Synology is one of the top-tier vendors in the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) network-attached storage (NAS) market for SOHOs, SMBs, and SMEs, with QNAP being the other major player. While QNAP has a wide variety of hardware platforms to choose from in each market segment, Synology has been big on segmentation - restricting Xeon CPUs and native 10GbE to their rackmount offerings. Only their Annapurna Labs SoC-based desktop units have had 10G SFP+ support till now. That changed recently with the introduction of the DS1621xs+.

The Synology DS1621xs+ uses a Broadwell-DE Xeon-D processor (D-1527) - These SoCs are a better fit for storage platforms compared to the networking-focused Skylake-D SKUs. The 6 built-in 3.5" hot-swappable drive bays are complemented by two M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slots. There are two 1 GbE LAN ports and a 10GBASE-T port. Two eSATA ports help the unit support two DX517 expansion chassis, allowing the unit to support a total of 16 bays.

On the software side, similar to all other x86 NAS units from Synology, the DS1621xs+ also comes with support for both ext4 and btrfs internal volumes. Synology claims read speeds of up to 3100 MBps with additional 10G NICs in the expansion slots.

Synology DS1621xs+ Specifications
Processor Intel Xeon D-1527 (4C/8T Broadwell-DE x86 Cores @ 2.20 (2.70) GHz)
RAM 8 GB DDR4-2666 ECC SODIMM (upgradeable to 16GB x 2)
Drive Bays 6x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 6 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-Swappable)
(Expandable with 2x DX517 up to 16 bays in total)
Network Links 2x 1 GbE
1 x 10 GbE
External I/O Peripherals 3x USB 3.0, 2x eSATA
Expansion Slots 1x PCIe 3.0 x8
VGA / Display Out None
Full Specifications Link Synology DS1621xs+ Specifications
Price $1600 (Newegg)

It is heartening to see Synology finally introduce 10GBASE-T NAS units in the desktop form-factor. The DSM software carries some unique applications (like the Synology Office suite) that QNAP doesn't currently have in their QTS operating system. On the other hand, QNAP's hardware variety - particularly in terms of NBASE-T and 10GbE support even in their SOHO offerings is also attractive. Overall, it is good for consumers to have more options to choose from in the COTS NAS market.

Source: Synology

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  • imaheadcase - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    I still think Synology should sell its OS it uses by itself for NAS users. It could simply focus on improving hardware support and encourage software devs for its packages. Many would buy it for making own NAS. It could be a good money stream, if offered stand alone, subscription mode, let devs charge for packages for it. Open up lots of potential for them.

    Synology seems to spend way to much on its hardware to justify to anyone to get one outside some very niche areas anymore. I love my synology don't get me wrong. Just like many if i every need more storage, i doubt i'm going to just get another one.
    Reply
  • Qasar - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    i currently have a 5 bay, and and looking at one of their 8 bays. Reply
  • mmm200 - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    I totally agree.
    Cause the new DS1621xs is a strange device for $1500.
    Using 2015 CPU with no GPU, no official way to use SSD for volumes, just one basic copper 10G (no SFP+, no 2.5/5G)
    I like my 918+ but I too doubt that with current HW approach my next NAS will be synology
    Reply
  • Aegrum - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    Amen to that. I want to run their OS, but their hardware is *way* too dated for my interest. Paying $1600 for a 5 year old processor is kinda bonkers. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    I think I'd rather DIY something like this for a home given the price and suffer with less capable or friendly software (not that FreeNAS is all that bad really). Not everyone will want that sort of solution. A one stop appliance with a warranty has its perks but for me the ticket price is pretty high given what you get back. Reply
  • esoel_ - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    Can I install freenas on it? Reply
  • Jake13942 - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    Intel Xeon D-1527 was released in Q4 2015, Synology is charging $1600 for this LOL Reply
  • tyger11 - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    Is anyone making an NVMe SSD-only NAS or DAS yet? They woyld be so much smaller.

    Even a 2.5” SATA SSD-one would be nice.
    Reply
  • npz - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    QNAP and Synology offer 2.5" bay NAS, in desktop and rackmount
    NVME -- meaning u.2 interface -- only 2.5" is only available in rackmount and that space is mostly by other people, usually Supermicro for bare hardware and OEMs with software integrators like TrueNAS (formerly FreeNAS) or Dell/EMC and Oracle, etc. Now you're talking about tens of thousands for the bare hw + software and hundreds of thousands for drives
    Reply
  • Bikerchris - Saturday, September 12, 2020 - link

    I think it's more interesting to read the comments than the article itself!

    I've been fiddling with FreeNAS for the last 6 months, mainly on old hardware (circa 2010). Superb stuff, but only if you're a tech tinkerer and effectively have the time to get involved in a new hobby.
    Reply

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