Network Attached Storage for Small Business – Synology DS1511+ 5-Bay (Diskless)


If you are looking to buy a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for your small business, you might want to consider the Synology DS1511+ 5-Bay Disk-less NAS box as one of the options. While there are cheaper options available, the Synology DS1511+ is a business grade NAS appliance with a lot of quality factors/redundancy factors built-into it. You don’t want to store/back-up your files in a home grade Network Attached Storage unit, do you?

The Synology DS1511+ NAS is a 5-bay appliance that can hold up to five 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard disk drives or solid state drives in the hot-swappable slots. The unit itself doesn’t come with any drives and they need to be purchased additionally. But what it does come with, is a 1.8 GHz processor, 1 GB DDR2 RAM and input/output ports (Gigabit network ports, USB ports and eSATA ports).  The Synology DS1511+ supports a maximum drive capacity of 20 TB, expandable up to  45 TB (when used along with two DX510 units).

The key differentiator in the DS1511+ is the software capabilities of this appliance. This NAS appliance can integrate with Windows Active Directory and Windows ACL so that you can easily group and allocate appropriate access controls to individual files and folders. It is possible to create a private shared folder that can be accessed by a large number of users, irrespective of which OS your users/client devices are running. It is possible to share files and folders over LAN and Internet.

Applications: Centralized storage and back up (File server), Mail server, Web Server, Centralized IP Surveillance storage and monitoring, USB-Printer sharing, Live media (video, audio, multimedia) streaming (DLNA, UPnP support). Have a look at this video from Synology website to get a better understanding of what else you can do with this appliance.

Important features of the Synology 1511+ NAS appliance:

  • 5-Bay disk-less NAS device
  • 165.91 MB/sec writing; 200.31 MB/sec reading
  • Active Directory/Windows ACL integration
  • 1 GB DDR2 RAM (Expandable up to 3 GB)
  • Internal drive capacity: 20 TB; Expandable up to: 45 TB
  • CPU: Dual Core, 1.8 GHz
  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SDD) support (2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA2)
  • 4 x USB ports; 2 x eSATA ports; 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6 support
  • Model: DS1511+
  • 3-Year limited warranty

You can find more technical information, data sheets, installation/user guides, download softwares/add-on softwares,etc in the official Synology 1511+ web-page.

Advantages:

  • High read/write capacity, high storage capacity
  • Integration with corporate directories like Active Directory, LDAP & Windows ACL
  • iSCSI support for storage/backup of virtual servers
  • Hot swappable HDD/SDD
  • https support, encrypted FTP and firewall for security
  • Connects with add-on modules DX510 using high-speed eSATA ports
  • The network ports support link aggregation and fail-over
  • Easy to use browser-based management software that can be accessed over the net
  • Quiet operation
  • Many add-on functions like LDAP server, Syslog server, etc
  • Wake on LAN/WAN for saving power

Limitations:

  • DDR3 RAM, which is the latest standard, is not supported
  • USB 2.0 (present in this device) is slower than the latest USB 3.0
  • The included surveillance station camera supports only one IP camera. Additional licenses (at additional cost) are required for managing and monitoring multiple cameras from a centralized location. Have a look at the list of supported IP cameras from here.

Optional Accessories:

DX510 Expansion unit to increase the storage capacity of the Synology DS1511+, by pairing with it.

Camera License Pack (1 additional license) to monitor and manage additional IP surveillance cameras from the DS1511+

List of compatible hard drives for actual storage of data (not included with 1511+)

Where to buy: If you live in the United States (US), you can buy this Synology DS1511+ 5-bay disk-less Network Attached Storage appliance online, from Amazon.

Alternatives to consider:

Synology has come up with a newer model – DS1512+ NAS appliance, which has better technical specifications than the DS1511+. At the time of writing this review, one batch of 1512+ seems to have some issues with device restart. Please check the Amazon reviews (linked above) and if the latest reviewers have not reported this issue, it maybe better to buy the newer version.

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