How to choose the right HDD for my Synology NAS

With myriad hard drive classes and models available, selecting the right hard drive for a Synology NAS might feel like a daunting task. This article will explain some of the major differences between various hard drive classes available on the market, as well as what considerations are needed when selecting the right hard drive for Synology NAS.

Currently there are four major hard drive classes on the market, each designed for specific applications, workloads, MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), and POH (Power-On-Hours). Basically, all hard drive classes can be used with Synology NAS, but we recommend choosing the right drive class to fit your needs:

NAS Drives

For users who find desktop drives not durable enough, and enterprise drives too expensive to afford, NAS drives provide an alternative that is optimized for NAS usage. They often feature better durability, balanced performance, and power consumption when compared to desktop drives.

Enterprise Drives

Enterprise drives are often manufactured using more advanced technology or superior components to provide better performance, POH, MTBF, vibration protection, and error correction. When installed in NAS systems, enterprise drives are suitable for environments that require high data availability and consistent throughput even when moving large amounts of data. This means enterprise drives are more appropriate for businesses with numerous employees accessing files simultaneously, database servers, or virtual storage systems

Desktop Drives

Desktop drives are designed for desktop or notebook computers where usually a single drive is installed. Most desktop drives are more affordable, but seldom come with vibration protection, making them more vulnerable in multi-drive RAID environments where vibration from other drives and the system chassis can affect both drive health and system performance. When installed in NAS systems, desktop drives are suitable for situations where data is not often accessed, such as serving a small group of users who occasionally save or access documents on the drive, or as a backup storage destination which only requires a few hours of activity each day.

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