Synology DS923+ Good Enough For Remote Video Editor?

I’m looking to invest in my first NAS! I really just need a place to store video projects and transfer video files to a remote editor. In the future, we’re looking to edit off the NAS as well. (But that’s in the future).

Do you think the Synology 4-Bay DiskStation DS923+ is a good enough NAS for remote editors to get files off of?

I’d say yes for storage and remote transfer, but it might not be sufficient once you and other people start editing off the NAS, because you only have the option to expand the DS923+ with a single 10GbE NIC. If several clients are directly working with media project files on the NAS, whether remotely or locally, a dual 10GbE (or even dual 25GbE) NIC would be better, because you can balance the load, do link aggregation etc. Otherwise, many users would have to share a single channel’s bandwidth, and the speed per user would be throttled (depending on the number of users and video file size). As far as I can tell, the DS1621+ is the smallest model to support dual 10/25GbE, copper or SFP+. (SFP+ with a DAC uses the least power, and SFP+ doesn’t get as hot as copper or transceived copper.) You should also note that video editing needs faster storage, i.e. you probably need to go for SATA SSD drives. (@Will is using SSDs too on his editing server, if I recall correctly.)

So I would go for a NAS that has the option for a dual NIC, and for SATA SSDs. (You could in theory go for HDDs first, but then you’d need to swap them for SSDs in stage #2, once you start editing off the NAS with multiple users, or buy a DX517, move the HDDs to the DX, add new SSDs, and copy the project files over to the fast storage.) However, regarding the NIC, you probably won’t need to buy any for stage #1 (storage & remote transfer). You could use the 4 built-in 1GbE copper ports with link aggregation, or maybe even use one of these 1GbE ports for the remote connections, and bundle the other 3 for local transfers.

But that’s just my 2¢.

EDIT: since the 6+10 bay model is from 2021, I would (if possible) wait a couple of months for Synology to release the successor models. (But nobody really knows when that will happen. In the fall? In early 2024?) So maybe a DS923+ with HDDs is OK for stage #1, and you just buy a second Synology for stage #2, and then use the DS923+ as a backup destination. (Depends on your budget, of course.)

Another thing is the amount of storage space you’ll need in stage #2, once you start editing off the NAS. The maximum size for SATA SSDs is 4TB. (There are 8TB SATA SSDs, e.g. the Samsung QVO, but afaik those use cheap QLC NAND, which tends to throttle after you’ve reached a certain size limit for write operations. That’s why the Samsung T5 is still better than the T7… higher grade NAND. And their TBW isn’t great either, and you might need a fairly good TBW for video editing storage.) So with 6 bays and without an expansion (DX517) you’d sit at 24 TB raw, 20 TB usable (RAID5), and 16–18 TB effective storage (80–90%). Only you can know if this is enough. If 16–18 TB of storage is not enough, maybe an 8-bay model would be a better choice (at least 22.4 TB of effective SSD storage).

Hi Joss!
Thanks for an amazing response.
I think for now, I’ll invest in the DS923+ and when I get to stage 2 and need editors to edit off of the NAS, then I can upgrade to DS1621+ (or maybe even DS2422+, if it gets to that!)
My budget is $2,000 USD or less.

For an HHD, I was planning on buying two of these Seagate IronWolf Pro 18TB HHD (configuring to RAID1):

My next question is: Is it ideal to buy two DS923+ and put the second one at my parents house who live a few hours away. I heard that having two duplicates of a NAS is a good idea if something were to happen to one of them (house fire or water damage).

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When it’s time for stage #2, you’ll probably have many DSXX24+ models to choose from. :laughing:

With two HDDs, RAID1 would be the right choice. Your write speeds would be limited by the speed of one disk (on paper ca. 250 MB/s = 2 Gb/s), while read speeds would be double that, i.e. around 500 MB/s max. = 4 Gb/s. So with read operations you could theoretically max out the four 1GbE ports, if you use all four and enable SMB multichannel with a 5Gbps USB Ethernet adapter on your client machines. (However, this apparently does not work on macOS clients… yet? Only on Windows clients; there’s a topic in this forum about that.) To use all four ports you would need a switch or router with at least four 1GbE ports and at least one 10GbE port that would auto-negotiate to run at 5GbE. (If you go for link aggregation instead of SMB multichannel, you might need a managed switch… but someone else needs to answer this; EDIT: unmanaged switch is fine; see answer below by @bsauve :+1:)

As for the off-site backup NAS, you might not need a plus or a newer model. One of Synology’s “essential storage” solutions (Value or J series) might suffice, e.g. the DS223. It only has one 1GbE port, but for remote backups that should be A-OK, because the limiting factor will probably be your WAN uplink speed anyway. And you could always switch later: once you upgrade your work NAS, you can move the DS923+ to the remote location for use as a backup NAS (with the ability to expand it with the DX517), and sell the old DS223 backup NAS.

However, if you increased your storage on the DS923+ with one or two more drives, the DS223 or DS223j would be too small, so maybe the DS423 (non-plus) would be the right choice here. (?) However, if you add the DX517 extension to your DS923+ to upgrade storage even further, then even the DS423 wouldn’t work. You could use 22TB instead of 18TB per drive, but that only would give you an additional 16TB.

So this depends on what you plan to do in terms of storage or hardware upgrades, and in what timeframe. If you want to stick to the DS923+ for a longer time and maybe plan to add the DX517 down the road, a second 4-bay with DX expansion capability would probably be the right choice.

Personally, I would probably just buy a used DS920+ for the backup NAS to save money.

Thanks! yeah, you’re right. The DS920+ as the backup NAS at my parent’s place is actually better. No need to buy two of the same if I don’t have to.
Hey, thanks so much!

You don’t need a managed switch to get 250MB/s on the NAS, only configure the NAS as Link Aggregation.

That said, I did test that 2 computer with each 1Gbps interface were able to read/write at 120MB/s simultaneously when the NAS is configured as Link Aggregation.

But I did not test that 1 computer with a 2.5Gbps Ethernet was able to read/write at 240MB/s on the NAS. This is the test that Will did and it did not work from the Mac but worked from Windows. A test that was done with SMB Multichannel and not with Link Aggregation.


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