This little dual-drive NAS appliance is big on features and expansion potential but is it as clever or as fast as Synology claims? In this review we put the latest DS710+ to the test.
Intel’s Atom processors are proving to be popular choices for many small business NAS appliances as their combination of low power and good performance hasn’t gone unnoticed by most of the big manufacturers.
Synology was an early adopter and its new dual-drive DS710+ sports the latest D410 1.67GHz model. It makes some big performance claims but also teams this up with an impressive features list and a very high expansion potential.
The DS710+ is a compact little box with a pair of plastic drives carriers located at the rear. They aren’t lockable but a small button on each carrier stops them from being accidentally popped open and they also have mounting holes for 2.5in. SFF SATA disks as well as standard 3.5in drives.
Along with Gigabit and three USB2 ports, you have an eSATA port at the rear which is designed primarily to accommodate Synology’s optional DX510 expansion unit. This is a dumb five-bay unit with matching design which presents an extra five hot-swap SATA drive bays to the main unit.
Synology’s Assistant utility prepares the hard disks and installs the OS either from the supplied CD-ROM or from a location where the latest firmware has been downloaded to. For testing we loaded the latest v2.3 firmware and popped in a couple of 1TB WD GreenPower drives.
This new firmware adds a pile of new features with IP SAN support now allowing block level iSCSI targets to be created although this will require an entire physical disk. Synology’s hybrid RAID allows drives of differing sizes to be used in the same array and you have optional 256-bit AES volume encryption.
CPU: Intel Atom D410 1.67GHz
Memory: 1GB DDR2
Storage: 2 x hot-swap 3.5in/2.5in SATA drive bays
Ports: 3 x USB2; eSATA
Network: Gigabit Ethernet
Software: Synology Assistant, Download Redirector and Data Replicator 3