Synology RackStation RS2211+ review
Good value, strong performance and the best expansion potential in its class, made all the better by its InfiniBand connection
Review Date: 28 Jul 2011
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £1,108 (£1,330 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Of all the SMB NAS appliance vendors, only Synology has taken a serious stance on storage expansion. Its latest RackStation RS2211+ pushes this to the next level. Where the DS1511+ used eSATA ports for expansion units, the RS2211+ can be connected to a 12-bay RX1211 expansion shelf via a high-performance InfiniBand link.
The main unit has ten hot-swap drive bays, so this dynamic duo allows capacity to be pushed to an impressive 66TB. Alternatively, if you want full power redundancy, Synology offers RS2211RP+ and RX1211RP+ combos, which both have dual hotplug supplies.
The RS2211+ is a well-built 2U rack chassis, with the 10th drive bay located under a system status panel on the right. We were impressed with its internal layout; the custom motherboard has everything neatly embedded on it.
The three quad-port SATA interfaces are cabled directly to the hard disk backplane, and the InfiniBand expansion port is hard-wired at the back. The appliance has a 1.8GHz dual-core Atom processor, and a spare SODIMM socket allows the standard 1GB of DDR2 memory to be increased to 3GB.
Installation follows the same path as other Synology appliances: an Assistant utility finds the appliance on the network and loads the DiskStation Manager (DSM) software. Array setup comes next; for testing we loaded up four 1TB Western Digital SATA drives and created a RAID5 array.
This latest version of DSM has some useful new features. Disk Groups support multiple volumes within a single RAID array, and you also have Synology’s hybrid RAID – similar to a key feature of Drobo’s B800i, letting you mix drives of different sizes and manufacturers.
The RS2211+ delivered superb results in our real-world performance tests. Using a Dell PowerEdge R515 rack server running Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit, we saw drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip over Gigabit Ethernet return read and write rates of 103MB/sec and 92MB/sec.
FTP speeds were even better, with FileZilla reporting speeds of 107MB/sec and 105MB/sec for the same file. It handled our 17.4GB collection of 10,500 files well, copying them to the appliance at an average of 58MB/sec.
- Microsoft ordered to hand over European data
- Will the next Windows 8.1 update arrive next month?
- BT One Phone lets SMBs ditch landlines for mobiles
- Microsoft shows Modern apps running in desktop windows
- Apple and IBM buddy up for enterprise push
- Windows Phone 8.1 starts rolling out to Nokia phones
- Government broadband plans "lack ambition"
- SMBs get Office 365 price cuts, new plans
- Windows 7: you can keep it until 2020
- BlackBerry Passport's square for spreadsheets
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Doing business in a social era
- How to configure SysLookup for your network
- The 18 best Outlook tips for increasing productivity: become an Outlook expert with these lesser-known tips
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child