Synology RackStation RS810RP+ review

Synology’s new rack mount NAS appliance is fast, packed with features and has lots of expansion potential. It’s also expensive, so read this review to find out whether it’s worth the extra cash.

Price
£1,165

A feature all too rarely seen on entry-level NAS appliances is an ability to expand outside the box. SMBs have just as big a problem keeping up with demand for network storage capacity as large companies but very few lowercost appliances can accept extra external arrays to increase the number of available disks.

Synology is the only SMB NAS vendor taking this issue seriously as some of its newer appliances can accept an extra disk array so capacity can be increased on demand. We first saw this ability with the DiskStation DS710+ . Synology's latest NAS, the RackStation RS810RP+, can have its capacity doubled by plugging an optional RX410 expansion unit into its eSATA port.

There's much more to this 1U appliance as it comes as standard with a pair of hot-plug power supplies. The main controller board can also be released and slid out from the rear allowing you to swiftly upgrade memory to 3GB using the spare SO-DIMM slot underneath.

The appliance introduces Synology's new DiskStation Manager 3.3 (DSM) firmware. This has a completely redesigned interface, improved smartphone upload and download features, iSCSI MPIO, the new Surveillance Station 5 and support for both EXT4 file systems and Exabyte volume sizes.

Installation starts with the bundled Assistant utility which prepares the hard disks and installs the OS from the included disc or from wherever you've downloaded the latest firmware. Then it's over to the new web interface. We found it to be very well designed and easily customised using drag and drop manoeuvres.

The appliance was supplied diskless, so for testing we installed three 1TB WD SATA hard disks and used the Storage Manager window to create a RAID-5 array. This took over six hours and access to the volume was not granted until the array build had finished.

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