. Wireless is ok, and will work, but it’s slow. I prefer a bit more speed, so I have my Diskstation connected with the network cable. If your network is online, you can access your files from anywhere in the world (with an internet connection) when you setup and use the port forwarding option. It also can be used as a mail server, media server, print server, and more.
But it only has 2 drives! True, but it’s also expandable when you buy the Synology 5-Bay Plug-n-Use Expansion Unit to DS1010+, DS710+, and DS1511+, & DS712+ Network Attached Storage DX510 (Black). It will transform your storage from 2 bays to 7, and provide up to 28 TB of storage. The Diskstaion is easy to set up with the provided software, and when you map your network drives, it will show up on your computer just like any other hard drive. This makes it easy to use Lightroom or any other editing software. You have the choice of running different RAID options which include raid o,1,5,6,10. Currently I’m only using 2 drives running RAID 1, which places data on the first drive and makes an identical copy of that data and places it on the second drive. Once I expand I will run RAID 5. The drive bays are hot swappable which means if a drive fails, I pull it out and put in a new drive. The new drive will then be populated with the data.
With many options out there I found the Synology to provide many more options than the normal storage unit. This is why I went with Synology. I’m very pleased I did! The speed and reliability is there. The ease of setup and integration with my editing software is there. The non proprietary RAID options are there. The expandability is there. The initial price was reasonable. There really isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t use Synology as your next storage solution.
Just a quick word of advice, always make sure you back up your data to a separate drive and keep that drive off site. The storage options available today do a wonderful job of protecting your images, but none of them will save your files from physical damage, fire, flood, or even electrical problems.
Everything has been working great and I recommend Synology to anyone looking for a storage solution.