TrueNAS VS Synology

Feature TrueNAS SCALE Synology
Operating system Linux-based Linux-based & only on their hardware
Open Source Yes No
Centralized Management Option TrueCommand Active Insights
High availability *On IX Systems Hardware, Gluster Cluster in the future Available and varies by model Configuring a Synology HA Cluster and Showing What Happens When You Pull The Plug! - YouTube
External management via relay proxy No Yes, via Synology
Hard Drive Support Sata/SAS/NVME & Most Common drives Varies by model What Happens When You Use "Non Verified" Drives with Synology? - YouTube
File systems supported ZFS Btrfs or EXT4
RAID support RAID-Z, RAID-Z2, RAID-Z3, mirrors, ZFS Special VDEV types TrueNAS ZFS VDEV Pool Design Explained: RAIDZ RAIDZ2 RAIDZ3 Capacity, Integrity, and Performance. - YouTube RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10,SHR, F1, & JBOD
Expanding existing Raid setups Yes, but VDEV’s to be symmetric TrueNAS: How To Expand A ZFS Pool - YouTube Yes
Deduplication Yes Yes
Virtualization support Yes TrueNAS Scale Virtualization Features and How To Get Started Building VM's - YouTube Yes Synology Virtual Machines Quick Review - YouTube
Docker support Yes, but not standard Yes, but not standard
Native encryption Yes Yes When using BTRFS
Snapshot support Yes ZFS Yes When using BTRFS
Replication Yes: To other ZFS Targets such as TrueNAS Scale or Core TrueNAS 12 ZFS Replication & Encryption - YouTube Yes: To other Synology Running BTRFS Protect Your Data, Replicate You Data, & Recover Quickly From Ransomware Using Synology Snapshots - YouTube
Backup to external services Popular Cloud Services and Custom targets TrueNAS Backup To BackBlaze - YouTube Popular Cloud Services and Custom targets Synology Hyper Backup to Synology and to C2 Cloud - YouTube
Plugins/Extensions Yes via their App catalog & third party catalogs such as TrueCharts Yes via their App catalog and some third party apps exist
Web-based interface Yes Yes
Active Directory support Yes Yes
Application Setup & Management More Complex How To Setup TrueNAS Scale Apps With Shares For Host Path Volumes - YouTube Easy setup
NVR/ Surveillance system Not at this time Yes, but needs one time licenses Quick Review: Synology Surveillance Station Version 9.0 - YouTube
Backing up your computers Not at this time Active Backup Synology Active Backup Demo & Review 2023 - YouTube
Backing up Office 365 / Gsuite Not at this time Active backup 365/Google Synology Active Backup for Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace - YouTube
Photo App With Phone Backup Photoprism / no native phone app backup Synology Photos Synology Moments Google Photos Alternative - YouTube
Office Suite Open Source NextCloud Synology Office
File Sync App for Client or Server Syncthing (more complex setup) Synology Drive & has Mobile Client
Media Player Apps Plex / Emby / More via third party TrueCharts Catalog Plex / Emby / Video Station
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Considering a big departure from typical enterprise storage vendors for our video post production house. We’re currently on a NetApp FAS and considering the move to TruNas Scale or Synology SA, HD, or FS series. No experience with Synology or TruNAS in a high availability SMB environment. Can either of these solutions be trusted to get close to our match NetApp/Dell/HP/Qumulo in performance or reliability? Big win is going to be upfront cost and support cost. Thoughts?

We sell at lot of TrueNAS M Series unit to the movie industry. So that answer is yes for TrueNAS but for Synology we have not deployed at the same scale so that is less tested but that really depends on at what scale you are referring to.

Lots of random reads, very hard to predict the assets that will be required even day to day. 3 to 4 Adobe Premiere editors with Media Encoder exports. 5x video transcoders prores LT/HQ masters to MPEG2/4. IOPs at the high point of 5000 and an average of 500-600 IOPs. Throughput peaks at flooding 10Gbps and is a constant of 400-500 MBps. 15-20 team members.

NetApp performance has been solid but it’s time to explore a more open hardware compatibility platform. Hybrid array solutions would be best, M Series looks like it might fit. Synology seemed appealing because of virtual DSM and to my understanding it could replace the functionality of SVM on NetApp. Identity (AD) and network segmented storage is a compliance requirement. To my knowledge, multiple VLANs are not possible on a base instance of either DSM or TruNAS. Could be wrong.

I have never tested virtual DSM but TrueNAS has no issues with multiple VLANs and can be built to maintain high iops under load.

I wonder why it’s never mentioned in any reviews that the Synology disk encryption is practically useless. It has a maximum file name length limitation which varies depending on the language used to label files (unless they changed that in recent years) and what’s even worse you can simply gain admin access (and decrypt the drives) by pressing the physical reset button on the appliance. So there’s virtually no protection from burglars stealing the NAS from your office even when you have the encryption turned on.
The two things that made me return the NAS 2 days after testing it. I wonder why this is NEVER mentioned in the reviews of Synology NASes? You only find that info in the fine print in the manual (which no one reads of course).

So in that regard it’s unusable if you are concerned about theft.

That said: I tested one probably 3 years back so maybe this has improved now?

If you want to protect the data from physical theft on TrueNAS or a Synology you need to use passphrase for the folder on Synology or Dataset on TrueNAS. Using keys that are kept on the device is not a great for either device as there are ways to extract them. Using a passphrase mitigates this issue for both platforms.

You mentioned that you’re using TrueNAS for your video editing. I’m curious to hear, do you think you get better performance using TureNAS than Synology? I’m currently using Synology for video and photo editing on a 10gbe connection and sometimes get hiccups and lags which can be very frustrating when they result in software crashes etc. I’m thinking of building my own server using TrueNAS and currently researching the pros and cons, trying to figure out what’s the best option in my case.

That comes down to the spec of each device either one can be slow based on the system or on the drives used. Slow drives and whether or not you use encryption on either can be a big performance change.

Hello Tom et all,

Hope you had a great Easter break! I am considering to deploy a Synology HA cluster for a small client (max 20 users). My question is related to the BTRFS reliability the way Synology has implemented it (with mdraid/lvm). The setup will be a RAID10 with 4x spindle drives and a hot spare per Synology appliance. I hope that this will be pretty robust since it is a small business, but the nature of it is pretty critical (medical sector).

I am coming from the enterprise storage world (NetApp, Oracle ZFS appliances and other forms of ZFS including my own custom builds, 3PARs, Pure Storage, etc, etc). I have used Synology in the past (and I am a huge fan of their products), but never with BTRFS.

I have read numerous posts about the BTRFS reliability, performance, etc. But I am really interested to hear your thoughts and mainly experiences with Synology’s implementation and how I would like to deploy it for the particular client. Thank you.

PS Unfortunately, TrueNAS appliances (Mini X+ is awesome) or a Supermicro build seem to be out of the question, since they are difficult to get where I live.

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BTRFS reliability comes up mostly under the context of having it control the drives directly and as I understand in the early days this was not great which is why Synology is still using Linux MDADM. BTRFS has matured a lot and we have not had any issues with it.

Hi Tom. Thanks for your swift response. IMHO, it’s really unfortunate that Synology went with BTRFS instead of ZFS. To this day I 've not understood what was their rational behind this decision.

PS I 'd appreciate any further input from other members regarding my Synology/BTRFS/RAID10 question