More with less: software that meets and exceeds your needs with Synology NAS solutions

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Introduction

When you get a Synology NAS, you get the power that you want, and software that keeps you engaged with your data in meaningful ways. In order to deliver an ideal experience, there’s a lot more to take into account than a few quick bullet points. This article will provide some more insight into the ways that Synology improves overall user experiences.

When it comes to modern computers and software, there are numerous factors to take into account when considering performance. Today’s microprocessors focus on making the most effective use of each processing cycle. For example, properly utilized CPU instruction sets can make some operations process more efficiently, reducing the amount of cycles needed to perform an operation. This is part of why the clock speed of desktop processors have plateaued over time. Development resources have been focused on reducing power consumption, physical die size, increasing the effectiveness of parallel processing, as well as increasing the efficiency of code execution.

Desktop CPU Clocks Over Time

CPU Instruction Set Implementation Over Time

As shown in the graphs above, processor clock speeds from Intel over the last 10 years have been mostly stagnant, however the number of instruction sets and extensions have steadily risen. This is just one of the many factors to consider when looking at improvements in core hardware outside of clock speeds. Another important factor to consider is the power consumption of a processor, the number of cores, the efficiency of processing tasks with multiple cores, and so on.

Software efficiency

At Synology, our software is designed both to look and feel great when you’re using it, but it is also written to be resource efficient. With DSM 5.0 we introduced memory compression technology to both improve performance and reduce memory utilization, further lowering the memory footprint of our already-efficient software. This provided benefits to our existing line of NAS devices, and reduced the number of circumstances that would require memory expansion modules to be purchased and installed. Compression technology, combined with the ability to rapidly compress and decompress information with low processing overhead, means substantial benefits in terms of both file size and resource utilization reduction.

To truly test this difference, we pit the DS1515+ against a competing i686 architecture five-bay NAS solution with a similar feature set. With the operating system running, and an audio, video, iTunes, DLNA, and basic SMB/AFP/NFS services running on both devices, we compared the memory consumption which we’ve graphed below.

Memory Comparison At Idle

The benefit of Synology’s DiskStation software with memory compression is very evident in these results, with over 250% reductions in memory consumption.

In certain scenarios, these advantages are less stark, but still clearly beneficial. The graph below was taken while conducting virtually the same video streaming test. While the Synology system comfortably managed resources for the task, the competing NAS began using swap space rather than system memory.

Memory Comparison During Use

To get an accurate memory use comparison, we took the measurements about five minutes after each device rebooted to keep unrelated cached memory utilization balanced. Additionally, it proved important to concatenate /proc/meminfo via the command-line of each device as the provided GUI on the competing five-bay misrepresented the memory utilization of the system and did not break down memory utilization into specific categories. Which, even still, reported roughly double the active memory consumption of the DS1515+ while idle.

In the video below, you can see the video streaming stress test performed with the DS1515+ to reach these results. This demonstration also includes a sneak peek at the upcoming RT1900AC router in action.

Energy efficiency

Power Consumption During HDD Hibernation Comparison

Power Comparison During Active Use

Each Synology product is designed for energy efficiency, resulting in a reduction to the cost of continued ownership in addition to the reduced cost of initial purchase by minimizing the need for additional memory modules. Providing value both in the short term, and during the life of the device.

While some NAS manufacturers tout similar features, they fall short of performing to the standards we’ve set for ourselves at Synology. Each new feature is carefully crafted and provides a fluid experience with the high quality our customers have come to expect. When you get a Synology NAS, you get the power that you want, and software that keeps you engaged with your data in meaningful ways. Choose Synology and avoid the frustration of a disjointed, inefficient software experience; and feel the excitement and power of the award-winning DiskStation Manager on a Synology NAS.