Virtualization in Synology VS QNAP

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.

VM on Synology returns some very interesting Host information

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

Supported Operating SystemAll Including V-DSMAll Including V-DSM
Cluster ManagementYESYES
QoS SettingsYESYES
CPU OvercommitPhysical CPU threads x2Physical CPU threads x4
Max Virtual Switches44096
Max Snapshots per VM32255
VM Share Links per Host116
Remote Replication PlanNOYES
Remote Storage MigrationNOYES
Run VM on Remote HostNOYES
High AvailabilityNOYES
Live MigrationNOYES

QNAP on the other hand , has only a single Free Virtualization station.

Major Difference between Synology Virtual machine manager and QNAP Virtualization station

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  1. 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.
Active Backup can turn your physical machine into a VM so you can

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 VMMQNAP Virtualization Station
Types of VMSAll including Windows, Linux and VDSMAll including Windows, Linux and QTS Cloud
Live MigrationIn Pro VersionYes
High AvailabilityIn Pro VersionNO
Cluster of HostsYesNO
USB PassthroughYesYes
GPU PassthroughNOYes (Limited OS, GPUs)
Backup to VMYesNo
Guest ToolsYesYes

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