There are numerous discussions of NextCloud on the forum but I am looking at this from a different angle.
I managed to set up NextCloud on an Intel NUC and it is working fine. My goal is to set up photo storage, file storage for my family, hoping that I can be less reliant on Google Drive and iCloud drive, etc.
Looking at what NextCloud can offer (for personal use), it is very similar to what Synology DSM, both have file management, photos , webdav, etc, etc. However, if I continue to use NextCloud on the Intel NUC, I have to be a backup solution, whereas anything in Synology NAS already has some degree of redundancy built in, plus I already backup critical files to Backblaze B2 already.
Just want to get some suggestions or experience which direction should I continue to invest for personal use
Neither is really better, they are essentially the same. The benefit of synology (along with price) is simplicity. It just works out of the box. You are paying for the software more than hardware.
It is amazing to have the space to backup, E2E backups going to my included OneDrive, as well as a copy to synology c2 without thinking of it. This is very user friendly.
What I don’t like about next cloud is maintaining the database component, which is easier to “screw” up if you don’t know what to do. If your into self hosting obviously you can get a more powerful box to run more from it than just next cloud.
Since you already have a NUC running next cloud what is it that you are looking to change? Is there a pain point that you want to move over to a synology?
If cost isn’t an issue and you are looking for easy, nothing can beat synology. Would recommend you get at least a plus model so you can run docker once you get to that point (trust me you will!). It opens up so many options.
Also consider going at least 4 bay, allows for more storage and upgrading (check out shr arrays for synology).
Synology is a great choice. I used to have an older one but went another direction instead of upgrading. You will still need a backup strategy as the Synology’s redundancy is for fault tolerance, not backup. If the unit goes up in smoke or gets stolen you will need another backup.
I think that Synology is a much easier solution to implement; it is pretty much plug and play (although there are a few steps to the “plugging,” they are pretty easy to figure out.
If you already have a NextCloud setup, and have the hardware to run it on, however, I am not sure it is necessarily worthwhile for you to spend more money on a Synology unless there are other features of Synology that you also wish to employ that would be harder to implement on a NUC.
As already pointed out, Synology has the advantage of fault tolerance, and you can do backup via Synology’s own backup systems (eg HyperBackup to various cloud services). You could do the same from the NUC into BackBlaze or something similar as well, of course.
Personally I use SynologyDrive for this purpose, but I also use my Synology for a number of other purposes making the purchase worthwhile for me.
Just as an aside, I have found ResilioSync to be easier to set up and use compared to NextCloud when I played with it, although ResilioSync has a few weird quirks too. I wound up with a lifetime license at a very low cost, so it was worthwhile to make the purchase and of course if for any reason I no longer had a Synology, I could make the switch.
I am running a SynologyNAS since >12 years now, currently a 1817+ with two extensions, which worked very fine for me.
I had also a deeper look into NextCloud, as I thought to switch because of some (solved) issues I run into with the SynologyDMS.
NextCloud is, in my opinion, a very powerful tool, if you have the deeper knowledge to set it up, and use it in all its abilities.
The German Government is using NextCloud, as well as several European Countries, and IONOS is offering (at least within Germany) a hosted solution for it.
BUT, if you are not doing this for Business, or want to spent a (significant) part of your time for the configuration and care of the system, it is not the right one for a private user, in my opinion.
The second, and maybe even more important, reason I decided to not use it, is the history of the system, as the MainDeveloper together with some colleagues worked earlier for the OwnCloud Project, but left that and continued with NextCloud as a Fork of OwnCloud. OwnCloud, as a result of this, went almost immediately into bankruptcy.
Of course NextCloud may be a bigger project right now, and the risk of a similar behavior of the Developer and his core team again, with a similar outcome, seems to be rather low. Further it is a system working mainly on your own Hardware, and is therefore less dependent on a working system at NextCloud (while I do not know, if there are maybe license server, or something dependent like that, running in the background today?), but I do not trust a Developer behaved like this before, and I am not able to keep a system like that running without the necessary frequent updates.
So I did not wanted to risk the need to switch the Cloudsystem within a short period of time again, because the Dev went on to start a “new” (forked) business under a new name, and abandoned an other company.
It is the OwnCloud GmbH, that took over the Assets of the OwnCloud Inc. and (more or less) restarted the Operation with new money, and a new CEO and CTO after a few month. Also they moved from the US to Germany.
But for my personal decision, I did not deem it as a warranty, that this will also happen with a possibly bankrupt NextCloud GmbH.
I am running two NextCloud instances through a German webhoster (udmedia.de). I already used their shared hosting service for other purposes and NextCloud is a one-click free install through their service - and I never had any issues updating NextCloud myself. The web-based updater works well. One instance is used by our brass band, I do use the other instance for personal use (file sharing with others and sometimes for me across platforms). Udmedia.de is installing NextCloud on your shared webhosting space, so this is not a solution for big NextCloud installations. Apart from that we are using an IONOS Nextcloud enterprise solution with more than 200 users managed by IONOS. I definitely am happy that they manage this powerful installation with hardened security and what not. Long story short: Small NextCloud installations are not hard to set up, there are options for one-click installations. NextCloud can be as powerful as you want it to have, but you do not need to.
Having said this: If you own a Synology and if your use case is personal use, there is absolutely no need to use NextCloud - Synology’s apps work fine. I am kind of a weirdo: my Synology is not running 24/7 (and I did not want to have members of our brass band on my Synology).
I made the mistake once of buying a lower end Synology NAS. It was really slow even on my local network to do basic tasks. I eventually ditched it and leveraged an old PC as an unRAID server. That was ~4 years ago and haven’t had a single issue with it. It allows you to use any drives you want in it and you don’t have to have matched sizes/types, it’s cheap $59 for a license I believe, and extremely stable and fast. Highly recommend.