Taiwanese network-attached storage (NAS) vendor, Synology, released its new Synology DS1621+ DiskStation desktop model late last year, along with a beta version of the DSM 7.0 software that drives it. Together, they make an unbeatable combination for your own file storage, blog hosting, virtual machine manager, Office 365 backup, Google Photos replacement, and whatever else you can throw at it.
Gone are the days where a NAS was simply a storage device. Of course, make no mistake, the Synology DS1621+ offers six disk bays for high-performance data storage and management – but it does so much more.
Hardware-wise, the 1621+ is a huge improvement to Synology’s already impressive desktop line (the company also offers RackStations and FlashStations). Compared to previous models, it brings 76% faster sequential write performance at up to 1.1GB/s, 174% higher 4KB random read performance with 110K IOPS, and is 47% faster in file indexing. It brings a quad-core AMD Ryzen “Zen” processor, delivering a twofold increase in processing power. It ships with a 4GB RAM module, but is expandable to 32GB, with two DDR4 RAM slots that support up to 16GB each. It includes four gigabit ethernet ports, upgradable to 10GbE, with link aggregation and failover support, as well as three USB 3.2 ports and two eSATA ports. It’s quite a beast, yet weighs a little over five kilograms without any drives in, and operates at around 25 decibels, and consuming 25.27W in drive hibernation and 51.22W in full drive access.
The drive bays are hot-swappable and you can configure your own RAID arrays or allow the Synology to automate and fully manage your drive volumes and redundancy. It can handle a massive 108TB for a single volume. It supports 1,000 concurrent SMB, AFP, and FTP connections – which increases to 2,000 with extra RAM. You can create up to 2,048 users, 512 shared folders, and generate 800 syslog events per second.
It supports VMware, Citrix, and OpenStack. It speaks CIFS, SMB, NFS, iSCSI, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SNMP, LDAP, and CalDAV. Disk snapshots can be scheduled for swift rollback, and also dumped to external storage for additional protection.
However you look at it, the Synology DS1621+ is a beast and a workstation, and simply and silently serves files all day and night, no matter how you need to work.
I don’t have a 108TB of storage but loaded a DS1621+ with a Seagate IronWolf Pro 18TB drive, and other, lower-capacity, drives I had available. A premium NAS deserves a premium disk, and I’ve long been a fan of Seagate’s NAS-optimised IronWolf range, with consistent RAID performance across multiple, simultaneous users. The driver offers a 250MB/s sustained transfer rate and a workload rate limit of 300TB per year.
The hardware is only one part of the story, however. It’s the rich suite of applications that can run on top of the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system that truly makes this a tremendous unit, and opens it to be whatever you want it to be.
For instance, you can do the important obvious choices of backing up all the computers in your office or home or make a central file server. You can also run a VMware server and suddenly your NAS is a virtual machine host. Or, make it a Plex or iTunes or another type of media server. Host WordPress and make it a blog or website. Install database and programming tools, apps, and servers. Make it a mail server. Roll your own private cloud storage and access it anywhere you go, on any device, at any time.
You can do these things, and more, and multiple at once. DSM is currently available as version 6.2, while version 7.0 is in beta and promises more powerful authentication, photo management enhancements, hybrid sharing between on-premises and cloud, and other features. DSM 7.0 will be a free upgrade for all supported devices.
It’s worth lingering on photo management for a moment; with Google announcing their intention to charge for Google Photos you may well be considering your options. Here, the DS1621+ allows you and your family to effortlessly store, combine, and search on terabytes and terabytes of photographs. This comes without loss of the features you love in Google Photos; the Synology Moments app uses machine learning algorithms, facial recognition and geotag information to automatically group photos by person, location and subject, with a companion mobile app. In DSM 7.0 this functionality will be built into Synology Photos – all with a one-off cost for your Synology hardware and drives, vs. an ongoing Google Photos subscription.
You might also consider the value of archiving Office 365 or Google GSuite email, or re-house unused AWS EC2 VMs and save on public cloud costs. There are vast many reasons, even in this cloud age, for local storage, and the Synology DS1621+ with DSM lets you fulfil them all, limited only by your imagination.
“Our customers, more than ever, are relying on Synology storage solutions to store and directly utilise critical data, whether for business or personal use,” said Hewitt Lee, Director of Synology Product Management Group. “DS1621+ is designed to be a versatile solution that empowers content creators and collectors by not only providing fast, reliable, and high-capacity storage, but also simplifying IT with effortless backups for PCs and virtual machines.”
The Synology DS1621+ is available today from Synology resellers and partners globally, together with an option for up to 5-years warranty
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