Synology RackStation RS3411xs review

Synology's new rack mount NAS appliance makes the move to a Core i3 processor, is 10-Gigabit Ethernet ready and has dual Infiniband ports giving it massive expansion potential. Dave Mitchell takes the RS3411xs for a high-speed test drive on the lab's 10-Gigabit network. Read this review to see how it fared.

Price
£1,750

There are plenty of other extra features though, such as the Data Replicator 3 software for scheduled workstation backups. The RS3411xs can also run scheduled backups of local data to external USB storage, other Synology appliances or other Rsync compatible servers.

The Time Backup features automates snapshots of selected folders to another volume on the appliance or external device. A file version history is viewed from the Timeline screen where you can select one and restore it to its original location or a new destination.

IP SAN features are excellent as the appliance supports iSCSI thin provisioning. This allows targets to be created that only use a small amount of space on the appliance, but appear much larger to the host. As more data is stored on the target, the appliance dynamically allocates more space to it.

Optional packages make the RS3411xs even more versatile and are easily downloaded from the main web interface.

Extra free packages can be installed the appliance including a mail server, LDAP support, WordPress and even a Syslog server. You have servers for photos, multimedia, audio as well a download manager. Synology's Surveillance Station has some of the best IP camera recording features we've seen in a NAS appliance.

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The RackStation RS3411xs may not have USB3 ports or support for 6Gbit/s SATA3 hard disks but it more than makes up for these omissions with its impressive expansion potential. It also delivers fast performance over Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE and combines this with an extensive range of quality storage features.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The RS3411xs scores highly for its huge storage expansion potential using high-speed Infiniband ports and performance over Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE networks is very good. USB3 and SATA3 support are lacking and we don’t think the dual supply models are worth the extra cash, but the list of features is still impressive making this appliance well suited to SMBs with big expansion plans.

Chassis: 2U rack

CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100

Memory: 2GB DDR3 ECC expandable to 8GB

Storage: 10 x 3.5in.or 2.5in SATA2 hard disk hot-swap bays

RAID: Software managed

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, Hybrid, hot-spare and JBODs

Network: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet

Other ports: 4 x USB2, 2 x Infiniband expansion

Expansion: 1 x PCI Express x8 Gen 2

Management: Web browser

Software: Synology Assistant, Download Redirector and Data Replicator 3

Options: RX1211, £773; RS3411RPxs, £2,272; RX1211RP, £1,249 (all ex VAT)

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