NAS shoot-out: QNAP vs. Synology

The beefy QNAP TVS-EC880 delivers better performance under heavy workloads, while the elegant Synology DS2015xs shines with useful tools

The past few years have seen a meteoric rise in the breadth and scope of small-business NAS, and while the top names in this space may have brought the core disciplines of NAS and even SAN to maturity, they continue to add features to their hardware. The latest from QNAP and Synology -- two longtime leaders in this market -- showcase this trend.

I spent some time in the lab with the Synology DS2015xs and the QNAP TVS-EC880. Both are eight-bay storage arrays with optional 10G network connectivity. I tested each on 1G and 10G networks, with basic file serving and NAS functions, but also with VMware vSphere as a data store for virtualization infrastructures.

Either unit will deliver on features and general-purpose NAS performance. The QNAP TVS-EC880 offers higher performance under load, making it a better option as a virtualization data store, but the Synology DS2015xs is cheaper and includes several very useful storage and security analysis tools.

Synology DS2015xs

Like the rest of the Synology desktop NAS lineup, the DS2015xs is a sleek, surprisingly small box that holds eight 3.5-inch SATA drives and up to two optional internal SSD cache devices. Running the show is an interesting CPU from a new startup, Annapurna Labs. It runs four cores at 1.7GHz and packs 4GB of RAM. There are two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and two SFP+ 10G interfaces in the unit. Additional wireless networking is available via an optional USB wireless adapter.

Synology DS2015xs

Synology DS2015xs

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