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Synology RackStation RS815 Review

The Synology RackStation RS815

The Synology RackStation RS815

Synology recently launched the RackStation RS815, a 1RU short depth rackmount NAS. This 4-bay unit and short form factor makes it a worthy consideration for the budget and space conscious consumer. Whilst it is targeted for businesses, the price point and 12” deep chassis (37% shorter than its predecessor) makes it suitable for most communications cabinets found in homes.

The RS815 comes with 1GB RAM and is powered by a 1.33Ghz dual-core processor which should provide sufficient grunt for a multifunctional server. The included dual Gigabit LAN supports Link Aggregation to assist with the reported read speeds of up to 216MB/s. This should be more than sufficient to meet the multimedia and data transfer needs of home users and small to medium businesses. Supporting 8TB HDDs, the RS815 can scale up to 64TB of raw storage with the addition of the Synology RX415 expansion unit.

CPU ModelDual Core 1.33 GHz (MARVELL Armada XP MV78230)
System Memory1 GB DDR3
Drive Bay(s)4
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit8
Compatible Drive Type3.5" SATA III / SATA II HDD
2.5" SATA III / SATA II HDD
2.5" SATA III / SATA II SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Capacity32 TB (8TB HDD X 4)
Hot Swappable DriveYes
External Ports2 x USB 3.0; 1 x eSATA
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
Supported RAID TypesSynology Hybrid RAID
Basic
JBOD
RAID 0
RAID 1
RAID 5
RAID 6
RAID 10
Package InclusionsMain Unit X 1
Installation Disc X 1
Welcome Note X 1
Accessory Pack X 1
AC Power Cord X 1
Optional AccessoriesCamera License Pack
Expansion Unit: RX415 X 1
VS240HD
Synology RKS1314 - Rail Kit Sliding
Synology RKM114 - Rail Kit Mounted
Noise Level25.3 dB(A) 
Power Consumption*28.59 W (Access) 
14.35 W (HDD Hibernation)
Size (Height X Width X Depth)44 mm X 430.5 mm X 290 mm 
Weight4.34 kg 

Hardware

The RackStation 815 has a solid build quality from the chassis to the aluminium drive caddies and at no point during the installation do you feel like you are dealing with an inferior piece of equipment. Almost everything you need to get started is included in the box, the only thing the end user needs to add is the hard drive. For the purpose of this review we used our trusty Toshiba 3TB 7200 SATA3 HDDs.

The Synology RackStation RS815 arrives for review

The Synology RackStation RS815 arrives for review

Plenty of screws supplied

Plenty of screws supplied

Ready to be rack mounted

Ready to be rack mounted

The front of the Synology RackStation RS815

The front of the Synology RackStation RS815

Hot swap drive caddy

Hot swap drive caddy

Easy HDD installs

Easy HDD installs

The Synology RackStation RS815 installed in a rack

The RS815 installed in a rack

Dual LAN Ports

Businesses requiring redundancy or a faster network service will benefit from the dual Gigabit LAN ports on the RS815. These can be configured as failover mode or link aggregation. Failover mode keeps one port active and brings the other online if a fault is detected on the first connection. Link aggregation (LAGG) will team the ports together providing double the bandwidth. LAGG does require a compatible switch to work.

Configuring the LAN ports is an easy process that starts with the Network settings.

Network settings

Network -> Network Interface -> Create -> Create Bond

LAGG mode

LAGG mode

Enable LAGG

Enable LAGG

If you don’t have a compatible switch, a warning message will be displayed under Network Status.

LAGG failed

LAGG failed

Fortunately, we have a HP ProCurve switch just for these situations. A quick config update on the switch and we were up and running with LAGG on the RS815.

Configure switch ports for LAGG

Configure switch ports for LAGG

LAGG working

LAGG working

DiskStation Manager

Like other Synology units, the RS815 also runs DiskStation Manager (DSM). DSM is the companies operating system for their NAS products and as the following images illustrate, the installation process and end product is fairly consistent with what you see on the other models.

Ready to install and configure

Ready to install and configure

The install process downloads the latest version of DSM first

The install process downloads the latest version of DSM first

Synology's FindSynology web app

Synology’s FindSynology web app

Final configuration steps

Final configuration steps

Creating the Admin user

Creating the Admin user

Here you can setup auto update of DSM

Here you can setup auto update of DSM

Configuration of DSM complete

Configuration of DSM complete

Familiar login screen

Familiar login screen

DSM Home Screen

DSM Home Screen

Other features from DSM can be read in our other Synology NAS reviews. As the software platform is consistent from NAS to NAS we won’t go over the same ground again.

The Little Rack Mounted NAS That Could

With LAGG enabled, HDDs installed and DSM updated there was only one thing left to do – hammer the unit from all directions to see how it performs under pressure.

RS815 Stress Test

Multiple transfers occurring simultaneously to the RS815

The RackStation managed to handle the load well. That said, the data transfer speeds were quite low but this could be due to the large files I was moving around. But it is something that I will be looking into further to ensure we are pushing the unit to its full potential.

Resource Monitor

Monitoring the system resources

Final Thoughts

The Synology RackStation 815 is an affordable, compact and well rounded entry level file server. If you don’t have heavy enterprise needs, the lower powered Marvell processor will be more than capable in delivering the required functionality. For tasks requiring more power and performance the DS1515+ would be a better choice. The RS815 is built well and the DiskStation software is feature rich and one of the easiest to use making it the perfect file server for home or small offices.

 

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