Synology RackStation RS411 review

Synology’s new RackStation RS411 is one of the lowest cost rack mounted NAS appliances on the market. It’s fast and feature packed, but there are some limitations so read this review to find out more.

IP SAN options are particularly good and we covered these in depth in our review of the RS810RP+. Thin provisioning is supported and we were able to present a 2TB iSCSI target to our test server even though the appliance only had a 1.7TB volume.

The appliance even has a firewall so you can apply rules to traffic on either network port and to selected IP addresses and ranges. Rule creation is simple enough as you define services with their port numbers, deny or allow the traffic and apply the rule to a port.

Some features are more suited to consumers. These include an iTunes server, a Photo Station for sharing photos and videos on the Internet, a Download Station that supports BitTorrent and eMule and an Audio Station that lets you plug in USB speakers to the appliance.

Synology's backup features are superior to those offered by vendors such as QNap and Thecus. Local volumes can be automatically backed up on a schedule to USB or eSATA storage devices. You can use Rsync to synchronise appliances and there's even support for Amazon's S3 remote backup service.

Workstation backup is handled by the Replicator 3 utility which is easy to use. During backup job creation it'll find the appliance, show the shares that can be used as targets and, once a full backup has completed, encrypt everything too.

Now in its sixth month of beta testing, the Time Backup feature automates snapshots of selected folders and allows you to retain multiple versions over time. However, it can only snapshot from one volume to another. So, for example, if you've created a single four drive RAID array then it can only use USB or eSATA disks as destinations.

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