Synology RackStation RS2414RP+
This is a high-end NAS aimed at companies that require speed, lots of expansion potential and uptime as close to 100% as possible. The RS2414RP+ sits pretty at the top of Synology’s SMB rack NAS family, which means you get all the trimmings: 12 hot-swap SATA drive bays, dual-hotplug 400W power supplies and a high-speed SAS expansion port that accepts a 12-bay RX1214 or RX1214RP+ disk shelf. See also: what to look for when buying a NAS for business.
For installation, Synology’s discovery web portal had no problems locating our system. We were up and running in about 15 minutes, which included time for it to download and install the latest firmware, plus create a hybrid array with our set of 4TB WD Enterprise hard disks. Hybrid arrays let you mix together drives of different makes and sizes. RAID migration is also supported.
We like Synology’s latest DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5 firmware, which brings a slick user interface that’s well suited to tablet use. Users can personalise their login page with a choice of backgrounds.
Businesses with multiple Synology appliances will love the Central Management System (CMS) app, which provides a single pane of glass for them all. We loaded CMS on the RS2414RP+ and used its discovery tool to find the lab’s DS1813+. CMS listed both appliances so we could view their hardware, networks, volumes, hard disks and installed apps. We even remotely accessed the DS1813+’s web interface and updated its DSM.
The new Cloud Sync app supports Google Drive, Dropbox and Baidu Cloud. It worked fine with our Google Drive and Dropbox accounts where we registered the appliance and selected folders for synchronising. The latest Cloud Station service can sync files between two Synology appliances as well as other PCs and mobiles.
Cloud backup is top-tier as well: Amazon S3, Glacier, ElephantDrive and Symform are all on the guest list, and you can back up local folders to rsync-compatible appliances. Synology’s Data Replicator 3 workstation backup software is just as easy to use and supports Windows Server 2012 R2.
The elderly D2700 Atom processor still has plenty of oomph. Drag-and-drop copies of our 50GB file returned sustained read and write speeds of 112MB/sec. General backup speeds are even better, with our 22.4GB mix of 10,500 small files copied across at 90MB/sec. Using Data Replicator 3 to secure the same folder returned a markedly lower 58MB/sec.
IP SANs are on the menu with support for thin provisioning and LUN backup. Speed is another bonus, with Iometer reporting 113MB/sec raw read and write speeds for a 100GB target, while for more demanding apps you can add SSDs as read or write caches.
Synology offers plenty of mobile apps: we used DS finder on our iPad to discover the appliance on the LAN and use its basic monitoring tools. DS cloud syncs folders between mobile devices and the appliance, while DS cam let us remotely link up with Synology’s Surveillance Station app, view live feeds and access video recordings.
Businesses looking for a speedy rack NAS appliance with room to expand will find the RS2414RP+ fits the bill nicely. A lack of PCI Express slots means you can’t upgrade to 10GbE, but it’s still good value and Synology’s slick DSM delivers features in abundance.
|Hard disk interface||SATA 3|
|3.5" hard disk bays (free)||12 (2.5/3.5in)|
|RAID modes||RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, JBODs, hybrid, hot-spare|
|Networking||4 x Gigabit Ethernet|
|Front USB ports||0|
|Rear USB ports||2 x USB 3, 4 x USB 2|
|Other ports||SAS expansion port|
|Warranty||3yr RTB warranty|
|Price||£1,329 exc VAT|