Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Hardware Review – Worth Your Data?
When was it that six-bay NAS devices became so popular? It’s hard to pinpoint, isn’t it? When it comes to buying/building your own private server, to get away from subscription cloud services, there is always a balance of three key factors for most buyers – Budget vs Scale vs Power. In recent years we have seen HDD capacity limits grow in such an incredible fashion (with 22TB and 24TB HDDs arriving at the end of 2022 across the popular NAS HDD brands), so cracking the 100TB limits whilst still maintaining a 1-2 disk safety net (i.e redundancy) is easier than ever. Add to this, a huge wave of more power-efficient processors and network controllers arriving in the last 3 years and suddenly NAS devices such as the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 (AS6706T) are tremendously appealing. This NAS tickets the boxes of EVERYTHING that most modern NAS buyers are looking for in 2022/2023. These include BTRFS support, 2.5GbE, KVM setups with 4K output, USB 3.2 Gen 2 10GbE connectivity, LCD controls, optional 10GbE, FOUR M.2 NVMe SSD storage bays AND all this arriving in a compact desktop form. The 6-Bay entry into the popular Asustor Lockerstor series makes ALOT of sense, but as 6-Bay NAS is still in its relative infancy (when compares to 2, 4 and 8-Bay systems in the last decade), is the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS the system of your dreams or nightmares? Is it all sizzle and no sausage? Ultimately – does it deserve your data? Let’s review the AS6704T 6-Bay NAS from Asustor.
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion
The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the device’s hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc). That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Packaging
Now, it is worth highlighting that I did review the first generation of the Lockerstor back in Summer 2020, so if you have read that review, you are going to see alot of the same thing in terms of the presentation of the device with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 from Asustor. Credit to them, one area that in practically every single Asustor review I have ever done that the company always excels on, it is the retail packaging. I have been in the field of technology for quite a long time, as well as growing up as a 90s kid who would admire boxes from afar in my local tech retail outlet. Given the increase on the majority of tech purchases being made online, the necessity for eye-catching retail packaging is pretty low and therefore I am always pleasantly surprised when NAS devices like the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 come along and put that extra bit of effort into to the point of sale design. Arriving in an attractive black and white box, it features numerous images of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 itself in near 1 to 1 scale, along with lots of highlighted information on the software and hardware advantages of this device. In short, I’m a sucker for a good bit of branding.
Upon opening the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail box I’m pleased to confirm that the device is well packaged and partitioned for protection from movement and shock damage in transit, something that is wildly underestimated particularly in the field of data storage hardware. I know I tend to labour this point on YouTube, but silent tech damage is a real thing! I will always give a few extra points to any brand that puts its hand in its pocket and will pay for suitable protection of the unit in transit, as this is a shockingly overlooked area of this kind of technology on the basis that it is sold unpopulated.
The full AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail kit contains several items that allow you to deploy the device easily for the very first time. Everything you’re going to need is included here, apart from storage media, as the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 is sold unpopulated. Asustor has always been in the practice of providing solutions without hard drives, so that end users can choose what media and to what extent they wish to populate their NAS on day one. This is, of course, a matter of taste and preference to the end-user, but generally, I always recommend unpopulated solutions, as it will allow you to plan your budget and spending requirements far more fitting to your requirements. The full list of accessories included with the device are:
- AS6706T NAS Unit
- 2x CAT 5e LAN Cables
- Mains Power Cable
- Setup Guide and Warranty Details (3 Years)
- Screws for 2.5″ and 3.5″ media and keys
Most of these are fairly standard items, but there are a few elements of this accessory kit that I want to touch on. First up, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 lacks an external power brick, which I know is an area of contention for some buyers who consider this just another thing to accidentally forget to pack when deploying a NAS in multiple locations. I have always been very much counter to this point of view, thinking that an external PSU makes a lot more sense in terms of ease of replacement in the event of failure and it also allows the NAS not to have to contend with additional heat generated from the PSU in this typically 24 X7 environment. However, somewhere in the move from the 4-Bay to the 6-Bay, the PSU on the AS6706T makes a jump from 90W to 250W! Now, I can appreciate that a larger PSU does not immediately result in increased power consumption (the PSU rating is about the maximum power, not constant), but this does seem like tremendous overkill! The 250W PSU means that the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 (as an external 250W PSU would be 1) large and 2) expensive). But still, this is quite big PSU increase and that can result in some increases in heat internally, putting an increase on the importance of ventilation.
Additionally, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 arrives with to RJ45 network cables, one for each available network port. These are cat5e and therefore more than suitable for 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe. Now (and I will touch on this more later), the 4-Bay and 6-Bay in the Lockerstor series arrive with a PCIe upgrade slot that allows you to upgrade to 10Gb ethernet, so for that, scaling up to a Cat 6 would be advisable.
Finally, it is worth highlighting that the device also arrives with sets of hard drive tray keys, cable clips and screws for installing media into the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2. However, there was an absence of heat sinks for the m.2 2280 NVMe media bays. the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features four NVMe SSD cache bays (two more than the Gen 1 model and one of the big jumps that the Gen 2 Lockstor brings compared with it’s predecessor), however, I would have expected a couple of NVMe silicone or thermal heat pads included with this device. not a huge problem but just a minor thing I noticed worthy of comment. The other chassis does provide a little more ventilation over the area of the internal hardware where these M.2 drives would live, as well as provide a good amount of room for a 3rd party heatsink (as little as $10), but I am still a little disappointed that 2280 heatsinks were not provided, especially for the eventuality of these drives being used for caching. Overall I am quite happy with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail kit, despite the odd thing missed. However, I am sure many of you I’m more concerned with the build quality of this new Asustor NAS, so let’s crack on.
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Design
The AS6706T NAS arrives in very unique and slightly old skool design. When many brands have dropped LCD panels in favour of simpler LEDs and metal screwed bays in favour of plastic click and load trays – Asustor has clearly stuck to their guns. Design-wise, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 AS6706T is IDENTICAL to the Lockerstor Gen 1 series (That said, there was no 6-Bay in the Gen 1 series, so this is an extensive of the existing design logic found in the 4-Bay and 8-Bay Lockerstor Chassis’). This 6-bay solution features a fantastically rugged casing, that is almost exclusively metal in both external casing and right the way down to the individual drive bays. Typically this is an area where most brands will make economies, for reasons of mass production or for reasons of noise reduction. However, I am well aware that there is a large contingent of NAS buyers who prefer metal NAS systems for added heat dissipation and build quality desirability. For those buyers, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 is a dream come true, indeed!
This 6-bay features a controllable LCD front-mounted panel that provides real-time information about the NAS when powered on. This information may appear a tad rudimentary, but there is no avoiding that it is useful if you need to know information such as the IP of individual network ports, state of internal temperature and details on notification warnings audibly triggered from the physical system at the touch of a button. Sure, you can access this information by logging in via the client applications or browser-based GUI, but this can take longer than a simple click of a button on the physical NAS and is especially relevant when the alert buzzer is triggered for reasons of storage degradation where the time frame is important.
HOWEVER, an often overlooked fact of the Lockerstor 6 NAS is that you can actually set the whole thing up with just the LCD panel – no desktop or model App needed! You can navigate initialization and single disk redundancy RAID configuration right from the first time power on via the LCD panel. Now, obviously, long-term access is going to be done with desktop/mobile client tools, however, for installers and/or IT Admins looking to quickly deploy these units, this level of fast setup is going to be remarkably handy. Equally, in the event of a system issue/warning (RAID degradation, high internal temperatures, disk health recognized in SMART tests, etc), the LCD panel allows you much MUCH faster means to identify the issue and address the buzzer/alarm than logging in via a client, going through authentication and more. This is especially handy if the issue is network connectivity related. Unsurprisingly, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features numerous areas of LED notification. these are considerably less useful and detailed than the LCD panel but still provide minimalist information about system access and activity.
Another physical feature of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 that I’m pleased to confirm is still present in this 2022 NAS drive is a front-mounted USB port and copy button. Though in the case of the Gen 2 system, they have upgraded this to USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), so twice the locally connected bandwidth of its predecessor. More and more brands are removing this feature in favour of a stand-alone USB port that can trigger backups automatically when a given external drive is connected. The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has both a physical button that can manually instigate multiple types of NAS to USB backup, as well as an automated trigger system too – better to have both than either, as if you are going to the trouble of connecting a drive physically to this NAS the extra steps in assurance to simply click a button and the first-hand witness the backup begin is just an extra layer of peace and self-assured security that for me is vital, to have confidence in your backup strategy. Plus, the featured support of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 protocol means that you can take better advantage of external RAID storage drives and external NVMe SSD backup enclosures with a 1,000MB/s bandwidth to saturate!
BAYS / TRAYS CLOSE VENTS
Carrying on with the theme of rugged design, the drive trays featured on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 are particularly good quality. Each tray has a dedicated switch-based locking mechanism, plenty of ventilation and is even spring-loaded, something we are seeing less and less these days. Each tray supports a 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch SATA media drive, as well as allowing you to deploy this device with a single drive if you choose. However, as these are metal trays, that is going to increase ambient noise when it comes to larger scale HDDs of 10TB and above (predominantly all 7200RPM, 7+ Platter and helium sealed – in other words, industrial and prone to noisy operation to start with).
TRAY HDD MONTAGE
Of course, this device is designed with the utilisation of a RAID configuration ideally in mind and as this device supports both the very latest 20TB and 22TB drives, as well as numerous RAID configurations in JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 6 and RAID 10. This means by current storage drive standards, this device can support up to 132TB of storage, and can even be expanded with an official Asustor expansion device over USB.
The abundance of metal design on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 nice will certainly assist heat dissipation, but there is no avoiding that it will also play its part in increasing general sound levels negatively. Alongside this, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features less typically visible ventilation than what you see on most desktop NAS solutions. Alongside the rear-mounted active cooling fan, the only other passive cooling to assist airflow is via a minimal ventilation slit on the side and what ventilation is available on each drive tray. Once again, this system requires a little less ventilation than more plastic-based NAS casing and is therefore excusable to a degree. Next, we discuss the ports and connections available on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Ports and Connections
The ports and connections on the rear of the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 AS6706T NAS are comparable to that of the original 2/4/8/10 Bay systems from 2020, but a few tweaks for the new refresh have definitely been made. That said, one thing that has remained between the revisions is the inclusion of 2.5GbE connectivity (Asustor were the first to unveil commercial 2.5GbE NAS right the way back in 2019 with the Nimbustor series).
These Ethernet connections, both of which feature 2.5GBASE-T/Coppe (2.5x that of traditional ethernet speeds) allow you a much better opportunity to fully take advantage externally of that RAID of HDDs inside. Additionally, these ports can be combined (via link aggregation/port trunking) to allow up to 5 Gbe combined bandwidth. There are, of course, numerous factors to consider before reaching these speeds such as making sure the rest of your network environment is 2.5Gbe and above compatible, as well as the storage media inside providing that level of performance. However, it is still impressive that the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can arrive at a lower price tag than the Synology DS1621+ (with its 4x 1GbE connectivity) and even slide under the price point of the QNAP TS-664 NAS, yet still arrived with some great prosumer hardware.
Additionally, this system also features an HDMI out that can be used in unison with the dedicated parallel GUI, Asustor portal. This separate user interface and means to interact with the data on your NAS in a far more graphical level is something currently only QNAP provides. The visual out used in conjunction with the two additional USB 3.2 ports opens up numerous KVM (or keyboard video mouse) applications, such as a stand-alone surveillance system, a stand-alone desktop computer used in conjunction with the virtual machine software, direct output of your movies and box sets from your collection, a retro arcade machine with support for controllers and numerous other first and third-party software options.
Additionally, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has scaled things up over the previous model by adding HDMI 2.0b, which is a 4K 60 frames per second visual output, but also is much more efficient at handling HDR and SDR using available bandwidth. That means that you will be able to enjoy particularly dense 4K top-end media with close to zero playback and browsing latency time, by connecting the NAS directly to your TV, as opposed to streaming such large media over the network.
The USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports that are featured on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can also be used by numerous supported hardware peripherals and storage devices by the core NAS system, such as UPS devices, printers, expansion chassis, remotes, external storage and wireless dongles. There are even 2.5Gbe and 5Gbe USB adapters that allow you to add further network interfaces to this NAS and increase the available bandwidth to multiple users(and apps) accessing the data on the lockerstor NAS for their own needs. The 6x SATA Bays and 4x M.2 NVMe SSD Gen 3 Bays are going to provide a tremendous level of throughput, which those two 2.5GbE ports and the option to add two more 2.5/5GbE connections via USB will go a long way to externally support. But that is not the only option in this 6-Bay NAS.
The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS also has a PCIe Upgrade slot that allows you to install Asustor’s AS-T10G2 10GbE upgrade card and add ANOTHER 1,000MBs (10Gb) external connectivity to your total network bandwidth on offer! So, once again, we are seeing a whole bunch of upgrades in the Lockerstor Gen 2. Let’s move on to the internal hardware that is on offer with this system.
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Internal Hardware
Much like its predecessor, once I removed the external casing of this NAS drive, we find that the bulk of the main controller PCB is covered by a layer of heat-reflective plastic. Under this, we find the main CPU and memory of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 system.
The CPU featured in the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS has scaled up from the Intel J4125 in its predecessor to the much newer Intel Celeron N5105, a processor that has become exceptionally popular this year in most mid-range NAS solutions with its excellent price vs featured chipset support. This has become especially true since some brands have started moving away from integrated processors like the Intel Celeron series and switching to more traditionally ‘file processing’ focused chips. The presence of a Celeron in the Lockstor Gen 2 will be of particularly good news to those who take advantage of Plex media server and similar (Emby, Jellyfin, etc) to playback denser HEVC/H.265 media and are reliant on client-side conversions. This CPU features a 2.0Ghz clock speed that can be upped to 2.9Ghz when needed, on each of the 4 cores.
This CPU also allows the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 to take advantage of fast and large quantity memory when compared to the 2-Bay and 4-Bay systems, with this NAS arriving with 8GB of DDR4 SODIMM 2933Mhz memory that can be upgraded to 16GB as needed. For those running larger camera/surveillance operations, VMS and containers or larger-scale sync tasks, this will be great news!
Then there is possibly one of the most popular hardware upgrades in the Lockerstor Gen 2 over the Gen 1, the inclusion of FOUR M.2 NVMe SSD slots. These can be partially or fully populated with M.2 SSDs of upto 2280 length and are Gen 3 in architecture. I am still investigating if it’s PCIe 3×1 or 3×2 (I suspect the former, given the scale of hardware here that is running on this architecture/chipset).
Now, this means a possible bandwidth of 1,000-2,000MB/s. This does present the tiniest bottleneck when connecting more modern PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMes (Seagate Ironwolf 510s, Samsung 980 and WD Black SN750 for example) that can hit 3,000-3,400MB/s at peak, but you will still see great performance benefits (particularly in file operations that require smaller and more frequent files in high quantities) and the benefits of SSD cache used in conjunction with a larger more cost-effective hard drive RAID array have long been established. However, it is worth highlighting that unlike the Synology flagship six-bay ‘ (DS1621+), the NVMe SSD that you install inside the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can be used for both SSD caching or as raw storage pools (either for a faster container of storage, for the Asustor ADM system software or for individual apps). There is talk of Synology enabling these bays for use as storage bays in the future, but only in 2021/2022 systems that have the bandwidth available – but Asustor have had this feature available for almost 2 years now.
HOWEVER! It is worth keeping in mind that the 4x M.2 NVMe SSD slots that the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has are on a separate PCIe board that is connected to the main board via the PCIe upgrade slot. That means that you will need to choose between the 4x m.2 NVMes or 10GbE official Asustor upgrade card. There ARE combination 10GbE and M.2 SSD cards in the market, but their compatibility with the Asustor platform is still TBC.
In performance testing by Asustor, using four SATA IronWolf SSD 110’s, the system was easily about to fully saturate the two 2.5GbE ports (in Link Aggregation), hitting performance of 591MB/s seq Read and 591MB/s seq Write. Even with domestic class or Pro series hard drives, you would almost certainly see the exact same level of network saturation.
In terms of 10GbE performance over a single 10Gb file (when using the AS-T10G2 network upgrade card), the results are a little less clear. Asustor reported the Seq Read performance clearly maxing the bandwidth at 1,181MB/s, but Seq Write at just 1,182MB/s. Now, this could be a number of smaller factors (using SATA storage bays in a RAID that tend to only increase performance incrementally by 150-200MB/s a drive, or the Intel Celeron inside being less file service optimized – (see my video discussing the AMD Embedded Ryzen vs Intel Celeron family here). Still, these are still quite reasonable numbers for a 6-Bay NAS and if you were to factor in the 4x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays (future video), then I think we would comfortably see much higher numbers!
Overall, the hardware that is on offer here with the Asustor AS6706T NAS is very good for the money and is a decent upgrade over the Gen 1 Lockerstor. However, a NAS is a combined hardware and software packaging and we need to go into more detail on ADM, the system software and services that are bundled in with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2.
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Software
The Asustor AS6706T NAS arrives with the latest version of ADM included. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the Lockerstor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. The NAS software is accessible via a web browser and displayed very much like a normal computer operating system (desktop, user accounts, customizable themes, file management, running multiple tasks in windows that can be switched in the native tabs), but there are also a range of desktop client tools for accessing the NAS on your local machine natively, as well as a whole bunch of mobile applications that allow tailored access from your phone/tablet in more task-specific means (eg a photo app for viewing pictures and creating phone backup routines, a video app for enjoying your movies and boxsets, surveillance app to access your cameras, etc). There is also a large range of support of 3rd party applications too in the ADM platform. Asustor is not as big a company as the likes of Synology and QNAP, whole put ALOT more money into their software development, but Asustor try to counter this by (when they do not have an in-house app) making native versions of 3rd party tools in their platform (example, they do not have a 1st party Virtual Machine app, but DO include huge support for VirtualBox). The platform is not quite as fully featured as DSM and QTS, but it is still a very smooth and accessible software platform. The app center has a few more 3rd party applications and slightly crowbarred software (eg the Amazon Media and Streaming service plugins) that is not updated up the original uploaders anywhere near enough (leading to running issues on these tools), but the 1st party apps run very well. The big takeaway on the Asustor software and it’s services is that the standard class of expected features of a modern NAS in 2022/2023 are here and run exactly as you would want, it is just some of the additional ones that other platforms have doubled down on (such as AI-related services in Photography and Surveillance for example) that are a little lacking. That said, the brand has definitely ramped up a number of the key security protocols and settings in the default setup.
LooksGood Media App – Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management
- The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
- Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
- Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
- Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
- The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
- Can configure access permissions to share with
- Multimedia conversion feature
- Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
- Supports digital TV recordings via digital
- Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
- Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version
Plex – Hardware Transcoding (with a Plex Pass) is likely and with 1080p handled very well indeed, as well as some Plex 4K transcoding in H.265 (upto 60-80Mb bitrate) and the majority of H.264 Media upto 100Mb bitrate
Virtual Machines – A graphical embedded CPU like the one here will run Windows 10 and Android VMs very well. With the added support for Ubuntu and Hackintosh with VirtualBox. Then there is the option to scale up that memory to allow smoother VMs
Storage Management – BTRFS Support, as well as EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use. Remember that those M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used as both raw Pools and Caching
Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5/5/10Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect
Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the powerful CPU in the Lockerstor and Nimbustor NAS systems, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.
Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by this NAS
User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with its own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily
Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, with the Intel Celeron CPU in the AS6706T maintaining high R/W speeds throughout, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support
Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files
Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac
DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS
Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols
Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback
Surveillance Center – Up to 64 channels in 720p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)
Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback
SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac
Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Btrfs Snapshots
These are just the tip of the iceberg and I will be going into more ADM 3.4 and AS6706T applications in the Software Review.
Here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:
Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Conclusion
The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the device’s hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc). That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than its software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.
|PROs of the Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS||CONs of the Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS|
|Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 6-Bay NAS into an 10-Bay
2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)
$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
Several different setup and initialization options
One of very few 6-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel
Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)
Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
|Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers
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