Synology DiskStation DS1517+ and DS1817+ NAS Servers – First Looks
Synology has finally launched the long awaited upgrade to its 5 and 8-bay DiskStation. The DS range namely the DS1515+ first launched as the DS1511 back in 2011 and subsequently the DS1812+ in 2012, has been given a long lifecycle by merely changing the CPU at times and more recently adding a few more Ethernet ports and finally today’s model is aptly named DS1517+ and DS1817+ both being current models.
DS1517+ and DS1817+ Specifications and Options
DS1517+ and DS1817+ 5 bay and 8 bay desktop NAS appliances commenced shipping recently are also joined with the expansion unit DX517. Synology describes these as, high performance, reliable and versatile NAS servers aimed at tech enthusiast as well as small/medium sized businesses. Both units offer a 2GB and an 8GB version upgradeable to 16GB.
NOTE: If you wish to upgrade to 16GB don’t buy the 8GB version as it comes with 4GB x 2 as stipulated in their specification, buy the 2GB so you can discard the 1x2GB and upgrade using the 2x8GB to get the full 16GB compliment.
PCIe and the case of 10GbE and M.2 SSD
The interesting addition for both the DS1517+ and the DS1817+ is the to install a 10GbE network card and M.2 SSD’s on the PCIe slot provided. Albeit, you can only have one or the other you cannot have both, as only the one PCIe slot exist. What might have been a great idea if Synology designed and manufactured a 10GbE card with dual ports that also supported at the back of the card and M.2 adapter. Now that would have won Synology innovation awards, still maybe they want to do that at the next upgrade to find yet again another excuse to extend the life of these now popular models. We could not test the M.2 upgrades as Synology was not shipping the M2D17 adapters until another 2 weeks. Seems rather daft to us to launch the NAS and not have such a small item as an adapter ready to ship.
Out with the Old and in with the New
The CPU model, architecture and frequency remains the same as the DS1515+ and DS1815+ range so no change there, so the memory upgrades are the only changes? well technically if the structure has remained the same then the previous models supported upgrades of up to 16GB but these we not encouraged by Synology as they didn’t provide the required memory to do so. Synology, we understand frowns on users that upgrade using third party memory. We can empathize from a technically viewpoint, as under rated memory can create reliability issues and ultimately lead to data loss. A compromise might be for Synology to recommend compatible memory that fits the bill, that way it reduces the abuse of reliability phenomenon’s.
NOTE: Its prudent to avoid third party memory usage best to go with Synology recommend or provided memory upgrade to avoid any further conflicts.
Btrfs file system in DSM 6.1
The combination of DSM 6.1 and Btrfs file system has gone from strength to strength with Synology using ever possible feature within Btrfs FS to take DSM to the next level. The enterprise features are impressive with Metadata mirroring and increased data availability, storing two copies of metadata on a volume to facilitate data recovery if the hard drive is damaged or suffers bad sectors, an extra level of security if needed. File based self-healing the Btrfs FS can auto-detect corrupt files (silent data corruption) with mirrored metadata, thus recovering broken data using the supported RAID volumes. Snapshot and data protection is another feature that can be invaluable allowing to create a point-in-time copy of an entire disk or shared folder. In cases of a human error or corrupt database and loss of data, restoration of data back to previous time can be done safely and easily.
Performance tests were sustained between the DS1815+ and DS1817+, we anticipated as the DS1517+ is the same suffice the number of drive bays it was safe to assume same performance standards and results for both models.
We based our testing on standard 1GbE mode and not 10GbE using our Intel Xeon E5-2620 V4 server running Windows Server 2016. Equipped with six 10TB SAS 7200rpm drives to typically emulate real world test results.
Synology DS1815+ Performance ratio [File Copy to NAS]: Transferred 1408958464 bytes (0 read, 1408958464 written) in 7823ms Average Throughput: 180.082MB/s
Synology DS1817+ Performance ratio [File Copy to NAS]: Transferred 1408958464 bytes (0 read, 1408958464 written) in 7635ms Average Throughput: 184.525MB/s
The performance difference in minimalist and based on using standard NAS server configuration with 2GB memory, 4TB Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives and none of the upgrades that are offered. The standard units make little case for buying the new model, except if you wish to upgrade memory, install either the 10GbE or M.2 options to achieve a higher performance ratio.
No change in case design or drive trays, memory now supported to 16GB but use of 8GB model with 2 x 4GB is senseless would have been better to use 1 x 8GB and allow users to upgrade with another module and not have to discard memory paid for. Having to select between the 10GbE or M.2 upgrade feels like a second thought, maybe the 10GbE should have been installed onboard. The DS1517+ and DS1817+ are Synology’s 5 and 8 bay desktop DiskStation’s, and if you are a loyal Synology user and require the configuration reviewed here then you have very little choice, Price is higher and that is real pity as this would have been a great upgrade if priced remained the same as it was for the x15 series.
You would be forgiven if you thought there were no immediate changes moving up from X15 to X17. It’s not exactly earth shattering and reading the Synology user forums we seem to be vindicated. The price premium has no relation to the new options as the cost of these are so minimal it may have been more prudent for Synology to reward its loyal users with no price changes. The memory upgrade anomaly and what with having to select either the 10GbE or M.2 upgrade feels being cut short. The next model change needs to be a total revamp and must include 10GbE as standard onboard with dual ports (RJ45). Take note Synology users are customers.
- Optional M.2 and 10GbE
- DSM 6.1 and Btrfs FS
- 8GB Memory anomaly
- High Price
- Model requires a complete overhaul