Synology DiskStation DS3612xs review

Reviews 29 Feb, 2012

Synology’s latest desktop NAS appliance is the biggest desktop appliance on the market, with a twelve-drive capacity and 10-Gigabit upgrades. Dave Mitchell finds out if it’s also the fastest and takes a look at the new DSM 4.0 beta, too.

4
Price: 
£1,665
ex VAT (diskless)
Verdict: 
This high capacity desktop appliance delivers top performance over Gigabit and 10-Gigabit networks, and offers a huge expansion potential via high-speed Infiniband ports. Synology’s list of storage features is probably the best currently available and the next version of its DSM will add useful cloud backup services.

The new DS3612xs moves desktop NAS appliances into the big league as Synology’s mighty cube is aimed at larger businesses with a need for speed and capacity.

It’s the first to offer twelve hot-swap drive bays and also has a pair of high-speed Infiniband ports that each accepts a DX1211 12-bay expansion unit to boost raw storage to up to 108TB.

There’s much more as the DS3612xs also sports an Intel Core i3 CPU and its base 2GB of server grade ECC DDR3 memory can be upgraded to 6GB. Along with quad Gigabit ports, the appliance also has a PCI-e slot that accepts single and dual-port Intel or Emulex 10-Gigabit (10GbE) cards.

The DS3612xs is very well built and a single keyhole above the drive bays allows all to be locked. At the back are the two Infiniband ports and four USB2 ports for adding other external storage devices or printers for network sharing.

The DS3612xs has two redundant cooling fans plus a very large passive CPU heatsink, making it extremely quiet.

USB3 and eSATA ports are conspicuous by their absence, and the DS3612xs only supports SATA II speeds. SATA III drives can be used, but they’ll only run at 3Gbit/s — although our performance tests using SATA II drives suggest that this isn’t an issue.

Specifications: 

Chassis: Desktop

CPU: 3.1GHz Core i3-2100

Memory: 2GB DDR3 ECC expandable to 6GB

Storage: 12 x 3.5in.or 2.5in SATA II hard disk hot-swap bays

RAID: Software managed

Array support: RAID0, 1, 5, 6, Hybrid, hot-spare and JBODs

Network: 4 x Gigabit

Other ports: 4 x USB2, 2 x Infiniband expansion

Expansion: 1 x PCI-e X8 Gen 2

Management: Web browser

Software: Synology Assistant, Data Replicator 3

Options: Diskless DX1211 12-bay expansion unit, £750 ex VAT

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