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Synology DiskStation DS716+II Review

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Never has a NAS appliance been discontinued quicker than Synology’s DS716+. Only launched at the start of 2016, this speedy little 2-bay desktop box already gets its marching orders and we bring you an early look at its successor – the unimaginatively named DS716+II.

There are numerous theories abounding as to why Synology shelved the DS716+ so quickly but we can tell you from the horse’s mouth. Simply.Reviews asked Synology directly and it advised us that it was purely because Intel had discontinued the Celeron N3150 CPU employed by this appliance.

And that is the only physical change as the DS716+II sports the newer Celeron N3160 which Intel released at the beginning of 2016. It also has quad cores and a base speed of 1.6GHz but offers a slightly higher burst speed of 2.24GHz.

The CPU supports 8GB of DDR3 memory but the DS716+II is only kitted out with 2GB which can’t be upgraded without invalidating the warranty. Port permutations are good as you get dual Gigabit and USB3 plus an eSATA port which can used to expand capacity using Synology’s matching 2-bay DX213.

Performance comparison

DS716+ II rear view

The DS716+II delivered a good performance with Seagate’s 8TB NAS HDD drives

To test performance, we clipped a pair of Seagate’s new 8TB NAS HDD hard disks into the appliance’s tool-less drive carriers and created a single mirrored SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) array. For comparison, we stacked it up against a DS716+ also fitted with a pair of mirrored 8TB drives.

Unsurprisingly, there was nothing between them in our real world tests with copies of a 25GB test file using a mapped share returning average read and write speeds of 113MB/sec and 110MB/sec. The DS716+II handled our backup test well with it securing a 22.4GB folder with 10,500 small files at a speedy average of 87MB/sec – the same as the DS716+.

We upped the pressure by connecting Xeon E5-2600 v4 rack servers to each Gigabit port and gave them dedicated shares. Running Iometer on both servers returned cumulative read speeds for both appliances of 226MB/sec with the DS716+II delivering a top write speed of 192MB/sec – 4MB/sec better than the DS716+.

The DS716+II proved to be slightly faster for IP SANs with Iometer reporting raw read and write speeds of 113MB/sec and 105MB/sec for a 500GB target. This was confirmed with a dual port MPIO link to our HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 rack server as both returned Iometer read speeds of 226MB/sec but the DS716+II mustered a 180MB/sec write rate – 10MB/sec faster than the DS716+.

Top data protection

DS716+II Data Protection in DSM

Data protection features are extensive and include the excellent Snapshot Replication app

With Synology’s latest DSM 6 at the helm, the DS716+II won’t be beaten for features as it’s crammed with storage goodness. As the N3160 is a 64-bit CPU, you get support for BTRFS volumes which also brings in valuable NAS share and iSCSI LUN snapshots.

These are all handled by the slick Snapshot Replication app which allows you to create snapshots on demand or schedule them at regular intervals which can as often as every five minutes. Recovering lost files is a cinch as the app allowed us to choose a snapshot, browse its contents and either copy the selected file to a new location or even email it to another user.

Cloud backup options are second to none with the Cloud Sync app now working with twenty public providers. The File Explorer app also allowed us to link the appliance to our Dropbox and Google Drive accounts, browse their contents and download files directly.

Want to keep your workstations protected? No problem as the Cloud Station Server app works hand in glove with Synology’s Windows, Mac and Linux clients to sync local folders with the appliance in real time.

Even better, the Hyper Backup app provides a single console for managing all your local, remote, Rysnc and cloud backups and has options for scheduling fourteen different types of backups. Data restoration is a cinch as we used the Backup Explorer app to browse our backups and choose files to copy back.

Multimedia and surveillance

DS716+II multimedia applications

Synology offers a good range of multimedia applications

Synology offers a good selection of free multimedia apps which include its Video, Audio and Photo Stations. We’re particular fans of the Audio Station as we use the DS Audio iOS on our iPad to remotely access our music store instead of Apple’s irritatingly unstable Music app.

The Surveillance Station app makes the DS716+II ideal as a video storage repository for your IP cameras and it comes with two free licenses included. The latest v7.2 offers a heap of useful viewing and recording features and now supports over 4,700 IP camera models.

DS716+II surveillance station needs an update

The Surveillance Station needs an update but the Live View works with IE and Firefox

The search facility had no problems finding our D-Link DCS-6315 IP camera and helped set it up ready for action. From the camera settings page we could create continuous or scheduled recordings for specific hours on each day and link them up with the camera’s motion detection triggers.

There’s just one glitch as the Live View can’t be accessed using Edge or Chrome as support for the aging (and inherently insecure) NPAPI plug-in has been disabled. However, we had no problems getting the Live Feed to work with Internet Explorer or Firefox and there are rumours that Synology is developing a new HTML5-based desktop app to overcome these problems.

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Excellent data protection features
  • Snapshot Replication app
  • Speedy performer
  • Compact and very quiet

CONS:

  • 2GB of memory can’t be upgraded
  • Surveillance Station needs updating

Conclusion

With a price tag that’s only a few dollars more than its predecessor, the DS716+II represents comparatively good value. It delivers fast NAS and IP SAN performance while Synology’s DSM software is overflowing with a classy range of storage features.

Backup and data protection utilities are a cut above the rest and Synology’s DSM offers plenty of multimedia toys as well. If you’re looking for a compact, quiet, speedy and well-featured NAS appliance for home or small business use you’ll find the DS716+II will fit the bill very nicely.

8.5 Total Score
Excellent Features and Performance in This Speedy 2 Bay

With a price tag that’s only a few dollars more than its predecessor, the DS716+II represents comparatively good value. It delivers fast NAS and IP SAN performance while Synology’s DSM software is overflowing with a classy range of storage features.

Backup and data protection utilities are a cut above the rest and Synology’s DSM offers plenty of multimedia toys as well. If you’re looking for a compact, quiet, speedy and well-featured NAS appliance for home or small business use you’ll find the DS716+II will fit the bill very nicely.

Performance
8.5
Features
9
Build Quality
9
Usability
8
Value
8

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