Introduction and Testbed Setup

 

Synology launched the DS415+ last month. It is their first product based on the Intel Rangeley platform. One must note that Synology is not the first COTS NAS vendor to bring out a product based on the new Atom SoCs. That credit goes to Seagate for their NAS Pro lineup. However, unlike the dual core Rangeley variant used by Seagate, Synology has opted for a quad-core version that is clocked higher. This makes sense, since Synology's Disk Station Manager OS (DSM) is quite advanced compared to Seagate's NAS OS (which is in the early stages of its life cycle). There are plenty of third-party apps for DSM users. The more the horsepower at the disposal of the end user, the better it is in scenarios where they have multiple apps running.

The DS415+ is a typical 4-bay SMB NAS with dual GbE ports and a host of virtualization certifications. The major attraction is the availability of AES-NI in the Rangeley series of Atom SoCs. Enabling encryption of shared folders should result in minimal performance impact. Other than that, the Rangeley SoCs bring in an updated Atom microarchitecture along with lower power consumption. These aspects should help the DS415+ make a compelling case over the other 4-bay units from Synology based on the older Atoms. The specifications of the DS415+ are provided in the table below.

Synology DS415+ Specifications
Processor Intel Atom C2538 (4C/4T Silvermont x86 Cores @ 2.40 GHz)
RAM 2 GB DDR3 RAM
Drive Bays 4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 3 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-Swappable)
Network Links 2x 1 GbE
External I/O Peripherals 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x eSATA
Expansion Slots None
VGA / Display Out None
Full Specifications Link Synology DS415+ Specifications
Price $600 (Amazon)

The gallery below takes us around the DS415+. The chassis is retained from the previous-generation 4-bay NAS units (such as the DS412+ and DS413).

In addition to the standard drive mount screws, quick start guide and US power plug, the main unit was also accompanied by a 100 W power adapter (12V @ 8.33A).

In the rest of the review, we will first look at the Intel Rangeley platform in detail and how the Synology DS415+ takes advantage of it. This is followed by benchmark numbers for both single and multi-client scenarios across a number of different client platforms as well as access protocols. We have a separate section devoted to the performance of the DS415+ with encrypted shared folders. Prior to all that, we will take a look at our testbed setup and testing methodology.

Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

The Synology DS415+ can take up to four drives. Users can opt for either JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or RAID 10 configurations. We benchmarked the unit in RAID 5 with four Western Digital WD4000FYYZ RE drives as the test disks. Our testbed configuration is outlined below.

AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB
CPU 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L
Coolers 2 x Dynatron R17
Memory G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30
OS Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Secondary Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Tertiary Drive OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88 (1.6TB PCIe SSD)
Other Drives 12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)
Network Cards 6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter
Chassis SilverStoneTek Raven RV03
PSU SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evolution 850W
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
Network Switch Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200

The above testbed runs 25 Windows 7 VMs simultaneously, each with a dedicated 1 Gbps network interface. This simulates a real-life workload of up to 25 clients for the NAS being evaluated. All the VMs connect to the network switch to which the NAS is also connected (with link aggregation, as applicable). The VMs generate the NAS traffic for performance evaluation.

Thank You!

We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:

Platform Analysis
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  • naxeem - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Play edition has significantly worse CPU and memory is half of the + edition. Not sure if Play is actually capable of performing adequately and + (as far as I know) can also stream through DS Video. The play edition fails at streaming DTS audio correctly so it is useless in that regard anyway. Reply
  • stbufraba - Sunday, November 02, 2014 - link

    I was very disappointed by the DS414play´s lack of support for DTS audio and returned it for a DS415+. Why Anandtech recommends the DS414play is something I can´t understand. Reply
  • Dunkurs1987 - Monday, February 15, 2016 - link

    You need to spend time and decide what this NAS really gonna be for- to not regret:

    http://www.span.com/compare/DS416J-vs-DS416-vs-DS4...
    Reply
  • elithrar - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the review — I've been deliberating over the DS415+ and the DS415play for a few weeks. The big plus with the 415+ is the extra cores and RAM, which means it can 'brute force' transcode 1080p. The 415Play relies on software packages (i.e. not Plex) calling the extra hardware instructions. Reply
  • skarnm2 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    One of my criticisms of all the reviews for these NAS product, is we are not getting an idea of the cpu potential of these new chips, beyond a bunch of disk transfer speeds.

    As was previously mentioned, you wouldn't go with DS415Play, since the application of it's transcoding hardware is solely limited to DS Video, which means if you want Plex, you need the power of the CPU.

    So for instance, one of the features of Plex server is the ability to transcode media ready to be delivered to a tablet, to take away on a trip. So how much quicker is that being delivered, with these newer chips.

    Lets look at expanding the reviews away from just disk transfer speeds, since these boxes do so much more than just serve up files.
    Reply
  • adboelens - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I completely agree. I understand this particular unit is not aimed at home use, but it would be nice have an overview of what the different ranges of NAS processors are capable of. Right now all the reviews that I have read about these kind of units fail in this regard and an overview of the capabilities of these processors with different plugins for DSM V would be appreciated (disclaimer I'm a big fan of Plex, so I'm particularly interested in this feature). Reply
  • icrf - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Has anyone seen a Rangely system designed for networking and not storage? I've been looking for a Silvermont-based mini-system to use for gigabit routing, something with a pair of good Intel NICs, and have come up short. The older Atom systems were bottlenecked well south of a gigabit of throughput. Reply
  • shelbystripes - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    No, but there are motherboards suitable for this. The SuperMicro A1SAi (Avoton)/A1SRi (Rangeley), ASUS P9A-I, and Gigabyte GA-9 series of motherboards all feature quad GigE off of the integrated i354 Ethernet controller (usually with a Marvell PHY). The high-end SuperMicro boards feature the 8-core C2750/C2758 CPUs, too, and use a passive heatsink (you'll want to make sure your chassis has some kind of internal air circulation). If you're prepared to roll your own, you could build one hell of a server that shouldn't be bottlenecked by the CPU. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    The Sophos (nee Astaro) UTM appliance model SG115 has a Silvermont Atom CPU.
    The price (~$850USD) includes a 1-year unlimited license, but you can get a free home-user license limited to 50 internal IPs if you don't want to renew the license after 1 year.
    See http://astaro.org for the user support forum.

    BTW, I recommend buying from a real reseller rather than an online store, as the reseller can give basic sizing advice, etc., without extra charge.
    Reply
  • Sonic01 - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    You haven't stated if you are using Link Aggregation, as the main new feature of this NAS is hardware encryption why do none of your tests top 100MB/s?

    I would expect to see figures close to the 220MB/s advertised on the Synology website?
    Reply

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