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How many users could a Synology handle?


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I'm currently looking at replacing my aging Synology NAS with a new unit and larger drives. I'm contemplating running Emby directly on the Synology itself instead of a dedicated Ubuntu vm to reduce my server footprint and basically turn my media into an all-in-one appliance. NFS Shares, Emby, etc, all on the Synology itself. I'm currently looking at the Synology DS1821+ and the RS1221+. Both use the AMD RyzenTM V1500B quad-core 2.2 GHz processor and I would be expanded them up to 32gb of ram. My question is primarily, how many streams could these units handle at once? In-house all my devices can decode x265 so I shouldn't need much if any transcoding in house. Externally I may have one or two friends/family members who would stream things and they may require transcoding. So in total I'd be looking at a max of 6-8 simultaneous users, of which 2-4 may require transcoding.

So would one of these Synology's realistically be able to handle that or am I asking too much of it?


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That's a tough call.  For example if you look at this link it would compare the CPU in these two NAS with the CPU in the smaller 920+ 4 bay. At first glance it looks like a slam dunk case the Ryzen is faster but is it? Depends a lot on what you're doing.  For typical Emby only use the Celeron would probably be the far better choice as it has QuickSync built in so 4 transcodes for example is no issue while the Ryzen is stuttering like crazy on the same playback.

If all your media is always going to direct play then it doesn't matter if you have QuickSync or not unless you want it to transcode the media upfront one time so it's direct playable after that.  Even based on what you already mentioned that 1 or 2 friends might need transcoding I'd still think the Celeron model is the better overall winner for strictly Emby use.

Either one of them should have any issue direct streaming 10+ streams.


A question that I have to ask.  Have you considered Qnap at all?
I bring this up because you can get Qnap NAS with i5/i7 in them which have QuickSysnc and will be faster then the V1500B.  Not only that but some of their models have PCI slots so you can add in different high end NICs or Nvidia GPU cards making it a powerhouse for media streaming.

CPU processing rules the day for running multiple apps on the NAS box which both Synology and Qnap have a lot of plus both can easily run docker apps.
GPUs rules the day for media that needs transcoding.

You may also want to possibly build you own NAS by taking any type of computer with the specs you need and installing one of the many great OSes designed to do this like TrueNAS scale, Open Media Vault, Unraid, etc...

The last option is the most flexible and upgradable solution you'll find.


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I have the DS1821+ and if your external users need transcoding I'm not sure you want the Ryzen with no GPU

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