Best Value

Synology RackStation RS2416RP+ NAS Review

Synology Rackstation RS2416RP+

Aimed at cost-conscious SMBs, Synology’s latest RackStation RS2416+ is the next member in its ever-expanding portfolio to support BTRFS. Unlike the EXT4 file system, BTRFS provides unlimited snapshots allowing the appliance to offer simple front-line data protection and recovery.

Two 12-bay models are available with the RS2416+ sporting a single, fixed PSU and the RS2416RP+ on review endowed with dual hot-plug 500W PSUs. Other than that, they are identical with processing power handled by an Intel quad-core 2.4GHz Atom C2538 and partnered by 2GB of DDR3.

Memory can be upgraded to 6GB as there’s a spare SO-DIMM socket under the lid. You get quad Gigabit ports but the tiny motherboard doesn’t have a PCI-Express slot so 10GbE upgrades are off the table.

Expansion potential is limited to a single 12-bay RX1214 or RX1214RP disk shelf allowing maximum capacity to be pushed to 168TB. This seems an odd number but it’s because the newer carriers in the RS2416RP+ can take Hitachi’s 8TB SATA drives whereas the older ones in the disk shelf are only high enough for 6TB drives.

RackStation RS2416RP+ Rear View

Good NAS performance

For testing, we used four 4TB WD SATA drives in an SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) array and watched the RS2416RP+ delivered good overall performance. With a share mapped over Gigabit to an HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 server running Windows Server 2012 R2, Iometer reported raw sequential read and write speeds of 113MB/sec and 109MB/sec.

RS2416RP+ stellar performance

We maxed out the appliance with four Windows servers and saw some good performance results

These figures translated to good real world speeds as copying our 50GB Iometer test file between the server and appliance returned sustained read and write speeds of 109MB/sec and 108MB/sec. It also matched Synology’s bigger appliances for backup performance with our 22.4GB test folder and its 10,500 small files copied to the share at a speedy 87MB/sec.

We pushed the appliance to the max by adding three more servers each with mapped shares over dedicated Gigabit links. Running Iometer on all four servers saw cumulative read and write speeds of 452MB/sec and 352MB/sec – not as high as Synology’s claimed maximum write speed but still pretty good.

The Atom CPU has an integral AES-NI encryption engine and copying our 50GB file to an encrypted share returned a respectable average write speed of 87MB/sec. Usefully, we could create individual encrypted shares and set them so the encryption key had to be entered before they could be mounted.

The best of BTRFS

During volume creation you can opt for BTRFS or EXT4 and we recommend the former file system. It matches EXT4 for performance and allowed us to create manual and scheduled snapshots using the Data Protection Manager (DPM) app.

During share creation make sure the advanced data integrity protection option is checked so they’ll appear in DPM as available for snapshots. The cloning feature let us quickly create new shares complete with the contents of the donor and making snapshots visible meant our users could browse them and restore their own files.

Synology Snapshots can be emailed to other users

Data recovery from snapshots is simple and files can be downloaded and emailed to other users

Snapshots are available for selected shares and file-level iSCSI targets and can be scheduled to run as often as every five minutes. Just set your schedule, decide on many versions to retain and the appliance does the rest.

Restoration is a swift process as DPM provides a timeline view so you can choose which snapshot you want.  Even better, you can browse their contents using the File Station app, pick a file and download it or email it directly to another user.

IP SAN features

Synology’s DSM is brimming with storage goodness including excellent IP SAN features. Depending on the type of disk group or volume you create, you can have block- or file-level targets, apply thin provisioning plus CHAP authentication and use Windows ODX offloading for faster data copies.

IP SAN performance is equally good with Iometer reporting raw sequential read and write rates of 113MB/sec and 109MB/sec for a 500GB target. MPIO links are a cinch to set up and with a dual Gigabit link to our HP server, we saw Iometer report read and write speeds of 226MB/sec and 201MB/sec.

Install Synology’s Snapshot Manager utility on your Windows servers and it’ll enable application consistent snapshots. This notifies running applications to flush data from memory to the attached LUN prior to a snapshot being taken.

PROS:
  • Good value
  • Unlimited snapshots and fast recovery
  • Superb range of NAS and IP SAN features
  • Power redundancy

CONS:
  • No 10GbE upgrades
  • Only one expansion shelf supported
  • Disk shelf doesn’t support 8TB drives

App city

Synology DSM has Apps Galore

Synology’s well-featured DSM offers an app for every occasion

Synology looks to have an app for everything with new ones being added regularly. You can turn the appliance into a web site, email, VPN, RADIUS, DNS or directory server, use the Note Station to share your scribblings with other users and make it a central backup repository.

Data can be replicated to any Rsync compatible appliance for off-site backup or sent to a range of cloud storage providers including Amazon S3, Glacier and Microsoft Azure. You can create your own private storage cloud and use Synology’s Cloud Station to allow users to sync files in real-time from their desktops and mobiles.

We checked out Synology’s beta of its Surveillance Station 7.1 and think it’s a winner. It allows single video recordings up to 64GB to be taken, adds over 400 new IP camera models to an already extensive list and supports RSTP over HTTP.

The app includes a handy e-map for quick camera location while Action Rules link recording activities with events such as movement or a door opening. The new version will also support in-camera features such as tamper, motion and audio detection making it even more versatile.

Summary

It’s hard not to like Synology’s new RS2416RP+ as it combines good performance with an impressive range of software features. Support for 10GbE upgrades would have added valuable future-proofing but it does allow capacity to grow with demand and it only costs a few dollars more than the older RS2414RP+ model it’s replacing.

8.5 Total Score
Best Value and Impressive Performance

It’s hard not to like Synology’s new RS2416RP+ as it combines good performance with an impressive range of software features. Support for 10GbE upgrades would have added valuable future-proofing but it does allow capacity to grow with demand and it only costs a few dollars more than the older RS2414RP+ model it’s replacing.

Performance
8.5
Features
8
Build Quality
8.5
Usability
9
Value
9
User Rating: 4.65 (1 votes)