Synology DVA3221 Surveillance NAS Revealed

Brand New Synology DVA3221 GPU Card Enabled Surveillance Server for 2020/2021

One of the main reasons that a lot of businesses look at the Synology NAS platform is because they trust that their data will be safe. Synology has a fantastically good reputation in the field of NAS and part of that comes down to their systems being complete hardware + software solutions. Although a large number of applications in the Diskstation Manager (DSM) platform stand out (Synology Active Backup Sync, Hyper Backup, Office, Chat, Mail, Drive, VMM, etc) one application that get’s a lot of attention (i.e awards) is Synology Surveillance Station. This Enterprise-class, yet incredibly intuitive and functional network video recording software has always been a very appealing software selling point. However, the majority of Synology NAS hardware systems cannot provide the FULL extent of what that application can do and for that, you need a Surveillance optimized box – say hello to the new Synology DVA3221 4-Bay NAS desktop system, a followup to the DVA3219 system. This new and improved Deep Video Analysis (DVA) system features more memory and an improved GPU/Graphics Card inside, to provide an improved NVR and traditional NAS combination device over its predecessor. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the Synology DVA3221 and whether it deserves pride of place in your new surveillance upgrade.

What are the Hardware Specifications of the Synology DVA3221 Diskstation

The hardware specifications of the Synology DVA3221 are very similar in architecture to the DVA3219 that came before it, but that is not a bad thing. Arriving with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics card pre-installed, this allows Surveillance Station access to considerable more GPU resources in its analysis of recorded footage – both on archived footage AND on LIVE recordings, using AI support and Deep learning. This card is a PCIe Gen 3 x16 equipped device and 4GB of DDR5 memory onboard. Alongside this, the Synology features an Intel Atom C3538 processor, which might disappoint a few users hoping for the support of the AMD Ryzen V1500B we saw recently provided in the DS1621+, but this processor DOES feature a good range of PCIe Lanes and memory support, allowing the DVA3221 to arrive with 8GB of DDR4 memory (upgradable to 32GB), 4 1Gbe LAN ports, USB 3.2 Gen 1 and eSATA expandability of up to a total of 14 SATA HDDs (using the eSATA DX517 expansion device x2). Because of the GPU card that arrives pre-installed, there are no further PCIe slots available for upgrading network connectivity, as well as it requiring a 250W PSU (despite it being a mere 4-Bay device). Full specifications for the DVA3221 are:

Model ID Synology DVA3221 NAS/NVR

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Processor model Intel Atom C3538
Processor architecture 64-bit
Processor clock Quad core 2.1 GHz
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI) Yes
GPU model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Remarks HDMI output is not supported.
System memory 8 GB DDR4
Pre-installed memory modules 8 GB (4 GB x 2)
Total memory slots 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
Number of Disk Slots 4
Rear Ports
Maximum number of disk bays for installing expansion units 14 (DX517 x 2)
Disk hot swap support YES
RJ-45 1GbE network port 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
USB 3.0 port 3
eSATA port 2
COM Port 1
Size (height X width X depth) 166 mm x 250 mm x 237 mm
weight 4.92 kg
Wake on LAN YES
System fan 120 mm x 120 mm x 1 pcs
Noise value 28.3 dB(A)
Timer switch YES
Power supply/transformer 250 W
Warranty 3 Years

Another notable factor that might disappoint some users is the lack of HDMI output. Synology has never really engaged in HDMI and Direct Output on their systems (even on the DVA3219 predecessor to the DVA3221), and this NAS is no exception. This is a shame because there ARE Synology NAS with HDMI output and a surveillance station GUI for a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) set up in the NVR1219 and VS960. In the DVA3219 from early last year, we were able to remove the chassis of the NAS and found that the card itself features the stock HDMI and DVI connectors, which are disabled and blocked in the backplane.

Photo of DVA3219 

That said, the Synology Surveillance Station software (at 8.2 at time of writing) is still EASILY the best NVR and remote access CCTV control system currently available on NAS right now. Additionally, the GUI (via the internet or network) can be accessed as BOTH traditional DSM (with access to the full complement of collaboration, backup, office and multimedia applications, as well as running parallel with the Surveillance software and it’s own GUI. Though it should be noted that the DVA3221 will most likely (like the DVA3219) NOT allow applications other than the DVA components of surveillance station to access the GPU performance boosts.

What are the Software Specifications of the Synology DVA3221 NAS?

Despite the fact that almost all Synology NAS devices arrived with surveillance station and camera licences included, the performance of the security software will always differ on each Synology NAS device because of its respective hardware. Until recently, these differences could be measured in easy and straightforward terms, such as:
  • Number of simultaneous cameras one time
  • The frame rate of individual cameras recording
  • Resolution supported by individual cameras simultaneously
These three ways were the key measurements with which you could decide the right Synology surveillance station NAS for your needs, as different CPU and memory combinations lead to varying levels of coverage.
What makes the DVA3221 so different is both the Nvidia graphics card inside and the extra real-time supported surveillance add-ons that it enables with its. Typically, a surveillance NAS will be used as a means of being notified of and actioning security alerts. The bulk of security alerts can simply be described as ‘Thing A is in the field of vision of Camera B‘, and should not be. The DVA3221 supports all of the control and alerts that you would find on almost any Synology NAS, such as motion detection, light detection and heat (depending on the camera in question). These alerts will almost always require you to assess recorded footage after the event you are being notified about, reviewing and assessing old footage after the fact and making a judgement on whether this is a perceived negative action. This not only takes time, but also manpower, and with so many false alarms in play (trees moving in the wind, motion detection in a busy environment or night vision tracking as LED hardware switches time of day activity, etc) this can lead to both excessive time-wasting and unreliable results.
The answer to this is DVA (Deep Video Analysis) thanks to this, that means that footage is being analysed by an AI inside the DVA3221 and false alerts and unreliable data can be eliminated instantly. The DVA3221 is smart enough to know the difference between a person and a car, a tree and a bag, and so on and so forth – as well as being able to be programmed to identify things, rather than on motion or blobs of pixels. In real terms that means that you can monitor an entire area over multiple cameras, filled with constantly moving people, and yet it can see if someone has left an unattended item or a vehicle has entered the scene. Likewise, because it can differentiate the difference between items moving in the wind and items that have their own traction, it can alert you to the movement of things without wasting your time with a leaf falling off a tree.
This system of deep video analytics goes even further though, with recognition of people and trigger zones. In real terms, that means that you can draw an area of effect, or a start and finish line digitally thanks to the surveillance station user interface that the deep video analytics AI in the DVA3221 can work with to identify if people move in and out of a given zone, as well as keep count and subtract numbers if needed. This kind of analytics can, of course, be done by humans later on and with hours, days, weeks and months of recorded footage, but it saves a huge amount of time and resources to have this kind of video analysis done in real-time.
Although the post-recording analysis of the DVA3221 NAS is still in its early stages, it is easy to imagine in a further version of surveillance station that will scour recordings for people, things or discrepancies in your recordings considerably faster than a human being will with time and their eyes. These are the things that make the Synology DVA3221 such an impressive device and are likewise the reasons for that price. Currently, (aside from the previous generation DA3219) there are no other Synology NAS devices like the DVA3221 NAS commercially available to home and business users that provide this level of support and outside of NAS, the best you will find and is subscription-based or premium software lead surveillance platforms that still require a hefty and larger hardware purchase.#

How Does the Synology DVA3221 Compare with the DVA3219 NAS?

As mentioned, the new Synology DVA3221 is very similar to the older DVA3219 and despite its remarkable enterprise nature, there is every possibility that when the Synology DVA3221 is released, that the older DVA3219 will be available at a discount at some retailers. So, whether you want to choose between them to see which one is better for your surveillance needs, or wondering whether to upgrade early, here is how the DVA3219 and DVA3221 Synology Surveillance solutions compare.

Additionally, you can find my Synology DVA3219 NAS Review

At their core, the only real technical hardware difference that can be made between the Synology DVA3221 NAS and the DVA3219 is the Nvidia Graphics card that is installed inside each server and the amount of memory that the system arrives with by default. The DVA3221 arrives with a newer GeForce GTX1650 graphics card, originally released in the 2nd quarter of 2019, and is designed to be a much more compact and power-efficient graphics card (as one might expect for NAS server deployment and the 24×7 job of network surveillance). This is a noticeable degree higher in performance and efficiency than the late 2016 released GeForce GTX 1050 Ti that arrives in the DVA3219:

GPU Model

GeForce GTX1650 (DVA3221)

GeForce GTX1050 Ti (DVA3219)

Release Year Q2 2019 Q4 2016
Pipelines 896 768
Core clock speed 1485 MHz 1291 MHz
Boost Clock 1665 MHz 1392 MHz
Power consumption (TDP) 75 Watt 75 Watt

Texture fill rate 93.24 66.82
Interface PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 4GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5

Memory Speed 8000 MHz 7008 MHz
Technical.City Pass 7820 6400
PC Pass 37372 28127


The improvements in this graphics card are what largely makes up the improvement between these two NAS, but the 8GB of DDR4 memory that arrives with the DVA3221 (4GB greater than the DVA3219) is a welcome addition, given that the system is designed for large scale IP Camera use. Network cameras from companies like AXIS, Edimax, Hikvision and (current person recommendation) Reolink are all quite hungry for memory when deployed in higher resolution and frame rates, pushing larger and larger data packets for the NAS to storage – more memory is essential for more cameras and/or smoother coverage. Alongside this, both systems support BTRFS as the file system (as well as EXT4) and the Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) drive configuration – which is always a plus!


  Synology DVA3221

Synology DVA3219

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Processor model Intel Atom C3538 Intel Atom C3538
Processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Processor clock Quad core 2.1 GHz Quad Core 2.1 GHz
Hardware encryption engine (AES-NI)  YES  YES
GPU model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
System memory 8 GB DDR4 4 GB DDR4
Pre-installed memory modules 8 GB (4 GB x 2) 4 GB (4 GB x 1)
Total memory slots 2 2
Maximum memory capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2) 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
Number of Disk Slots 4 4
Maximum number of disk bays for installing expansion units 14 (DX517 x 2) 14 (DX517 x 2)
Compatible Disk Type 3.5″ SATA HDD
Maximum internal net total storage capacity 64 TB (16 TB drive x 4) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) 64 TB (16 TB drive x 4) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Maximum net total storage capacity with expansion device 224 TB (16 TB drive x 14) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) 224 TB (16 TB drive x 14) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Maximum single storage capacity* 108 TB 108 TB
Disk hot swap support  YES  YES
RJ-45 1GbE network port 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
USB 3.0 port 3 3
eSATA port 2 2
COM Port 1 1
Size (height X width X depth) 166 mm x 250 mm x 237 mm 166 mm x 250 mm x 237 mm
weight 4.92 kg 4.92 kg
Wake on LAN  YES  YES
System fan 120 mm x 120 mm x 1 pcs 120 mm x 120 mm x 1 pcs
Automatic power recovery  YES  YES
Noise value* 28.3 dB(A) 28.3 dB(A)
Timer switch  YES  YES
Power supply/transformer 250 W 250 W
AC input voltage 100 V to 240 V AC 100 V to 240 V AC
Current frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power consumption power* 43.92 W (Access)
28.43 W (HDD Hibernation)
53.78 W (Access)
34.01 W (HDD Hibernation)
British Thermal Unit 149.86 BTU/hr (Access)
97.01 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
183.62 BTU/hr (Access)
116.12 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
Remarks The power consumption test data is obtained when the Western Digital 1TB WD10EFRX hard drive is full. Power consumption is measured when it is fully loaded with Western Digital 1TB WD10EFRX hard drive(s).
Operating temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F) 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F) -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Relative humidity 5% to 95% RH 5% to 95% RH

Finally, in terms of software and it’s performance, both systems support up to 32 cameras, as well as arrive with 8 camera licenses to attach IP Cameras to the system. Performance differs across the spectrum of frames rates and resolutions on each system, but at a general level of recording and playback, the DVA3221 is the better choice in terms of software operation, thanks to that increase of memory and improved GPU card.

Maximum number of cameras supported 32 (including 8 Free License) 32 (including 8 sets of free licenses)
Total FPS (H.264) 960 FPS @ 720p (1280×720), 32 channels
448 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), 32 channels
280 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536), 28 channels
190 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944), 19 channels
130 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160), 13 channels
960 FPS @ 720p (1280×720), 32 Channels
576 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), 32 Channels
310 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536), 31 Channels
200 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944), 20 Channels
90 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160), 9 Channels
Total FPS (H.265) 960 FPS @ 720p (1280×720), 32 channels
960 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), 32 channels
320 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536), 32 channels
200 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944), 20 channels
150 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160), 15 channels
960 FPS @ 720p (1280×720), 32 Channels
960 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), 32 Channels
960 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536), 32 Channels
320 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944), 32 Channels
230 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160), 23 Channels
Deep Video Analytics Feature Vehicle detection
Crowd count
Face recognition
Intrusion detection
People and vehicle detection
People counting
Face recognition
Intrusion detection
Deep motion detection
Video Codec H.264
MxPEG (does not support deep image analysis tasks)
MxPEG (not supported by Deep Video Analytics tasks)
Audio Codec AAC

When will the Synology DVA3221 NAS Be Released and How Much?

Release of the Synology DVA3221 and the price of the system should not be too hard to clarify. Right now it is listed on the official pages, so that generally means that release will be spread globally in the coming month or so (based on previous hardware releases) but that is by no means concrete and could still mean a regional-only release. Regarding price, given the similarity of the DVA3221 to the Synology DVA3219, I can imagine that the pricing structure will also be quite similar, at around £1600+ (including the tax).

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      One thought on “Synology DVA3221 Surveillance NAS Revealed

      1. Watching this in 2021, I am still not 100% sold on the features of this for the price of the unit. In 2019 It still would have been questionable for the price of the unit.
        Surveillance Station has come a long way to bridge gaps, but even now in 2021 Blue Iris still does more with Deepstack integration and the hardware for a 12 camera Blue Iris system is cheaper than the price of this unit, let alone the more updated unit (DVA 3222)