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Author Topic: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?  (Read 11475 times)

robcohen

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Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« on: November 01, 2009, 12:06:59 AM »

Hi,
Evaluating my options for a new purchase and so I'd ask you if you'd buy the DNS-343 again?  I plan to use in a small office environment with mostly Win7/Vista systems and one Mac Snow Leopard machine on a gigabit wired network.  This will be a place to store business files I share between systems and perhaps media files accessed with a Brite-view CinemaTube device.

I've been trying out an inexpensive IOCELL NetDisk 352-ND unit that has (finally) become stable once I updated to newer drivers found on the Ximeta.com site rather than the released ones from iocellnetworks.com.  The original drivers caused an unbelievable number of problems with drives that wouldn't stay on line, would disappear and never appear again until several reboots and/or complete re-registration of the unit to all the computers. 

Besides the driver issues with IOCELL, it doesn't seem possible to access the device from an arbitrary system without either installing their drivers or sharing it from one of the Windows systems.  It isn't ping-able even when I reserve an ip address for it by MAC, nor does it respond to telnet or ftp and never mind it's not DLNA or UPNP compliant.  So it was an $80 lesson on impulse buying at Fry's :-).

Appreciate hearing your recommendations about what you'd buy if shopping today.  Not sure if I want a 2 or 4 bay device, so am thinking some about the DNS-323 as well.

Thanks in advance!

Rob
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roflcopter666

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2009, 03:35:59 AM »

I`d say no.

I got for low power usage NAS with redundancy which has worked ok in that aspect.  I also wanted the media server part.
Unfortunately, the 343 has not kept up with PS3 updates, so I find the media server no longer working properly with the PS3.
In hindsight I should have got the QNAP 409 or 439.  I had already ordered the DNS 343 when I found out about the QNAP NAS.  My friends have the QNAP which seem to work flawlessly, have an active community and updates as well as an awesome feature set and many mods.

just my 2c
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dallen

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 06:26:28 AM »

I would say definitely yes.  There are some things I would change about the NAS (like being able to rename volume names from Volume_1, Volume_2, etc. to a name of my choosing); however, all things considered I am very happy with this NAS.
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dichamw

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2009, 10:03:36 AM »

I have a DNS 321 and 343.  Both serve my network fine and the functions I desire .  I wish the DLINK was as fast as a QNAP and hot swappable.  The QNAP cost is something to consider.  Would like to see a future DNS NAS, maybe faster, hot swappable and on par with a QNAP.
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thebeck

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2009, 11:10:01 AM »

From the SMB standpoint, it may ultimately come down to cost.  I have two DNS-343's; one at my home office and one offsite.  One is setup as my primary backup/doc storage/etc.  Using fun_plug and rsync, I completely mirror the primary DNS-343 to the secondary DNS-343.  Since my secondary DNS-343 happens to be offsite, the rysnc is actually happening over the internet using a VPN tunnel (between two Linksys RVS4000's) -- no need for an ssh rsync connection since I get the security using the VPN tunnel.  My network consists of a mix of PC's (running WinXP -- to be fair, I do not have Vista or Win 7 on my network) and Mac's with no problems for either hardware (now that I have figured out avahi and netatalk, even Time Machine works flawlessly, both for Leopard and Snow Leopard -- although there are some netatalk updates coming down the pipe that should make Time Machine even more robust on the DNS).

With the two DNS-343's and eight 2 TB drives (four in each DNS), I spent a total of USD$2,100 for two RAID 5 solutions that give me true redundancy of 6TB effective with offsite backup -- not bad for the price.  If you feel like getting your hands dirty with the fun_plug, then I would say go with the DNS-343.  If you want the true business support and with everything accessible via the NAS UI, then the QNAP may be the better offering.
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1) DNS-323 2x1.0TB (WD10EACS)-RAID 1 EXT3-1.08: Mac "Time Capsule"
2) DNS-343 4x2.0TB (WD20EADS)-RAID 5 EXT3-1.03: Copy of #1 + other stuff
3) DNS-343 4x2.0TB (WD20EADS)-RAID 5 EXT3-1.03: Remote mirrored backup of #2
4) DNS-323 2x500MB-RAID 1 EXT3-1.10b5: Playground

ffp 0.5 on all

drick

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 06:28:02 PM »

yes i would, although i would have sprung for bigger HDD's as migrating from 750's to 1.5's or 2T's is going to be a hassle.

i agree with thebeck that dns + ffp = goodness, and you can't get anything else that's even close to this functional or hackable for the money.
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DNS-323v1.8 + ffp 0.5
2x750GB Seagate HDD's / RAID1+EXT3
DNS-343A - retired due to faulty fan
DNS-343B - retired due to faulty fan
DNS-343C v1.05b + ffp 0.5
4x2TB Seagate HDD's / RAID5+EXT3
Netgear RNDP6000
6x2TB WD HDD's / RAID6
Netgear WNDR4500

Toad

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 10:24:24 AM »

Yes, I would buy it again, although that needs qualification. The biggest qualification is that I can't find anything remotely as capable for close to the same price.

PROs: It works (mostly), it's cheap, it can be made to work without too much effort with other OSs. (I primarily use Linux, but I can mount the units as windows share, or NFS, or use FTP. Don't see how anyone can complain too much about that many options.)

CONs: It's slow, even on a dedicated 100 mbit network.
DLink seems to have spent most of it development work on much smaller drives. Heat issues with larger drives have been going on since the beginning, and still don't seem to be solved. As long as I can go out and buy a 2 TB drive for $140, why in the world would I spend $400+ on a DNS-343 and stick 4 1/2 TB drives in it? DLink should spent a LOT (as in nearly all) time worrying about how to make the largest available drives work reliably.
It heats up at the drop of a hat. My second unit, which I still haven't determined if I'm going to return or not, boots at 44 degrees C, which is just 2 short of it's lockup point. I spent a week trying to get it to sync the drives, which requires over 25 hours. The only way I could get it done was to lower my household airconditioning to 72 degrees F, close off all the other vents in the apartment, and set the unit directly under the remaining vent. I did finally get it to sync, but now I can't load it for more than a few hours at a time without having it lock up. If I didn't have one unit running just fine, I'd assume it was a design flaw. Now I'm just trying to figure out if it's just a problem with this unit and if a replacement will resolve the problem.

For the record, I have two DNS-343s, both running 1.02A, RAID 5, and loaded with 4 Seagate 1.5 TB Barracuda drives.
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JavaLawyer

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 07:19:42 PM »

Yes, and I have bought this unit again.  Weighing price vs. performance and reliability, I don't know of a better option.  The DNS-343 performs as advertised, has a reasonably good firmware update history (i.e. manufacturer after-market support), and has performed reliably.   I have no regrets.
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Find answers here: D-Link ShareCenter FAQ I D-Link Network Camera FAQ
There's no such thing as too many backups FFC

TimeZlicer

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Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 01:56:53 AM »

NO

reason: bad technical support experience
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redant2u

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 02:14:54 AM »

Yes - good solid product... ;D
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weathejx

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 07:35:24 AM »

probably not.

the shipped software is buggy and the support is marginal, at best.  ive had my raid drop a few times during firmware updates and 'pulling the drive and formatting' is not acceptable.  a firmware update should not break the array or cause the firmware to not recognize that it actually exists.  when ssh'ing in to the box you can see it just fine, but the firmware refuses to pick it up without reformatting the entire thing.  i got it for backups and data redundancy via raid but i still dont trust it.

ive been waiting for this beta code to get pushed to production for months now.  no sign of when it's actually going to be released.

that said, once you funplug the box, it becomes a very powerful machine.  ive compiled cold, run transmission, ftp, subversion and a few other things on it and it never has a problem with processor or freezing on me.  its fast over gigabit.

i guess what im getting at is, the software is atrocious but the hardware is solid.  if they got rid of the software and just let me use linux id be much happier with the product.  if i was buying again, id investigate the support and community of the product i was buying more than i did.



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therealclimber

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 09:54:09 AM »

I am afraid not.  My apologies for the negative tone of this post but this unit has caused me a lot of trouble. 

I wanted to like it since I have had success with d-link products in the past but this unit has several flaws which makes me wish I had bought something else. 

I have 4 1.5T seagate drives in set up as a single large raid-5 volume.  I wanted to create smaller volumes because a loss of the filesystem itself would result in 4.5T worth of data down the tubes. 
I was not able to find a way to create more than one safe volume.  Even raid-1 looked like it would create a single raid-1 volume with the other two disks forming a stripe which result in the loss of ALL of the data on that volume with the loss of either disk.  It may be possible to create multiple volumes but I wasn't able to find out how through the GUI.  I've set up thousands of systems with raid volumes of every size, shape and color from Hitachi, Sun/Oracle, IBM, HP, Netapp and software RAID and I just couldn't figure it out. 

The write speed is poor.  With an ext3 file system I could only achieve a sustained write speed of 5 megabytes per second.  By switching to ext2 I could sustain 7 megabytes per second.  However, ext2 is not as safe as ext3 which means the single huge volume is even more vulnerable.  I tried jumbo packets but that made little difference.  My network is 1Gb/s switched (with a D-link switch).  My 12 year old Sun ultra-30 that this unit was meant to replace could sustain 17 MB/s write speeds on the same network.  In this day and age I had hoped for better. 

I really had to struggle with the "94%" volume build problem.  Now I am experiencing the lock-up problem and have had to power cycle it to bring it back then wait 2 days for the raid-5 rescync to finish.  Sooner or later the filesystem will die with it then the data is lost.  I don't relish having to restore the data from backup since at 7 Mb/s it would take just under 5 days to rewrite what I currently have stored on it.  It would take over a week if it was full.  I used to use the fun-plug add on but it's NFS server was really any faster than the one that came with one of the firmware updates. 

I hope the 1.04 firmware can address some of these issues. 

One thing I do like, though, is the ability to send me an email if a drive fails.  I now consider this a "must have" feature on any other NAS I intend to buy.  I also like to be able to check the status of the drives without having to take it off line. 

It has potential, though.  Some better performance and bug fixes along with an "expert mode" GUI and this thing could rock. 
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denisbaldwin

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2010, 09:23:29 AM »

Definitely not.

My reasons are purely technical. ADS support is awful. We lose our RAID builds often, even with drives I can prove work otherwise and are on the compatibility list. We find writes are VERY very slow to these systems especially compared to our Thecus devices which are similarly priced/featured.

I've been a proud supporter of D-Link for a long time and will continue using their wired/wireless network devices. However, I don't think I'll ever buy another dlink storage device and have warned others of my troubles as well.
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tetreb

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2010, 11:32:57 AM »

Definitely not. BIG NO NO

I woudn't spend a penny on Dlink products anymore I had router with really bad support now NAS device and no support. Once i sell my DNS-343 I'm moving to freenas.org which has better support then Dlink and i can build a sistem for less then $ 100
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 11:34:53 AM by tetreb »
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angusmac

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Re: Would you buy this unit again, given the chance?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2010, 01:05:45 AM »

Probably not.

I have a DNS-343 fitted with 4 x 1Tb drives at home and a QNAP TS-439 with 4 x 1 Tb drives at work.

The QNAP was a simple plug and play.

The DNS-343... wasn't.  It required hours of tweaking to make it perform properly and I'm still not 100% with it.  Tech support was useless - hours on the phone trying to solve the issues resulted in no progress.

In short - you get what you pay for.
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