Synology RackStation RS810RP+ review
One of the biggest problems with many rack-mount NAS appliances is their lack of expansion options. Synology’s latest RackStation RS810RP+ isn’t guilty of this – its eSATA port can service an RX410 expansion enclosure, allowing the hard disk count to be doubled in a jiffy.
Fault tolerance isn’t limited to the two hot-plug power supplies: the pair of Gigabit ports can be used in load-balanced or failover teams. The main controller board can also be released, sliding out from the rear so you can upgrade memory to 3GB using the spare SODIMM slot below.
The appliance introduces the new DiskStation Manager (DSM) 3.3, which delivers a completely redesigned interface, improved smartphone upload and download features, iSCSI MPIO, the new Surveillance Station 5 and support for EXT4 and Exabyte volume sizes.
The new DSM interface is smart: it provides even easier access to the various features and can be customised using drag-and-drop manoeuvres.
The latest firmware increases iSCSI support to ten targets, which we found simple to create, although for MPIO configuration you’re on your own since the manual is devoid of instructions.
The Surveillance Station 5 has increased IP camera support, including the Axis Q1755. Once the new search tool had found it on our network, we could create E-Maps showing its location, set up motion detection and run scheduled recordings; an improvement on the previous version, but marred by Synology including only one camera licence as standard.
We loaded a triplet of 1TB SATA hard disks for testing and used the Storage Manager window to create a RAID5 array. Be warned: this took six hours.
To check expansion we loaded two more 1TB drives in an RX410 appliance and, without powering down the main unit, hot-plugged it into the eSATA port. The drives appeared in the Storage Manager window, where we could add them to the existing array or create a new one.
Real-world performance is good, as drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip from a Dell PowerEdge R715 dual 12-Core Opteron rack server returned average speeds of 96MB/sec and 83MB/sec. FTP operations were faster: FileZilla reported read and write speeds of 103MB/sec.
Performance over the eSATA port was slightly slower. We ran the same tests on a striped array on the RX410 and saw read and write speeds drop to 75MB/sec and 72MB/sec, while FTP operations returned around 78MB/sec.
Currently in beta testing, Synology’s new Time Backup package automates snapshots of selected folders to another volume on the appliance or external device. A history of file versions can be viewed using the Timeline screen and slider bar beneath, so you can easily select one and restore it to the original location or a new destination.
The RackStation RS810RP+ is packed with features, it’s fast and can be easily expanded – but the price is high for a four-bay NAS appliance.