Synology DiskStation DS1512+ NAS Evaluation

Synology made significant improvements to its high-end line of products for small and medium-sized businesses last year, adding the 5-bay DS1511 + and 12-bay DS2411 + to compete with products ranging from under $ 1,000 to $ 2,000. Dollar counteract. Although the DS1511 + and DS2411 + are nearly a year old and at $ 800 and $ 2,000 (excluding storage drives) expensive than ever, they are still very solid and relevant in the market today.

Both devices have dual gigabit LAN controllers for link aggregation with a read speed of over 190 MB / s. They also offer hot-swappable SATA bays, as well as the ability to significantly expand storage using the DX510 and DX1211 expansion units. This allows the DS1511 + to support up to 15 drives with a maximum capacity of 45TB, while the expanded DS2411 + supports up to 15 drives for 72TB.

When you buy a dedicated, network-attached storage box, you can't go wrong with either device. Both are still pretty solid in terms of specs – unless you need USB 3.0, which is quickly becoming the standard feature for NAS devices. For this reason Synology has updated the 5-bay DS1511 + with the latest USB standard and took the opportunity to improve some other specifications as well.

The redesigned 5-bay device, known as the DS1512 +, offers read and write speeds of 200.31 MB / s and 194.83 MB / s, compared to the DS1511 +’s stated rates of 197.8 MB / s and 165.91 MB / s. Additionally, the dual-core Intel Atom D2700 at 2.13 GHz (32 nm Cedar Trail) should offer slightly more performance than the dated 1.8 GHz Atom D525 (45 nm Pineview), while the redesigned hardware includes a new cooling system .

These extras cost a reasonable $ 100 premium over last year's DS1511 +, which should position the DS1512 + as a respectable competitor in the current NAS market – so the specs would lead us to believe. Let's take a closer look at the hardware and software (including the recently released DiskStation Manger 4.0) before we greet Synology's latest offering with our usual benchmarks.

Synology DS1512 + hardware

The DS1512 + uses the same design as the DS1010 +, which is our most popular NAS design to date, as it combines a professional look with practical functionality.

The 5-bay device is 233mm long, 248mm wide, and 157mm high, and weighs 4.25kg when empty – a number that will inevitably increase as you add storage. The front has five hot-swappable drive bays, each with its own green activity light at the top.

Synology has built a small keyhole into the bottom of each drive bay that you can use to lock individual drives. This implementation is more attractive than other NAS devices.

Once unlocked, the bays release with a simple push. Moving drives in and out of the DS1512 + is a breeze.

Directly above the hot-swappable drive bays are four additional activity LEDs that indicate status, LAN1, LAN2 and alarm. A light blue LED is also integrated in the power switch to indicate that the device is active.

If you turn back, you'll see a pair of 80mm fans, two Gigabit LAN ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA ports for connecting up to two DX510 devices, and a 3-pin power connector.

Synology has added removable fans to the cooling of the DS1512 +, which are intended to facilitate replacement in the event of a failure.

As already mentioned, the eSATA ports can be used to connect the DS1512 + to one or two DX510 expansion enclosures and to add 10 additional slots to the basic configuration. The two Gigabit LAN ports are used to achieve the claimed read and write performance of 200.31 MB / s and 194.83 MB / s. To do this, they use Link Aggregation Technology, which allows multiple physical Ethernet links to be grouped together to create a logical Ethernet link to provide fault tolerance and high speed links between switches, routers, servers and in this case the Synology DS1512 +.

While lower-priced models like the DS712 + have connectivity on the front, Synology excludes that feature on their more expensive models for some reason. This is the case with the DS1512 +, which does not provide any form of faceplate connectivity. This means that fast copying from external media must be done from the back of the device, which may be inconvenient for some users.

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