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Synology RackStation RS1219+ Review

Synology’s RackStation RS1219+ adds a new dimension to its ‘Plus’ range of NAS appliances as this is the smallest 8-bay rack model on the planet. Designed for space-poor SMBs, it measures a miniscule 12in. in depth allowing it to be fitted in a small wall box, a standard 2-post rack cabinet or even placed on a desk.

Storage capacity hasn’t been compromised as its hot-swap LFF drives bays are certified for 12TB SATA hard disk so its capacity currently stands at a healthy 96TB. This can be expanded outside the box to 144TB as it supports one RX418 4-bay rack-mount expansion shelf.

It’s well-connected in the network department as it offers quad Gigabit ports which can used individually or grouped together as bonded fault tolerant interfaces. Along with the single eSATA expansion port, two USB 3 are also located at the rear for connecting external storage devices.

 What’s inside?

With support for Seagate’s 12TB IronWolf drives, the RS1219+ offers a high storage capacity

Removing the lid reveals a well-designed and surprisingly spacious interior. A small motherboard is mounted on top of the drive cage with an internal 250W power supply lurking underneath.

The power supply is mounted sideways behind the drive cage and its recessed plug socket requires a cable with an L-shaped C13 connector. Worry not as the appliance kit includes a C13-C14 power cable with a right-angled connecter and a standard C13 kettle lead as well.

Cooling is handled by 8cms diameter fan modules on each side of the chassis and we found the appliance to be pleasantly quiet. The SPLnFTT iOS app on our iPad recorded only 43.5dB from one meter in front making the RS1219+ a great silent partner for your office.

The RS1219+ comes with a single 2GB stick of DDR3 memory which can be boosted to 16GB. Note that the motherboard only has two SO-DIMM slots so you’ll need to lose the 2GB module if you want to expand to the maximum.

The bad news is the appliance is powered by an embedded 2.4GHz quad-core Atom C2538 CPU. This chip is now over five years old and we would have expected Synology to endow this appliance with the newer Atom C3538 as found in its DS1618+ 6-bay desktop appliance.

On a brighter note, the RS1219+ even has enough room inside for a PCI-Express expansion slot. It supports Synology’s dual M.2 SSD caching card and plenty of industry-standard 10GbE network adapters.

Mixed 10GbE performance

Synology’s DSM 6.2 offers a great range of data protection apps

For our performance tests, we installed a quartet of 12TB Seagate IronWolf hard disks and dropped in an Emulex dual-port 10GBaseT adapter card which was accepted without any problems. With the drives configured as a 27TB SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) array, we created a NAS share and mapped it to a Dell EMC PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower server running Windows Server 2016.

NAS performance over 10GbE was mixed with Iometer reporting a high 7.9Gbits/sec raw sequential read speed but a significantly lower 3.2Gbits/sec write rate. We mapped a share to another Xeon Scalable Windows server using the appliance’s second 10GbE port and cumulative read and write rates increased to 11Gbits/sec and 3.9Gbits/sec – confirming Synology’s performance claims.

Real world 10GbE speed are reasonable with copies of a 25GB test file returning read and write averages of 4.7Gbits/sec and 3.1Gbits/sec. Backup performance was quite good with our 22.4GB folder and its 10,500 small files secured to the share at an average of 2Gbits/sec.

IP SAN performance over 10GbE was less impressive with a 500GB target returning Iometer sequential read and write speeds of 4.8Gbits/sec and 4.1Gbits/sec. A dual 10GbE MPIO link to the target only made matters worse as read and write speeds dropped to 4.2Gbits/sec and 4Gbits/sec with appliance CPU utilization peaking at 80%.

Backup, surveillance and virtualization

Our dual 10GbE MPIO iSCSI test took its toll on the appliance’s Atom CPU

Synology is promoting the RS1219+ as an SMB backup storage vault and file sharing platform and for these, it can’t be faulted. The DSM 6.2 software offers a wealth of data protection features with the Snapshot Replication app supporting manual and scheduled NAS and IP SAN point-in-time snapshots oF BTRFS volumes plus snapshot replication to remote Synology appliances.

The Hyper Backup app manages all local and remote backup tasks while the Active Backup for Servers app secures Windows and Linux systems to the appliance just using network shares. Windows workstations can be backed up to the appliance via the Cloud Station Server app which provides real-time one- and two-way folder syncing.

The RS1219+ has the storage capacity to be a video recording vault and Synology’s Surveillance Station 8.1 app provides a wealth of options with great IP camera support. New features include triggering multiple actions for camera events, support for the latest H.265 codec and independent browser access to the app over HTTP or HTTPS.

Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager app allows the RS1219+ to host multiple VMs running just about any OS you fancy. Features include VM protection plans, cloning and migration but you will need to upgrade the appliance’s base 2GB of memory which isn’t enough to runs VMs.

Conclusion

The RS1219+ scores on a number of counts as it’s the smallest 8-bay rack NAS appliance on the market and has a price tag to match its modest dimensions. It’s disappointing that Synology fitted it with a pensionable Atom C2538 CPU but we found overall NAS performance should be good enough for the target market of SMBs and it does deliver on Synology’s claimed speeds.

It’s very well built and quiet too, while the PCI-Express expansion slot allows it to be easily upgraded to support 10GbE connections. Last but not least is Synology’s DSM 6.2 software which provides an exceptional range of features including plenty of backup and data protection apps.

8.1 Total Score

The RS1219+ scores on a number of counts as it’s the smallest 8-bay rack NAS appliance on the market and has a price tag to match its modest dimensions. It’s disappointing that Synology fitted it with a pensionable Atom C2538 CPU but we found overall NAS performance should be good enough for the target market of SMBs and it does deliver on Synology’s claimed speeds.

Performance
6.5
Features
7.5
Build quality
9
Usability
8.5
Value
9
PROS
  • Short depth chassis
  • High storage capacity
  • Quiet
  • PCI-Express expansion slot
  • Upgradeable to 16GB of memory
CONS
  • 5-year old Atom CPU
  • Modest 10GbE write speeds
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