Choosing the Best 8-Bay NAS Drive of 2020
Hasn’t data storage come a long, LONG way! In just a hand full of years we have gone from the marvels of having gigabytes in our pocket to being able to store hundreds of terabytes on our own home servers! Network Attached Storage (NAS) has been improving year on year and although the hardware power inside and the performance outside has changed more and more, the general demands of what the end-user wants have changed very little. Most NAS users (especially business users, but Prosumers too) want a robust, solid and reliable storage system that is easy to use, does what it promises and is a solid investment for the future. Alot of businesses have slight hesitation moving away from 3rd party cloud services and a monthly subscription, but when they do, it is almost always a desktop solution and almost always an EIGHT drive solution. 8-Bay NAS (and indeed DAS – Direct Attached Storage) give a little bit of everything, they provide:
- Good balance of Day 1 to day 1000 of storage, which plenty of ways to add more later
- Good level of internal hardware to keep data moving for multiple users
- Good level of brand support, as an 8-Bay is a business-class solution
- Good level of Software support, as it is at this level that faster processors, more memory and better connectivity are always available
However, the well-established reputation of quality and business support of 8-Bay NAS solutions in 2020/2021 also means that there is ALOT to choose from. To date, including numerous configurations and versions, there are hundreds of options for an end-user to choose from and if you are new to the idea of a NAS (or migrating from DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc) it can get even MORE intimidating. That is the reason for today’s post – I want to discuss the BEST 8-Bay NAS drives to buy right now, highlighting the top 3 NAS of the year in this category, so you know that whichever you buy, you will be buying a SOLID and RELIABLE solution. Let’s begin.
Best 8-Bay NAS – What Qualifies?
As mentioned earlier, there are ALOT of 8 bay NAS solutions on the market and in order to narrow them down to the best to choose from, we need to have certain criteria. For a start, I am ONLY looking at solutions that have 8 SATA bays, as although SAS and U.2 are growing in popularity, they are still very much at the elite/enterprise end of the scale and we have to keep a sense of perspective here. The most mainstream and standard criteria for being factored into the shortlist are:
- The NAS server needs to have been released before October 31st 2020, so it has been officially available to buy and review
- Only Desktop/Tower systems are being considered, Rackmount servers are generally harder to compare and are more tailored to the industry and have so many more variables
- Each solution must be a combined Hardware+Software solution
- Must either HAVE 10Gbe or be 10Gbe ‘ready’ (ie have card upgrade option) as this is a network standard that most business will move into in the next few years
- Must have at least 2 years manufacturers warranty
- Must support ALL the marketed and promoted software applications and services that the brand offers – as I think 8-Bay solutions are where you would expect this
- Although they do not need to be released this year (so 2017, 2018, 2019, etc) NAS drives are considered, if they are an older release they need to have been available for sale for the whole of 2020
And that is about it. Pretty much ALL 8-Bay NAS solutions support a multi-user, multi-backup environment and have numerous security and integrity tiers internally, as well as support all operating systems and have tonnes of client apps for Windows, OSX, Android and iOS, but the following three 8-Bay NAS solutions are what I consider to be the best 8-Bay NAS solutions to buy of 2020 and 2021. Let’s see who the winners are:
Best 8-Bay NAS for Software Buyers – Synology DS1819+
0- 144TB, 8-Bays, Intel Atom C3538 4-Core CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 Memory, 4x 1Gbe Ports, PCIe Gen 3 x8, 3yr Warranty, $930+
Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/synology-ds1819-nas-review
NOTE – The Synoogy DS1819+ NAS has since been superseded by the new DS1821+ NAS as of December 2020!
What We Said 11/28/18
Ultimately at this price tag, I am definitely impressed by the Synology DS1819+ NAS. It finds a sweet spot between home and business that means that you are amply covered if you wish to push further into either of these areas. The DS918+ (a unit that the DS1819+ will continue to be compared with) does have a better CPU and NVMe SSD slots, but this is at the expense of features like 8 storage bays, 4 LAN and that PCIe upgrade slot – which opens up the door to 10Gbe and 40Gbe, thereby removing the biggest bottleneck to your data – something the DS918+ cannot do. If you have a budget under £1K and want to get a solid NAS with future-proofing, but don’t want to be restricted by your capacity limits, I definitely recommend the Synology DS1819+ NAS for 2019.
|Synology DS1819+ PROS
|Synology DS1819+ CONS
Best 8-Bay NAS for Both Hardware & Software – QNAP TS-h886
0- 108TB, 6+2-Bays, Intel Xeon D-1622 4 Core CPU, 16-128GB ECC DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe x 4 Ports, PCIe 3X4 x2, 3 yr Warranty, $1549
Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/13/qnap-ts-h886-zfs-nas-hardware-review
What We Said 13/08/20:
The TS-h886 is genuinely an incredible piece of engineering, allowing you to leverage towards power rather than capacity, it is still a spacious device, even in this modern age of 16TB and 18TB hard drives in the market. Additionally, the tiered storage system allowing three stages of media to be used, along with the powerful caching, compression and deduplication options available to the ZFS based QuTS Hero software included with the TS-h886 cannot be underestimated. This is a powerful, compact (if somewhat expensive) solution that should allow you to not only stop worrying about your data, but also wonder why you never had a number of these features at your fingertips before. With comparatively instantaneous RAID builds, incredibly future-proof expandability in terms of storage and internal upgrade connections, you can certainly see that QNAP poured a lot of love, work and money into this solution. If you think you are ready for a ZFS NAS, the QNAP TS-h886 is arguably one of the very best in the market in the world right now and will even challenge the likes of FreeNAS in the field of ZFS, whilst still bringing the utility and ease-of-use of QTS onto the powerful and multi-functional file system. But damn, that price tag!
Best 8-Bay NAS for Hardware Buyers – QNAP TVS-872XT
0- 144TB, 8-Bays, 8th Gen i5 6-Core CPU, 16-64GB DDR4 Memory, Ports, 8 Camera License included, Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity, 3 yr Warranty, $1969
Hardware Review – https://nascompares.com/qnap-tvs-872xt-thunderbolt-3-nas-review
What We Said 21/12/18:
The QNAP TVS-872XT is a NAS drive that has taken the elite and overpowered attitudes that were previously the hallmarks of the Thunderbolt 3 NAS range and turn it into something a great deal more mature and accessible to mid-range users. Till now, if you wanted access to the full features and functionality of a fully equipped thunderbolt and 10Gbe enabled 4K NAS, you were forced to either compromise too much with the TS-453BT3 or break the bank with the TVS-1282T3. Thanks to this new QNAP TVS-872XT NAS however, you no longer need to compromise and have access to a much more balanced and well equipped NAS platform for photo and video editing post-production in 2019.
This 8 bay thunderbolt equipped NAS is about quality, not quantity and although may lack the wider coverage of users that the TVS-1283T3 has, it makes up for it with a much, much better and higher dedicated performance to those fewer connected users. What the XT series brings to the NAS industry is to fill a much-needed gap in the thunderbolt NAS portfolio and gives users an important choice between the existing product family. It is worth mentioning that you lose out on the 3rd tier of storage offered by the 82T series, as well as the long-term future-proofing it offers for PCIe upgrades to the GPU and adding high-speed users later – but unless you think this is a necessary possibility in the next 3-4 years, you should save your money and go for the QNAP TVS-872XT. Easily in my top 3 NAS of 2018 and going forward into 2019 (ed – and now 2020!)
What the QNAP TVS-872XT can do (PROS):
What the QNAP TVS-872XT cannot do (CONS):
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