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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shmee - Saturday, September 12, 2020 - link

    Kinda cool, but I would take a decent freenas any day, especially a cheaper one. I currently have one set up with an X58 board, Xeon X5660, and 18GB of RAM. I can always add a 10Gb NIC if I want as well for under $150.
  • domih - Saturday, September 12, 2020 - link

    Synology, QNAP, TerraMaster are good for end users who need turn key solutions where the most difficult part is to plug in the cables.

    I you want DIY 10G solutions on the cheap, go with 10G SFP+ used switches, NICs and cables from eBay. You can for instance find SolarFlare 10G cards for $20. Note that 2.5G and 5G are recent protocols. 10G used hardware from Enterprise/Data Centers on eBay will not know about these protocols and will not autonegotiate down from 10G. So if you are planning to mix 2.5, 5 and 10G devices you're better with the consumer 10G hardware but for $$$.

    Throughout forums it is common to read "Who needs 10G at home?", "SFP+ has no role to play at home!", etc. Well, I'm remember people saying "Who needs 1G at home?" in the 90s :-)

    The real point is that once you "tasted" 10G or more at home, you love it and do not want to go back to 1G.

    Then again it depends what you want to do with it.

    On my side I was tired to wait for 10G consumer at "honnest" prices so 1+ year ago I dug for info and used hardware on eBay.

    I ended up with InfiniBand :-) FDR 36-port switch for $200, ConnectX-3 or ConnectX-3 Pro NIC for $50 to $75, $25 per FDR 3 m DAC cable. So in all, still less expensive than today's 10G consumer...

    ...and I enjoy 35G to 44G IPoIB network (Internet Protocol stack over 56Gbps InfiniBand), take that 10G! Very happy about it. The trick is that you need recent PC hardware components (CPU, Memory, PCIe 3 or 4, good disks) to face the onslaught of such network throughput.

    You still lose bandwidth due to the slowness of consumer local components (mostly disk IO) but with 35+ G your remote drive basically behave like your local disks or even faster if the "server" is more powerful than the client. With Linux, using NFS in async mode, our remote disk IO speed is basically the speed of the network :-)
  • shelbystripes - Friday, January 1, 2021 - link

    Calling 2.5 and 5 GbE “recent” is kind of laughable at this point. The 802.3bz (NBASE-T) spec was finalized in 2016. There are second and even third generation chipsets from Aquantia and Realtek to enable it in devices like an x86-powered NAS. 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.
  • RecycledElectrons - Sunday, September 13, 2020 - link

    From the manufacturer's web site: "DiskStation Manager (DSM) is an intuitive web-based operating system for every Synology NAS, designed to help you manage your digital assets across home and office"

    Next time, define your abnreviations!

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