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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  • Reflex - Sunday, September 13, 2020 - link

    It's not that I can't saturate a 10GbE connection, it's that even as a semi-pro user with a massively overbuilt infrastructure at home the times when it would actually occur are few and far between. Yeah I move a TB around sometimes but it's not so often that it justifies spending a small fortune and having continual higher power draw given that it's still reasonably quick even on 1Gig.

    Almost no home users are doing tasks daily, weekly or even monthly that justify such connections. I'd rather spend the money on a faster internet connection and better wifi, and in fact I did.
  • throAU - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    Cost vs. the reality of the situation that most network shared storage rarely sees the ideal sequential reads that a Sata3 drive will saturate 5 gigabit with.

    Most end user desktops don't have 10 GbE, most SMB/SME do not have 10 GbE switching for distribution and many are still even on 100 megabit.

    In the space Synology are playing in 1 gigabit to the end user is the norm. Even in a 300 user office, our file/print server here is rarely seeing the large amount of throughput that would require 10 GbE.

    Sure, there are edge cases but those are typically people who need more throughput than even 10 gig ethernet will provide, and are using local NVME or direct-attached storage with the NAS functioning purely as archive storage.
  • shelbystripes - Friday, January 1, 2021 - link

    The focus on 10GbE is a red herring, for consumers and small businesses 2.5/5GbE is cheaper and more cost effective for the best future (including cheaper wiring costs), and Synology integrating 2.5/5GbE into more models (like the still 1GbE limited x20+ series) could have helped drive 2.5/5GbE adoption. That would still potentially saturate the NAS, but at 2.5-5x the performance and at minimal cost difference to end users. They could likely keep their same wiring and just need a 2.5 or 5 GbE capable switch to start realizing performance gains as they add 2.5 or 5 GbE capable devices to their network (which might just require new NICs that are also cheaper than many 10GbE NICs).

    The QNAP x53D series, which are equivalent to the Synology x20+ in CPU and features, offer 2.5GbE integrated, and QNAP has an official USB 2.5/5GbE adapter to add faster Ethernet to many of their models.

    There’s no reason Synology can’t be keeping up by now. They just don’t want to.
  • 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.
  • Qasar - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

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

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

    Intel Xeon D-1527 was released in Q4 2015, Synology is charging $1600 for this LOL

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