Top critical review
A great concept, but poor implementation and bad Customer and Technical Support to existing issues.
October 26, 2018
I have used Synology units for some time, from home to business, from small to large units. Synology is a really great concept. I think it accommodates a lot of features in a single unit, and this is an amazing solution for home users, SMBs and also large business.
I have work for large companies for some time. As I studied Computer Science 30 years ago and have been working as Systems and Network Administrator for more than 20 years, always in companies devoted to developing software, I am quite used to software development and also to networks, NAS, SAN, etc. (I manage EMC ClarIIon, DELL Compellent, CISCO switches, servers, WMware environments, etc.)
I bought this last unit in order to implement Active Backup for Business for a really small environment, were just a few servers and workstations would be protected.
After installing the unit and configuring Active Backup for Business, it started failing randomly every day. Every single day there are backup tasks that are not performed because they are stuck waiting for other tasks to complete. A lot of tasks are issuing an “Internal unknown error” message, and suggestions to “Contact our Technical Support Team”.
I contacted Synology Support Team, and after almost a week of back and forth with different representatives, I have no applicable solution or workaround to this problem.
Now I have a bunch of servers and computers totally unprotected, and backups that could be useless because after so many failures I have no confidence on the integrity of the data backed up.
Until today my perception of Synology was really good. I had a couple of issues in the past with iSCSI targets used to connect to a VMware environment, but as it was for a development environment, I didn’t care much about it.
But today my perception of Synology has changed radically. I have a real and serious issue, I have data at risk, and Synology answers are evading their real issues and trying to put more weight on my end as a customer. That is totally unacceptable.
They say that there is an issue with the deduplication algorithm, but they haven’t offered any workaround (not even at a low level) to disable deduplication until they come with a solution.
If a job fails, it will trigger a chain reaction of failures that will affect other future jobs, even if it is a task for deleting the data that is going to be purged due to retention policies. After that everything starts to fail constantly. Their solution for that was to stop and restart the Active Backup for Business application, and wait for the next release of the application, probably in January 2019. That is also unacceptable. They also have issues with Hard Drives that are not aligned to 4K. But it amazes me that it is a random issue, because it works sometimes.
Synology is a great concept, and Active Backup for Business is also a tremendous concept, but their implementation is a real and total disaster, and support after failures due to their issues is beyond human imagination.
I am really sorry, but Synology has disappointed me to the point of no return. If you need a solution for backing up more than one computer (either server or workstation, physical or virtual) keep away from Active Backup for Business. I don’t really know if they will ever come up with a solution.