The push to store all of our image data in the cloud is initially appealing and probably the ultimate way of doing things, but having local hard drive storage is still a very good way to archive all your data. There are pros and cons to both methods of storage, but at least for me the hard drive route still feels evermore expandable, reliable and cost-effective, but this also depends on your individual needs.
The hard drive method also feels more ‘hands-on’ and quicker. Even with today’s superfast broadband connections, high megapixel count images in big numbers take time to up and download. A good hard drive setup with backup drives feels more instant and if properly maintained as reliable as any other solution out there. Clearly, I have a soft spot for hard drive storage, but let’s look at the Synology DS1019+ to see if it cuts the mustard.
What’s in the box?
With this in mind, Synology has produced the DiskStation model DS1019+ which is a 5-bay NAS aimed at small businesses and photographers to easily store and backup data, including a host of other applications. The new model is also more cost-effective than the DS1517+ with fewer options, but still has the same speed and efficiency.
The device holds five bays, each with a 3.5-inch or 2.5inch SATA HDD/SSD up to a 12TB drive, totaling 60TB. This is the same capacity as the DS1517+, but the DS1019+ has only two LAN ports rather than four, no upgradable LAN connection and less RAM options. Each drive can be one of your choice and fits securely into the main enclosure with rails and screws provided. Each drive can then easily slide into the main casing with just one way of fitting to sit correctly. Each drive has its own plastic handle and keys which allow each bay to be locked. This allows easy replacement of drives if they become full or have failed, along with an LED for each drive to show if individual drives are operational and running at normal or hot temperatures.
You also get the same level of software as the DS1517+, a fast processor and the ability to code and stream H.264/H.265 4K video over two channels to another device such as a monitor or tablet.
The processor is a quad-core 1.5GHz J3455, with 4GB of RAM(expandable to 8GB) and cooled by two large rear fans. There may be only two 1GBE LAN ports, but they can be used for fitting an Expansion Unit DX517 tp up the storage capacity to 120TB. Read/write speeds equate to 225MB/s.
Connection is straightforward, plugging into a router where the Synology Assistant will detect the device and it’s then onto the Disk Station Manager to do initial setup and configuration. Different RAID configurations can be chosen, as well as basic and JBOD. Each RAID setting (1-10) is shown with an explanation of its benefits, a very needed item especially if you’re unfamiliar with RAID and how it works.
As a basic explanation, RAID 0 uses the full capacity of the drives, but doesn’t backup or copy data. The plus side is that you use the full capacity of the drives, but the downside is that if a drive fails, you will lose the data on the drive. Conversely, RAID 10 saves then copies each piece of data so that if one drive fails, you have a copy of the data saved on the other drives. The downside to the RAID 10 setting is that your storage space is halved to allow for the original data and the copy. Essentially, meaning the 24TB capacity becomes 11TB. However, this setting does give you the best piece of mind for storage and backup. The setup process also provides the standard timely backups to the time period you specify.
Connections and Apps
The DiskStation interface can be used to set up a network folder in Explorer, Finder or with a web browser. You can then create a QuickConnect on the desktop for easy access. This makes the whole unit very accessible from anywhere.
The Synology DS1019+ can be used as straight hard drives, but there are also various applications which help with photo and video storage and streaming. As long as you have an Internet connection, there’s an easy way to access any of your data. There are plenty of apps to choose from under a helpful search box, so you can find and categorize all the apps which may be useful, for example, photography. One of the main apps for creating photo albums is Photo Station 6 which can be viewed on a desktop or through the DS Photo phone app. Using either a desktop or a smartphone, all your images can be easily categorized and shared to the likes of social media or via a link for viewing or downloading.
Video Station is the video equivalent of Photo Station 6, allowing streaming to your smart phone or other device. There’s even a facility for hosting your own websites or acting as an email server.
This solution isn’t just a bunch of hard drives bundled together for storage. There are a lot of other features that come with this product from the streaming services, apps and loads of configurations options. This is a very accessible solution, which when set up correctly should definitely give you peace of mind that your precious data has been fully stored and backed up and can be expanded upon whenever needed.
Hard drive solutions and local backup is still a very efficient and reliable way to backup your data and the Synology DS1019+ provides a very well thought out solution with loads of add-on features.
The Synology DS1019+ weighs in at $599 with a three-year limited warranty. Find out more by visiting the Synology website.