Synology RackStation RS1219+ review

The compact NAS rack offers plenty of performance for businesses short on space

IT Pro RecommendedSynology RackStation RS1219+
Price
£863
  • Compact and ideal for SMBs; solid, satisfying performance
  • Atom processors; slow DDR3 RAM

The RackStation RS1219+ moves Synology into new territory as this is the first short-depth 8-bay NAS appliance on the market. Measuring only 12in deep, the RS1219+ will appeal to SMBs short on space and storage as it slots neatly into a small wall or 2-post rack cabinet and its 8 LFF hot-swap bays deliver up to 112TB with certified 14TB drives.

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It offers four Gigabit ports plus dual USB 3 and capacity can be expanded further with one 4-bay RX418 disk shelf which is only 12.8in deep. There's even a PCI-Express slot inside which supports industry-standard 10-Gigabit (10GbE) adapters or Synology's M2D17 dual M.2 SSD cache card.

Synology spoils the show by powering it with an elderly 2.4GHz Atom C2538 CPU and DDR3 memory. Most of Synology's latest SMB appliances have moved to faster Atom C3538 CPUs and DDR4 memory so it's a shame the RS1219+ misses out.

All is not lost though, as the base 2GB of memory can be expanded to a more usable 16GB using the appliance's two SO-DIMM slots. During testing, we also found the RS1219+ delivered 10GbE speeds that small businesses will find quite acceptable.

To test maximum performance, we installed four 12TB Seagate IronWolf NAS drives and an Emulex dual-port 10GBaseT adapter card. The drives were configured as an SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) storage pool and a share was mapped to a Xeon Scalable host running Windows Server 2016.

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There are some speed variations with Iometer reporting 7.9Gbits/sec for sequential reads but a lower 3.2Gbits/sec for writes. With a second share mapped to another Xeon Scalable Windows server, we saw cumulative read and write rates of 11Gbits/sec and 3.9Gbits/sec.

Synology's Atom C3538-equipped DS1618+ recorded faster 10GbE read and write speeds of 9.2Gbits/sec and 4.3Gbits/sec. In our dual server test, it also returned higher cumulative rates of 11.9Gbits/sec and 5.1Gbits/sec.

The RS1219+ fared well enough in our real-world tests where our 25GB test file was read from the share at 4.7Gbits/sec but written to it more slowly at 3.1Gbits/sec. General backup performance was more impressive with our 22.4GB folder and its 10,500 small files secured at an average of 2Gbits/sec 0.3Gbits/sec slower than the DS1618+.

Backup is where the RS1219+ excels as SMBs can team up its high capacity with Synology's DSM 6.2 software and its wealth of data protection features. Workstation backup is handled by the slick Cloud Station Server app which works with the Backup Windows client to provide real-time, one-way file syncing or the Drive agent for two-way syncs.

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And when your client data is secured to the appliance, you can protect it immediately as the Snapshot Replication app provides on-demand and scheduled snapshots of Btrfs volumes plus replication to remote Synology appliances. The Hyper Backup app handles all local, remote and Rysnc backups while the Cloud Sync app can secure appliance data to a wealth of cloud providers.

The RS1219+ makes a great surveillance recording vault and Synology's new Surveillance Station 8.2 app adds even more appeal. Along with support for over 6,000 IP camera models, it now secures recording access with dual authentication and the new smart time lapse feature condenses lengthy recordings for faster viewing.

We love the new LiveCam app as installing it on our iPad allowed us to pair its camera with the appliance and send live video streams directly to the Surveillance Station console and record them. All we needed to do was provide the appliance's local IP address or QuickConnect ID for internet access, add our credentials, ensure our iPad was in the desired orientation and tab the app's play button; simple.

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It may have an older Atom CPU, but the RS1219+ delivers a creditable performance that is sure to satisfy most SMBs. Size is its main strength as it packs a lot into its short-depth chassis making it ideal for space-poor offices and those that want a discrete backup server or surveillance recording vault.

Verdict

A deceptively small rack NAS appliance with a high capacity, storage features galore and a surprising upgrade potential.

2U rack chassis 2.4GHz quad-core Atom C2538 2GB DDR3 (max 16GB) 8 x LFF/SFF hot-swap SATA drive bays Supports RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6, SHR-1/2, hot-spare, JBOD 4 x Gigabit, 2 x USB 3; eSATA; PCI-Express slot 3-year hardware warranty

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