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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  • ganeshts - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Commercial :)

    I thought it was pretty common usage, and a cursory search online makes me think I may not have been mistaken: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COTS
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    It's US Gov Speak (if you follow the link it comes from US Govt Acquisition rules). I suspect it's less generally known than that it appears common in a casual search because US Gov/Contractors collectively represent millions of people. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Beast quad core cpu for a NAS. Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    where is the ipad air 2 review. you guys even got early review units right? you went to the keynote. Reply
  • jabber - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    When there are 4539 iPad Air 2 reviews all saying pretty much the same thing why bother? Why not review something else that enthusiasts might be interested in.

    iPads are for baby boomers and your mum and dad.
    Reply
  • mexell - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    RAID5 for drives this large is calling for trouble. Several enterprise vendors discourage usage of RAID5 for large 7.2k drives because the risk of a second-drive loss (or just effects of bit rot) during a rebuild is just too high.

    I am aware that both RAID6 and RAID10 in a four-bay unit mean 50% capacity loss compared to 25% for RAID5, but in the end, it's your personal media archive that's at risk.

    So, a comparison of RAID10 and RAID6 speeds would have been nice.
    Reply
  • skarnm2 - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I think you would go with 5+ disk versions for Raid 6. Reply
  • FalconX69 - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Can someone explain why I7 or xenon based Nas drives are so expensive when the chip is only a few hundred dollars more then these atoms? Wish symbology or qnap would allow custom nas units but with reasonable prices. Reply
  • RockyMcNuts - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    You can put a Synology-compatible OS on custom hardware, or use an open source NAS OS like FreeNAS. At least if it's for a home project, not sure I would do this for a commercial project.

    http://us.hardware.info/reviews/5525/workshop-xpen...
    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-networking-media-...
    http://xpenology.com/forum/
    Reply
  • sin_tax - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Would the more powerful CPU allow this to be a suitable box for Plex Media Server? Can it handle transcoding one or more 1080p streams? Reply

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