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#373729 - 29/01/2022 12:38 Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt?
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
I've been using Synology for years, but I don't know if this is possible.

Does anyone knows if recent Synology units exist that do the following:

1. come with a thunderbolt port
2. expose storage (all or part of it) via the above mentioned thunderbolt port to a Windows Server box, so that it can be fully and reliably managed by said Windows server (format in NTFS, for example, manage as permanent storage, etc)?

Thank you in advance! smile
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= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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#373730 - 29/01/2022 13:43 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
So.. are you asking for a simple external multi-drive enclosure, or still want the box to do RAID but not manage filesystems on top of the RAID?

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#373731 - 29/01/2022 15:38 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
Hey Mark,

I was thinking of the latter (in which case Syno DSM would be super), but the former could work too as a second best solution, provided drives are all exposes to Windows Server individually, so that Windows could manage the RAID.

Also, a simple multi-drive enclosure still would need to be good and reliable, as it does introduce a backplane, which ends up being a single point of failure for all drives. Again, that's why I was originally thinking of Synology. But still, I am open to recommendations.


Edited by Taym (29/01/2022 15:38)
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= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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#373732 - 29/01/2022 17:31 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
Incidentally, since you mentioned non-synology alternative, I had been watching ARECA devices in the past. Interesting.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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#373733 - 29/01/2022 19:32 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Hey Claudio!

I was just curious exactly what you were after. But I'm not a Windows person, so I really don't have any recommendations.

Cheers

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#373734 - 29/01/2022 21:18 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5671
Loc: London, UK
Seems to me that:

1. You don't want Synology for that; you just want a multi-drive external enclosure.
2. If you do want to use Synology, you should look into iSCSI as a way to expose volumes to the Windows Server. That'll be over Ethernet (TCP), rather than Thunderbolt.

Basically: if you want Windows to have full control over the disks, then it needs, well, full control over the disks. There's no need for Synology in that picture.

If you want to use Synology (maybe for its Hybrid RAID mode), then Windows isn't managing the RAID, and you're just exposing volumes.

I've not had the most success with iSCSI, but I was using an old DS211 and a cluster of RPi 4 boards, so...
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-- roger

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#373735 - 30/01/2022 01:42 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
Yes, I know it was a weird question/idea. smile

I've looked at Synology lineup and it seems they just don't make any DAS, so...

Have you guys had some good experience with good external enclosures (and Windows Server)? Thunderbolt 3 seems today the best performing interface, if I wanted Windows to see the external drives as JBOD and create its RAID array. Would it be a solid reliable solution? Meaning, would it be reasonable to assume that Windows could manage such drives as reliably as it would internal disks? Or, reliably enough not to pose limitations as to the type of use?

I went back to see ARECA devices, and they are crazy expensive, especially if one does not end up using their "hardware RAID" features.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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#373736 - 30/01/2022 12:48 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
I use a Mediasonic 4-bay SATA enclosure here, with USB3 and eSATA connectivity. They also have USB-C versions, which are are more than quick enough for four mechanical drives.

Lately, I'm finding their eSATA to be less than reliable though -- I doubt they test it very well. Their USB3 is now rock solid, so I've switched to using it and things are good.

The two major issues with MediaSonic enclosures:

1. They use a "soft" power-on button. So from the factory there is no way for these to automatically power-up again after a power failure. I have rewired mine to a software controlled relay, so I can start/stop them under software control.

2. No firmware updates after it ships from the factory. And they tend to use firmware that is limited to the current largest size drives on the market.. so when larger drives become available, they often prove incompatible with that version of the enclosure. This is why I always used eSATA until recently, because there's no firmware to get in the way then. I just don't know why it stopped being reliable.

Cheers

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#373737 - 30/01/2022 13:46 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5671
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Taym
Have you guys had some good experience with good external enclosures (and Windows Server)?


Can't really help: I haven't run Windows Server since Windows 2012 was a thing, and I'm using plain-ol' NAS (SMB, mostly) for most things these days.

Originally Posted By: Taym
Thunderbolt 3 seems today the best performing interface, if I wanted Windows to see the external drives as JBOD and create its RAID array.


My concern here is whether your Windows PC supports Thunderbolt 3. My Surface Book 3, for instance, doesn't (it's a deliberate security-related thing).

Originally Posted By: Taym
Would it be a solid reliable solution? Meaning, would it be reasonable to assume that Windows could manage such drives as reliably as it would internal disks?


Yes, I wouldn't have any concerns doing this. You might need to tweak some settings so that Windows doesn't see the disks as removable if you want more speed.
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-- roger

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#373750 - 03/02/2022 08:00 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
Thanks guys. This is all useful info.

Since I started thinking of a solution with all disks manged by Windows, I've also been looking into small server cases (mini-servers?) where one could install a full server (again: Windows Server) and a number of disks (4 at least, I guess).

I wonder if "NAS cases" are what I want, or if they pose any limit when used for full servers.

Just thinking out loud, here. Any recommendation welcome, of course!
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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#373751 - 03/02/2022 08:58 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5671
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Taym
I wonder if "NAS cases" are what I want, or if they pose any limit when used for full servers.


Depends on the expected load. For home/small-office, they'd be fine. I used to use a 4-bay NAS case for my Windows server. It's turned off now, but still around here somewhere (probably still with Windows installed on it; that's, what, ~10 years of Windows Updates...?)
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-- roger

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#373752 - 03/02/2022 16:32 Re: Can Synology storage devices expose storage via thunderbolt? [Re: Taym]
Taym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2504
Loc: Roma, Italy
Home/Soho. Yes.

Good to know. I'll look into those as well.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

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