Commodity Synology 918+ Hardware?

I wondered if anyone knows of decent commodity hardware that could run TrueNAS Scale to replace a Synology 918+.

My 918+ has served me well for the last five years. 4 spinning disks, 2 nvme drive for caching, 16 GB of memory, and 1Gb networking is getting a bit constraining. I have a separate low-power NUC for running VMs, so that is not really a concern.

I was hoping that the new 923+ would fit my needs. But, I am disappointed at the lack of 2.5 or 10 Gb networking. The requirement to use Synology branded nvmes is a show-stopper for me.

I was curious if any knows of a good CPU and motherboard that would fit my bill as an enhanced 918+.

  • 4 data disks is plenty for my home office. I only back up my workstation, a couple of household laptops and about 15 VMs. Additionally I have about 10TB of data shared via NFS.
  • Since I have a separate VM server, running VMs is not a concern.
  • I expect the memory requirement is determined by how much is needed for caching.

Ideally, I would like 10Gb networking. Low power consumption is also desirable since this will run 24X7 for the next 5 years.

There is a 10 gig networking adapter available for the DS 923+

But there would would still be the requirement to use Synology branded nvmes.

Unfortunately, I’m not up to speed on what to buy for a NAS build in 2023. But maybe you can use the TrueNAS mini boxes as a reference, (I think they use Supermicro boards) or maybe they can even save you the effort of putting parts together and you could order one of these boxes right away. :wink: (I’m not affiliated with iX Systems).

Yes, I have looked at the 10 Gb network adaptor from Synology. My primary concern is if the 923+ NAS can fill up the 10Gb network. I’ve not yet read any reviews on the unit about the capability of the 923+ plus the 10Gb adaptor.

My initial research into this build started with teardowns of the Mini line of iX Systems to see what motherboard/CPU combination they needed. Sadly I lack knowledge about the pros and cons of low-end server-grade hardware. I was hoping that someone else had already done a similar build.

Unless I can develop a base of knowledge to build a system from scratch, I will probably go with TrueNAS Mini X+. Spread across 5 years of 24X7 use, $1400 is not too bad.

As a side note, I really liked the ‘Synology Hybrid Raid.’ When a drive would start to fail or I was low on space, I just added a drive or replaced the smallest/oldest drive with a new larger one. It was idiot-proof for someone like me to scale my NAS as my needs grew.

Yes Synology is more flexible than TrueNAS in terms of raid configuration and generally more turnkey. However, when it comes to their hardware, they are rather underpowered and with the trend of forcing customers to use certified peripherals and even certified disks, the price/performance ratio isn’t that good anymore as it may once have been. Also, because everything is custom built, you have to buy a new box in case the board dies or if you need more compute power further down the road…

The TrueNAS mini systems on the other hand are using standard hardware from Supermicro. There are standard ITX boards built-in, which you could theoretically replace with a more up-to-date board in the future, and the new rack-mountable TrueNAS mini R looks like it could even hold a MicroATX board. The boards in the TrueNAS Mini systems also have a PCIx slot, which you could use to run NVMes for ZFS chache. However, you would have to check if the respective board provides enough PCI lanes to run them at full speed. And last but not least, you could also install Linux on them or any other NAS distribution, because as I said, they are basically just standard x86 computers with a drive cage.

I spent another couple of hours researching this.

Based on my current needs and the relatively marginal improvement of a new NAS over my current NAS I have decided to revisit the upgrade decision next year.

Are others are making similar decisions? The value of upgrading to new gear has seemed rather limited over the past couple of years. I wonder if that is still related to chip shortages and supply reshuffling.

At least for me in small-town Wisconsin, the biggest outlier has been internet connectivity. I believe that I have a 5X faster connection than I had three years ago. The cost is slightly more than 1/2 of the old cost.