Both Synology and QNAP have developed virtualization solutions that allow you to run a virtual machine (VM) on your NAS. In this article, we explore the features and capabilities of Synology's Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and QNAP's Virtualization Station.
Both QNAP's Container Station and Synology's VMM are based on Linux KVM, considering that QTS/QuTS and DSM are built on Linux. Thought I get interesting host information on Synology ( like Microsoft as the Virtualizer) , I will write it off as a bug. Anyway, it doesn't really matter which Virtualization they use.
Although QNAP introduced the concept of running a graphical interface on KVM first, with Synology following a few years later, Synology has an upper hand in Cluster and High Availability (HA), whereas QNAP offers GPU passthrough and live migration in free version
Synology VMM has a Paid Pro Version, QNAP only has a free version
So Synology has a Pro VMM license and a free VMM solution. The most notable differences between the Pro and Free version being the live migration ( which QNAP provides in free version too) and High Availability ( which QNAP doesn't have). Here is the full list of difference from Synology Website
|VMM PRO||VMM Free|
|Supported Operating System||All Including V-DSM||All Including V-DSM|
|CPU Overcommit||Physical CPU threads x2||Physical CPU threads x4|
|Max Virtual Switches||4||4096|
|Max Snapshots per VM||32||255|
|VM Share Links per Host||1||16|
|Remote Replication Plan||NO||YES|
|Remote Storage Migration||NO||YES|
|Run VM on Remote Host||NO||YES|
QNAP on the other hand , has only a single Free Virtualization station.
Major Difference between Synology Virtual machine manager and QNAP Virtualization station
- Live Migration on QNAP is Free, Synology Offer Paid option
Live Migration is a process that copies a running virtual machine to another host. QNAP provides this feature for free, while Synology offers it as part of the VMM Pro license.
- QNAP offers GPU passthrough, Synology doesn't
Though you can have USB passthrough with both Synology and QNAP, GPU passthrough is only available on QNAP , it allows virtual machines to use the NAS's GPU. Synology doesn't have this option
- Synology has Cluster and High availability, QNAP doesn't
Synology offers Cluster and High Availability (HA) features, enabling you to add hosts to your cluster and run virtual machines in HA mode with the VMM Pro license. QNAP currently lacks this option.
- Synology Active Backup for Business can convert your Backup to a VM
Synology's Active Backup for Business can convert backups into virtual machines that can be run on Synology VMM. QNAP does not offer this feature.
Table of key differences between Synology VMM and QNAP Virutalization station
Here's a TL;DR of the key differences between Synology Virtual machine manager and QNAP virtualization Station summarized in a table
|Synology VMM||QNAP Virtualization Station|
|Types of VMS||All including Windows, Linux and VDSM||All including Windows, Linux and QTS Cloud|
|Live Migration||In Pro Version||Yes|
|High Availability||In Pro Version||NO|
|Cluster of Hosts||Yes||NO|
|GPU Passthrough||NO||Yes (Limited OS, GPUs)|
|Backup to VM||Yes||No|
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