A 5-Bay NAS unit you should consider buying: Synology DS1512+


Applications of Network Attached Storage (NAS):

A NAS appliance (Network Attached Storage) is an inexpensive way to create your own private cloud at  home/business. You can use this purpose-built storage unit to automatically back-up data, share files, stream media and do many other functions normally performed by servers. When compared to the cost of servers/associated software, NAS appliances are inexpensive and easy to use. In many homes and small businesses, users can get away with just one NAS box, without requiring expensive servers.

The Synology DS1512+ is a 5-bay (expandable) NAS appliance that supports up to 20 TB of storage (expandable up to 60 TB). It supports many server-class features like link-aggregation, hot-swappable disks, RAID, etc. and hence is quite reliable. One of the biggest advantage of Synology NAS is its easy-to-use operating system (DiskStation Manager) that comes bundled with every device; and its exhaustive list of applications (including some from third-party), which helps administrators to easily expand the functionality of the NAS.

Important Specifications of Synology DS1512+ (5-bay NAS):

  • Type: 5-Bay Expandable NAS Appliance (Diskless)
  • Capacity: 20 TB with 5 bays (Expandable up to 60 TB with 15 bays, with additional expansion units)
  • CPU: Dual-Core 2.13 GHz, Floating Point support
  • RAM: 1 GB DDR3 (Expandable up to 3 GB)
  • Performance: 194.83 Mb/s Writing; 200.31 Mb/s Reading
  • Ports: 2 x Gigabit LAN (With Link Aggregation & Failover; USB 3.0 x 2; USB 2.0 x 4; eSATA x 2
  • Internal HDD/SSD: 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA II Interface (HDD not included)
  • Supported RAID types: RAID 0,1,5,6,10
  • Noise: 25.1 dB
  • Power consumption: 50.6 W (Access); 22W (Hibernation)
  • Size/Weight: 157 x 248 x 233 mm (H x W x D)/ 4.25 Kg
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Further Info/Features: Manufacturer’s web-page for Synology DS1512+

Advantages of Synology DS1512+ (5-Bay NAS Appliance):

  • Removable fans, power-supply. You can pretty much disassemble everything in this unit.
  • Physical lock/key mechanism to prevent accidental opening of drive inlets when the unit is functioning.
  • Two high-speed USB 3.0 ports for quick data transfer with external USB hard-disks.
  • If the built-in 20 TB capacity is not enough, you can buy two expansion units separately (later on) to expand the capacity of this little drive to up to 60 TB.
  • Two Gigabit LAN/RJ-45 Ports to connect to the Network/Network Switch. These two ports can be simultaneously connected to the same switch and the capacity of the backbone link can be thus increased to 2 Gbps (Link Aggregation). If one of these links fail, the other will still work (Failover).
  • Hot-swappable drive support enables users to change disk-drives without switching off the unit. Even if one (of the two) fans fail, the other fan (and the unit) will keep working until the defective fan is replaced. The CPU is cooled by a fan-less CPU heat sink technology. All these features increase the reliability of the unit and ensure business continuity.
  • This NAS is a boon for business (SMB) as it supports features like iSCSI (an inexpensive alternative to SAN), Virtualization applications (VmWare, Microsoft, Citrix), file sharing across Windows, Linux & Mac environments, comprehensive protocol support, integration with corporate directories like Active Directory and LDAP, etc.
  • Support for Encrypted FTP, https, IP auto-block, Windows ACL, etc. enhance the security of the DS1512+ NAS unit, especially for small business usage.
  • The DS1512+ can be used as a web-server/mail-server, but not many people use it for that purpose (mainly due to limitations in bandwidth capacity and continuity).
  • When compared with normal PC’s, the Synology DS1512+ consumes very low power (50.6 W max), even when it is engaged.
  • Uses RoHS compliant parts and the packaging material is recyclable.
  • The unit is surprisingly small; looks neat & professional.
  • Supports power-saving features like Wake On LAN/WAN. These features enable you to keep the DS1512+ unit in hibernation (low power consumption mode) until a data packet is sent to it from LAN or WAN.
  • There are a lot of apps: Both add-on packages provided by Synology and third-party packages to enhance the applications are supported by this device, out of the box. For example, the Synology DS1512+ comes with the following application packages: Surveillance Station, Radius Server, DHCP Server, DNS Server, Hi Drive Backup, Media (DLNA) Server, VPN Server, etc.
  • Mobile apps for various mobile platforms have been made available by Synology so that your files/media can be accessed through mobile phones (also).
  • Supports media streaming (music, movies, etc.) to DNLA compliant devices like networked Television display directly from the box.
  • The Synology DiskStation 1512+ is an excellent (and cheaper) alternative to Server + Server software used in small businesses.
  • Synology NAS appliances allow you to create your own private cloud for your home/workplace. Private clouds are faster than public clouds as they can be accessed locally. Of course, you also save a lot of WAN/Internet bandwidth with private clouds. You can still use the public cloud to have an online back-up for important files/media, not everything.
  • ‘CloudStation’ syncs files from (a particular folder in) your computer to the NAS device automatically, for back-up.
  • ‘Surveillance Station’ allows you to store all the video footage from various IP cameras and manage all of them from a single location, through the interface provided in DS1512+. However, license is provided only for one IP Camera along with the device and you need to buy additional licenses if you want to manage multiple cameras from different manufacturers. You don’t have to buy this if you have/plan to buy IP surveillance management software, provided by the camera vendor.

Limitations/Tips for Synology DS1512+ (5-Bay NAS Appliance):

  • No support announced for SAS interface at the moment but presence of hardware interface may indicate future support for SAS. Also, this NAS box supports SATA II and not SATA III. But, it is fast enough nevertheless.
  • The drive trays are made of hard plastic, however the outer casing is made of sturdy metal.
  • The installation is simple, but the unit takes some time (overnight) for initialization of disk-drives, for the first time. It is recommended to run the individual hard drives through its ‘parity check’.
  • RAID is supported by this unit. If you employ RAID, you can be assured that individual disk failure does not result in data loss. It is recommended to use similar sized hard-drives with RAID for best utilization of disk-space. Some disk space is lost through RAID but you get more reliability. Also, you can use ‘Synology Hybrid RAID’ if you have to employ hard-disks of multiple sizes.
  • This unit is not a USB-based external hard-drive. This is a full-fledged network-connected NAS storage unit.
  • Connect the equipment with good quality managed switches and Cat 6 Cables for best performance. Also, try to connect it through a UPS for uninterrupted operation during power cuts.
  • The system comes with 1 GB RAM. But this may not be sufficient for a few applications. It is recommended to buy the optional 2 GB RAM module along with the system as it gives a good performance-boost.

Price (USD)/Where to buy (US): Amazon web-page for,

 

Suggested Accessories:

 

Alternative Model to Consider:

Synology DS1512+ Unpacking & Dis-assembling video: 

 


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