back to article Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud

Small networked storage systems are in trouble: kit-tallyer IDC says sales declined in Q3 2015 and now sit at under 334,000 a quarter. That's our conclusion from the firm's latest Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Tracker, released Monday and suggesting sales of 16,680,000 units for the quarter. The tracker defines …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "sharing files is arguably easier in a cloud service than on the LAN"

    Sure, because everyone has a full-duplex gigabyte link to the Internet, meaning that downloading the same data again and again is not a problem. Really ?

    Sorry, but no. If I'm on a LAN, then I want my data to be accessible at GB speed, not at 10Mbps. And I don't want to burden my Internet bandwidth with the data.

    I just bought a Synology 414DS this year, and I'm very happy with it. You are not going to convince me that I should instead upload all my DVD rips (store-bought) to some unicorn service and use my Internet connection to watch them.

    And as for security, please. My Synology is firewalled from the web. Not visible, period. How is Dropbox more secure than that ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I just bought a Synology 414DS this year, and I'm very happy with it."

      I'm not. The device can't cope with volumes over 16TB. What a stupid limitation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Synology

        Why the downvotes? Was that not a valid complain? "640kB 16TB should be enough for everyone?"

        The limit comes from ext3, which IMHO is a poor choice - some other NAS vendors use XFS which trumps ext3 in every aspect. The upcoming Btrfs support will surely help but will it be implemented for these ARM models?

        I'd also like to add that although the DS414 works just fine as a backup target and the aforementioned 16TiB limitation can be overcome by using iSCSI. DS414 can easily saturate a gigabit network with at least sequential reads and writes (backups), but turning on the encryption drops the speeds by 60-75% - unusable feature in my case. Should have gone with the more expensive Intel models and forget the weak ARMs...

    2. goldcd

      Re: "sharing files is arguably easier in a cloud service than on the LAN"

      I agree - partially.

      I've got Tb of media nicely sat on a RAID at home. Works well within the home, and should I wish to access it from outside, I can VPN back in.

      VPNing back in doesn't offer great upstream performance, when I'm lying on a hotel bed on the other side of the planet, and and fancy watching a 1080p film. Much better performance from a cloud provider.

      Ideally I'd have my primary storage at home, with a continuous little trickle of data to keep a cloud image in sync.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        @goldcd & Anonymous

        goldcd: I agree entirely with your point on remote access. I was in no way referring to that, only commenting on the LAN side of the equation. My upstream bandwidth is currently sitting at less than 1mpbs, so I would even dream of going via VPN to watch anything on my DiskStation.

        AnonC : I understand your point and that your use case is different from mine. I have no use for files that over 10GB let alone 1TB, so 16TB is the Moon for me. But I agree that XFS might have been a better choice. That said, Synology apparently bases its hard drive format on EXT4, not EXT3. Not nerd enough to know if that's better.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Pascal

          I don't deal with 16TB file sizes (thank god!) but the volume (partition if you will) is limited to 16TB. With 4x6TB drives I couldn't create a single volume to share on network and utilize all the space at the same time. I could only create a 16TB volume and another volume with a size of few hundred gigs, or whatever the leftover was. "A few hundred gigabytes" is a nice amount for many people but looks justs puny in comparison to the 16TB volume - I needed a single volume and I don't like to just waste space...

          With iSCSI I could publish the RAID-5 set and partition it with the x86 server into a single space with a file system of my choosing. iSCSI just needs a very robust network and this NAS was installed in an office space 5 switches and three fiber connections away from the server without any backup links...

  2. John Tserkezis

    "It's not hard to see why, as the likes of Dropbox or OneDrive offer plenty of security and redundancy."

    They don't offer a way to dump half a dozen terabytes in a reasonable manner. Not everyone has one of those internet connections that uploads as fast as it downloads either.

    I think I did the math for myself, and to dump my entire nas contents to a cloud service, meant it would take a solid year of uploading, without having my ISP knock me off for abusing their so-called "fair" use policy.

  3. gz

    What about the notwork?

    Uploading to the net, now known as the cloud, is not only slow but unreliable; connections fail or are simply not available. The same applies to downloading although that's faster. Anyone who relies on cloud services for their data is asking for trouble, frustration and inconvenience - and the continuing added cost of storage and possible upgrade of their internet service. Please don't take my NAS away!

    The same applies to phones without SD slots; mine doesn't so I have an OTG with me at all times as I never know when the connection will drop or disappear.

  4. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    Cloud data services....

    Sorry, but I've yet to be 100% convinced about using cloud as a primary data store.

    1 - Getting the data there and back on a home broadband connection is somewhat less than reliable or fast. My LAN is GbE, my broadband sadly is not.

    2 - Broadband goes down, so does my data. My LAN might still work, but that don't matter if my data is all cloudy. I'm not sold on Chromebooks for a similar reason.

    3 - I'm supposed to trust these folks with my data. It's not extenal hacks or physical theft that worries me, it's the vendor themselves. Cloud providers and there offerings come and go, sometimes at the drop of a hat. One steep pricing change and you need to move your stuff PDQ!

  5. Mage Silver badge

    No.. Not the Cloud

    Cloud is OK for small collaborative / sharing between people etc, madness for any volume of data and impractical to replace a NAS for a home user, SOHO, or small businesses. The majority of Internet connections can't support it.

    I have 1 Mbps upload, which is better than average DSL. But my total traffic cap is 60 G byte. Most "unlimited" cable & DSL is really 150G to 1Tbyte a month, inc downloads.

    "Cloud's been fingered as the culprit, especially for personal storage. It's not hard to see why, as the likes of Dropbox or OneDrive offer plenty of security and redundancy "

    Almost nonsense as an explanation. Certainly some people will be foolishly using "Cloud" storage exclusively.

    Security? Don't make me laugh, none are as secure as your own NAS behind a firewall/Router for a single person or a family.

    Perhaps the market is saturated, as is PC market.

    See also El Reg Comments here

    1. paulf
      Thumb Up

      Re: No.. Not the Cloud

      I'll see your market is saturated comment.

      About four years ago I bought 4 Netgear ReadyNAS Duo boxes - each is populated with 2*2Tb HDDs in RAID 1 configuration and they work perfectly well for the archive/media storage use they're put to. I've not had a firmware update since last year (still pretty good considering how quickly Netgear EOL their routers!) but the HW is still going strong and they're completely firewalled from the WAN.

      Storage efficiency isn't as good as with a bigger NAS (e.g. four mechs and RAID 5) but when I bought the first one I didn't realise I'd be needing more storage until after I bought the third. The thing is I've no need for more small boxes and my next purchase will be a much bigger NAS to consolidate things when the small ones start to die.

    2. DropBear

      Re: No.. Not the Cloud

      Not sold on "cloud is stealing NAS clients" either - instead, I suspect cheap and small boards with SATA built-in (or with disks attached via USB) are becoming sufficiently ubiquitous to persuade many of those with the know how to maintain their own NAS to build their own from scratch instead (or just use that ageing PC for the job...).

  6. BenBell

    Cloud isn't the culprit!


    - Available outside the house

    - 2 meg a sec upstream where I live to get anything

    - 10 meg a sec downstream where I live to get anything

    - Requires re-downloading on every device I want to use on.

    - Price £66/month (Google Drive, 16tb, according to CNET)

    My NAS:

    - Available outside the house via VPN

    - gigabit LAN, 300 WiFi at home

    - 10/2 outside the home

    - Doesn't require a re-download from the net at slow speeds for each device

    - Price £800 one off (16TB, R5, QNAP, what I paid 5 months ago)

    Bit of a no brainer really. By this time next year, I'll have access at home and equal speed at work access to the same storage, be £300 better off, not have Google claiming ownership of my stuff (It's inthe T&C's apparently!) and still be able to run my webserver, MySQL DBs, VPN, Media Server etc from home to suit my own needs.

    SOHO NAS providers are their own culprit. My little 4-bay QNAP has more functionality than I know what to do with - mail server, web server, db server, ldap server, radius server, media servers (multiple), file storage, VPN, data sync, auto-backup (which is crap btw1). I can add bigger disks and the array will resize/reshape itself. As long as the box doesn't die - they've had a one-time few hundred quid off me and aren't likely to see anything else.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Cloud isn't the culprit!

      2 meg a sec upstream where I live to get anything; 10 meg a sec downstream where I live to get anything

      Count yourself lucky. In my village, that's 0.4 up and 4 down on a good day (a bad day is when it's raining hard and the presumably rat-gnawed wires get submerged).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My old NAS contained bucket-loads of top-shelf content. As soon as I got a girlfriend, I no longer needed it. Hence they've lost me as a customer.

    Maybe I'll buy one again if/when we get married. I'm told things go downhill from there.

  8. crediblywitless

    On the slide? Possibly---but that's because these devices tend to be really close to useful functionality, but always one firmware update away from making a difference.

  9. Last Bandit

    With the MS One drive price hike, the other cloudy people are sure to follow suit. That would hopefully turn things around for home NAS makers. I'm more than happy with mine!

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