What new NAS releases are up and coming in the next year?
With Q3 of the year just starting, it is an exciting time for NAS. The autumn/Winter release schedule is always one of huge anticipation in the entire consumer and business electronics community. Most technology and its inevitable release can be broken down into 3 types. The first is the kind that the public is made aware of (albeit in preview form) many, many months in advance – these are generally the type that are long awaited and sold in the million upon millions. The second is of a more speculative nature. Perhaps the manufacturer is unsure of an audience of their designers kit or wants to evaluate public demand before an official release as to not tie up finance and capital in manufacturered units that may or may not sell. The third kind (and the most common in the data storage industry) is the release that comes out of nowhere! A popular brand, such as Synology, QNAP, WD or Seagate will announce the release of an as yet unheard of device and practically release within the month!
Why are we waiting for New NAS?
The reasons for this is two fold. One reason is good and the other is..well… if not bad then a tad iffy. First is because like any industry, companies have their rivals and new technologies will soon be copied, imitated or reverse engineered by competing companies. Releasing a device with little or no waiting period between preview and review gives most brands an advantage over their rivals. This can be respected, if not appreciated. The other reason is about old units. Many brands once a model or device series has been established will (for obvious reasons of economy) bulk product units of a device. Of course, if they release a newer, more current unit – who will buy all those older models? So, they keep a new device on hold until the stocks of the older device in the series deplete to an acceptable level – then announce the new model!. This kind of blatant omission is hardly new, but nevertheless, it can make the lives of bloggers like me tough when keeping you guys informed of what is up and coming, and what is on its way out! So, based on my knowledge of the dat storage industry, NAS and the big brands QNAP and Synology, I have comprised what I like to think of as my NAS Wishlist for the closing months of 2016 and the start of 2017. All of the units below have no been officially announced at the time of writing this article and this guide should be used as a means to gauge the growing trends within these two NAS brands, the markets own demand and looking at the release pattern of the companies thus far. So, without further ado, lets start the list!
The Synology DS1816+ and DS1817+
If I had to name a Synology NAS device that is requested more than any other, I would have to say that a new and more powerful 8-Bay Synology NAS is at the front of the queue. The last A class 8-Bay the guys at Synology released was the DS1815+ NAS and at the time, it was a beast of a NAS. Easily their best and most powerful Desktop NAS, it was hugely popular and sought after by those who had skipped/missed the DS1813. Now in 2016, this unit is beginning to look a little old and the hardware is lesser than that of the DS916+ 4-Bay. So, we wait with baited breath for synology to put us out of our misery and announce the release of the Synology DS1816+ or DS1817+ NAS this Q3. Oh and let’s just pretend the DS2015xs didn’t happen…
A New version of the QNAP Android NAS
QNAP and Synology have always had a great rivally, mentioned often here on NASCompares.com, as well as by me on @RobbieOnTheTube and SPANTV – they compete on price, audience, ability and marketplace. However QNAP was the first to truly integrate the popular platform Google Android and their own OS, QTS, to create a dual-OS NAS in the form of the TAS-268 Android NAS. A Brave release and truly one of a kind, it never really got the support it deserved. Released between bigger and more high profile devices (the TVS-871T and the TS-253A to name but two) in the closing stages of 2015 it was largely overlooked. Personally though, I do not believe QNAP is done with it’s Android QNAP NAS mash up and fully expect to see a new Google OS/QTS NAS released soon. Though perhaps you guys at QNAP could spring for a bigger CPU? or maybe release it with a little room to breath.
Announcement of the Synology DS1516+ and DS1517+ NAS
What can I say that I haven’t already said about the DS1816+/DS1817+ hopeful release above? I know, I know..Synology already blessed us with the DS916+ this year – easily their most powerful desktop NAS, a 4-bay (close enough), expand-ability with the DX513 and an 8GB RAM option. But for many (me) it doesn’t seem enough. Many feel (yep, me again) that making us chose between a brand new unit with just 4 bays or an older unit with 8 bays just pushes us into the arms of QNAP…plus RAID 6 on a 4-Bay…come on?!?!? So, if and when Synology announce the DS1516+ OR ds1517, I for one will be the first to throw my wallet vaguely in their direction.
A QNAP Thunderbolt 3 NAS
Perhaps you think me greedy! Don’t get me wrong, if you asked me what the best and most powerful NAS device available today is, I would without hesitation tell you that it is the behemoth, the QNAP TVS-1282T-i7-32GB. This is no only the biggest NAS desktop NAS with 8 HDD bays, 2 SSD bays and 2 m.2 SSD bays for good measure, but a Quad-Core i7 CPU and 32Gb of DDR4 memory. As if QNAP didn’t feel that they had already over egged the pudding, they added Thunderbolt 2 DAS conductibility (a year after they were the worlds first to release a DAS and NAS device in one). However the public (sigh… yes… that’s me again) are fickle. What is too much yesterday, then becomes enough today, and not enough tomorrow. People are already talking Thunderbolt 3 and with Mac’s soon to adopt it in commonplace and window users already having access, as well as the cross over abilities of the Thunderbolt 3 connection and USB 3.1 Gen 2 via the USB Type C port. So, when will QNAP bow to pressure and announce a Thunderbolt 3 NAS and DAS device? I cannot imagine it arriving till well into 2017, but I can see QNAP releasing this, I guarentee it!
The unveiling and release of the Synology DS217 2-Bay 2017 series
It goes without saying that Synology and it’s bread and butter range of 2-Bay devices are often the primary focus of most NAS users. The DS216 range was spread across all of it’s sub ranges. Namely the SE series for the budget NAS user, the J series for the cost effective NAS buyer, the standard DS21x series for normal NAS use, the PLAY series for those will multimedia at the forfront of their NAS needs and finally the premium + or PLUS series for those who want the top of the range NAS device. I am in no doubt that Synology will release the DS217 range of 2 Bay devices and announce all of the DS217se, DS217J, DS217PLAY and DS217+ in due course. The question is, will they release a 2017 follow up to the ever popular DS716+? Easily the most popular of their 2016 range, but here is hoping news of the DS717+ will arrive soon. Watch this space, cross those fingers and subscribe here to NASCompares.com and follow RobbieOnTheTube to stay informed.
The QNAP 2017 NAS series of 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 8-Bays
We couldn’t mention Synology and it’s 2017 range and not mention that of course QNAP will have it’s own special range of 2,4,6 and 8 bay devices popping up in months to come. However the release structure and naming of their units is far harder to follow. I think few would argue when I say I think QNAP are the more innovative of the two big brands in NAS. With Android NAS, Silent NAS, the QGenie, USB DAS+NAS Combos and the thunderbolt NAS to name but a few, as well as the uniform inclusion of HDMI across 90% of their devices, they do have a reputation of pushing the boat out! But when will we see the popular QNAP TVS range include Thunderbolt 3? At this rate, it wouldn’t surprise me to see it at CES2017 or IP Expo next year. Though it won;t be for the faint hearted and cannot imagine it retailing for under £2000 and more than likely being closer to £2500 in the end.
A Synology Thunderbolt NAS in 2017
Often is the case that I am speaking with clients, customers, randoms on the internet or a face at at expo about the popular QNAP TVS-871T or TVS-1282T, when after they’ve been dutifully listening and nodding helpfully, then ask:
“OK, that sounds great, what is Synology’s one like?”
And every SINGLE time they are surprised when I respond by saying that Synology does not have a Thunderbolt NAS – not one! Now, it may seem like a gross oversimplification, but to my mind if you are a Mac user, you go for a Synology NAS and if you are a Windows or Android User, you opt for a QNAP. If you want an explanation about that view, just read my posts on NASCompares.com or visit me on SPANdotCOM on YouTube, but this has always been the lay of the land in my experience. So, with that in mind, it seems blistering obvious that with Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 still used more by the Mac community than the Microsoft gang, then why on earth have they not even released a prototype?! QNAP are cleaning up and with any luck the recent heavy sale rate of the QNAP x82T series, Synology will wake up and maybe announce a DS1817T series for you keen Photo and Video editors. I shall keep my eyes peeled and see…
The Synology DS417 range of 4-Bay NAS devices
Much like the Synology 2-Bay series, the Synology 2017 range of 4-Bay devices is another staple of the Synology arsenal. There will of course be a series of 4-Bay devices for 2017 and as before feature the Slim series for the budget NAS user using 2.5″ form factor hard drives and SSD, the J series for the cost effective NAS buyer, the standard DS41x series for normal NAS use, the PLAY series for those will multimedia at the forfront of their NAS needs and finally the premium + or PLUS series for those who want the top of the range NAS device. I am in no doubt that Synology will release the DS417 range of 4 Bay devices and announce all of the DS417se, DS417J and DS417PLAY in due course, but the real question is the plus series. In 2016 they surprised us (as they are want to do) by replacing the expected DS416+ with it’s expandable and surprising powerful Quad Core Intel Celeron, 8GB of RAM unit, the DS916+. So, Synology, what will you announce? The Synology DS917+ NAS or will it be a return to form and we will see a DS417+ hitting the shelves? Tough to say and this is easily in the top 3 of my wishlist of NAS for 2017. Stay tuned here and I will let you know and and when they hit the market!
For more information on all new NAS releases from everyone from Synology and QNAP to Thecus and WD, check out our new releases page at SPAN.COM