Synology RackStation RS1619xs+ review: One of the fastest appliances around
This powerhouse 1U rack NAS is the perfect choice for business backup, data protection and file sharing
If you’re looking for a NAS that can handle more than just everyday storage duties, the RS1619xs+ could be just the thing. It’s Synology’s flagship 1U rack NAS appliance, and inside its modestly-sized chassis it features a quad-core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon D-1527 CPU, along with 8GB of server-grade DDR4 ECC memory (upgradable to a maximum of 64GB). It sports a pair of internal M.2 slots too, which will accept both NVMe and SATA SSDs for caching duties.
Connections are also well covered: although the four built-in Ethernet ports are only of the Gigabit type, the PCIe slot can support a wide range of industry-standard adapters, so you’ll have no problem moving up to 10GbE. And while there are only four internal drive bays, a high-speed InfiniBand port lets you add Synology’s 12-bay RX1217 disk shelf – or the RX1217RP, with its redundant power supply.
As for data protection, Synology’s DSM 6.2 software is loaded with useful features. It supports both manual and scheduled NAS and IP SAN snapshots on Btrfs volumes, and offers fast recovery services that allow you to browse NAS snapshots from the File Station app and restore individual files and folders.
Meanwhile, the Hyper Backup app manages all your local, remote, rsync and iSCSI LUN backups from a single console. It supports cloud destinations too, with native support for a dozen providers, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive – and it also integrates with Synology’s own C2 Backup cloud service for off-site storage.
Next up is Synology’s Drive app, which replaces the older Cloud Station Server app and provides a range of Dropbox-like sync services for private file sharing and collaboration. All management is carried out from the separate Drive Admin Console app, and Windows, Android and iOS users can all download the Drive agent or app to take advantage of two-way folder syncing.
One of the best parts of Synology’s offering is its Active Backup for Business (ABB) app. Like the other apps, this is included free with the purchase of the appliance, and offers a superb range of backup, restore and disaster recovery tools for servers and workstations. Virtual environments are supported too, with agentless backup for VMware vCenter and ESXi hypervisors, and protection for Hyper-V virtual machines created on Windows Server 2016/2019 hosts.
If VMs are your thing, you can also use the RS1619xs+ itself as a virtualisation platform: the bundled Virtual Machine Manager app allows the NAS to host VMs running any OS you choose, and the Xeon processor means there’s a decent chunk of power on hand. We tried creating a Windows Server 2019 VM from an ISO file and had it up and running smoothly in ten minutes flat.
To back up your VMs, you can set a snapshot schedule and set a retention policy for a specific recovery point objective (RPO). For disaster recovery it’s also possible to mount backups created by ABB as virtual machines, enabling you to revisit a specific system as it was at a previous point in time, even if the original hardware has since given up the ghost.
The final piece of the puzzle is performance. To test this we installed four 16TB Seagate IronWolf NAS drives as a RAID5 array, fitted an Emulex dual-port 10GbE adapter and connected to the appliance from an HPE ProLiant DL180 Gen10 Xeon Scalable rack server running Windows Server 2019. Results were rock-solid, with Iometer recording raw sequential read and write rates of 9.2Gbits/sec and 9.1Gbits/sec. Real-world file copy speeds were very good too, with drag-and-drop copies of our 25GB test file completing at sustained read and write rates of 5.4Gbits/sec and 5.3Gbits/sec. Our 22.4GB folder of 10,500 small files was backed up speedily too, at a very respectable 2.6Gbits/sec.
Those results make the RS1619xs+ one of the best-performing 1U rack NAS appliances around, and it offers a superb range of storage and data-protection features. The icing on the cake is Synology’s generous five-year warranty, which ensures you can buy with confidence.
Synology RackStation RS1619xs+ specifications
1U rack chassis
2.2GHz Intel Xeon D-1527 CPU
8GB ECC DDR4 (max 64GB)
4 x hot-swap SATA drive bays, 2 x M.2 NVMe/SATA SSD slots
2 x 150W hotplug PSUs
RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR, JBOD
4 x Gigabit Ethernet
2 x USB 3, InfiniBand expansion port, 1 x PCIe slot
5yr limited warranty
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