Synology's j-series NAS units have traditionally provided consumers with a very budget-friendly entry-level window into the DSM (Disk Station Manager) ecosystem. As the amount of user-generated data in the average household keeps increasing, the demand for more resilient storage keeps going up. With drive capacities on the increase, we have seen people move to 4-bay NAS units in order to take advantage of RAID-10 (despite the loss of effective storage space). This helps to avoid (to a certain extent) risk-prone rebuilds associated with RAID-5 arrays.

Entry-level 4-bay NAS units are important for any NAS vendor, evidenced in part by Western Digital's decision to launch the 4-bay WD EX4 ahead of the 2-bay WD EX2. The ix4-300d is also a popular member of LenovoEMC's ix-series. Synology is updating its entry in this price range market with the launch of the DS414j today, and appears to be an interesting alternative to the EX4 / ix4-300d.

The DS414j sports the Mindspeed Comcerto C2200 dual-core communications processor. It has two Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2 GHz. There are plenty of hardware acceleration engines in the SoC.

Mindspeed Comcerto C2200

The block diagram above doesn't provide full details of the peripheral I/O. Fortunately, we do have some documentation (PDF) which indicate that the C2200 sports two SATA II ports, two PCIe 2.0 lanes, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port. This looks like a good platform choice, since the two additional SATA bays should get full bandwidth through the SATA - PCIe bridge (if implemented that way on the board). A look at the gallery above shows that the unit has only one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, pointing to the likely fact that there is no USB 3.0 - PCIe bridge in the equation. The SoC does have support for up to three GbE ports, but the 414j uses only one. Even though we have seen dual LAN ports making their way into a few ARM-based units, it looks like the j-series will tend to stress its entry-level credentials by sporting a single network interface only.

The DS414j brings in all the exciting features of DSM 5.0 (along with its acclaimed apps for quick and easy remote access, private cloud features and backups) to the entry-level market. The unit is now shipping globally with a retail MSRP of $390.



Source: Synology

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  • iwod - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    Why O Why, I really wanted a 41xJ, model rise. But why do Synology have to make it so fugly?
  • icrf - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    I have had a DS411j for several years and have been exceedingly happy with it 4x2TB in RAID 5). Only issue I can mention is that the VPN client is terribly slow. It pulls down at about 150KB/s where a proper desktop manages several megabytes a second. I logged in and checked CPU usage, and it's not pegged, so there's another limiting factor somewhere.
  • creed3020 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    I notice the EXACT same problem with my DS212j. I use the VPN client on the NAS and the speeds are barely above 5Mb/s. When I use those same credentials elsewhere, say my desktop PC, I can saturate my 25Mb/s downstream. There is definitely a bottleneck and the CPU itself does not seem to be it. The offloading of encryption or not offloading is little the issue that Synology needs to perform some analysis around.

    So excited to see this new product. I've been waiting for a 414j model to come up as I'm looking for an upgrade pathway from my DS212j to something with a couple more bays, and slightly better CPU and memory.
  • regnez - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    It's a NAS -- just stick it in a cabinet/closet and check on it twice a year. I have used a Syno 211j for years and it has been nothing short of phenomenal. This looks like a worthwhile upgrade for anyone who wants or needs more disks.
  • usernametaken76 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    It looks to me like HP designers from the 1990's went to work for Synology and updated their color scheme from gray and beige to black.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    Any don't they just use chassis from other lines? This looks like a oversized electric pencil sharpener.
  • toyotabedzrock - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    Looks like a chip designed to be in a router.
  • fteoath64 - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - link

    True but come to think of it, a NAS is actually a data router. It routes data to disk platters and those data come in psckets via GigE. I would have thought the cpu should have kicked 2Ghz!. Heck, those quad or octacores in the mobile space are kicking 1.7Ghz for goodness sake. Coupled with good LPddr3 ram @ 1600, a 1.8Ghz quad or octacore will serve a great NAS but a few dollars more.....
  • Hrel - Friday, May 2, 2014 - link

    Can someone please explain to me why a 4 bay enclosure is SO much more expensive than a 2 bay? I mean, twice the size of case, twice the drive mounting brackets and a SLIGHTLY higher end RAID controller. That's it, doesn't come anywhere near justifying a $280 mark-up.

    2-bay = $110

    HOW does 4-bay = $390?
  • Hrel - Monday, May 5, 2014 - link

    No one knows huh, no one has any explanation for why these are so expensive. And yet people are apparently buying them...

    curiouser and curiouser.

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