Synology RackStation RS4017xs+ review

Power, a huge capacity and storage features galore – the RS4017xs+ delivers everything an SME could possibly need

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£4,002
  • Excellent performance; Good expansion options; Feature-packed software
  • Base model only has 8GB of RAM; Certain features require host

Stepping up as Synology's first 3U rack NAS appliance, the RS4017xs+ looks like the perfect choice for storage hungry businesses. Its 16 hot-swap SATA drive bays can handle the latest 10TB hard disks while its pair of high-performance Infiniband ports support two 12-bay RX1217 disk expansion shelves.

Quad Gigabit and dual 10GBase-T ports are included and the two free PCI-Express slots support plenty of industry standard 10GbE adapters. Synology also offers its own single and dual-port 10GbE adapters while speed demons can add a Mellanox dual-port 40GbE card.

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The appliance is powered by an 8-core 2.1GHz D-1541 Xeon but for the four grand starting price, we expected more than the base 8GB of DDR4 memory. However, the motherboard's four DIMM slots allow this to be boosted to 64GB using 16GB modules.

Synology's discovery web portal makes light work of deployment and we used it to download the latest DSM 6.1 software and then move to the Storage Manager app to create a RAID5 array from four 10TB Seagate IronWolf drives. Synology's close collaboration with Seagate is evident in Storage Manager as its new IHM (IronWolf Health Management) feature provides enhanced monitoring for more accurate drive failure predictions.

NAS shares are simple to create from the Control Panel app and support good access security, plus per user quotas. IP SANs are equally pain-free to use and thin provisioning is available on file-level iSCSI targets.

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General 10GbE performance is very good, with a NAS share delivering top Iometer sequential read and write speeds of 9.2Gbits/sec and 8.3Gbits/sec. We increased the pressure with two Windows servers using dedicated mapped shares and saw cumulative Iometer read and write speeds of 18.4Gbits/sec and 14.1Gbits/sec.

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Real world speeds are on the money too, with our 25GB file copy test returning average read and write speeds of 5.2Gbits/sec and 3.8Gbits/sec. Our backup test was also handled with aplomb; our 22.4GB test folder and its 10,500 small files was secured to a share at 2.2Gbits/sec.

Synology is big on data protection, as support for BTRFS volumes brings on-demand and scheduled NAS share and iSCSI LUN snapshots into play. Managed from the Snapshot Replication app, this provides slick data recovery tools and also replicates snapshots to remote Synology appliances that support BTRFS.

The Hyper Backup app keeps all your local, remote, Rysnc and cloud backups under one roof and offers wizards for 19 different types of backups. Cloud features are exemplary. The Cloud Sync app works with 21 public providers while the DSM's Cloud Station Server app delivers everything you need to create a private backup and file sharing cloud.

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Remote file syncing requires the Backup or Cloud Station Drive utilities loaded on hosts but if you don't want to do this, check out the new Active Backup app. All it requires is their IP address and user credentials to secure selected shared drives or directories to the appliance.

Its big capacity makes the RS4017xs+ a great video recording repository and the superb Surveillance Station 8 app cements Synology's position as the go-to NAS vendor for these duties. The price only includes two IP camera licenses but it adds new features such as support for the latest H.265 codec while the Surveillance Station client overcomes earlier NPAPI browser plugin problems with its Live View working perfectly on Windows 10.

The RS4017xs+ puts a huge amount of storage in your rack cabinet and has plenty of room to expand as well. It delivers great 10GbE performance, the versatile DSM software offers tons of features and Synology's generous 5-year warranty and optional replacement service will give SMEs that all-important peace of mind.

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This review originally appeared in PC Pro 276

Verdict

The RS4017xs+ puts a huge amount of storage in your rack cabinet and has plenty of room to expand as well. It delivers great 10GbE performance, the versatile DSM software offers tons of features and Synology's generous 5-year warranty and optional replacement service will give SMEs that all-important peace of mind.

3U rackmount chassis 2.1GHz Intel D-1541 Xeon 8GB DDR4 (max 64GB) 16 x LFF/SFF hot-swap SATA drive bays Supports RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6, hot-spare, JBOD 4 x Gigabit 2 x 10GBase-T 2 x USB 3 2 x expansion ports 2 x PCI-Express slots 2 x 800W hot-plug PSUs 5yr limited warranty

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