Synology DiskStation DS2413+ NAS Evaluation

Late last year, Synology announced its latest twelve-bay DiskStation DS2413 + for small and medium-sized businesses that need a lot of storage. Not only does the DS2413 + support ready-to-use drives valued at up to 48TB, but it can also be combined with the company's DX1211 expansion enclosure, which houses an additional 12 drives, doubling the base unit's maximum storage capacity to a whopping 96TB .

The DS2413 + is currently the flagship of the latest x13 series and offers more storage and storage than any other NAS in the range. A little over a year and a half ago, we tested its predecessor, the DS2411 +, which also supported the DX1211 expansion housing and looked similar to today – at least externally. It's a different story under the hood.

The processor on the DS2413 + has been updated to a bolder Intel Atom model, and there is twice as much memory. Synology has also worked hard to improve its Disk Station Manager (DSM) software, which is already widely recognized as the best in the industry and which recently received an update. DSM 4.2 includes new features and performance improvements over version 4.1.

For those of you who haven't seen what DSM includes since we tested version 3.1 on the DS2411 +, you'll be amazed at what has been added. We should also make a quick note before you get to the end and poke fun at the price: the DS2413 + is not for the average home user. It sells for $ 1,700 without the drives or the 12-bay expansion. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the upgrades to the DS2413 + offer.

DS2413 + NAS in detail

The DiskStation DS2413 + is based on the same design as the older DS2411 +, so it looks very similar, except for a few minor changes that we'll be making shortly.

As you would expect, this 12-bay NAS is anything but small. The device measures 270 x 300 x 340 mm, which is the exact dimensions of the DS2411 +, while the weight remains the same at 9.93 kg (21.89 lbs), which is roughly twice that of Synology's 5-bay devices. If you consider that the average hard drive weighs about 0.68 kg, the DS2413 + weighs about 18.15 kg when fully loaded.

There are twelve hot-swappable drive bays on the front of the case, each with two green activity lights. Synology has made these bays very practical.

Instead of making each individual drive bay lockable, Synology simply put a small lock on the top of the device that allows you to lock or unlock each bay at the same time. Since this is a business-class product, security is an issue and the DS2413 + does its fair share in physically securing each drive.

Once unlocked, the slots are easy to release as all you have to do is press them. Sliding the drives in and out of the DS2413 + is child's play.

There are four more activity LEDs above the hot-swap slots that indicate status, LAN1, LAN2 and alarm. We should point out that there are no front-mounted USB ports that are used for quick copy on the lower-priced Small Office / Home Office models as Synology does not consider this to be a business use and we tend to agree.

If you turn back, you'll see a pair of 120mm fans, two Gigabit LAN ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a COM port, and a VGA port. There is also a 3-pin power connector that plugs into a standard PC power plug, meaning the power supply is internal.

Compared to the older DS2411 +, the DS2413 + offers USB 3.0 support, so data can be copied from supported devices much faster. Synology also painted the back of the DS2413 + black while the previous model wasn't finished.

By installing the power supply in the case, you don't have to worry about external power supply modules, which can be a nuisance for those who couple the DS2413 + to a DX1211 expansion case. Speaking of which, the DX1211 supports an additional 12 drives and expands the maximum storage capacity to an unbelievable 96 TB.

Synology also includes a factory reset button and an InfiniBand port labeled "Expansion". In the past, the company used eSATA to connect its expansion devices. However, the DS2413 + requires more bandwidth than a single 3 Gbit / s SATA port can deliver. The InfiniBand cable can transfer 12 Gbps of data to and from the DS2413 + for maximum throughput.

The two Gigabit LAN ports are used to achieve the claimed write performance of 196.87 MB / s and the read performance of 201.03 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 DS2413 +.

You should notice the lack of front-mounted connectivity and this is becoming a common practice with high-end Synology products. If you want to quickly connect an external hard drive, you need to get access to the back of the DS2413 +, which can be problematic. Given the purpose of this device, most of the data will be transmitted to and from the network anyway.

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