Synology DS211+ SMB NAS Reviewby Ganesh T S on February 28, 2011 3:50 AM EST
In the US, Synology sells the NAS with the hard disks bundled and also in a diskless version. The review unit had 2 Seagate 1 TB disks pre-installed. The disks also had the Disk Station Manager (DSM) installed, and so, it was almost pure plug and play.
The contents of the 2 x 1TB DS211+ box are as below:
- Synology DS-211+ chassis
- 2 x 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm drives inside the chassis
- Cat 5E Ethernet cable
- 72 W external power supply
- CD with Synology Assistant and miscellaneous software / user guides
- Getting Started guide
- Screws for hard disk installation
The DS211+ chassis is aesthetically pleasing, and the drive slots are nicely covered up by the front panel (which is also quite easy to remove). Upon removing the front panel, we can see the two hard drive chassis. The chassis can be pulled out by pressing the button at the top.
The front panel has the status LEDs, a memory card slot, USB 2.0 host port and the power buttons. At the back of the chassis, we have a large, but quiet, fan. There are 2 USB 2.0 host ports, an eSATA host, GbE port and the power adapter input.
Setup was very straightforward. In our testbed, the unit was directly connected to the computer. The Synology Assistant on the supplied CD was installed on the testbed, and it promptly detected the attached unit. Alternatively, one could have just navigated to the IP of the NAS in a browser for the setup / administration process.
The volumes can be setup in any RAID configuration. Synology provides the SHR (Synology Hybrid Raid) option which provides 1-disk redundancy. It has some advantages over the classic RAID with 1-disk redundancy as outlined here. All our benchmarks were run with the volumes managed in SHR configuration.
DSM 3.0 is a pleasure to use, and it provides a multitude of management options as shown in the gallery above. There are also options to enable Telnet / SSH into the NAS for the more adventurous users. As is evident from the gallery, many features are targeted towards the home user. These include options to enable the NAS to act as a DLNA DMA and iTunes media server. DSM 3.0 also has apps for Bit Torrent and eMule download management. There is also a surveillance station app to use the NAS as a DVR for a set of IP cameras.