Introduction and Testbed Setup

 

Synology launched the DS415+ last month. It is their first product based on the Intel Rangeley platform. One must note that Synology is not the first COTS NAS vendor to bring out a product based on the new Atom SoCs. That credit goes to Seagate for their NAS Pro lineup. However, unlike the dual core Rangeley variant used by Seagate, Synology has opted for a quad-core version that is clocked higher. This makes sense, since Synology's Disk Station Manager OS (DSM) is quite advanced compared to Seagate's NAS OS (which is in the early stages of its life cycle). There are plenty of third-party apps for DSM users. The more the horsepower at the disposal of the end user, the better it is in scenarios where they have multiple apps running.

The DS415+ is a typical 4-bay SMB NAS with dual GbE ports and a host of virtualization certifications. The major attraction is the availability of AES-NI in the Rangeley series of Atom SoCs. Enabling encryption of shared folders should result in minimal performance impact. Other than that, the Rangeley SoCs bring in an updated Atom microarchitecture along with lower power consumption. These aspects should help the DS415+ make a compelling case over the other 4-bay units from Synology based on the older Atoms. The specifications of the DS415+ are provided in the table below.

Synology DS415+ Specifications
Processor Intel Atom C2538 (4C/4T Silvermont x86 Cores @ 2.40 GHz)
RAM 2 GB DDR3 RAM
Drive Bays 4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 3 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-Swappable)
Network Links 2x 1 GbE
External I/O Peripherals 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x eSATA
Expansion Slots None
VGA / Display Out None
Full Specifications Link Synology DS415+ Specifications
Price $600 (Amazon)

The gallery below takes us around the DS415+. The chassis is retained from the previous-generation 4-bay NAS units (such as the DS412+ and DS413).

In addition to the standard drive mount screws, quick start guide and US power plug, the main unit was also accompanied by a 100 W power adapter (12V @ 8.33A).

In the rest of the review, we will first look at the Intel Rangeley platform in detail and how the Synology DS415+ takes advantage of it. This is followed by benchmark numbers for both single and multi-client scenarios across a number of different client platforms as well as access protocols. We have a separate section devoted to the performance of the DS415+ with encrypted shared folders. Prior to all that, we will take a look at our testbed setup and testing methodology.

Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

The Synology DS415+ can take up to four drives. Users can opt for either JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or RAID 10 configurations. We benchmarked the unit in RAID 5 with four Western Digital WD4000FYYZ RE drives as the test disks. Our testbed configuration is outlined below.

AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB
CPU 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L
Coolers 2 x Dynatron R17
Memory G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30
OS Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Secondary Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Tertiary Drive OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88 (1.6TB PCIe SSD)
Other Drives 12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)
Network Cards 6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter
Chassis SilverStoneTek Raven RV03
PSU SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evolution 850W
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
Network Switch Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200

The above testbed runs 25 Windows 7 VMs simultaneously, each with a dedicated 1 Gbps network interface. This simulates a real-life workload of up to 25 clients for the NAS being evaluated. All the VMs connect to the network switch to which the NAS is also connected (with link aggregation, as applicable). The VMs generate the NAS traffic for performance evaluation.

Thank You!

We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:

Platform Analysis
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  • Arkive - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Does this (or any NAS that you know of) support simultaneous access from both the USB port as well as over the network? I understand the "only one interface can control the storage at one time" issue, but I'm really hoping someone is working to overcome this, even if it means that one of those interfaces is locked into read-only mode. Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    The USB ports are host ports, i.e, storage devices or WLAN USB sticks can be connected to it. The USB port can't be used to connect to a PC for using the unit as a DAS (direct-attached storage). Reply
  • rpg1966 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Seriously, articles with graphs showing two aspects of the same thing (e.g. rebuild times in this case) need to be shown on an X-Y chart, so that the trade-offs are immediately and obviously visible.

    The same goes for many similar pairs of charts you show in other reviews, e.g. power-vs-noise in GPU or case reviews.
    Reply
  • echtogammut - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    I almost spat coffee all over my monitor when I saw the tertiary drive in the test rig. That is a very expensive way of eliminating the test rig as a performance bottleneck in the tests. Reply
  • Salipander - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    It's about time that transcoding includes h265 support, and be mentioned in reviews. This DS415+ unit may provide this for resolutions up to 1080p. This is for sure not supported by the DS415play, as it won't have the cpu power to do this in sw, but the DS415+ just may do it.

    I have quite a movie collection and I am halving the needed storage by transcoding the files from h264 to h265, including all the sub 4k files (which is 100% of them ;-) I may be an early h265 adopter, but the cpu intensive transcoding is worth the effort already. The x265 coder is of such a good quality now (since august at least), that I dare to go for it.

    It would be nice to have the DS Video capability to transcode h265 to something suited for current tablets and media players!
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Is the ram soldered to the PCB, or in a dimm that could be swapped out for an ECC module? Reply
  • skarnm2 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    I did read elsewhere it was soldered. It is on the larger models it's swap-able. Reply
  • chubbypanda - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Non-ECC and ECC modules aren't interchangeable. Do not attempt! Reply
  • npz - Monday, November 3, 2014 - link

    That's not true for unbuffered ECC DIMMs which Avotons (and i3s and Single Socket Xeons) use.
    Unbuffered ECC and non-ECC interchangeable and I've done it many times.

    Only registered DIMMs are not interchangeable with non-registered (unbuffered) DIMMs.
    Reply
  • mpbrede - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Define COTS, please? Some form of "... Off The Shelf" Reply

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